The next morning, I found my way to the bus stop a few streets away from where I now lived and caught the 24 bus to the end of the school road under my mother‘s instruction. There were other people from the high school sitting at the back, but neither of the girls I had met yesterday were on it. I went in early, though most students were milling around at the front waiting for the bell.
A blonde woman in high heels clicked past me and let the door swing closed in my face. I shoved it open bemusedly and glared at her back as she turned a corner ahead.
When I reached the door to my tutor room, I peered through the window in the door. It didn’t give a good view but the room looked empty. I went in and was surprised to see that Meena was there already, in her usual spot at the very back. She looked as if she had just arrived and had been watching the door.
I wove through the tables and sat down next to her with an attempt at a smile. Today, Meena looked annoyed. Her eyebrows were furrowed and her lips were set in a straight line, though she tried to give me a brief smile and a nod.
“Were you okay last night?” she asked, pulling a slim phone from her pocket and starting to text somebody, keeping on eye on me. It was such an odd question to ask so offhandedly.
“Uh…well, yeah. I was bored though, but…”
She snapped the phone closed. “Just checking.”
She gave me a genuine smile this time, and again I was taken aback by the brightness of her eyes. I was a little unsettled by her apparent oddity, but I couldn’t pretend that I wasn’t a little strange myself. I had a knack for reading people’s faces, recognising their emotions and lies, which made them uncomfortable and had caused my estrangement at Greenheath. It looked like I was going to fit in just fine next to Meena.
Just then the bell trilled outside (luckily I wasn’t underneath it this time) and the room slowly began to fill up. The tutor was a woman with highlighted blonde hair, a pink personal organiser and PDA and a high-maintenance manicure that I instantly despised, and not jut because she was the one who had almost hit me with a door. I could have managed that perfectly well without her help anyway. She was the kind of person that I hated for being shallow yet organised and thinking she was above everyone else, while I had to flounder through life like a fish out of water, never knowing exactly what was going on around me. It was my own fault for being so disorderly, I supposed, but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t hate the people who weren’t.
The teacher was younger than thirty and had a girlish face. She took the register from her PDA and then proceeded to write in her planner while the class chatted, most of the boys sneaking sly glances her way.
“That’s Ms Vane, the girls all hate her but the boys adore her,” Meena chimed, obviously noticing the direction of my glare. “Personally I think she should spend less time on her nails and more on practising common courtesy.”
I nodded with raised eyebrows, wondering if Meena had had hr own incident with a door, and grabbed my bag as soon as the bell went again. Meena accompanied me to our first class, which was Biology. The day followed in the same pattern as the previous, and at lunch again Meena had somewhere else to be. I didn’t mind as much now I knew there was someone I could sit with. I bought some food and joined Willow at her corner table. There was a smear of dirt across her cheek.
When I pointed this out she wiped it off immediately. There was something animal in the way her eyes seemed to flash yellow under the fluorescent canteen lights. What was with these girls and their eyes?