As I walk out of my English class, my best friend Lilly comes rushing towards me. She grabs hold of me to stop herself and almost pulls me over as well, a few of my books tumbling over my arm and spread eagling themselves on the floor.
“Lilly!” I hiss at her, my eyes darting around the corridor which, thankfully, is now empty after the rush of students from the maths classes.
“Oops, sorry! I forgot I wasn’t supposed to do that in public!” Lilly grins guiltily.
Let me explain what’s happening here. Lilly Trevora is my best friend. But we aren’t supposed to be hanging out together. Why? Because I’m Aria Retta. Does that surname ring any bells? It should if you’re a local, as I’m the daughter of Louise and Gareth Retta, the rich couple who live in that big house with the winding driveway next to the posh estate to the north of our town, Zemanti. My friends and my parents disapprove of Lilly because number one, she isn’t rich, and number two, her Dad apparently did something terrible and was therefore sent away. This has seriously affected Lilly’s school life and even mental health as she’s stressed about everyone assuming she’s like him. Anyway, let’s end the trip through Lilly’s personal affairs.
“It’s ok. Just, help me pick these up?” I bend down and start gathering up the fallen books back into my pile and attempting to stumble across to my locker in what my mother would call ‘a very unladylike fashion’.
“‘Help me pick these up’ she says picking them up herself.” Lilly rolls her eyes and smiles, taking some of the books off of me and pressing in my locker combo.
“I mean, I was expecting you to help, but you took too long.”
I hear the lunch bell ring and I stuff my books into my locker, because I know how long the line gets if you wait too long and I still need to stop off at our usual table to secure my seat. I hurriedly say goodbye to Lilly and then I begin to run through the corridor waving behind me. Lilly waves back as I disappear round the corner. I slow myself down so I don’t get caught by the teachers for running. Walking into the cafeteria, I slip into a seat next to my ‘friend’ Jenna and she offers me a plate of sandwiches.
“I brought my own food today,” she says daintily. “Mother let me bring enough for all of us, so you don’t have to go up with those commoners to get food.”
“They aren’t commoners, Jenna!” I try to laugh as though she never says this.
“I guess they are slightly useful.” She admits as a younger girl hands her some lunch money and stares at her in awe, whilst Jenna flashes her a well rehearsed smile.
“In fact... I feel bored today, and I know exactly what I should do for amusement.” She grins and her eyes light up in glee. “I’ll dare them to do something stupid!” She points over at two kids over at a table, one of which I recognise to be one of the ‘geeks’.
With that, she gets up and walks over to their table. I stare back at the rest of the group, hoping that they’ve noticed and are going to stop her, but none of them seem to have heard any of the conversation. Sighing, I jog to her side and sit down at their table with her.
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