When we woke up it was two in the afternoon and my mom was knocking on the door.
“I was just seeing if you two were alive. You didn’t come down for breakfast or lunch.”
Squinting at my mom through blurry eyes, I replied, “I think we’re alive. Alice, are you alive?”
There was an audible “mm-hmm” from under the pillow and I laughed. Well, I tried to. Sleepiness clung to me like cobwebs I couldn’t shake off, so my laugh was more like a sigh.
“Come downstairs girls. Make sure you eat something, okay?” My mom walked out of the room and closed the door behind her.
Alice peeked out from under the pillow and the sight of her hair made me want to laugh again. She sat up and looked out the window, before grunting and unceremoniously flopped herself back down onto the bed.
“Oh God, we have that stupid media project to finish by tomorrow.”
“Wow, I completely forgot about that,” I looked towards my desk which had my unfinished media work splayed across it, “I’ve barely even started.”
“You think anyone has?” Alice hopped out of bed and started to get dressed, “I should get going so we can both get this done.”
When we said goodbye at the front door, Alice gave me a hug. Surprised, my instincts took over and I hugged her back.
“Thanks for last night,” she said, “It was nice to finally have a girl to talk to.”
“Yeah. Thanks for staying over.”
Bounding down the steps, Alice walked until she reached the end of the road, then she turned around. When she saw me still standing there, she lifted her arm and waved, electricity sparking from her fingertips. I waved back before she disappeared around the corner and I headed inside to do my media project.
It was ten o’clock by the time I’d brushed my teeth and got ready for bed. Standing in front of the mirror I gazed into my fire flecked eyes which was supposed to mean that I, by Thursday, would be shooting flames from my palms. I hadn’t seen my dad in years, but I tried to think back to when I used to see him every day. Did he have orange eyes like me? I couldn’t remember.
This whole thing suddenly seemed so absurd to me. Of course I wasn’t a Flector. I mean sure, it was nice to pretend, but no one in my family has ever had that kind of ability. I can’t remember what color my dad’s eyes were, but I sure as hell knew that he couldn’t make fire from his bare hands. Any child would remember something like that. And the Flector gene was supposed to be hereditary.
Leaning on the edge of the basin I let my head fall into my hands as I contemplated what on Earth was going to happen on Thursday if I didn’t gain my abilities. How are the others going to feel when they realize they were wrong about me? I soon realized that thinking about this wasn’t healthy for me. Sighing, I turned off the bathroom light and headed off to bed.
“Miss Adams, your assignment please,” a large shadow loomed over me and I looked up to find Mr. Young’s palm open at my eye level.
I dropped my USB containing the file into his hand and he chucked it into the box before he wobbled his way over to the next student. The ironic thing about Mr. Young was that he was anything but that. He had wrinkles under his eyes and a pot belly so big that when he leaned forward the students thought he would fall under the weight.
Alice leaned across to offer me some gum and whispered, “One of these days he’s going to fall and not be able to get back up.”
I took the piece of gum and laughed at the image of Mr. Young on his stomach, limbs flailing as he tried to push himself up.
“Miss Adams, Miss Reid, perhaps you would like to continue your conversation in detention?” Mr. Young looked at us through his puny spectacles.
“Mr. Young, we’re not doing anything in class anyway,” Alice retorted.
“Detention it is then,” the teacher turned to me and pierced me with his beady little eyes, “Will you be joining her?”
I pulled a face at Alice before popping the gum into my mouth and leaning on the back legs of the chair.
“Why not?” I said to Mr. Young between chews.
On the way to detention that afternoon, Alice started explaining to me what goes on.
“Mr. Richardson is the head of detention, and he’s a total softie, really. He lets us do whatever, and usually lets us out early,” making quotation marks in the air, she pushed open the door and said “Welcome to “detention.””
The place was chaos. Paper planes were flying about, people were jumping from desk to desk, and rubbish was strewn all over the floor. I should get detention more often.
Alice and I made our way to the far corner of the room where it was quieter. A student jumped off a desk and landed right in front of me. I squealed. Tomas stood there grinning, looking very proud of himself. Elliot appeared from behind him, with a bashful smile on his face. Comically, Luke stepped out from behind the other side of Tomas, with a brooding look in his eyes and pursed lips.
“I can’t believe you made us get detention for Alice and Maggie,” Luke said to Tomas without a hint of cheerfulness.
“Hey, you do what you can for friends, and what better way to spend a Monday afternoon than with your friends in the greatest detention of all time?”
“Do you want your car finished or not?” Luke stared pointedly at him.
“In due time, my friend. Right now, we have a detention to get through.”