'Oh my god Alexis,' Laura almost yelled down the phone line. 'It was one of the best parties I have ever been too!'
Alexis smiled, even though her best friend couldn't see it. 'Laura, you say this after every party. What makes this one any different?'
'For starters, this was a beach party and it was freezing cold…'
Alexis sighed lightly and fell into her desk chair, absently listening to Laura's weekend adventures. Usually, they were always the same. Laura would go out on the party scene, get intoxicated and do some pretty stupid stuff. The next day, she would call up Alexis, gossip about how great of a party it was and tell her that she needed to take a break from her strictly "no party" lifestyle and go out once in a while.
'So I gave him my number and-'
Alexis sat upright, startled by what Laura had just said. Well that's new. 'You did what?'
'Jesus Alexis, are you listening at all? I met this guy called Allen at the party and we hit it off really well, so we exchanged numbers.'
'So it wasn't just a drunk party pash?'
It was silent down the end of the line for a few seconds. 'I guess not. I mean it might be but either way I don't mind.'
'So did you find out what school he goes to, if he even goes to school?'
'We did talk about it, but I can't remember.'
Alexis laughed. 'Classy, Laura.' There was a yelling from upstairs. 'He might even go to our school. With over three hundred and fifty people in our grade alone, you never know your luck.' There was a rapping at the door followed by muffled talk. 'Sorry, mum's calling for me, I'll see you tomorrow at school.'
They said their goodbyes and hung up.
Alexis closed her facebook, shut her laptop and walked upstairs. Her mum, dad and sister awaited her in the kitchen which was warmed by the blazing fireplace. She pulled herself up at the breakfast bar as her mum was scooping spaghetti into the bowls.
'Were you raking up a phone bill again? You know we can't afford that,' her dad said.
'Dad, chill out. Laura called me,' Alexis replied.
'You too see each other every day. I don't know why you have to talk on the phone as well.'
'Katie, will you set the table please?' Alexis' mum asked. Katie sighed but got up out of her seat. She gave Alexis a look, and Alexis frowned, sensing that something was up with Katie. Alexis went to help her older sister, getting the knives and forks from the fridge and placing them on the mats next to the table that Katie had already laid out.
While they were eating dinner, her father's attention turned to Alexis. 'So why did Laura call you this time?'
'She just wanted to catch me up on some stuff she did while on the weekend,' Alexis replied.
'Oh really?' he said, patting the side of his mouth with a napkin. 'And what did Miss Perks get up to this weekend?'
'Dad, that's none of your business,' Katie said loudly. It was silent for a few seconds until Mr Reid turned to his daughter, his eyes hardening.
'It is my business to know if the people who my daughter hangs around with are a bunch of ratbags.'
'Dad, my friends aren't ratbags,' says Alexis, attempting to make the conversation light again.
'Then tell me what she did. I don't want you hanging out with a party animal when you have your trial exams in a couple of weeks and your final exams soon after that. You cant afford to get caught up in the party scene and be influenced by people that don't care about their future.'
'Laura cares about her future just as much as I do.'
'Then tell me the truth.'
Alexis sighed heavily, and knew what she had to say. Her parents were extremely strict and protective. Alexis knew that all her parents wanted was for her to do well in school so she could get a good mark and head off to a good university to study, but it was becoming increasingly hard to see eye to eye about matters, including this one.
'Laura told me that she made a lot of study notes for modern history and she wanted to tell me that I could copy them,' Alexis said, looking at her empty bowl. Of course she didn't like lying to her parents, but they couldn't know what Laura had done, and like Katie said, it really was none of their business.
'Good, but why haven't you made your own study notes for modern history?' her mother asked, a questioning look on her face.
'Oh for god's sake,' Katie said angrily, 'leave her alone before she decides to actually become a rebel and come home one day with a kid in one arm and a joint in the other.' Katie got out of her chair with a strange expression on her face, picked up her and Alexis's bowls and took them into the kitchen.
'I need to shower and study. It was a lovely dinner mum, thank you,' said Alexis politely. She too got out of her chair and walked past Katie who was leant over the sink, down the stairs and into her room.
'Your dad said what?!' Laura screeched when they were sitting at their table on the school senior lawn. The tops of the trees were being thrashed around due to the winter wind and goose bumps rose on Alexis' legs. 'I can't believe that your dad would say that we are a bunch of ratbags! Does he know that it's only the two of us and that you haven't been allowed out in months because he still holds the same ideology from the 1950s?' Laura huffed, calming down. 'Your dad is insane.'
'But he's my dad, and I love him.'
'Urgh I guess so. I suppose I'm lucky to have a dad that allows me a sense of freedom.'
Alex sat back, feeling slightly awkward. She probably shouldn't have told Laura what her dad said, but she was angry too and had to get it off her chest. She decided to shift the conversation to something more light. 'What time do you finish today?'
Laura seemed happy about the topic change too; she smiled widely. 'Lunch. So lucky to not have economics last period. What a downer.'
'And Mrs Harding is so grumpy last period because she has year nine period three. I'm lucky I'm good at it!'
Laura chuckled. 'Do we have English next period?'
'We should have, but because our trial exams are coming up, they are making us have a whole year meeting.'
'Well that's new.'
Alexis nodded. She was not looking forward to the exams, and in particular English most of all. Her essay skills were less than ordinary, and her memorisation of quotes was atrocious. She needed as much English as possible, including pleading her parents for a tutor, yet they didn't have much money and her father always encouraged she should do some things herself.
The bell went soon after and they headed to the hall for their year meeting.
Alexis and Laura sat on the far left of the hall, closer to the front and away from the freezing winter air. They faced each other, and began discussing one of the upcoming concerts that Alexis didn't know about, but Laura was passionate about, so Alexis nodded and pretended that she knew what Laura was getting excited about, all with a grin on her face.
'You don't know what I'm talking about do you?' asked Laura.
'Honestly, I have no clue.'
Laura laughed, flipped her brown hair out of her eyes and gasped, clapping her hand to her mouth.
'What is it?'
Laura ducked down and pointed to a cluster of guys walked down the aisle trying to find a space to sit. 'That's the guy?'
Alexis tilted her head. 'What guy?'
'The guy from the party. What is he doing at this school?'
Alexis raised her eyebrows. 'I told you that there was over three hundred people in our year. It's so likely.'
'Yes but there are a thousand schools around here. No Alexis, don't look at him! He had to go to this school…'
'But I thought you said you liked him.'
'That's not the point. The point is-'
'Year 12! Be seated and be quiet!' yelled the Principal Mr Tenny. The two year advisors were sitting behind him on the stage.
Laura leant over to Alexis and whispered 'I'll tell you later.'
The year meeting ended up taking the whole lesson, despite Alexis's prayers. It consisted of over an hour of all teachers expressing how much study they would need to do to actually pass. Alexis wasn't too worried, especially because her parents didn't let her out much, but English was the real worry. On the way out of the hall, she expressed her worry to Laura.
'And I'm not the best at English, everyone knows-'
Both girls whirled around, and Alexis' grin stretched ear to ear. A tall, well-built guy stood in front of them, peering at Laura with a white smile. A group of guys stood a few metres behind him. 'I thought it was you, hey!' He pulled Laura in for a hug, and she let him, before hugging him back.
He started talking then, his booming voice talking at a hundred miles a minute, discussing the party and how it was 'a small world after all.'
He suddenly realised that Alexis was there and smiled. 'Sorry, I'm Allen.'
'I'm Alexis, friend of Laura's.'
Allen smiled. 'Hi.' The bell rang for the start of second period and Allen turned to Laura. 'So I'll call you tonight, yeah?'
Laura jumped slightly but regained her cool composure almost instantly. 'Sure. Not too early, don't want to seem over eager now.' She winked at him.
Allen and his small group of friends walked towards the science department, while Laura and Alexis headed towards the maths department. 'You sure can pick them,' Alexis said.