Your pink dress and falling pigtails were covered in mud, having been pushed by Henry Bowers for telling him his hair was as long as yours. You didn't mean it as an insult just you noticed and thought it was cool. He did not like it himself saying you were calling him a girly bitch when you started crying. You weren't upset with him just that you knew your mother was going to be livid by the new dress being ruined.
Walking home with a heavy cloud over your head you kicked the little pebbles that scattered the path. Derry was always a gloomy place deep down but the nice weather and school starting brought some positive feeling among the 3rd graders even with the constant bullying of 5th graders. You think more about the upcoming year excited to learn new things and have a new teacher.
The sound of an opening door brought you out of your thoughts seeing your neighbor, The infamous 6th grader Patrick leaving his house. You smiled bright and waved to him. He looked your way and gave you that signature smirk, but you didn't think much of it as a young 8 year old you just thought it was cool to be friends with an older kid, though Patrick didn't think of you being a friend much, just another person that bothers him.
“Hey Patrick how was your first day? Is the middle school as big as it looks?”
He glanced up and down noticing the ruined scrambles of the dress she wore to church last Sunday, shame really it seemed to be expensive.
“I don't talk to pigs, maybe if you didn't play in mud id answer”
“Oh! I wasn't playing in the mud silly I haven't done that since like 1st grade”
“Then what happened to you?”
“I told Henry his hair was as long as mine and he pushed me into the mud”
“Figures,maybe now you know to think before you speak”
“Oh yeah i sure do now, I know daddy is going to give me a beating once he finds out”
“Hmm well then” he then left the front yard going in the direction of the forever growing junkyard. You watched him leave for a minute but then knew your fate was already set going inside to meet your parents inevitable wrath.
Starting 6th grade you were terrified. All your elementary friends leaving you for their own cliques thus having spent the summer alone. The first day was dedicated to just the 6th graders so they can learn the hallways and where their classes are. Not excited to be back into bowers gang territory you hoped you can avoid them.
Henry was said to be brutal and show no mercy. Him and Reggie would skateboard around town and tear things up beating up anyone who said anything to adults. You had no idea what to expect but the building wasn't that big, you never really got your answer from Patrick all those years ago. The building smelled like your Grandmas house, old and breaking of chemical cleaners. The teachers seemed fine themselves energized for the new year and new faces. But you dreaded tomorrow, knowing the Older kids would be excited to pick on fresh meat.
Your walk home uneventful but happy for the shorter distance.seeing Patrick hanging out his window you shoot him a wave and smile. Wanting to say hello out loud to him you were interrupted by Henry bowers voice behind you.
“Looks like lil (y/n) has a crush on Patrick, you gonna hold his hand when you go to school tomorrow huh?” Henry had you surrounded with him at your front, Reggie to your right, and what looked to be Vic but now blonde on your left.
“No Henry hes just my neighbor it's rude not to greet someone when you see them.” you could feel tears prick your eyes already off to a bad start.
“Oh really now, would you be upset if I didn't greet you every time I saw you?”
“Well maybe you never really greeted me before Henry so i wouldn't know.” you tried your best to not let the tears fall down your cheeks as you heard Reggie release a deep laugh besides you.
“Well it looks like I’ll have to start saying hey whenever I see you then.”
Realizing your mistake you stared wide eyed at the taller boy. But then the sound of the front door closing turned all your heads to Patrick.
“I'm bored of this lets go to the junkyard and throw some shit around.” he said starting to leave the group they all followed him like line of ducks but Henry stayed behind for one last word.
“Bye (y/n) I'll see you at school tomorrow.” you run into your house and began bawling knowing you probably made your biggest mistake of your life today. You then began making yourself a snack knowing you still had a few pages to finish and have your parents sign before tomorrow. Sighing you flop on your bed replaying the terrible events of the day.
The next day you woke up bitter, only eating a piece of toast before you wore your most bland clothes hoping to hide in the crowds from Henry. Looking out the front window hoping Patrick has either left already or is not planning on leaving anytime soon you rush out your door. The walk to school brought warm weather and peaceful lighting. Wishing you could just drag it a little longer but knowing you would be late you take just a second to appreciate the green leaves waving high above your head and birds singing to each other in harmonious tones. Really dreading to soon enter the building you hold your breath.
You managed to make it till lunch without seeing the ugly mullet of the angry soon to be teen. Your thoughts drifted to the gang while you waited in line for your share of whatever slug they made that day. It looked like since they were in 5th grade Henry and Reggie added two more to the group. Vic was a complete surprise he was a well off rich boy who did dance and acting, seeing him hanging out with the town bullies was interesting. Patrick had always been a loner, especially considering he was held back in 4th grade and then again in the 6th, being 2 years older than everyone in your grade kinda made you an outsider. You tried to be his friend but he seemed bored easily always leaving you with unanswered questions.
You knew as kids his parents would bring him over when you were young but his 4 year age gap was too much for you to really play with him or anything.
After your slop was giving to you, you looked around the crowded cafeteria for a seat. Huffing you realize the tables were full. Deciding outside was your best option you leave the large doors leading to the football field. Finding a shady tree you eat mostly just picking at the mush before you. You then felt a shiver run down your spine and the feeling of being watched. To afraid to look behind you you look forward keeping your hands busy. You hear their laughter realizing Henry at least hasn't noticed you.
Taking shallow breaths you peek behind you and see Patrick staring directly at you. You give a nervous smile and the lanky 14 year old shoot his signature one back. Seeing the smile set even more shivers around your body, there was something different about it. Holding the only emotion you can see on his face you know it's one of evil. Turning around quickly you hear Henry shout you name.
“Hey (y/n) how's your second day of middle school?” he holds the same look Patrick did but not nearly as creepy none the less you shift a little before looking at him again.
“I-its okay im just not used to it I guess” He lowers himself to your level smiling at you again.
“Eating all by yourself, does lil (y/l/n) not have any friends?” Vic releases a high pitched cackle besides you. Nervously you try and think of a lie but none come to you, staring at Henry tears began to fill your vision.
“Well they just are busy with class things and learning and teachers you know.” Henry fakes a pout at you moving in closer.
“Awe (y/n) I really don't like liars but I’ll let it pass if you tell the truth to me” he rubs a tear off your cheeks and then llicks his thumb. You want to throw up the sight truly setting fear in your stomach. You give Patrick pleading eyes but he looks more involved than Henry himself. You take a deep breathe after a hiccup.
“No Henry I don't have any friends they all left me when school ended.” You felt another wave of tears coming as he just stared down at you with fake sympathy.
“Well ain't that a shame isn't it boys?”
They all let out a grunt besides Patrick he leans down on your level matching Henry.
“Well you know we could always use an extra friend, maybe a nice feminine touch would be nice.” Henry looked at the taller boy next to him then looking back at you. The bell rings and the boys move to let you shoot off to the doors hiding your blotchy tear soaked face.
“Patrick shes fucking ten I don't wanna hang out with some ten year old. I was just fucking with her.”
“You don't understand now Henry but you will, I think it's in our best interest to make her be part of the gang.” he smirked to Henry who did not agree but kept his mouth shut.