Labeller

She's a wild child. Her friends all follow her lead, including her brother. Alexandria is 16 years old when he dies in a car accident. Now, Alexandria is broken and can't stand to have anything in her life again. No drugs, no booze, no fun. Nothing. How could she anyway? He's dead - it was all her fault. This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental. Text and illustration copyright © A_Books_Magic_Moment 2015 Her right to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author.

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7. Infiramies and Rumors

Rachel stood right next to Xandria as the girl woke up to a white room and towering figures. There was a nurse at the end of the bed, Tessa and Louisa on the right with the same worried expressions as their friend. "You okay?" Louisa whispered hoarsely. Blinking for a while, trying to bring herself back to something close to sense, Xandria tried to sit up yet found herself too faint to do any such thing. "Don't rush it, you had a pretty bad fall." Louisa placed a genteel hand on the girl's shoulder, her eyes filled to the brim with worry and something else - fear, a slight trickle of the hateful emotion flittered like a butterfly inside those deep brown eyes of hers.

"Fall? I would call it more of an abusive push from someone who thinks himself better than he actually is." The nurse seemed to appear like a character from Harry Potter, her eyes flashing with annoyance. The origin of this feeling though was to be determined later, as Alexandria was more concentrated on trying to sit up once more and this time prevailed. Rachel frowned at why Xandria would put herself through the pain but made no inquiry to ease her thoughts. Tess mumbled something about the matter of 'idiotic persistency' and then kept quiet at the foot of the white-framed hospital bed. It was old, as if it were from before the war... both of them. The nurse looked like she had just come out of the 40's as well; not that her features were in anyway aged, but more in the way she carried herself and dressed. Little did Alexandria know she was being spoken to as she examined the woman's exterior appearance.

"Alexandria? Did you hear what Nurse Baxter asked you?" Louisa spoke up once more, it seemed that when one was in danger, the girl could not help but be charitable and selfless. As if there were such a thing, Alexandria scoffed at the idea before replying with a shake of her head. She rested back on the pillows that were stayed by the metal frame of the bed, and concentrated on the queries of the nurse before her, in an attempt to be apt and accurate in her answers.

A clipboard, a pen, whitewashed walls and bandaging equipment. How many times had she been here before? And all in pain, without her brother. "It seems that you have been operated on - could you tell me what was the cause of the operation and how long ago it was?" Alexandria struggled to remember how long it had been since the operation, all memories of that distressing time were quickly fading and with good riddance. "Alexandria?"

"My operation was about four or five months ago - I cannot remember exactly." She looked straight into the blue-grey eyes of Nurse Baxter to prove her conviction. Hopefully. "I had been in a car crash one night. Luckily, I had survived but there was a lot of work to be done and to be done quickly. My left leg had been slightly broken and my left arm was cut. Yet again, I fortunately survived with good recommendations from my doctor to take up physical exercise but not to such an extent that I would be buckling at the knees with uncontrollable breath. Nonetheless, I don't think being pushed around by a boy twice my size complies with that advice."

A hesitant mouth, stuttering and gawking like a fish out of water, was found upon the nurse before she replied with a curt: "Right." and then hastily checked her clipboard to look up again with more to say. "Well, I think you will need to stay off that leg for a few days and take some prescription drugs to relieve any pain when appropriate. Other than that, you're all fine. I'll leave you now so that you and your friends may talk." scampering off as if there was nothing in the world she could do in any way at all, Nurse Baxter flicked through her clipboard and exited the small room.

And then they were on her like wolves in the night.

All the same questions were asked: 'why didn't you tell us about your accident?' 'why were you doing P.E?' 'should you even be here?' 'are you okay?' 'how can we help?' 'were you even planning on telling us?' and a thousand more were asked before Alexandria yelled at them to stop. "I was not obliged to tell you and may have done so if I thought the occasion appropriate. I already stated that my doctor advised me to get physical exercise. You cannot help me for there is nothing to be helped and I also don't want your pity and I need to be here... I can't stay at home." a pregnant silence settled for a few moments before Rachel asked without thought:

"Can't stay at home? What? Do your parents hate you or something?" she seemed totally confused, and Alexandria would have left her that way with little thought or hesitation if her character were of a different constitution.

Sighing, her voice cracked over the next few words, "no, it's not that... it's just hard for me to be there right now. It reminds me too much of my brother and I can barely remember enough of him as it is that I don't need to be reminded of that as well. So I shall ask you to leave the matter alone until the time where I see fit to talk of it. Do you forgive me?" Alexandria looked into the eyes of the three girls who surrounded her with some sort of strange caring. They had known her for so little a time that it would come as a surprised to anyone if they were looked after as Alexandria was being looked after.

"Forgive you? There is nothing to forgive!" Louisa smiled such a beautiful smile, her hair spilling over her shoulders like liquid gold and her eyes so warm; it appeared as if she were giving off some sort of light to shower down upon the unhappy circumstance Xandria were in. In a moment's notice, the girl was covered not only in crisp white bed sheets but also in the three brilliant friends she had just found. Friends, she thought, looking at them as they left the room. It was a new label for her.

***

"I am sorry for any grievance you have had since arriving here, my dear girl, but I think you will be happy to know that the boys who terrorised you the other week are now permanently excluded and will get no such recommendation from me to anyone." the headmaster leant back in his leather chair behind the mahogany desk that had so many pieces of paper cluttered upon its shiny, rich surface. Alexandria was sitting directly across from him, and until he had deigned to speak, her eyes had been wondering the walls that were the same wooden panelling one could find in most of the school. On one wall there was an oil painting of the school from when it had first been erected - no such thing had been changed since that time a few centuries ago. Bookshelves lined the other, parallel to that one glanced upon earlier. Then there was the window inset to the wall that was behind the headmaster, showering him with early morning light, casting his profile into a dark shadow. "I hope nothing of this sort will ever happen again  and I will, try to make sure it doesn't'  -to you or any one else. Now, have a good day and certainly try to out do the other students." a slight twinkle was seen in his eyes, despite the shadow, as Alexandria smiled at those last words before leaving.

Having been returned to the normal routine of an average school girl, Alexandria was excited for today she had events planned that were not involving the activity of lying in a hospital bed. English was her first lesson and for the first time in the past week, she felt that her mind was clear - the pain killers were no longer something she had to pain to swallow. An argument with the nurse had made sure of that. Alexandria opened the door into her classroom and was welcomed by a round of applause; for whatever brilliant feature she had produced unbeknown to her. "Welcome back!" Tess, Rachel and Louisa shouted from their usual seats at the end of the classroom. A quick smile was given, but only a quick one for her mind was elsewhere.

"Hello," Alexandria greeted Rachel's brother. He shook her hand as she outstretched it, a slight look of bewilderment contorted his features into a scowl. I hope Margaret Hale is right in the fact that most men have a reason to scowl, Alexandria though before talking to the boy once more. "We have not been introduced, my name is Alexandria Ross. I believe the last time I saw you, you were detained at the present, but now you are not, so I thought it best to come over and say hello."

"I didn't need your help, by the way, everything was perfectly under control." he released his hand from hers and swallowed whilst looking down at sorting his desk. "My name is Mikhail Ives." His eyes looked into hers just as Miss Fines walked into the class.

"Everyone to their seats!" she called before realising that Xandria was back. Then, welcoming the girl, she called everyone to their seats again. A great deal of scraping chairs and rustling sheets of paper and clicking pens was heard but all of it concealed Alexandria's last words to Rachel's brother.

"Well, Mikhail Ives, it seems that the last thing I shall say to you is that men who say they have everything under control usually do not." after that, she found her way to her seat and sat down with some awkward looks from Rachel and the other two girls who had become her friends. It certainly carried on throughout the lesson and did not stop until the perceived time of going to sleep had come.

***

Rachel huffed as she waited with Tess and Louisa for Alexandria to come out of the English classroom. "Annoyed are your Rachel? I mean, you aren't the only one talking to your brother now." Tess called teasingly from behind where Rachel paced. A fee daggers were thrown silently with those gem-like eyes of the worried girl as she continued to walk u and down the same line for a few moments before replying.

"I just don't want him to get caught up in something that will stop him rom getting good grades... that's all." Rachel muttered grumpily, mostly to herself but also to her two friends - though she doubted they were actually listening. "Alexandria is charming enough to steal him away - especially with those eyes of hers. Ad now that she has gone and supposedly 'saved' my brother from some sort of physical pain, he will feel indebted to her. I know my brother, he gets all wound up about honour and duty. Some sort of Medieval state of mind going on in his head."

"Or he is just hot and was bound to be stolen away from you at some point or another due to the many girls after him." Tess giggled from where se sat, to receive another glare from Rachel - who would have spoken further if the English room's door had not opened to et out two people. Rachel whirled to see Mikhail and Alexandria come out of the class holding two books with the old ones they already had.

Smiling, Alexandria stop her conversation with Rachel's brother and turned to her friends to explain the new arrivals to her study list. "It seems we have been given further reading. What an assured delight for the both of us! Isn't it Mikhail?" a soft laugh escaped those lush lips of hers (as well Mikhail's to the envy of Rachel, who used to be the only one who could make her brother laugh).

"Yes, it shall certainly be a delight to read these amazingly long texts on something I will probably forget when running a fortune-five-hundred company." Mikhail let a small smile twitch at his lips in return to Alexandria's broad one. "Could we exchange notes one some of the text? I often find it useful to see other's ideas.." their voices drifted and became a piece of background noise to Rachel and she realised her brother was slipping away to replace someone else's.

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