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A wad of paper flies across the room, hitting my ear with a soft thud and dropping to the floor. My heart jumps as my eyes open wide, glancing at Mr Peterson who is still standing in front of the class droning on about the supernatural elements within Macbeth. I twist in my chair, my body aching at the sudden movement, scowl automatically at Hailey. English used to be my favourite class... until I transferred to St John High School and discovered just how boring being taught by a mindless zombie could be.
Scrunching up my face, I peek up at the clock, realising that there are only five minutes until lunch. I missed the whole lesson. Rubbing my forehead, I reach for the ball of paper. Carefully unfolding it, I am rewarded by a list of quick notes from the lesson. Immediately forgetting my annoyance, I turn and grin at Hailey two seats diagonally to my right. She smiles back, silently giggling at my sleepy expression.
"Alison Redding," Mr Peterson had suddenly stopped droning on and is looking at me angrily.
Oh dear. I silently try to recall what he had been saying, subtly glancing at the notes in my hand. Aaron and Jayden laugh openly at my confusion and I feel the heat radiating from my cheeks. They only laugh louder as my embarrassment escalates and I become visibly flustered.
"I hope those are your own notes from today's lesson Miss Redding because you will need them for the two thousand word essay on the extent to which the supernatural elements in Macbeth are responsible for the tragic hero's downfall." Mr Peterson glares as the bell rings, effectively punctuating his threat.
Oh no. I nod meekly. "Yes Mr Peterson."
The class shuffles past as I quickly write down the assignment, internally groaning at the impossible task ahead of me.
"You will hand the completed essay to me before first lesson on Monday," Mr Peterson commands as I move hastily from the classroom.
I am momentarily blinded by the bright afternoon sun outside before my leg catches on something and I careen into the closest person. Jayden catches my arms and pulls me upright. He brushes his blond hair off of his face and stares down at me with eyes that are the same clear blue of the sky on a perfect day. No wonder all the girls swoon when he and Aaron walk into the room. My heart beats faster at our proximity.
He smirks down at me while Aaron yells, "Careful clumsy." He barks with laughter behind me. Jayden shoves me aside and the pair quickly melts into the stampede of people heading for the cafeteria.
Reluctantly I head towards my locker, stuffing my books into the messy shelf and grabbing a textbook for my next lesson and a small apple.
"Alison!" Hailey appears at my side, "Hey, are you ok? I saw Aaron trip you."
I nod quickly. She narrows her eyes in concern, "Are you hanging with us today?"
"No, I need to get started on that essay for Peterson - I'm too busy this weekend."
Hailey bites her lip, "Ok, let me know if you need any help."
I nod again, giving her a quick smile as I shut my locker and head in the direction of the library. As soon as I'm out of sight I turn away and head towards the western buildings. Pushing against the heavy door, I slip into the drama room and walk across the cluttered space, sinking into the soft couch in the corner. Lying in the empty room I can feel the exhaustion washing over me, I allow my eyes to close and quickly sink into the darkness.