I didn't know the girls name I played against. It didn't matter, she was part of Amanda's gang and I beat her easily. Tennis had always been my sport. Something about focussing your energy on smashing the ball is freeing. Best stress relief ever. Especially when you can see your opponents face fall as they realise they're going to lose. Badminton's not as fast-paced and exciting as tennis, but it was better than netball. I wasn't tall enough to make any difference, or short enough to have an excuse for bad playing.
I headed back into the changing room and showered. As I dried and left I could hear muffled giggles and frowned. What had Amanda done this time? I walked into the changing area and saw the hook, empty of all but underwear and my bag. A note was stuck to the bag and I grimaces as I plucked it and read it.
Figured a nutcase wouldn't mind a little exposure – have fun finding your clothes!
Fuck. It'd been a long time since she'd done something so old-school, but damn it was effective. She'd even grabbed my gym clothes so I couldn't get back into those. I was so screwed. I pulled on the underwear, just so I felt less naked around the other girls. All of which were shooting side-glances my way. Some were stifling laughs, others had that mix you always see in these situations. Guilty because they knew what was going on and should help. Relief, because it wasn't them. More people walked into the gym. Eventually a girl standing by herself sighed loudly and walked over.
“Here,” she said, handing me a pair of fresh trackies and an blue t-shirt. I blinked at the clothes and glanced at her. She looked like any other girl, but I wasn't about to turn it down.
“Thank you,” I forced, taking the clothes. She shrugged.
“It's not my stuff, it's my friends. Just make sure you return it to her. She's on the third floor of the dorm. Her name's Ruby,” she explained. Her eyes darted around, aware the others had seen her helping me. “Don't expect any more favours from me,” she said, raising her voice a little so others heard. Then she walked away. It was more help than I expected from any of them. I pulled the clothes on, noting the light airy scent clinging to the shirt as I pulled it over my head. The trackies were a little tight and stopped before my shins, but it was better than an underwear streak.
I did a rush job of make-up, put on my most intimidating face and left the gym. Anyone who knew me and my reputation were glancing my way. Sky blue wasn't my colour and I was glad for the rice powder on my cheeks that hid my blush. I let myself be late for my second class to go back to the dorm. I pulled on my uniform skirt. I'd have to order some new clothes this weekend. Good thing mum always gave me plenty spares of uniforms. She knew I had a tendency to ruin them.
I glanced at myself in the mirror, pulling a face at the plain blazer. I really hated the thing. I dumped my black boots and wore converse instead. With long knee-length purple and black socks. A girl had to preserve her image somehow. At least I still had all my books and earrings. I made a mental note to go visit that Ruby girl after class and headed off. I repressed a shudder as I realised what it was. Chemistry. One of the few classes that had a seating plan – and I was stuck at the same table as Axel and his friend Gabe. As long as he didn't talk to me, I should be able to survive the hour and half long session of torture. I just hoped the teacher didn't organise any team projects.