The worse day of Harmony Kendall's life had been when the girl's father had died.
This was close.
That morning, Harmony had woken up to realize that her "special friend" had arrived and from the way her body felt, for the next few days Nature was indeed going to be a mother.
A minor hint that her period was going to be a bad one was given to Harmony when she dragged herself into her bathroom and discovered on her chin a humongous pimple that meant she would have to keep her face down looking at the ground all day to prevent grossing out anybody greeting her.
Harmony's mood was not improved by the screaming fight she had with her mother over breakfast. Over the last few months, the girl had gotten more ill-tempered at Melody Kendall over the merest trifles, and today's Menstruation of Doom had been the last straw. Harmony finally stormed out of the house on her way to school despite the fact that what she really wanted to do was to crawl back into bed with a heating pad and a stupendous amount of chocolate.
She suffered cramps and bloating all through the school day, along with such weird effects as the traveling pimple. To be precise, the zit on her chin suddenly disappeared, only to reappear twice its former size on her butt in such a place that made it impossible for her to sit anywhere in comfort.
Being off balance finally took its toll at lunch. While just picking at her food, she had spilled her drink over her blouse and skirt, forcing her to get an emergency change of clothes from her locker. Harmony was suffering too much to realize what an enormous mistake she had made.
It was only apparent when she came out of the girls' restroom in her new outfit and saw Cordelia Chase glaring at her, lightning virtually shooting out of the eyes of the queen of Sunnydale High to zap towards the blonde and scorch every inch of her current clothing. Apprehensive, Harmony had stared at the rest of the Cordettes safely behind their angry leader, trying to see if they knew what she had done wrong.
The other Cordettes just looked blankly at one of their own trembling before a furious brunette flawlessly dressed and mirrored in perfect coordination by her followers. Which, up to that moment, had included Harmony, who looked down at her dress and understood with a sick feeling in her stomach that had nothing to do with a reproductive function, that her new clothes now totally clashed with the head of her pack.
"Harmony. Let's talk."
At these words from Cordelia, a pair of the Cordettes moved from behind their mistress to walk past Harmony and stand behind her, preventing that girl from retreating into the restroom. The last Cordette shifted to stand by Cordelia's side, blocking off any escape into the school corridor, which started becoming crowded with onlookers who stopped, sensing the bloodshed that was coming.
Pausing to organize her thoughts, Cordelia's eyes narrowed, and then opened in mock surprise that she actually needed to point out the sins of the girl before her. Nevertheless, the faultless lips (absolutely no plastic surgery!) opened in a carrying voice that was heard throughout the hushed corridor, as Cordelia began verbally flaying alive Harmony.
It was the infamous "Cordy talk." When the brunette decide to assert her dominance over the sheep she allowed in her presence, Cordelia would randomly select one of the Cordettes every few months and basically destroy them with words alone: denigrating, disparaging, belittling, casting scorn, and demeaning them. Over basically everything such as their behavior, bodies, manners, fashion sense, taste, boyfriends, and whatever else in the girls' existence.
After Cordelia eventually finished her little chats, she would usually saunter off, leaving behind her a girl with a shredded sense of self-worth. Depending on how Queen C was feeling, it could take from a few days to a week until she would allow herself to accept again the cringing girl's allegiance. Until the next time it occurred.
Anybody wondering why any girl would allow this to happen to herself has never spent four years in an American high school. For those recipients in the Sunnydale higher education facility, the choice was simple and brutal: you took it, or you were out of the Cordettes.
Several hours later, when school ended, a side door of the high school slammed open and Harmony ran out, desperate to get away. Her body still ached from her biological functions, yet that pain was far less than the torment in her mind. She had been totally humiliated by Cordelia, and the word had gone fast around the entire school, with her seeing and hearing the smirks and mean laughter her presence brought on.
Now she was finally out of the school, and she could let loose her feelings. Running across the school's athletic fields, Harmony burst into sobs that continued until she was gasping for breath and slowing down to a trot, and then a quick walk with her head hanging down and tears streaming down her face to fall to the ground. Totally obsessed with her misery, Harmony wasn't paying the slightest attention to anything around her.
On cue, she walked directly into someone.