Allison walked in the doors of the school – late, as usual. She walked over to her locker, dumped her bag in and grabbed a book and pen before scuttling off to class. She stood outside room 305 and braced herself before she walked into English. It was halfway through the year already, and everyone was used to her lateness. The teacher didn’t look up, but merely acknowledged her presence with a nod as he handed her the worksheet that outlined the work that everyone else had already begun. The class had their heads down, focusing on their work. Allison walked down the aisle in between the desks to her usual seat at the back. She didn’t really know anyone in her English class. She knew who they were, but had no idea what any of them were like as people. The only person she could call a ‘friend’ in her English class was Brian, and even then she wasn’t sure they were friends, despite the Saturday detention they spent together. “Stop kidding yourself, Allison,” she thought, as she slid into her usual seat by the back window, “that was Saturday. We were stuck together for a day, away from everyone else. What else were we going to do? It’s all over now.” She dumped her book and pen on the desk, and buried her head in her arms, not bothering to look at the worksheet. She was just closing her eyes when she heard a thud next to her. She looked up slightly – just enough to see that Brian had moved next to her. He mouthed the word ‘hello’ at her, while giving her a small smile. She straightened up, and smiled back at him. He went back to working on his English task, and Allison prepared to spend her first English lesson of the year with a friend beside her.
The bell for the end of the first period went, and Brian smiled at Allison once more and said goodbye while packing up his books. He raced out of the classroom, eager for his next lesson. As he walked down the hallway, he saw Bender standing at his locker. Brian wasn’t sure what to do – he and Bender had been in detention together, but did that change anything between them? He decided to keep walking, but he stole a glance towards Bender. As he did so, Bender caught his eye and yelled ‘Hey, Brian!’ Brian stopped in his tracks, slightly scared, as Bender walked up to him. He began to joke around with Brian in his usual slightly-demeaning way. He patted Brian on the back, and then left him to continue on to his next class. Brian breathed a sigh of relief – he was glad that Bender had not resorted to his old self, but instead acknowledged him in the hallway. Brian continued walking down the hallway, and had a similar encounter with Andy. He walked into Physics with the knowledge that they were sort-of friends now.
Andy walked through the door to 207, which was his Humanities class. He sat in the same chair he always sat in, surrounded by the same group of people, all vying for his attention. He cast a cautious look around the room, searching for Bender. He saw him at the back, feet propped up on his desk. Andy turned back to the front, expecting the usual trouble from Bender. Insults, dares and noises were all part of Bender’s daily entertainment. Andy had a feeling this lesson would be no different.
By the time the bell for lunch had rung, Bender had thrown every conceivable insult his way. As Bender heard the bell got up to race out of the door, he turned towards Andy and gave him a sly wink.
Claire walked into the cafeteria, and sat at the middle table. Andy soon joined her, and so did Allison. The three of them were chatting away merrily when Claire and Andy’s usual group of friends sat at the table. Allison looked a bit uneasy, but Claire and Andy introduced Allison to everyone, and although they were slightly stunned to see that Allison was the same girl they usually picked on (she was wearing the clothes and make up Claire had given her during the detention), they had an enjoyable lunch together.
It was now the sixth and final lesson of the day, and Claire was sitting in her maths class. She cast a look around her, and saw Brian sitting a few seats away. She gave him a small smile, barely noticeable, and continued looking around her. The seat directly behind her was empty, as was the back seat by the window. It seemed to her that both Bender and Allison had decided to skip maths. She turned back to the front, wondering what they were doing, and whether they were together at that moment.
Bender had just taken a swig of the cold Coke in his hand before Allison had snatched it away from him, cradling it in her arms. She too, drank it, albeit slowly, and he could not help but wonder why they had never been friends before. The final bell rang, and they both looked up. Bender said ‘see ya’, then strode off to meet Claire. Allison hurriedly got up and went to find Andy. The two of them were going home together, and she assumed that Bender and Claire were doing the same.
The four of them stood outside the front of the school, saying their goodbyes to one another. Brian came past, and they said goodbye to him too. On the way home, all five of the students thought over how their first day at school after that Saturday went, and they were all pleasantly surprised.
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