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Food's Better with Friends; Closed; sorry!
Topic Started: Aug 1 2016, 01:04 PM (324 Views)
Slam
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((Nate Turner continued from Mad Dewey Dash))

Nate did not eat alone very often; in fact, he went out of his way to avoid doing so. It was just another symptom of his need to be around other people, after all, and the fact that he had wound up on a table by himself did not sit well with him.

He shifted awkwardly as his lunch from home (leftovers from the tuna pasta bake he'd made with his mom last night) sat untouched in front of him, far too distracted looking for company to consider eating it yet. Considering how packed the cafeteria was that day, most likely due to the rainfall pattering against the windows, he couldn’t figure out why he hadn’t found any of his friends, but then it was perfectly plausible that they simply couldn’t spot him amidst the crowd.

Regardless, he was starting to kick himself just a little for not trying to make any plans with anybody. Of course, it would be a bit silly for him to try and schedule a lunch date for every day just to avoid this situation, but that didn’t stop himself for thinking of all the ways he could've avoided it, and blaming himself for not using them.

He continued to shift in his seat, occasionally rising like a meerkat, trying to spot just one person he knew to invite over and keep him company.
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As much as Nate would’ve enjoyed a casual lunch with a friend, it seemed that Darius had other things in mind for today.

This, unfortunately, wasn’t an unfamiliar situation to Nate. He’d just be sitting around or walking through the corridors, or even just on his way home, doing absolutely nothing to bother anybody, and someone would think it was just hilarious to walk over and start calling him names. Sure, pick on the guy with a hormone disorder, that was real classy and friendly.

Nate knew about Darius’ reputation, too, which was a reason he had tried to avoid him in the past. Darius was just the sort of person who’d do that sort of thing: giving him a nickname that he’d endured before and utterly despised. He didn’t even like Lord of the Rings, for crying out loud.

“My name’s not Frodo, it’s Nate.” he retorted, but his voice was already turning meek as his body shrank into his seat. There had been too many times where people had bullied and ridiculed him, or worse, for him to be able to just turn around and tell them to get lost. Instead, his flight instinct was kicking in, as his body tensed and his heartbeat rose.

“What do you want?” he said, shying away from eye contact with the latest in a long line of unpleasant people.
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Nate continued to shift in his seat whilst Darius continued running his mouth, taking more shots at his size. Nate had no idea who Nathan Lovegrove was, or if he was even supposed to, but either way it was another stupid jab that was hardly welcome.

Darius’ shrill laughter only added insult to injury, and Nate was about ready to up and walk away. He hated it when he was in this predicament, where if he left he’d have that feeling of losing out: in this case, it would be losing the table that’d he been lucky enough to secure in the otherwise hectic lunch rush. If Darius had come over just to bully him away from it, then walking away would be conceding, and Darius probably would probably get away with it, too.

That said, the worry that Darius was just going to keep going and making fun of him was really making him more nervous by the moment. He tried looking around inconspicuously again for someone to support him, but he couldn’t make out anyone he recognised through the crowd.

“It’s fine.” he eventually decided to reply if only to avoid leaving Darius’ question unanswered a second time, a habit ingrained by his polite demeanour. In his experience, people like Darius only asked questions to give themselves another opening to make fun of people. Didn't they have anything better to do?

“My friends are going to be here soon, so can you go away please?” he asked, intending it as a demand but largely failing to come across as assertive.
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Why couldn’t Darius just leave him alone? What’d he ever do to him?

Of course he had friends: between the drama group, swim team, Church, and people from class, Nate probably had more friends than Darius did brain cells. Why would he even assume that Nate didn’t? Nate knew that people liked him, otherwise they wouldn’t let him hang around with them. He had friends.

So of course Darius acting all surprised that he didn’t have friends was really stupid. Really, really stupid. So why was it that was getting so upset over it? More importantly, why did people like Darius exist? Why did they insist on giving him a hard time for no reason whatsoever?

He wanted to say something mean back to him, but he just couldn’t bring himself to. He was too quelled by his anxiety, too beaten down by all the past incidents, too nervous to start spitting witty retorts back in Darius’ face. Even if he could, his mind was blanking the same way it did when he’d forgotten a line on stage. He felt the same way then as he did there, and the growing panic was becoming too much to bear.

He couldn’t stay there. Between the lump in his throat and the tremor in his arms, he needed to get away from Darius and his horrible attitude. He was going to have to concede the table, and run away from another jerk who thought he was just there for them to have fun with.

“Fine, take it.” he muttered, getting up from his seat and grabbing his lunch. As he turned to leave the cafeteria, he paused, trying desperately to think of something to say to put Darius in his place and not look like an easy target.

He failed, and practically ran out the room.

((Nate Turner continued elsewhere.))
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