For once, I was pretty much on time going into school. It must have been me getting myself out the house, and not my mother for once. As I entered the classroom, it had its typical students in abundance already: the trouble-makers, the football boys, Helena looking tip-top… Katherine had not yet arrived, and I dearly hoped that she was not taking the day off; but, as the clock slowly ticked towards ten to nine, she arrived, looking rather blustered by the buffeting winds outside. She smiled gently as her group began to surround her.
I was ashamed to say that I looked at Katherine in a new light. I’d always known Chloe to be a rotten one, but, since my deep thinking last night, even my opinion of Katherine had changed.
Casting my eyes around, and feeling like a criminal at it too, I crept towards the base of the display case. Again, making sure that no one was watching, I lifted the thick fabric and poked my hand under.
Amongst the debris of paper scraps, and dust clusters, of various pens and pencils that had fallen or been knocked off the tables, and behind the thick material that was the library curtains (I grinned to myself), was something small, square and silver. In the no-light, I could not make out its features, but once I had lifted it off the floor and into the classroom light, it was obvious what the object had to be. It was a Nintendo DS.
“Katherine!” I jumped up, clutching the sought-after object.
At first, and as usual, nobody paid me much attention. I rushed over to Katherine’s table. On seeing what was clutched tightly in my hand, Chloe paled for a second, quickly regaining her softness of face, however, when Katherine turned.
“Katherine! Look what I found!” I waved the DS in front of her face; there was no doubt that it was hers, the Labrador stickers plastered the front lid, showing a love for animals and dogs as well as games.
Katherine’s eyes widened and her face was hurtled into a mix of emotions: gratitude, surprise, shock. Most of all, she was delighted.
“Aggie… Where did you find it?” she cried.
“Just over by the display cabinet…” I muttered.
“It must have been knocked there,” said Chloe loudly. I think she knew that I had seen her actions, and had an idea of the true culprit. How she got away with her explanation, I don’t know, as the DS would have had to have been lifted out of Katherine’s bag in order to have fallen so far under the velvet cloth of the cabinet.
In fact, guilt filled her eyes: the reason that she had decided to return the console…
“Yes, it was knocked over to there…” I repeated, looking again at Chloe. Her face was set determined now. I wouldn’t challenge her, no; it was a secret that we two only would bear our entire lives.
But that didn’t bother me. I’d found out who had taken, out of jealousy or greed, Katherine’s DS, and I had managed to have it returned to its owner safely.
“Look,” Katherine said, opening the console. “The top screen’s hinges are broken on one side. That must have happened when the thing fell.”
“Yeah, as it fell…”
I glanced over at Chloe, but, instead of staring me down, she turned away this time, ashamed.
Mrs. Pennyfeather swept into the room, and was promptly followed by the chorus of Katherine’s friends telling her the news.
“Oh, that’s brilliant, Katherine,” she said. “Good for you.”
She turned and addressed the rest of the class at precisely nine am.
“The library curtains have strangely gone missing…”
“I guess it’s a mystery that we’ll never solve, hey Mrs. Pennyfeather?” I giggled to myself.
She smiled patronisingly at me.
“Yes, the library curtains have gone missing- please keep an eye out for them- but that’s not what I’m here to say at this moment. Let’s get back to our artwork. I can’t wait to see what you’ve done for me.”
It was great to see Katherine so happy again, and even Helena had picked up some courage to say a few words to her.
So, that was the story of missing DS and how even young people can be the faces of good and evil. It was the little piece of action that began to inspire my wild mind to solve the mysteries that dotted the world around me with misery. I did not want to see so much sorrow again…
And what’s more, they decided to show my gleaming clockwork dog in the entrance hall of school.
I never was the modest type!