Alive? Or Just Breathing?

For a while, Scarlett has been depressed. It started in Year 7 when Claire, her ever-changing boyfriends and her followers started bullying her. Scarlett has know for a while it is bullying, but doesn't know what to do about it. Can Drama and the new teacher, Miss Talbott help?


4. Chapter Four

16th September

     Fifth Drama lesson of the term. Last week there were all sorts - a 'welcome back' day on Tuesday, an assembly on Wednesday, and a supply teacher Thursday and this Tuesday. I suppose that sort of makes it the first real Drama lesson, but the fifth period where the lesson occurs. How unlucky can you get? God, I'm rambling. I don't even know why I'm doing this. My mum gave me a beautiful old notebook and told me to write in it. As a diary. Luckily, it has a lock on it and only one key which now hangs always round my neck. I even sleep in it. No one can get it if they wanted to. As much as I probably won't write much in it, I do not want anyone reading even this entry.

     I have the diary on my phone, but I obviously couldn't tell mum about that, so I've got to write in this goddamn thing. I might as well give myself a reason to protect the key and this diary for everyone's prying, peeking eyes: I hate myself. And it's not because I'm too fat, or ugly, although they do apply to me. It's because I'm so pathetic and attention-seeking and a snob. There are so many people who are worse off than me and they're not crying their eyes out about their lives. And here I am, sobbing about my friendlessness and the futility of my life. Well, I suppose it is worthless, but so is everybody else's. I just hate the fact that I am so self-centred and that I can never think of someone else before myself. The only time I have thought about others is to bad-mouth, feel scared of or feel sorry for the fact that I am forcing unhappiness onto them. Now at least I have a reason to hide this stupid thing.

     Now I have to go to Drama because the bell's about to go for the end of break. And yes, I am a suck-up too.


"Come on now, settle down, you two, off that radiator you'll break it." I whipped my head up to see where the familiar, young voice was coming from - and nearly knocked my head on the wall behind me as I did so - and was surprised to see the pretty Miss Talbott walking towards the centre of the room. I shot to my feet, forgetting, of course, the wooden beam above my hideout spot in the Drama studio, and was promptly knocked back to the floor with a thump and a hurting head. The people walking past my hideout sniggered behind their hands.


My 'hideout' was a little space off the side of the room, down a few steps. I assumed it was where people used to get changed when there were shows on. No one used it anymore though. The top part of the door (it was like a stable door) had broken off ages ago so it wasn't an option to be used as a changing room anymore, so it just got a bit abandoned. I used to go and hide in there and cut, because no one could see into it unless they went really close, and there was no light anyway. A few years ago, however, the whole of the arts block got done up and now it looks a lot cleaner and brighter. They re-did my hideout as well, but there were some proper changing rooms installed, so they just left the half door, and it's become a sort of costume cupboard. There was also a working light put in, so I stopped using it as a cutting place. Mainly because they found some of my blades and some blood, but luckily, I hadn't been in there for a while, so they just thought they were old.


I crept out of door and turned the light off, rubbing my head, and went to sit down with the rest of the class.

"Hello, Scarlett, isn't it? Glad you're in my class." Now I can see why she's a Drama teacher. Glad? Pfff. I nodded anyway. "Right then, today, as this is the first class I will have with you, since an assembly got in the way last week, I would like to do something to help me, and any of your new classmates, learn your names. As our first topic is monologues, we shall get into pairs, and come up with a short improvisation. They can be about anything you like, but at some point in it, each person must come up with and say a short monologue about themselves. They must include your name, age, and then something like your favourite subject of hobby, or something like that. For example, if I was acting with-" she pulled a random boy from the front of the crowd of teenagers on the floor, "what's your name?" It was Jack from my maths. "Right, Jack, say that we have met each other at a party for our younger siblings. So we get talking and end up giving each other our numbers." By this point Jack was blushing wildly. "But at some point, we have to break away, whilst the other freezes and talk about ourselves. We'll pretend to talk, then I'll do a monologue about myself." Then they improvised a scene. when they got to the monologue, it turned out, Jack had been staring at Miss Talbott for some reason or other, and when she turned to face us and talk about herself, his eyes followed her and he stared at her ass. I looked at him, thinking, boys are jerks, when he swivelled his eyes to me and curled the hand that was down by his side so his middle finger was up. Boys are real jerks. I turned away and concentrated on what Miss Talbott was saying. "Hi. My name is Rachel Talbott and I'm 24. As it turns out, Jack's little sister is my brother's friend, and I'm sure she's been round to play before. Well, if his sister looks anything like him - with mousy brown hair and blue eyes - then she definitely has. Just in the 10 minutes we've been talking, I've found out that we like a lot of the same things. As in, we both like most types of music, but can't stand Indie, and we both hate horror movies, but love popcorn: things like that. Also, I think he's kinda cute." At this, Jack broke out of his frozen, let's-stare-at-Miss-Talbott state and jumped about a foot in the air. Ripples of laughter echoed across the class. Jack looked more closely at Miss Talbott when she turned back to him to tell him to sit down. He looked sad when he realised she'd only been acting. Jack Givens stuck his finger up at her back and sat down. Ugh, you can't beat a boy in being a jerk.


Miss Talbott then went on to show another way to do it - come on by yourself and describe yourself and set up the scene (meeting friend for coffee and there early, etc.) then the other person comes in, greets the first character and then goes on to say their monologue. We had to then get into pairs. I was obviously last, without a pair. I heard Miss Talbott say over the group,

"Everybody, this is the first show of 'I-know-better-than-you-Miss'. Boys, I said twos, not threes, so one of you go with Scarlett, who does not have a partner. There is an even number in this class, so when I say twos, I means twos, unless someone is ill." The boys came into view as people parted. There was two people I didn't know and, of all people, Jack Givens. The other two (clearly just letting Jack tag along) turned their backs on Jack and walked off. No doubt to fake which dumb blonde they had slept with. Jack turned to me, with a look of death on his face. I'm pretty sure he was delighted at being put with me. NOT.


As it is easy to guess, ours was awful. We went with the meeting at a party thing - his parents were throwing a Summer BBQ and had invited my family because my dad worked with his mum - and we just talked about a fake concert for 30 seconds, then I did my monologue (mumbling and rushing because the girls were giggling at something - probably Jack doing something behind my back that Miss couldn't see) and the Jack did his and then we sat down. It was amazingly bad. What made it worse was that Claire and her boyfriend were next. They did a re-enactment of when they first met (about 3 weeks ago), and they even kissed at the end (whether it was really what happened or not I couldn't tell). Everyone clapped at the end. I just hid. I was going to sneak in the dark to my hideout when I'd done mine, but I happened to be sat on the back row, right where Miss Talbott had decided to go and sit on the rostra behind.


At the end she caught me to ask if I was alright: I'd seemed a bit quiet and bothered about something. I stumbled through my usual excuse of having to look after my neighbour's pet hamster and I thought it might bite me, before rushing off to 4th period: the last one before lunch. And two more after that before the end of school.

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