The door rattled and shook with the fury of fists pounding against it. Then stopped. The students stared as a heavy silence prevailed. They then glanced warily at each other. Mrs. Kaler had her arms out as if she could protect all the students should it come to that, her expression grim and determined.
“Well, this is interesting.” A cold, deceptively gentle voice whispered. Nononononono. Dread settled in her stomach. This can’t be happening. Not now. The hand in her lap clenched into a fist to hide the tremors. Why now? Go away.
The lock on the door handle clicked. Ever so slowly, the handle turned, and with a creak, the door gently swung open. Time seemed to have stilled. All eyes were transfixed on the door. Waiting to see who would walkthrough.
Hello? Anyone there? Amelia called out in her head. Silence greeted her. I see. It’s ignoring me. Good. I wonder what’s going on in everyone else’s head?
A navy, pant-clad leg came through the door, followed by the second leg and the rest of the body. Shoulders slumped in relief, and a collective exhale of breaths sounded throughout the room. Behind the officer, in walked the school’s principal.
“So far, you guys are the worst class.” The officer stood with his arms crossed, appearing intimidating as the class endured the lecturing. “Never have I seen a more immature class of grade 11′s.” Students ducked their heads, hiding smirks. “The entire school aside from this class was silent. I could hear Jeremy, Valerie and Nathan from across the hall.” Valerie rolled her eyes, resulting in the sounds of muffled snickers.
“- 2 page reflections due by tomorrow after lunch. If there are any complaints, I’ll require a parent’s signature.” Amelia had tuned out the principal but had snapped to attention at that last part.
The moment the principal left, Amelia turned to her friends. “What? I wasn’t listening. I had zoned out, then I hear 2-page reflections?” Amelia’s fingers drummed along the edge of a nearby table. “What is happening?” Arya placed her hand on Amelia’s fingers, stilling them.
“Basically, because we didn’t take the lockdown seriously, we have detention in lunch tomorrow and have to write a 2-page reflection on the importance of lockdowns and following instructions.” Valerie, Arya and Tanya all made annoyed, disgusted faces. “Ugh,” Amelia groaned. “Thanks, Sam.”
The bell signalling the end of school started ringing. Amelia grabbed her stuff and began packing her bag, preparing to leave. This is such a pain. Why are we all going on detention? Mom and dad will kill me if they find out. Whatever. Amelia sighed.
Seeing who stood at the end of the street, waiting for her, Amelia let out a huff, glancing skyward. “Why do you always show up on the days I get in trouble with the principal?”
He quirked an eyebrow. “Hmm? You got in trouble again, I see.” Amelia’s glare, widening the smile on his face. “So?” Amelia challenged, “You’re always doing dumb things and getting in trouble.” He turned to her, a response ready.
“Mimi, wait up,” Tanya called out, running towards them. “Stefan? Hey, You.” Tanya, pausing to catch her breath, before continuing, “Stop stealing Mimi.” Amelia turned to see Tanya heading for them and flashed a grin. “Hmmm.” She hummed. “I’m so used to calling you Anike I tend to forget that’s not your name.”
Stefan smiled indulgently at her as they waited for Tanya to catch up with them. “What does Anike even mean?” Amelia glanced at him, a contemplative look on her face, before smirking impishly and turning her head the other way. “Now I’m worried,” Stefan said, looking anything but worried.
“Didn’t you say Mimi likes you most? Why worried, Stefan?” Tanya teased, having caught up with them. “Where did all that confidence go?” The sound of tires screeching and horns blaring drowned out Amelia’s laughter at Stefan’s predicament.
The cool autumn breeze ruffled her hair. Hanging back, allowing Stefan and Tanya to banter uninterrupted, her glance wandered from the deep black of the street to the beautiful blue-grey of the sky. Her gaze then took in the beginnings of red, orange, magenta, maroon, yellow and brown in the various shades of otherwise green leaves. I love Canada. It’s so beautiful, and I will never tire of its winters and falls.
“Amelia, I know your legs are short, but try and keep up.” Stefan shot over his shoulder, interrupting her thoughts. Lifting an eyebrow, Amelia made no move to catch up with them. “C’mon, I have someone to introduce to you two.” Amelia looked past him and realized they were headed for the park. Her curiosity getting the better of her, she picked up her pace.
They walked a short distance further before reaching the park. Amelia looked quizzically at Stefan, then Tanya, who shrugged. Stefan smirked at Amelia’s open curiosity but walked on. They soon came in sight of a tall curly-haired teenager, his head bent over his phone. “Jasper.” The stranger lifted his head, looking in their direction. A grin broke out over his face. “Stephan.” The boys slapped each other on the back.
Stefan turned to the girls, who stood staring at them. Tanya wore a bored and disinterested countenance. Amelia peered wide-eyed from behind Tanya’s shoulder, her head tilted inquisitively. Stefan leaned an arm on the other guy’s shoulder. “This is my sidekick.” Tanya lifted her eyebrows. “Hey,” she greeted nonchalantly.
Amelia smiled shyly, stepping around Tanya. “Hi. Nice meeting you. I’m Amelia.” Jasper’s deep brown eyes landed on them. “Yo. Jasper, nice meeting ya.” He seems friendly. He has a warm voice, but I don’t think he talks much. Why are we meeting new people again? Anike could at least give some warning before making me meet new people. At that thought, Amelia’s forehead creased slightly.
“Remember how I moved?” Stefan’s voice drew Amelia out of her thoughts, snapping her attention to him. “Jasper lives nearby, so he’s walking home with me from now on.”
Tanya nodded her head. “Okay, that’s nice. I’m Tanya, by the way.” Stefan began moving. “Now I’m not the only guy, and I don’t have to suffer, listening to you two.” Jasper fell into step beside Stefan while Amelia walked alongside Tanya. “We have our own inside jokes that the two of you won’t understand, and we talk non-stop.” The girls glanced at each other.
A few days ago, they had walked home, Stefan accompanying them. They had spent the time reminiscing, leaving Stefan excluded from the convo and annoyed. Finally, he demanded they change the topic. However, noticing that it irritated him, the two continued. At the time, Stefan had promised he would make them regret it. The girls had laughed it off, taking pleasure in bothering him.
Tanya leaned in close to Amelia’s ear. “Is this his idea of making us regret excluding him last time?” Not bothering to whisper, Amelia replied with, “It would seem so.” Tanya’s lips curved upward. Amelia, knowing her friend well, stayed silent, waiting to see what Tanya would do. “We’re not letting that Baka have his way, are we?” Suppressing a smile, Amelia shifted her eyes to Stefan. “If we did, we’d never hear the end of it. And that, is unacceptable.”
They high-five each other but came to a stop. “Oof,” Tanya turned a sympathetic face to Amelia. “This is where I leave.” They were standing at an intersection. “Take care, Mimi. Good luck.” Sighing deeply, Amelia hugged Tanya goodbye and watched her leave.
Turning away from where Tanya was becoming smaller and smaller in the distance, Amelia found the two boys waiting on her. Stefan wore an arrogant smirk, and his eyes twinkled with the promise of revenge. He’s not going to make this easy, is he? A cold presence invaded her thoughts. “Were you not the one who went out of your way to antagonizing him?” Ugh. Why are you here?
“Mimi, let’s walk already.” Stefan’s voice jolted Amelia from her thoughts. “Stop spacing out.” Amelia found him grinning at her, and she narrowed her eyes in response. “So Jasper, how’s Chainsaw Man?” Stefan had resumed walking, Jasper beside him, Amelia trailing along. “I downloaded the entire manga. It’s pretty good.” Stefan pulled out his phone as he talked.
He gets his phone now. A muscle ticked in Amelia's jaw as her teeth clenched. I'm going to hit him. On the head. With a chair. The first chance I get.