On Monday morning Sunny slid into her seat in homeroom early, turned to Devon and asked, “Why do you hate me?”
The classroom was empty except for the two of them. Devon always came in early to work on homework. He could never get anything done at home anymore. It was too loud. Things with his dad were getting worse.
“Huh?” Devon looked at Sunny blankly. He was really tired and had a lot of work to do. He didn’t have time for Sunny, who had been dubbed The Weird Witch by everyone else in the eighth grade. If she was the Weird Witch and he spent too much time with her he’d become the Total Loser Toto or worse, Dorothy Devon.
Sunny was on a mission though. She was fed up with Devon’s attempts to thwart her. Moving to Calgary had been a chance to reinvent herself and reinvent herself she would. She was going to be assertive and not take crap from anyone, especially some shy kid who obviously could use a friend as badly as her.
“Why..do..you..hate..me?” she spoke clearly, enunciating each word perfectly.
“I never said I did,” Devon looked away, unable to handle the way she tried to hold his eye contact.
“And you haven’t said you don’t. You act like a totally jerk.” Sunny pressed on.
“I’m not jerk!” said Devon with far more confidence than he felt, “I’m a loner.”
“Even loners need friends. Why are you so uninterested in being with people? You never talk to anyone. I’ve been trying to be your friend and the effort has been killing me,” despite her bravado, Sunny was actually quite afraid this might not work and she would lose her only chance of making a friend in this school.
“Well, maybe I just don’t want friends,” Devon felt how weak his argument was.
“Well that’s just great. Now I have no one to give this invitation to,” Sunny flashed the white envelope, her secret weapon and the thing she hoped would bait him.
“Invitation? For what?” Devon asked, unable to hide the curiousity from his voice.
“Nothing, it’s for a friend,” Sunny slid the envelope across her desk so Devon had to crane his neck to see it.
“But… you don’t have any friends, you said…”
Sunny blinked slowly, daring him to finish his sentence. Then she arched her pierced eyebrow and looked away.
“Oh,” Devon remained still. Then he looked away too and slowly the other students began to arrive and Mrs. Hoober came in and then Sunny slipped the envelope into her bag as she pulled out her binder and Devon couldn’t ask about it anymore.
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