Biology was the first lesson of the day, and I swept into the classroom swiftly, four minutes before class is scheduled to begin, and sat down beside my best friend, Abbie, on out work bench. Abbie is fifteen years old, like me, and we have been friends for as long as I can remember. Her mum used to know my mum, until the latter lost touch with the world, and now my dear old mum doesn't talk to anyone, not even my father. Abbie is as crazy as they come, with wild red hair styled so that it curls over her shoulder. She has light blue eyes, a surprising contrast to her hair, and somehow stays as skinny as a pole even though she eats like a horse.
"Hiya Abbie, how are things?" I asked politely as I scraped my chair under the bench.
"They're good. You?"Abbie replied. Abbie and I haven't quite mastered the art of conversation. That is the true wonder of friendship; how hardly anything needs to be said for there to be an understanding between the pair of us. Body language such as head shakes and hand gestures make up the majority of our communication.
"Okay, I suppose. My mum's still a jerk, but when isn't she?" I stated.
"Yeah" was Abbie's simple reply.
By the time the sing syllable has left Abbie's mouth the teacher has entered the room and is gazing across his students. By pupil's standards Mr Jones is a cool guy. Not to strict but not a complete pushover. Those who attend his class know that they can make a joke as long as it does not go too far. Out of all of my teachers, Mr Jones was my favourite. He talked to me in such a way that boosted my confidence, whilst offering me gentle criticism along the way. Little did I know Mr Jones was about to become an important part of my life pretty soon.
He rubbed a hand across the short brown beard on his face and focused his eyes on the table in front of him.
"My favourite aspect of Biology" he announced, speaking to no one in particular yet addressing the whole class at the same time "Dissection"
The last word was prolonged and pronounced, as if Jones was trying to add a precise effect on what was being said.
He suddenly tilted his head erratically and stared at a white object on his desk. As more and more children looked over to him, and followed his line of vision, they found to their disgust a white-bellied rat lying on it's back, pinned to a plastic tray by its arms, legs, tail and ears. The girls of the class gasped and some mimicked a vomiting action. The poor creature, with its fuzzy stomach and wormy tail, amused me, and I could see that Abbie was giggling too. The rodent looked like it may be sunbathing, and I could sense a photo opportunity for the keen photographer Abbie.
"Gather round me so you can see how to cut up this unfortunate fellow" Jones instructed. His voice sounded like it might have belong to someone older than his thirty three years, and he emanated an air of wisdom.
The people sickened by the corpse lingered at the back of the tightly packed circle that resulted from the teacher's instructions, and people like me and Abbie, who would do anything that was required for an excellent GCSE mark, strayed closer to Jones' desk.
Mr Jones, when everyone was prepared, selected a scalpel from a tray hidden behind a box of scrap paper, and lowered it down to the rat's stomach. Shrieks of faked agony erupted from grimacing girls, and Mr Jones lowered the sharp instrument in his hand. as he made the first incision, bright red blood oozed from the tiny wound, staining the white fur scarlet, and the teacher's eyes rose to meet mine.
His gaze remained fixed to mine for a little too long for it to have been a coincidence.