Disclaimer: Nothing is mine. I felt the need to write this after playing through "WAV" again a while ago, this time in Senior Detective mode. Also, there will be SPOILERS in-coming.
The sun was shining through the window to the rec room of Ramsey Hall, at Waverly Academy, where the five—or six—candidates for Valedictorian waited together, some in anxiety, some in obnoxious eagerness.
"Today's the day, isn't it?" muttered Rachel Hubbard under her breath as she stood in line for her sandwich at the snack shop. "The day where they announce the Valedictorian…"
"C'mon, sis, I'm sure we'll get picked," said Rachel's twin sister, Kim, who served as snack shop boss for the day. "So what's your order for today?"
"Toasted bagel with cheese and an apple," said Rachel, adjusting her headband. "But what about that chem test? There's still that chem test…"
"You know, for once, I actually think you're right," piped up the sickly sweet voice of Izzy Romero, who stood just behind Rachel. "After all, you two were the Black Cat's little cronies. Not to mention you two shouldn't even be here after that stunt you've been pulling…"
Kim's gaze turned down to the cheese, which she lifted up and placed down onto the bread limply. Rachel, likewise, felt the need to study the red, basket-like patterns on her tray. Although they had been blackmailed into working for the Black Cat, and even though they had been absolved of all blame, there was still a lingering guilt they felt over it. Neither spoke of it to each other, but it was something Izzy loved tormenting them over.
"Knock it off already, Izzy," said Mel Corballis, who now took her place in line, "You're not funny, you know."
Izzy rolled her eyes. "Wait, who are you again?"
"I'm the one who's standing right behind you," said Mel dryly, "You know, the one who managed to hand in her term paper on time?"
"Oh yeah, the one who plagiarized her paper and then got that new girl to blame my boyfriend on it," sneered Izzy. "What happened to her, anyway? She just, like, disappeared after the Black Cat was expelled."
"Maybe she couldn't handle a little pressure and took off crying," teased Leela Yadev.
Izzy snorted, "Or maybe she got swept up in a tornado on the way out."
"Shut up, Izzy," snapped Megan Vargas. While she was glad to return to Waverly itself, suffice to say she did not enjoy returning to certain people within Waverly.
"Uh, Izzy?" said Kim. "I have to take your order."
Izzy tapped one finger on her lips and looked at the choices before saying, "I'll take a bottled water, a toasted bagel with cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, an orange, and pretzels."
While Kim was getting to work, Mel turned to Rachel, who was still looking a bit down as she walked off with her tray. She stepped one foot out of line and said, "Hey, Rachel?"
Rachel turned her head, her short hair softly bouncing. "Just so you know, I don't blame you or your sister for what happened with the Black Cat," said Mel. "You weren't the one who randomly walked into my room through a wall, after all."
Rachel smiled weakly. "Thanks, Mel," she said softly before walking over to one of the sofas. Mel attempted to stand back in her place in line, but Leela stepped forward and said sharply, "No cutting in line."
She and Izzy snickered as Mel said calmly, "I was standing right behind Izzy. I only stepped out just once, and I planned to—"
"Are you deaf?" mocked Izzy. "Get to the back of the line. No cutting."
She and Leela laughed, but Mel dealt with the situation the way she usually did: She pushed Leela aside and stepped right in front of her, causing Leela to cry out, "Hey! No cutting! Kim, she was cutting, you saw her, right?"
"Mmm, no, she's right where I remember her," said Kim with a shrug. "Here you go, Izzy."
Izzy took her tray and stalked off with a flip of her short, curly hair.
"The sooner the Valedictorian is announced, the better," muttered Mel as she stepped forward. "Juice and a bagel with lettuce, please."
"What is taking them so long, anyway?" snapped Leela, taking a look at the clock up on the wall. "It's almost twelve-thirty. Shouldn't they announce it already?"
As if on cue, there was a slight feedback on the speakers, alerting the girls' attention. "It's time!" hissed Izzy with excitement. She was going to be valedictorian, she just had to be!
The announcements, as read by Paige Griffen, started out relatively uneventful, with announcements about the latest dance approaching, an encouragement for the soccer team's upcoming game, and a warning to keep an eye out for suspicious-looking eggs with odd decorations.
"And finally," declared Paige, "the results are in for this year's Valedictorian."
The attention of every girl in the room was snapped up and they held their breath in anticipation. With a sigh and a grin, Izzy stood up, prepared to hear the name she was certain would be announced. And sure enough, she heard:
"This year, the Valedictorian for class of 2010 will be Melanie Corballis."
"Thank you, thank you so much—what?" said Izzy sharply. That couldn't have been right; she must have heard it wrong, it…no, it wasn't! Even Mel had a genuine look of surprise across her face as Paige went on, "Congratulations, Melanie Corballis."
"But, but no!" cried out Izzy. "That had to be wrong! I deserve to be Valedictorian, me! Not that, that goth girl! She couldn't have won!"
"And yet, I did," said Mel dryly. "How amazing."
Unable to comprehend the injustice of it all, Izzy let out a scream that would've led bystanders to believe the black cat had returned to Waverly.
"Oh, grow up," sneered Leela. "I, for one, congratulate you, Corballis." She stuck out a hand. Out of politeness, Mel shook it, the two girls ignoring Izzy's childish display which only further injured her dignity.
"This can't be, this can't be, this can't BE!" shrieked Izzy, stamping a foot. "It should have been ME, it should have—"
"What part of "grow up" don't you understand?" snickered Leela. "You think I throw a temper tantrum on the rare occasions our team loses? Sportsmanship—it's not just for on the field!"
"You lost to her, too!" cried Izzy. She pointed at Rachel and declared, "And so did you! Aren't you just furious that all your hard work to stay in this school when you should have gotten expelled make you angry! Or what about you, Megan? Am I the only one who can spot the injustices of this world!"
"You're the only one acting about fifteen years younger than your age," pointed out Megan.
"Gah-grr-gah-gi-she-I-bu-bu-AAAAAAHHHHHHH!" screamed Izzy as she pulled at her hair and ran out of the rec room. Had she noticed the classmate hiding just around the corner filming her reaction and then posting it online, she would've ripped that hair right off her scalp.
"You know, I actually kind of feel sorry for her," spoke up Rachel. She took a bite into her apple while Leela said, "Yeah, it's kind of a bummer to lose, but that's part of the game-for every winner, there has to be a loser. Too bad she doesn't know that."
"I'll bet if she heard us giving her our pity she'd just bite our heads off," remarked Megan. "But yeah, even I feel just a little bad for her."
"Isn't her mom that famous Hollywood director from New York?" said Kim. "The one who used to work on that soap opera?"
"Yeah, that's what I heard," said Megan, adjusting her jean jacket collar. "I also heard they don't get along that well, but maybe that's just a rumour."
"Don't most rumours have some kind of truth to them, though?" pointed out Rachel. "Leela, since you hang out with her so much, what do you know about Izzy's issues with her mom?"
After a long pause, Leela said slowly, "Actually...not much. I just know that her precious daddy loves to buy her affection. I also know her parents were kind of young when they had her, but that's about it."
"You're her best friend and you don't know anything about her home life?" said Megan, raising an eyebrow.
"I never said she was my best friend," shrugged Leela. "I never even said she was my friend either. We just hang out. After what happened with Jacob, I can't really even pretend to call her my friend, either."
"Hey guys," Mel turned to the hall outside the rec room, "do you think one of us should talk to her? I'm not concerned about her, don't get me wrong, but just to make sure she won't self-combust."
"Better you than me," said Leela.
"I could go with," volunteered Rachel.
No one else dared to come forward. Mel sighed, "Well, we might as well get this over with."
Mel and Rachel couldn't find Izzy in the library or the empty classroom, so they went upstairs together. Just as they reached the top, they heard a faint sobbing.
"You don't think that's her, do you?" said Rachel.
"Only one way to find out," said Mel. She reluctantly headed towards the sound of the crying until it reached its loudest just outside the bathroom.
"Well...here goes nothing," sighed Mel, sounding as though she and Rachel were about to walk into an dragon's cave. She pushed the door open and called out, "Hey, Izzy? You in here?"
A sniffle, then a pause. "G-go away!" While Izzy wasn't in sight, the girls could see her shoes in one of the stalls.
"Look, everyone's worried about you, so they sent us here to check on you," Rachel began, but Izzy cut her off with, "I know that's a lie! Everyone hates me!"
"No they don't," said Rachel. "You just think they do."
"I know they do!" wailed Izzy. "I'm not popular! I never was! If-if I were, then why didn't I win?" She paused and said, "I know everyone hates me. But they weren't supposed to know that I knew what they really thought of me. And now that I know what they really think of me, what's the point in keeping up the act?"
"No one hates you," said Mel, feeling her tiny smidgen of pity grow and spread. "They're just afraid of you."
"Even my parents hate me!" wailed Izzy.
"Oh stop it with that self-pity trip already," sighed Mel. "We all think our parents hate us but they don't."
"You don't have my parents!" snapped Izzy. "They don't even talk to each other! I have to talk for them! And to make things worse, after my mom was nearly killed by that psycho, she moved away to California to become a movie director. I only visit her a few times a year. Dad knows I really want to go live with her, so he bribes me to stay with him, but he never takes the time to listen to me. I'm an outsider in my family. This is the only place where I truly fit in. And now that's been taken away from me. By you."
After a long, stunned silence Mel could only say, "Wow. Sorry to hear all that."
"Why did I even tell all this to you, of all people?" sighed Izzy. "I really am pathetic."
"Well, you'll still be pathetic if you stay there all day," said Mel. " 'Valedictorian' is just a stupid title."
"A stupid title that can get you a scholarship to any university you wish," scoffed Izzy. "And now I can't even go to Harvard."
"Who says you can't?" said Rachel. "You can still make it through hard work. You could even get a few jobs on the side to pay for it."
"A job?" cried out Izzy. "Hard work?"
"Yeah, it's not that bad," said Mel. "I worked in a record store for a short while last summer. It was cool, even if one of my co-workers was nuts. He kept going on about how Mayans were actually aliens or something."
After a long pause, Izzy said, "I think I know that guy." Then, "Yeah...maybe I could come out and face the masses."
She opened the stall door and walked over to the sink. She turned on the faucet and splashed water on her face to wipe off the smudged mascara and tear stains. "But just so we're clear," she said, "as far as everyone else is concerned, this conversation never happened, got it? And if you repeat so much as a word to anyone about what I just said..."
"I getcha, loud and clear," said Mel, raising her hands. She and Rachel turned to leave and Izzy called out, "Wait. What are you going to tell them?"
Mel and Rachel exchanged a smile before Mel said:
"I'll tell them that I found you contemplating the meaning of life, or whatever."