I crammed my things into my bag, my books crumpled in messy piles in my hurry to get to school. Only my Art project I put carefully in a folder and placed right at the back, so that it wouldn't get creased. I needed to get to school before Taylor, then I could hide out in form all morning.
I stopped to check myself in the mirror. I had brushed my hair and put it up in a high ponytail, to keep it out of the way. It was my only vain feature. I loved it, the almost white colour, it's silky smoothness and the feel of it flowing down my back like a waterfall. I had managed to grow it down to my hips now, and refused to let anyone trim more than half a centimetre off. But I hated my milk-pale skin. I had put on a light coat of mascara and a little eye-shadow for a change. Maybe if I looked popular and confident, she'd leave me alone. But somehow I knew it wouldn't matter if I looked like a model, she'd still treat me just the same. My body was slender and tall, but with gangly limbs which meant I was hopeless at sports or co-ordination, but I kept in shape. I'd attempted gymnastics over the summer, done a few small competitions, though I was still waiting for the results. Maybe a medal would show her I'm not useless.
I downed a mouthful of orange juice from the carton and ran outside to where the early bus was waiting. I jumped on board and sat down on an empty seat, away from everyone else. No-one from school was up this early, but I disliked being near strangers. It creeped me out when they sat too close to me, or breathed really loudly. I've never been sure why. I popped a Mento in my mouth and chewed, my new equivalent of brushing my teeth. I hardly ever ate breakfast any more, it wasted time and I was fine without. It was the first day of the Summer term, and I was determined to escape her. I had to get up at six, but it was worth it to avoid her.
I leant back into the hard scratchy seat and relaxed. I appreciated the few minutes of peace on the jerky bus, before it arrived outside the school. I got off, thanking the driver, and hurried into school, constantly checking over my shoulder. I prayed that this time I was early enough to avoid them, then I could escape to my form room and stay there until the end of the day. Under the teacher's watchful eye I knew I'd be fine.
I sped through the corridors and got to my locker. I pulled out my art project, to get it safely inside so that no-one could ruin it. I'd spent weeks on it. I had painstakingly sketched out each picture, then coloured in them all with my new oil pastels. I'd spent hours on the research and finding just the right pictures to comment on then draw out. I was trying to impress my new Art teacher, Mrs Gaskell and wanted to show her what I could do.
But while I was cramming it in my locker, I suddenly heard laughter echoing through the corridors behind me.