• "Move, geek!" Adam Riley barreled his way, rudely pushing Sara Smeek to the side, smashing into some lockers.
    "Oh, I'm sorry, Smeek," said the all-too-familiar silky voice of the beautiful, the rich, and the most popular girl, Tracy Nichols. "We didn't see you." She giggled, and then the two of them walked off, laughing, arm looped through arm.
    Sara wanted to cry. Why couldn't she be like the populars? Why couldn't she be in the "in" crowd. Why was she born ugly, with big-rimmed glasses, a skinny wimpy body? What was the purpose of life for her? Sara still wasn't used to this kind of life, being mocked and ignored. Back in Kentucky, she had friends, she had fun, she was actually liked. But now. . . it was different.
    At lunchtime, Sara (who usually sat by herself) timidly approached Jessica Humphrey and some other girls. In the beginning of the year, the two had been sort of friends, but after a truly horrifying never-forgetting incident, the two had drifted apart.
    "Uhhh, what do you think you're doing?" asked Samantha Collins when Sara sat down in front of her. "This isn't the Ignored Table, you know."
    Jessica laughed. "Yeah, Sara. Aren't you supposed to be sitting by the dumpsters BY yourself?"
    Sara didn't reply, only hanging her head, face beet-red with embarrassment.
    The girls giggled and got up at the same time.
    And they left altogether, leaving Sara all alone. . . again.
    Sara allowed her hair to hang down from the sides, like a curtain to cover her face. She forced herself not to cry. She would die if she did. But deep inside, her heart was breaking into a million pieces, drifting away so that no matter how hard she tried, she would never find all of them to get them back together.
    "Can I sit here?"
    That brought Sara jerking her head up with a start. Nobody never EVER had asked that question to her before. A handsome boy was in front of her, smiling like a golden angel.
    She couldn't make herself speak. She could only nod her head. THE GUY WAS GORGEOUS!
    "Thanks." He allowed himself to bend down to sit down in front of her. "So, what's with all those stupid creatures who won't sit with you?"
    Sara felt tremously paranoid. Looking around, she could see the whole cafeteria staring at her, the girls making moon eyes at the Handsome Boy.
    "Ummmm," she whispered.
    "So, I'm Eddie, or Edward Banders. I'm new here, and I'd like a tour in the school. Is that alright?"
    Nod. She couldn't. Sara was speechless. All of her life, she wanted someone to say something nice to her, and it was happening right NOW! Nod, stupid mute person! NOD!
    Finally, she opened her mouth to manage a "Yes".
    "Thanks so much."
    "You're welcome."
    "Sara, you need to ignore all these weirdos," Eddie commanded, holding her hand as they walked by Lincoln Park.
    Sara nodded.
    Eddie continued, "They were wrong to make fun of you, Sara. Nobody should be treated that way. Don't let them get to you." He looked at her with his gorgeous blue eyes and squeezed her hand. "Okay?"
    Sara could feel sweat pour down and pooling in her socks. "Okay," she murmured. "Thanks for the confidence."
    Eddie leaned over and brushed a finger against Sara's cheek in reply.
    It was the third week since Eddie had talked to her in the lunchroom. Nobody talked to her still, everybody ignored her, disliked her, and hated her. But Sara was already bursting with joy.
    She was waiting by the Lincoln Park where she always met with Eddie, when she heard sirens close by. She curiously followed the ambulance and the police cars with her eyes. Then it stopped right in front of her school.
    "Omigod." She hurried back to the school. There was Eddie, lying in the gutter by the school. A pool of blood appeared by him.
    "Omigod," Sara repeated. "No, no, no! It can't be!" she screamed as Eddie was lifted into the ambulance. She stood still, heart stopping, as the ambulance pulled away, the police cars following.
    Eddie was dead. He had fallen off his bike, hit his head in the curb, and received a severe brain tumor, which he lost to. The news drifted through the school in a breeze.
    Tracy was making fun of Sara again. "So, meatball, where's your Superman? Oh yeah, he's dead. Oh, I forgot. So I guess you're alone now." Her green eyes sparkled. "Who's your next hero?"
    "You know what?!" Sara faced Tracy and pierced her green eyes with hers. "You have a sick poisonous mind, Tracy Nichols. You act cool by making fun of the people who can't be like you! And you know what? I'm proud to be me. You know why? Because I can't stand another person like you!"
    With that, she ran out of the silent speechless lunchroom. Out of the school, and into Eddie's favorite park. She leaned against the tree, tugged her knees closer to her chest, and tears splashed down her cheeks.
    But then she stopped, raising her head. Sniffing, she remembered Eddie's words: "Don't let them get to you, Sara."
    And she wouldn't. Ever. Eddie may not be here, but his words would always be with her. And nothing could force them out.