She sits on her bed –if you could call it that – and cries. Her sobs echo around the abandoned volcano, which magnifies the feeling of loneliness. She has no friends. Not even herself.

"Why me?" she mutters to herself. She often talks to herself, because she is simply the only person who ever listens. "What did I ever do?"

"You're a glitch, Vanellope," they told her.

"Nobody likes you, Vanellope," they told her.

"Shut up," she whimpers at the persistent ghost-voices in her head. She speaks in the tone of one who gave up a long time ago – gave up on making friends, gave up on her dream, and finally, gave up on herself. Because, really, how are you supposed to believe in yourself when nobody else does?

A single Mentos falls from the ceiling into the molten Diet Cola. Vanellope watches it with her wide brown and green eyes. She starts crying more when it explodes on the surface. "That's me," she realizes, sobbing to herself. Something that is all alone and falling to its death and all it can do is wait for the end. "Oh, God," she chokes, hugging her knees and sobbing into them pitifully. She can't get the image out of her head. Would anyone miss her if she did die? Well, they might miss scapegoating her and picking on her, perhaps. But they wouldn't care that she was dead. She's just a mistake; something that was never meant to be. An accident, a screw-up, a joke. A sad reminder that, more often than not, there is no happy ending. Happy ever after only exists in fairy tales. And in the real world? All you can do is test your luck, wait it out and see where it takes you.

And what is the point of a life that is taking you nowhere?

Do glitches even regenerate? Vanellope doesn't think so. She tries to shoo these dark thoughts away, but she is unable to. At her young coded age, the word suicide is not yet in her vocabulary, but that doesn't mean she can't imagine it.

"It would be easy," she whispers to herself in a very small voice, staring at the molten Diet Coke. "And it wouldn't hurt, not for long." She stares at it, torn, unable to cope with the permanent reality her decision could create. Orange and red embers reflect in her eyes and imprint on her soul. She stands up, walks over to the pit, and watches it bubble. She can feel the heat from where she is. She shuts her eyes… and then opens them again.

She can't do it. Not yet. There are so many things she never said goodbye to. Not people, of course, but places, memories, experiences. How is she supposed to end it all when she isn't ready to?

Vanellope crawls back to her bed, a strange calmness and disconnected happiness flooding through her body. She doesn't have to put up with all this anymore. Tomorrow is her final day. Tomorrow she can have fun and laugh and play around and nobody can put her in a bad mood, because tomorrow night…

Vanellope lies in her bed, smiling. And, softly, unafraid, in a now carefree and untroubled voice, she makes a promise in the dark. "I don't have to be a falling Mentos anymore," she says, and laughs. "Why fall when you can fly?"

She wraps herself up in her candy wrappers and falls asleep with a weight lifted off of her heart.

The next day, however, she meets Ralph, and everything changes.