Annette sniggered next to me. I raised an eyebrow at her. 'Look who's coming.' She explained. I groaned when I saw.

'You have got to be kidding.' I moped. Lacey was actually walking towards me.

I was absolutely not in the mood to come up with anything funny for Annette's amusement, so I nudged her with my shoulder, saying, 'Wait for me in history, this won't take long' Annette sniggered, saying, 'of course it won't. Isn't there, like, a law about fringies talking to us, anyway?' but she walked away anyway.

I tried to change my expression into a snarlie one, like Stacie uses on almost everyone. But then I looked at Lacey. She had very wide eyes, like a startled guinea-pig, and I couldn't bring myself to do anything but smile sympathetically. Besides, I didn't have to be completely mean what with Annette gone.

'I'm very sorry, Tanya.' She said softly. This made me remember why I was supposed to be annoyed with her. I sighed and hissed 'I don't really care, okay?'

She looked unconvinced, though. She kept staring at me with very wide, piercing grey eyes, and spoke again. 'I really didn't mean it, I wasn't mocking you, I actually didn't hear Mrs Kyle call my name out. I wasn't paying very good attention, I guess.' I felt like poking her in the eyes to make her close them. It was a bit unnerving, and for a second I forgot that she was the one who was supposed to be scared of talking to me. Just a second, though.

'Lacey, listen,' I tried to sound uncaring, but she sniggered a bit at my words.

I felt a bit insulted, plus I didn't get it, so I looked up at her with a little bit of a Stacie-like snarl and she stopped mid-giggle, brushing a bit of her blonde fringe away from her face instead.

'Okay.' I started again. 'I really actually don't care about it, Lacey. Forget about it.' She examined my face for a little, and decided that I was being truthful.

'Alright,' she said, hesitantly, 'see you in English.'

I decided that I didn't have to see her in English if I didn't feel like it. It wasn't Stacie being in my English class that made me decide that. I really just didn't want to look at her again.


Besides, I thought on my rushed way to history, Lacy had a weird voice that made her sound a bit slow, like she was thinking about what she was going to say very carefully before she said it. And then there was her unnerving stare.

I arrived in history about a minute too late. Everyone looked up at me when I walked in. I felt my face go pink. 'Late, on the first class of the term Tanya?' asked the teacher, one eyebrow raised, his hand paused on the word he was writing.

The class started laughing at me for the… third… time today. My day wasn't looking like a good one. My face went from pink to red. Damn that Lacey.

'Sorry, Mr Peterson, I had Lac…locker trouble'

'Alright Tanya, just don't let it happen again.' He sighed, and went back to scribbling notes on the board about some guy named Sukarno.

I quickly took my seat next to Annette history wad the only class I had with her and not any of the others in our popular little group. For this reason I got really bad marks for history. It was the only class where I just got to talk to Annette. 'What did she want?' she whispered to me as I slid into one of those funny shaped "postura" chairs.

'I told her to get lost' I hissed back, translating for myself.

'Good girl.' She told me, giving me a high-five under the desk. 'I bet she was just trying to make herself look good with what she did this morning.'

'Have you noticed that she talks like a weirdo?' Being besties with Annette made it much easier to talk about other people without feeling bad.

'And that weird haircut, I mean, hellooo, do you think that those fringies will ever get the message that their hair looks bad?'

We were giggling so much by then that the teacher turned around while he was scribbling on the whiteboard, telling us to pay attention.

Pay attention. Sure. My mind started to wander back to this morning…

'Wake up Tanya' said Miss Green.

I looked around to notice that everyone was looking at me. I hadn't noticed what was going on before that, because, while Miss Green was shuffling her papers like she did every morning, Tanya was talking to the girls, with me trying to fit a word in edgewise, like I did every morning.

My reflexes kicked in and my face turned into a tomato. Everyone laughed: at me, and, more specifically, the colour of my face.

'Sorry?' I asked thickly.

'I'm calling the role, Tanya Bell.' She smiled, and the class laughed again.

'Oh,' I said, trying not to stammer. 'Here, then.'

I didn't know what had happened to the person before me; she always started the role with Christopher Ables, giving me plenty of warning. I looked around the room to notice that there was no Christopher Ables. He was gone. Maybe he was sick? But if that was the case, Miss Green would still call out his name.

'Christopher got expelled end of last term.' Stacie sneered at me, obviously loving the exquisite shade of red my face was. She plastered an angelic smile on her face, and blinked twice before sliding over to her desk and sitting down.

As if I was asking for a reason to go redder, the teacher worked her way down the list. 'Lacey Maples' she called out, finally. No response. But Lacey was sitting there, playing with her hair, not talking to anyone. Where was her excuse? Everyone started staring at her, some sniggering incredulously. One of Lacey's fringie friends poked her, pointing to the front.

'Sorry?' she asked, and I fumed. My face turned into a beetroot. Why would she mock me like that? The entire class laughed. At me. Again. But Lacey didn't seem to notice, or care. She just went on to degrade me further.

'Lacey,' the teacher sighed. 'Be nice to Tanya.' At this, Lacey swivelled around to notice me trying to dissolve into the floor. She blinked and looked back at the front. 'Lacey, I'm calling the role.' Miss Green said, fed up.

'Oh, well, in that case I'm present.' She said, to yet another round of laughter from the class.

And that is why I'm not going to see Lacey Maples in English.