The cafeteria was strangely empty for a Tuesday morning. The majority of the students had taken their morning meal outside to enjoy the little sunlight that halted the relentless rain.
Still the cafeteria was full of the dull clatter of the plastic trays and cereal bowl’s clanking together. I was beginning to wonder if maybe it was a soundtrack the school had just decided to play to make this place seem lively.
I didn't care enough to wonder further.
I clicked the top of my retractable pen repeatedly in that rhythmic fashion that was sure to annoy anyone sitting near me. As it were, I was sitting alone in some distant corner of the cafeteria, my only company being the large window I sat next to.
I stared blankly at a page of the school newspaper, one typo holding the focus of my attention as I wondered how I could have let something like this slip. I circled the offending typo and continued my clicking.
Someone slide their food tray down on my table and took the seat in front of me. I couldn't be bothered to look up.
"Mind if I sit here? All the other sits are taken."
"It's your prerogative." I mumbled not bothering to point out the cafeteria had seen fuller days.
Another word on my paper caught my attention, it wasn't misspelled I just hated the way it sounded.
"Your cereal has turned to mush." commented the new comer. It was obvious I wasn't getting any peace now that she'd joined me.
I looked up from my paper finally acknowledging her existence.
She had one of those prefect faces that can only be achieved through surgery or good luck.
From her eyes I could tell she was Asian, from her red streaked black hair and attire I could tell she was a Goth. Weird amulets with eerie symbols hung on chains around her neck.
This was no doubt her first day here; she was yet to encounter the strict uniform rules.
She frowned down at my work.
“Are you editing the school paper?” she asked her voice lacking any gusto and sounding like she had been a chain smoker in her former life—or a demon.
“Yeah.” I’d finally meet someone less enthusiastic about life than me--how depressing.
She raised her pierced eyebrows at me, subtly mouthing out the words ‘get a life’; she could've been more discreet.
“It’s my job.” I explained, hoping to sound less lame.
“Yeah I know, you’re the editor of the school paper. Doesn’t that happened before publication?” she asked.
The way she said that made me actually sound lame. Ouch.
I opened my mouth to try and explain my delicate editing process. However, something about her whole aura stole away any desire I had of being in her presence a moment longer. I quietly began collecting my things.
“How many people read the school paper?” she asked.
“Enough.” I answered shortly.
“Mmmm.” She mumbled obviously getting the hint.
I picked up my bag and marked up paper. For some reason I felt I had to explain me departure, so the Goth wouldn’t think I was leaving because of her. Although, that was the reason I was leaving.
“I’ve got this thing-class I’ve got to be at...sooo yeah, see ya around.” I said standing up.
“Sure, whatever, I don’t expect lives to pause for me.” She replied.
I had no idea what she meant by that and I didn’t care enough to stick around and find out.
I forced a smile before turning my back to her and walking briskly from the cafeteria.
The trouble was class didn’t actually start for another fifteen minutes which left me, sadly hiding until the bell rang. It wasn’t the first time I’d hidden from someone yet, it seemed foreign to me. I remember I time when I didn't hide from my adversities I faced them. Now they'd grown an army so big and terrible I just couldn't bring myself to defeat it. But that was hardly anything new, I hadn’t been myself for two years now, or maybe now I was becoming someone else; the old me died with my parents.
I found some distinct tucked away chair in the corner of a secluded hallway abandon by the student body, it was the hallway outside the headmaster’s office. I eased myself into the hard wooden chair and gazed out the window beside me basking in the fragile May sun. I unfurled my marked up newspaper but I didn't get much editing done, in the time I sat there. I simply starred at the paper and determindedly tried not to think about my parents, trying not to think of how lonely I was, how I missed them or how much their death still hurt to think about. I was rescued from my lament by the ringing of the school bell that surged me back into reality, a reality where I had no time for pain only studies. I relished the moment as I rushed off to my first class and the oppressing weight of the day’s classes that overcrowded my schedule and my mind.
The school day passed rather uneventfully, my thoughts were consumed with school work and journalism as usual. By the time the glowing pink of the setting sun lit the school windows and the last school bell rang, signaling every sensible student to cafeteria, I had managed to forget entirely about the Goth I'd met this morning. I assumed I'd never see her again as I headed to the school newspapers office.