5: Franny

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5. Franny

I wake up quickly and I am already on the bus before my dad is even awake. I know it's pathetic of me to avoid him but I'm not ready for last night's conversation to start up again.

I want to forget it happened but I know I can't.

As I walk into the school I have this horrible feeling that by the time I get home the attic will be empty with not a single morsel of my mom's memory there. She'll be gone and thrown aside as if she meant nothing.

I feel my chest tighten at the thought but continue on anyway, heading inside and towards my locker. When I reach it, I get it open and peer inside, grabbing the books I need. I look up when I feel a presence beside me. I smile.

"Hey, Tally," I say.

"Hey there." She smiles and pulls on the strap of her bag. "You want to come over tonight, just us? It's been a while since we've actually hung out."

I nod, liking the idea immediately of not having to go home to deal with my dad. I push aside the part of me that's calling me weak, telling myself that I'll deal with my dad's problems later.

"Yeah that sounds good," I say.

"Great," Tally grins, "you want to come over at about four?"

"Um, why don't I just catch your bus?" I ask hastily. "It's easier."

"Sounds good," she says as the bell rings for first class. "I'll see you in history."

Tally walks off and I shut my locker before heading for the stairs. I arrive at the drama room for my first class of the day, and dump my bag on the floor behind the stage.

The other students arrive in small groups and take their seats. The second bell rings a last warning. I sigh, crossing my legs and leaning back in the seat, resting my arms on my knees.

The main doors burst open and in comes Miss Joit, wearing a poncho, several lethal-looking bracelets and a smile that is the epitome of insincerity.

"Hello, class." She smiles and clasps her hands together. "It is just so amazing to see you all again for another great day."

She sashays through the circle of chairs, accidentally slapping a boy in the face with the ends of her poncho.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Steven," Miss Joit says, her face curled up in a fake display of regret and worry.

"Um, it's Sam," the boy says.

"Of course it is," Miss Joit murmurs and then suddenly claps, making half the class flinch. "So, welcome to yet another day in the class of dramatic arts. Now I believe yesterday we started going over the end-of-year production. It's quite far away so don't get your panties in a twist as we won't be performing till next semester. But it is something to think about for all you young actors. Now—"

The doors swing open again with a loud squeak, cutting off Miss Joit's speech before closing again with a resounding thump.

"Hello, young man," Miss Joit calls out. "Can I help you?"

I look over along with the rest of the class and my breath gets caught in my throat when I see Tyler standing there, his face impatient.

"I was just transferred from another class," he says.

"Three weeks into the semester?" Miss Joit frowns. Tyler shrugs.

"Call the office if you have to. My last teacher was Mr Carter," he says.

Miss Joit sighs and drops her arms, letting them hang by her sides. "Okay class, talk amongst yourselves quietly as I just go make a call," she says and turns back to Tyler. "Last name?"

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