Contrary to what Rachel had hoped, things had gone downhill from regionals. The Glee Club's acceptance of her had only lasted until the joy of winning regionals and making it to nationals had finally worn off. The club had gone back to its hating-Rachel ways.

She felt so alone; prom was coming in a couple of weeks and everyone seemed to have someone else. Her new friends were now very busy with their relationships, Kurt had recently transferred back to McKinley but now had a boyfriend, Blaine, and Mercedes would not stop talking about how Matt was coming back to take her to prom. Rachel had no one.

Glee practises were becoming unbearable; all her ideas for nationals were being shot down by certain members of the group, Santana and Quinn particularly. She did not feel in the mood for singing anymore. There was nobody to talk to, nobody who could understand. Was she so horrible that nobody wanted to be with her? Her mother decided that she didn't want to be her mother and adopted a replacement, her fathers were always on business trips most of the time, far away from home, and she had gone through three boyfriends in the last year - the last one, Finn, breaking her heart into tiny pieces. She had tried to be strong, but she was beginning to crumble. Mr Schuester did nothing about it; even he didn't seem to like her.

Rachel had her dream: to star on Broadway and win numerous Tony awards. Singing was all she had; it was her emotional outlet. She knew she was the most talented in the group and gave the club her all, but it now started to dawn on her that they only wanted her for her voice.

Walking down the hall, Rachel felt, for the second time that day, the familiar sensation of a cold, sticky slushy being thrown at her face. Wiping the cherry flavoured drink from her eyes, she ran to the nearest bathroom to begin her familiar, tried-and-tested slushy removal operation. Glee was the only thing she had left in the school day, so as long as she stayed quiet she could go home. Actually, she thought, why bother going to Glee at all? They wouldn't really miss her.

Yes.

Determined, she emerged from the bathroom, head down, and moved quickly through the busy hallway towards her locker, hoping no one noticed her slushy-stained clothes. There was only a certain number of spares one could bring to school.

'Nice clothes, man-hands!' one bitchy cheerio remarked. 'Not only do you dress like a toddler, but you now have mess all down you!'

Rachel persevered on, despite the fact that her normally bright facade was cracking, traitor tears welling up in her eyes.

'Berry!' she heard someone calling. 'Berry, wait up!' The voice was getting closer now, no doubt another tormentor.

'Berry, are you ok? What happened to you' Puck asked, staring at her red stained jumper. He looked genuinely concerned for her.

Noah, the only person in her life at the moment who even remotely cared about her. He had just broken up with his girlfriend, Lauren, after she had dumped him to boost her Prom Queen campaign. In the past week she had talked and listened to him, but it was always in private. The Noah she knew was completely different to the Puck which came through in school. Noah was nice and he cared. Even more than her own fathers, it seemed, who were more concerned with their jobs and personal lives at the moment.

'I just need to get away from it all, Noah,' Rachel replied in a small voice. She then shut her locker and walked away as he stared after her. He was not very good at dealing with crying chicks.