It was a weird feeling walking into school after being publicly embarrassed. For Tori, it felt like she was under a microscope. Like everyone was looking at her. Sure, she wasn't unfamiliar with this feeling. She felt this way every time she performed, but this was different. When she performed, the people who watched were in awe of her. This time, people were mocking her. Her heart pounded whenever she heard her classmates laughing. Sure, she could be being paranoid. Maybe they were laughing at something else. However, some of the laughter had to be directed at her. As she made her way to her locker, she saw two girls pointing at her and giggling. They had to have seen the video.
There were some who tried to be polite. When they saw Tori, they gave her a friendly smile or wave, as if they didn't know what had happened. Their eyes gave it away. Again, maybe Tori was reading too much into it. Maybe they didn't know. It's possible. Not everyone at Hollywood Arts knew who she was and not everyone watched the game or the video that was posted online. But she was sure that Sikowitz's class was aware of what happened. She had announced that she would be singing the national anthem at the game the other day in class. For sure, her friends had seen her getting humiliated. One of them, probably Jade, would tell the rest of the class. Tori imagined walking into class. Everybody else would be laughing at her. Jade would make some snarky remark. Beck and Andre would try to reassure her that things weren't that bad. Robbie would say something, only to get dunked on by his puppet. Cat would be off in her own little world. Then Sikowitz would tell the class to focus on his goofy lesson. Tori stood outside of the classroom door. Her hands were getting clammy. She sighed and walked into the class. It was best to get it over with as soon as possible.
When Tori entered Sikowitz's class, she was relieved to see that no one was looking at her. They all seemed to be focused on their own individual conversations. Even her friends seemed not to notice her. Jade, who Tori was sure would savor the opportunity to rub salt in her wounds, was instead busy talking with Robbie. Robbie? Why was she talking with Robbie of all people? Whatever they were talking about, Robbie seemed to be nervous. He'd probably done something to anger Jade and now she was giving him an earful. Part of Tori wanted to go over there and help him, but she didn't want to get into a fight with Jade this early in the morning. Tori instead went over to her seat. Andre was sitting next to her. A startled look came over his face as he saw her. "Hey Tori. How's it going?"
"You know," said Tori.
Andre chuckled nervously. "So yeah, I know about that thing at the game."
Tori sighed. "Yeah. I figured you'd see it."
"I uh didn't," said Andre. "We don't have TV at my house since my grandma broke it. So I didn't see the game and I have no idea what happened. I just wanted to say I'm sure you knocked it out of the park."
"Really?" said Tori, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh yeah," said Andre. "I mean you're a great singer, so I know you did a good job. And you know all that's important is that you got the lyrics right. Other than that, who cares what happened."
"Uh thanks," said Tori.
At that moment, Sikowitz entered the room. "So class, how are you feeling after all that squatting we did yesterday?"
"My thighs still hurt," said Jade.
"Yeah, I couldn't stand up right for two hours after class," said Andre.
"Well, it sounds to me like you guys need more practice," said Sikowitz. "Beck, Cat. You two are going to act out a scene while squatting."
"Great," said Beck.
"Yay," said Cat, as she bounced to the front of the class. Aside from having to act while squatting, class was uneventful. Things continued as usual until lunch. No one seemed to bring up the incident at the game, something Tori was grateful for. Even when she was eating lunch, everyone acted as if they hadn't seen it. Tori was suspicious, but didn't want to press her luck by asking about it. She simply dug into her hot dog and french fries. It would've been a standard day, if Jade hadn't spoken up.
"Uh Cat," said Jade. "I forgot to get hot sauce for my burrito. Can you be a dear and get me some?"
"Sure thing," said Cat as she jumped out of her chair.
"Hey, she doesn't have to do what you tell her to," said Tori. "If you want hot sauce, why don't you get it yourself?"
"It's okay Tori," said Cat. "I'm sure she'll return the favor."
"Yeah, you bet I will," said Jade.
Cat rushed off to get the hot sauce. Tori glared at Jade. "You're so mean to her. You can't just-"
"Shut up Tori," said Jade. "We don't have that much time to talk."
"About what?" said Beck.
"And why are you being so dramatic?" said Tori.
"This is serious," said Robbie. He nervously glanced at Cat, who was still looking for the hot sauce.
Everyone leaned in. "So, what's so serious?"
"Do you guys have anything going on after school today?" said Jade.
"Okay," said Robbie. "So when you guys are done with classes, can you meet at the Blackbox theater? We need to show you something."
"Sure," said Beck.
"I'm game," said Andre.
"Sure I can be there," said Tori. "You still haven't told us why you want us to meet there."
"And Cat can't know," said Robbie.
"Why?" said Tori.
"We'll show you," said Jade. "Just don't tell her."
"Fine, I won't," said Tori. "We're not going to prank her or anything like that."
"No," said Jade.
"Who are you pranking?" said Cat. She'd returned to the table with Jade's hot sauce.
"Um Elinda," said Robbie. "She's a girl in my math class. She's very rude and we were thinking of doing something to get her back, but Tori thought it was wrong to prank her, no matter how bad she is."
Cat nodded her head knowingly. "Goody two shoes Tori."
Robbie smiled and nodded. "Yeah, Goody two shoes Tori."
"Is that like me nickname?" said Tori. "Do you call me that when I'm not around."
"No," said Andre.
"No," said Robbie.
"No," said Jade. "We've got another name for you."