Joelly was supernice. Everybody said so, Joelly made certain of it. With her blonde curls, big eyes and squeaky voice, who could ever call her anything but nice? She sat in the college canteen, twirling her hair around her finger and sharing her understanding of the world as seen through the eyes of nice.
“You know what? There should be a place for nice people. A village. Keep all the nasties out,” she declared to her classmates. Her shyness always vanished when she didn’t need it. “And we’ll keep that Andrew out, he doesn’t deserve to be with nice people.”
“Andrew’s ok, isn’t he?” Tim spoke up as all the faces swivelled his way with accusing eyes: was he questioning Joelly? and Joelly spat back,
“He’s a horrid little boy. You know he asked me out? Me! As if I’d want to look at his spotty face for a moment longer than I have to.”
“That doesn’t make him horrid. Misguided maybe,” tried Tim, a little desperately . “I mean, people ask each other out, right? That’s what people do.”
Joelly pulled back a little as if he had struck her, then she tipped her head to one side, opened her eyes wide and adopted an expression like a kitten abandoned in the rain. Tears started to well up. Nobody ever disagreed with her, and the shock felt almost violent. Quickly the others started to cluck and soothe her as she choked out the words through her tears,
“And you’re a horrid little boy too!” she gasped, and ran from the room, leaving Tim to the judgement of his peers. He glanced around in panic, suddenly knowing what kind of Hell Joelly’s village of niceness would be.
“You made her cry!” they hissed, and Tim knew he didn’t stand a chance.