Of Pointed Hats and Goodbyes
Elphaba could remember being handed a hat with the words - "So here, out of the goodness of my heart!" It was so strange. She had gone to thank Galinda for making Nessa so very happy, and had been given a present. She'd never had a gift before, and that simple gesture of inviting her to not only come to the party with Galinda and the rest of them, but also to be given a fashionable hat to wear - had been one of the kindest things anyone had ever done for her.
She had made up her mind right there to do something just as kind for Galinda, as a thank you from both her and Nessa. She couldn't think of anything the other girl could want but not have... Except she could, one thing that only she herself had. Madame Morrible must have thought she was out of her mind, running to the headmistress's room that late at night, out of breath, and begging (well, demanding) that Galinda be allowed to join their class. But, she had never ever been treated like that before... Like someone might treat a friend.
Then, she had gotten to the party, for some strange reason thinking that things would be different. It wasn't. All of the students had scattered, not dancing, and stared at her as she walked down the steps into the OzDust Ballroom. Even Nessa and her date (Biq? Boq?) had pulled back into the back of the room, and not come to her aid.
It had hurt. Strange, really, because by then she'd thought she was used to it, but it hurt.
So, she had danced as though it didn't matter, because what did those ignorant, rude, mean people know anyway? She knew she looked the fool, but she didn't know what to do. A part of her had wanted to run back to her room right there, and hide, maybe even cry. But then Galinda had asked to cut in and they had been dancing together. And others were joining in. It was the most magical moment of her life, and Elphaba had never wanted it to end.
She picked up the hat from where it sat on the floor in a puddle of water - that ugly, pointed black hat that she had given to Elphaba years ago in moment of petty and (to be honest) wicked glee. She clung to it for what it now was - the last remainder of her best, hell her only friend.
And then, she was crying. It didn't make sense how things had gotten here. In school she had been shallow, mean, and then she had known Elphaba. She had had a best friend, and Fiyero, her true love. It had all changed so suddenly. And when Fiyero had left with Elphaba... she had been so angry, so hurt.
Somehow, she knew it had been her suggestion which led to where they were now. "Use her sister" she had said, and they had taken her on that. Nessa had been crushed by a house, Fiyero murdered by his own guards. And now... Elphie, killed by a little girl with a bucket of water. And all because Glinda had been jealous! It was her fault, and they were gone.
But there was a tug on her sleeve, and she was surprised to see one of the winged monkeys (she thought Elphie had called him Chickory, or Chitery or something) holding out a small green bottle. "Miss... Miss Glinda..."
Looking at that little green bottle ("it was my mother's!") she couldn't help but realize just where she had seen it before. She set the hat back on the floor, as a reminder that her friend had been there.
This was her goodbye. She was going to set things right