Author's Note: This oneshot takes place prior to the pilot episode of Glee and it is from Rachel's POV.
"My name is Rachel Berry and I am a star." I smiled in the mirror and tossed my hair.
"My name is Rachel Berry and I am a star," I repeated adding more inflection in an attempt to make my point more clear. The dark haired girl in the mirror in front of me smiled back invitingly.
"My name is Rachel Berry and I-" I paused for emphasis, "Am a star!" I rolled my eyes at how obnoxious I sounded, even to my own ears, and reached for my hairbrush beside me.
Today was the first day of my sophomore year and I was determined that it would be absolutely nothing like my freshman one. Freshman year had been a living hell filled with projectile slushies, complete lack of glee club success and absolutely zero prospects as regards the male population of my school. I'd even attended the spring formal alone and that was one experience that I was determined not to repeat.
I pulled the boar bristle brush through my hair and chewed on my lip. I knew that other boys my age were intimidated by my outward self confidence, quirky fashion sense and my unique singing voice. It was more then they could handle, especially in comparison to the Quinn Fabray's of McKinley High School. I had tried repeatedly to tell myself that girls like me simply weren't appreciated by boys of my own age in high school. They were only after one thing and didn't realize that girls had even had personalities. As my Daddy said, if I just bided my time some amazing guy would someday realize what he was missing.
I pulled a pale pink hair band from the top of my dresser and carefully slid it onto my head. Adjusting my loose curls around it I lowered my eyebrows and pouted. How was it that girls like Santana Lopez looked effortlessly sexy, yet, when I tried I looked like a cross between a puppy dog and an angry old woman.
"Honey, if you want a ride to school you'll have to come now. I need to be at the office in twenty minutes," my Dad called.
"One second," I answered as I stood up and walked to my closet. Hanging on the door was the softest, most pale brown coat that ever was. All summer I had saved my babysitting money for this one extravagant coat. I'd come across it in July when Kurt, Mercedes and I were shopping in the Lima strip mall. Kurt had insisted that I try it on yet I had been reluctant. A quick glance at the three figure price tag had been enough to deter me straight away. What was the point in falling in love with something and not being able to take it home with you? Kurt's persistence paid off though and as I'd slipped my arms through the silk lined sleeves I heard Kurt gasp.
The fawn tone accentuated my coloring perfectly and it hugged my albeit limited curves like it had been designed for me alone.
"Rachel," Kurt had said his voice reverential, "You need to buy this coat." I rang my Daddy and he said that as long as I swore to pay him back in full, with interest, I could charge the coat to my emergency credit card. I had squealed and thanked him profusely but he brushed it off insisting that I promise not to tell Dad. I smiled at the memory. Dad had eventually found out and was not impressed but then it was too late.
As we pulled into the parking lot at school I leaned over to plant a soft kiss on Dad's cheek.
"Have a good day at school Princess," he said as I opened the door.
"I plan to," I promised as I got out and I meant it. I was a sophomore now. Gone was the Rachel Berry who cowered away from the popular girls and blushed when a boy looked at her. I would be the new sexy, sophisticated Rachel that everyone would like. Glee club would receive and influx of new and talented (though not as talented as myself) members all thanks to me and we would go to nationals. Everything would be perfect.
"You look like a movie star," a voice said and I turned to see Kurt walking towards be in a maroon velvet smoking jacket complete with ruffled shirt and bow tie. I laughed. "Very Grace Kelly. Whoever picked out that coat has impeccable taste." I linked my arm through his and proceeded towards the main door.
"Hey Hummel." A shadow fell in front of Kurt and I and I looked up to see the grinning face of Noah Puckerman. Puck sighed loudly and dramatically before unlinking our arms.
"You ready for the first dumpster shot of the year?" Puckerman said reaching out to grab Kurt's jacket lapel and pulling him towards the large, green refuse bin.
"Stop!" I demanded scurrying after them as quickly as I could in my pumps. "Leave him alone." Puckerman and his band of football Neanderthals laughed uproariously at my feeble attempt to intervene.
"Leave us hobbit," one of them jeered and I scowled. Hobbit. That again. Brittany Pierce in one of her more intelligent moments had coined that one.
Kurt began to unbutton his jacket and reached over to hand it to me along with his leather satchel. Once he had done this, Puckerman didn't hesitate to lift Kurt off his feet and toss him carelessly into the trash receptacle. I heard Kurt groan through the football players laughter and high fives.
As they walked away, I ran to the dumpster and peered in over the edge to Kurt who was resting atop of the black plastic bin bags.
"At least there isn't any cafeteria stuff in here this time," Kurt joked but I could see the embarrassment in his eyes. He hopped surprisingly lithely over the edge of the dumpster and proceeded to brush creases out of his trousers. I handed him back his jacket and satchel and we headed towards the school.
"Kurt," I said. I don't know how you stand it! Their behaviour is obnoxious; you shouldn't have to deal with this." Kurt shrugged.
"I know that and you know that," he said, "but the school doesn't care and neither do the teachers. We are on the bottom of the social radar and that's just how it is."
Kurt was right but I didn't care. It wasn't fair! This year was meant to be different, not just for me but for the entire glee club. This was our year!
As we walked up the stone steps towards the front door I heard giggling. Malicious giggling. Then it hit me.
The icy mixture landed splat in my face and I yelped in shock and fright. My eyes burned from the syrup and I bit my quivering lip. Looking up into the smirking eyes of Noah Puckerman I tried to look furious but it failed me. I could hear Quinn Fabray and the rest of her stupid clones laughing hysterically with the boys.
Kurt called after me as I ran to the girl's bathroom but I didn't turn around to look at him. I knew that the piteous look in his eyes would push me over the edge and I would break down.
The bathroom was empty. Standing in front of the mirror I rubbed the slushie out of my stinging eyes. My once shiny hair was now dripping and matted, the sticky mixture having done its work. My stomach dropped when I saw my beautiful coat was covered in large purple blotches. Now the tears fell and I didn't even bother trying to stem them. I simply reached for a paper towel and began to mop up the damage as best as I could.
Out in the corridor I could hear the bustle of the rest of my classmates as they hurried to their homeroom but I stayed where I was. I would not give my tormentors the satisfaction of knowing that they had broken me. Today was meant to be different. Today was meant to be the day when everything would change but nothing had. It never would. I was never going to be skinny like Brittany, confident like Santana or as beautiful as Quinn. I would remain Rachel Berry. Dumpy, backward and boring. But that wasn't all I was. I had one thing that they never had. I had talent.
"My name Rachel Berry and I am a star."
Author's Note: Let me know what you think as this is my first time writing fanfiction for Glee. If you want a one shot from any certain character or scene just let me know and I'll get on it. Thanks for reading.