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'Why am I not surprised?' Mrs Hastings sighed irritably as she walked around her desk and planted her sizeable arse in the black pleather office chair.

                For my part, I was slouched unattractively in one of the seats opposite, scowling more at my situation than any one person in particular.

                Though the fact that Molly Townsend was seated no more than a few feet to my left looking like the world's most pitiable victim would have pinpointed her as the most likely target of person-specific scowling, were my scowling as lightning rather than thunder.

                'Four weeks back at school and at least as many public incidents involving the two of you,' Mrs Hastings went on. 'I give you both detention, I hand down extra homework, I threaten suspension and expulsion – still, the very next week here you both are again. Need I remind you both that this is an institution for young ladies – not a council estate?'

                I continued to scowl at all and sundry. I grew up on a council estate. It wasn't so bad.

                'And you, Miss Greene – how many times do I need to tell you that your appearance is unacceptable? You will return to your room immediately and wash your face before reporting for yet another detention with Mr Ross this evening.'

                There was a pause as she examined us over the rims of her glasses. 'I expect better,' she finished, then waved her hand dismissively to indicate the meeting was over.

                I jumped to my feet and stormed towards the door, Molly hot on my heels because, as usual after one of these instances, she wanted to remind me that it was all my fault.

                'This is the fourth detention I've gotten this month because of you,' she hissed as we passed our principal's secretary's desk.

                'Well in that case you should be thanking me,' I said breezily. 'I wonder if Mr Ross looks forward to these after-school detentions as much as you do?'

                Molly blushed pink before making a strangled scream of frustration and flouncing away. Satisfied, I made my way to the dorm room I shared with two other girls and stood in front of the bathroom mirror, examining my reflection critically.

                I know I'm pretty; I've got that willowy, pale, wide-eyed thing going on that older men seem to find irresistible, but inside I'm not so innocent and I guess my appearance-alterations reflect that. The thick black eyeliner, the streaks of purple in my dyed-black hair, the excessive facial piercings and the barely-hidden tattoos, the bracelets and necklaces that lend towards a strong skull theme, all make me feel more comfortable in my own skin but tend to clash quite strongly with the Allexton Girls' Academy preferred aesthete.

                That's where girls like Molly Townsend excel. Honey blonde hair down to her shoulder-blades, ice-blue eyes, and a perfect complexion with a lot less help from cosmetics than I employ, she basically embodies the Allexton model student. She looks the part, she sounds the part with her crisp upper-class accent, and aside from when she's fighting with me, she acts the part. I think she gets straight As. I get straight Ds.

                For all her saccharine perfection though, Molly is a right-said-bitch and she gets right under my skin.

                Sighing, I reached for my lip piercings and started taking them out; I might not bow down completely to Mrs Hastings and her fascist idea of school administration but I know when to pick my battles and this wasn't one of them.

                Pulling my hair into a haphazard ponytail, I grabbed a book from my bedside table and made my way back downstairs.

                The thing about detention with Mr Ross is that it isn't so bad. He's in his mid-twenties and I think he identifies more with us students than he does with pre-historic Mrs Hastings, so he goes pretty easy on us and basically lets us do whatever we want.

                Also, he has best hook-up on campus for the good weed, so he and I get along just fine. Arriving ten minutes early for detention, I wandered through the main doors of the school and around the corner to find the man himself leaning against the wall about to light up.

                'You trying to flake on me?' I demanded good-naturedly, propping myself up beside him.

                'Never,' he replied, handing me the spliff. 'You're in today right?'

                'Aren't I in every day?'

                'You're what makes it bearable,' he quipped, and I elbowed him.

                'Don't be trying to chat me up, you,' I admonished him jokingly.

                'Don't worry rug-muncher, you're not my type.'

                'Who is your type?' I asked coyly.

                'Mrs Hastings,' he retorted without hesitating, and I snorted in surprise.

                'What about, say, off the top of my head, Molly Townsend?'


                'You're smoking weed on campus with a student,' I pointed out monotonously.

                'Good point,' he nodded, taking the spliff back off me. 'You're absolutely right. Give detention a skip today, would you Ivy, I might just go in and have sex with Molly Townsend against my teacher's desk.'

                'You're a cad,' I informed him.

                'Blow me.'

                That night I lay in my bed with my arms crossed under my head and smiled, satisfied. I may be sexually frustrated, I may be misunderstood, I may have to share space daily with my nemesis, but all in all, I'm pretty damn content.

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