"So I think that's it. Any questions?" Melanie shifted in her seat and shook her head. "Good. If you do think of anything, any member of staff will be happy to help you." Principle Bennett stood up and opened the door to his office, gesturing for her to leave. Melanie picked up her bag and walked reluctantly out. "Oh, and we will have that uniform sorted out for you by tomorrow." He said as an after thought. She could tell by the way his eyes were already glazed over that he was elsewhere in his mind.
"No hurry." Melanie said weakly, but he had already closed the door. She stood in the hallway feeling stupid. Students were beginning to file in slowly through the main doors of the building glancing curiously at her as they went by. She tried to push her hair behind her ear but decided to curse instead. Sure, she had to cut her hair, but did it have to be so ridiculously short? She couldn't do anything with it. She removed her glasses case from her pocket and tried them on. It still felt weird but, no one could say she wasn't committed to this. Bar having a sex change she couldn't really think of anything else she could do to change her appearance. She didn't even recognise herself when she looked in the mirror these days.
She felt what she could only describe as a tug somewhere inside her, just between her stomach and chest. She took an involuntary step backwards and let out a grunt of pain. That was a reminder of why she was doing this. As if she could possibly forget. She held a hand to her torso and straightened her back.
She had been told that her locker was on the first floor so she headed for the stairs. Just as she got to the bottom step, she was passed by an odd individual. His hair was a midnight blue colour with flecks of green and red in it. There were many metal bars and rings attached to his face and she was pretty sure he was wearing eye liner. Or was it guy liner these days? He had a belt that was hanging off one hip, black nail polish and just enough badges for one person to own that would give them the appearance of having some kind of fetish for them. Heavy metal music was drumming from his over large head phones. After just coming out of a meeting with her new principle, she wondered how this boy was able to walk down the hallways without being stripped bare. Almost everything about him was against the rules. She wondered if there were many like him at this school.
He slouched up the stairs and she followed him. She looked pretty ordinary compared to him. Maybe she wouldn't draw as much attention as she thought.
The corridor where her locker was situated had scatterings of people standing about yawning and chatting, a low drone of noise. She looked at the slip of paper she had in her hand. B32. She walked down the rows, concentrating on the alphanumerics and not the stares she was receiving. There was a second of dread when she couldn't see her number, and she really didn't fancy having to ask for help, until she realised that it was being blocked by two boys who were leaning on it. She paused for a second wondering what to do, her pitiful note clutched in her hand. They eventually noticed her standing there and turned to her curiously.
"Can I just - " Melanie began tantatively.
"Sorry about the accident." The taller boy said suddenly, his expression sympathetic. He was quite good looking, blue eyes, fair hair, skin that hinted at the ability to tan at least. Melanie blinked at him.
"What accident?" She asked.
The two boys looked at each other like they were talking to a slow toddler. "Well your dog obviously ate your hair during the night right? I mean that's the only explanation I can think of." They both sniggered, the boy who hadn't spoken reached out a hand to touch Melanie's hair and she smacked it away. She realised this was a mistake.
"Oh! Got a little fighter here Patrick." The first boy said mockingly. A burning hatred was beginning to burn inside Melanie for this boy and his stupid friend too. She hated the fact that she had even considered he was good looking. His vapid looking friend was looking her up and down and it was making her feel sick. She glared at them, feeling her cheeks begin to burn, which only made her angrier. She could feel that tug again, trying to claw its way up. She was starting to think it might be useful in this situation, might teach these two twerps a lesson for once in their miserable lives. Just this once, and that was all she needed. She was about to raise her hand, for what she didn't know. But she didn't need to.
The rule breaker whom she had followed up the stairs appeared again. He leaned up against the locker directly behind the first boy. He didn't move to do anything, he didn't even look at them. He just leaned there, with his arms crossed. Melanie was stunned into inaction. She noticed that he was much taller than the two aggravators but he didn't look like much of a fighter. The two idiots straightened up looking uncomfortable. They glanced at each other not knowing what to do. Melanie wondered why they didn't speak to him, tell him to get lost. They seemed almost scared. Melanie couldn't understand it.
"Fuck. C'mon." The nameless boy said to his companion and the stalked off angrily. "Hey little doggie!" He called over is shoulder. "Watch out. You might just catch something off those lockers." She imagined him spitting venom. Then she imagined kicking him in the fork of his legs and that almost made her smile. Why hadn't she thought of that before. She turned back to the rebel.
He was watching the two boys walk away with a smirk on his face.
"Thanks." She said to him. He turned his steel blue gaze on her, scanning her from head to toe. The light reflected off his many facial piercings and his colourful hair. His only response was a jerk of the head and then he walked off down the corridor, scooping up his bag as he went. Melanie shook her head as she finally opened her locker. She had been to some strange places but, there was no doubt in her mind about this place. People were weird here. And it didn't seem like there was anyone else like that boy around.