I slept fitfully.
Ur! Why did he have to go and admit to having feelings for me now?
I could hardly sleep as it was with my arm smarting at every brush of clothing or quilt. It didn’t help it was my right arm, I was right handed and I usually slept on my side.
And now I had a mind full of questions, drifting, floating, blocking sleep from me.
Did I like him in that way?
Did I want to go out with him?
Did I see a future?
I didn’t know, I’d never thought of him like that.
If indecision had a face, it would have been mine.
I was awake when my alarm went off; I watched the numbers tick over, counting down the seconds and hitting the off switch within the first few beeps.
When I was this tired, I was glad I didn’t have any lessons with Alex today.
Matt however had better stay well clear.
Pulling on some jeans and fumbling into a plain dark blue t-shirt, I make my way to the canteen in my monster feet slippers.
Yawning, I weave through the line, ignore the dinner lady and grab some coffee.
I don’t particularly like coffee, but I definitely needed the caffeine
The others are already sat on the sofa, a wide gap between Roan and Rin and Leo who looks as tired as I feel. Hair mused and messy, eyes half lidded.
I sit on the floor in front of the sofa and Leo quickly kicks his feet up into the space I didn’t occupy, preventing Rin sliding off Roan’s lap and sitting closer to him.
“How’s your arm?” Roan asks, looking around Rin.
I set down my coffee and begin to unwrap the bandage.
“Let’s find out.”
I bite my lip, I haven’t taken any paracetamol yet and the air on the burn is surprisingly painful.
Rin pulls a face.
I suppress the urge to slap her.
It’s not that bad, a bit blotchy, red and slightly blistered. I mean, I’m hardly going to get any adverts or win any competitions, but at least I obviously still have sensation.
Roan hisses and I catch Leo searching through the Upper table.
“Rose, that looks like a second degree burn. Keep the bandage on it. Have you been to see The Head yet?”
“Coffee first.” I begin to re-wrap my arm to keep the air off it and protect the blisters.
“I don’t think you’ll need to.” Leo smiles nodding at the door to the canteen where Mrs. Oscars has stormed in and is making a beeline for the Uppers.
“Matthew Reynolds?” She bellows, silence falling on the already fairly quite canteen.
The Uppers cast wary glances at Matt and Mrs. Oscars. I receive a fair few glares as well as Leo.
Matt stand ups. “Yes, Miss?”
“Come with me, The Head would like to see you.”
The room emits a low “oooh!” and mumbles which only increase when she turns in our direction.
“You too, Rose. And you Leon.”
“Ah crap.” Leo sighs and stands up, hauling me up beside him. Matt walks in front of Mrs. Oscars, Leo and I behind.
I feel like a lamb walking to slaughter.
Mrs. Oscars knocks on the mahogany door and waits for the “come in” before opening it in front of us and closing it with a heavy thunk behind us, leaving us alone with the mysterious Head.
The room is huge, longer than it is wide and she sits right at the end, in front of a window that takes up the whole wall. The early morning light leaves us blinded so we’re forced to look at the floor a couple of feet in front of us. It’s a plush magnolia carpet; spotlessly clean with various potted plants lined up along the walls.
“Well,” she says, voice surprisingly soft and calm. “Judging from Miss. Silva’s bandage and your guilty expression Mr. Reynolds, I assume you know why you are here?”
Playing ignorance would do us no good. Evidently she’s seen CCTV footage from one of the many cameras dotted around the school.
“We like to give you freedom here, we let you out at weekends, there are no dorm checks at night. We expect you to be intelligent individuals who will one day be responsible for this country’s safety. In return, we ask you to do well in school, be prompt, complete your homework and work on your abilities.”
I hear her chair squeak.
“There are not many rules here, so we expect you to obey them all. One of the most important rules is…”
We look at each other uncertainly before stammering out “Do not use your abilities on other pupils.”
I get the impression she’s smiling, despite the unsettling knowledge that I don’t know where she is, our eyes are still trained on the carpet.
“Right. All three of you did this however. Though I can respect that only Mr. Reynolds gift causes physical harm, you all still broke this rule. Miss. Silva?”
“How is your arm?”
“Okay then. All three of you have lost your off campus privileges for a month and you Mr. Reynolds, you should be exercising even greater control with such a dangerous ability, you will spend your free time with Mrs. Oscar, helping her with paperwork and any another mundane tasks she can conjure up. Understand?”
“Yes Miss.” We chime.
“Good, you may leave. Shut the door behind you.”
Matt practically tears the door off its hinges and storms out, we follow behind, blinking rapidly in the comparatively dim light.
“Oh boy is he pissed.” Leo whistles.
Mrs. Oscars comes out of her office, arms folded.
“Lessons started, on your way.”
I look down at my slippers.