D U L U X
I turn at the sound of my name being called, trying to stand tall enough to see over the sea of heads in the school corridor. Being five foot nothing meant I had zero hope of this, but I had to at least try.
"Rose! ROSE LUX JOHNSON!"
Urgh. My parents must've been high when I was born, giving me a name more appropriate for a tin of paint. I scowl at Sheena, my best friend, who had just dug herself a grave right beside mine.
"Social suicide. Thanks for that, mate," I drawl sarcastically.
Sheena grins, slapping me on the back before lifting her phone up for me to see.
"Whatever, look who's throwing a party this weekend?"
"Throwing a party? You sound like a wannabe socialite-" I scoff, rolling my eyes as we continue to navigate the carnage that was the sixth form corridor.
"Duh, there's no wannabe about it," huffs Sheena, her tight black curls bobbing around her pretty face as she tries to zoom in on her phone. "It's Felicity. You know she always invites older guys, and that means Fletcher might be there."
My heart skips a beat at the mention of Fletcher- a guy who left school last year. The guy I'd been crushing on for my entire duration here, and getting nowhere fast. Fletcher was a gorgeous bad boy, and his girlfriends were usually the sort of girls that made your jaw drop with their beauty and sass, not to mention their fierce reputation.
"How is it fair that Felicity gets a name like that, and her parents let her have these parties like, every other weekend? My Mum and Dad still insist on taking me to the chippy on a Friday night before watching family Catchphrase," I grumble, as Sheena bites back laughter.
"Your parents are sound, you're lucky. Anyway, I like your name."
I decide not to respond, instead slumping into a seat beside the window, gazing wistfully outside as the world continues spinning. I couldn't wait to leave school, it felt like an actual prison. I wanted freedom so badly I could almost taste it, but my parents were so strict I barely had any. Sheena was smiling as she stared down at her phone, the latest model of course, and I remembered that she had recently acquired Malik Henry's number.
"How is Malik today?" I grin, waving my hand in front of Sheena's face playfully. Her deep brown eyes roll in my direction, before slipping her phone into her blazer pocket.
"Malik is sleeping, I think. He doesn't seem to get up early."
"College boys, hmm?" I tease, as Sheena giggles, shrugging her shoulders dreamily.
"He isn't a boy, girl. He is all man-"
"Morning fuckers," declares a voice from the doorway, making the teacher slam her hands on the desk in anger.
"MR EXLEY! Do NOT enter my room in that manner!"
"Sorry Miss, I didn't think you'd be here," yawned Tate Exley, part of the schools' popular group- which I was not part of. Part of me can't help but smile with amusement when the teacher informs Tate that yes, she taught here, and therefore she would be in class at nine am. Tate winks at me, making me drop the smile from my face immediately. The last thing I wanted was Tate taking any form of interest in me.
"Alright Dulux? What're you grinning at?"
Tate stares at me briefly, before the teacher claps her hands again, her face flushed with annoyance.
"Sorry Tate, but do you mind if I start the lesson?"
I'm grateful for the interruption, and tug my books out before Tate remembers he was starting on me. Moments later the door booms open, and Martin Harrow enters, his face contorting into a yawn as he sinks into the chair beside Tate, and the two of them start muttering to each other. The teacher purses her lips before making a point of writing down their names, which only results in her being more irritated than anyone else when they ignore her.
Sheena is oblivious to the fact Martin and Tate keep glancing at her, until Tate throws a screwed up ball of paper at her head.
"What the fuck?" Sheena hisses, dashing it back at Tate who ducks, grinning.
"Yo, are you going to Fliss's party?"
I try to pay attention to the teacher, but it's pointless. She has zero control over this class, and now Sheena is conversing with Tate and Martin, I've got no hope of going unnoticed. As predicted, Tate nods at me.
"You coming, Dulux?"
"My name's Rose," I snap back drily, as Tate looks at me blankly. "I don't know if I'm coming."
"Just say you're staying at mine," Sheena shrugs, assuming the problem is my parents. They wouldn't let me go to a party, and if they did, they would probably stay up all night waiting for me. Cringe. Sheena's mum was super relaxed, and usually spent the night getting ready for her own night out, giving Sheena cash and instructions to have fun.
I really did feel like I pulled the short straw in the family lottery, especially being the only child. Expectations were sky high.
"Hello, Earth to Rose?" Sheena sang, jabbing me in the arm with her pencil. "It's going to be lit, so many guys will be there. Not just guys we know, either."
"Hey! What's wrong with guys you know?!" demanded Tate, earning him a stern look from Sheena.
"Where do I start?" she purrs, pointing at Tate. "You have zero respect for women-"
"Whatever man, of course I respect women, until they leave my bedroom anyway-!"
"That's it! Tate Exley, off to the heads office!" shrieks the teacher, now puce with anger as she points at the door. Tate groans dramatically, before hauling his bag on his shoulder.
"If I'd have known I didn't need to attend this class, I could've had another hour in bed," Tate smirks, before slamming the door behind him.
This was what he was like at school- imagine him at a party. I shuddered at the thought, before turning my attention back to Sheena.
"That is why I prefer older guys," huffed Sheena, shaking her head as she returned her attention to her phone which sat on her lap under the desk. "Speaking of which, Malik is up. Good morning!"
She turned the phone to me, and I could make out the torso staring back at me belonged to Malik Henry.
"Tell me again how that makes him a man?" I whisper, as the teacher taps away on the board.
"It doesn't. But this does."
I drag my eyes back to Sheena's phone to see a monstrous hard dick being waved in my face in the form of a photo.
"Oh God!" I immediately turn away, feeling my breakfast churning in my stomach.
A dick pic at this hour? Who said romance was dead?