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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 1

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The enormous, intimidating monster loomed above me, a memory which had haunted me for three years. Of course, it was no real monster, just a building which contained the past I had tried to forget. I stood shaking, staring up at it, urging myself to gain the courage to open the door, but I couldn't. It stayed closed, glaring back at me, screaming at me that I still wasn't good enough. I was the one who had survived when they hadn't.

I could hear the shouting and laughter of the others students rushing past me, tugging open the door without another thought. Ignoring me, unlike before when I was the centre of attention, but not in the way one might hope. I cringed at the memory, pulling my black hood up over my face in case someone recognised me. Trudging into the corridor I slipped my hands into my jean pockets, my eyes narrowed on the floor.

People shoved past me, as if I was an object not worth worrying about, as if I was non-existent. I bit my lip, repeating over and over to myself that I didn't want the attention, that I had to ignore them and stay calm. For a moment, I regretted coming back here, to all these horrid memories, but it was my idea, no one had forced me. I didn't know what had drawn me back here. Questions? No, I had none. They were dead and the dead didn't come back.

I stopped in front of an oak door and knocked twice, staring at the familiar carvings students had scraped into it over the years. It had been added to since I had been here last and the name on the sign had changed. Mr. T Preston. Well, hopefully he was better than the last Principle, Mr. Lewis, who hardly knew the difference between math and science. 

The door creaked open to reveal a small woman with greying brown hair and crooked glasses halfway down her pointed nose. She gave me a scrutinising glare with her dull green eyes, pushing her glasses up the brim of her nose with her frail hand.

"And who are you?" she asked, glancing distastefully at my clothes. My black hoodie hid my face and annoyed expression from view while my ripped jeans and ragged grey converses gave off the impression that I was from the streets. 

"Davina Blake," I replied, pulling the hood down. The woman paused for a moment, as if she was still trying to decipher who I was.

Something seemed to click in her small mind and she nodded, ushering me into the small, cramped waiting room. She gestured for me to take a seat in one of the mud stained, wooden chairs before hurrying through the door into the Principle's office. I sat down hesitantly, the chair creaking in protest under my light weight. Taking a deep breath, I calmed my nerves. No one would recognise me, I had gone to enough precautions to make sure of that. My short, straight, sandy brown hair, for instance, was now long, wavy and I had dyed it black. My sparkling blue eyes now lay hidden beneath dull brown contacts and my once pale skin was now tanned. It had been three years since I had last been here, and hopefully the students had changed as much as I had.

"Miss Blake," a quiet voice spoke from the doorway. I glanced up to see a man smiling warmly down at me. I return the smile with a weak one of my own, getting to my feet and walking towards him. The woman shoved past me, straightening her brown skirt and raising her head high, pretending nothing had happened. I bit back my retort, not wanting to get off to a bad start like usual.

I entered the Principles office, taking a seat while he sorted out a stack of paper work. He was silent to begin with, opening draws, moving books, picking up pens and pencils. I watched him work, not sure of he was tidying up or looking for something. Eventually he stopped, holding up a piece of paper and chuckling to himself. He took a seat opposite me and smiled, his grey eyes skimming over the paper once more.

"Welcome to Greenwood, Miss Blake," he said, passing me the piece of paper, "Here is your timetable. I am the Principle, Mr. Preston, and the woman out there is Mrs. Wright, my secretary. Your first class for today will be after break," he pointed at the box under Monday, lesson three. "Maths. Now, I know how daunting it is to change schools, so we've asked another girl in your year, Bronwyn Collins, to show you around and make you feel a part of Greenwood. Miss Collins has been at Greenwood for many years now and is a very polite student whom I'm sure you will get along with fine." He chuckled and leant back in his chair.

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