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Pen Your Pride

Elle POV

It’s been a week since school started for me at least. I’m almost caught up on everything. So that’s a relief.

*Ring!*

I closed my notebook and put it in the bag as the other students were already piling out of the room. I grabbed my bag and headed towards the exit after Kennedy.

“Miss Sparks, may I talk to you for a minute?” I turned back to face Mr. Wayland. I nodded my head.

“I was looking at your folder, lovely pictures by the way,” I was going to thank him but he started talking again. “But as I was going through them I felt nothing.” Now I was confused.

“What do you mean?”

“It means that the pictures as beautiful as they might be don’t hold any meaning, any feeling.”

“I-I don’t get it. I love taking them. That has to count for something!” He shook his head.

“That’s the thing. Rule number one in this class. You can’t just love taking pictures you have to love what you’re taking the pictures of too. I need you to connect yourself with the pictures you take in order for you to pass this class.”

“Does that mean I’m failing then?” I asked. I’ve never failed a class. Ever.

“Not necessarily. I know you have the potential to do better and I would like a new folder of photos that mean something if not everything to you by December 1st. I will look at it and if I approve you will pass the class.”

“Um, okay, thank you for the warning sir.” I said trying to get out of that classroom as soon as possible. He nodded.

“Good luck Miss Sparks.” I closed the door behind me. The hallway was empty. I guess the bell had already rung announcing third period had started. I ran down the hall towards my history class. I was about to turn at the corner of the hall when I crashed into someone. The force made me fall backwards onto the floor.

“I’m so sorry,” someone said from above me. I looked up while holding my head. I think it was Marcel who was standing in front of me but I couldn’t be sure. He was blurry. “Are you okay? Elle?”

“My head.” I muttered out. I think he was still talking but I wasn’t paying attention. I don’t remember exactly what happened after but when I came to my senses I was sitting on a bed in the nurses office.

“Miss Sparks, I need to follow my finger.” The nurse said turning on a light. I did as I was told. “Okay, I don’t see any signs that indicate if you have a concussion so I’m just going to give you some ibuprofen for the headache you’re going to be experiencing shortly due to the cut in your forehead.” She said before she left to do her things. She came back shortly with two pills and a cup of water. I drank them quickly. I hated nurses and hospitals and doctor offices.

“You are all set to go. Take it easy for the rest of the day. If you experience any dizziness come  here as soon as possible. Marcel, can you escort her to her class now, please?” The nurse asked him as if I wasn’t even there. That’s gross, she’s at least fifty. I stood and started walking towards the door.

“Elle, I’m sorry for the cut on your forehead. I should’ve been-” Marcel started as he walked along side me.

“Don’t apologize for something that was clearly my fault. I was running because I got held back in photography.” I replied, turning towards the hall where the history classrooms are.

“You like taking pictures?” He asked actually showing interest.

“It’s my favorite thing apart from music. But Mr. Wayland thinks my pictures hold no emotions so I’m failing. I need a new portfolio by the end of the semester or I’ll fail.” I was still angry at him. A portfolio takes time and patience to make.

“I can help you.” I stopped walking and looked at him. “I mean, I don’t know much about picture taking but I can try. I’m great at modeling, you know.” I actually laughed at that. A good kind of laugh. One that I haven’t had in a while.

“Thank you, I appreciate it.” He smiled.

*RING*

I jumped at the sound of the bell. And a smell, cologne, invaded my senses, like the one in Abercrombie & Fitch back in the States. I went to look for it and I was met with an arm. I looked up and met Marcel’s eyes. He was chuckling that I got scared by the bell.

“That wasn’t funny. I was honestly scared.” I complained starting to walk towards my Calculus class.

“No, it wasn’t funny. It was hilarious.” He was actually laughing. I gave him the stink eye.  “It’s true. You clung to me like a little kitten in distress.”

“Using metaphors won’t help you ace the english exam.” By this point we have arrived to my math classroom and were standing outside.

“No, but it’s fitting.” He was smiling showing his dimples and it was impossible not to smile with him. “Here.” He said, handing me over a bag. My bag. I had completely forgotten about it.

I was going to thank him when I got interrupted. “Aww, won’t you look at that.” I turned to look at the person. I felt Marcel tense next to me. “Little nerd here thinks he has a chance with the princess.” Jackass laughed.

“Can I help you, Jackass?” I asked him, getting annoyed.

“Feisty. I like it.” He got closer to me. I moved away stumbling onto Marcel’s chest. He supported me. “Come on, sweetheart, you can do so much better than him.”

“You’re disgusting.” I said, taking Marcel’s hand and walking away. But before we got too far I felt a tug and Marcel’s hand slipped from my hand.

“No one ignores me, sweetheart. You better learn that.” He whispered in my ear before kissing just below it. I felt like puking.

“Let her go!” Marcel yelled as he pushed Jackass away from me and standing in a protective stance in front of me, hiding me from Jackass. I held onto his vest.

“Or what?” Jackass replied angrily as his buddies stood next to him, all looking as angry as their leader. “You can’t do anything to me, Little nerd.”

“Is there a problem here?” A guy from my english class butt into the conversation. I think his name is Javaad. He’s got black hair, brown eyes, and the best facial structures I have ever seen, hands down. Honestly, I don’t know why he’s in the Academy, he looks like he’s part of a gang.

Jackass took a look at him and then at Marcel and I. “No. Nothing at all, right Little nerd?” Marcel didn’t respond and we watched as Jackass and his group of followers walked away.

Marcell immediately turned to me. “Are you okay? You’re shaking.”

“I-I’m fine.” I muttered as the bell rang announcing the beginning of fourth period. “You better go to class.”

“Elle.” I avoided his eyes but he wasn’t having any of that. He gently lifted my face so that we could make eye contact. Then, he just stared into my eyes as if he needed confirmation that I was okay.

“I will see you at lunch.” He said at last and then walked away.

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