Stretching her arms to the ceiling and glaring disappointedly at her beeping alarm clock, the zombie-like Emma rose from her bed. With one swift motion, performed many times before, she hit the alarm clock with one hand. The other was pressed against her forehead, still asleep. Step by careful step, her feet plodded over to her wardrobe. Almost instinctively, her hand reached for a t-shirt and pulled it off one of the hangers. However, it wasn't the holidays anymore. Emma soon realised and fumbled about with her wardrobe and its contents until she ended up holding her school uniform. It had been six whole weeks since she'd worn it, and wasn't particularly looking forward to donning it again. Still, she had next to no choice. Her head still longing for the comfort of her duvet covers, Emma slipped into her uniform. Next, she carefully made her way to the kitchen, one single step at a time, as if each stair on her staircase was sticking to her foot.
Eventually, Emma managed to navigate her way to her bowl of cereal. Her head felt like a solid lead weight attached to her ropey neck. Any minute, it could drop into her cereal. She stared at the spoon and begrudgingly lifted it up and munched on her cereal. Her brain now awake enough to handle basic thinking skills, she thought about what the day was going to entail. First, she would meet up with her friend and walk to school with her. Next, she would walk to her form room. She would meet up with the rest of her friends, and talk about what everybody had done, and smile unwillingly as they told stories about holidays that they had been on which were far more exciting than her own. She would then move to her place and learn of her new class groups, and the rest of the day would be spent getting to know both her new teachers and her new classmates. All in all, it felt like far too much effort for a Monday after a weekend of relaxation. But, with a weak call of "Goodbye!" to her mother, Emma set off in the vague direction of her school.
When Emma finally reached her friend's house, her fist thumped against the door. Out came a girl with a grin as wide as the house she had left. 'How could anyone possibly be this awake on a Monday morning?' Emma asked herself, with what little brain-power she currently had. Though, soon she remembered the answer. It was Nicola. No matter what time of day it was, Nicola was sure to be as bright-eyed as the man in the moon himself. Spending a few minutes with her woke you up just as much as drinking a few espressos, she was so energetic. Slowly moving her gaze towards this alien creature, Emma groaned some kind of a greeting and carefully placed a weak smile on her face.
"Hello, Emma!" grinned Nicola. Even her words sounded like they were jumping about. "How are you? What did you do over the holidays? Did you go anywhere nice? Did you watch anything in the cinema? How about bowling?"
"Wha..." mumbled Emma. As her brain slowly clanked into motion, she chose a question to answer out of the many that she had been bombarded with. "Uh..., I'm fine, I guess..." she spoke, forming each word with delicate care.
"Cool! Are you looking forward to school? I am! It's been ages since we've seen everyone." bounced Nicola in reply to Emma's pitiful attempt at conversation. Nicola was a mystery to everyone. She was so good at being cheerful, it was slightly weird. As for looking forward to school, Emma wasn't really. Though she was looking forward to seeing her friends again, she couldn't muster up a single gram of excitement for the day. Sure, she would get her new timetable and get to meet a whole load of new teachers, and sure, she would get a new class group and meet a whole load of new girls in her year, but that was about all that she was looking forward to. The actual work that was going to have to be done that day was too daunting for Emma to really think much about.
"I don't know... not really" was about all Emma could manage right now to sum up her thoughts. However, little by little, her brain was warming up.
"Oh. I'm looking forward to it! I can't wait to see everyone again. Plus, we'll be in new classes this year. Hey, maybe we'll get to be in the same class as each other! That'd be awesome!". Emma thought about this. She hadn't really considered the possibility that all of her friends would be in the same class as her. Maybe this year was going to be better than she thought. However, that probably wasn't going to happen. Most of the girls in her year were nice, though. She wasn't going to end up in some kind of nightmarish class full of horrible girls, at least.