Agnes Fairchild was not someone who could be classified as a person of popularity in her school.
She didn’t even have what could be considered a best friend. She did have an internet friend, but they hadn’t talked in awhile, so Agnes didn’t know the status on that.
So she could be classified as friendless.
But it’s not like she was particularly bothered by that fact. She had accepted herself as the loner of the school system, the weird girl who sits at the back of the classroom with her nose in a book. She was the one who ate their lunch in the library, the one who gets picked last in those stupid gym activities, the one who, when asked to partner up, stays by themself.
But she really didn’t mind as much as people may have thought. She wouldn’t have minded a friend, of course, that would be nice. She just knew it would most likely never happen.
And when a new student is introduced in her reading class that day, she doesn’t pay much attention to it. The popular kids’ll probably ask him if he wants to sit at their table at lunch, and they’ll become friends. (Or, whatever that would be called. She didn’t think it was actually friendship, more of a twisted acquaintanceship made out of lies and blackmail.)
And that would be that.
That belief was shattered the next Thursday.
She was on her way to Math, drifting and swerving through the crowded hall, binder clutched close to her chest. The hallway was crowded with taller people, taller people who wouldn’t get. Out. Of. The way! She grumbled curses underneath her breath.
She hung a left to the hall her Math class was in, just dodging some stupid kids in the grade below her on the way in. She managed through the doorway just as the bell rang, slipping into the seat as others around her were doing the same.
“Everyone into seats so I can do Roll Call!” The harried teacher called out. Agnes decided to give up paying attention after that.
Ah. There it was. “Here,” she supplied, voice devoid of any obvious emotion. And went back to reading her book.
She didn’t pay as much attention as she probably should have that day. What could she say, she had been at the climax.
She most certainly didn’t notice the new boy looking at her from across the room.
“Excuse me!” Agnes paused in her retreat to the library. Book and sack lunch in hand, she turned to see the new guy (what was his name again? Jamie? Jayden? Something with a J, right?) hurrying through the halls after her.
He dodged a pair of giggling girls and made it to her, chuckling nervously. “Uh, hey!”
She lifted a hand up in silent greeting.
“Um,” he looked down at the floor before looking back up at her. “Agnes, uhm, what’s your real first name?”
What. Who. Who asks that kind of question. Especially to people they just met. She looked at him like he was asking what was she wearing. Sort of offended, sort of not, sort of like what the hell, dude. Because. What???
“Uh...Agnes?” she answered back, like he was stupid. Maybe he was. You could never know with people. She continued walking, not bothering to see if he would follow along.
“Oh.” at least he had the humility to sound embarrassed. Huh. Maybe he wasn’t that bad. “Holy sh_t,” he mumbled to himself, running a hand through his hair. Agnes had to fight the urge to smile. “Sorry, I’m new in town.”
“Yeah. I heard.” she said, trying to keep her voice level. Don’t show opinions yet, she thought to herself like a mantra, don’t show favorability yet.
“And, uh, Agnes, this may come off lame, but,” he was playing with the end of his sleeves, she noticed. “got no friends,” with that she was surprised. Seriously, had no one picked this kid up yet? “if you’d want to hang...I’d be down?” he finished the proposition, nervousness lacing the entire sentence.
Agnes considered it. She literally had no other plans for the rest of the week except for homework, but tomorrow was Friday, so… “Uh.” was her intelligent reply. “We’re here.” she noted aloud.
They had reached the Library. Agnes headed straight to her favorite spot and sat down, setting her lunch bag next to her and cracking open the book. Followed by the new kid. The new, weird kid.
“So, um...whatcha reading?”
She looked up. “Oh, uh...it’s,” she turned the cover to face him.
“‘The...Haven?” she nodded. “Oh.” he nodded, and sat back. More silence. As much as she was antisocial, even she could feel the awkwardness in the air. It was terrible.
“...What’s it about?” he asked, obviously trying to keep the conversation going. She mentally sighed. MIght as well humour him. He didn’t seem that bad anyways.
“It’s about this guy, moves to a new place with a bunch of myths.” she explained, dumbing down the plot enough for him to understand.
“Oh, cool. That sounds cool.” a pause. Then; “So, you like myths?”
She dipped the book down to see over it. “Uh, well, I guess.” she shrugged. “I do find them fascinating. Do you like myths?” she turned the conversation on him.
“Uh, well, I-I mean, they’re pretty cool, I guess, but I don’t really know a lot of them.” he admitted.
“What do you define as ‘not knowing a lot of them?’” she inquired.
He puffed out his cheeks, blowing air as he searched through his brain. “I know most of the Greek ones and stuff, but not a lot of the others.”
“Hm,” Agnes submitted, thinking. “Wait, did you bring a lunch?” she asked, realizing that she hadn’t seen the guy with a lunch yet. With that thought in mind, she grabbed her lunch and pulled it up closer to her, unrolling the top with satisfying crinkling.
“Oh, I was just going to go get a hot lunch-” he said quickly, but Agnes cut him off.
“By now the lunch line is probably dead, not to mention the food here is sh_t.” she pulled out her sandwich - a plain peanut butter and jelly - and began taking it out of it’s own bag. Splitting it in half, she offered the half to the boy. “Here. I’m not the most talented chef, but it’s better than anything this stupid school could cook up.”
“No, no, no, I’ll be fine,” He began to protest, but she sighed and kept her hand out.
“C’mon, man. It’s already split up. Just take it.”
He took the sandwich.
Then Agnes realized something. “Hey, uh…” the other kid looked up from his sandwich. “You got my name - my real name,” his face flushed. Agnes’s mouth twitched up in a slight smile. “But I never got yours.”
“Oh, right.” he cleared his throat. “Jasper. Jasper Jarvis.”
“Alright.” Okay, then. Jasper. “That’s a cool name.”
“Thanks.” Beat. “Yours is too.”
Agnes snorted. “Not really,” she said, pulling back the plastic on her half of the sandwich. “It’s like the kind of name you would find in an old book about a witch from the 1500s or some sh_t.”
“Hm. I think you’d make a terrifying witch, if I had to say.” Jasper smiled. Oh, wait, was he teasing her? Had they really gotten to teasing? That felt...nice?
Jasper nodded, his mouth full of sandwich. “Do you have something to drink?” he asked after finishing.
Agnes reached into the bag, groping around. “I’ve got a water bottle or something in here...aha, there it is,” she pulled it out, uncapping it and handing the bottle to Jasper.
Who hesitated. “Are you sure? I saw a water fountain near the entra-?”
“Yeah, it’s fine, I swear.” Agnes confirmed, finishing her own side of the sandwich.
“Okay,” was his reply. “Thanks.”
“No problem.” the fact that she actually, truly meant it surprised her a bit.
They went on like that for almost ten minutes more; asking little questions about each other, nodding or humming at the answer, and shooting back on of their own. Soon enough the bell rang, and they had to part ways.
“Uh, maybe see you later, Agnes?” Jasper asked, a tentative smile on his face.
“You’re a weird guy, Jasper. I like it.” she picked up the bag and book. “Maybe we could hang...I’ve got nothing to do this weekend.” She offered, nervous about what she was doing.
“That sounds okay,” he agreed, looking thoughtful. “I’d have to check, but I’m pretty sure there’s not something in my schedule I don’t know about.” He brightened. “Oh! I could give you my number, we could plan where to meet?”
She nodded. “Sounds good to me.”
“Uh,” Jasper pulled out a pen and a sticky-note and scribbled down a number. He pocketed the pen and handed it to Agnes. “There.”
She looked it over one then shoved it onto her pocket. “We’re gonna do something wonderful.” she said with conviction. “Goodbye, Jasper, I’ve got to get to class.”
“Oh, uh, yeah, me too. Bye, Agnes!” he waved down the hallway.
A smile on her face, she waved back.