Disclaimer: I don't own anything besides the idea.
How is school? I'm sure you're having a perfectly lovely time. As we have already sent you our monthly letter, this is sent to you solely for the purpose of informing you that you will be staying with your cousin Molly for part of Christmas holidays, including the day itself, as me, your father, and your sister will be going to America for a business venture with your father. You would be coming, but we have only enough money for three tickets. You don't mind, do you?
Anyway, have a wonderful day at school, darling, and don't forget your manners.
Jill crumpled up the letter that she had just received. Why should she care if they were going to America without her? She would probably have more fun with Molly anyway. At least Molly didn't constantly boast about her wonderfully perfect grades to anyone that would listen; Jane would. At least Molly wouldn't look at her like she was crazy just because she didn't like wearing dresses. At least Molly wouldn't hate her.
She put it in her dress pocket and grabbed a book she saw sitting on top of her pack and stormed out of her room, heading for the only place she knew she could be alone and unbothered. At least there she could cry without being heard.
She made her way to the first place she had ever met Scrubb—With any luck at all, he wouldn't be over there.
She sat down and brought her knees to her torso (making sure her skirt was modest, of course) and started sniffling. Soon, the sniffles became full sobs, and in between the sobs there were hiccups.
Jill hated crying—it was one of her least favorite things to do. Her nose got all clogged up and her eyes felt swollen and her stomach always started to ache from hiccupping so much. So, she tried to avoid it, especially now that she had gone to Narnia. At least there was Aslan, and usually that thought made her feel good enough to not cry. But this time, the tears came down any way. Aslan likely didn't love her either. Her family didn't even like her, how could anyone else? She wasn't outgoing and she didn't have friends, she wasn't well-mannered and she didn't like to knit or do needlework or whatever it was that her mother was always trying to get her to do. She wasn't good at sports, and she didn't much like to read. She couldn't even lift a sword, let alone fight with one. She was alright with the bow, but she was no where near as good as Susan was said to be. She couldn't sing to save her life, and she had two left feet. What was she good at, then? Maybe it wasn't really a wonder that her own family wouldn't take her with them on the holiday.
Jill sat there for a while, drowning in her own misery and generally just feeling sorry for herself. She was so immersed in her sobbing that she didn't hear the boy that poked his head around the side of the building to see exactly who it was that was crying. She didn't notice him until she heard a whooshing noise as he sat down right next to her, leaning his back up against the wall.
If there was anything that Jill hated worse than crying, it was being found when she was crying. She quickly wiped away the tears with the heel of her hand, sniffling and trying to look normal, even though she knew her face was likely all blotchy and uglier than normal.
"What are you doing here?" She said it almost cuttingly, staring at the boy with something akin to dread.
"I heard someone crying," He said, shrugging as though it was something he did on a normal basis.
"Go away, Scrubb," She said, turning away, wiping away more tears. He probably only felt sorry for her—he probably didn't like her either.
Scrubb didn't reply, and Jill felt a little bit of anger well up in her. She was having a bad day, and he wouldn't even let her cry about it in peace!
"I said go away!" She said, a bit louder, more forcefully. She looked back over at him. Scrubb was just looking at her—not meanly, but almost empathetically. He stayed put and didn't answer her again.
"Can't you just leave me alone? I've had such a horrid day and you're making it even worse!" It was almost a shout now.
"What happened?" He asked quietly.
"Here," She said bitterly, handing him the crumpled up letter that had been in her pocket.
She looked away a bit angrily, tears leaking out now and then as Scrubb read the letter.
"Well, what's so bad about this?" He asked, not seeming to understand.
"What's wrong with it?" She asked him, unbelievingly. Just like a boy! "They're not even taking me with them!"
"You don't even
like your parents, Pole," He said, looking very confused. It didn't
seem to make sense to him, and it made Jill a little impatient. Was
"Yes, but they don't like me either, that's the problem!" She knew in the back of her head that she sounded slightly foolish.
"Oh. That's what it's all about then," He said, seeming to understand a bit more, though he still looked a bit befuddled.
"Yes, that's what it's all about! They don't even like me!" She said, more tears flowing down her face. She didn't look at back at him, because even though she knew he knew she was crying, she didn't want him to see it.
"Why?" Scrubb actually sounded like he couldn't understand. He really was an idiot, wasn't he? It was obvious!
"Don't insult me, Scrubb. It's not funny." She huffed.
"I wasn't trying to! What's not to like?"
"Everything," She said, still feeling sorry for herself.
"Like what, exactly?"
Jill started naming each of the things she had been thinking before, and a couple more.
Jill tentatively looked at Scrubb when she was done. He looked rather blown away, with his eyebrows pulled together to form a formation rather like a "V" and his mouth slightly gaping.
"I think that's a bunch of rubbish," He said after he had pulled himself together.
"You know it's not!" She said, more tears coming down.
"Well," he said rather bluntly, in true, Eustace-like form, "It's true that you can't sew, and perhaps you're not the best at singing or playing sports, or even dancing."
Jill glared, warning him that he was definitely toeing a line that was not to be crossed. Eustace hurriedly back peddled. "But then, do any of those really matter? I mean," He blushed, "what really matters is what's on the inside, right?" He turned a deeper shade of red than Jill had ever seen in her life.
"You have a great sense of humor and quite a bit of courage. You always seem to put me in my place," His blush grew darker still. "And can listen better than any one I know."
He seemed extremely embarrassed, but Jill didn't notice. She thought about what he had said. Did she really have a good sense of humor? She hadn't ever noticed it before. And she knew for sure she didn't have any courage—she couldn't even stand up to Them before Narnia. She could put Scrubb in his place, but she almost always managed to feel guilty about it afterwards—she could be so mean about it. She did like to help people with their problems, it was true. But people rarely wanted to talk to her, which rendered the whole thing as useless.
"I'm not very courageous," She voiced her thoughts to him, sniffling.
"I think you are."
"I am not," She said rather stubbornly—she wasn't, in her mind.
Eustace sighed exasperatedly, running a hand through his hair in agitation.
"What about when you helped that little girl that had been bullied by Them?"
"I was so scared when I did that, though," Jill said, waving it off.
"Pole, don't you know what courage is?" Eustace asked not unkindly, if a bit impatiently.
"Of course I do!" Jill replied hotly.
"Then you should know that courage is facing your fears!" He said strongly, his face back to normal coloring.
"Oh," Jill said quietly. She wasn't crying anymore.
"I'm mean to you when I 'put you in your place'."
"You always apologize afterwards," Eustace replied. That was true—she tried to apologize and he would always forgive her and he would thank her for reminding him.
"I never laugh at Jenny's jokes," She said, contemplating.
"They aren't very funny," He said, smiling. To be perfectly honest, they weren't. But everyone else always laughed at them because Jenny had many friends.
"I suppose. But no one talks to me much," She said. People never wanted to sit with her at lunch or go to recess with her, except for Scrubb, of course.
"I talk to you."
"You don't count, Scrubb." She said. Of course he would talk to her—she went to Narnia with him, and they couldn't very well talk about that to anyone else besides the Pevensies, who were all the way in Finchley.
"What if Aslan doesn't like me?" She knew she was being a bit dramatic, but His love was something she was sure she wouldn't be able to live without.
"He said that he loved you, didn't he?" Eustace pointed out.
"Well, he did…" Jill trailed off, thinking.
"And Aslan would never lie." Eustace said firmly. Aslan had certainly never lied before, she knew.
"But no one else likes me." Jill said, convinced no one would ever like her.
"I like you," Scrubb said, flushing yet again.
She looked away at that, surprised as ever.
She could hear him getting up and brushing off the seat of his pants, though she didn't look back up at him.
Only when she heard him walking away did she allow herself a small smile.
A/N: Hey guys! It's been a while, I know. Well, I wrote this a while ago and I tried to make it believable. I don't know where the idea came from, but wherever it was, this is the product.
I hope you liked it! I would love to get any type of pointers at all! I'm always looking to improve, so any criticisms will be taken seriously and I will definitely try to fix any mistakes that you point out. Any type of review is welcome, actually.
God bless you and yours,