I was only a few minutes late to school, so I didn't get marked down for it. First period dragged on slowly, but eventually English came along. I took my usual seat next to Alice. On the left side of our table sat Sam and Kiara, and opposite was Tom. The seat next to him had been left empty since Ruby left. I still felt a pang of sadness in my stomach when I saw her empty seat. We started chatting about the weekend.
"Where did you get to after the party India?" asked Sam "We all went round to Ryan's, but we couln't find you anywhere."
"Oh I just went home, I was feeling a bit ill," I said sheepishly, making up a story on the spot.
"Too much alcohol?" Tom said, laughing.
"Yep, I guess so," I said laughing too. Alice coughed pointedly, but apart from that made no comment.
The teacher came in just then, saving me from my own embarassment. It took her a few minutes to quieten us down enough to take the register. Half way through the door opened, interrupting her. Another english teacher came in followed by a famillier looking boy.
"Sorry Mrs Wood, we've got a new student for your class. This is Jamie Palmer" he said, unsmiling, handing her a plastic pocket of paper. The new boy, Jamie, muttered a quick greeting to her. He had bright blonde hair. It was straight, but messy, and I couldn't decide if it was styled like that or just natural. I heard Kiara whisper something to Alice; probably analysing the new boy.
"Ah yes, hello, um- ah yes there's a free seat at the back there," she said pointing to the seat next to Tom. I shifted uncomfortably - I didn't like the idea of someone sitting in Ruby's seat. He sat down anyway, smiling shyly at us all. Then I finally realised who he was. He was the boy I bumped into in the shop earlier. I smiled back at him, hoping he wouldn't recognise me.
"Alice. Alice!" came a whisper from behind us. Alice turned around next to me.
"Have you got a spare pen?" I heard Mark ask from across the table behind us.
"No," she said. There was a hint of contempt in her voice, "You could ask India, I'm sure she has."
"Uh yeah, sure," I muttered getting one from my bag, "here."
"Thanks love," he said. I felt like the whole class must have noticed the uncomfortable mix of awkwardness and tension, but everyone carried on as usual, including Mark. I was just over analysing again. I closed my eyes for a moment, searching for a song to help me ignore the whole horrible situation. None came, so I opened my eyes and focused my concentration on analysing Shakespeare instead.