When I attended school back “home”, I found it hard to wake up in the mornings. I didn’t have the motivation. The promise of school kept me glued to the mattress, unwilling to leave the cosy confinements of my bed.
At Parker Bell, the situation was a little different. When the golden fingers of light picked their way through the gaps in my curtains, I felt excited and nervous and giddy with anticipation.
I had been at Parker Bell for four weeks now, and I had spent every single day with Rowan who was my newfound friend amidst the madness of the new term. He was constant. He was what I needed in this strange, new place filled with unfamiliar faces.
After brushing my teeth, I bared my teeth to ensure there were no bits of cereal lodged in there somehow. My hair was as unruly as ever, it’s refusal to be tamed was as infuriating as ever but I just shrugged off the feelings of irritation and scooped up my rucksack as I left my dorm room.
Rowan was leaned against the wall next to my door, staring lazily out of the window which sat opposite the opening to my room. He looked up at shot me a grin, straightening up.
“Your hair is amazing.” Rowan chuckled softly, shaking his head.
I glared at him, “wow, thanks for that tact boy.”
He lifted one shoulder half-heartedly as we began to make our way down the corridor. We never talk about the fact Rowan slept in the girl’s dorms. It was something of a taboo topic. I was fully aware of Rowan’s identification as a guy, and it made my skin itch with anger at the thought of the school trying to force him into conforming; squeezing him into the female dormitories in the hope he’d suddenly turn into a girl. It had been mentioned in passing once, briefly, that when Rowan started wearing the boy’s uniform in his younger years, he had been shoved into educational isolation for several days.
I pursed my lips, deep in thought, as we strolled towards the canteen. It had become apparent that while I had suddenly turned into such, Rowan was most definitely not a morning person. So for the two weeks that we’d been glued to the hip, I always went to scarf down my breakfast early(still fully clad in matching pyjamas) and returned to my room to prepare for school. Once I was ready, I would return to the canteen with Rowan so he could have his fill, too.
Plonking down at our usual table, I stared out of the huge glass window as I waited for Rowan to hurry back with a plateful of bacon and beans and two teas. I found his habit of always brining me tea to drink while he ate positively adorable. Although, I would never admit this aloud.
So, as per usual, Rowan returned to the table, arms laden with our drinks and his meal. He gave me a quick nod after handing me my tea, then tucked into his pile a bacon which was swamped in a pool of sticky beans. I shuddered internally. Baked beans and I had an ongoing disagreement (one that usually ended with me writhing around on the floor with stomach cramps).
“What’ve you got first period?” I asked, sipping at the sweet Earl Grey.
“Biology,” Rowan seemed to remember what that lesson entailed as he said it out loud, and grimaced.
“Your set are doing their dissection study, right?” I tried to stifle my laugh. Rowan was about as good at handling blood and gore, as I was at handling Ryan Fairwood’s company.
He shot me a glare, obviously he was trying not to think about it. Rowan looked down at the gooey mess of orange and red on his plate, clearly put off. He pushed the plate away from him, and took to slurping at his tea instead.
I smirked and rolled the stiffness out of my shoulders, yawning.
“Yeah.” I grinned sheepishly.
“You don’t look tired.” Rowan pointed out.
“Ah,” I spread my arms wide, “the magical properties of concealer will never cease to amaze me.”
Rowan snorted into his drink, but I did see him squinting at me; obviously trying to spot any signs of the makeup smudged hurriedly under my eyes.
I yawned again, clutching my hot beverage between my cold hands, hunching over it. The cold snap had hit the school suddenly and I loathed the amount of time I had to spend sorting through all my under-bed boxes, trying to find my winter clothes.
The cold didn’t really seem to faze Rowan, he just romped around in his tees and plaid shirts like it were still the middle of summer. I was starting to wonder whether it was just a thing with the pair of twins, because Ryan didn’t really seem to give a shit either; whereas I was waddling around school in my thickest jeans, with my chunkiest cable jumper and warmest coat. To be honest, the reason Rowan didn’t wear any cold weather clothing at all was probably because I was giving off enough heat for the two of us in all my layered glory.
Rowan glanced back at the huge clock which sat above the canteen entrance and I turned to look too. Eight forty five. I sniffed in distaste, unwilling to leave the dining hall which had only just been brought to a comfortable temperature by the impressive amount of radiators which lines the walls.
We would have to set off soon; the science block was right on the other side of campus – one of the newer buildings which had been built to accommodate the steadily growing student body.
“Right then.” He mumbled, standing up and stretching, “let’s go learn fun sciencey shite that will do nothing to help us get along in later life.”
“Hey, hey, for all you know, I might want to be a chemist when I’m older!” I countered.
“You hate chemistry, though.” Rowan pointed out.
“You told me yesterday that if you had to remember another equation, I would be the second person you strangle.”
“Who was the first again?”
“Oh yeah! I hate that guy.”
After Rowan had ditched the rest of his breakfast on the waste trolley, we headed in the direction of the science block; Rowan looking distinctly paler than his usual golden tanned self. I looked at him, smiling softly. “I’m sure Sir won’t mind if you sit this lesson out, there is no way they’d force you to dissect if you’re not comfortable with it.”
“As someone who has been at this school for the majority of their life, I can assure you: there is no getting out of this. They half-use it as I technique to see if anything happens with the students doing it, you know.” He grumbled.
I frowned in confusion, “what?”
He just rolled his eyes and gave a vague gesture, like what he said should have been obvious and made sense. “Anyway. Yay for biology.”
I shook my head, still feeling confused but I let it slide. It was too early to think hard about anything.