Lea

         After a couple volunteers finish reading a few pages of Romeo and Juliet, there is a class discussion as to whether or not Juliet should have agreed to marry Romeo. Unlike in my previous lessons, I sit quietly at my desk, staring at nothing but the whiteboard a few meters in front, and do not contribute to the class discussion.

       Mr. Sepriars – sensing my lack of enthusiasm – throws a few questions my way, but I answer them as quickly as possible before returning to my silence. I'm not usually like this, actually, I'm never like this. However, everything that's happened in the past day has been surreal. I'm still in disbelief that I don't have my own home to go to tonight. 

         Fidgeting in my seat, I accidentally knock over my pen, which lands on the floor with a quiet 'ping'. A few faces turn in my direction to see what has happened as if I've accidentally dropped a nuclear bomb.

Oh come on people, it's a pen, stop looking at me like I'm a criminal; it's not my fault I'm clumsy.

         Clumsy...

         My thoughts go back to yesterday night when River was teasing me for my misfortunate trip in the Parkers' living room. 

         "Right, class, homework!" Mr. Sepriars claps his hands together excitedly, and I resist the urge to groan as I retrieve my pen.

         I don't want homework right now. I need some food and some sleep. That is all. 

         I turn to the first page of my planner. Underneath the lines that I've randomly scribbled on, I reluctantly write 'Friday – English Homework' and wait for Mr. Sepriars to continue talking.

         "Since we're on the topic of romance, I would like you to compose a poem with the title 'What love is'. The poem should be at least three stanza's long and should be completed without any assistance. Overall, it should be under the genre of romance." Well, duh. 

        He pauses his speech as the bell rings to alert us it's the end of school. "You're dismissed." He finishes.

         I start to pack up, returning my stationary to my pencil case and sliding Romeo and Juliet back into the plastic wallet in my folder. Burying everything into a bag that Marissa kindly allowed me to borrow, I push myself off the seat and walk into the aisle between the desks, only to freeze in my place. River's foot is touching mine, our arms are side-by-side, we're squished between the desks either side of us, and I don't dare move.

 ***

River

         Busy in conversation with Ky behind me, I feel someone oddly close to me to my left. Twisting my head, I see Lea's petite figure beside me, of course; I knew I would bump into her at school eventually. I sense my leg against hers, my fingers only inches from hers, our arms smothered together; we're both trapped in the aisle. Stepping backward to allow her to move further down the aisle ahead, she offers me a quick apology before walking out of the room. 

       "What was that all about, mate?" My eyes turn to meet Ky's who is standing beside to me.

       "Oh, nothing. Just some kid who helped me out at the library." I reply, unbothered.

"Dude, you go to the library?" Jake asks from behind me, sounding shocked that I would do something like that.

Jake and Ky couldn't care less about education or what grades they get in their end of year exams. It's sad actually, because they're pretty clever. This is mainly because both their families are loaded, so, they don't feel the need to work if they've got all the money they could ever want. But, that's what makes me different to them, I like working, I like getting good grades. Deep, deep, deep down, I'm a nerd.

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