The darkness gripped me, and it wasn’t letting go. It dragged me down into the dark. My mind was blurry as darkened figures gathered around with talon-like claws. Scratching and stabbing, as my bare flesh succumbed to their brutality. I screamed out in pain as they swarmed around me. I tried to push the figures away until a hot agonising pain shot through my chest, causing the creatures around to cry with joy.
“Ellie Laveau, please pay attention.” the teacher asked.
The voice tore me away from the dark and brought back to reality.
“Ah, crap.” I mumbled under my breath. Quickly, I raised my head.
Mrs Clayson’s face was stuck in a constant frown. The teacher wore it nearly every day. (Cheer up woman, it may never happen).
“Sorry, miss.” I said. Mrs Clayson gave me a quick nod and turned her back on the class and continued to write on the board.
I hated math, and my brain could not keep up with all the ridiculous numbers, but as my Dad says, I have to stick it out until the end. I looked over to my right where Lilly was heavily reading her textbook. Lilly was one of the cute girls, but she never really thought of herself as being pretty. She had long flowing blonde locks, but today it was high in a ponytail to show off her high cheekbones and her slender neck. She loved math, and even tried to teach me at one point, but it wasn’t sticking and she gave up. I love Lilly very much, but the girl, she can be such a know-it-all.
I was about to finish some answers on my page when the bell made its ear-piercing noise and my heart jumped for joy. I slammed my books shut and threw the rest into my backpack and zipped it up. I hurried out of the class and quickly caught up with Lilly as she waited. She turned to face me and she had her careful look etched onto her face (here we go).
“You were sleeping again, weren’t you?” she asked.
Lilly was one of my best friends and I have known her since I came to this school a few years ago. We hit it off quickly and have been friends ever since. She has become the mother of the group, always knew what was best for us.
“Um, yeah I’ve been having trouble sleeping that’s all.” I replied.
“Again? What’s going on with you, Ellie? Are you sick or something?” she asked.
“God I hope not, I hate getting sick,” I said while feeling my forehead. “No, no temperature. I just need sleep, that’s all.”
I hated getting sick. I always felt like I was on death’s door, and, It was so not attractive, always blowing my red nose, coughing up nasty phlegm. Ugh, I just didn’t want to think about that right now.
“Well, maybe you should see the schools nurse?” Lilly suggested. “You look puffy.”
“I’ll be OK, but thanks. Let’s get something to eat, maybe that will help.” I said to change the topic.
We arrived together at the dinner hall, and, as usual, everyone had their little group and sat at the same table every day. The hall had a high white ceiling with long circular lights hanging down low along with a wooden tiled floor that had seen better days. We quickly bought a sandwich and a drink from one of the vending machines. I looked over and saw Becky wave at us from our favourite table, shaking her many bangles attached to her wrist at the same time. Rebecca (Becky for short, as she hates being called Rebecca) was also one of my other best friends and I adored her.
Becky has a cute little mole on her right cheek, (she calls it her beauty mark, but Lilly and I sometimes tease her about it), Becky’s hair was black as the night, and cut short, she had a thin nose with soft full pink lips that she covers with a bit too much lip-gloss. I sat down at our small table and ate my sandwich; I didn’t realise how hungry I was until I took my first bite.
“So Becky,” Lilly started, “how was Matthew then?” Lilly gave Becky a cheeky little wink.
“No, nothing happened.” she sadly said. “The teacher didn’t give us a chance, and you know that’s the perfect time when he’s alone. When he’s not in class, he’s surrounded by those friends of his.”
“Do you want us to go with you?” I asked. I knew what her answer would be straight away.
“No way, I’m not a kid anymore, Ellie.” I quickly stop talking and continued to eat my sandwich. “It just drives me mad, we give each other looks, now and then, but none of us can pluck up the courage.”
“You’ll get him next time, how does the saying go?” Lilly asked.
“Absence makes the heart grow stronger?” I asked.
“Um, no, I don’t think that’s it but I know where you’re coming from,” replied Lilly. “Oh yeah, Becky, Ellie has something to tell you.”
Uh oh, I knew what this would be. Was it gang up on Ellie day, and with that, I had a major headache going on.
“Don’t tell me she’s been sleeping in class again?” Becky said like I wasn’t even in the room.
“Yep.” replied Lilly.
“Ok, can you two get off my back, please!? I haven’t been sleeping well and I’ve got a thumping headache and you are not helping,” I felt the anger bubbling deep down. “I’m sorry, it’s just that today hasn’t been a pleasant day.”
“Sorry Ellie, you know we’re only joking.” said Lilly.
“Yeah, sorry.” added Becky.
Both of them just stared down at their food, feeling ashamed. I took a deep breath and exhaled a big sigh. What was going on with me lately, I’ve been snapping at them a lot, and I was acting bitchy lately? I tried to give the girls a brief smile to ease the tension.
“Sorry girls.” I said.
“Apology accepted, but you owe us now.” Becky said immediately.
“Fine.” I accepted. The awkwardness soon disappeared between us. I took one last bite of my cheese sandwich and washed it down with some lemonade when the bell rang throughout the enormous hall.
“Let’s go, Becky, we’ve got a class together.” I told her.
“O.M.G. I totally forgot about Mr Drop dead gorgeous.” Becky said.
I gave her an eye roll. “Let’s just get to class or Mr Thomas will not be so drop dead gorgeous and please do not call him that to his face,” I asked. Becky bit her seductive, which I giggled at.
“Behave!” Lilly said by playfully throwing a rolled up paper napkin at her.
I threw my rubbish into the bin and brushed myself down. Becky shot a raised eyebrow my way.
“What? I don’t want crumbs on me when I go to the lesson.” I said.
“Yeah, whatever.” Becky giggled.
We walked together amongst the crowd of teenagers. It didn’t take us too long to get to our English class since we knew a short cut up the side stairs. We climbed and just around the corner was our next class. We found our seats, lucky enough I was sitting next to Becky, but sometimes we slacked off and just chatted and gossiped about our teacher (well Becky did, I just agreed now and then.)
Mr Thomas had short sandy coloured hair with two-day stubble that looked great on him. It defined his firm jawline and in the right light made me go weak at the knees. His chestnut eyes sparkled as he stood in the class’s front. Becky was right, he was drop-dead gorgeous. All the girls had a major thing for him. (I know, I know. It’s just wrong).
Today we were reading Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I didn’t know much about it, but I knew that it was sad. Why did Shakespeare write such dark tales? I mean, did he ever look on the brighter side of life? I looked over at Becky and saw how completely enthralled with Mr Thomas as were the other girls. Now and then Mr Thomas gave us his famous crooked smile that everyone loves.
Mr Thomas held up the book. “Right class, for a few days we will read Romeo and Juliet” His voice was soft yet commanding.
He flipped open the pages and read. His soft manly voice flowed naturally as he quotes the words of Romeo to his imaginary Juliet, totally captivated as he read from his book. He then asked some students to read passages from the book, and he then asked them what they thought it meant. Some of them gave stupid answers while others gave in-depth analysis to the meaning. Thank god he never invited me to read, I hated reading out loud, too much pressure.
“Isn’t he gorgeous?” drooled Becky.
Now and then his eyes would meet mine and I would blush all over and I would then stick my face straight into the book to avoid him.
What had seemed like minutes had turned into a full hour. It was time to pack up and head home. Becky was fast to put her things away and zoomed out of the class, but she turned back.
“I’ll wait outside for you, OK.” she said.
I nodded to her and went back to packing my overly packed backpack. One of these days this bag will fall apart. When I finished, I noticed that I was the last one in the room except Mr Thomas. He was tidying some papers away on his desk.
“Don’t you want to go home, Ellie?” asked Mr Thomas.
“Yeah, just packing this bag, the zip keeps jamming all the time.” I replied.
He came around each of the tables to collect the abandoned books that he had provided. There was one book sitting on my table and without thinking I kindly passed it to him and for a split second my hand touched his. (Oh crap).
I knew what would happen, and I looked into his deep brown eyes. Mr Thomas’s pupils doubled in size. I could feel his heat flowing through his body and into mine. It felt wrong and right all mixed into one being. He came closer towards me and I immediately pulled my hand away and ran straight to the door. I hurried down the stairs so fast that I nearly fell. I had to sit down and take a breath. My head was spinning and I couldn’t breathe. I undid my buttons on my blazer to let chilly air try to calm me. I sat on the icy rubber floor with my back to the wall. This cannot happen again. I don’t want it. Tears flowed down my face (crying at school was such a big no, no) I tried to get my breathing under control when I heard footsteps coming up the stairs.
No, don’t come up here, please. I thought.
I was just about to get up and leave when I heard a familiar voice calling my name. The two girls came up the stairs with worried looks.
When I saw them, I cried again. Becky and Lilly rushed over to me on the floor and were about to hug me.
“Don’t” I yelled, and they backed away.
“Sorry, Ellie.” Becky said.
Becky and Lilly knew not to touch me but now and then they would forget and I had to keep on reminding them, even though I hated it, they knew about my so-called condition.
“Don’t worry, we know it’s not your fault, don’t cry, we’re here now.”
I was so lucky to have them as my best friends; they mean the world to me. But the sad thing is, I can never touch them. They never once judged the things that happen to me. They just accept me and that’s why I love them.
“It happened again, didn’t it?” Lilly asked.
I gave her a quick nod.
“Who was it?” Lilly’s voice was soft.
“Mr Thomas,” I replied.
“Not Mr Drop dead gorgeous.” said Becky.
Lilly gave Becky a slight nudge.
“Sorry Becky, I know you like him.” I said. “But he did nothing to me. I ran out of there just in time.”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself,” said Becky, “it’s not like you control it, it just happens.”
Becky was right. I had no control over it what so ever when I accidently touch people. The people I touch, they change, and I don’t know how or why they just do. Even my friends, I have to watch who I meet, like last year. I tripped over some idiot’s bag in class, and I fell lucky the teacher caught me. (Well, not lucky). As soon as he grabbed me, he changed. His eyes went wild and crazy. He tried to rip my clothes off in front of the class while saying real horrible graphical stuff to me. He forcefully sought to kiss me. Thankfully, if it wasn’t for the other students and the teacher’s God know what he would have done. Unfortunately, for him, he’s no longer working at the school, and it was my fault. I want nothing like that to happen again.
“Let’s get you home, Ellie.” said Becky
I wiped my wet face with the back of my hand. Lilly and Becky were the first on their feet. I grabbed onto the bannister and pulled myself up.
The three of us walked down the stairs and into the darkly lit carpeted hallway. It felt weird being in school after hours. Normally kids were pushing and running down the halls, but now it just felt spooky and empty. I followed the girls as we exited the building and into the warm June sunlight. The fresh air whipped around me in playful blows and it felt good against my clammy skin, cooling and refreshing me at the same time. The three of us walked out of the school grounds in awkward silence. I stood by the school gates, ready to say my goodbyes.
“Do you want us to walk you home, Ellie?” asked Lilly.
“No thanks, it’s only ten minutes away, I’ll be fine.” I replied.
“Are you sure?” Becky asked.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. I’ll speak to you later, OK.” I answered.
I turned my back on my friends, walked home. My girls were always there for me and I don’t know what I would do without them. They always knew what to do and how to do it, Becky and Lilly were all I had. Well, except my Dad, (crap). I will be late getting home. He worries about me a lot, with good reason.
I quickly picked up my speed when something caught my eye. I felt the hairs on the back of my neck prickle and my entire body shivered as if a sharp wind rippled through me. My mind was shouting at me, telling me not to look, but something inside of me wanted to see what it was. I turned around, and expected the worst, but what I saw was more breathtaking than anything. A beautiful woman stood in front of me with a gentle smile.