I guess she had always been there, sitting in the middle of the classroom, a few tables across from me. I knew her name and had a vague memory of her giving a presentation to the class a while back, but otherwise she may as well have never gone to the school. It wasn’t that she was unremarkable, it was more that although she had flaws and was even a little pretty it all added up to nothing; a memory of a blank face. I never cared enough to really look at her, that was at least until all my friends left me. I am not sure why they did, I am not even sure exactly when it happened, they just disappeared slowly from my life. I was the loser with no friends. I would like to be able to say that I felt sorry for her, sitting all alone in the playground, but I was 12, my friends had left me and I just didn’t want to sit by myself. That was when I sat next to her for the first time. She looked surprised and we then proceeded to ignore each other for the next hour, her reading a book and me building piles of bark and fiddling with twigs. It was awkward. I didn’t want to sit next to her the next day but it was her or nothing, so I did. I even got up the courage to say hello, she said hello back and then we returned to pretending the other didn’t exist. The third day I asked her about her book,
‘Umm, so that book you’re reading, is it any good?’. She looked at me with what could only be described as complete disdain, as if it was ignorant of me to not already know everything about the book. Finally she responded,
‘It’s a fairytale about a girl who lives in a horrid family but a fairy godmother comes and helps her escape and find her prince. It’s called Cinderella’. I blushed bright red, of course she had thought me an idiot for asking about her book,
‘So do you reread it every lunchtime or have you not finished it yet?’ I was frustrated with her for making me look stupid. She looked up at me again,
‘It’s a book of fairytales, it has more than just Cinderella, or can you not read the title?’. As I turned bright red once again a small chuckle escaped her lips and a smile crept on to her face,
‘I’m a boy -- I don’t read fairytales!’ but I was smiling as well.