I reach for my locker and pull my gym shoes out; automatically tipping them upright to get rid of any nails or rocks hidden in them- no surprise, as a clatter of small objects hit the tiled flooring. I hear a chorus of sniggering behind me, but I won’t give them the satisfaction.
“I heard Pemma’s never even had a friend before. What is she, antisocial or something?”
“It’s so rude how she never even talks to us!”
As I turn to leave for my gym lesson, I hear a familiar voice-
“Hey, shouldn’t you guys be somewhere else? I’ve told you, it’s not nice to pick on the less fortunate.” A boy flirts, and I swear I can hear him winking at those girls from behind me.
As I hear the clatter of girly footsteps recede, I keep on walking. I didn’t need his help, and I don’t need it now.
“You won’t thank me?” He sounds a little hurt.
“No, because you didn’t have to do that.”
“You know, it’s kind of rude not to thank someone. I put my neck out for you.”
I roll my eyes. “Please, you could tell those girls to walk off a cliff and they’d do it without blinking. Stop using your charms to control people.”
I turn around, and he’s bright red, eyes wide. He doesn’t seem like the person to stutter, “Y-you think I have charms?”
I suddenly remember how fickle and self-centred guys are. “No, you haven’t.” And I stride away, head high. I can tell he’s mortified.
But just as I leave the locker room, the once confident voice of my ‘saviour’ moulds into a more humble one, calling behind me, “I’m Glenn. Just so you remember.”
My exams have come to an end- finally. My school year is nearly over, and I’ll be able to have a month’s peace, free of taunts and snide remarks.
However, one thing stands between me and my freedom, our annual school trip. I dread school trips, because I never have anyone to hang around with, so I end up spending the entire week with teachers.
I groan, leaning back against my desk chair in my dimly lit bedroom, only illuminated by a small red lamp on my desk, accompanied by the calming spinning noise resonating from the hamster cage to my left. It reminds me that I’m not alone.
I check my alarm clock- eleven PM. I should probably get to sleep to muster up the energy to go on my school trip on Monday. I close my dog-eared book, A Game of Thrones, and switch off my lamp before throwing myself into my pillow-filled bed.
However hard I try, sleep doesn’t come. Ever since the incident with the roundhouse kick, I have this image nagging at my brain- someone was watching me then, and they’re still thinking about it now. That would be strange. It’s a sort of sixth sense, like when you know you’re being watched, you can just feel like someone’s thinking about you. The thought that someone would be thinking about me, an unremarkable student in an unremarkable class in an unremarkable school, was nothing short of worrying. I don’t have anyone who would care about me, so why would they now?
After a rude awakening from the beeping demon that is my alarm clock, I rush to school, late. My younger sister, Leah, demands I make her a cooked breakfast because our mother is at work, and won’t go to school without it. This also means I have to make an equally as spectacular breakfast for my even younger brother, Nathan. Although they look nothing alike, they’re both as annoying as each other. Nathan, with his shock of white blond hair and grey-blue eyes, Leah with a baby face accompanied by a bob of mousy brown hair. Put all three of us together, and we look like some kind of modern Addams family. As I’m responsible for whether or not they get to school on time, I sacrifice my morning to make a twelve and ten year old rushed egg and soldiers, whilst I nibble on leftover pizza from last night. Something about pepperoni doesn’t taste quite right after a night in the open.
Crap- it’s raining again. I was really hoping it would clear up soon, but once one downpour is finished, dark grey clouds roll in to replace the old ones. In my rush to feed my siblings, I left both my coat and umbrella at home, and only when I’m at the end of my street do I realise that it’s pouring it down more than I had expected. The smell of damp, earthy rain fills my nostrils as I take a deep breath. In the rain, the smells are so much crisper, the sounds so much clearer. It’s like my senses are heightened and I love it. However, in this downpour, I have nothing but my school blazer. That is, until an object appears over me to block it out, in the shape of an umbrella. I look up through my rat-tailed hair, to see a boy in my class, the one who ‘saved’ me from the girls in the locker room. I can’t remember his name, and I’m not bothered either. It’s a boy.
He grins at me through strands of sopping wet hair, and extends a friendly hand to me, which I swat away.
“Thanks, but I don’t need an umbrella. And due to the fact that you’re soaked through too, I think it’s too late to use one for yourself.” I calmly say, before walking out from under the protection of the umbrella and into the pouring rain once again.
“Sorry, aren’t you Pemma? We’re in the same class right? Why don’t we walk to school together?” I can tell he’s trying to make his voice soothing and inviting, but I can tell he’s just being desperate. Why does he want to talk to me? The boy runs to catch up with me, splashing clumsily through puddles as he does so, soaking my worn trainers in the process.
“You ask too many questions. Quit following me.” But this time, I don’t walk on; I simply don’t have the effort after such a poor breakfast.
“I’m Glenn, and I’m not following you, I’m simply walking to school.” He remarks, with a smug tone in his voice. I grunt, look up at him, and he doesn’t look like a Glenn, and the only other place I’ve heard that name was in the hallway, when that girl ran into me. I must really not know anyone in my class. But I think this is the first time that anyone has approached me since the locker incident without wanting to make my day even worse. However, he’s accidentally made my day worse just by talking to me. I don’t want to know him, I don’t want to acquaint myself with him, and I don’t want to be near him.
I use my last bit of strength from breakfast to push on into the driving rain, in the grey light of morning, and I don’t look back.
This girl really isn’t friendly- just like everyone said. She’s stubborn, impolite and obnoxious. I offered her my umbrella, tried to make conversation, even saved her from those mean girls, and I was pushed away. How selfish.
Not like my usual company- they giggle and flirt, always overly nice as if trying to prove something. Not that that’s wrong, but it’s nice to see a change sometimes. You don’t have to be happy all the time, to be a good person.
My enigma of a girl turned out to be a disappointment- just shallow and cruel.
She even left me out in the rain, literally. I trundle the rest of the way to school on my own in silence, I can’t even be bothered to put in my headphones and drown out the world, blaring something like The Strokes into my skull like usual. I simply drink in my surroundings, trying to distract myself from the rude girl I met this morning.
The rain patters on my umbrella, flatly. I let the faint smell of wet grass and pines from the woods not far from the school cleanse me, I really do enjoy this weather, especially under an umbrella. There’s something sweetly melancholy about watching rain from a dry place, it makes you thankful for where you are right now.
I can’t get the girl out of my head- I want to think that she’s different, but her actions don’t show it.