In the girls' bathroom, Kathy washed her hands and splashed water on her face. When she looked up, she was startled to see Stephanie's reflection in the mirror.
Kathy spun around and said, "Oh... You scared me, Stephanie."
"Oh, did I?" Stephanie said, "So, what's up with the freak show haircut? A new trend you're trying to start?"
Kathy stared at Stephanie silently.
"Huh? Do you think that's cool?" Stephanie said, "Now that you're off the cheerleading squad, you want to be one of the freaks, like Chris Harper and Lester and Harold Sasaki?"
Stephanie paused dramatically and said, "Wait... Didn't you have a crush on Chris Harper? Wasn't that you?"
"Stephanie, please..." Kathy said quietly, fighting back tears.
"You would run around saying you were going to marry him all day long." Stephanie said, pursing her lips with pity, "And poor Chris Harper was so scared of you. On top of that, he's one of the biggest nerds in this school and he's about as straight as your hair is."
Stephanie looked Kathy up and down and said, "Well, was."
She smirked evilly and turned toward the door.
"See you around, freak." Stephanie said over her shoulder. She laughed cruelly as she left the girls' bathroom.
Kathy leaned against the sink she was standing by and put her hand over her mouth. She began to cry and no one was there to hear her.
Alone again. Kathy thought, The mysterious gift-bearer can give me presents, but they can never truly help me.
Kathy then realized something. She had thought the person who had been giving her the little gifts could be her savior, the person to get her out of her funk, but no. That person couldn't do any more than keeping her from starving.
My life is not going to get better. Kathy thought, looking up at the dirty mirror on above the sink, When there are people like Stephanie Bradley out their who take pleasure in my pain...
I'll never be safe.