I awoke the following morning with rays of sunlight shining through my bedroom window onto the walls. I glanced down at my wrist watch on my left wrist and it was seven am.
It was the second half term of school starting today and I was dreading it. Especially having to see horrible, vile and cruel teachers like Miss Hardman. The girls and I call her the dragon. But I couldn't wait to see Bethany, Liz, Laura and Crystal though.
I threw back my pale blue bedspread and stood up and went over to my wardrobe and took out my uniform for school. It had taken me five minutes to change into it and tied my long blonde hair back into a low ponytail. I quickly made my bed and then made my way down the stairs hoping Papa was down sitting in the kitchen a cup of morning coffee and reading the daily newspaper that came through the letter box each morning.
Once I entered the kitchen my happy face disappeared when I saw that papa wasn't down at the table. Grandmother Maxine kissed me a kiss on th cheek as she walked into the kitchen and went to the cooker to make scrambled eggs for breakfast.
She glanced my way and saw the disappointed look on my face, sympathy was evident in her face. "Your father didn't return home last night from wherever he went to," she informed me softly, shaking her head with disgust.
I felt tears welling up in my eyes but I held them back. I so was looking forward to seeing Papa before I left for school. I sat down on the table as Grandmother brought over to me a plate of scrambled eggs on two slices of toast. I tucked into it. Once I was finished I took the plate over to the sink and rinsed it out and left it on the draining board.
"We better hurry, Zoe, as we want to miss the morning traffic," said Grandmother.
I nodded and grabbed a notepad scribbled down a quick note to Papa and Gene.
Dear Papa and Gene,
You weren't here to say good bye to me before I left to go back to school so I'm saying bye now. I will see you soon.
P.S. Itwas great to see you again, Papa, I'm so glad you're home safe and sound. Love you always.
Bye for now my sweet little brother.
I left the note lying on the table so it was easy for them to read it. I sighed deeply then followed Grandmother Maxine out to the car and got in. My eyes grew heavy as soon as my head hit the back of the passenger seat. Grandmother started up the engine of the motor. She reversed bavkwards looking over her shoulder and then turned the car around and began to drive away from my beautiful home in North Cornwall to West London to my school.
The loud sound of the St Clara's Academy iron gates opening made my wide awake as other girls arrived in their parents' cars. I sat up straight as the big, two storey building came into view clearly.
Grandmother Maxine stopped the car outside the entrance of the school but left the engine running.
I unbuckled my seatbelt then leaned over to give Grandmother a quick hug and kiss before stepped out of the car. "Good bye, Grandmother, take care. Send my love to Papa and Gene," I said, choking back the tears.
"I will honey. You go in now, you hear," replied Grandmother firmly.
I nodded reluctantly with sadness.
Just then I heard my name being called out from someone behind me.
I turned around and smiled happily as I saw Bethany coming towards me her black hair flowing behind her. "Hey, Bethany, how was your half term holiday?" I asked.
"Yes, thanks, and did you?" she asked.
"Bye, Zoe, see you at Christmas," said Grandmother, grabbing my attention as she began to back up the entrance. I said bye and watched as she turned and drove away.
Bethany and I were talking amongst ourselves when we heard Miss Hardman's hard strict voice command at us once again.
"Get in here now. The holidays are over now its back to work and no play." Her eyes looked at us like a vulture eyeing its prey ready to swoop down from a tree branch and attack.
All the girls groaned as they reluctantly walk into school.
Later on that day all of the girls and I got a delicious hot meal for once instead of the bland, tasteless cabbage soup. We all stood in a long single line one after the other as every girl each getting a small portion of sausage casserole in a tomato sauce with fresh vegetables.
I sat at a table by the far door with Laura, Bethany, Crystal and Liz. We were all discussing about who got the dinner ladies to serve this delicious meal. In fact. all of the girls were as well.
The first night back at school I slept like a baby until morning when lessons began. Our first class was English, my favourite subject, because when I'm older I'd like to become a teacher.
In English that morning, Miss Mason, the nice, sweet, young and attractive English teacher was going through with us the tragic love story of two - crossed lovers, 'ROMEO AND JULIET', written by William Shakespeare.
"O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name, or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet." Miss Mason read out from the textbook with feeling getting into the role of of Juliet. "Tis bu thy name that is my enemy. Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's a Montagur? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet. So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called, retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title. Romeo, doff thy name, and for thy name - which is no part of thee - take all myself."
I admired Miss Mason for her enthusiasm for Shakespeare's plays like me.
Miss Mason looked up from the textbook to look at the class with her pretty green eyes. She was quite tall and slim with short brown hair and wore a bit of lipstick; She wore a long, grey skirt and a pretty flowred cardigan.
A few girls had sniggered about Miss Mason behind her back because of the way she dressed. But to me, she was the best teacher ever.
The school bell rang telling us that first class was over and now time for everyone to go onto their next class.
Girls picked up their textbooks from their wooden desks and then left.
I gathered up my things and was about to leave as well when Miss Mason called me back. I turned around and smiled, "yes, Miss Mason," I said.
Miss Mason smiled in a kind way, "I'm so pleased with your grades, Zoe, you are a bright, intelligent young lady," she complimented me.
I blushed, "thank you, miss."
"I'm serious. You're going to turn out just fine."
I stared back my eyes were wide with my mouth hung open. "Thank you, Miss Mason," I said, turning to leave the classroom with my friends and left.
Days passed turning into weeks and the weeks turned into months. I was enjoying school very much despite now and again Miss Hardman lashing out if you dared to answer her back about anything. But we all learnt not to put a foot wrong when it came to her.
Butone night, was the worst ever night I had ever seen Miss Hardman angry. We were all sleeping in our beds when Bethany, Liz, Crystal, and I could hear loud groans and moans coming from outside the building.
I rushed to the window and peeredout with Crystal and the others as we stared out in sheer shockness at seeing Laura on her back under a tree with a boy in between her legs having sex with her.
Miss Hardman was walking down the corridor to our room and stormed in when she saw all of us awake and looking out the window. "Why aren't you all asleep?" she demanded angrily with her hands on her skinny hips. She pushed in between Bethany and Liz and peered out the window to see what had fascinated us from our slumber. Her whole face was a picture. It was bright red with fury. Miss Hardman yanked the window open and climbed out and then jumped down without breaking any bones. Her feet hit the ground like an athelete's. She marched over to Laura and the boy having sex and grabbed hold of the back of the boy's collar of his white shirt then yanks him roughly away making him cry out in pain with his manhood still hanging out. Miss Hardman stared at Laura evilly, her mouth twitched into an evil grin. "Get up you dirty little girl! I'm reporting you to Mrs Peacock."
We watched from the window as Laura silently nodded while getting to her feet and pulling down her skirt and brushed down her pink blouse then buttoned it up.
The boy scrambled to his feet quickly pulling up his pants and buckling up his belt and then ran as fast as he could.
Miss Hardman marched Laura back into school by the front entrance to the headmistress's office.
Bethany, Liz, Crystal and I looked at each other and then shook her heads as we knew Laura would never change. She loves doing something dangerous that could risk her life. But, we loved her nonetheless.