The room was yellow. The kind of yellow that fills the bucket when you’ve got a funny tummy. The kind of yellow that a canary turns after death. Sickly, waxy, pale yellow. The ceiling was painted white but faded to a sickly grey, aside from the growing damp which was a sandy brown. The same brown as the blinds that were pinned against the top of the windows. Decent sized windows. Big enough to wriggle through if they had opened wide enough. They looked onto the backs of the neighboring houses. Their fences were low enough to see into the gardens, and sometimes the houses.
There was one incident where a couple in their house... showed their passion for each other, naked, against their window. During a year ten lesson. A couple of students were looking out of the window rather than paying attention, and quickly the lesson deteriorated.
Since then the people had invested in curtains. The story, however, had only spread further through the school. Even the brand new year sevens knew about it.
At the front of the room was the teacher’s desk. It was full of wires and weird looking connection devices, and unmarked papers. The flat screen computer was connected to the florescent orange projector that shone onto the interactive screen. That was the second most expensive system in the school.
With those in every classroom, and the fancy Apple Mac suite, it was no wonder that there was little money anywhere else. Despite the religious department being out of writing paper for the rest of term, the PE department had managed to scrape together enough cash for a brand new Sports Hall to be built where the field used to be. Unfortunately not enough to keep the field.
The money spilled over to just about afford a renovation of four labs. The damp was painted over. It soon seeped its way back though.
Mr Rah was sitting at his computer, updating his internet dating profiles for the third time that week. He had told the girls what to do, and assumed they were listening and were now working. They weren’t. Despite the ban on headphones, almost every girl in the class had theirs in as they watched YouTube videos, or played games online.
The schools firewall password had been changed when Mr Conduit was promoted to deputy head. Before then, it had never been changed, and the password was gifted to younger years, so they could access banned websites on the school computers. Since then, a dedicated group of girls from a mix of year groups, had spent their spare time (and ICT time) trying to hack the new password.
Two months ago they had cracked it, but it was taking time for them to leak the password to the rest of the school. In fact, some of them were charging for the information. But Sapphire had watched one of these girls type the password into her phone, and made a note of it.
The new password was “1<35CH00L”.
Everyone was severely disappointed in Mr Conduit.
Now though, Sapphire was lounging back in the spinney chair, photo-shopping cartoonish underwear onto boy band members. Or angry Pepe frogs onto their faces. Simi kicked away from the wall, sending the chair gliding to sapphire’s side.
“What’re you doing?” Simi asked.
“Nothin’. Bored,” sapphire shrugged.
“Check this email the English department just sent out,” Simi said.
Sapphire clicked off of Photoshop, and pulled up her emails. Her inbox was as cluttered and unorganised as every other aspect of her life. At the very top, however, was what she was looking for.
“That’s a mess,” Simi said.
Sapphire shrugged, “works for me.”
As did every other aspect of her unorganised life too.
The email was a reminder that everyone in year 11 had to report to the library for their English lessons. Usually that ended up with three classes of thirty, jammed into a hexagon room. No one would go into the library if it was avoidable – except for book fairs, but that’s a different story – because of the miserable old bint who called herself Mrs Young. The librarian. She had huge great claws, painted in streaks, and boney elbows and chin, and glasses that magnified her face to make her look bug-eyed. She scowled, furiously, at everyone who came in.
the room itself was fine. It was lined with huge windows that looked out into the carpark, and half a dozen computers sat beneath them. Laptops were also available at the front, beside the librarian’s desk.
It was the same typical design of half white wall, and half colour as the rest of the school. Unfortunately the colour they had chosen was the same vomit yellow as upstairs. The library was full of metal book shelves on wheels, which provided strangely excellent cover to hide from staff members while you pretended to work. There were also soft, pea green, Ikea sofas in full view of staff. A huge collection of cushions were first come first serve if you wanted to sit on the hardwood floor.
The library would have been quite a lovely place to stay and study in comfort if it wasn’t for the demon in charge.
“I don’t want to go to the library,” Simi groaned.
“At least everyone else will be there. We can make it fun,” sapphire said.
Simi gave sapphire an unconvinced look.
“If we can make hiding in a stairwell fun, we can make the library fun too,” sapphire said, firmly.
Simi remained unconvinced. Sapphire printed off her photos of 5 Seconds of Summer, with frogs for heads, and giggled to herself as she did. While she was on her way to the printer, her phone started buzzing.
Phones had been banned at their school for a year now, but that had stopped literally no one from using them. Even in lesson. Especially when computers were involved. Anyone who brought in a USB lead was guaranteed to use it to charge their phone from the computer. It was easier that way.
“Your phone!” Simi gestured to it, laying blatantly on the desk between them.
Sapphire picked up her phone, in full view of Mr Rah who ignored it completely.
“It’s a snap chat from Hanna. There’s a van outside from a media company. Maybe 5th lesson won’t be so dull!” Sapphire smirked.
“Film crew? Here? Why? Man’s not gonna watch anything with these ugly hoes in,” Simi said.
“It’s gonna be all about the most awesome queen here,” Sapphire said and raised her and to her chin, “me!”
Simi scoffed, “Bismillah.”
English in the library made the girls huddle in the corner. Simi and Sapphire had left class early to secure sitting space and cushions. They had to sit on the floor. They sat, hidden between towering bookshelves - these were labelled History and Geography, but held all sorts of abandoner books in no particular order - beneath a huge window, against a radiator. The window was open a crack, and a trickle of a cool breeze snuck in, to stop them overheating.
Where they were was naturally well lit, snug, warm, cosy and undisturbed. There was even the option of sitting on thin IKEA cushions that were yellow and green and together resembled snot. It would have been a fairly lovely place to spend their time studying. Would be, if it weren’t for the librarians.
They were surrounded by poetry books. Piles of books had been knocked, sprawling across the desk or onto the floor or over bags or under shelves. They were getting badly dog-eared. Sapphire read out a poem dramatically. She had grown fed up of the drone of bored students when reading. Especially with two drama students beside her. She had taken it upon herself to liven things up.
“Here’s one,” she sat up in surprise as she found one she might actually use.
“Is it another song?” Ravi asked.
Sapphire grinned. She had been known to obsess over music. And musicians. Mostly musicians.
“I considered it, but no. This one’s by someone called Tania Buchanan. It’s about the wind and everything, that’s why it made me think of Brave,” Sapphire explained.
The Breath of Wind
Feel her twirl
Feel her dance
Feel her brush across your skin
The breath of wind
See her rush
See her spin
See her run far and fast
The breath of wind
Hear her whistle
Hear her scream
Hear her everywhere you go
The breath of wind
She flies from country to country
She flies to whip water into waves
She flies hurricanes and kites as kin
The breath of wind
She travels with my heart,
She travels far from home
She travels where I want to go
The breath of wind
She can’t be held
She can’t be stopped
She can’t be kept
She is the wind
And she is as free as she is restless.
When Sapphire had finished, she laid the page in front of her and smoothed the pages flat. She waited for their praise. She wouldn’t say another word until it came, so the others applauded quietly in sarcastic approval. Sapphire mocked a bow. The library yelled for the clapping to stop. She couldn’t see who was doing it. Simi raised her middle finger at her desk, safety hidden by the books.
“Won’t they be suspicious if we all do the same poem?” Ravi asked.
“They could be proud that we used our initiative to work together and build on our ideas!” Sapphire shrugged.
It was a wild hope that seemed constantly just out of reach. A teacher? Here? Proud of a student? Never.
“That’s not how it’s done in exams,” Ravi said.
Seven little words that had been engraved into their minds by teachers who never stopped repeating it in the middle of their dwindling speeches. It was that and, “Your exams are (insert number here) weeks away, and you’re too useless to care!”
“They won’t accept essays that have the same ideas, but they’re going to give us an identical poem in the exam? They’re going to expect similar ideas!” Sapphire argued.
It was hard to fault the logic of Sapphire’s logic. There was only one point that could do so effectively.
“This is Coulsdon High Academy for Vocational Studies! They accused me of plagiarizing a Spanish essay on my own family,” Zangi reminded her.
“They accused me of exaggerating the pain I was in when I had an appendicitis because they were convinced it was period pains,” Ravi added.
“They accused me of faking a funereal to get a day off of school,” Tiana added.
“If there was someone who would likely do that, it’s you,” Sapphire grinned.
“True, but I don’t think my granny would agree. God rest her soul,” Tiana smirked.
Sapphire (an Italian catholic) crossed herself out of habit. at the same time, Tahati respectfully muttered, “Allah yirhama.”
“Don’t bother, she’s not near any God, unless you count Hades,” Tiana smirked.
After a slight disagreement over whether or not Hades was a God, they moved on.
“Why don’t we just write our own poems?! Then we’ll know how to analyse it effectively!” Tahati insisted.
“That’s bare effort Man, I ain’t doing that!” Simi kissed her teeth.
“Ti?” Sapphire began, sweetly.
It was the kind of sweet that is lined with suspicion. The kind of sweet that you use to ask your mother for something she’s going to say no to. The kind of sweet you have to butter up first.
“You’re pretty damn good at English. Could you knock up five or six poems by Thursday?”
“Oh easily. I’ve already got loads, you could have one of them, I don’t really care,” Tiana shrugged.
“Can we? You got any easy ones?” Zangi asked hopefully.
“Well, Tahati has copies of all of them. She was supposed to illustrate them, but she’s so lazy-” Tiana began.
“I didn’t have time!” Tahati interrupted to argue.
“You had time to cry over a story about a pencil, and to fix the bottle of truth, but you didn’t have time to draw a few pictures?!” Tiana argued back.
With a deadly seriousness, Tahati replied, “The bottle of truth mattered!”
The bottle of truth was just a water bottle that had some dents in it. A few times – coincidences probably – they would ask a question about one of them (Who is most likely to get a detention next? For example) and the bottle of truth would land on the person that they would have guessed (Tahati. She had Miss Crank next and left her book at home for the fifth time that month).
“I like that poem though. The wind one. I like the idea of just flying free with the wind,” Zangi said.
“That’s because you’re skinny enough to be a kite!” Simi spat.
“And?” Zangi shrugged.
“You know… There’s nothing to stop you running away with the wind. That’s what airplanes are for. They’ve literally got AIR in the name!” Sapphire pointed out.
“Like we could ever afford plane tickets!” Simi scoffed.
“You could get them cheap!” Sapphire shrugged.
“Sapphire, there’s a jar of one and two pence pieces in our locker, that we’ve been saving a year to get, to go to Thorpe Park. We still don’t have enough! We can’t afford plane tickets!” Ravi argued.
“Damn you guys are broke!” Sapphire said, as if she were shocked.
There was literally no words spoken after that, but Tiana raised her hands out flat as if presenting something obvious. Simi pressed a hand to each of her cheeks and opened her mouth in fake shock. It was the usual sarcasm again.
“Same though,” Sapphire laughed.
“What about your job?” Ravi asked.
“Blew it all on backstage passes to a gig next month,” Sapphire said.
The others rolled their eyes. She did this all the time. They had come to expect it.
Try as they might though, the idea of fleeing with the wind didn’t leave them. Wouldn’t leave them. It was always there, whistling through their thoughts.
But then again it’s always there in everyone really.
Since the head teacher was still on one of her holidays, the film crew were crammed into Mr Edwards’ office. His office was a square with four chairs against a wall, a pile of paperwork on a table by the window, and a computer on a desk. There was also a few dozen thank you and greatest teacher cards pinned to his wall, to remind him of the students who liked him. There was considerably less these days.
Mr Edwards was shoved up against his computer so that the film crew could fit in. Even though there was only two of them, a camera, Mr Edwards, and Mr O’Malley (who had come to be nosey) it was uncomfortable. Mr Chaudhuri sat outside of the door, on a metal filing cabinet, listening in. Mr O’Malley moved to lean against the doorway so he could steal some of Mr Chaudhuri’s Doritos, and to have more room.
“How can we help you?” Mr Edwards asked, with his charming smile.
Anyone who knew him knew that this smile meant nothing was going to be done, but he gave it anyway because it made people feel reassured. Usually.
“Our company is making a new tour guide with interesting tourist spots, for foreign students. We need some photographs of the places that we’re advertising, so they know what to look out for. Since it’s a student magazine, we thought we’d get a student to take them. That way they’re more authentic,” one explained.
“Smart,” Mr O’Malley chimed in.
“Thanks. We’d like one of your students,” the crew explained.
“Why?” Mr O’Malley scoffed.
He bit his tongue when Mr Edwards glared at him. Clearly Mr O’Malley wasn’t allowed to tell the truth about this school, and how the students were really not smart, or talented, in any way.
(The fact that no teacher ever tried to nourish talent, or reward natural intelligence is neither here nor there.)
One of the crew shot a look at the other, silently warning them not to tell the truth.
They had already been to a dozen other schools who had refused, and this was just the next one they saw.
“Because of the reputation of excellent behaviour from your students,” the other lied.
Mr Chaudhuri choked on a Dorito.
“Of our girls?!” Mr O’Malley scoffed.
Mr Edwards glared at them both to shut up.
“We need someone who is skilled with a camera and willing to travel away from their family for up to a month,” the crew continued.
“Most of our girls are Asian,” Mr Chaudhuri warned.
The crew looked at him, confused. “Alright?”
Mr Chaudhuri , as the only Asian man in the room, was the only one to see his point.
“I wouldn’t allow my daughter out alone with a camera for a month!” He explained.
A crew member shook his head. “She wouldn’t be alone, our driver, Tristan, would look after her.”
“A man?! Oh sure, leave my daughter defenceless against his advances for a month!” Mr O’Malley scoffed again, and reached for the Doritos. “You’re a fool.”
The crew members looked at each other. “Maybe we should take more than one girl. There’s protection in numbers.”
“And company. More money but less hassle?”
Mr Chaudhuri snorted with derision but went ignored.
“I’ll make the call after this meeting.”
All the while Mr Edwards had been thinking. “Who’s that English girl who told Mr Rah that he was an imbecile because he couldn’t use a camera properly?”
“Tiana McKenzie,” Mr Chaudhuri answered almost immediately.
Mr O’Malley grinned, “She’s hilarious that one. And good with a camera, she did the entire gallery of science photos.”
“Get her,” Mr Edwards ordered.
Tiana filmed Zangi in the front camera of her phone, as Zangi folded a sheet of paper into a plane. Concentrating so hard caused the tip of Zangi’s tongue to poke out of her mouth. Tiana zoomed in on it, giggling. As Zangi finished her plane, she lifted it up to show it off excitedly. Sapphire finished her a moment or two later. It looked much swisher and better kept.
Tiana zoomed the camera out to fit them both in. “Ready? Go!”
They both threw at the same time. Sapphires swept across the library like a bird in glide. Zangi’s soared like a brick. Tiana laughed at her. loudly. until Zangi punched her arm with all her might. That made Tiana laugh louder, but also grip her arm.
“Is Tiana here?”
Simi smacked Tiana to get her attention. They knelt on the cushions and peered through the geography shelf, to look for who was asking. They looked like meerkats.
“I think its O’Malley. They’re bald,” Simi whispered.
“Its O’Malley or Robertson,” Ravi said.
“Why would Robertson want Tiana and not me too?” Zangi asked.
“Because Tiana’s interesting,” Sapphire said.
Zangi scowled. Tiana shot her a smug smirk. Not just because of the compliment, but because of the way they were kneeling up, peeping over the top of the bookshelf.
“Tiana?” Miss Isha called.
“It’s got to be O’Malley,” Ravi whispered.
“Why would he want me?” Tiana asked.
“Probably because you stole the hat off of his skeleton,” Zangi said.
“And left a note,” Simi added.
“He couldn’t trace that back to me,” Tiana insisted.
“We had a whole lesson on chromatography that says otherwise!” Ravi stated bluntly.
“Let’s hope not, I used your pen!” Tiana grinned.
The others giggled at Ravi’s shocked face as Tiana heaved herself to her feet.
“Tiana?!” Miss Isha called again, sharper this time.
She sounded worried. She was a lovely woman, Miss Isha. Dark hair, dark skin, dark eyes, but a bright personality and a brighter wardrobe. She was the typical sassy English teacher that sparked inspiration and creativity in her students. Even the lost causes loved her.
“I’m right here,” Tiana said.
Miss Isha looked up at her. She beamed when she met her eye. The worry melted instantly.
“There you are! I thought you’d walked out for a moment there!” miss Isha chuckled, “you’re wanted.”
Tiana looked up at Mr O’Malley. He flashed her an impish grin. As much as Tiana liked him – and she did like him, he was a laugh and he cared more than he let on – she didn’t trust him. Why would she? He was half Scottish; She was half Scottish. The mistrust was in her genes.
“What have I done?” she asked immediately.
“Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble,” Mr O’Malley’s voice fluxed as he chuckled. Tiana frowned suspiciously at him. He couldn’t stop grinning, “look at her, she’s so worried!”
Tahati tugged Tiana’s blazer pocket. She left Sapphire’s (stolen) pen that could hold audio recording. She used it to wind up her classmates and teachers by playing tinny Busted songs in the middle of class. Tiana picked it up. She rolled it between her fingers anxiously as she waited to be allowed to leave.
“Behave yourself miss. I know what you’re like, you’ll get yourself into trouble before your exams finish!” Miss Isha warned her, seriously.
“I’ve got like two weeks before my exams finish, I’ll be fine!” Tiana laughed.
“You’d better be!” Miss Isha pointed at her, warningly.
Mr O’Malley nodded firmly, to underline her point. Then he grinned, and led her out of the library. Once they were back in the pea green and custard powder yellow corridor, they were alone.
“So what have I done?” Tiana asked.
“Probably loads of things. Stolen my hat for starters, and I’ll be having that back,” Mr O’Malley held out his hand.
Tiana grinned. “It’s in my bag, in the libarary.”
Mr O’Malley stopped in the middle of the corridor. “I’ll wait.”
Once she had got back and handed the white beanie to him, he smirked smugly.He pulled it down, firmly, over his shiny bald head as they wandered through the corridor.
She hesitated outside his classroom door, but he continued walking. This threw her a little, but she followed him regardless. The moment that she realized where they were heading she felt ice creep down her spine.
Mr O’Malley opened the office door, and held it open for her to pass through.
Mr Edwards flashed his fake charming smile. Mr Chaudhuri gave a genuine smile, and waved with Doritos dust covered fingers. That added to her suspicion. The two men she didn’t recognize smiled politely. Mr O’Malley pulled off his hat. Tiana twisted the pen. The pen flashed as it began recording.
“Captain,” Tiana nodded. He nodded back, trying not to sigh. “So what have I done?”
There was a ripple of laughter from the staff. That didn’t ease her nerve in any way.
“You told Mr Rah that he was an imbecile because he couldn’t use a camera properly,” Mr Chaudhuri explained.
“No I didn’t! I said if Mr Rah took a lesson in photography he wouldn’t handle the camera like an imbecile. It’s creative criticism!” Tiana argued.
The film crew shared a hesitant look. Mr Edwards moved swiftly on. He had had enough of Tiana and her friends constantly misbehaving. CCTV footage showed that she had had something to do with the explosion. It wasn’t clear what, but it was something.
They were constantly making trouble in ways that couldn’t be proved so they couldn’t be punished like they deserved. He’d gotten fed up of them. So had the head teacher... If he could get rid of them, then maybe she’d consider him over Mr Conduit in their next promotion!
The film crew had to take them away. He needed them too. He needed her gone.
“What are you doing next year Tiana?” Mr Edwards asked pointedly.
“Leaving this dump,” Tiana answered the exact same way she had answered every time they asked her before.
“Tiana,” Mr Chaudhuri said, warningly.
“Leaving this “school”,” she put the word in inverted commas with her fingers.
“Where are you going?” Mr O’Malley asked.
“College. Or an apprenticeship, I haven’t decided,” she shrugged.
“What will you do there?” Mr O’Malley asked.
“Photography. I’m not training Mr Rah if that’s what this is about. He calls me sweetheart and darling and little girl and I’m not putting up with that patriotization if I’m in charge,” Tiana said, firmly.
“We’re not asking you to train Mr Rah-” Mr Edwards began.
“You really should get someone to, he handles the camera like a chimp with a tablet,” Tiana stated.
“Tiana,” Mr Chaudhuri warned again.
She got the note and silently agreed to stop being so... So arrogant. Mr Edwards gestured for her to sit. Reluctatntly she obeyed. He gestured to the crew in turn.
“This is Eric and Stefan,” He said.
Tiana smiled, warmly. “Pleasure to meet you.”
Immediately she forgot their names.
Back when Zangi and Ravi were attempting to date boys from the school down the road, Sapphire had given them two pieces of advice. The first was to be careful because there was a douche in every friendship group and he had to be avoided. The second was to be nice to everyone who was in the group, but hadn’t wronged them yet. Just because they’re friends with douche-bags doesn’t mean they are one.
Ever since then, all of the girls had taken that advice on board. There was no need to be bitchy to someone first when you could just slaughter them when they start.
“They’re looking for a bright young photographer to go up and down the country taking photos,” Mr Edwards explained.
“Up and down this country?” Tiana pointed down at the ground to specify.
“Yes,” they nodded.
“This huge great, wet rock of grass and sheep?”
Tiana was quiet for a while as she stared at the floor, thinking. She glanced up at Mr O’Malley momentarily, and thought of Tahati.
“Can we go to Scotland?” she asked.
“Well we were thinking of staying in England-” Stefan began.
“Hard pass, England is the worst country in the UK,” Tiana declared.
Mr O’Malley – the Dundee born Indian-Scotsman - laughed, “Agreed!”
Tiana grinned at him. The others rolled their eyes. One of the men from the film crew adjusted his sitting position. It was then that Tiana realised just how full of adult men in authority, her all-girls high school was.
“Tiana, we are offering you the perfect opportunity to build up your portfolio, and publish your photos. Any college and university -“
“I’m not going to university. I can’t afford it,” Tiana interrupted.
The film crewman cleared his throat a little. “Well we could offer you a small commission of-”
“Anything less than a thousand quid is too little,” Tiana lied.
The film crew looked shocked; The teachers (well Mr Chaudhuri and Mr O’Malley) looked amused.
“Are you kidding me?” Eric asked.
“Tiana that’s impractical,” Mr Edwards warned.
“You offered us a thousand pounds if we did that Jack Petchey crap, and then it turned out that we didn’t get it, the school did. I don’t think it’s impractical to ask for the same amount, especially since I’ll be doing all the work,” she stared into his eyes as she added, “Again.”
Mr Edwards covered his face with his hand in embarrassment. it was okay for him. Mummy had already paid his university bills back in the 2000s. He didn’t understand the youths need for money.
“We can go up to three hundred,” Stefan said.
“Seven,” she countered.
“Four and you can bring your friends,” he countered.
She looked suspicious. “Four hundred and a photo holiday with my friends? What’s the catch? Is it camping?”
“No catch,” Eric insisted.
“There’s always a catch,” she scoffed.
“True,” Mr Chaudhuri said.
“Cynical,” Mr O’Malley said.
“Comes from the school. What’s. The. Catch?” Tiana repeated.
There was a long, lingering silence as Eric and Stefan both silently debated telling them the truth. But there was no chance they’d agree to that. Being stuck in a van with the most miserable man either of them had ever met, going to the most boring places in Britain, was surely something they’d never agree to. Knowingly.
“You’ll have to spend almost all your time in a van with Tristan,” Eric warned..
Tiana hummed thoughtfully. “Tristan... and my friends?”
“I guess,” they shrugged.
“Five friends?” she asked.
“That’s not practical,” Stefan said.
“Wait - which five?” Mr Edwards asked urgently.
She frowned at him and shrugged. “Zangi, Ravi, Sapphire, Simi and Tahati.”
We can get rid of all six of them without losing funding, and improving our reputation for student aid, rather than make it worse by excluding even more students. The head will get relief, and I will look good in her eyes. Better than Mr Conduit. It’s an all-round win. Mr Edwards thought.
But what he said was, “There’s safety in numbers. You don’t want rumours if endangering school girls now, do you?”
“The budget-“ they began in protest before Mr Edwards waved his hand to silence them.
“I’m sure we can come to some arrangement to level the budget.”
Out of his own - or his Mummy's - pocket if it came to it.
The film crew considered these outrageous demands. Then they considered the last thirteen schools they had gone to that had refused to let any student go so close to their exams. No other school would either. They came to a silent agreement.
“If we give you four hundred pounds, allow you five friends, and make sure you don’t have to go camping, will you do a professional job?” they asked urgently.
Tiana shrugged. “Yeah sure. make sure I get some good equipment and I’ll do it.”
"Of course you'd get good equiptment!" Stefan insisted.
"Then sure," Tiana shrugged as if her insides werent glowing with joy, "I'd be happy to."
“Awesome!” Eric beamed with relief.
“We’ll get your details from your head of year, and call your mother to set everything up. Everything will be arranged,” the other asked.
“Cool beans can I go back to class now?” Tiana asked.
“Of course,” Mr Edwards nodded.
Tiana wasn’t escorted back to class. This was good for her, because she couldn't stop beaming, and practically danced down the corridor.
She slipped in through the library door, alone and unnoticed. Until her arm was grabbed by Simi and she was dragged back down to the floor.
“Give the pen!” Tahati demanded.
Her hand was already in Tiana’s pocket, looking for it. Tiana was unsurprised by this. They practiced pickpocketing on each other all the time. Not well though. Ever.
As they came to the end of the recording, all of them looked over at Tiana, who was reading a poetry and pointedly ignoring them.
This was followed by a lot of excited yelling.
This was followed by a lot of telling off.
This was ignored.
This was the reason they were kicked out of the library.
While sitting on one of the lunch tables, under a canopy, in the middle of the playground, they began to get into analysis.
“Is it true? Is it possible that something interesting might happen to us? Could it even happen?” Zangi asked.
“Looks like it!” Ravi laughed.
“Don’t get your hopes up mate, this is Caul Girls after all. We once had to cancel a trip to the high street because it was raining too hard,” Sapphire reminded them.
“That won’t happen now will it? It won’t rain will it?” Simi asked desperately.
“You’ve lived in England, what, fourteen years now? You should know to always expect rain,” Tiana reminded her, "You’ve always got to expect rain in England. It’s just the heaviness that changes."