I expected to wake up to the sound of the dreadful alarm clock, but instead the sound of thunder woke me up. The sound startled me and I almost jumped out of bed. I got up and opened the thick curtain of the window and peeked out. It was already dawn; I could see some faint light through the thick clouds. It was pouring rain and the trees outside were swinging wildly. I also saw Hall B – the boy’s dorms – and the rain hit the walls of the old building with great force. I saw lighting and counted the seconds for the thunder: four seconds. The storm was near.
I hated storms. In fact, I was afraid of them, but it wasn’t because of the loud sound of thunder, I found it interesting actually, and I always listened to it; it was the lightning I was afraid of.
Lighting lasted for half a second when you saw it in the sky, but despite its short manifestation, it sent shivers down my spine every time. The lightning turned the whole sky purple and you never knew where it is going to land, what it was going to hit and damage. I always imagined being hit by lighting... I knew it was a chance in one billion, it was more likely to win the lottery than to be hit by one, but it seemed all too real for me. The lightning striking your body and sending thousands and thousands of volts through it always came to my mind whenever there was a storm. I closed the curtain and went back to bed.
Not too long until it’s time to wake up, I though. I pushed the blankets up to my shoulders. I was so cosy in that comfortable bed... The girls were always saying that they woke up with sore backs due to the hard mattress. If they thought those beds were hard, I couldn’t imagine what they would think of mine back at home.
I heard another thunder, light coming shining through the gap of the curtains. I closed my eyes shut and tried to fall asleep, but I couldn’t. One hour rolled by and I gave up. I checked my clock for the billionth time: 06:20.
Great. Forty minutes till I had to wake up. I decided to go downstairs and take a warm shower before classes. I preferred to take a shower in the evening because I liked going to bed feeling warm, but since I had so much time to kill I might as well enjoy the empty bathrooms. I took my uniform with me and exited the room in my pyjama without making a sound.
The corridor was quiet and cold. Everyone was still sleeping, including teachers and staff. Lucky them. I had learnt that at seven AM the bathrooms were completely full, it was chaotic. Girls were coming out of the shower stalls and some brushing their teeth and most of them combing their hair in front of the mirror, making the already small space packed full. This was one of the few negative aspects the school had, but it didn’t bother me that much.
I went down the stairs and each step I took made a squeaky noise. I tried to go as slowly as I could. Once I reached the bottom of the stairs I went straight to the bathroom.
It was empty as I predicted, and I took no time to take my pijamas. I turned the water and the feeling was incredible. I wondered if one day my parents could feel this. Everybody deserved to feel warm water falling down your back, warming their whole body, even the worst people in the word.
After getting out of the shower I put on my uniform. I wished someone could take me a picture with it on so I could send it to my parents. They would be so proud. But I didn’t know anyone with such a machine and I obviously didn’t own one.
“When Winter term arrives, my parents are coming back to the United Kingdom and get me for the Christmas holidays,” I cheered myself “They said so in the last letter!”
Yes, it was true. I would be able to spend my birthday – which was on the 7th of December – and Christmas and New Year with them. All the kids went home during the holidays, and I couldn’t wait to see my parents again.
As I left the bathroom I looked at the big clock on the wall: 6:59. I was already hearing some noise coming from upstairs. Certainly people were getting up. I decided to get my bag which I had left in the community room the night before and my Huckleberry Finn book go have breakfast.
As I walked outside, I noticed some staff members covering the passage of the Wards to the main building with some sort of wooden ceiling which was suspended by thin logs, acting as coverage to protect the students from the rain (and eventually the snow) when they were walking from building to building. Despite the great effort on keeping us dry, the wind made the rain hit me from the sides and I had to run inside. Once in the main building I could already hear the sound of the coffee machine working and ladies frantically moving from one place to another to put out all the breakfast food on time.
I got a tray, carrying with me to the table some cereals, an apple, a toast and a bug with coffee and a little bit of milk. I sat on the end of a long table and started reading my book. Students and teachers began to arrive to have their breakfast after a while of waiting, and in less than nothing the canteen was half full. There was no sign of my friends, so I made an effort to try and concentrate on my book.
I tried really hard to focus on the words I read, but something distracted me. It wasn’t the noise made by the loud students or from the kitchen, it was that devil, Harry. He had just entered the canteen. He carried nothing but coffee, a pen and paper. He sat on the other end of the empty table I was at, and despite my better judgment was telling me to look away, I couldn’t avert my gaze. His chocolate coloured hair was messy and the black blazer made his shoulders look wider, which was quite intimidating. His lips were pressed into a thin line as we wrote on that piece of paper. He occasionally flicked his hair away from his eyes. I tried to focus again on my book. I looked at my mug of coffee and took it to my lips. As I did so, I glanced at Harry, and for my amazement he was doing exactly the same thing, taking a sip of his cup of coffee. He caught me looking at him from the corner of his eyes and looked me in the eyes, still with his lips pressed to the cup.
I felt electricity running through my whole body like lighting. I was caught looking at him. Damn. I looked away instantly. He made a kid commit suicide, I remained myself. Whenever I saw him that was what immediately I thought.
It was sad to see him alone though. I never saw him with any friends, or anyone to be fair. John killed himself a year ago, so I assumed he had been alone since then. Nonetheless, I wasn’t surprised he was alone; who would like to have any kind of contact with a person like him?
I couldn’t sit there any longer. I could feel his eyes on me and I didn’t want him to look at me. Who knew what was going on in his mind? I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought I was rude and mean since that was the only manner I talked to him after the race, but he didn’t give me much choice. I could feel his blazing eyes on me, and I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from looking.
I got up and exited to the canteen, unable to take that burning stare any longer. I opened my bag and searched for my little brown book which had my schedule. I had music class next. I almost forgot! We were going to play the prank on Mr Turner!
“You got up early today!” I heard Anna’s voice in the distance. I looked up from my schedule and I saw my four friends walking side by side in my direction.
“I couldn’t sleep. Didn’t you hear the thunder last night?” I asked them.
“Everybody is already used to that around here, it’s very normal to have storms at this time of the year,” Lucy said and sighed at the end of the sentence.
“I almost forgot that the prank is today!” I reminded them.
“Shhh!!!” hissed Lottie. “People can hear you!”
We looked around as if we were in a film to see if anyone was hearing us. Luckily no one was in the entrance hall.
The girls started to walk to the canteen but I stayed glued to the floor.
“Aren’t you coming?” asked Anna.
I really didn’t want to see Harry again, at least for the rest of the day. He gave me the chills.
“I have to go to the bathroom,” I lied. She turned around and walked in the canteen while I ran to the music rooms. Of course I wasn’t going to wait until it was time in the bathroom, so I decided to have some time on my own for a bit.
I had always thought that it was very healthy to spend time alone. I believed we needed to be alone to get to know ourselves, and most importantly, to learn how to like who we were, and to cultivate our sense of being.
I walked down the spiral staircase which I came to love because it was the only spiral staircase in the school and I searched for an empty room. For my surprise, the room with the black grand piano was free so I walk inside and sat down on the piano’s stool and opened it, revealing the white and black shiny keys.
This was the piano Harry had played a couple of weeks before when he scared the living hell out of me.
I lightly tapped a white key. Even though I touched it very softly, a single note was sung by the piano. I tapped another key. They I played them both at the same time, creating a whole new sound.
It was a shame I had never learn how to play the piano. It had always been a dream of mine since I could remember, but my parents couldn’t afford to pay lessons. Besides, I had no time to have piano lessons. I already had school and after that I would try and get some money on the streets. It worked pretty well, no one could say no to a child, especially a skinny girl with tousled hair and shoes with holes. When I was about fourteen years old, that technique didn’t work anymore, because I was already “grown up” and people never gave money to grownups because they thought the adults would use the money on drugs or alcohol. That was how society worked unfortunately.
After a while of playing random keys, I started to hear people talking outside. I left the room and my class was lining up to go inside Mr Turner’s class. I could hear them talk about the prank in small voices and saying to each other not to make it obvious. What a great class we were!
I sat on the circle of chairs next to Lucy with the rest of the class, everyone still quiet.
“Why are the windows opened?” asked Mr Turner as he turned to close them. “I could almost swear I closed them yesterday,” The five of us looked at each other and I tried not to laugh.
After that, the teacher asked to see our homework on the types of instruments. Then Mr Turner started to write the correction on the board.
When the room was in silence, I started to hear a buzzing noise coming from Lottie’s mouth. It seemed so real, almost as if there was really a bee or a fly inside the classroom.
Lucy waved her hand near her head with brusqueness and I did the same.
“What’s wrong girls?” Mr Turner asked us when he turned around.
“There is a fly bugging us,” I told him. He turned to face the blackboard and continued writing with the white chalk.
Lottie continued to do the noise and we continued to wave our arms, but this time with more exaggerated movements. A boy on my side started to do the same as well, and then Amanda on the other side of the room also started to wave her hand in the air.
“What going on?” asked Mr Turner when he turned around again.
“There is a fly in here,” said Amanda “It’s really annoying.”
“Try to pay attention,” he said harshly. Then more and more kids started to wave their arms.
“What’s wrong with you?! I don’t see any fly in here,” shouted Mr Turner once more.
“It’s right here! Can’t you see it?” I said and pointed to the air “Oh wait, I think it’s a bee!”
We had agreed that when I said that the fly was actually a bee the class would all stand up and frantically waved our arms, and that’s what we did.
Mr Turner stared in horror as we freaked out. We climbed on top of chairs, we picked them up and we ran around the room. Some guy curled in a ball at a corner of the room and a girl started screaming “We are gonna die!!!”
Then, as we planned, Lottie clapped her hands once and we all froze. We picked up the chairs and put them again in a circle and sat down as if nothing had ever happened. The plan was to make Mr Turner so confused that he would just stare at us as if we were demented or crazy. Our faces were blank and we continued to copy what was written on the board as if nothing had happened.
“What is this?! Are you joking with me?!” He stared in horror.
“Are you feeling alright Mr Turner?” asked Lottie with an innocent voice.
“What do you mean am I feeling alright?!”
“You started screaming at us for no reason, we have been behaving the entire lesson,” she said with a worried face. So I wasn’t the only one that was good at lying then…
“What?! You were all running around and screaming just now!”
“I think you dreamed that Mr,” Anthony said with a doubtful look on his face.
He stared at us with an unbelievable expression. Poor man, he probably was thinking he was going crazy.
“But there was a bee-”
“What bee?” I questioned. I made the most confused expression I could muster, trying to hold my laughter.
“I think you should go to the nurse’s office Mr Turner,” Anna said “Did you sleep well last night?”
I couldn’t resist, and a laugh escaped my lips but I coughed to hide it. This was too good to be true!
Mr Turner stared at us and sighed “You are probably right,” he took off his glasses and wiped them to his shirt “The class finishes earlier today, you may go.”
This wasn’t planned. Everyone stared at each other because we didn’t know what to do, but we had to continue the act. We got up and left the room without saying a word.
Once we were on top of the stairs, everyone started to laugh hysterically.
“This was the best thing I ever did!” said one student, which had tears of joy forming in his eyes from laughing too hard.
“Do you think Mr Turner will really go to the nurse’s office?” I asked to all of them.
“Probably,” responded Bud “But by that time he will already know we tricked him!
With that, we ran up the stairs and enjoyed our time in the entrance hall as we waited for our next lesson. I was ecstatic, so overjoyed that I couldn’t imagine my life any other way that how it was at that precise moment. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride towards my form class. We really were sensational.