Just as art class was being dismissed, one of the cheerleaders came into the art room; Jenny.
"Ms. Nelson sent me here to give this to Kathy." Jenny told the art teacher.
He nodded and Jenny walked over to Kathy's table. Her pretty brown eyes looked concerned and sad.
Jenny gingerly held out the envelope in her right hand toward Kathy.
Kathy gave her a questioning look and took the envelope.
"What's this?" Kathy asked, looking at the envelope.
"I-It's for your parents to sign." Jenny said softly, "You got suspended... For the rest of the week."
Kathy's eyes grew wide and she stared at Jenny.
"Are you... Are you serious?" Kathy said.
Jenny looked up at her, maybe a little bit scared, and nodded apologetically.
Kathy stared at Jenny and grabbed her wrist.
Jenny jumped in surprise and Kathy pulled her out of the art room and down the hall.
Kathy faced Jenny and hissed, "I got suspended?"
"Y-yes, I'm sorry!" Jenny said.
"I was just defending myself! Stephanie can not treat people how she's been treating me!" Kathy snapped.
"Y-yes, I know, you're totally right!" Jenny said quickly. She looked really scared.
Kathy grabbed the collar of Jenny's cheerleading uniform and said pulled Jenny up to her face.
"This... Is all... Your fault." Kathy said through gritted teeth.
Jenny's eyes widened and she said, "What?"
"It's your fault I got kicked off the cheerleading squad." Kathy hissed, "Everything is your fault. You're prettier than me, so Stephanie likes you better than me."
"Kathy, th-that's not true!" Jenny said nervously, grasping Kathy's hand that was firmly holding her collar, "C-could you please let go?"
"She's programming you to be her next minion." Kathy said, "And, you just add to all my problems by making me think more."
"I am sick of you!" Kathy screamed, "Get out of my life, you stupid lesbian!"
Jenny stared at Kathy. Their faces were only an inch apart and Kathy's grip was tight on her collar.
Kathy's words stung Jenny's heart much more than the tears running down her cheeks.
Kathy's hand loosened on Jenny's uniform just as fast as the anger left her face.
"Jen..." Kathy said.
Jenny's knees shook and her legs collapsed underneath her.
Kathy stared at Jenny with wide eyes. Kathy was clearly at loss for words.
Jenny's eyelids fluttered and she stared straight ahead, her arms shaking as she sat with her palms pressed to the floor.
Kathy shook her head and took off running down the hall.
Jenny watched Kathy go and tears streamed down her cheeks. She scrunched up her face and began to cry in a heap on the floor.
She barely noticed the kids staring at her as they walked to their buses.
Jenny sat on the floor, hunched over and crying.
Chris and I walked from the music room, toward the buses where we would meet Leo, Alice, and Mouse.
Then, Chris looked ahead and touched my arm.
"Hey, Ange." He said.
Chris blinked and said, "Is that... Jenny?"
I followed his gaze to see a girl in a cheerleading uniform hunched over on the floor, right in the middle of the hallway.
Chris and I looked at each other for a second, then he jogged over to the girl and I followed him.
Chris bent down to Jenny and said softly, "Jen? Are you alright?"
Jenny looked at Chris. Her face was streaked with tears and her nose was running.
"Hey, come on." Chris said, getting up and holding out his hand, "You can come home with us and tell us all about it."
I couldn't help smiling. I love Chris. He can be really stuck up sometimes, but he has a really good heart.
Jenny sniffed and took Chris' hand.
Chris gently patted her back and said, "We can walk to our house and you can tell Angie and I what happened. How does that sound?"
Jenny let out a shuddering breath and nodded.
We started walking and Chris looked at me. He smiled and I smiled back.
That's the little brother I know.