[Two weeks later]
December glanced at her wristwatch as she ran towards her school building and sighed. She was already twenty minutes late to her English class.
'Why did I have to stay up late last night?' she grumbled silently.
Her appearance was unkempt with her silvery white dyed hair resembled something like a bird's nest and her slightly wrinkled white button down shirt half tucked into her dark forest green plaid skirt. Secured under her left arm was her black blazer as she shouldered her backpack on her right.
She knew she shouldn't have stayed up late last night, but after spending two whole days reading a novel that was almost as thick as an Oxford dictionary, she just needed to complete it. However, the ending of it wasn't worth her now dark eye bags, she had concluded later.
December dashed through the empty hallway, only slowing down as she neared her classroom. She evened out her breathing and patted her bird nested-like hair mindlessly as she braced herself for what's awaiting her on the other side of the door.
She stood in front of the door and absentmindedly missed the slight buzz of commotion that was happening in the classroom as she was mentally preparing to find an excuse for her tardiness. As she was about to knock on the door, it suddenly opened and the last thing she could register in her mind before it went blank was the face of a boy who looked very pale and quite green (although not literally) whose eyes were wide as saucers as he muttered an, "Uh oh."
"I should have just skip class today." December grumbled as she washed her face and patted her hair with water to clean herself from any dirty stain. She supposed it's a good thing that she paid the stall a visit first because if she hadn't, she would have never noticed the unmistakable stain of a toothpaste hanging at the corner of her mouth nor the fact that her unruly appearance was worse than she thought, and would therefore have to suffer double the humiliation.
December was momentarily startled the moment her classroom door was flung open but nothing surprised her more than being vomited upon by her classmate who looked very much embarrassed and guilty for a quick second before he sprung into action and ran towards the boy's restroom somewhere nearby.
Her classmates had gasped, some even had the gall to snicker and laugh not so subtly at the sight of her but before anyone had the chance to say anything, she turned away quickly, all intention of coming up with an excuse for being late forgotten as she searched for the nearest restroom, while mentally cursing the boy who had upchucked his breakfast on her.
And now, as she stood in front of the mirror inspecting herself, December thought she looked presentable in her school's black pullover crewneck which she had changed into, replacing her white dress shirt which had been washed thoroughly and squeezed dry. In a sense of relief, she was glad that the only major stain was on her shirt and not her whole attire lest she would have had a nervous breakdown, and would have probably hunted down the boy who caused all this.
She also thanked her lucky stars for not forgetting in bringing an extra piece of clothing, in case she wanted to change later just to get comfortable - which had served a new purpose for her.
After making sure she doesn't at least smell like rotten food, she then tucked the garment away alongside her blazer separately in the bag, the only two item that wasn't stained. Looking at herself once more, December ran her fingers through her hair, smiling in satisfaction when it was tamed.
The school bell already rang which meant that her first period of class was over and secretly, she was glad for that. 'At least I don't have to deal with Ms. McLeod and think of some excuse.' She mused.
Exiting the restroom, she walked to the now crowded hallway and ignored the knowing looks and glances shot from the rest of the student body. She had no doubt everyone knew what had happened by now since news travel fast here in Black Bridge Academy. Without sparing any glances to her peers, she headed towards her next class, which was thankfully one of the classes that she had with her friends.
"Pfft…you got what?" Brooke Chamberlain, a chestnut brown haired laughed as she sat perched on a desk in front of December. Her hazel brown eyes sparkled with mirth.
December sat near the window at the back with her friends surrounding her table. The moment she stepped into class, all eyes were on her; some gave her pitiful looks while others just completely ignored her which she was secretly grateful. Her friends, Raven, Brooke and Serena were the ones who pulled and ushered her to her seat.
"I got puked on." She mumbled dejectedly.
She had told them what had happened a while ago the moment she took a seat and even though they had heard of it spreading around the school, they'd much rather hear it from their friend herself. So the former recounted the whole thing from the moment she was late until the inevitable incident in which they had cracked up so hard they had tears in their eyes.
The group managed to pull some attention from their classmates to them, some shaking their heads in amusement while others just merely glanced before minding their business.
December looked to them in annoyance before sulking to herself and muttered, "It's not that funny, guys."
Raven Addison, a dark brunette with grey eyes who happened to be December's roommate wiped a tear as she sighed but her expression was apologetic. "If I were there and have woken you up, you wouldn't have to deal with being late and maybe getting yourself barfed on."
December patted her shoulder as she waved a hand. "Don't sweat. You were staying at your family's place during the break anyway."
Serena Campbell, a curly strawberry blonde piped in. "Hey, at least look at it in a good way."
December turned to face her and asked glumly, "What good way?"
She touched her friend's hand and gave it a light squeeze. "At least you didn't have to attend Ms. McLeod's class." Then, she added, "I mean, I heard she's really horrible so that should be a relief, right?"
Brooke and Raven both nodded at that. The three of them had never gotten Ms. McLeod, a strict, grumpy looking woman in her mid-thirties with pointy red glasses as their teacher in any of their subjects, which they were glad but felt bad for their silver white haired friend.
According to their friend who often complained about the injustice treatment she received from that particular teacher, the woman would always try to find faults in others, except those whom she considered her favourites. That was unfortunate for December because she was nowhere close to that vicinity.
She gave her still chuckling friends a look before breaking out into a full-fledged grin. "Well, I suppose so."
The girls chatted for a bit before their attention was brought to their homeroom teacher who came strolling in with a jovial mood.
Mr. Peters, a very lean with slightly salt and peppered hair was in his late thirties and among all the teachers December had, he was the very least that she had any problems with and that deemed him a 'cool' badge in her book. He greeted all thirty students with a booming voice and a beaming smile.
"Good morning, everyone! It's great to be back at school, right?"
Groans and choruses of 'no' was heard.
Mr. Peters rolled his eyes as he chuckled. "Oh, quit your whining." He scanned the crowd before him, searching for any new students and when he found none, he clasped his hands in delight. "Great, no new students! Which means there's no need for me to introduce myself since you all know me."
"Alright, today we'll start with…" Mr. Peters voice faded as he went into a brief explanation of what the topic was all about.
Throughout the lesson, December found herself listening less to the lecture as her mind drifted. It wasn't that she disliked the subject or something, in fact, Modern Literature had always been one of her favourite subjects but this time, she just couldn't bring herself to focus on whatever her teacher's talking about, which she blamed entirely on her lack of sleep.
She stared out the window instead and watched the grey clouds rolling in the sky as the rain drops started to pelt against the window pane. December thought that there was just something calming and hypnotizing about watching nature taking its course that seemed to want to lull her into a deep slumber…
But as soon as that thought crossed her mind, a sudden sensation struck her. One which she couldn't quite pinpoint and which left her feeling perturbed. It was as if something unpleasant were about to happen and she was somehow unprepared about it. About what? She didn't' know.
But she was about to.
December was brought out of her reverie when Mr. Peters was cut off halfway through his lecture and the door to the classroom opened. It revealed the school's secretary as she politely beckoned him over before they engaged in a conversation. There were murmurs buzzing throughout the classroom but it was only because their teacher's attention was taken away and that always created an opportunity for the students to start chattering with their friends.
However, that opportunity was quickly seized away by their teacher who seemed to have finished talking with the secretary and demanded their attention.
"I have an announcement to make so do pay attention." After everyone had almost quieted down, he began." Now, despite what I said earlier about new students and making introductions, it seems like we have a new addition to our class now." At that, Mr. Peters looked to his left and nodded to someone with a smile.
Some were curious and some couldn't care less was what December noticed among her peers and she would have been in the latter group if it wasn't for that tugging feeling at her heart. And she felt herself paying attention to what was unfolding in front of her now.
Standing beside Mr. Peters at six foot tall was a stony looking guy with a buzzcut and a pair of dark rimmed glasses on as he stared ahead with a bored expression on his face.
And because that nagging feeling refuse to make her turn away, she stared at him and cocked her head to the side, wondering if she had seen him before when the guy himself, feeling as though someone was looking at him intently, swept his gaze around the classroom lazily before he settled on…..December.
She was surprised because he had caught her staring at him and normally she would have averted her gaze in sudden reflex, but this time she just couldn't bring herself to look away and held his gaze…
The guy suddenly widened his eyes a little bit before it narrowed down on her, like a predator who had locked down its attention on its prey.
She suddenly felt sick – wanting to throw up, maybe? She wasn't even sure.
He had a scowl on his face now and that's when the sudden realization dawned on her. It was that look.
After all, how could she forget about that powerfully intense yet familiar glare that was directed at her on that fateful day?
December cursed silently, partially because she now knew what caused her apprehension and the other, was because she wished she hadn't come to school today.ns 220.127.116.11da2