Somebody to Love
It was her first week. First Earth week. It felt like everyone was judging her, and maybe they were. She was the only girl that rocked a French rose hair color. People went unease when she said it was her natural color, and some laughed in her face. Her outfits felt too out-of-trend when compared to the upper-class girls, but her friends assured that it was fine. It's really not her fault, since she wasn't getting used to popular styles and slang. Nonetheless, the one thing Aelita couldn't put her finger on: food.
Today's meal was ham & cheese crustless quiche with asparagus-cannellini salad, then some other plain options. Her hands would bleed white, gripping the empty lunch tray while staring at the array of display line against each other. The students behind her bustled her to choose an entrée or get out of the line. It always ended up Ms. Rosa yelling at the kids to shut their traps and Aelita running off, teary eyes, with no meal.
Jeremie was always excited to meet with Aelita to enjoy dinner with her, including Ulrich and Odd. It only seems Aelita was empty-handed and empty stomached. Jeremie already understood what happened and sighed, scooting over on the bench and allowing her to sit down. Her beating silence had everyone feeling uneasy. The Lyoko Warriors had learned their mistake by letting Aelita out of their sight last week, which led to a close call by Xana.
Odd had almost cleared his 2 serving of quiche without the salad. He hated vegetables. He spoke first muffled with his mouth full, "I'm not sure we can be friends wit' you not likin' food, Princess." He pointed his fork at her.
"I think she lost her appetite watching you eat." Ulrich remarked, reading over his chemistry notes. He wasn't eating either; Odd probably ate his proportion too.
"Aelita, you have to learn to eat. It's not healthy for you." Jeremie started but cut off by Odd.
"Uh, duh? You'd have to be failing chemistry to know that!" Odd laughed with his mouth full, jabbing his elbow on Ulrich's side. He which made him grunt at his comment.
"I don't feel confident getting food." Aelita stared down at her lap, fiddling with her fingers. Her voice felt brittle, hiding the tears in her eyes.
Jeremie toyed with his salad with his fork with his other arm resting his head, "It's not that hard, Aelita." He said, nonchalantly. This made Aelita's skin boil, slamming her hands down and shooting herself up.
"You haven't been locked up forever!" she yelled at him, making Jeremie almost yelp in fear. Odd and Ulrich froze, staring at Aelita. Everyone did. The whole cafeteria stopped their chattering and switched to mumbles. She felt embarrassed, slowly looking around as everyone ogled her. Without hesitating, she took the chance to run out, leaving the group uncomfortable. The chatter of the room started up again.
"Nice going, romantic." Odd leaned back in his chair, chewing on a plastic straw, "How 'bout you ask her if she can change a lightbulb while we are at it. I mean – you can't just say things like that! It makes girls upset!"
"Knock it off, Odd." Ulrich closed his binder, rubbing his temples, "So who's getting her this time?"
Jeremie felt embarrassed, his face reddened as other kids suspect him being the bad guy, "…I will. It's my fault."
Jeremie sat up, grabbing his tray of food. The over sensation of guilt loomed over him. Saying his goodbyes for the night, he walked in the direction where Aelita ran off too.
Odd sipped on his soda, looking over at Ulrich rubbing his face, "You're gonna fail the test tomorrow." He snickered.
"Shut up. You didn't even try studying." He groaned.
Almost a half an hour later, Jeremie almost gave up searching for her. His last place to look was the factory, but on his way there he spotted her pink hair at the entrance of the girl's dormitory. There was another person blocking his view of her… this made Jeremie's jaw tense up. He quickened his pace towards them, unsure who this person could be. Was it Xana? There was no way the virus decided to attack now. He almost wanted to take the tray and smack it across their head. Shoot now, ask questions later.
Jeremie kept his composure, raising his voice, "Aelita?"
The figure turned and moved out of the way. It was a tall, slender upperclassmen that wore ripped jeans and a metal band shirt Jeremie did not know. His hair was a jet-black mess and held a skateboard. William Dunbar. Not this romantic asshole.
Aelita was holding something in her hands as her face was beet red, "Jeremie?" He frowned at her expression. What was Dunbar doing this time?
"Hey! Belpois, right?" William shot his fingers at him, but Jeremie didn't answer him, "Okay… So anyways the C.D. is best to listen to on headphones. The bass back in the 70's were wicked."
Aelita's was having a hard time trying to keep her attention to William, since Jeremie's presence was imitating, "I… uh… don't have headphones…"
"No biggie! I'll have to get my good ones in my room." He lowered his voice with a smirk, "Wanna try them there?"
"Actually, she needs to eat." Jeremie butted in, "She had a long day."
"Yeah, no! Totally!" William threw his hands up, acting defensive, "Just trying to be friendly. That's all."
Aelita gave him a heartwarming yet unnerving smile, "Thank you, I'll listen to it tonight."
"See ya tomorrow, pinkie." He threw his skateboard down and began riding away through the courtyard. Aelita waved her hand in a daze.
"Pinkie…" Jeremie huffed, sitting on the stair to the entrance and placing the tray next to him. He tried not to act bothered, "So, what was he doing around here?"
Aelita sat next to him, examining the C.D., "He gave me a gift."
"What is it?" he leaned over her shoulder, "An anti-virus?" he snorted.
"As if it be that easy." She chucked, "It's Queen's Greatest Hits."
"That American band you talked about?"
"No, Jeremie, they're British." She scoffed jokingly, "He got me into it and… I wanted to hear more of their songs."
Jeremie wrinkled his nose. He disliked rock songs or metal… whatever it was. He never had time to listen to any type of bands. But he had an exception for classical music. It's nice and relaxing. He's also no fun to be around.
"Their songs make me feel like I'm not… alone in the world…" Jeremie blinked at her, making her sigh, "There's this song I really like… Somebody to Love."
"Heh, sounds suggestive…" he scratched his cheek, being coy.
"No kidding." She gently bumped her shoulder to his, giggling. "I'm a sucker for romance."
Jeremie felt goosebumps when her eyes met his, trying to hide his smile. He shook his head, clearing his throat as he grabs the tray behind him, "I uh… saved you some dinner…"
Aelita blinked as she was handed it to her, "This is yours from earlier." She plainly said.
"I wanted to say sorry for earlier…" he slowly said, lowering his head, "I'm not use to someone else… Er, not being use to things…"
Jeremie watch her poke at the meal in curiosity, "Uh… It's quiche. It has ham in it, so I thought you may like it." He scratches his head, feeling bashful, "I remember you said you liked ham before… so I didn't want you to miss out on this. A-and cheese… it has cheese in it. There's strawberry milk there too, because it- it reminded me of your hair… not in a weird way though-"
She noticed his stutter, humming in a smile, "Thank you, Jeremie." Aelita leaned over and placed a soft kiss on his cheek, making him stiff and red.
They sat in silence as Aelita enjoyed her meal, letting Jeremie have some bites. He took out his laptop from his bag and placed the disk in, playing some songs on the album, including Somebody to Love. She used her forks as drums on the tray as she sang along, "I get down on my knees and I start to pray… 'Til the tears run down from my eyes ohh! Somebody… ooh somebody… Can anybody find meee! Somebody to loooove!" She stretches out her vocals dramatically, throwing her hands up.
Jeremie watched her perform in front of him, shaking his head as she rocked her own stage. He never would admit he likes this band, how notoriously sounding like an opera within a rock band, and he likes opera. Aelita wasn't much of a singer, but she knew the lyrics too well not to be good.
"Can anybody find meee!" she places the fork up to her mouth like a microphone, leaning towards Jeremie, "Somebody to love?" she softens her voice, trying to serenade him. Jeremie stared at her, giving her a confused smile. The song began to fade out as Aelita tried to catch her breath, laughing in between.
"I never knew Mr. Mercury could rock out like you can." Jeremie was smiling like a dummy, clicking around the playlist for another song, "But every day I learn something new."
Aelita pointed at his screen with her fork, "Then you'll totally love this song."
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love? What it with you and love songs?"
"Wouldn't you like to know, Einstein?" Aelita stuck her tongue out at him, "C'mon, click play!"