"It's okay, Ayla." the headmaster said soothingly as I sat crying in front of his desk. The office was full of a unique aroma; the individual scents of old books mingled with the new, the smell of morning coffee taken black, without sugar, the faint floral notes of washing powder detectable as I lowered my head. It culminated into a pleasant smell that helped me to relax.
"But I pulled her hair. Aren't you going to punish me?"
"I could see that you were provoked, I'll let you off this time."
"Thank you, sir."
"And by the way, Ayla," he added, "your assembly was excellent."
"Goodbye, sir, and thank you." As I reached the door, an abhorrent thought entered my mind. The headmaster noticed the look which had flashed across my face.
"I've suspended Tamara for a day, and the teachers will be keeping an eye on you as well."
"Thank you, sir." I left the room feeling calmer and more secure. The rest of the school day passed without a word spoken against me. In fact, some people even smiled at me as I passed them in the corridor. Perhaps, I dared to think, Tamara Blanche is not as well-liked as she presumes?
Wandering through the corridors, I began to think of all the people I had met by the fire not so long ago. One character continually crossed my mind. His kindness and honesty had captured me. Beyond the dirt I was sure there hid a wonderful face. I looked forward to the next time I would see him.