Rebecca “Harley” Harlow chewed her sandwich thoughtfully as she watched the people gathered at a lunch table across the cafeteria. The group was about as mismatched as they come, yet seemed to belong together like crazy paving. Like a family. Like a pack.
The girl couldn’t help but feel the corners of her mouth curl up in amusement over the fact Scott McCall still believed that the fact he was a werewolf was still a secret. This was Beacon Hills, after all.
Stranger things have happened.
A loser becomes the Lacrosse team’s MVP. The most popular girl in her year becomes friends with the school nut job. A girl is killed in a freak car robbery.
Harley feels a twinge of sadness for the girl not present at the table. A girl with long brown hair and laughing eyes. A girl who seemed perfect without even trying and brought the likes of Lydia Martin down to the common level.
Harley hadn’t known her. Not really. They were in the same grade, saw each other around school and even shared a few classes, but never spoken to one another. Not once. Yet Allison had almost single-handedly transformed her life from bearable to hell just by existing.
For the longest time, Harley couldn’t help but feel bitter towards Allison. Scott and Stiles were her’s first. The three of them had grown up together. Harley and Stiles’ moms were friends and the two of them were always going on play dates so the grown-ups could visit. When Scott’s mom started to train to be a nurse, Scott was thrown into the mix on the days she worked. They played hid and seek, detective and made mud pies. Harley even was the one to give Stiles his nickname. What 6-year-old can pronounce the name “Mieronim”, anyway?
In Elementary School, Harley would be punished at least once a week for picking fights with the bullies who teased Scott about his asthma. After Stiles’ mom died, she would go keep the boy company while his dad was in the living room, sleeping through a hangover. They explored the woods together and Harley was the one who convinced the boys to try out for the lacrosse team even with Scott’s health issues and Stiles’ clumsiness.
Despite all this, it didn’t last.
Allison had appeared out of nowhere the beginning of sophomore year. Lydia, the school princess, quickly accepted her into her fold.
“She’s not that pretty,” Harley had whined to Stiles that day and even asked Scott for his opinion, but that boy was already a goner, eyes for only that girl. Most people would have thought that Harley would have had a problem with this. In reality, it was Lydia Harley was concerned about. You never want your object of affection to get interested in someone else, do you?
Of course there was Jackson, but Harley was sure that the boy was just arm candy for Lydia to flaunt around school and boast about.
After that, Harley’s friendship with Scott McCall and Stiles Stilinski basically dissolved. Scott ran off with Allison into supernatural la la land with Stiles following close behind, leaving Harley with a few happy memories and a lost sense of belonging.
They sort of formed their own clique with Lydia and Allison.
Everything after that for Harley was a blur while her depression spiraled out of control. Her parents pulled her out near the end of the year and sent their daughter to live with her aunt and uncle in Texas for a while. The change of scenery helped and the girl eventually felt some-what like her old self.
Did her two best-friends-since-childhood attempt to contact Harley in any way during this time?
You must be joking.
Harley used to assure herself that they were just busy. With all the mysterious deaths in Beacon Hills and the fact the boys were now juniors had to be distracting. This didn’t take away all the pain, though.
At the beginning of senior year, Harley had successfully convinced her parents to let her come back home with the promise to visit the guidance counselor when needed and to take her anti-depressants.
On the first day, she was shocked to discover how much things had changed.
Allison had died the year before and Scott and Stiles’ group had grown to include a pretty Asian girl named Kira and Malia, a strange individual who enjoyed highlighting all her school work and growling at people she didn’t like. Apparently Isaac Lahey was a part of this somehow but he had moved out of the country the previous year. On top of this mess, Alpha werewolves, dark druids and trickster spirits wreaked havoc.
Harley was a little sad she missed it but, luckily the girl had reliable source to fill her in with all the juicy details.
Back in the present, Scott stretched his arm over Kira’s shoulders as her laughed at something Stiles had told him. Malia, apparently not liking the joke, punched him in the arm. Lydia seemed to be ignoring all of them, content in scribing in her notebook. Just a group of friends enjoying each other’s company.
Harley suddenly became aware of someone’s presence next to her at an otherwise empty table.
“Hey, Doll face,” the newcomer replied.
Harley took her eyes off of Scott’s group and focused on the remainder of her lunch.
“Greenburg,” she hissed though clenched teeth, “What did I say would happen if you called me that again?”
“You would beat the crap out of me and lock me in your basement in a way even I couldn’t get out,” he responded, cheerfully.
“You’ll have to catch me first, sweet pea,” Greenburg chuckled, “and besides, if I’m under your house, who would keep you company in this monstrosity you people call a school?”
Harley sighed, knowing he was right.
She rested her head on her elbow, covering half her mouth with her hand.
“So how do you think Lacrosse practice is going to go,” Harley asked, only because the boy clearly wanted her to.
“Cupcake is probably going to make me run laps again,” Greenburg chirped, “the usual. You should come watch.”
“I am not going to watch you make a complete idiot of yourself. No, thank you.”
Greenburg silently pouted. Sure, he made annoying Coach Finstock into a hobby the last few years, but it was much more fun with an audience. Not even playing in an actual lacrosse game seemed to give the boy so much pleasure.
“That poor man is going to collapse from a brain aneurism one of these years because if you,” Harley informed him.
“Yeah, probably,” Greenburg agreed, smiling like the like the sadistic bastard he was.
The end of lunch was getting close and no longer hungry, Harley rose from the table and headed to the trash cans. Greenburg did the same. The girl ridded herself of trash and then began to walk out of the cafeteria where the restrooms were located. Realizing she had a shadow, Harley spun around to face the boy. She made a quick glance around to make sure no one else was present before she started speaking.
“I’m going to the bathroom. Do not follow me in.”
Greenburg’s hands flew up in surrender.
“I won’t. Scout’s honor.”
Harley stared into his eyes hard, silently threatening the boy silently with punishment she could think of. He calmly eyed her back. Not able to wait any longer, Harley turned and entered the girl’s bathroom. After she was finished, she unlocked the stall door and washed her hands in the some-what clean sink.
Harley looked up to see Greenberg’s smug grin looking back at her in the smudged mirror’s reflection.
“I told you not to follow me IN!” the girl raged as she stormed towards the boy, leaning in the corner. Greenburg widened his eyes in genuine surprise.
“But I didn’t this time.”
“Into the bathroom, you freak!”
“Hey now, I’m just offering you my protection,” the boy protested, “You saw the first Harry Potter movie. If Hermione had someone like me around, Harry and Ron wouldn’t have had to save her from that weak-assed troll.”
Harley rolled her eyes.
“You’re a pervert, Sheldon. The least you can do is admit it.”
“Admit what?” someone asked.
Harley’s cheeks burned red as two girls, Amy and Jen, entered the bathroom. They looked around, finding Harley standing alone.
“Oh nothing,” Harley told them quickly, “just talking to myself.”
“Oh O.K.,” Jen agreed sweetly, muttering “Loser” under her breath as she and her friend glided past to check their make-up in the mirrors. After it was deemed perfect, they exited again. Not giving Harley another glance.
Harley glared at Greenburg angrily, who hadn’t moved an inch, grinning smugly.
“See what you did?” she snapped.
“Muffin top, I didn’t do a damn thing. You need to get a handle on your emotions.”
Having no comeback, the girl growled in his direction. Why couldn’t the school be haunted by a less irritating ghost?
Just then, the bell ending lunch went off.
Harley sighed in defeat, knowing he was right. She grabbed her stuff and left the restroom, her departed friend following close behind. Outside, the hallway had turned into a river of students heading to their next class. Scott and Stiles passed by, still deep in conversation. Harley watched them go.
“Oh guys, you think you know all the supernatural beings in this town,” she thought sadly, “you don’t know the half of it.”