Brandon Stark was the new kid in school. After a car accident killed his parents and siblings, he was left with a bitter foster family, the Boltons, and no use of his legs. He was forced to take the bus in a bulky, cheap wheelchair. Meera had always been an A+ student and liked to sit in the front of the bus, nose in a book. As soon as the doors were open, she was out on the lawn and marching into the library.
With a cramped, low-budget school bus, the new boy had nowhere else to park himself than right next to this girl, behind the driver. After weeks of other children sniggering at Bran, Meera felt bad for the boy. She looked at him obviously, trying to get his attention but he would stare out the front window, excluding himself from everyone around him.
On the way home one afternoon, Bran noticed that Meera brought textbooks to read. He would lean over to look at the pictures from biology or history, but realized that it was not a textbook at all. This girl was hiding her comics in school books so that other kids wouldn’t think her weird, being a brainiac and all. Uh oh, she caught him glancing and they made eye contact —was that a smile she made— until he looked the opposite direction.
The next morning she introduced herself, although he had been going to her English class for over a month. He looked so nervous and was very poor with making eye contact, but over time they got to know one another. He especially liked to stay over at her house for dinner and have calming conversations with her family, much to the dismay of the Boltons.
Meera was the first person Bran opened up to after the car accident killed his entire family and everything he knew. She made him smile, and for the first time in months he actually felt happy to be alive.
Arya’s teeth chattered, the sound of them hitting against each other the only noise to be heard besides the howl of the wind. The wind made Arya miss Nymeria. She was beginning to forget the feel of the wolf’s fur pressed against her face, or the rough texture of her tongue against her fingers. But most of all, she missed her direwolf’s company, like a terrible emptiness of loneliness in her chest.