Chapter 8

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Maude was wondering if she hadn't landed on another planet.

She was in English class and Jazmine, who was sitting next to her, had spent the last half hour scribbling furiously, sending notes to her friends.

And Maude was just plain puzzled. She hadn't understood a single sentence the teacher had uttered after she had said, "Good morning, class. Take out your copies of Jane Eyre."

After that, it had all seemed like a blur. The teacher talked so fast, it was impossible to understand a single word she said. Thankfully, Maude had already read Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, which was one of her favorite books. As for the teacher's analysis of the story, she would have to rely on Jazmine's notes.

She heaved a deep sigh of relief when the bell rang.

"So, what did you think of your first class?" asked Jazmine as they headed out of class.

"It would've been great if I'd understood what the teacher had said."

"Ah, you'll get the hang of it in no time," Jazmine reassured her. "In the meantime, I'll give you my notes so you won't fall behind although I must say, I was a bit distracted today."

"Why? What's going on?"

Jazmine was searching in the crowded halls and didn't answer Maude.

"Ah, there they are. Let me introduce you to my friends."

A small group stood near their lockers: a brown-haired jock in a football uniform, a blonde girl in a cheerleader outfit, and a red-headed girl leaning against the lockers talking animatedly. As they approached, Maude noticed the boy stare at Jazmine with plain admiration. For sure, Maude thought, she looked breathtaking although dressed simply in a white long wool sweater and a pair of black pants.

"Guys, this is Maude Laurent, the musician I was talking to you about. Maude, this is Brad, Lily, and Stacey."

They greeted her kindly, and Brad turned to Jazmine and said, "Hey, your concert was great last Friday. I didn't get to tell you because you left so fast but, I thought it was great."

"Glad you enjoyed it, seeing as it will be the last one we'll have for a while since we're temporarily out of service while looking for the new guitarist to complete the Screaming Angels, also known as the best rock band ever, right girls?" said Jazmine flashing a brilliant smile towards Stacey and Lily.

"We are a great band," Stacey agreed, flipping her dark red hair behind her shoulder. "We would be even better with Stephen in it as our new guitarist," she added.

"And as I wrote you in English class: the choice of our new guitarist has to be made democratically. We should organize auditions to meet the rare gift that will complete our group perfectly. Your cousin will have to audition too."

"I think Jaz is right," Lily said. "Although I do think your cousin is really hot, it's best to organize auditions. Besides, we don't want Jazmine breaking your cousin's heart and leave the group like Joe did."

"You broke the other guitarist's heart?" Maude asked, amused.

"Don't look like you find it so funny, Maude. You remind me of Cynthia with that face. I didn't break anybody's heart. Joe and I flirted a little, but it's not like I told him I loved him or anything. He was already imagining us getting married and having kids!"

"It's a good thing he's gone then," Brad grumbled, slightly frowning.

Jazmine pretended not to notice and said, "We should be heading for lunch, shouldn't we?"

"Which way is the canteen?" asked Maude.

The four teenagers stared at her puzzled, then burst out laughing.

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