The next few days went by really quickly. Maybe because they had so much to do. They had to study for their exams, go to their daily classes, complete their assignments and submit their science projects. They had no time to even talk to each other these days. The examinations were starting on 23rd March, which means only two days were left.
The bell signaling that the time for the examination was over, rang once again and three out of five exams were now over. The teacher was collecting the copies. The girls were chattering about what result they were expecting for their French exam while Elle was sitting alone at the last seat. She knew she will get good results as she has always been good at French. She just wasn’t feeling like bragging about how good she did in her exam.
“How did your exam go?” Hannah came over to Elle.
“Yeah good.” Elle smiled, still sitting while Hannah was standing in front of her.
“You look quiet.” Hannah said leaning towards Elle.
“No, I am not quiet.” Elle quickly said.
“Umm, okay,” Hann said. She was now again standing straight.
“We are going to the cafeteria. You wanna come today?” she asked raising an eyebrow.
“All of you or just a few of you?” Elle asked.
“All of us. Now tell me. Are you coming or not?"
“Okay, I’ll come.” Elle stood up and started gathering her things from the desk.
“Thank God, you’re coming today. It’s literally the first time you’re coming with us during exams. I’ll just go and tell everyone. You pack your things.” Hann said and ran off towards the other girls.
“What the Hell!” Came out of Elle’s mouth right when they entered the cafeteria.
“What has happened here? I’ve never seen it so freakin’ crowded!” Elle said with her eyes wide open.
Mia chuckled but didn’t say anything. Not like Elle wanted her to say anything.
“It’s always this crowded during exams and not only at a specific time, believe me when I say it, it’s as crowded as this almost all the time.” Amy told looking around.
“Get used to it, girl.” Clara smiled.
The cafeteria was quite big with lots of shops but because of the number of people in it, it looked like it wasn’t big enough. There was a long line where ever they went but as they had no option, all of them got in one of the lines. Other lines were shorter as compared to the one Elle was standing in. It was the juice bar.
“I’ll have a strawberry shake please.” Elle was the last one to order among her friends.
They sat there enjoying their food for 15 to 20 minutes then headed towards the study room.
Elle didn’t study much. One of the reasons was that the exam was after two days and the other was that she wasn’t in the mood to study. So she left the study room and went to the pool. She wasn’t as good at swimming as she others were, but swimming was one of the things that used to make her feel fresh and new.
Everyone was getting ready for bed when Elle got back from the pool. She took a shower and dressed in her nightdress. She brushed her teeth and got to the dorm.
There was some usual argument going on between Natalie and Mia. Elle ignored them and went straight to bed without saying a word to anyone.
Elle was half awake when she heard someone’s footsteps in the middle of the night. At first, she thought it was one of the girls but when she peeked out of her blanket, it wasn’t. She laid still until she felt that the footsteps were not there anymore. She caught her breath, then slowly sat up and got out of the room trying not to wake anyone.
There was a dim light in the corridor but no one was there. Elle looked around for a while but when she didn’t see anyone, she decided to go back to the dorm, just when she saw a shadow going out of the dorm corridor. She ran right after the person but didn’t catch him. She even went to the Main Hall, but no one was there either. She was scared and concerned at the same time. She thought about telling a teacher or the Headmistress about it, but then she made herself stop. Even though she was scared as hell, she knew, whatever it is, it’s something she’s meant to do.
It was 6 when she woke up the next morning. Almost all of the girls were asleep but one of the beds was empty. It was very unusual as no one was allowed to be out of their dorms before sunrise. As she got out of her bed and wore her slippers, she noticed it was Mia’s bed that was empty.
Elle couldn’t think of any reason Mia was out of her bed. Everything that came into her mind was something she didn’t want to think. At last, she tried to brush these thoughts off as she went to her window.
A breeze of air, brushed her face when she opened the window. It was dark outside. The view was beautiful. Even though nothing could be seen because of the darkness, Elle always used to say, “I’ve got an eye for beauty. I can see it even in the dark.” And that’s what she was doing right now. Just staring in the dark and maybe looking at the view, no one could see.
It was fifteen minutes before the sun started rising. Elle was still standing at the window. The view could now be clearly seen. It was now more beautiful. The pool was right in front with the hills behind it making it look mesmerizing. The rosy rays of sun falling on the trees and the soft sound of birds chirping were pleasant to listen to.
All of this brought back a lot of memories. It was refreshing but upsetting at the same time for Elle. She was happy that she was here, that she was experiencing all of this again and this time with different people, different friends but in some part of her brain, she was regretting it. She was regretting that she came here, that she left everybody who wanted her the most, that she lost the best thing, the best relationship that has ever happened to her. She was regretting it and she was now crying too. She had been wanting to cry so hard for so long. She wanted to take the burden off of her chest that she was carrying for the past three months.
Elle was now sitting leaning against the wall, sobbing painfully. She had her hands on her face and her hair falling on her shoulders.
At that moment she didn’t care who was watching her. All she cared about was that she needed to take this burden off of her.
Tears continued rolling down her cheeks until she felt not a single tear was left. She got up and went to the bathroom. She washed her face but unfortunately, she still wasn’t feeling the best. That burden that she was trying to take off, was now even heavier.
She was now just standing in front of the mirror with her hands on the washbasin and her mind rewinding all the moments again. She pictured all the best moments she had with Hazel, all the memories they made together, everything they did together, and then came that one mistake, which ruined their friendship forever. The thoughts were still going on in her mind when she heard someone’s footsteps coming towards the Bathroom. The corridors were so quiet that any noise could be heard easily.
This silence was broken by the sound of the Bathroom door opening and Hannah entering with a big smile on seeing Elle. “Someone’s up early!” Hann exclaimed making a cute face and Elle had to admit, Hann was the most beautiful girl she had ever seen in her life. She was wearing shorts with an oversized Hoodie. Her hair was in a loose ponytail while her lightly freckled face had a charming smile on it. It was a minute before Elle realized that she was just staring at Hann blankly. “Yeah, I just woke up randomly at 6.”
“What about you? Why are you up so early? It’s just 7.” Elle asked looking at the wall clock in the Bathroom.
“I always wake up at this time. I like to work out a bit before starting my day. It gives me energy and makes me feel good.” Hann was now combing her hair. “You should try it sometime.” She suggested turning her face towards Elle for a second.
“Nah, It’s doesn’t suit me. It just makes me overwhelmed with emotions.” Elle was telling with a slight smile on her face.
“I say, it’s enough!” There was a screeching voice of the door and suddenly the room filled with the unexpectedly loud voice of Mia.
“Calm down girl! It’s early in the morning and we just woke up. You don’t have to scream!” Hann said holding her hand tightly against her ear.
“Oh yeah, right.” Mia said in a low voice. “Sorry girls! Didn’t mean to scare you!” Mia was now speaking in a deep voice, pretending to be someone. She had her hand in the air and was continuously saying something which neither Elle nor Hann was listening to.
“Are you guys even listening to me?” Mia got down from the wooden Wash Basin table she was sitting on and turned towards Hannah, who was now putting her things back in her bag.
“Hann! You listen to me!” Mia grabbed Hann from the shoulders.
Elle was very surprised to see this Mia being fun. That too in front of Elle which was kind of hard to swallow for her.
“Yes, your highness!” Hann said with a smile.
“The past two weeks were boring and dramatic as hell. And as this is the last week of the half-term, we should enjoy it, after all, it’s our right. And you know what, Hann?! We will enjoy it. I have plans in my mind.” Mia said still holding Hann.
“But Mia, it’s not like exams are over. We still have two left. Remember?” Hann picked her things up and started walking towards the door with Mia beside her.
Elle was still standing there, deciding whether she should hang with them or go to the dorm alone. Just when Hann turned around to look at Elle and smiled. “You waiting for an invitation? If yes, then that’s not gonna happen.”
Elle smiled and started walking next to Hann.
“Of course, I remember. But exams are ending on Tuesday and we will have 3 days after that. Just imagine, all the things we can do in those 3 days. No classes, no school work, nothing!” Mia had a sparkle in her voice.
“Huh Mia, you and your ideas!” Hann said putting her hand around Mia’s neck.
“We are going to the gym, Elle. You can come if you want.” Hann said looking at Elle.
“Nah, I think I’ll head back to the dorm,”
“Yeah okay, See ya in the study!” Hann said and went off towards the Activities Hall while Elle came back to the dorm.