Kathy got her lunch and walked toward a table when Stephanie stuck out her leg and tripped her.
Kathy fell hard to the floor, her lunch tray clattering to the floor and food (or at least what they were served for lunch) splattered everywhere.
Melonie and Gwen giggled and Stephanie said, "Oops, sorry. Didn't see you there, Kath. I guess you kind of just blended in with all the other unpopular losers in this school."
Kathy got to her feet and almost slipped on the slop on the floor again.
The cheerleaders laughed and Kathy said, "HEY!"
"What do you want, Parker?" Stephanie laughed, crossing her arms.
Kathy walked up to her and pointed a finger in her face.
"What gave you the right to do that?" Kathy said, "What gives you a right to be a jerk to me?"
Stephanie pursed her lips and said, "Well, you're a loser and I'm a winner. Everybody loves me and no one loves you. It's not my fault if you get in my way."
Kathy glared at her and said, "I don't get in your way, you bully me on purpose. You're such a jerk, Stephanie."
Stephanie, Melonie, and Gwen threw their heads back and laughed.
"Do you seriously think I care what you say about me, Parker?" Stephanie said, "I don't care if you hate me."
Kathy glared at her and watched Stephanie's lips form three little words.
"You're pathetic, Kathy." Stephanie's lips said.
Kathy shoved Stephanie so hard in the chest that Stephanie fell backwards onto a lunch table.
Most of the kids in the lunchroom gawked at the girl.
Stephanie gasped in surprise and got back up. She shoved Kathy back, Kathy slapped her, Stephanie slapped Kathy back, and Kathy punched Stephanie in the face.
Stephanie staggered back with her hand over her nose.
The lunchroom fell silent as Stephanie moved her hand from her face and a dark stream of blood trickled from her nose.
Stephanie screamed on the top of her lungs and the vise principle ran into the lunchroom.
"WHAT IS GOING ON IN HERE?" He boomed.
"Do something!" One girl cried, pointing at Kathy and Stephanie, who were fighting again.
The vise principle ran over to the girls and pried them off each other.
"What happened??" He yelled, "Why are you girls fighting?"
"She punched me in the face, Mr. Howard." Stephanie whined, "It really hurts! I think she broke my nose!"
"Both of you, to the office!" The vise principle, Mr. Howard said, leading both of them out of the lunchroom.
The room started buzzing instantly as people talked about what happened.
Chris put his hand over his mouth and said, "Oh my God, what do you think happened?"
"I have no idea." Alice said, "Kathy really hit that girl hard."
Tae-Hyun sighed and said, "I think I should talk to Kathy."
We all stared at Tae-Hyun and I said, "What? Are you crazy?"
"That chick's a psycho, Tae-Hyun." Mouse said, taking a drink of milk, "Seriously, I don't know if you want to set off that bomb."
"I know, it could be dangerous." Tae-Hyun said, "Kathy is very sensitive and I don't think she would be acting like this unless there was a problem. A big problem."
Leo said, "She hit you and there was no problem."
Tae-Hyun looked at him and said, "That's not true. Kathy was upset because she said everyone loved me and I pretended to be innocent all the time."
I gasped and said, "Hey, Tae-Hyun?"
My friends all looked at me.
"Do you..." I said softly, "Do you think Kathy's jealous of you?"
Tae-Hyun furrowed her eyebrows and Leo said, "Definitely. Kathy lacks a lot of Tae-Hyun's good qualities, like social skills."
Chris gave him a look and said, "Really, Leo?"
"Hey, you saw her when we were at my house." Leo said, "She lied to Tae-Hyun and hit her just because she could."
"I still think someone should talk to her." Tae-Hyun said, "And that someone should be me. I need to clear the air."
Alice sighed and said gently, "Tae-Hyun, I understand that you want to help, but if Kathy really is angry with you, then maybe you shouldn't bother her until she cools off."
Chris nodded and said, "I'm with Alice. Give it time, Hun."
"Alright." Tae-Hyun said, "But don't think I'm forgetting. Let's all try being nicer to Kathy, she could be going through something really hard right now."
Chris bit his lip and sniffled.
"Oh, great." Mouse said, "You too? Why does everybody have to be a big fat bundle of nerves right now?"
"Mouse..." I said.
"Seriously!" Mouse said, "If everyone keeps crying and yelling and hitting, I'm going to lose it! Soon I'll be the only one who isn't crying and everyone will say I'm insensitive and all that crap!"
Leo raised an eyebrow at her and said, "You are insensitive."
Mouse was quiet for a second, then she said, "Yeah, I guess..."
Chris sniffed again and put his hand over his mouth.
"Hey," I said, putting my hand on his shoulder, "Are you crying, Chris?"
Chris nodded and said, "Yes, it's just... When Tae-Hyun said that... Kathy might be going through something hard and we should be easier on her, I thought of something. Tae-Hyun could be totally right. Do all of you remember when me and Angie's dad left us?"
Leo, Mouse, and Alice nodded.
"Yeah, you were a mess." Leo said, "It really sucked."
Chris nodded again and said, "I would barely talk to anyone and I got in a fight with my sister."
My arm tightened around Chris' shoulders.
"We really should be careful about what we say to Kathy." Chris said.
Leo, Mouse, and I nodded awkwardly. The three of us had never been very good in big dramatic situations like this, they made us really uncomfortable. On the other hand, Chris, Kathy, Geoffry, and a lot of other people we know are very, very compatible with it.
Even so, Chris was right.
I should think before I say bad things about Kathy.