A Chapter by L. Catherine

"Something second hand and broken still can make a pretty sound..."- Second Hand White Baby Grand

As Elizabeth drove off towards Ashtone Hollow High School, she couldn't help but feel a certain sense of dread. 

"What the heck am I worrying about?," she said aloud to herself, "It's going to be exactly how it's been every single year of my life; I'm going to walk into school, everyone will stare at me, maybe one person will smile at me, but by the end of the week no one is going to want to even walk within twenty feet of me, let alone talk to me."

Even though this would have depressed others, it gave Elizabeth a surge of confidence. She was used to being a loner and while she would have liked to have a friend to gossip, text, and hang out with, she didn't let her loneliness get to her; she had other things to make her happy that accepted her for who she was, like her music and her family.
Continuing on down the road, Elizabeth took the final turn before the high school came up on her left. She still had a five minute drive to the school when, through the now pouring rain, she saw a figure walking slowly along the sidewalk. Slowing down, Elizabeth saw that it was a girl, about the same age as herself, with practically snow white hair in a pixie-cut style. She had never seen the girl before, which had never happened in all the years that Elizabeth had lived in Ashtone Hollow. Even though they were close to the school, Elizabeth could tell that the girl was drenched and decided to pull over.

"Hey!" Elizabeth called out of her car window.

The girl stopped and looked up from staring at the the ground. From this angle, Elizabeth could see that she was fairly tall, but petite in build with sharp, mischievous features on her face, making herself look like a pixie to match her hair. She seemed puzzled Elizabeth had even acknowledged her.

"Are you going to the high school?"

"Yeah," the girl replied through the downpour, "Is it much further?"

"Five minutes by car, fifteen by feet," Elizabeth replied, "But in this weather, it'll probably take you twenty-five."

"S**t!," the girl said quite audibly over the rain.

"Do you want a ride? It really won't be any trouble, I'm heading there too."

".... Sure, I guess it'd be better than walking in this."

As the girl got into the car, Elizabeth sat there for a moment letting the girl ready herself before setting off again down the road. Even though the girl had just been told it would only be a few minutes until they arrived at the school, making any large amount of conversation pointless, she introduced herself in a way was basic, but for Elizabeth, completely new.

"My name's Claire. Claire Oakridge."

"I'm Elizabeth. Elizabeth Blackwood."

"Nice to meet ya, Liz!"

"It's Elizabeth."

"How about just Beth? Lizzy?"

"Just Elizabeth."

"Eh, can't say I didn't try," Claire said with a laugh.

Elizabeth smirked a little, she hadn't felt this comfortable so quickly around anyone besides her family for as long as she could remember. This new girl who had moved into her town was unlike anyone else she had ever encountered; she was open, extremely friendly, but even more, she seemed genuine. 
After a few minutes, the car pulled into the school's parking lot and the two girl's exited, running for the front entrance. Once they were inside, Elizabeth noticed how everyone was practically gawking at her more than usual, but were almost completely ignoring Claire. Most stared in confusion, whereas others had looks of disgust, mainly towards Elizabeth. Noticing Elizabeth's "admirers", Claire immediately spoke up.

"Oh, hi there," she said quite loudly to a group of football players staring in their direction, "Can I ask you a question? Can you quit staring down my friend here and go beat up your friends or something? That's what you sports types do, right?"

"No, you got it all wrong," the leader of the group replied, appearing somewhat in a daze, "That's just some lame stereotype."

"Then stop stereotyping her. Back off."

Elizabeth was a little more than shocked over Claire's sudden outburst. She usually just took the angry glances and the isolation, but this girl who she had literally met less than a half hour ago immediately came to her aid, like they had been friends for years. She had even used the word friend, a term Elizabeth hadn't used for most of her life, until now. The only thing that confused Elizabeth was the fact that Claire had said the football players, and basically everyone else in the school, was stereotyping her. 

"Stereotyping? What is there about me to stereotype?" Elizabeth thought to herself as she and Claire walked away.

In mid-thought, Claire broke Elizabeth's internal conversation with herself.

"Hey! Wanna show me where my classes are?"

"Sure, let me take a look."

Claire handed Elizabeth her schedule, which, partially to Elizabeth's delight, she saw that Claire was in all of her classes except one.

"Well, first up," Elizabeth began with a smile, "You have Mrs. Franco, for choir. You're going to love her, she's the only teacher here who I can really talk to. I can explain that you're new and-"

"Don't worry about introducing us, I know her already," Claire interjected.


"Yeah, she's my aunt. I moved here by myself, so I'm staying with her while I'm at school," Claire remarked with a huge grin.

"Well then, that saves one introduction," Elizabeth replied with a small laugh.

"Maybe this year will be different," she thought to herself before leading Claire to the first of her classrooms.
Five hours later, the rain had finally let up to a light drizzle. To Elizabeth's surprise, having Claire around in most of her classes was quite enjoyable. Having someone to call a friend for once in her life was refreshing, something she hadn't experienced in a long time. As they stepped out of the last period class, they headed towards the exit, going straight for Elizabeth's car. 

"Want me to give you a ride home? I know where Mrs. Franco lives; she's my private voice lessons teacher, so I got there a lot."

"That'd be great!" Claire replied.

Getting into the car, Elizabeth couldn't help but have a sudden outburst of laughter.

"Are you okay?" Claire asked, partially concerned.

"Yeah," Elizabeth responded, "I just haven't enjoyed school so much in my whole life. Having you in my classes added a whole new level of fun to school I never thought would ever exist. Thank you."

"Oh," Claire said, somewhat surprised, "Well, it's no problem at all. Thanks for welcoming me so quickly."

The two girls smiled at each other, knowing a string friendship had been set in motion and then pulled out of the school's parking lot. Ten minutes later, Elizabeth pulled into Mrs. Franco's driveway.

"Here it is, home sweet home," Claire said, "Thanks again for the ride Elizabeth!"

"No problem at all, Claire," Elizabeth replied with a smile.

Claire stepped out of the car and walked towards her aunt's house, but suddenly turned around and ran back.

"Hey! Maybe we can hang out sometime? How about Friday night? I found this cool pond in the woods a couple days ago when I went exploring. Want to come? It'll look creepy at night!"

"I'll ask my dad if that's okay, but I'm sure he'll be fine with it! Thanks! See you tomorrow at school then!"

"See ya!"

Claire ran into the house right as Elizabeth pulled out of the driveway and turned to go home. She hadn't felt this thrilled to go to school in ages. She finally had a friend whom she could talk to like they had been best friends for years. Elizabeth thought that for whatever reason, she was a freak and no one wanted to get close to her. She was like a broken piano, out of tune and dusty, but with some work, could still bring beautiful music into the world, and finding a friend in Claire Oakridge had fixed her. But something that slipped from Elizabeth's mind that she should have kept wondering about; what did Claire mean when she told the football player he had been stereotyping Elizabeth?

© 2013 L. Catherine

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Very interesting; I'm looking forward to see where this is going.

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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Added on November 1, 2013
Last Updated on December 11, 2013


L. Catherine
L. Catherine

Storybrooke, ME

My name is L. Catherine and I, like many of you out there, am a writer. My whole life I've grown up with a vivid imagination and seeing things differently than other people, always wishing and believi.. more..

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A Chapter by L. Catherine