Mary-Jane Dixon is caught up in the biggest mistake of her life, and it's going to take a lot of hard work to right the wrongs her decisions have led too.
'He's been lying there for three days! How could you not notice?'
The gaggle of schoolgirls pressed closer together, eager for news. The latest scandal involved two popular girls, Mary-Jane and Marilyn, who were both facing each other with agression rolling of the pair in waves.
'Oh come on!' Mary-Jane cried. 'I kind of have more important things to think about right now!'
Marilyn let out a hysterical giggle. 'So important that you don't notice your own cat dead in the corner of the kitchen? Yeah, right.'
'We have tonnes of cats! It was probably just another stray that Libby offered a home!' Mary-Jane screeched.
'Yeah, we believe you,' snorted Marilyn, rolling her eyes. 'It must have smelt bad, but I guess it already smells like a pig pen in your house, the amount of animals there are in there!'
Her surrounding clique of girls threw back their heads and shrieked with mirth. Mary-Jane crossed her arms and stalked away in order to hide her flaming red face.
Penny threw her arm round Mary-Jane's shoulder comfortingly while Milly, Steff and Becka tutted quietly and shot scathing looks at Marilyn.
'Leave it be,' Penny advised warmly. 'Marilyn's a bitch at the best of times.'
Mary-Jane sniffed, and sat delicatley on the bench. Letting her friends chatter over her, she let her grey eyes wander over the payground. Life is so shallow at school, she thought miserably.
It was true. Girls flicked their hair and flirted, while bitching about someone's hair, make-up or clothes, while the boys played sport or tried to hook up with the fittest girl possible.
Mary-Jane had had plenty of boyfriends, but none of them were her. They were always in it for the popularity that came hand in hand with dating a popular girl. None of them really knew her, or could ever understand her.
Only one person loved her. Only one person really, truly liked her for who she was inside. A misunderstood, sixteen year old extrovert with a cleaning issue and a love of Mexican food.
Who else in the school could say what her favourite food was? Not even her own mother, or Penny, or Milly, or Steff and Becka. Not one of them actually cared.
Mary-Jane was stuck in a system she wanted to break. When the bell rang, she was still musing over her own unfortunate life, when she heard a familiar voice as she sat in her chair for Form time.
'I heard you had a bit of a bust up with Marilyn this afternoon, M-J,' murmered a male voice behind her.
She giggled, and raised her hand, not turning round.
'What is it, Miss Dixon?' Snapped her Form Tutor.
'I need to go to the loo, miss,' Mary-Jane trilled. WIth a wave of the teachers hand she was dismissed. She felt the person behind her follow, and she slipped quickly into the nearby broom cuboard, shutting the door on them both.
'I haven't had a chance to talk to you in a while,' he said thoughtfully, stroking her long blonde hair softly.
Mary-Jane stared into his deep blue eyes for one moment, and the next his lips were pressed firmly against hers. All rational thought flew from her mind as her fingers twisted into his dark hair, lips parting.
When they broke apart, Mary-Jane was flushed and excited. He chuckled softly.
'I'll be seeing you soon,' he told her seriously.
'Sooner than you think,' she said, rolling her eyes. 'I have Art this afternoon, how could you forget?'
He just smiled. 'You're awfull at Art, you do know that don't you?'
'Yes. I'm only there so I can stare at you all lesson.'
Another laugh. 'I bet thats why I have such a big class this time. Teenage girls obviously have a thing for older men.' With that parting comment, he left swiftly, straightening his tie as he went.
Mary-Jane leant against the inside of the cupboard for a moment. If only he wasn't thirty in four weeks time. If only he wasn't her art teacher.
Maybe it would work out.