I walked toward our table at lunch with my tray. Leo was the only one already there and he was stirring his food with a fork, looking down at it.
I sat down next to him and smiled cheerily, "Hi, Leo."
Leo looked at me suspiciously and said, "... Hello."
I folded my hands on the table and asked, "So, is there anything I can do to help you?"
"I doubt it." Leo said quietly, still looking at me, "Everybody hates me."
"That's not true, Leo." I said, "I don't hate you, you're my best friend."
"But you hate me right now." Leo said, shaking his head, "Don't even think I can't see it. I know you, Ange. You're trying to act all nice, but you're really pissed."
I scowled and said, "Well, you could at least try to let me make things better."
Leo shook his head and got up with his tray, "You can't, it's too late. Everyone thinks I'm an ass including the girl I'm in love with. I don't know how to fix it and maybe I won't. Just let me rot in peace."
I watched Leo walk away to an empty table.
Alice and Chris sat down across from me and Alice asked, "What happened?"
"Nothing, I just tried to help Leo and he said everyone hates him, including Tae-Hyun."
"He's probably really upset about Tae-Hyun." Chris said pitifully, shaking his head and starting to stand up, "I should go talk to him."
I put my hand on Chris' and said, "Chris, I don't think your gay boy charm is going to get Leo out of his funk."
Chris rolled his eyes and said, "Fine, fine."
"Did you suggest that Leo apologizes?" Alice asked me.
I shook my head, "No, he didn't give me the chance. You think it would piss 'em off?"
"Probably." Chris said.
"Maybe not." Alice said, "Knowing Tae-Hyun, she would probably forgive him pretty fast. I doubt she's that angry, anyway. Kathy, I'm not so sure about, but she seemed to be a little better this morning."
Chris cleared his throat and glanced at Alice.
"Oh, sorry, Chris." Alice said, "Would you forgive him?"
Chris crossed his arms and said, "Depends. I might, but I don't think he would apologize anyway. We've never been close and I highly doubt he would be willing to apologize to the gay kid. Waaaay too embarrassing. He probably doesn't even remember that he did me wrong."
"What are you talking about, Chris?" I said, "Leo's not like that anymore."
Chris gave me a look and said sharply, "Yes, he is, Angie. Don't you remember when he said I would make a better girl than a boy? He is still like that."
I couldn't think of anything to say, so I just gritted my teeth in frustration.
"Chris..." Alice said gently. She put her hand on Chris' shoulder and Chris shrugged her off.
I sighed, "Whatever happened to trying to patch everything up? Come on, man. I thought you were on my team."
Chris glanced at me for a second.
Alice nodded and agreed, "Someone needs to do something besides sit around and think about how mad they are."
"Come on, bud." I said.
Chris rolled his eyes and said, "Sure, whatever, I'll get over it, but Leo doesn't deserve my friendship. He has never respected or understood me."
Alice and I exchanged a look that indicated that we would just let Chris have his way for now.
Mouse and Tae-Hyun walked over to us with their lunches and sat down.
"Hey, guys." Mouse said.
"Hi, everyone..." Tae-Hyun said quietly.
"Hi." Chris, Alice, and I said.
Mouse looked from me, to Alice, to Chris, to Tae-Hyun.
"Huh." She said, "What's goin' on?"
Tae-Hyun glanced at her for a second, then looked back down at her lunch tray.
"Nothing." I said, "We're just talking about trying to clear the air with Kathy and Leo."
"Why?" Mouse said.
I gave her a look, "What do you mean why? So we can get back to everything not sucking."
Tae-Hyun sighed and said sharply, "We cannot do anything to make Leo better. He needs to apologize to us for mistreating us. He's a jerk."
We all looked at Tae-Hyun in question and Mouse said flatly, "Dang, Korea. What happened to being head over heels in love with Leo?"
Tae-Hyun crossed her arms and said, "My feelings will never overpower my knowledge of what is right and wrong. Leo has not been a nice person, so I will treat him how he deserves. Like. A. Jerk."
Chris and I grinned at each other. Mouse and even Alice were also cracking smiles.
Tae-Hyun looked at all of us and said sharply, "What?"
"Wow, Tae-Hyun." I said, teasing her, "I didn't realize that your beliefs could so easily defeat your burning love for Leo."
Tae-Hyun's cheeks turned pink with anger and embarrassment. But mostly anger.
"Well, Angela," She said sourly, "I am a very independent, capable woman and I know a mean person when I see one."
"Geez, sorry." I said.
"Wait," Alice said, addressing Tae-Hyun, "Then why didn't you get mad at Kathy at Leo's party."
Tae-Hyun said confidently, and almost a little bit prissily, "Kathy clearly had something emotional going on by how strongly she reacted to everything and I was just who she chose to take her feelings out on."
"She still hasn't apologized." Chris pointed out.
"Yes, but that's not the point." Tae-Hyun said, "Leo is just being a jerk to everyone because he doesn't care about other people's feelings. He's insensitive, inconciderate..." - Inconciderate. That's the word people always use when they're trying hard to stay mad at someone, but they're not going to. - "Rude, cruel, stupid..."
"Uh, Tae-Hyun..." Chris said.
"Egoistic, greedy, piggish, narcissistic, narrow-minded..."
I leaned over to Chris and whispered, "I had no idea one person could come up with that many adjectives for 'selfish'."
Chris nodded, staring at Tae-Hyun in surprise and maybe a little fear, "Uh-huh."
I added, "... At least I think they mean selfish."
So, I guess Tae-Hyun really was mad at Leo.
What the hell was I supposed to do now???