I can't wait to see your reactions to this chapter :D
The following Monday morning, as the tired students were piling into the hallways (a lot of them still half asleep), there was an announcement over the loudspeaker. The sound of Mr Delmar’s voice boomed through every room in the school, although many people did not take any notice of it at all.
"This is just a reminder that student elections will take place in two weeks time," it said. "We currently have two candidates running for school president, and anyone else who wishes to stand must report to reception by the end of today."
At that moment, as if on cue, Alyssa Taylor strode into the hallway. On her shirt, she had pinned a huge neon pink badge, with the words ‘VOTE ALYSSA’ on, and she had a new guy, Aiden, on her arm. Aiden was also wearing a badge, and a smug smile from all the attention he was getting. After all, he’d been after Alyssa for months now, and he’d finally got what he wanted. The hottest and most popular girl in the entire school... and the popularity just came as a bonus.
"Make sure you vote for me as your new school president... again," Alyssa said, flashing a smile at some unsuspecting victim in the hallway and outstretching her hand, in which she held a pink pen, printed with her name.
The girl frowned but took the pen anyway, looking slightly perplexed as Alyssa moved onto another random person and recited exactly the same speech, also handing them a pen.
"Election time, huh?" Olivia said to Chelsie as she stood by her locker.
Chelsie nodded. "Afraid so. But you know, there’s no competition. Alyssa always runs, and she always wins. There hasn’t been a year she’s lost since she’s been here. But that’s probably because most people are scared to go against her anyway."
"Who’s the other candidate then? Didn’t Mr Delmar say there were already two people running?" Olivia frowned.
"Uh... I don’t know, actually," Chelsie shrugged. "But whoever it is, they don’t stand a chance. No one does when they’re up against Alyssa Taylor and her thousands of freebies."
"Since when has she been with Aiden?" Olivia asked, nodding at Alyssa, who had appeared at the other end of the hallway, harassing students with her dazzling fake smile and free stationery.
"Vote for Alyssa – she’s the hottest candidate!" Aiden called across the hallway, to no one in particular, grinning as everyone’s heads turned to look at them both. He was basking in all the attention, and loving every second of it.
Alyssa slapped his butt playfully, squealing, "Oh, shut up!" but she threw her arms round him and pressed her lips to him, the two of them starting to make out in the middle of the hallway.
Olivia rolled her eyes as she turned back to Chelsie. It was obvious that relationship wasn’t going to last, anyway. Aiden was too busy enjoying his new-found popularity and all Alyssa wanted was someone decent-looking on her arm to help front her election campaign. It was a relationship based on image, which was the case with a lot of couples at Serenity Falls.
Wait... why did Olivia recognise that voice? It sounded strangely familiar, and yet she couldn’t put a face to it. She turned her head quickly, and could not help but let a smile spread across her face as she realised who was bounding towards them.
"Fred!" Chelsie squealed, throwing her arms around the guy. "You’re back!"
"Can’t... breathe..." Fred panted, sandwiched between both of Chelsie’s arms. "Being... suffocated."
"Sorry!" she grinned, releasing him from her grip. "I’m so glad you’re back!"
Fred smiled back and pushed his glasses further up his nose, in an adorable way Olivia couldn’t help but smile at. He looked at her and nodded warmly. However, it wasn’t difficult to see that he was unsure of how to act around her. "Good to see you too, Olivia."
"Oh, come here!" Olivia laughed, pulling him in again into a tight hug, desperate to break the awkwardness between them. She didn’t know how things stood between them, but the last thing she wanted was for them to act weirdly around each other. It just wouldn’t feel right, although she was still unable to banish the guilt completely from herself. Every time she thought about the situation, it just made her seem like a worse person. She at least had to try and put things right.