Alexandria walked into the English class, the buzz of chatter filling the air like a hoard of insects were about to swoop down and destroy everything in their path. Everyone knew everyone, everyone was talking to everyone and everyone was friends with everyone. The only one left out was Xandria, but she did not expect less since her peers had known each other for five years. And five years was enough to be considered a long time for friendship. Tess, surprisingly, waved her over to a group of four seats at the back. It was a square formation, Louisa and Rachel in the last row, Tess and Xandria in the one just before. "Hello Alexandria," Louisa smiled from her seat, as Alexandria placed her books on the pristine, white desk in front.
"Hi," she replied politely, and casually, seemingly taking into account what Rachel had said. Her notepad, reading material and textbook found their way into a neat pile on the flat surface. The teacher had not yet arrived, leaving the class to chaos. Students milled around the classroom, their uniforms all the same; the dark navy blazer and tie flashing continuously as Xandria looked around the room. Sounding throughout the air, the metal bell rang just as the teacher entered the classes.
Everyone moved to their allocated seats, several scrapes and whines from the chairs sounded as the chairs were pulled out and in for the students to rest upon. Scrawling her name on the board, the teacher appeared to be a Ms Regina Fines. "Sorry I'm late," she muttered as if well-rehearsed, "welcome back to English literature, or welcome to English literature as we have a new student." It was like she was sending out a homing beacon; everyone immediately turned around and stared. That was, everyone apart from her roommates and Rachel's brother at the very front. "Carrying on," the teacher flipped open the book, Shakespeare, and told the class to turn to the death scene of Romeo and Juliet. "What can we be told from this scene? What are the complications that led to this scene? How did it affect the characters and their outcomes?"
A girl rose her hand on the other side, rather meek but daring to try in front of so many. "We can be told that they die from this scene, because someone can't deliver a message properly." A shiver of laughter ran across the class. Alexandria simply watched and stared. No wonder she is shy, the thought scampered across her mind before she could do anything.
"Thank you Maxime," Ms Fines dismissed her in a cold, yet polite, way. The girl swiftly sat down, no longer brave enough to look up into the eyes of her peers with those flushed cheeks and tearing eyes. "Ermmmmm..... What about you, Mr Ives? Can you tell me something of importance about this scene?"
He turned around, ever so slowly. Those pale eyes seemed to make the room a little bit more foreign, more desolate. His dark hair fell across his eyes, small strands breaking the flat of his irises. Alexandria saw all of him - so cool and calculating it was irksome. "The purpose of this scene is that the Montagues and Capulets may overcome this old rivalry and begin anew after the death of their beloved children. As mentioned, Romeo died because of the problems of delivering the message which has in turn caused Juliet to commit suicide since she could not live without the one she loved. Using stagecraft, Shakespeare has built up the right amount of dramatic irony and suspense for the audience to feel annoyed and sad at this tragedy. However, I believe this to be idiotic because at the very beginning we were told that they would take their life."
Having finished his droning half-answer, Rachel's brother sat down. "Thank you, Mr Ives" stuttered out a worried Ms Fines. From having only known of him for a few days, Alexandria was beginning to think he was far more mysterious than apparent.
Walking out of her Psychology classroom, Xandria stared blankly at her phone. Sometimes she truly hated the thing that lay motionless in her palm as it stopped having whatever sort of attack and returned to normal. I hate it when you drop these things, they're never the same afterwards. Having begun to be bored in her class, the young girl had snuck her phone from her pocket to message her mother - who was a constant blight upon Xandria's peace. Every other second there came an incessant vibrating noise from the depths of her blazer pocket to signal the heralding of a new message from her fervent mother.
After scrolling up through at least one hundred messages, Xandria came to a stop. Not in her scrolling but in her steps. There stood, right before her slight figure, a brute of a young man who was accompanied by two friends both of similar size and height. "Hello, darling," the tallest one said from his central placing in the trio, "How are you doing?" of his speech, there was nothing to judge but another arrogant young aristocrat who thought that the world was his. How wrong you are my friend, Xandria slid the brick into her navy blazer and stared into his eyes. They were green, with flecks of topaz skittered throughout the irises. With those blonde, short strands of hair and chiselled jaw and cheekbones, he was certainly attractive to an extent.
"I am quite fine, thank you, now if you would step aside?" Alexandria moved as if to force them out of the way yet them held their ground, their feet the roots of mountains. "I suppose not then," she looked up into his green eyes once more, her own searing with anger. I hate it when I get angry, the girl moaned to herself mentally; whenever she became enraged, it was not the thundering storm one would expect, but a quiet waterfall that snuck up on you.
The trio laughed in front of her, laughed in her face. Now I see who you are, bullies. Alexandria remained still as they balled with mirth at whatever they saw in her that amused them so. "Not until you be nice to me," the older boy's eyes followed her. It was strange... they were welcoming and yet somehow cold at the same moment in time. "So, how did you get into our class? I mean, it's obvious that you aren't our age. What are you anyway? Some nobleman's daughter who thinks she's the best because she skipped a year or two of school?" Alexandria gripped her notepad a bit tighter - she told herself it was to keep hold of someone so that she didn't smack the idiot who stood in front of her.
But, that was not the reason.
"You are always the same... always trying to make people feel bad for their achievements simply because you have none to brag about, to care for. It's simple, basic human psychology; you are not happy with your situation so you seek someone who is and tear down everything around them to make yourself feel better because you made them feel that way, because now they feel worse than you. However, though I regret to disappoint you, I shall inform you by giving you one piece of information - I control my lie, to a certain degree, and you will not stop me from that. So stand aside before this continues further." Xandria watched with unfathomable power as he moved to let her through. "Thank you, my dear," the last words of gratitude she would ever speak to him.
Hurrying out of the hallway, she felt the cool air kiss her cheeks as Xandria stepped into the courtyard. Tessa called her over from their dorm tower, oh yes, I have P.E. What fun. Almost running over, she was soon in their dorm and changed for the next hour of dreaded exercise. "Yay, hockey!" Louisa celebrated sarcastically - they always played hockey, that, Xandria knew.
The trainers she wore seemed too comfortable for what their outsides looked like, black, plastic that broke apart for some sort of material that was certainly breathable. They squeaked slightly as the girls ran over from the hockey pitch to put the equipment back in the shed. Miss Corbet, the P.E. teacher for the girls, unlocked the wooden doors to the shed and hurried the girls inside after they put away the hockey sticks and balls. Xandria jagged in time with he group, staying to the back so no one noticed her slight limp. It only happened when she moved at a pace faster than a walk; the reason behind her falling down the other day when Rachel had been showing her around - or maybe it was something to do with walking into someone.
Dense was the forest that groaned around them in the wind, the trees' branches all barren from the seasonal change. They will soon be back, those beautiful green leaves, Alexandria thought as she remembered how her brother would always try and capture the spring green look and yet always failed. Approaching the school's main building, Xandria crouched down for a moment as she tried to catch her breath before a full on anxiety attack came about. "Are you-?" Rachel's question was cut off short as Xandria held up a hand.
"Perfectly fine, just give me a moment, I'll catch up don't worry," pulling on a fake smile, Xandria brushed them off gently, retuning to the controlled breathing she had been taught by her therapist. Without another probe at her innermost thoughts, Rachel, Tessa and Louisa went back into the school along with the rest of the P.E. class. And once more, she was alone, both in thought and appearance.
Despite that absurd hope, Miss Corbet's footsteps son pervaded the air. "How you doing champ?" one of those annoying habits that P.E teacher soften had, the nickname. In this case, it was champ, as if that made the person being referred to instantly feel better. Not in Xandria's case, never in her case. In all truth, it made her feel worse, for she was anything but a champion. "I'll leave you for a moment, come back when you're ready." Thank you, Alexandria thought with all sincerity, for that is what she wanted in the world - to be left alone until she was ready. But there were obligations of the heart and mind and soul that twisted your actions like the slight movement of a puppet's string.
"Let me be..." Alexandria whispered to the earth, her eyes shut until there came a groaning sound for behind the crumbling wall to her left. It was placed between the wall that led to the school and the line of trees that began the forest. Stones were littering the ground around the old thing, stuff made of ancient nights and dark hours. Yet the groaning sound came again, it wasn't long and durable but quick and short-tempered. A one-paced sound that was repeated over and over again, the succession to a hollow thumping sound.
Being the curious girl she was, Alexandria had to take a look, and look she did.
There, behind the crumbling wall, stood four boys. One was younger than the other three but upon first look, Xandria knew the whole group without a doubt. The three older students from earlier, the ones who had tried to find some fun from her misery, now stood over Rachel's brother. Blood splattered Mikhail's shirt - Mikhail, that's his name - in small dots here and there, the origin point of the ruby liquid was the boy's nose. A few grazes could be found on the blonde-haired boy's knuckles from the repetition of punching someone. Being cruel was a nasty business, and a bloody one at that.
"Hey!" Xandria shouted out before she could stop herself. Why am I doing this? she took a step forward involuntarily, I should stay out of trouble and yet I always find myself in it. "What the hell are you doing?" she screamed, her voice not so distressed as she spoke the words. They came out loud and clear amongst the roaring in her ears. Mikhail caught her eyes, as if trying to plea for Xandria to run away. But that was not who she was. Xandria was the stupid brave fool who would try and stop the madness before realising there was no way to end it.
The boy on the right, not the one punching Mikhail but still someone who was committing a moral wrong, replied, "What does it look like? Now piss off," before turning back around to join in on the 'fun'. Alexandria remained where she stood, not moving but not saying or doing anything either. It was not long, or maybe it was, before the one on the right told her to shove off as well while the leader of the trio continued to throw Mikhail about. Tearing herself from the reverie, Alexandria ran over, yelling 'stop!' with that same weirdly-calm tone.
It turned out that her limp was probably worse than previously thought and the slightest push from one of the cronies lead her to fall down onto the ground with a searing pain in her ankle. A scream ripped through the world, birds flying from the sudden fright of someone in trouble. Fire broke through her flesh, her memories as she remembered the night her brother died once again. Curling in on herself, everything became black, the only thing Alexandria knew was muffled voices as she slipped into some sort of catatonic state, the world fading before her.