I felt like everyone knew about what had happened with Kendall by the end of fourth period after lunch and I was mortified. I had never had so many people notice me and it made me feel sick being the shy person that I am. After the bell had gone and we'd left the study room to go to our English Lit class, it finally sunk in what had just happened to us.
"Oh my god! We have just committed social suicide! Not only did you publicly insult Harry but we got into a confrontation with Kendall fucking Jenner! She's going to make it so hard to go unnoticed now, I can tell, she wants to kill you! Why couldn't you just apologise?" Taylor fretted as we walked up the stairs, she was getting so flustered that her face was going a pinkish colour and her voice sounded like she was holding back tears. She was right though. Kendall was not someone who many people crossed, and if I had just apologised it probably would have been ok. Instead, I had sat there silent, choking on my words in disbelief. I felt like a child getting told off as Taylor continued on at me about how bad things were going to get until the teacher entered the classroom and started the lesson.
I welcomed the idea of being distracted by Shakespeare and his complicated Middle English prose, but the class was restless, there was a low murmur throughout the class and I could feel everyone's eyes on me. Every time someone got up to retrieve a piece of equipment from the shelf behind our desk they would make a comment about how my hair always looked scraggly and unwashed, so I was one to talk. I felt my heart drop every time. I had managed to go 7 years unnoticed by everyone and then someone hears one thing and suddenly I'm the new year 13 victim. What had I done? My face went hot, the tears pricking my eyes as one girl muttered an insult about my appearance.
I raised my hand and swallowed the lump in my throat as I asked to be excused, I needed a minute to compose myself. As I walked toward the door, I passed Liam, who pushed his bag into the aisle, causing me to stumble, drawing a low snigger from the rest of the room. A tear escaped my eye even though I had tried to hold it back. I looked back at him as I regained my balance, and saw something that I didn't expect to see. Harry, who was sitting next to him had nudged him hard in the ribs, and unlike the rest of the class, he wasn't laughing. His stony green eyes met my mine and suddenly I felt defiant. I held his gaze as I composed myself, stood straight with my head held high, wiped the tear from my cheek and exited the room.
I had never felt like that before.
"S? Are you in here? Are you ok?" The bell went while I was still in the toilets and Taylor had brought my stuff and come to find me. I stepped out from the cubicle that I had been hiding in to see my blonde best friend standing at the mirror fixing her headband that was pushed into her long blonde curls. Seeing me in the mirror she turned around with a small smile and held my bag out to me, "I'm sure they will have forgotten by next week, honestly, it wasn't even that bad what you said."
I nodded weakly. My defiance had left and I felt miserable at how horrible people were being. The bell went again, signalling the beginning of fifth period, which meant after telling me she would call later, Taylor was rushing off to Geography. I was glad to be finished for the day, and after standing in the bathroom for another ten minutes to make sure that everyone would have either gone home or gone to their next lesson, I left for my own car.
I was lost in my thoughts as I turned the corner onto the path that led to the carpark but quickly jumped back. Not too much further down, was Harry and Kendall were having what looked like a heated discussion and no way in hell was I about to risk walking past them. I debated what to do in my head, I could go back to school and risk seeing more people who would insult me for the fun of it, or I could walk past culprit number one as she was already sounding riled up... Neither option was appealing. I couldn't help but overhear what was being said as I tried to deal with my dilemma of being caught between a rock and a hard place.
"For fucks sake Harry! A little nobody was slagging you off and I thought it was bang out of order so I said something! Could be a little more grateful, I don't even see what your problem is, you should be thanking me!" I heard Kendall snarl, which made me pause all other thought. Were they arguing about before?
"Exactly! She was a fucking nobody who made a comment that I didn't even bloody hear! You might be on some kind of fucked up ego trip around here, but I don't want to see some girl who no one even noticed before, getting pushed around by the entire year because she didn't like my hair one day! What you did was fucking pathetic and I'm actually ashamed of what happened to her on my behalf in that Lit class because you had to be a petty bitch for no reason." Harry spat back. I suddenly felt a pang of gratefulness toward Harry. I had insulted him, yet he was sticking up for me anyway. Maybe he wasn't as much of a wanker as I thought he was... or he at least had a strong sense of wrong and right.
"Oh fuck off Harry!" Kendall snapped back, "Like it or not, the school has a hierarchy, people with status and people without it. We have it, and she doesn't, so unfortunately for her, when she messes with the wrong people there are repercussions. Get over it. I'm going home, you can call me later when you want to thank me for sticking up for you." And with that I heard Kendall's kitten heels slapping the pavement as she walked away.
I counted to five and then stepped onto the path, not wanting to wait too long in case Harry came back this way and thought I was eavesdropping. He hadn't moved though, he was just standing against the fence with his head in hands. All of a sudden he groaned loudly, turned around and kicked the fence as hard as he could. I could practically feel the anger and frustration radiating from him and it was actually quite intimidating, so I hesitated, which is when he noticed me. His face that was contorted with anger suddenly changed to an expression I couldn't read. He bent down and picked up his bag and just walked past me. But then I heard his footsteps stop and he spoke to my bag.
"Listen, I think what you said was uncalled for, like, you don't even know me and I don't know you, but that aside," he hesitated for a moment, and I turned to face him, "You don't deserve everyone attacking you, and I'm going to try and get the others to stop in the hope that everyone else will follow suit... It's Selena right?" I nodded and saw the empathetic look in his eyes before he looked down and nodded like he was checking he had said everything he needed to.
"I'm sorry." I blurted out suddenly and he stopped as he was about to walk away.
"It's ok, I didn't even hear you say it and I literally had no idea who you even were until this afternoon." He shrugged and without another word he carried on down the path, leaving me standing there looking after him, totally confused about him.