After our little beautiful encounter in the corridors in the form of Mark, Skye went to health and social and I went to music. Not fun. At least I have Jo in my class, poor Skye has no-one except bitchy Annabelle. I come into the classroom as my Mr Sovet is calling the register, he doesn’t seem to mind my lateness which is one of the joys of taking music- creative teachers don’t seem to care about things like lateness and detentions. Katie says it’s the same for art and yet poor Lauren has the only mean drama teacher that does mind.
I take a seat next to Jo and he grins at me before saying yes to his name in the register.
“Where did you go?” He asks, “I waited for you outside of assembly, thought you might want to walk to music together.” I instantly feel bad; I should have known that Jo would do something nice like that, it’s the way he is.
“Sorry!” I say apologetically, “Skye dragged me to the loos for emergency lip-gloss reapplication.” Jo nods knowingly and then turns his head to Mr Sovet and says “Yeah me and Riley are partners.” I look at him oddly and mouth “What?” at him. He just grins lazily.
“You should pay attention more Ri, Mr Sovet was going round the class assigning us project partners.” I don’t bother asking how he knew this as I know from many talking- behind- the- teachers-back situations that Jo has a freaky ability to have one ear on his conversation and one on the teacher. It has gotten us out of trouble to many times, Jo is right I need to pay attention more in class.
“So what exactly is this project?” I ask Jo, conversation safe now that all the pairs are talking.
“A song-writing task, as a sort of practise for the final solo assessment.” Jo says pulling a ‘really Riley’ face. I shudder, the final solo assessment that I have been dreading since we were told about. At least in this task I can use Jo’s ‘muse’ to my full advantage. The door opens and then swings shut and gasps are running through the room.
“Um is this M01? I think I’m supposed to be here now.” A slow drawl says and the accent is not one from around here. I look up and see none other than Mark Ryder. I feel my face flush and upon looking around the room I see that all the girls are pulling the same lovesick puppy face. Mr Sovet coughs twice and then consults his schedule.
“Ah yes here, are you Mark Ryder?” Mark nods and Mr Sovet continues, “We have just gotten into pairs and are working on a song-writing assessment. However everyone is already in a pair so you will have to join a group as a 3 ok?” Mark nods and the surveys the class.
All the girls are giving him ‘come hither’ looks and poor Mark looks a little bewildered.
“Mark mate, over here!” Jo, the big fool calls over Mark.
“What are you doing?” I hiss as he starts to make his way over to us looking more than slightly relieved.
“What? I was talking to him earlier outside of assembly when you ran off with Skye, he’s a cool guy. I would have walked with him to music but he had to make a call. He went down to the science corridor near the loo’s I think, it’s a wonder he found his way back.” By the time Jo has gone through his meeting Mark story, Mark has found a chair and sat down.
“Thanks guys, I thought I was going to be eaten alive there!” Mark drawls softly. God this guy is gorgeous, breathe Riley breathe. Jo laughs and I smile like an idiot. Mark turns to me and stares for a second. I feel my face heating up so I look away.
“Sorry.” He says, “I just thought I recognized you, have we met before?” Jo looks at me curiously and my face flushes even more.
“Um yeah, um earlier when I was with my friend by the loos at science.” I mutter, my voice barely above a whisper.
Mark nods slowly, “Yeah, you were with the blonde girl. Right cool, I thought I had seen you before, I’m Mark, charming to meet you.” My face is now probably the colour of cherry ade. Jo laughs at my expense.
“This fool here is Riley, she seems to have lost her ability to speak which is a first, normally she never shuts up but she isn’t as bad as her other friends. When they are all together it’s like being with a group of monkeys!” I thump him and Mark chuckles lowly.
“If your friends are as lovely you Riley then I’m sure having you all together would be heaven.” Mark says and then winks.
Jo coughs, “Right so a song writing task, any ideas guys?” he tone is not as friendly now and I decide to ask him about it later.
“Um well something with guitar would be great.” I say and Jo nods writing it down.
“Do you play?” Mark asks and Jo mutters something under his breath that sounds suspiciously like “State the obvious idiot.” I elbow him in the ribs and then turn to Mark.
“Yeah a bit, Jo plays it to. Do you play anything?” I say sweetly, half to compensate for Jo’s sudden rude behaviour and half to show that I am actually quite capable of basic conversation.
Mark nods, “I’ve been playing piano since I was 5.”
I smile widely, “I love music, it makes me feel alive and at peace with everything. Does that sound stupid?”
Mark shakes his head and then says smoothly, “Music oft hath such a charm . To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.” I stare at him transfixed until Jo breaks the spell.
“And what the heck is that supposed to be?” He says rudely and Mark looks a bit taken aback.
“Shakespeare, from Measure for Measure.”
Jo just nods and then says “The task?”
“Yeah, so a song with guitar and piano in it, um not a love song please.” I say and Jo laughs a little and writes that down.
“How about a protest song then?” Jo says and Mark shakes his head
“Protest songs are a bit overdone mate. How about a song that tells a story?”
I can see Jo is trying very hard to keep his cool and he shakily writes down both ideas.
“All songs are overdone, but whatever you think mate.” Jo bites icily and Mark looks decidedly pissed off. Luckily at that point the bell sounds loudly and Jo shoves his stuff in his bag and storms off without a single word to me. I watch his retreating back and I bite my lip guiltily. Oops.