I woke up at 7 AM. It had already been three weeks since Ben left. I desperately wanted to go back under the covers and hide, go back to sleep and dream that Ben was still here with me, but my dedication to school overwhelmed me and I ended up trudging through the school's front doors. I moseyed to class, not necessarily caring what punishment my teacher would have in store for me.
"Ms. Carriage, you are late once more," Mrs. Gerando greeted me with a grim smile. I glared at her scathingly, hoping she would get the point not to bother me. But she didn't.
"I said, you are late!" she repeated with fury. I threw my books onto my desk, shaking the plastic table and plopped down in my seat, putting my head on a fist.
"Do you have anything to say for yourself?" I smiled sweetly and lied.
"Oh yes ma'am, I must apologize. I'm fourty-five seconds late to this stupid class. I'm so, so sorry, Mrs. Gerando, can you ever forgive me?" I heard snickers erupting around me from my classmates and my smile grew, bravery and anger mixing up inside me. Mrs. Gerando was heading my direction, a wooden ruler in her hand. I looked up at her, batting my eyelashes. Her mouth was a tight line.
"Give me your wrist, Jennifer." I gaped at her. Was this for real?
"Do you guys seriously do that anymore? Slapping wrists is so 17th century," I laughed at her bewildered expression. She held her hand out and I noticed it was shaking with anger. I chuckled and took it with mine, shaking both of them up and down. The class roared with laughter and she only became more aggravated. I was never the class clown, but I was liking the reaction I was receiving from my normally quiet schoolmates, and I laughed along with them.
But before I realized what was happening, Mrs. Gerando had my wrist turned upright, and with a strong arm hit my wrist with the ruler, which I hadn't known was actually metal. My laughter was cut off and it felt like the breath had been pulled from my lungs. The rest of the room was silent, except for a few gasps and groans from the sight of the gruesome mark.
There was a long welt all the way up my arm to where my sleeve cut off. Again, she raised her arm, ready to snap back, and I tried to pull my arm away. But she had it tight, and I was sure I would have an indent just from where she was holding it so hard.
I received 10 welts up and down my right arm. It was throbbing from the pain and redder than blood, and it was actually bleeding in a few spots from where she hit me with the side of the ruler. in addition to the stinging pain and the mortifying experience, I had a week's worth of after-school detention, as did the rest of my undeserving class.
I sat down in the back of the room, throwing my backpack off my shoulder onto the ground and wincing when it rubbed against my arm. I wasn't the first one there, though. There were about five of my homeroom classmates and the others were pouring in, dismay splattered across their faces. Included in this hoard was Marissa, Courtney and Kayla. I grumbled to myself and put my head on the desk, slipping quickly into unconciousness.
I was awaked not 15 minutes later by a tap on my shoulder. I looked up sleepily to see the entire detention class surrounding me. Suddenly I was sitting up straight in my seat, my head bobbing around nervously. Their faces were blank, free of any emotion- except Marissa's. A sick smile was plastered on her lips, her bleached teeth shining.
"W-what do you want?" I stuttered. They just kept staring my me, burning holes into my eyes. Somehow, everyone of them was looking in my line of sight, so my eyes felt overwhelmed. I blinked and breathed deeply, trying to calm my fluttering heart.
"Listen, everyone, I'm really sorry for what happened this morning. I don't know what came over me, I'm not usually like that." I stole a glance through a space between two girls at the teacher's desk. Mrs. Gerando was sitting there reading, her glasses halfway down her nose. She was ignoring everything that was occurring.
"I know, Jenn. I made you do it," Marissa said plainly. All the color drained from my face and collected in my stomach. She made me? I repeated over and over in my head, trying to make some sense of her words, but found none.
"What do you mean?" I whispered, shrinking back in my seat at the faces coming closer to me.
Kayla spoke up. "You know exactly what she means. Don't try to deny it, you know our secret." Secret. Like Ben's secret?
"I told you you knew it," she replied to my silent question. I gulped and slumped down further in my seat, because now they were coming closer from all sides, their hands starting to reach out to me.
" So now, we have to destroy you," Courtney stated, her lips pulling over her equally bright white teeth to reveal a full set of canines.
What are you people? I screamed in my head, jumping up on my desktop, hoping to escape their claws.
Marissa shrugged. "We're Water People, like you thought. Just a more advanced version." Ok, I thought. Accidently, I stepped back and fell off the desk onto the chair of the desk in front of me, and they all pounced. I put up my hands to stop them, then everything was dark as the bodies on top of me blackened out the lights.