Hay is for Horses
Jenny landed at the school entrance just as the bell for homeroom rang. Three minutes to get to class, she mentally told herself. She'd just had a wonderful experience with a crazy barber robot that seemed to enjoy cutting people's limbs rather than their hair. He had literally cut one of her pigtails in half. She ran through the hallways reaching her locker with only a minute to spare. She grabbed her things, slammed her locker shut, and was once again sprinting down the hall. But as she turned a corner, bam.
"Do watch where you're going, robot," Brit said angrily after Jenny almost dropped her books on her precious, sparkling-red shoes. Tiff tisk, tisk, tisked.
Jenny muttered an apology and was about to run past the destructive duo when Tiff suddenly said, "Nice haircut, Jenny! Did yo mommy do it fo you?" Both Brit and Tiff burst into laughter, along with all the other kids in the hallway. Jenny's cheeks flushed blue and she found herself speeding down the hallway, finding a nice hidden alcove where a few old and unused lockers were placed. She sunk to the floor, dropping her books and covering her face with her hands. She barely noticed the late bell ring.
"I can't stand it! I just can't stand it anymore. It's not fair how I save the world and I help people and yet I'm the one who is tortured in school and put down for being... for being me!" Silvery tears ran down her cheek as water-pockets installed behind her eyes automatically squeezed its contents through tiny holes beneath them. She started franticly tearing at her metal skin, as if tearing it off would reveal real human skin.
She knew it was useless, but in her anger and confusion, she continued anyway. She only stopped when she heard the snap of a wire within her arm. She had gone too far, and an oil vein had snapped. Nothing her mother couldn't fix, but if it stayed broken for too long, the oil shortage would cause slowing servo movement and she would have a loss of CPU. Not that she cared. Not that she cared about anything, anymore.
"Who cares?" she sniffed. "No one cares. No one would care if I suddenly drop dead..." No one. Now the tears streamed down her cheeks in a steady stream. She wished that just once, just for one lousy moment of her life, that she could feel what it was like to be human. Just once.
"Jenny?" The voice came from around the corner of the alcove, but Jenny's audio sensors recognized the pitch and format of the voice immediately.
"B-Brad?" She found herself standing, her wires buzzing. He finally turned the corner, a look of genuine concern appearing on his face.
"Jenny? What happened? Your arm is bleeding!" Jenny chuckled nervously to herself at the human term of bleeding being used on a robot. But the laugh dissipated at the look of seriousness on Brad's face. Brad saw the silvery tears on her face and the blueness of her cheeks and knew she had been crying. "Are you okay?" he asked approaching her slowly, his eyes trailing from her arm to her face. She shrugged.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Whatever."
"No, your not. Just look at yourself. What happened?" Jenny shook her head.
"I don't want to talk about it." Brad looked at her with sad eyes, eyes pleading for her to tell. She knew she couldn't resist his eyes. She never could. She let out a long sigh. "I had to go fight this barber guy this morning, and he chopped off one of my pigtails. And then Brit and Tiff got the entire school to laugh at me, and then I ran, and I, and I..." she looked at her arm with guilty eyes. Brad's own eyes widened.
"You did that to yourself?" Jenny waved the question off with a slight shrug. "Oh common, Jenny. You can't think that no one cares about you. I mean, what about your mom? And Tuck? And all the people you've saved?" Jenny gave him a look. "Well, okay, maybe not all the people you've saved. But there are still a lot of people who care about you." He paused, as if hesitating for a moment. Then, "I care, Jenny." Jenny blushed at this. Brad could tell, however, that she didn't believe him. So to prove his point, he leaned forward and planted a tender kiss on her cheek. Jenny's circuits buzzed and hummed like never before, as if electricity was flowing through her wires. Her cheeks flushed a dark blue, as the spot where Brad had placed the kiss actually grew warmer.
She looked at him, flustered, embarrassed, and overjoyed beyond belief. During the brief moment that Brad had kissed her, she, for the first time, felt like a real human. It was a mixture of a thousand emotions and millions of thoughts like those she had never experienced before. And she decided she liked it. Before she could recover from the shock, Brad held her hand in his own and was inspecting the damage she had done to herself.
Brad silently led he from the alcove and back through the main hallways. He planned on taking her home, she knew. But as they had almost neared the exit, the bell for first period rang; homeroom was over. And it just so happened that Brit and Tiff along with many other students walked out of the classroom right in front of them.
"Oooh, everybody, look. It's the girl who was so cheap that her mother had to cut her hair for her. My, my. I'll send a check to your poor family to aid you in getting a proper haircut." Every one of the students erupted into giggles and laughter. Except for Brad. Just then, Sheldon appeared from his homeroom with his science project, different types weeds and grass. And then, he randomly tripped, spilling hay all over Brit's new shoes.
"Oh!" she cried in dismay. The hay was muddy and grimy, and the once blinding sparkle of the boot was dulled entirely.
"Nerd," Tiff scowled. "You did dat on purpose!"
"Of course he did," Brad suddenly spoke up. "Everyone knows hay is for horses." Now the tables were turned, and the students weren't laughing at Jenny, they were laughing with her, at Brit and Tiff, who glared as they disappeared around the corner of the hallway.
"Now common, Jenny. Let's go get that fixed." Jenny and Brad exited the school. And for the first time in a long time, Jenny smiled.