Somehow, Kendall and Sophia found their way over to Santa Monica Pier. “Why did we walk all the way back over here?!” She gasped upon seeing the large ferris wheel. “Because we were busy talking, I don’t know.” Kendall sighed, frustrated at the prospect of walking back. “Well, we’re here now. Ooh, look! That guy’s hold an anaconda!” Sophia was surprised to see a bald man, arms covered in tattoos, displaying the large yellow snake in public. “Oh!” Kendall recoiled in fright. Like most human beings, he was not comfortable being that close up to a snake. “Uh, let’s just walk past him” Sophia ushered the two along past the snake man and onto the pier. “It’s funny that we are back here though.” She laughed as the two made their way back to the ferris wheel. “I can’t believe that we’re back here.” Kendall sighed; the last time he was at this ferris wheel, he found out that Carly was not the girl for him. “Ooh, look over there!” Sophia pointed out to a plane that was taking off. “You can see so much from over here. There’s LAX and past that, Manhattan Beach!” “It’s beautiful.” Kendall was taken aback by the view. Seeing the blue ocean spread out and be surrounded by the golden yellow sand and the small structures, it was gorgeous. “It sucks that it’s only Wednesday.” Sophia shook her head. “If it was a weekend, I could enjoy this view a lot longer.” She smiled at the brunette.
“Where the hell were you?” Kendall returned home, only for Megan to frown upon his arrival. “I even got back from Chloe’s before you returned.” She had spent the rest of the afternoon and dinner with Chloe, and in that time, Kendall had just returned from his walk with Sophia. “Sophia and I kept talking and started walking, and eventually made our way to the pier.” “SANTA MONICA PIER?” Megan’s eyes widened in disbelief. “You went that far? Are you kidding me? How did you get back?” She was still in shock. “I walked.” Kendall sighed, gesturing towards his shaking legs. “Sit down. You’re not a runner like me.” Megan frowned. “Yeah, I am.” He sighed, resting on the floor. “Did you get dinner yet?” She called, walking back to her room. “Not yet.” “Gil! Cook something for Kendall!” Megan shouted. “Okay, will do!” Gil shouted back. Kendall smiled in amusement; his siblings were so self-sufficient and it was great for him, especially when he was too lazy or tired to do something.
“Wait, so you spent the entire afternoon with him?” Fanny smirked, texting Sophia from his room. “Yeah. We went to Santa Monica, and then we realized how far we walked, and we had to walk back right away.” She responded, feeling embarrassed. “You didn’t try to make a move on him?” “No, that’s weird. Why would I do that?” “Because it’s clear Kendall doesn’t have the balls to do it.” Fanny snickered. “Hey, he’s got balls.” “You’d know.” The Chinese boy teased her. “Shut up, Fanny.” Sophia turned off her phone and sighed. She felt like she blew a huge opportunity to confess her feelings to Kendall. Maybe it was not meant to be? She knew that he had feelings for one of her closest friends for the longest time, but she could not help but develop a crush on him. The human heart is just a horrible thing sometimes. Scratch that. All the time. Sophia was just annoyed at this point. She could not wrap her mind around why she was attracted to Kendall. Frustrated, she just started to think back to her childhood. Back to when she first came to California for school.
“H-hi. My name is Sophia Puckchareon.” A small 6 year old Sophia took a bow. She was in 1st grade, and just recently transferred into a new elementary school from an international school in Bangkok, Thailand. “Welcome to our class, Sophia.” Her 1st grade teacher, a tall Asian woman in her 30s named Mrs. Ip smiled warmly. Sophia took her seat at a table of four with two boys and another girl. The girl Sophia sat next to was Caucasian with blonde hair, fair skin, and blue eyes. “Why’s your name so weird? Puck-charmeleon?” The girl looked at her, scoffing. “Why can’t you have a normal last name? Weirdo.” She flicked her hair before turning away from her. “Hey, that’s not nice!” One of the boys glared at the girl. “Lindsay, say you’re sorry!” “I’m not apologizing for her having a weird last name. That’s her fault.” “Lindsay, if you don’t apologize to Sophia for that, I’m going to tell on you.” The boy threatened, adamant that she says sorry to Sophia. “You wouldn’t.” Lindsay rolled her eyes. “Mrs. Ip! Lindsay’s being racist to Sophia!” The boy called, raising his hand. “Lindsay!” Mrs. Ip looked at her. “Sophia, what did she say or do to you?” She looked greatly concerned. “She made fun of my last name. She said it was weird.” Sophia whimpered. It was her first day at this new school. She almost felt guilty for tattling on Lindsay, but she also felt scared that everyone else would think the same way as Lindsay about her. “Lindsay, you’re getting a time out! And I’m going to give your parents a call. This behavior is not acceptable.” Mrs. Ip frowned. “Lindsay, you can sit int he corner for the rest of the day and think about why making fun of peoples’ names is inappropriate.” The blonde glared at Sophia as she gathered her things and went to the table in the corner and sat alone. “Hey, I know you’re having a tough first day, but it’ll get better. You’ll make friends, and they won’t care about your name.” The boy from earlier reassured her. “Oh, and my name’s Kendall by the way. And this is Jared. He’s my best friend!” “Hi, Sophia!” Jared grinned at her. Sophia felt like she was accepted by the two, as if her name or identity did not matter to them. She could be herself.
That must have been it. Sophia thought to herself. He was one of the first people to ever accept her. He did not care what her name was. He did not think her being shy or awkward was something to frown upon. He welcomed her and helped her gain some albeit soft-spoken confidence. Kendall was always there for her, even before she became friends with Fanny back in 6th grade. She still remembered that. It was in gym class. She had met this incredibly sassy boy who mispronounced her last name. At first, Sophia felt offended, before realizing that the boy did not actually know how to say her last name. Brushing it off and taking amusement in his comments, the two became close friends. And after getting close to Fanny and Carly, she drifted away from Jared and Kendall. And that’s how things were. Kendall did not like Fanny, and that caused an awkward rift for the longest time. During that rift, Sophia could only see Kendall from afar. She knew Kendall didn’t hate her for befriending the Chinese boy, but she felt uncomfortable knowing how Kendall being in the same school as Fanny had affected her childhood friend. She did not want to cause any unnecessary drama between the two. But seeing Kendall from afar, it gave her a newfound appreciation for him. She noticed things about him that she had not before. How silly he was, how eagerly he tried to make others happy, and just how generally selfless he could be. These were qualities she never really thought about. But they were what made her start to appreciate him that much more.