Secrets: the dark side of Espionage

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People Are Not Who They Seem

It's lunch and within a few hours of being at this school, I've made enemies with the queen bee (Hollie), gotten on the wrong side of a teacher but I've learnt a lot about the 2 kids that were late. Amara and Sayid Ahmed-Cortez, 17 and 18. According to Lucy( my new friend ) and some gossip I overheard, their parents died 10 years ago in a building fire and they live at their aunt's house but she's barely ever home. There are so many rumours about them, most don't even add up. The only people that probably know the full story are her friends and they're the most intimidating people I've ever laid eyes on. Wes is part of their group, so are the guy and girl that were in homeroom. In total, 3 girls and 7 boys all of whom are completely different appearance-wise and very similar personality-wise from what I've heard. I'm at lunch, sitting with Maria, she was in my chemistry class and is nice. She has baby blue eyes, short and has a round face which makes her look innocent but she's anything but. She has no filter and isn't afraid to speak her mind.

"so what made you move here Abs"

"umm, landlords"

She laughs thinking it's a joke. It partially is but I don't think I'm ever going to tell anyone about my past. It's too painful to remember and too private for me to share. Wow, I guess I wasn't lying when I said I was messed up.

From across the canteen, I can see Amara and Sayid's group laughing together whilst being death stared at by the cheerleaders, mostly Hollie.

"hey," I ask, "what's up with that little situation"

"oh well basically Amara and Hollie used to be friends, Hollie used to be in a relationship with Finch who's Sayid's best friend but she apparently cheated and ruined her friendship"

Wow, who knew this school had so much rivalry.

"After the break up she became who you see today, it's a shame, she was nicer and looked happier than she does now."

The bell rings for the end of lunch, ending our conversation.

My next class is English. I walk in and stand at the side of the room with everyone else as the teacher puts us in our places.

"Miles, Lance and Sienna at this table," she says pointing at where they should sit. None of them seems upset with this seating plan suggesting that they either know each other very well or just don't care at all.

She goes through the list until she says, "Amara and Abby, this table at the back".

Part of me is happy I'm at the back, the other is internally panicking because 1) I'm anti-social and 2)Amara is so intimidating. Nevertheless, I keep my thoughts to myself and sit down. Whilst the teacher is going through the lesson, I notice that Amara has a cool ring in her hand. It's gold and has two curves with a gem in the middle, black quartz I think.

"Nice ring" I mutter, hoping to make a compliment.

She looks taken aback but replies," thank you"

"Where did you get it, I'm only asking because I want to get my mum something like this for a birthday, I don't mean to pry I just-"

"It's fine, You can't get this, it's custom made and used to be my mum's, it was one of the things she left me in her will"

There's an awkward silence. I try to think of something to reply with but she just turns her head back to the front of the room. Miss Moore is explaining the project we'll have to do about Shakespeare. We have to research then make a presentation and either create a poem inspired by him or write a scene in a play. She then utters those terrible words.

"you shall work with the person or people sat on your table"

Girl, you're screwed.

Really conscience, now you want to give me input?

Sorry, just doing my job.

Well go, I don't need you.

"Abby" I see Amara looking at me with an exasperated expression

"Huh"

"I was asking if you wanted to come to my house after school to get started"

"Already, it's just the first day of school" surprised, I just want to go home and eat ice cream.

"Yeah, but the quicker we get it done the better, at least that's how I do my assignments," she says. Great so now she's smartie pants or teacher's pet.

"Ok that's fine"

"Great, here's my number, I'll text you the address"

Okay, so I've now got to spend the evening with miss intimidating. Could this day get any worse?




It's after school and I'm now walking to Amara's house, or to the address she sent me.
The street is cool. Each house looks the same yet so different, they each have their individuality. One has window boxes and hanging baskets filled with a range of different flowers. Another is modern, black, grey and white with a bay window at the side of the front door. I finally reach the house and just take a minute to appreciate the architecture. It has 2 marble pillars that encase the grey door. It doesn't have as many windows as most houses but the ivy growing in the window box makes up for it. It's detached like every other house and looks inviting but delicate, like nothing out of place, should be there. As I walk up the steps and knock on the door, I feel a drop of rain on my shoulder, then followed by a downpour. Amara opens the door with, shockingly, a toddler in her arms.
"Oh god, you're soaking, come in come in" she explains and I gladly accept the invite into her home.
She wearing more casual clothing now, an oversized t-shirt, some grey joggers and a grey hijab. I can faintly see outlines of braids in her hair.
"I'll get you something else to wear," she says as she sets the toddler down.
"Amad, go tell Sayid we have a guest, okay, then you can have ice cream," she says offering the bribe. It's tempting to the child because he runs upstairs without any complaints. It's weird, seeing her so gentle with him when she seems so cold and closed off at school.
Once she gets me some clothes we sit down in the living room and get on with the research on William Shakespeare.
When we're done I get up and say" thanks for the spare clothes"
" No problem sorry they're so big, modesty and all that"
" That's fine, they're so comfy"
She starts putting the stuff away and I take a chance to glance around the room. There are so many trophies and medals on the shelves for various sports. There are loads of ornaments and trinkets from all around the world mostly from Dubai. There's a miniature Burj Khali and a picture of the Palm Jumeirah. There's a picture of their family in front of the Burj Khalifa, Amara looks a lot like her dad and Sayid looks like their mum.
"There's lots of stuff from Dubai here, you go there often?"
"Yea, every year if we can"
"Um hey, I have a question?" I ask.
"Shoot"
"Why do you act so different at a school, you're so intimidating but when we were doing the work you were laughing and looked happy" I state.
"Well, I could say the same for you,"
"Touche"
" I guess acting intimidating makes it easier for me to keep my walls up, it saves me from getting hurt"
"But you have loads of friends and everyone respects you"
" They may respect me but you haven't the rumours about me, and it took me a long time to get to trust the others."
I leave our conversation at that, get my clothes and walk out saying goodbye. The rain's stopped but the air is grey and gloomy, which reminds me of England. I turn a few corners and see a group of people huddled very close together, I turn back but a tall beefy guy blocks me. He has a sleeveless biker jacket, some pretty stupid tattoos, lots of scars on his face and arms.
" What do you think you're doing pretty" Ew
"I um... I'm lost?" I stutter.
"Well let us help," he says in a thick, drawling accent.
" Nope I'm good" I murmur trying to move away but they now have me surrounded
"Come on, we can help" I hear.
"Yeah, we don't want anything bad happening to you, now do we?" He says almost mockingly.
I find myself shaking with fear, there's no one to hear me if I shout for help I doubt they would help considering there are so many of them.
What can I do?
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