Chapter 1 ~ Now
I burst into my dorm room with my hair windblown and my teeth chattering. In one of my hands is a scalding extra strength coffee that is burning my palm and on my back is my half a tonne school bag that looks pretty but is really uncomfortable, full of text books and assignments.
I just barely made curfew and I'm kind of breathless as I put my coffee on my desk and throw my backpack to the floor, sighing happily as the weight of six textbooks is lifted from my back.
On her bed is my best friend Florence with a bemused expression on her face and a bottle of fluoro green nail polish clutched in her grasp. Her beautiful red hair is tied in two cute braids running down the sides of her head. On the bridge of her nose, the oversized glasses that I don't think she even needs are balanced slightly askew.
Seeing her, I smile but try to frown at the same time making a small laugh escapes her perfect rosy lips.
"Jeez, Flo! Haven't you ever heard of a heater before? It's freezing in here!" She just pokes her tongue out at me and starts humming softly, preoccupied with her perfect toenails.
To be honest, practically everything about Flo is pretty much perfect, which makes for a slightly depressed roommate and best friend because I have to look at so much perfection every day.
"Well?" I prompt and she rolls her eyes.
"Of course I have dummy. And anyway, where, have you been? That the more pressing matter," She asks, her cheeks slightly pink from the freezing temperature inside the room and a smile on her face.
I walk over to my mirror andare a bit surprised to see that it isn't covered in condensation.
I then look at my reflection and flinch a little, looking at my hair. My dark brown curls are all windswept and knotted together. I pat them down, half-heartedly trying to make them lie flat and look as perfect as Flo's hair usually is, but give up when they just fly back to their original state.
"So, where have you been? I wasn't just asking that because I was being polite! You know I'm not polite." Flo says with her head slightly crooked which results in her glasses falling off and landing on the floor. She stares at them for a second before shrugging and looking up, staring at me and watching me grimace at myself instead.
"Oh, I was just at the library doing some homework and getting some coffee." I reply, looking over my shoulder at her. Flo looks at me incredulously.
"I didn't realise how late it was." I add sheepishly knowing that she was worrying about curfew as always. She just shakes her head and laughs, her eyebrows arched.
"I should have known. I was worried you weren't going to make it back in time and be locked out." she says, confirming my thoughts. I know Flo so well sometimes it's like I know her better than I know myself.
"I know," I say with a smile, "So what did you do all day slacker? A little birdie told me you called a sickie."
"Really? A little birdie? Nice to know you care about me enough to refer to me by my name! I'm not a bird." She says mockingly haughtily but puffs out her chest and flaps her arms like a brain dead chicken anyway. I laugh and throw a pen at her from my desk.
"So? I like birds." I say, laughing so hard my eyes start to water when she starts crowing at me like a baby chicken. After a while she gives up and laughs too before going back to painting her toenails. After applying a second coat to one already flawless under layer, she tells me.
"I was catching up on my stupid History assignment for stupid Ms Porter." She makes a face and I laugh.
Ms Porter is one of the most hated teachers in the prestigious school Kingston Academy. She teaches almost all of the subjects known to man, teaching a different subject every one of our eight periods, so you were more than likely to get her for at least one subject but I had lucked out and hadn't gotten her at all.
Don't bother asking me how she managed to pull of teaching eight different subjects either 'cause I've got no idea.
If you ask me I would have said that Flo had lucked out to, having her for only History because I know people that have her four times a day, but if you had seen the expression on her face you would have sworn she had her for everything.
I actually had Miss Peal for History and she was one of the nicest people I've ever met.
"Seriously Ivory, I swear she's trying to kill us all. I mean, who sets an assignment for Ancient Egypt? It's hell I tell ya." She shakes her head in exasperation and I stifle a laugh with a small cough, smothering a smile behind my hand.
"I think you'll find that everyone has to do an assignment on Ancient Egypt Florence." Rolling her eyes at me, I choose to ignore the look she gives me and pick up the coffee I put down before.
"Yeah, but do you only have two days to do it?" she demands.
"See! I told you! She's evil! I swear!" I just shake my head and turn around to look at my desk, studying the contents and to put down my coffee again. I wince when I see the red patch it left behind from burning my hand.
I have lived in this dorm room for almost two years now and I have always been here with Flo. I don't even go home on the weekends anymore, just stay here and do my homework and hang out with my other friends.
"Hey, can I have some coffee? It's freezing in here." I spin around to look at Flo, impressed that she enough balls to ask for some of my coffee, knowing how much I love the stuff and how unwilling I am to give it away.
"Seriously? Why don't you just put on the heater?"
"Because that would involve getting up… and I'm sick." She looks at me hopefully, faking two little coughs, her big, brown, doe eyes for once having no effect on me.
"Get up and put it on yourself, lazy!" I say turning around to grab my coffee from where I had put it down on my desk and cradle it lovingly to my chest. Picking up and putting down my coffee continuously is almost like a nervous tic I have now.
I hear her groan and the squeak of her bed as she gets up. I hear her bare feet pad across the wooden floorboards on the floor and the click click click as she turns the heater up as high as it can go. I then hear the groaning of the heater as it slowly warms up.
Slowly I spin back around to face a pouting Florence sitting cross legged on her bed.
"See? That wasn't so hard was it?" I say with a big goofy grin on my face, designed to make her smile. After a few seconds of glowering at me, I can see her cracking and soon enough she can't help herself and starts laughing at me, spilling her nail polish all over her bed covers.
She squeals and leans over to inspect the damage.
"Oh no! These are new!" She says as she stares at the stain intently, like she can will it to go away with sheer determination. I laugh and walk over to her to lightly tug on her plait before turning towards our shared bathroom to go have a shower.
As I hurriedly make my way to my first class of the day I realise that I don't have a coffee in my hand, nor have I had one this morning because I am running late. I'd slept through my alarm and Flo did too, making us both a total of fifteen minutes late.
Cussing, I think of the next break I have that is long enough to quickly get a coffee and sigh, knowing that I am likely going to have a filthy headache later. And that if I don't hurry the hell up I am going to miss the start of my first class.
My first class is creative writing - a class that Ms Porter doesn't teach thank Christ - and is one of my favourites. It is the only elective that I chose in year 8 that I stuck with all of the way through to year 10 and then throught to year 11 and 12 too.
I plan to be an author when I finish school and many people, including my teacher, continuously keep telling me that I'm a good fit for the profession.
I have always liked writing stories and people have always liked reading them, so that is a good enough reason to become an author as far as I'm concerned. It's just an added bonus that I love doing it.
Walking down the corridor that leads to my destination, I notice a flyer pinned to a slightly crooked noticeboard that is hanging halfway down the wall just next to the door for the girls' toilets.
Shuddering at a particular memory that room brought on, I stop for a second, contemplating the likelihood of me actually getting to class on time anyway now that I am just standing here gawking like an idiot and how I might as well read it now.
In the end I decide to stay and read it, just because it's printed on bright, shiny, silver paper with bold purple writing. It says:
YOU ARE INVITED TO ASHLEE BODICUS'S EIGHTEENTH BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!...
I rack my brain in an attempt to find Ashlee Bodicus and after a while, I finally find her. She is one of the 'populars' and is a total bitch.
The rest of the page goes on about all of the usual details and at the bottom is a cheerful little message obviously not meant for anyone who was 'unpopular'.
The only reason the flyer is here is probably because she wants to flaunt how amazing she is, not because she actually wants random people showing up at her house.
Hope you guys could all come! I would be really grateful :P
Feeling a little adventurous and a little pissed off that she has the audacity to put up this pretty piece of paper that is only meant for everyone to see not attend, I pull out the permanent marker that I always have with me.
Why I always have a permanent marker with me is a story for a different day.
Glancing down both sides of the corridor, to see if anyone is watching or walking by, even though obviously no one is going to be because everyone is in class, I pull off the cap and in big bold letters, write the word SKANK across the flyer.
Smirking to myself but feeling a little bad, I turn and run down the hall, off to my creative writing class with a half-smile on my face, happy that everyone one who isn't really invited will see it and be happy, but sad because I know it will hurt Ashlee's feelings.
Scrunching up my nose, I stop in front of the door when I'm just outside my classroom, wondering if I should even go in. Miss Angela really wouldn't mind if I do show up late, but she also isn't the type of person to pull you up for truanting. She probably would be distressed if I don't show though.
When I finally do decide to go in, I realise that I was right before, I do have a filthy headache and I am now massively late due to my prolonged stops. Plus, I am probably in for the worst lesson of the year.