“Today we will be looking back at what we did during last class - summarizing the events of Chapter 1 of The Outsiders, and writing an analysis on Ponyboy’s actions and his connection to the other six boys so far introduced, as well as writing predictions for Chapter 2.” Ms Andrews - a middle-aged stern-looking woman - said, arching her eyebrows as Holly thumped her head on the desk. “Do you have an issue with this lesson plan, Ms Cricklet?”
“That’s what I thought.” The teacher inclined her head at the class and went to go sit behind her desk and continue grading the Grade 8 progress tests.
The studious silence lasted for about ten minutes before Lucy felt a tap on her shoulder. Turning, she was faced with a grinning brunette.
“I’m Kaitlin.” She said, still wearing the Cheshire Cat-esque smile. “You’re the new girl, right? Jasice or something?”
“Jase. Nice to meet you?” Lucy said, hoping she didn’t mess her cover up. She had no idea what to say to these girls.
“Where are you from?”
“New Hampshire.” They’d agreed on this ahead of time, to explain the British lilt to her voice. After all, no one from this town would be able to tell the difference.
“Oh, so that’s why you have an accent.”
“Why did you move?”
I wasn’t aware we were playing Twenty Questions, She thought wryly to herself. “My-” She made sure to drop her gaze and scuff her Oxfords against the floor. “My dad- he died.”
“Oh!” Kaitlin’s hand flew to her mouth in surprise. “Oh! I’m so sorry! I had no idea! What happened?”
Looks like her ‘remorse’ isn’t going to hinder the Spanish Inquisition, Lucy thought. “He- he was in the army.” She looked away, certain that this would be explanation enough.
“That’s so sad. I’m sorry. Well, I’m sure you’ll like it here.” Kaitlin said, and turned back to her desk, barely waiting a second to lean over to the girl next to her, whispering furiously into her ear.
“I’ll bet you ten quid that the story of ‘Kevin’ is all over Lucia Prep by now.” Lucy used her ‘watch’ to send to Andrea.
Barely a minute later, there was a reply. “No bet. Thirteen-year-old girls are huge gossips. And stop it! Focus! You know as well as I do that this is a comm line, they have to record everything we say on here and shove it in the Archives. If you want to chat, then do it on another secure line.”
“Fine.” Lucy muttered to herself under her breath.
— — — — —
At lunch, she found herself in the horrors of the middle school cafeteria again.
Luckily, Andrea had packed a lunch for her - “Might as well keep up appearances, right?” - so she didn’t have to wait in line.
“Jase! Come and sit with us!” Turning, she looked for the source of the voice.
It was Irene.
“Uh, sure.” She tried to smile, but she was so confused that all she could focus on what trying to figure out why the hell a popular girl would want the newbie to sit with her.
Sliding into a chair, she hesitantly sat her lunch down on the table.
The Persian girl was smiling at her. “Guys, this is Jase. Jase, this is Tatiana-” Irene gestured to the girl with the car-door ears “-and Yvonne and Agatha-” this time she pointed to the pair of what looked like twins “-as well as Freddie-” next came a mean-looking blonde “and finally, Sally.” the last girl was a shy brunette.
“Hi,” Lucy gave a little wave, keeping her voice quiet. Here’s to hoping they didn’t just lure me over here to tease me. She thought to herself.
Once all the other girls at the table had chimed in a little “hello” (excepting Freddie, who didn’t say a word), they continued chattering, Lucy trying to sink as far into her chair as she could.