A/N This is my first fan fiction so please read and review.

Disclaimer- I do NOT own 'High School Musical'


The school bell began to echo throughout the humid halls. Students began racing out of classrooms for a long awaited lunch break. Students filled up the hallways quickly, eager to catch up with the latest gossip and meet up with friends.

Gabriella Montez struggled her way through the many different cliques that surrounded the hall, all in hope of making it to her locker. She looked up and instantly sighed, for a group of cheerleaders were right in front of her destination, snickering away at who knows what. The four girls all glanced down at Gabriella but not one said a word. Gabriella let out a sigh of relief as she was positive at least one of them would make a ghastly comment. She placed her work books in a neat and organized fashion, retrieving quite a large novel from her locker at the same time.

The dark-haired, slender girl sat down at her usual reading spot under a shady tree; the sun directly above it. Gabriella really missed her only friend, Sharpay; but as Gabriella suspected, Sharpay wasn't at school yet. – Most likely she was helping her father with the family business. Gabriella glanced down at her watch. '12:25,' she thought to herself; Sharpay should be arriving at any moment. She turned her direction to the other side of the oval – it was Mandy Willis and Zoe Bint; perhaps the two most popular girls in school. She cringed once she realized they were heading her way.

"Oh look, Zoe – once again, Montez is sitting alonereading," she paused. "How pathetic," Mandy spat.

The colour drained instantly from Gabriella's face. She was bullied almost every day of her life yet she still wasn't sure how to stand up for herself. She tried to ignore the snarky comments but somehow, they always seemed to stay in the back of her mind. Gabriella was very intelligent, talented and bright but there was one thing she wasn't -- confident.

Zoe ripped the novel out of Gabriella's hands; intentionally tearing a large piece of a page at the same time. When will anyone ever give her a break? Tears began to form in her eyes at the nastiness.

Just as Mandy was going to push Gabriella, tire wheels could be heard. The three girls turned their attention across the pathway to notice a limousine parked just out of the entrance to the private school. Gabriella's attention was drawn to the sight; she knew who it was and she couldn't be any happier. Although the complete opposite could be said for Mandy and Zoe; they continued the torture to the petite girl.

"Please, STOP!" Gabriella pleaded. A few people glanced her way and saw what was happening, but nobody came to help her.

A beautiful blonde stepped out of the limousine, thanking the driver gracefully as she adjusted the strap of her school bag on her shoulder. Hearing pleads of help, Sharpay instantly understood – Gabriella, her dearest friend was being bullied again. She scurried over to help her friend.

"Give her a break and leave her alone. She has never done anything to you so just go away." Sharpay spoke with determination in her voice.

"I don't see why you're standing up for her – she's worthless, ugly, and doesn't know anything about fashion. I mean come on; she looks like a boy for god's sake." Gabriella's eyes filled with tears. More and more tears spilled down her rosy red cheeks by the second.

"Hey, that-'' Sharpay was interrupted.

"Come on, Zoe, let's go talk with those boys over there," she paused to wave flirtatiously at a group of guys. "Something bookworm here, wouldn't know anything about."

The two girls laughed and walked away. Sharpay leant down and sat beside Gabriella, comforting her with hugs and soft words.

Gabriella was lying on her bed, thinking about the horrible comments Mandy made about her. 'They are exactly right. I'm worthless. I don't know anything about fashion, make –up and parties. I'm eighteen and I haven't even had a single boy even look twice at me.' Her lips began to tremble; more tears spilling out than before. 'Why can't I be as beautiful as Sharpay? She's gorgeous and confident. Everything I'm not." Unknown to Gabriella, a boy with striking blue eyes had noticed her from the moment she first moved to Albuquerque.