Back in those days, before I had met Mr. Craig and learned not only to love life in the rapid pace it moved, but to love myself truly, I found school incredibly tedious. Mrs. Pennyfeather was our year six teacher, and, of course, specialised in nothing. It was fair to say that our music lessons were far and few, my favourite subject pushed away.
Although I was in a special (at this point meaning ‘gifted’) set of five people, including me, for maths, it never set alight my passions; science was kept to the simplest and frustrated me easily; and the remainder of the Wednesday afternoon was set up for ‘games’ of sports, and not my idea of entertainment.
When the end of that day finally came, in a wave of fresh air, and a rush of relaxation after running our hour-and-a-half-long rounders match, I kept my eyes on the lookout for Katherine, and when she wandered back into the classroom, empty-handed and with tears brimming in her eyes, I knew that she had been given no luck at the school office.
Now, in my mind, there was no doubt at all: someone still in this very classroom had stolen the DS.
All through the evening and into the night the thoughts swelled, blossoming into my mind like flowers, but swimming away like jellyfish. In fact, even when pushing them aside to make room for homework, those thoughts were ones that took up the whole of my mind, the whole of my time. Things had never interested me so much before.
As I ate dinner I pondered the facts again. Nobody in my class seemed to be the type for petty thievery, but then, I wasn’t sure myself who’d be willing to change themselves and defy morals for something worth over a hundred and thirty pounds.
However, there were some suspects, boys like Jason and Mark, known separately- and as a pair- for their trouble-making antics. They were the ‘bad boys’ of the class, and happy about it.
There was a small problem to my theory that it might have been them, though: they would never, in my opinion, risk stealing something that they had no interest in. They certainly weren’t games fanatics (except the school kind that we played on Wednesdays). Nevertheless, I decided that, the next morning, they would be my eye’s crucial target.
The classroom was alive with the sounds of gossip as I hurried in, late, the next day. Katherine was in her usual place, her dark hair limp, and her eyes bleary from crying too many scared tears. Her dull face was pointed up towards some of the friends that sat around her, trying to see the sense in the comforting remarks they were saying.
“Don’t worry, Katherine. You’ve probably just misplaced it. These things turn up…” reassured Chloe, Katherine’s best friend. Simply dressed, but with a short brown bob and narrow eyes ready to scour out opportunities for success, this girl meant business.
Katherine shook her head wildly.
“It was brand new. What am I going to say to my mum?”
There were shrugs and nodding from all around the ‘entourage’ that were sitting behind Chloe on the tabletop, mostly Chloe’s friends, but some that Katherine had gained herself from before she knew Chloe.
I rolled my eyes on seeing this display of ‘friendship’, but waved to Katherine and took my place.
“Now, class,” said Mrs. Pennyfeather, as she swept in. “We’ve got some science and maths in the morning-” (a groan went out from the crowd before her) “-but, I’ve decided, since you’ve been so good lately, that we should have an arts and crafts afternoon.”
A cheer automatically rose up after that.
“There. I thought you’d like that!”