Rory scanned the library. Between aisles of books were scatterings of older students chatting or playing a board game. Others sat against the wall and on seats, reading or playing a video game.
He pulled off the shelf a book and nestled himself into a corner nook.
These were the kids who avoided the school yard. He had been the kid who avoided the library.
When he'd been out there, the thought of finding refuge was like giving up. On accepting that high school was not for him. After all, the only thing that mattered was finding friends.
Matilda was the centre of attention amongst her friends, as if it was natural for her. She'd be lying in a friend’s lap as they braided her hair as he approached. She'd catch sight of him and give him the same look as when he came to her room. It made him feel as if they had never met before, even though they shared a paper-thin wall.
The first few times he came to her, with tears in his eyes, her friends took him in. He quickly settled into the role of court jester, mangling their names on purpose. Jacob became Yar Cub, and Bela became Bula.
Matilda's venom sprung at him the moment the school bus dropped them off. She warned him to not coming running to her. He needed to not hang out with the boys who call him names.
Rory, as he sat with the book in his lap, realised that finding friends would not be for him.