Disclaimer: I do not IT or any of the characters. That all belongs to the awesome and talented Stephen King. I only own my OC and other characters I make up along the way.
A/N: Okay guys so here's the prologue. I was really nervous about releasing this because the remake of IT isn't out yet, and I want the story to fit with the movies plot as perfectly as possible. That being said, I did my absolute best in trying to get the right details and such. I know for sure that the remake will take place in the summer of 1989, (after the death of Georgie) so therefore the prologue will be set in 1988, a year before any of the chain of events happen. Be warned though that once the movie does come out, I might change it a bit so that it can fit better with the remake. But as of right now just enjoy the short prologue I was able to write. Bask it in because the next chapter won't probably come out until September. Happy readings! (:
BTW, Gwen's face-claim is Quinn Shephard.
As for my other OCs mentioned, I only have face-claims for two of them. Chase's face-claim is Dylan Minnette, and for Gwen's best friend, Francine, her face-claim is Kathryn Newton. Although they are minor characters, especially Chase's, I still wanted to give them face-claims. They are however going to be important to Gwen in the story, especially Chase. What ends up happening to him will leave an impact on her... o.O
Summary: Gwen Tozier always had a sinking feeling that something was off in the small town of Derry. So when her younger brother and his close group of friends tell her an evil entity in the form of a clown is the one responsible for all the deaths and missing kids, she believes them. She finds out for herself though just how real this clown is and what IT wants from her.
P.S. I do not own any of the movies or songs mentioned in this chapter. I have to admit I had so much fun writing the prologue, since I had to think as if I were living in the eighties myself. (:
"I know that's what people say- you'll get over it. I'd say it, too. But I know it's not true. Oh, you'll be happy again, never fear. But you won't forget. Every time you fall in love it will be because something in the man reminds you of him." ― Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Chapter 1: Prologue: The date that never happened
Late August, 1988
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Gwen Tozier kept repeating that word in her mind every-time her pencil tapped onto her school desk. Her rich dark brown eyes were set on the classroom's old clock that was hung on the wall. The time mocked her by how slow it went. If you asked her it was way too slow for her liking. She tried to be patient, but having patience had never been a thing for the Tozier girl. She was always too adrenalized for her own good. Though that must have been easily because of her ADHD―or maybe because it was Friday and the weekend was calling for her. Although deep down she knew the the first of the two choices was the right one.
From across the room she saw how her blonde haired best friend Francine Simmons, was looking at her. A clear, "what are you doing?" type of stare was set on her face. Gwen knew why she was giving her this type of look though. She should have been reading the passage in her textbook their teacher assigned like the rest of the students were doing, but she was not doing that. She didn't want to. So to make this more obvious to her best friend, Gwen just gave her a whimsical expression as she continued on with her pencil tapping.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
"Who ever is doing that insistent tapping, please stop." Mrs. Walters, their overweight of a History teacher suddenly said. She sounded irritated and when Gwen gazed at her she saw that her teacher looked irritated as well.
Now she didn't stop her tapping until all her classmates started to look towards her. Non-discreetly might she add. Mrs. Walters followed their stares until they landed onto her, sitting in the towards the right side of the classroom. Immediately Gwen offered her a sheepish smile. Mrs. Walters however looked anything but amused.
"Miss Tozier, is there a reason for you gracing us with your pencil tapping?"
Clear sarcasm and attitude could be detected in her voice, but Gwen by now was used to dealing with people like this. Mrs. Walters being no exception. Sometimes what she would say would come naturally, other times she would need a few seconds in order to think of something to retort back. Right now though what she would say to her History teacher came naturally.
"Just the way you teach History and the way you assign us readings gets me all hyped up, Mrs. Walters." Gwen said with a tight smile. "Your teaching style is just too much for me to contain to myself." After she said this she heard some of the students laugh, and saw how some of them were stifling their laughter and amusement. Like Francine who was hiding her smile behind her hand.
Mrs. Walters' cheeks turned red from what Gwen assumed was from anger and annoyance, but before she could say anything back to her, the school bell rang. Finally indicating the end of the school day. Not even waiting another second, Gwen jumped out of her seat and walked out of the classroom. Leaving behind a very vexed History teacher.
"Did you really have to say that?" Francine asked her smiling as they walked through the crowded school hallway.
Gwen shrugged her shoulders. "Hey, she's the one who asked. I was just being honest. Well...semi honest."
Francine shook her head, and laughed. Her laugh was soft and and sweet-sounding. "I swear, you're just like your brother."
Gwen's smile grew at the mention of her goofball of a younger brother Richie. This made her remember why else she was looking forward to the weekend. Yesterday she went to the local video store the town of Derry had and rented out a bunch of horror movies like, The Evil Dead, The Thing, Halloween, and I Was a Teenage Werewolf. The last one had been specifically rented for Richie. She was going to rent The Return Of The Living Dead, but decided against it. Four horror movies was enough. Plus the Tarman from that zombie flick freaked her out. That thing gave her nightmares when she was little. But not as much as spiders. She hated spiders. Those eight legged freaks still gave her chills.
All the movies she rented would have cost her a pretty penny, but Gwen knew one of the workers at the video store. Amy Samuels. They were friends, but not close friends. Not like her and Francine, who had been friends with her since the third grade. However she and Amy were close enough for her to get a discount on the videos she rented. Anyways, her and Richie were planning to watch all of them tonight. And she was actually looking forward to it.
"Do you think she's gonna have the school call your parents?" Francine asked her.
Gwen didn't look the least bit worried. "Nah, I mean, last week I insulted her outfit in front of the class and nothing happened."
At the memory of that event Francine laughed again. "I still can not believe you said that to her."
Gwen cringed. "Yeah, even I have to agree it was a bit overboard, but that time was an accident. My word vomit got the better of me." She quickly defended raising her hands a bit.
"When doesn't it?" Francine asked, jokingly.
"Haha." Gwen said with a smile as they continued walking through the school hallway.
The two best friends eventually separated when they went towards their lockers. Gwen's had been towards the front of the school, so that's where she had to go. Once there she opened her locker and pulled out the textbook she was going to need for the weekend homework she was unfortunately assigned, and put them into her backpack. After zipping her backpack shut, she closed her locker. As she adjusted her backpack over her shoulder, a sudden male voice caught her attention.
Already feeling her cheeks turn pink and a smile work on her lips, Gwen turned towards where she heard this beautiful voice. She inwardly let out a heartfelt sigh when she saw him coming her way. She bet if she were in a cartoon, her eyes would have turned into hearts from looking at him.
The Tozier girl liked him. She's had a crush on Chase Campbell since he moved to Derry, around when they had been in the fifth grade. Her crush blossomed from the moment he had been so kind enough to give her his lunch when she had forgotten to bring hers. She still remembered what that school lunch consisted of. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with the crust cut off and a bag of Doritos. And now a few years later, her crush on him still remained. Grew even. She had a couple of classes with him this year, but the one class that had them practically inseparable was English. The reason being because they were assigned seats next to each other. They sat towards the back, so it was easier for them to chat without getting caught by their teacher Mr. Armstrong.
The same teacher who had recently introduced the play, Romeo and Juliet for them to read. Which was a play that Gwen didn't necessarily understand. She also didn't really like as well if she were being honest with herself. But maybe it was because she didn't understand the play that caused her to not like it.
What she didn't understand was how one would be able to kill themselves after the one they loved died. It just seemed a bit doltish that someone would end their life because of that. Why not keep going and make a honest living? Then again, she's never been in love. Sure she's had crushes before, (Chase for example) but maybe one day she would know what love is for herself. Not that she wanted her love story to end like Romeo and Juliet, because the ending besides being a bit silly, was just depressing.
"I'm glad I was able to find you before you left." Chase said now that he was standing in front of her.
Gwen was right away awed by him. Since the fifth grade Chase had been getting more and more handsome. His blue eyes, always blew her away. His brown hair that was a shade lighter than hers, was perfectly quaffed, and his sense of style just added more to his cuteness.
"Oh, yeah?" Gwen asked her cheeks growing warmer and warmer. She was somewhat bemused as to why he wanted to find her before she left. Usually after school on Fridays he would go right to soccer practice. She knew this because sometimes her softball practices intertwined with the soccer practices and from the softball field she would see him with his team mates. But she didn't have softball practice today, because their coach had called in sick. Soccer though as far as she knew was still on. Unless it got cancelled last minute or there was also the possibility that he was going to arrive to practice a bit late because he was talking to her. Which just made her feel more giddy that he was talking to her even more.
Chase smiled, and to the Tozier girl it appeared as if he was being bashful. "Yeah, I was hoping we could hang out tonight? Around Seven?" He asked with aspiration.
Were her ears deceiving her? Gwen's eyes bugged out a bit. "Really?" He was actually asking her this? The boy she has had a crush on since the fifth grade wanted to hang out? Huh? Was she dreaming? Or was she in the Twilight Zone? Although they were friends, Chase ran in different social circles than her. He was more well-known and liked at school. He was popular...while she Gwen Tozier, wasn't. Not really anyways. She wasn't a social reject. She did participate in some school events and was on the girls softball team, but she was more known for her occasional word nonsense and her hyperactive tenancies.
"Yeah, if you want." Chase replied back, catching her attention. His blue eyes softening as the seconds passed by waiting for an answer.
Despite her initial confusion, Gwen was ecstatic. "Yes, of course!" She blurted out like a fool before she composed herself, keeping her hands still. "I mean, yes, that would be lovely." She cringed at the last word she said.
Chase just found that to be adorable. "Okay, um, do you want to meet at the diner? We could eat and then catch a movie showing afterwards?"
Gwen already knew which diner he was talking about. It was the only diner the town of Derry had. She nodded her head as if he were asking her if she wanted a million dollars. However this question he was asking was ten times better. "That sounds great!"
"Alright. It's a date then." Chase replied feeling happy that she had accepted. "I'll meet you there at seven." He told her with a smile before he continued walking down the school hallway. She might have been imagining it, but it looked as if he had a certain spring in his step. She wanted to think it was because of the whole date thing, but that was a foolish thought.
Well, I am a foolish girl.
Gwen merrily thought to herself as she watched him leave. She leaned against her locker still in over all awe at what had just happened. She let out a squeal once he was far away from her, causing near by students to give her weird looks. But the Tozier girl payed no attention to this. She was too busy thinking about the date she was going to have tonight.
"But you promised we were gonna watch movies tonight."
Gwen sighed as she spared a glance at her bespectacled younger brother. She offered him a apologetic look. "Sorry, Richie. Change of plans." She simply said to him. The teenager then started focusing at what she had been doing before he came into her room. Picking out an outfit for tonight. Looking through her closet, she didn't notice the disappointed expression that her brother had on.
"This bites. What am I supposed to do now?" Richie asked, feeling let down. All day he had been looking forward to watching movies at home with his older sister. Ever since she started high school, Gwen and him had been slowly growing apart. They barely spent any time together anymore. The teenager had been too focused with her school work, playing softball, and spending time with her friends. So when she had suggested they have a movie night, the youngest Tozier accepted that suggestion within seconds. But now apparently there had been a change of plans and she no longer wanted to spend time with him. Which sucked.
Not really thinking about her reply, Gwen shrugged her shoulders."Watch them with mom and dad."
Richie scrunched up his face when he heard this, appalled by what she was recommending. "Yeah right. They'll probably complain the whole time about how I shouldn't be watching those types of movies."
To distracted with the ongoing search of which outfit she should wear, Gwen once again gave a inattentive response. "Well, maybe you shouldn't."
Richie huffed. "You watch them all the time."
"I'm older." Was all Gwen said to him.
"By like two years! That's hardly a freakin difference." Richie retorted back. His mouth once again getting the better of him.
Hearing him use a swear word made Gwen stop her current movements. Now the word he used wasn't a vulgar one. If anything it was one of the most settled swear words Richie tended to use. But nonetheless it was a word that caught her sudden attention. She'd come to realize by now that her younger brother's foul language and loud mouth were basically the main reasons why he would get into so much trouble. At home Richie would get reprimanded by their parents, but it was at school where his foul mouth was not appreciated. Not by the teachers, or by some of the other students.
Now Gwen couldn't harshly judge his tendencies to be way too talkative with people. If anything she related to him in that category. Like Francine had told her, she was just like him. Sometimes Gwen to would blurt out things without fully thinking them through. And the things that she would end up saying hurt other people's feelings. It was never intentional though. But it tended to happen. Unlike her younger brother, she was better at keeping her brassy candid comments at bay―even with her ADHD.
But her excitement and nervousness for tonight made Gwen give him another nonchalant response. And after a few seconds of looking at her brother, the sudden attention he had gotten from her ended.
"Well, then watch them by yourself."
Gwen said to him, before she once again returned to the task of looking for the perfect outfit.
Richie's demeanor faltered a bit. Yes, it was true he wanted to watch the horror movies they had rented. But he didn't want to watch them by himself. Everyone knows it was always better (and more fun) to have another person with you when watching scary movies. It also made you less frighten. But he didn't want his older sister to think he was a wuss who needed her in order to lessen his uneasiness. He had to be better than that. Braver too. Or at least appear to be. For right now anyways. He guessed that's why he gave her a nonchalant response, in no way hinting of the nerves he felt when thinking about watching those scary movies by himself.
"Where's the fun in that?"
After he said this, Richie was almost expecting her to call him out on his shitty lying, but that didn't happen. Gwen remained quiet and still kept her attention towards her clothing in her closet. Although he was glad that she was oblivious to his cover up, he still was annoyed and hurt that she hadn't even bothered to spare him a glance or utter a single word to him. If one were to have traveled two years back, they would see how well they got along with each other. Not that they didn't now, but when comparing the present scene with the past one, the differences of how they interacted can be clearly seen. He let out a huff before he started fixing up his voice. "Gwen, Gwen, Gwen..." He kept repeating her name over and over again in one of the many voice impressions he did. Specifically using the one voice that most annoyed her. It was one that sounded like Daffy Duck. Or at least to him it sounded like Daffy Duck, to the Tozier girl it sounded like someone who had an annoying lisp.
Gwen rolled her eyes as she still faced her closet. She wasn't going to let that damn poor excuse of a Daffy Duck voice impression of his get to her. Even if it did annoy her immensely. He'll stop soon. Gwen thought to herself. However her thought proved to be wrong because he kept repeating her name...over and over again.
"Gwen, Gwen, Gwen..."
Her name must have been repeated twenty times or so before she snapped.
Oh for the love of God...
Exasperated, Gwen finally turned to look at him. "Look..." She started off saying but stopped to calm herself down. She didn't want to end up saying mean to him. Because the last thing she wanted was to say something hurtful. Especially to her younger brother. She let in air before letting it out. Once she had better control of her emotions, she spoke. "If you stop pestering me then I promise I'll watch the movies tomorrow night with you."
That was an interesting offer, but Richie was still unconvinced. "How do I know you won't go breaking your promise again?" He asked her trying to sound as serious as possible. Well as serious as he could be.
Something must have finally clicked within Gwen when looking at her young brother, because the teen finally understood why he was pestering her. He just wanted to spend time with her. She felt really bad now. Guilty even for canceling their plans. She should have canceled her plans with Chase and instead stayed at home and watch scary movies with her younger brother, but the idea of actually hanging out with Chase over shadowed the guilty feelings of being a intensive older sister. Plus she could always watch the movies with Richie tomorrow, hence why she suggested that. However it looked like Richie needed reassurance that she wouldn't cancel their movie plans this time. She smiled and stuck out of her pinkies, offering it to him. "Because I'm pinkie promising you this time." She said in a serious voice. "And you know I'm for real when I use the pinkie promise. That some serious shit." She laughed a little towards the end of her sentence. The usage of the word shit made her feel younger than she really was.
Seeing his older sister act much like she had a couple years back made Richie's eyes bright up. He too was smiling. He happily accepted her pinkie with his. "Alright fine, I'll stop bugging you. But tomorrow night is movie night."
Gwen nodded her head before retracting her pinkie back. "Movie night all right. I'll even buy us some snacks."
This just seemed to please Richie more. "Licorice?"
Gwen laughed." "But of course! And popcorn. We can't have a scary movie night without licorice and popcorn."
"Okay." Richie said as he made his way out of her room. He was feeling much more happier than when he first set foot in there. Before exiting the room he glanced over his shoulder. "I hope you have fun with whatever you're doing with your friends tonight." He said a smile still on his face before finally leaving her eyesight.
Gwen was going to correct him by saying she wasn't hanging out with her friends, that instead she was actually going on a date, but for some reason she decided not to. She didn't exactly know why at first. Perhaps she was too bashful to admit that she was going on a date?
Gwen herself had never been on a date before. As embarrassing as that was, it was the truth. Hell before today she had never even been asked out. The topic of dating had never been a popular one with her either. Well for herself at least. She always listened to other people talk about their love life―her friends mainly. Francine had been on dates before and her blonde best friend would always tell her if they were duds or not. Often making her laugh or smile. So she herself had no idea how to bring up into conversation on how she got asked out. This was one of the rare times when Gwen had no idea what to say.
A lot of people would say that talking to her mother would have been the best option. But her mother Maggie, was the overly excited type. The teen still remembered (much to her embarrassment) how her mother kept bragging to her friends―mainly the ones who were in the same book club as her―how her daughter had started her monthly cycle and how she was a woman now. That sort of proud feelings came from a good place from her mother, but that didn't make it less embarrassing for her. So she didn't want to tell her that she got asked out. Her mother would have probably squealed from excitement and would immediately call all her book club friends and tell them of her daughter's news. Much like when she had gotten her period. And Gwen did not want that happening. Not if she wanted to relive embarrassment again.
She also couldn't go looking for advice from her father Wentworth, more commonly addressed by friends and family members as "Went." He was the typical distant father, but despite the distance he probably had a hidden protective streak. One that all fathers had, especially when it came to the topic of boys. And it's not like she could have asked Richie. He was just a preteen. And he was a boy. And her brother. Which just added more to her bashfulness. What advice would he be able to offer her?
Luckily for Gwen she had her best friend Francine.
And despite not wanting to call her, (because of awkwardness and embarrassment) she mustered up courage after a few minutes of pacing around in her room. Plus, it was evident by now that she needed major help, especially with what to wear. Because she had no flippin' clue with what she was doing and right about now all her of clothing in her closet looked too plain for a date.
Francine ended up picking her house phone on the second ring, and much to Gwen's relief she didn't have to suffer through a blabbering mess in order for her blonde haired best friend to know she was desperate for her dating advice. Although Francine was shocked that she hadn't told her sooner about being asked out by one of the most handsome and popular boys at their school, she managed to push that surprise to the side and offered some helpful tips.
She recommend for her to curl her hair. That her dark hair would look nice in that style. She also said the best outfit for the date was the causal knee length red dress she had with her denim jacket over it and black flats. Her best friend also said that wearing heels on the first date was a no go. Francine spoke from personal experience. And it just made more sense to wear comfortable shoes since all she and Chase were going to do was eat at the diner and watch a movie afterwards. After all that advice, along with a few others, Gwen made sure to thank Francine for what seemed like the 20th time before she ended the call.
After the phone call was over, Gwen quickly hopped into the shower. Once she got out she did her hair and makeup the way Francine recommended for her to do. Also putting on the outfit she suggested as well. Just with the addition of the silver Turtle necklace she had as for jewelry wear.
For the life of her, Gwen couldn't remember where she had gotten that peculiar necklace or who gave it to her―if it had been a present that is. It had always just been around. It was pretty though and therefore the question behind the origin of the necklace was soon forgotten. It was put further into her mind once she saw what time it was. Gwen looked at the bathroom mirror one last time to make sure everything was in order. After doing so she quickly said a "see you later" to her family before finally leaving her house and started making her way towards the diner.
However, the teenager made sure to take a different way where she wouldn't have see that house. The alternative was longer but it was totally worth the extra few minutes. Anything to avoid the house on 29 Neibolt Street. Gwen wasn't in the mood to deal with the heebie-jeebies. Especially now that it was night time. Besides, who the right minds would want to go anywhere near that house during night time?
That abandoned broken down house gave her the serious chills. Gwen wondered why the town didn't just demolish it already. All it really did was cause nightmares for kids and cause for hidden nerves within adults to arise.
Even though Gwen didn't know the history behind that creepy old house, she knew there was something wrong about it. It made goosebumps appear on her arms even now as she was nowhere near it. Which overall just added more to the reason on why people should ignore that damn house.
Derry's diner was a quaint little restaurant. It was a typical hangout place for people her and her brother's age. Normally around dinner time though it was more of a scene for teenagers and adults. The younger kids hanging out somewhere else―or mostly likely already inside their homes.
Given her age, Gwen was no stranger with the diner's setting. She had hung there a ton of times before. It was mostly with Francine, but sometimes they would come in a large group with like ten people or so and order a ton of food together. Splitting the receipt between that many people though was actually very funny to witness. It created a lot of confusion and wonder with the staff there, but really it was just some harmless fun. They always fully payed their check. Tip included.
This time she would only need a table that would fit two people. In Gwen's mind a booth seating would be perfect. As she made her way through the diner to find the perfect table, the song, Voices Carry by 'Til Tuesday was playing throughout the restaurant. Gwen nodded her head to the song, unable to help herself. Music always made the energy she had inside double up. Getting a hold of herself though, she continued on with her search. It was the booth near the back of the diner that caught her interest. Delighted that it was unused and clean, she decided to sit there. Gwen sat on the right, since the seat was facing the front of the diner. Making it easier for her to see when Chase arrived and there catching his attention would be too.
Sudden soft footsteps entered Gwen's ears, and soon a soft sounding voice did too.
"Look at you. Oh my God, you look so pretty."
Gwen right away knew who this person was. Looking towards the direction the voice came from, she gave the person―Rachel Peterson―a smile. "Thanks." Rachel was older than her. She was a senior in high-school. She had been working the past couple of years here at the diner to save some money. The senior girl came from the more down side of Derry. And even though she had a scholarship for her future education after she graduated this year, she still needed money to help out with her home life. Despite her low income, Rachel was one the most nicest girl's Gwen has known. She was pretty too. Rachel lived close to Beverly Marsh, another girl who was in the same financial situation as Rachel. Only Beverly was a lot younger. She was the same age as Richie. But Gwen could already tell, even despite the hardships she faced, that the young red haired girl was going to become just as pretty as well.
"What has you all dressed up?" Rachel asked with a friendly smile.
Gwen blushed, but smiled anyways. "Oh, I'm meeting someone here."
Rachel's eyes gleamed. "A date?"
Sheepish and not wanting to notice her giddy like expression, Gwen lowered her face. "Yes." She whispered.
"Well, I hope everything goes well." Rachel told her. "I have to go take orders at the front, but someone will be with you soon."
Gwen nodded her head and lifted her gaze. "Alright, thanks Rachel."
"No problem. Have fun." Rachel said with a smile before she went on her way.
A couple minutes later another waitress came by ready to take her order, but Gwen had asked her if it was okay to wait a little bit more since she was waiting for someone. The waitress understood and said she would come by when she was ready. Although the teen remained composed on the outside, inside she was freaking out. It was already pass seven o'clock and Chase had yet to show up. At first Gwen reasoned that she was over reacting. Maybe he had barely left his house and was making his way right now. He lived the furthest away from the diner. But then seven o'clock soon became seven thirty and that then soon turned into eight o'clock. Once it was eight thirty, Gwen had lost all the patience she had.
Not only did she feel ridiculous that she had been waiting in that booth for that long, but she was severely feeling hurt right now. Her heart was crushed. Her stomach was also doing weird flips. Probably due to her distressed feelings she was having due to her being let down by her long time crush. Gwen tugged on her denim jacket and shifted her dress covered bottom.
He stood you up. He was never gonna show up in the first place. This probably was some joke to him. He's probably laughing at you right now with his buddies.
With all these thoughts running in her mind, Gwen hurriedly got out of the booth. The possibility that all she was thinking to be true, made her feel like a total loser. Gwen started to finally make her way towards the front to leave but the oncoming customers made her halt in her walking. Her heart beat picked up, and not in a good way.
Gwen thought as she saw the presence of three people she did not like.
It was Henry Bowers and two of his delinquent friends.
Gwen made herself as discreet as possible from where she was standing at. Knowing it wouldn't do her any good if they saw her. Sure she despised them, but she knew better than to get in their way. Henry's especially. The beatings he had given her brother and the rough teasing he did to her proved that. Now Gwen could handle the teasing done on her but she didn't like that Henry picked on Richie. Gwen certainly made that known when she confronted Henry. But as she knows now, the whole "in your face" confrontation hadn't been a very good idea. All that got Gwen was a "accidental trip" from Henry. A trip that made her fall on her face, hard enough to cause a nasty nose bleed.
So he was not a person you wanted to mess with. But as much hate he made grow in her, he also caused apprehension as well. Just getting a look at him made her alarms in her head go off. Except Gwen couldn't help but feel relief when see noticed that Patrick Hockstetter wasn't there with them. Sure Henry made her nerves grow but it was Patrick that really troubled her.
Belch Huggins and Victor Criss not so much.
Belch because to her the over-sized teen was just an utter idiot who had no manners whatsoever. Victor though...well there was a more complicated reason on why she wasn't so put on edge by him. A reason she didn't liking over thinking about, but strangely found herself doing every so often.
Now Gwen could understand why Belch hung out with someone as horrid as Henry Bowers―actually now that she thought about it better she couldn't really understand. Maybe it was due to stupid loyalty. But it was Victor's addition to the group that really threw Gwen off. Now she didn't know Victor personally, and she didn't want to, but she was still severely confused as to why he hung around with Henry. Gwen hated to admit this, but out of all of them Victor was the most quick-witted and dare she say reasonable. Somewhat anyways. She'd seen some instances where he seemed rather reluctant to follow Henry's orders. Or when Henry was bothering her, Victor was withdrawn, not at all participating in the name calling. Now he didn't do anything to stop Henry's taunts, but he didn't partake in them. Although he had his faults, they weren't as bad as Henry's. So Gwen had no idea why Victor associated with Henry or the others like Belch and Patrick. No idea at all.
An unexpected thing happened next, Victor turned his steady gaze towards where Gwen was at. He right away caught sight of her, and if Gwen was asked what kind of expression he had on when his eyes landed on her, she would have to say it was one of surprise. It wasn't an obvious expression, but it was there alright. You just needed to study it thoroughly. Like Gwen was. The Tozier girl expected him to let Henry and Belch know of her presence, but adding more to her bemusement towards him, Victor didn't do that. Giving her one last glance, he averted his gaze from her. Instead catching Henry's and Belch's attention by pointing to a booth towards their right.
Once again Gwen was left in a muddled state by Victor. Was this an act of kindness or just a random act of "whatever" to him? It couldn't be an act of "whatever" though. Right? He saw her and he didn't make it known.
Does it really matter right now? Gwen thought to herself. Just get out before Henry and Belch spot you themselves.
Which was exactly what she was going to do. She didn't want to be here anymore. Hurt, nerves, confusion, and most of all rejection went through her the more she stayed here. She discreetly went over to where Rachel was at by the counter. The older teenager was fixing up receipts when she saw the Tozier girl.
"Hey, do you mind if I use the back exit door?" Gwen immediately asked her.
Rachel was confused at first. She was going to ask Gwen if her date went alright, but the look on her the young girl's face stopped her from doing so. She looked hurt but also rather nervous. Her brown eyes kept flickering towards the side and Rachel followed her gaze. It just took one quick look at Henry Bowers and his followers for Rachel to understand why Gwen was acting this way and why she wanted to use the back exit. The older teen nodded her head.
"Go right ahead."
Gwen gave her a grateful look before she made her ways towards the back door. Right as she opened the door and was about to step through the song, I Ran by A Flock of Seagulls began playing. Now normally the song would get her hyped up, but for some reason it didn't this time. Instead it made her feel severe bemusement. Once Gwen did step outside she felt a shiver go down her spine. A bone chilling shiver. Specific lyrics from the song replayed in her head as she made her way home.
And I ran
I ran so far away
I just ran
I ran all night and day
I couldn't get away
Although Gwen chalked it up as nothing, she couldn't help but link the song back to Chase.
Especially the next day, when Gwen found out the reason why Chase never showed up to the diner. The dreaded reason being that he had died sometime the night before, when she had been waiting for him at the diner.
And it was that devastating news that was the first of many Gwen Tozier would soon hear in her life.