f o u r

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For the next few days, I went over Daniel's files three times. Over the weekend, it was all I could think about. I tried to find various ways to become his friend and to do it in a very subtle way. I reread all the one paragraph summaries written by the previous leaders, explaining why they stopped, or gave up, in hopes to find a pattern.

Mr Halliday was so impressed that I came in practically every day, that he genuinely thought I was committed to the cause. In truth, I was scared.

The previous leaders all tried different methods. One of them tried consistently sitting with Daniel in class (I had no choice but to sit with him in English), another asked to be his friend (don't think I know how to do that), someone else tried to approach him and talk to him at parties (never attended a high school party) and somebody else tried to be friends with him through a mutual friend (Mia hated him).

But somehow, after going through the small, little file a hundred times, I found a pattern. It was probably a useless pattern, but it was still a pattern. Daniel seemed to know that each leader that approached him was a Peer Support Leader. So, he was clever enough to keep them all on his radar and avoid them like the plague.

Luckily for me, he has no idea I was in the club. There was no way he could find out so quickly unless someone else in the club told him. Unfortunately, I don't know how much time I'd have left until he figures it out.

"What are you wearing?" I heard.

My body froze as I stood in front of my opened locker. I immediately regretted not calling in sick today but then again, I never called in sick unless I couldn't move.

Casually, I turned around pretending that my heart wasn't racing. For someone who was as tiny and innocent-looking as Mia, she sure was scary when she wanted to be. Her brows were furrowed together, her lips were pursed to the side and her hands were placed on her hip. The typical mother stance.

"You're not wearing a dress," she pointed out.

I acted dumb. I looked down at my clothes. I was wearing jeans, a blouse, and a jacket. I looked back at Mia and feigned shock.

"I had no idea," I blurted sarcastically.

I didn't know what got over me when I called Mia last night, hoping she could give me some advice about Daniel. From a person who had no social skills whatsoever, to another person who hated everyone, I probably went to the wrong person for advice. But when I did ask, her suggestion was absurd. The recommendation being: wear a dress. Because maybe, wearing a dress would dial down his anger metre by a mile because he couldn't be angry at a woman. I wasn't sure whether it was genuine advice, or she just wanted me to wear one of the new dresses she got me.

But to my absolute fear, I noticed the corner of Mia's lip twitched into a sideway smirk.

"I knew you would do this," she said calmly. I gulped. "Luckily, I brought a dress with me just in case you chickened out."

And just like that, she pulled out a yellow dress from her enormously large handbag. I stared at it blankly, lost for words. Does she not know I don't like the colour yellow?

"Stop giving me that look," Mia snapped. "Just because you don't like yellow doesn't mean you won't look good in it. It really compliments your skin tone."

"Are you implying," I paused briefly to inhale, "that I should seduce Daniel?" A chill ran down my spine.

Mia's expression dropped. "Don't be dumb. If you haven't noticed already, but you dress like a dork. Daniel refuses to hang out with dorks because he's a jerk," Mia explained like she was explaining the plot of a TV drama.

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