At that moment, all Alex wanted was to sink into the ground and disappear. He’d never felt so awkward in all his life, but something about Aurora made the butterflies in his stomach multiply.
Before Peter could respond though, a group of six girls come storming through the hallway, the students still in the hallway leaping out of their way. One voice could be heard above all others, Jessica. She’d seen Aurora and, with the click of her fingers, stopped the group of cheerleaders beside her brother’s locker.
“Are these two losers bothering you?” she asked, barging her way in between Alex and Peter, “why don’t you let me show you around?”.
Aurora eyed Jessica and the cheerleaders cautiously.
“They haven’t bothered me in the slightest” she replied calmly, “and I don’t think I need you to show me arou…”.
Jessica lunged forward and seized Aurora’s arm, giving the girl no choice but to follow. “Come on; you really don’t want to spend any more time with those two”.
Another click of her fingers, and the cheerleaders resumed their march through the hallway, Aurora’s bobbing head almost indistinguishable amongst all the others.
“She really is the devil reborn” spat Peter in disgust once Jessica was out of earshot, “don’t you think?”.
Alex continued to stare into the empty space that Aurora had occupied.
“Oh, and thanks for nothing,” Peter turned towards his friend, black eyes frustrated, “the one time a good-looking girl actually wants to talk to us, and you go quiet as a mouse”.
The final bell rung through the now empty hallway, signalling that lessons had started for the day.
“We’re late,” was all Alex could bring himself to say, thoughts caught between the shadow stalking him and a new girl who’d stolen his heart.
When Alex and Peter arrived at their first class of the new year, it was with a touch of trepidation. History had never been their favourite class, and the prehistoric looking teacher stood at the front could have come straight from one of their history books. Mrs Kinker had the kind of face that made a person uncomfortable, leathery lizard like skin and huge crescent shaped glasses giving her the appearance of a snake. Every student in the room felt like her next victim, not sure whether she wanted to teach, or bite them instead.
Sprinting into the classroom, they prayed that she wouldn’t notice how late they were, taking the closest seats to the door and promptly collapsing into them. They’d made names for all the teachers in the school. Mrs Kinker was, rather predictably, the basilisk, while their mathematics teacher was known as the easter bunny because of his big pointy ears and bald scalp.
“Did you think I wouldn’t notice how late you two are?” she said suddenly, whirling around to stare at them intensely.
She really was the basilisk when she gave someone that stare, both Alex and Peter unable to move even an inch before the twitch of her eye brought their bodies ridged again.
“It’s the first class of a new year and you two still cannot make it on time”.
Slamming a textbook down on each of their desks, so hard that the table legs wobbled, she pointed to a neat little scribble across the classroom’s blackboard. The words ‘Open your pages to chapter 1’ were written in bold yellow chalk. When Peter gave a petulant little huff, his braveness momentarily getting the better of him, Mrs Kinker placed both hands dangerously onto the front of his desk and stared deep into his soul.
“Do you have a problem with that Peter?” she asked, daring him to answer back.
Unsurprisingly, he remained silent, much to the sneers of others in the classroom.
“That’s what I thought,” continued Mrs Kinker in her condescending tone, “now be a good little boy and open your textbook to chapter 1”.
The flash of anger in Peter’s eyes made Alex think for a moment that his friend would do the unthinkable, give the basilisk attitude, but another voice from the doorway brought a halt to any retaliation.
suffer from the past, to long for the future, but to forget the present.
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