Defence System

College has not been interesting me as much as it used to nowadays. It's like it's just turning into ‘that place' that I go to whenever I want to have more human company, but with people who will ignore me like the built-up bacteria swarms on the end of their chewed up biros.

In most of my classes, I never sit to Ali Baxter. She was the only person to ever try to make me feel welcome into the real world back when in year three; I didn't know what to do, ‘cause well, no one's ever tried to be friends with me. So, in the end I ended up pushing her away with my tall mental defence system, something I've had since my toddling years. Now, she makes it her daily duty to make my life a living hell; we weren't friends then and I'm certainly not going to be friends with her now.

I need the qualifications from school; I don't just want them like most people nowadays. I need them to escape, to get away from this hellhole and to attempt to start over.

A clean slate.

Rob came in five minutes late, his cheeks rosy. "Sorry Miss! My Mum, she... She..." tears leak from his eyes. Just about every girl in the room ‘awws', leaps out of their seats and rushes towards him. I stay routed in my seat, my hands gripping tightly onto the tabletop in front of me.

Ali is one of the hordes of girls who flock to him like sheep. She looks back to me, her eyes in slits as she sees that I haven't moved an inch. She whips her bleach blonde hair around and starts nattering to her friends and, of course, to Rob. All of the teens turn around to face me and when they see me looking at them they turns their heads back in the middle.

I sigh, leaning against the stiff, burgundy plastic chair - a staple ingredient to the school. Slowly, I realise the pressure from the tabletop my gradually getting the colour back into my skin.

"Right then class, get back to your seats, we've missed ten minutes of the lesson already and unless you want it taken from your break, I suggest you get started on the started." Yes, we may be doing our A-Levels, but that doesn't stop Mr Clarke from treating us like the Year Tens.

"But, Sir," Joan moans. "What about poor Rob, his mother had an accident!"

Mr Clarke sniffs, "Okay Rob, what happened to your mother?" That's why I like Mr Clarke, he doesn't buy into the rubbish most people try to pile on him.

"She fell." Rob states, wiping his nose with a ragged tissue from his jean pocket, his eyes shift around the room, the boys lean back in their seats arms tightly folded across their chests, the girls sit in pairs or on their own everyone looking sceptically at Rob and his surrounding group.

Carley Moore, a girl who sits to my left whispers under her breath, "What an attention seeking twat." Despite myself, I snort quietly, shocking me, her and the rest of the class who are now turning around and staring at me.

"Wow, didn't know you had it in y'." She mutters, glancing to the horde of teenagers who seem to have all lost interest. That is, all of them minus Rob. Rob just stands there, staring at me, the look of hatred glowing in his dark eyes.

"Wow, seems to me like you ain't popular." She says the blatant amusement in her voice makes me turn to her my pale eyebrows coming together.

I smile awkwardly at her, my shoulders bunching at my sides; I face the front again, tapping my Biro lightly on my left hand. Rob is sitting down next to one of his Chavvy mates; I glare at the back of his head feeding my pure unadulterated hate there. I see him flinch and quickly advert my eyes back to the teacher going on about how Dickens created the foreboding senses of fear in the first chapter of ‘Great Expectations' - year ten work, but it's always fun to go over.

 He sets us to work on attempting our own version of the chapter, set in modern times. I open my A4 purple book and begin to write, not bothering with a plan - although I really must, I can never be bothered.

"Hey Frankie, is it?" I turn and see Carley looking at me expectantly, awaiting an answer.

I nod.

She smiles. "You don't speak much, do you?"

I shake my head.

She laughs under her breath. "My point, exactly."

I elevate a brow.

She studies me. "What's up with you and that git, Rob?" she inquires.

I shrug lightly, trying shielding myself with my hair, attempting to get back to work.

"Oh. Sorry, I didn't mean to offend! C'mon, you can tell me. Honest!"

I sigh, gulping down my nerves of speaking to new people. "He..." I gulp once, twice, three times more. "He is my cousin."

"Well I know that. What I want to know is why he's such a sod to you? You don't deserve it, in fact, you look like Jane when she's being her moody, Emo self." She laughs making me smirk. Jane is her stepsister in the year below. They appear to be quite close. I remember when Ali was bullying Jane, Carley stormed up to Ali, punching her straight in the nose, screaming, ‘I'm the only one that can take the p*** outta her! Touch her or talk to her again and I'll destroy you!'

I shrug. "Bad parenting?" as soon as it leaves my mouth, I feel my eyes widen and glance over to Rob. Who is talking to his mate, Danny.

"Oh My Gosh! Did you really just say that?" her kohl-surrounded eyes are wide as she laughs.

"I-I... I didn't mean it like that! What I meant was... OH!" I exclaim burring my head in my arms.

"God! You're such a drama queen!" Carley mutters.

I lift my head out of my arms, looking at her questionably, wondering if I just blew another chance at making friends.

"Why aren't we friends?" She laughs, hugging my shoulders. Huh? "I mean, you are just like me! Both of us are drama queens, of course... You may need a little work on being more of one." She winks making me smile.

"Er... Thanks, I think?" I narrow my eyes, my forehead wrinkling in thought as I process her comments.

"Oh, trust me that was defiantly a compliment. If it wasn't, you'd know about it."

"Um... Okay then."

"So, do you wanna hang out with me and the Gremlin?"

"Gremlin?"

"Jane."

"Ah."

"Yeah. So, do you wanna hang out with us? It'll keep you away from that nasty cousin of yours."

"Umm..." I think about the chores Auntie Rose set me.

"Are you busy?" Carley asks, her face pondering my silence.

"Huh? Oh. I...I do not know. I mean, my Aunt has set me loads of chores - she always does. But...I don't know whether I can be bothered to do them." My mouth forms a straight line, Carley laughs.

"Wow. I never had you down for being a bad ass." Now it's my turn to laugh.

"Me either. Would your parents mind if I came round?" I ask anxiously.

"Nah. Mum's always telling me to invite more friends round, she thinks I'm turning into ‘a hermit'," she creates air quotation marks around her head.

I smirk, realising this is the most I've ever talked to a person who isn't older than thirty.

"So. You can be the first - non-blood-related friend I'll bring over!" She smiles triumphantly.

"Y' know what; I think I will come round. All be it alright with you still later. If not, then I don't mind." I attempt to smile.

She pats my shoulder. "Don't worry so much, I'm not a mean person."

"Thanks."

"S' alright. Now, let's get to work, looks like we only have five minutes to create a story!"

"Ah!" I exclaim, plucking my pen up and being scribbling away.

The End

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