Chapter 19 - Buddy Up

We had our breakfasts, went upstairs to brush our teeth (and obviously went to the toilet!) then I put some lippy on, we put our shoes on, and then we set off for school.

It was only a few minutes away, so easily walkable; but I’ll tell you something that wasn’t: my shoes. I have no idea how people walked in these things, but I can tell you, it wasn’t easy, but I did get the hang of it by the time we got to school…

 

By this time, I realised that I was actually very, very nervous.

“Nervous?” Marcus sensed it.

“Just a little bit.” I laughed, uneasily.

“I can see it from here, can you?” He asked casually, and I could hear my heart going bumpety-bump really fast in my chest.

“Yeah; I’ve got Goosebumps!” I laughed.

“It’ll be okay; you can get through anything if you believe in yourself.” Marcus smiled, and squeezed my hand with encouragement.

“Aw, come on Marcus! You sound like my Mother!” I mock-complained, emphasizing the word ‘Mother’.

 

We walked through the grounds, and eventually arrived at the main entrance. We gave our names in at the front desk, and we were asked to sit down, then told that the headmistress would be with us shortly.

“Welcome!” The headmistress greeted us cheerily.

“Hi; I’m Marcus, and this is Clementine.” Marcus shook her hand.

“Hi; we’ll have student buddies to show you around your classes... So, without further ado, lets get you signed in, and you can get on to your classes. You’re in all the same classes, as promised.” She winked at me.

“Thank you.” I smiled, and we both stood up.

She directed us onto a colourful corridor, which was evidently art. There were things like St. Georges dragons and things, as St. George’s day had only been a few months ago.

The headmistress (whose name we later found out to be Rose Taylor) wished us luck, and then we were left to knock on the door, and enter the classroom where dozens of beady eyes were looking eagerly at us.

 

“Ah... You two must be Marcus and Clementine.” The teacher smiled at us.

“Yes miss.” I went all shy.

“Marcus, Jessica will be your buddy, and Clementine, Dylan will be your buddy. Now that you know who you’re buddied up with... it might be a good idea to sit next to your buddy.” She grinned... they were splitting me and Marcus up on purpose. We were sat on opposite sides of the room!!!

 

I had a note passed to me as Marcus swept past ‘to gather some colouring pencils’.

Help! Major flirting! Don’t know how much more I can take!

I grinned at Marcus, and mouthed ‘trust me, I have the same problem.’ Which had both me and Marcus in laughing fits, and a few anxious stares from other students. They would probably be thinking: ‘it must be a secret agent thing.’

 

I, despite my wanting to come to school, did not like this teacher one bit. The bell eventually rang, and I found myself sighing with relief that we had a different class with a different teacher.

“Would the young lady care to take my arm?” Dylan asked.

“Um… I think I’ll pass thanks.” I replied, shocked… Did he not know that Marcus and I were a couple? Probably not.

“Do you know what other lessons you have?” Dylan decided to be helpful.

“Um… no, actually we were never given a timetable.” I realised.

 

“You’re probably in all of my classes then… lucky me.” He smirked.

“And you’re next class is…?” I asked, pinning my arms to my sides, resisting the temptation to slap him.

“English” He grinned.

“Great – at least that’s something that I’m good at.” I sighed with relief… again.

“Cool. Do you write?” Dylan looked impressed.

“Actually, yeah, it’s not very good though.” I grimaced, tucking my hair behind my ears.

“Bet it is; how long is it?” He wondered.

“About 125 pages – maybe longer” I shrugged as we turned onto a corridor where pictures of books and their reviews lined the display-boards.

 

We went into the classroom, where there was a tall man (I’d guess at around 6’ 3”) standing at the front of the classroom wearing a bright pink shirt and black tie, then black trousers and Neon-pink shoes. If this guy was a nice teacher, he would soon become my favourite teacher.

“Does he always dress like that?” I whispered to Dylan.

“Yeah; it actually hurts your eyes after a while.” Dylan laughed.

 

“Well hello there; who be you?” The teacher boomed.

“I’m Marcus.” Marcus said, grinning.

“Well I know you; star pupil.” The teacher boomed.

“She’s Clementine.” Marcus smiled fondly.

“Nice to meet you Clementine; I’m Mr. Mackenzie.” He shook my hand.

“He used to teach me.” Marcus whispered, explaining, as my expression said it all.

 

Marcus went up to the teacher’s desk, and had quite a lengthy chat (everybody was getting on with work that had already been set, continuing it from a few lessons ago), and Marcus and Mr. Mackenzie kept looking at me. Maybe I was just self-conscious, but I started fiddling with my hair, until Marcus finally came over to me.

 

“We can just talk this lesson; this is the last lesson that everybody’s doing this display-work.” Marcus smiled.

“I didn’t know you were on such friendly terms with one of your teachers.” I was impressed; I liked Mr. Mackenzie.

“Do you want me to let you into a secret?” Marcus grinned.

“Okay” I was curious now.

“I used to come to this very school.” He laughed.

“The why does nobody recognise you?” I wondered.

“I’ve kind of got hench, if you hadn’t noticed, and Mr. Mackenzie was my old form tutor – the only one that would recognise me, even if I turned female.” Marcus was laughing openly now.

“Wow – so, no need for buddies now.” I hypothesised, in hope.

“Not quite – what Miss Guthrie says, goes.” Marcus laughed.

 

I rolled my eyes at the unfairness of it all, but it’s as the saying goes: Life isn’t fair.

I knew at once that it was all a little too easy… Life, I mean. Nothing was as complicated as it was when I was being a secret agent…

 

The bell went, not too long after this conversation took place, and break time rolled around. There was a mad frenzy to get out of the classroom that Marcus and I ended up being squashed against the wall, until everybody had gone.

“What are you waiting for? Let’s go.” Jessica said to Marcus, sliding an arm through his, which he tried to drop, but she was just too full-on. Marcus gave me a ‘HELP’ look.

“She’s right; I’ll give you a tour of the school if you want.” Dylan tried to make me link him, but I told myself that I had too much pride to link another boy’s arm when I was already taken.

 

I ended up being dragged from the classroom one way, and Marcus was being dragged the other way. We shot each other glances that said ‘HELP’, then Jessica and Marcus turned a corner, and they were out of sight…

 

“You do know that Marcus already went to this school, right?” I questioned Dylan.

“No; I’ve never seen him here before in my life. When did he leave?” Dylan pondered.

“Last year.” I said as civilly as I could muster.

“The only dude that I remember that looked a tiny bit like him was this skinny, scrawny dude from the year above. Marco I think his name was. Nope, I’ve never seen this Marcus before in my life.” Dylan shrugged.

“Do you not read the newspapers?” I asked.

“Nope; I’ll let you into a secret: I can’t read.” He said in hushed tones.

“We were both on the front cover; in a picture.” I said the last part slowly, so that he’d understand.

 

Realisation hit home, and he suddenly said “oh yeah, you’re the two that did that charity work!” Okay, so maybe he really was simple…

“No; me, Marcus, Buckingham Palace… Seen it?” I said slowly, as if he were two.

He turned one corner of his mouth up as if to say ‘eh?!’ It was actually incredibly cute, but still.

 

We traipsed all over the school, visiting the old building (built around 1694), and then the new building (built around 2008), and met all of the teachers.

He was a good tour guide, so when his grades failed him (yes, I did mean ‘when’ and not ‘if’), he could still be a tour guide, and be the best at it.

I had to chuckle to myself about this, at which he asked “what?” and I replied “nothing... just a random chuckle.”

 

We finally met up again with Jessica and Marcus, and then we went to the next lesson, after the bell, which just so happened to be German. But that was okay, because I was fluent in German, French, Spanish, and Mandarin. You have to be, to communicate important information.

 

“You’ll like this class.” Marcus whispered in my ear.

“Yup, and I’ll get the name ‘swat’ and ‘teacher’s pet’ just because I’m fluent.” I laughed.

“At least you won’t get stuck... and you can help me!” He joined in my laughing as we walked into the classroom.

“Yeah, but you’ll have to learn fast; I can teach you at home if you like.” I smiled.

A girl walking past us just stared. She had chestnut curls... the type my Mum always tried to get her hair to do.

“Did you just say ‘at home’!” She stared incredulously.

“Yeah... why?” I asked.

“You – like – live together?!” Her eyes went wide.

“Yeah...” I said slowly.

“In the same bedroom?!” Her eyes went even wider, if that was even possible.

“No, he’s upstairs and I’m downstairs.” I replied.

“Oh, I just thought... sorry.” She blushed and stalked away, pink skirt and blouse swirling around her.

Marcus and I burst out laughing. We knew people would think it weird living together without being married... cohabiting... but I never thought that people would assume... that we slept together!!! It was all slightly hilarious.

The End

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