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A wad of paper flies across the room, hitting my ear with a soft thud and dropping to the floor. My heart jumps as my eyes open wide, glancing at Mr Peterson who is still standing in front of the class droning on about the supernatural elements within Macbeth. I twist in my chair, my body aching at the sudden movement, scowl automatically at Hailey. English used to be my favourite class... until I transferred to St John High School and discovered just how boring being taught by a mindless zombie could be.
Scrunching up my face, I peek up at the clock, realising that there are only five minutes until lunch. I missed the whole lesson. Rubbing my forehead, I reach for the ball of paper. Carefully unfolding it, I am rewarded by a list of quick notes from the lesson. Immediately forgetting my annoyance, I turn and grin at Hailey two seats diagonally to my right. She smiles back, silently giggling at my sleepy expression.
"Alison Redding," Mr Peterson had suddenly stopped droning on and is looking at me angrily.
Oh dear. I silently try to recall what he had been saying, subtly glancing at the notes in my hand. Aaron and Jayden laugh openly at my confusion and I feel the heat radiating from my cheeks. They only laugh louder as my embarrassment escalates and I become visibly flustered.
"I hope those are your own notes from today's lesson Miss Redding because you will need them for the two thousand word essay on the extent to which the supernatural elements in Macbeth are responsible for the tragic hero's downfall." Mr Peterson glares as the bell rings, effectively punctuating his threat.
Oh no. I nod meekly. "Yes Mr Peterson."
The class shuffles past as I quickly write down the assignment, internally groaning at the impossible task ahead of me.
"You will hand the completed essay to me before first lesson on Monday," Mr Peterson commands as I move hastily from the classroom.
I am momentarily blinded by the bright afternoon sun outside before my leg catches on something and I careen into the closest person. Jayden catches my arms and pulls me upright. He brushes his blond hair off of his face and stares down at me with eyes that are the same clear blue of the sky on a perfect day. No wonder all the girls swoon when he and Aaron walk into the room. My heart beats faster at our proximity.
He smirks down at me while Aaron yells, "Careful clumsy." He barks with laughter behind me. Jayden shoves me aside and the pair quickly melts into the stampede of people heading for the cafeteria.
Reluctantly I head towards my locker, stuffing my books into the messy shelf and grabbing a textbook for my next lesson and a small apple.
"Alison!" Hailey appears at my side, "Hey, are you ok? I saw Aaron trip you."
I nod quickly. She narrows her eyes in concern, "Are you hanging with us today?"
"No, I need to get started on that essay for Peterson - I'm too busy this weekend."
Hailey bites her lip, "Ok, let me know if you need any help."
I nod again, giving her a quick smile as I shut my locker and head in the direction of the library. As soon as I'm out of sight I turn away and head towards the western buildings. Pushing against the heavy door, I slip into the drama room and walk across the cluttered space, sinking into the soft couch in the corner. Lying in the empty room I can feel the exhaustion washing over me, I allow my eyes to close and quickly sink into the darkness.
I wake up with a start, my ears ringing. Aaron is standing over me with a pair of metallic pots and the rest of the class is sitting in a circle on the floor, staring at me expectantly.
"Care to join us Allie?" Jayden grins, evidently pleased with their practical joke.
I drag myself off the couch and take my place in the circle, giving Jayden my best if-looks-could-kill glare. Aaron gives the pots one more whack - right beside my head - and also sits down.
"Well now that Alison is awake, everyone collect a script and grab a pen and a highlighter," Mr Maddison, our eccentric drama teacher commands in a booming voice that prompts a dull pain in the back of my head.
"We'll work in pairs today, with one group of three," Mr M said as everyone had their scripts ready.
"Jayden," he said looking to his right, "You can go with Miss Potter over there."
The class erupts into laughter, I look around confused as Jayden stands and makes his way over to me, standing in front of my and offering his hand.
"Come on Potter, you heard the man," he grins.
Taking his hand, I stand and follow Jayden into a separate corner. I sit facing the class and Lily, a nice but fairly quiet girl in a few of my classes, gestures to my forehead, tracing a lightning scar on her own.
Groaning out loud I turn to Jayden, "Is there a lightning scar drawn on my forehead?"
He grins, "Sure is! I hope you like it, I worked really hard on that."
"Great," I mutter.
"You're welcome Allie."
I sigh, rubbing my head profusely as I attempt to erase the ink. "Let's just get started."
The rest of the double lesson passes without further embarrassments as Jayden and I aren't called upon to perform. It is my first strike of luck today. I hurry out of class as soon as the bell rings, avoiding Jayden as I leave. Hailey is waiting at my locker when I arrive, she grins as she sees me, although she tries to hide it as I catch her eye.
"Don't comment," I warn as I reach for my lock.
"Hey, it could be so much worse."
"Whatever," I say smiling.
"Allison Redding, if you're going to be a fictional character then Harry Potter is a pretty good deal."
"No he's not! I don't want the weight of the wizard world on my shoulders!" I gasp dramatically.
Hayden laughs, swinging on my locker door absentmindedly as I struggle to shove my bulging English folder into the already stretched school bag.
"What have you got planned for the weekend?" she asks.
"Camping - with my family," I lie.
"Oh, that's a shame," Hailey frowns, "I was thinking we could go shopping for casuals day next week."
"Sorry," I grab my stuff and slam my locker shut, "I have to go... I'll see you Monday."
"Have a good trip Alison."
"Thanks," I reply, striding out the school and into the street. The small grey car waits exactly opposite the school gate. I climb in gratefully.
"Hey Dad," I yawn.
"Bad day?" he asks, eyes tight with concern as he searches my face.
"Just tiring," I close my eyes and drift off once again.
Please comment. What did you like about the start? What would you change?
NOTE: THE EDITING OF THIS STORY HAS MEANT THAT THE NUMBER OF CHAPTERS HAVE BEEN DECREASED. THEREFORE, THE EXISTING COMMENTS WILL NOT MATCH THE STORY. THANK YOU.