She’s a creep.
People that aren’t creeps don’t spend all their free time thinking about one person. They don’t go specific ways to their classes so they see one person for three seconds. They certainly don’t stare at that one person throughout the one period they share together, lunch.
Rey Niima is a creep.
That’s why none of the guys in her grade ever talk to her. That’s why she’s never invited to parties. That’s why she’s never had a boyfriend.
It’s a lonely life.
She definitely touches herself a lot more than is socially acceptable. Girls never really talk about that kind of stuff, not like guys do anyway. It’s like boys can talk about jerking off and laugh it off, make jokes. But girls whisper “ masturbate” and cringe, like it’s something to be ashamed of.
She never really made friends when she moved to this school. She moved in with Maz Kanata after her previous foster father got busted for grand larceny. Maz lived in the next town over and gladly took in Rey, she called her “spunky”.
Maz is a peculiar old woman, but she’s nice enough. Rey is her only foster kid, so she gets her own room. The fridge isn’t locked and her curfew is non-existent. She lets her have free reign of the house and backyard. She even lets her borrow the car sometimes.
Maz told her that she only ever takes in kids when the agency calls about teenagers. She claims that she is a good judge of character and would know whether or not to give her the privileges she has.
At least she has that.
Rey likes her dinners with Maz, even if she has to do the dishes afterward. The modest one-story dwelling is cozy and full of relics from the last century. It’s a much more peaceful existence than the one she had previously.
She dreads when she has to leave the house and come to school. She doesn’t fit in. Her clothes are too baggy, it’s obvious she isn’t the first owner of them. She’s bored of her classes. No one ever tries to talk to her. She’s pretty sure that no one knows her name.
The cafeteria is long tables that stretch across the room. It’s easy enough to seclude yourself from other groups by just maintaining a distance of a couple feet.
She only ever grabs an apple for the lunch at school. She can’t stand to eat the school lunch when every girl around her is eating organic salads.
She’s not sure if it’s a coincidence or if her brain did it on purpose, but she always has a clear view of him across the cafeteria. He’s always brooding, she likes to think they’re alike that way. He has a habit of running his hands through his hair. She’s not mad at it.
Ben Solo is what most girls talk about during classes. Not in a good way, Rey thinks. They say stuff about his nose and his ears and his awkward waddle, but it just makes Rey angry. Ben is friends with the it-crowd of the senior class. The girls will say stuff about his hot friends, and that all he has going for him is his “massive dick”.
It’s not even the comments that are insulting him that make her the most angry. It’s the comments that confirm that he’s having sex, or something like it, with people that aren’t her. Rey’s so sexually repressed, it hurts.
It pains Rey to see him most of the time, so she’s guessing she’s a masochist. Rey finds herself staring far longer than what is not suspicious sometimes. She then has to make an effort to not look at him for about five minutes.
He’s tall and muscular, but that’s not the big thing for Rey about him. He has a face that doesn’t seem like it would make sense, but it just makes him more beautiful. He’s smart and doesn’t appear to be as much of a douchebag as the rest of his friends. He doesn’t seem like he’s two dimensional. Rey thinks there are a million sides to him, and she wants to memorize every one of them.
It would never work. He comes from a well off family and has plans to go to college and become a successful something. He’s a normal person that doesn’t have a million issues.
Rey isn’t sure what she’ll do after graduation. It’s only the beginning of the school year, so she’s not too worried. A lot of the more well off kids, with parents, are applying to big private schools. Rey will probably settle with some dead end job that will pay for an apartment that she’ll die in for some ridiculous reason in fifteen years. She has until July after she graduates because she’ll turn eighteen and no longer be reliant on the system.
Girls aren’t supposed to think about sex most of the time. Not like Rey does. She doesn’t even think about it because she’s aroused, she wants to know what it feels like to be that close to someone.
She would probably put out for anyone, not just Ben Solo. Touch from anyone but herself is a gift she’s never afforded.
Rey does okay for the most part. She spends her time as a creep, gets her homework done, does her chores, and tries to forget she exists while she sleeps.
Rey’s zoned out during lunch, but predictably staring straight at Ben Solo. She’s thinking about the way his hair looks so smooth, wondering what type of shampoo he uses. This leads to her picturing him in the shower and her mind just kind of takes off from there.
She doesn’t notice him looking back at her, well his whole table looking at her, until she hears the laughs. Poe Dameron is saying something, looking straight at her, that causes the entire table to roar in laughter.
She averts her eyes and looks down at her hands in her lap. Her cheeks are reddening and she feels tears building in her eyes. They caught her staring, now everyone knows she’s a creep. She’s wishing she could go back to when no one ever noticed her.
“Hey new girl! See something you like?!” Dameron yells across the cafeteria.
They’re still laughing when she gathers her books and exits the cafeteria. She doesn’t want all of them to see her break down. She’s pathetic.
She rushes to the bathroom and locks herself in the last stall. The tears are pouring hot down her face. Her hands shake as she sets her books on the floor. She crumples against the wall and slides down.
She sobs silently while wiping her nose and eyes with her sweatshirt sleeve occasionally. She got good at crying quietly while living with Plutt. If he caught her crying, he’d cuss her out, call her weak, and lock her in the closet because no one wants to see that .
She’s not sure how long she stays in the bathroom. By the time she’s cried out, she hears a couple girls enter the bathroom.
They’re giggling and gossiping, the usual.
“Did Poe tell you what happened at lunch?” Her heart stops. The guys from that table must be telling people.
“No, what happened?” The other girl asks excitedly.
“That freak new girl was, like, staring at Solo for five minutes!” God fucking dammit. Dread fills her whole body. She’s shaking.
“What, she got a nose fetish or something?” They both laugh. Rey just wants to die.
“Poe said she was dreamily looking at him, like, what a fucking creep.” Creep. That’s what she is. And now everyone knows.
“Have you seen the way she dresses? Like baggy jeans and t-shirts?” Rey’s always been really self-conscious about her clothes, she doesn't exactly get to go to the mall for school clothes shopping.
“She’s so fucking weird… Does this skirt make me look fat?” They ramble off into a conversation about their muffin tops and dieting.
Rey feels numb. She doesn’t know how long she sits up against the wall, but she hears the bell ring a couple times. She had an idea that her reputation as a freak was out there, but it’s different hearing about it herself.
She only breaks from her stupor when she hears a cart roll into the bathroom, signaling the janitor. She scrambles to grab all her books off the floor and scurries past a surprised looking man with a mop.
The school day must have ended. The halls are empty and some of the lights are off. She can hear the whistles from the fields out back.
She gets to her locker and quickly throws her books in her bag. It’s torn along the zipper in some places, but it works fine enough. She only has study halls after lunch, so she’s not too worried about skipping out on half the day.
When she was little, she used to make up stories of where her parents went to make herself feel better. Like, they had to go into the witness protection program for a high profile case, or they’re spies who got called away on a top secret mission, anything to make her feel like they didn’t abandon her.
She makes up stories now, but not about her parents. She imagines that one day, she’ll wake up and be the only person alive in the world. She’ll get to travel to every place without paying, get into every amusement park, wear all the fancy clothes. It’s kind of what she feels like now, but with more glamour. It seems less lonely to her too. She would be the only person alive. She wouldn’t have to watch other people have families and partners. She feels more alone in the cafeteria than she does in her bed at night.
The walk to Maz’s from school is about two miles. She watches her feet and tries to make exactly three steps in each square of the sidewalk. It’s a lot easier now that her legs are longer, but it was harder when she was little. She would walk back and forth outside of Plutt’s house for hours, just counting her steps.
She’s about a mile away from the high school when she hears tires and a loud bass. The music gets louder as the car comes nearer. She expects the car to continue down the road, but the tires screech to a halt right next to her.
She lifts her head to look at the car and is horrified. It’s Dameron's Jeep. Solo is in the passenger seat. Armitage Hux is in the back. They must have just got out of soccer practice. The music becomes crystal clear as Poe lowers the windows, but he swiftly turns down the volume.
Rey is just looking back at the car, in shock, mouth parted. All the blood drains from her face.
Poe shouts across the front seat, “What’s up new girl? Need a ride?” Hux chuckles from the back.
Rey doesn’t respond. She just throws her hood over her head and keeps walking, bringing her attention back to her feet. She hopes they’ll just go away if she doesn’t answer.
The car starts to slowly follow her.
“I’m sure Solo wouldn’t mind letting you take a ride!” Rey nearly trips over her own feet at his words. Her entire body must be scarlet. She feels like she’s going to throw up.
Hux and Poe are laughing hard. Rey has tears threatening to pour out of her eyes. She’s never been more embarrassed in her life.
“What’s your name? We need to know who’s so in love with Benjamin!” Hux calls from the back.
She’s walking faster now.
One, two, three. One, two, three. Left, right, left. Right, left, right.
“Do you speak?” Poe questions.
“Guys, let’s just go and leave her alone.” That has to be Ben’s voice. It’s deep and rich, kind of nasally, but she loves it. She’s grateful that he isn’t joining in with them. Everything about today would hurt so much worse if he was instigating it.
Hux and Poe whine in disapproval, but concede. The car pulls away as Poe yells back, “good to see you new girl!”
She isn’t paying attention to Poe. All she sees is a look on Ben Solo’s face that she can’t quite discern the meaning of. They make eye contact for a brief moment, but she quickly looks back at her feet.
He must think she’s such a creep.
She just about sprints the rest of the way home. She neglects her usual procedure of three steps to a square. When she gets inside, Maz is in the kitchen making dinner. She shouts a “Hello!” to Rey. Rey throws back a quick “hey” and goes to her room down the hall.
She flops down onto the twin size mattress in the room, burying her face in her pillow before the sobs start ripping through her body.
Sure, she feels pity for herself. That’s she too fucking weird to be normal, an afterthought, insignificant. But, she mostly feels awful for what Ben is probably going through with his friends. He didn’t ask for a weirdo like her to stare at him during lunch. He didn’t ask for her to fantasize about kissing every mole on his face. He didn’t ask for her unwanted attention.
He probably hates her.
None of this would’ve ever happened if she didn’t zone out. It’s pretty hard for her not to get lost in her thoughts when she only has herself to stay entertained. She probably spends half of her day thinking, daydreaming. Something like this was bound to happen eventually.
Rey hears a knock at her door and quickly sits up and wipes her cheeks. She lets out a meek, “come in.”
She’s still sniffling when Maz opens the door. She hobbles over to sit at the edge of her bed. Maz is different from her other foster parents. She seems like she genuinely enjoys fostering moody teens with abandonment issues. Maz takes her coke bottle glasses off her face and folds them over the collar of her blouse.
“Rey, did something happen at school today?” The wrinkles around her eyes are more prominent when she doesn’t have her glasses on. She looks softer and more understanding somehow.
Rey never really learned how to talk to or trust adults. “It’s uh… nothing.” She doesn’t even sound convincing to herself with her sniffles and hiccups.
“Well, if you do want to talk about it, I’m always here to talk.” With that she squeezes her shoulder and leaves the room. “Dinner will be ready in about ten!” She calls from down the hall.
Maz made spaghetti. She gossips all about the women in her knitting circle. She makes Rey laugh and eases some of the pain today caused. Rey eats until she can’t anymore. Maz tells her that she’s too thin and that she needs to eat it all. Rey does the dishes. She finishes up the homework she would’ve done in her study halls. She says goodnight to Maz.
After she touches herself, she cries. All the fantasies she plays out in her head are impossible because of who she is.