Life is far too ordinary. School kids are split into the cliched groups and life goes on. But on a fateful Monday everyone disapears. Apart from 12 school kids. Together they have to work together, breaking the well known barier between the popular guys and the "slightly more ordinary" guys, to live in a world without power, order and adults.
It all began on a Monday. Oh my God. That sounds so clichéd doesn’t it? But to be honest, it really was a Monday. Honest. I hated Mondays anyway, even before It happened. Knowing that you had five more days full of school before you could relax again? No thanks. But on that Monday, it seemed as though the day was doomed to fail before It had even began. But I can’t start there. You wouldn’t understand. Let me start at the beginning and introduce you to my friends and family...
My name is Susie, well Susannah Reynolds really. I’m fourteen, almost fifteen now, and I have hazel eyes and rich blond hair, that colour with the natural brown streaks in it. I’m pretty I suppose, but I’m not beautiful like some people I know are. Of course I’m not that tall, about medium height compared to all my friends. My best friend in the entire world is called Sadie Phillips and she is everything that I am not. Beautiful, popular and clever. We sound like an odd pair I’m sure, Sadie and Susie. She has been my best friend since playgroup, when I sat beside her and apparently, by the end of the day we were inseparable (I personally can’t remember that but Sadie claims she can).We stayed together in the same classes throughout Infant and Primary school and ended up here, Newell School. It isn’t a bad school really, we have vaguely normal teachers and they have proper computer rooms with working computers. There are laboratories, cookery rooms and even sports rooms such as the pavilion and the Sport’s hall. Every lunchtime Sadie and I stay at out meeting place in the school. We meet up with all our friends (you didn’t think I only had one friend did you?) and talk until the bell rings for the end of the lunch again. I say that Sadie and I talk all lunch but that isn’t quite right. Out of our friends there are two groups, the popular ones and the others. Sadie is the leader of the popular girls, the others being called Hannah (Newman) and Megan (Knight). The others are called Alexia (Hughes) and Caitlin (Edwards). Caitlin and Hannah have been best friends since Primary School. Alexia would be in Sadie’s popular group but she argues too much with Sadie. The two of them do not get on. That’s an understatement. They hate each other.
The other people that mill around our corner are many of the boys, not the most popular ones (They won’t come as the girls don’t like Sadie; she is too perfect for their liking and would steal their boyfriends) but the next group down. My best friend from them (and one of my two best friends) is called George Croft. George has also been my best friend since… forever! When we were small children, our parents would leave us together as the mothers went to talk with one another, leaving our sisters to play together and us to talk. They never really stopped and I have remained a firm friend of his. Before you ask, we are not boyfriend and girlfriend. It is possible to be just friends. The main reason is that he never asked. His friends include Luke, who like many boys, is in love with Sadie. So is George really, he just has never admitted it to her. But I know. I’ve seen him and I just know how he acts and, I just know. They would make a good couple. I remember my favourite memories of George close to my heart. They are framed in images on my wall at home, in pictures that were taken on those days. He has never realised how much I value them. My favourite was in May when we were seven…
We were sitting in his garden as we often did in the summer. His garden is bigger than mine and has the largest oak tree I have ever seen growing in it. It was hot, as many days in the middle of May were. We were sitting outside and the two of us had a picnic in the centre of his garden, eating all the cakes and bread we had smuggled from his house earlier. When it was over we had just sat there in the sunshine for a few hours, talking and playing. When the sun had got too hot we had sat beneath the large tree and watched the world go by. A butterfly landed by us and I remember seeing it and smiling at the beautiful colours. At the end of the day it was getting dark and I was huddling under half of George’s coat as we sat there to keep us warm. When we heard our parents call
“Time to go!” George and I had reluctantly got up from our secret hiding place. He had smiled down at me (even when he was seven he had been taller than me) and he had asked me to stay where I was. George had walked off and then had come back a few second later.
“Close your eyes.” He said and I had done so. When I had opened them again George was gone and in my hands was a single red rose. It might sound to you like a corny story, but I love that rose and the tale.
“Susie!” Sadie is calling for me. She says that only boring people write in diaries. Well, I’ll show her. I’m not boring. Am I? Maybe I should ask her.
Sadie says I’m not boring. Yet. Apparently I will be if I keep writing in this diary. I think it’s pretty. Maybe Sadie isn’t the best person to ask. I don’t care what she says. I think. I don’t know. I am getting confused. Maybe I should ask Alexia. Hang on.
No, Lexi says I’m not boring either. That’s alright then. Oh that was the bell, if I don’t go now I’ll be late!
I HATE Science. I mean, do I really need to know that my brain stops growing when I’m eighteen? And do I care that one quarter of my bones are in my feet? Who cares?
Stop writing in my book!
Why should I? It’s easier than tearing pages from my book to make notes. He noticed you know, and I told him my hamster had got into my bag one night.
Hannah stop it! You will ruin it!
I don’t need to tell you. You know how.
Quick! He’s looking at us! What was he talking about?
Uhhhh… the heart?
Thanks Susie. He was talking about the sky. Now I have a detention.
Maybe that will teach you to STOP WRITING IN MY BOOK!!
Great. Now I have detention too. Thanks a lot.
I HATE Hannah sometimes.
At Lunchtime we had to sit in this stupid stuffy room and write out a hundred times:
I will not write in a book and not be listening to my teacher.
Now we will get a lecture about tucking in our shirts. Do I ever get a break? Hannah may be the laughter of our group but sometimes she really annoys me. I finished my lines ten minutes ago but he went out to go and get his lunch and we can’t leave till he returns or we get another detention.
I HATE Hannah.
Hannah Newman is my friend (most of the time) who I met when she and Sadie went to the bench in year 7 to try and work out some of their English questions. They couldn’t do it so I was roped in and here I am, stuck in this arid (I bet you didn’t know I used words like arid) room in the middle of the year when everyone else is outside having fun. I haven’t even got any lunch. I wish I had a baguette. Great. I have resorted to writing about my possible lunch in my diary. My special, pristine diary I had bought just for writing down my special thoughts and feelings.
Anyway, rant over, I was talking about Hannah. She has the biggest smile you have ever seen on someone, with the most perfect white teeth. She hasn’t even got to have braces. Not fair. The dentist says that next month a pair of braces is coming my way. I feel so special. With the largest mouth ever, you can believe that she is often using it. I get so annoyed with her big mouth getting me in trouble as it often seems to do. She has only just finished her lines. She says that I should be a writer seeing as I write so fast. It’s just because she writes so slow. That’s why I am in the better English group compared to her. Even though I can’t spell, I can write. I guess I’m sort of proving it to you now but not very well.
I can write a lot better. I did these pieces for my creative writing over the summer holiday and Madam loved them. She said I was a gifted writer. Hang on, what she wrote at the bottom of my piece actually was:
Well done Susie. You have made some excellent pieces of writing that show some stunning believable characters. You are a natural at this and I expect great things from you in the future. Keep this up!
That was basically what I said wasn’t it? Almost. But anyway, I don’t want to be a writer when I grow up. ‘Good’ authors have to use so much imagination to come up with worlds of their own called something strange like ‘Nanvara’ and have silly characters who don’t sound real with stupid names that make no sense. If I had to write a book, it would be at least a realistic one like Meg Cabot’s novels.
However I want to be an actress when I am older. I go to a drama club every Friday night where I first met Caitlin and Megan. (I also saw Daniel there for the first time). Caitlin Edwards is surprisingly confident at the drama club as she is quiet as a mouse at school (A mute mouse, as normal mice squeak all the time). She acts beautifully on the small stage we use every so often at theatre. Personally I’m better at the singing side of the acting (maybe I should be a singer) so I am normally in the musicals rather than the productions like her. Megan Knight is confident enough to be in either if she wanted. She is the dancer of the three of us and excels in all the dances that they use in the plays. Then again, I am often chosen in the musical as a dancer as well as a singer because I can dance well, but I am more of a gymnast than a dancer. That means we are often grouped into different productions or different parts due to the difference in talents.
Of course, when no productions are on and we are having acting lessons we work as a group, performing these seemingly impossible lifts such as the one where I am turned upside down by Megan and held there. There is another when I come up to Caitlin who is bent down (as if I was about to leapfrog on her) and then I do a handspring onto her shoulders, one hand on each. Then she stands up and finally I drop down by her bending over slightly and I just jump off. At first I did it with a dummy at her height crouching but I have got better at doing it on a real person. Soon I will be able to get there without her crouching down. The idea is that I use an object to give me extra bounce and I can flip straight onto her shoulders, hands first then I cartwheel up there. I don’t think I told you I can do cartwheels and handstands. It my one failsafe as I’m not pretty or popular. I will handstand my way from trouble. As if.
Hang on. I think I hear Sir! Finally. How slow does he walk?
I have just got home from school on the bus. It was Sir earlier. He didn’t even apologise for taking up my lunchtime to go and buy a sandwich. It was one of those icky tomato ones. I’m supposed to be doing my homework now but I don’t have any so that’s not a problem. I don’t really care anyway. I’m fabulous at homework. I wish. I’d just ask Sadie or Caitlin on MSN tonight anyway. Probably Caitlin. She is much cleverer than Sadie although Sadie is smart. Hmm… While I wait for my time on the computer (after my sister) I will tell you about my last day in my old diary. Beware; it’s very old, Valentine’s day this year! That’s almost four months ago! Anyway, here we go.
This will be embarrassing. Anyway, I dread Valentine’s Day. It’s a day that shows who the popular beautiful girls are and singles out the girls who are single and haven’t got someone to love them. I’m sure you can guess which categories Sadie and me fit into. As a hint, we aren’t in the same one. This morning, as I do every year, I buy one of the roses that they sell at out school which I will leave on George’s doorstep rather than send through the school system. I’m good at keeping secrets and that is the biggest I have. I have been trying (unsuccessfully) to convince myself I don’t love him every day of my life so far. My friends may have guessed, but I haven’t told them. Well, except for Sadie who guessed and confronted me.
Every girl in our year secretly hopes to receive a rose even if they don’t expect one. The popular ones expect to receive at least one rose and always put them on their desk as they receive them throughout the day and have their cards set up. Most of them have the fall back of a boyfriend to give them a rose and a date after school. Not me. I HATE Valentine’s Day.
Every lesson so far, they have been handing out the roses to the popular girls as they arrive. And to Sadie. She has got four so far and some of the popular girls are looking at her jealously as they don’t have as many. She offered me one but I refused. I don’t want her charity. Well, I do but I have my pride. Sort of.
I wish I had a rose.
Lessons have again been interrupted for the roses parade. Daisy behind me, a popular girl gets her fifth rose. She smiles and laughs as she flirtatiously collects her rose. She has no shame. She keeps flicking her hair over her shoulder and ‘accidentally’ dropping her millions of cards over the desk and collects them, bending down carefully so she doesn’t reveal anything as her short skirt rides up again. She keeps asking everyone if they have a rose, knowing full well that they don’t. She asked me as I entered the room. How I wish I had one to spite her with.
This lunchtime Alexia (to stir up trouble I’m sure) asked everyone but Sadie what they would do if they received a rose. It was interesting but not surprising to hear the answers. Sadie smiled and asked each boy if they had sent her one of the two unnamed roses that she had received. Even Sadie was confused as to the sender of the roses. I know the named ones were from Luke and George but the others I don’t know.
This tutor time our tutor was teasing all the girls who hadn’t got roses. The boys were safe as they aren’t expected to get a rose. Many of the girls would get a rose on Friend day later in the year when the special yellow roses (the flower of friendship) were given to everyone. Suddenly the door was knocked on and the rose givers arrived as always to give out the latest bunch of roses. I watched as another rose was given to Sadie (from Luke again) and Daisy received another rose. Hannah was given her only rose from her boyfriend Daniel and she smiled from ear to ear as she received it. I was looking at what he had written on the card attached when Sadie poked me. Hard. I jerked up and looked over at her questioningly. She nodded her head over at the rose gatherers. They were deep in discussion with our tutor. Suddenly he nodded. The class was in silence, straining to hear what was being said, but not too eagerly in case he turned and bit our heads off as was common. We weren’t stupid, whatever he thought of us. Our tutor turned and we looked down instantly at our work, pretending to be absorbed by what we were reading.
“Class, we have one more rose to give away today.” Began our tutor. Suddenly everyone was listening. They had handed out the roses to every popular in their class already. Unless it was important or special he wouldn’t be announcing it. Would he? I guessed it would be someone unexpected. Maybe it would be for Daisy again. I wondered if Caitlin had a rose by now. She always hoped for a rose from Ben, the popular boy in our tutor group.
“The last rose is for…” everyone was watching him excitedly. We were so absorbed we didn’t care that he saw our excitement.
“Susie.” As I heard him say my name I looked over at him, expecting to see a smile at the edge of his lips. He must be teasing surely.
“Come here Susie.” He said. He must have seen my face and he laughed loudly. I was in shock. Who would get me a rose?
“They don’t bite.” I stood up and went over to collect my rose. He motioned to the rose gatherers who brought over the basket filled with the roses. I held out my hand for my rose and a red rose was placed in my hand. Along with eleven others, tied at the bottom with a pale pink ribbon around the flowers. I gasped. The bouquet (for that was what it was) was beautiful. I looked down at it and almost burst into tears. It was so beautiful and perfect! When I sat down Hannah and Sadie were peering over, trying if there was one of the red notes. The notes with the chosen message were always red with silver and black writing on them. I didn’t care if it was sent by my worst enemy. I had not just got one rose but the most in our year all in one go. Someone loved me more than the most popular girl in the school! I placed my hand over my mouth and laughed to myself in shock. Secretly I was shocked that I had managed to get myself not just one rose, which I had been hoping for but twelve. A dozen red roses! And they were all for me! Not beautiful Sadie but me! Finally I tore my eyes from the roses themselves and found the small red tag from my secret admirer. It read:
Roses may be red,
But I don’t care
‘Cause I love you.
I gasped. It was perfect as I had imagined that it would be. I loved it and everything about it. Sadie told me later that when I had got it Daisy had suddenly pouted and hissed at her boyfriend that if he didn’t buy her flowers like that she would break up with him. Apparently he had replied that he wouldn’t and that she was too expensive for him and had broken up with her! What a perfect day! I was the first girl ever to receive a dozen roses through the service and suddenly as I walked through school everyone noticed. I have been remembered as the mysteriously admired and my popularity rose as everyone wanted to know who had sent them. The rose gatherers asked me after tutor time if they could next year use this as part of the service to have a bouquet of roses like mine which they have named a Secret Susie after me!
♥I LOVE Valentine’s Day! ♥