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?


6. Chapter Six

I sneaked into drama as Miss was talking, hoping not to be noticed. She was talking about what we were going to be doing over the next few lessons. Apparently we were going to be devising pieces to do with fairy tales. My mind wasn’t on it. I was still worrying about the phone in my pocket. What if it wasn’t on silent? I hadn’t thought to check that. What if it went off and she recognised it? Or if she saw it in my pocket? I silently nibbled on my thumb pad and the nail of my left hand. I didn’t know what to do with it. I had to do something before the end of the day. Definitely. Otherwise she would obviously notice and it would make it very hard to come up with an excuse as to why I had it tomorrow. It also really needed to be sorted before the end of the lesson, because if I came back at the end of the day or at lunch, it still would be hard to explain as to why I had it and why I brought it straight to her. I would have to do it during the lesson. Say I found it on the floor. Just go round the corner or behind a curtain and get it out then ask her if she knew whose it was.


Whilst I’d been worrying, Miss had given the class instructions. I assumed it was to get into groups, since some girls had started attaching themselves to each other’s arms. Of course, I had no one to go with. Miss was separating a few groups of 5 or 6 out (I guess it was meant to be 4), and I was just stood by myself scuffing my toe on the floor.

“Scarlett! You don’t have a group, do you?” She ploughed on already knowing the answer, “Well, can you go with Alex, Phil and Charley?” They were 2 boys and a girl who had been pulled from their friend groups. I didn't really know them. They weren't the sort of people who took drama seriously. (Ha - that's making it sound like I was really serious and good at it.) I didn't really know what we were meant to be doing. I was focused on the phone.


We didn't really do much. It turns out the idea was to come up with a parody of a fairy tale, or to twist the ending of one. We did Snow White and the Seven Dwarves - with only two dwarves, a Snow and an evil Step-mother since there were four of us. I had been put as the step-mother, with Charley as Snow White and the two boys as the dwarves. So far, we had got the dwarves coming on singing hey-ho, and then Snow came in and muttered some lines. I came in at some point, and our twist was that snow never wakes up through the prince and the step-mother won. The dwarves also worked for the step-mother, and helped poison the girl. It was awful. I couldn't act in front of the boys and Charley for fear of embarrassment, meaning that I certainly wouldn't in front of the rest of the class. We just stumbled through rehearsing it without much vigour or excitement.


About 40 minutes in - we still had another 20 minutes, ugh - Miss Talbott called out,

"Has anyone seen my phone? It's black, and an iPhone 6s. It has all my texts and notes on, as well as all my personal details and a number of lesson plans. It has a password, but I'm sure a lot of the students in this school would be have the technology and be able to crack it within a short space of time. I really need to find it." I could hear the worry in her voice. I felt very guilty, even though I'd just picked it up. What was even wrong with picking up the phone and seeing it was hers? The lock screen made me feel the worst. There was no way I could take it up to her now under Claire's wary eyes. I carried on with the drama piece, pretending to look, all the while feeling more and more guilty as I felt the phone sticking into my pocket. 10 minutes had passed, and Miss Talbott was not closer to getting her phone back. There were only 10 minutes of the lesson left. Suddenly, as if it was a miracle, someone screamed out in the corridor. Miss Talbott abandoned her search to find her phone, and hurried out of the room. Luckily, the rest of my group had wandered off. I moved over to the desk, thinking I would probably have enough time to slip it under a piece of paper whilst everyone rushed to the door to see what all the commotion was about. Suddenly, I realised that everyone had begun to move away from the door, and I could hear Miss Talbott's voice coming back, telling everyone to get back to their groups: it was just someone from another class doing some screaming in their piece of drama (whatever they were doing I don't know). I quickly put the phone just down on the desk, and moved a bit away, before Miss saw me. as she walked past me, I heard her exclaim loudly when she saw her phone, saying, "It's alright everyone, my phone's just here! I must have missed it." As I've said before, she wasn't a drama teacher for no reason then. She obviously would have looked there - I put right on top of the desk - but no one saw her pick it up, so didn't know where it had been. "Carry on, come on, no need to stare at my phone-" she suddenly glared at two boys next to her, "-yes boys, teachers do have phones; I'm not as old fashioned as that, and neither are most of the teachers here." I stifled a giggle, and continued slipping away back to my group. As I turned away, Miss caught my eye, but I continued to turn, and was soon walking away. I could have imagined it, but I really don't think I did: I think she knew it was me. I was the only one really near enough her desk, and she might have even seen me put it there, depending on if she'd seen me before I noticed her coming back. The stifled giggling at the boys suddenly seemed a long time ago. What if she realised I had had it all along? What if she was cross that I hadn't come forward straight away? No. Scarlett, stop being pathetic and embellishing it. She might have guessed you had put the phone on her desk, but that didn't mean she knew that you'd picked it up earlier. Stop being silly.


I shook my head, and only then realised that Charley had been talking to me. There were only a few minutes of the lesson left.

"Yeah, sure, whatever..." I replied, having not really heard what she had said. I'd sort it out next lesson. For now, I had the next 3 lessons, lunch, and detention to get through.




In detention, again. This time, I had 150 lines of 'I will not daydream in class when I should be listening.' ("Maybe that will make you think a bit more!" the old cow had said.) I had called my mum in the toilets at lunch, and she hadn't been to happy. Well I suppose it was the best I could ask for. At least she hadn't punished me herself - she said that detention was probably punishment enough for what I'd done. She'd said she didn't want to know what it was exactly, just if it was to do with boys or smoking or anything. I had reassured her it wasn't anything like that, and she seemed slightly better about it after that. Taking a deep breath, I opened the door to see the same teacher as last week. Claire was already locked lips with somebody. As she saw me come in, this time she took no chances, and broke off the kiss immediately, coming over and giving me her paper ('I will not tell lies').

"You'd better get this done quickly. Then you might be able to leave early again. Oh wait you can't!" she cackled, and turned in the arms of the boy she had been tongue wrestling with - who had been sucking disgustingly on her neck whilst she talked to me - and locked lips once more. Eugh.


I was halfway through her lines when I heard the door open, and looked up to see Miss Talbott poking her head round the door. My heart plummeted as her eyes scanned the room: was it about the phone? No, don't be stupid, of course it wouldn't be. But what if it was? She was a brilliant actress, so would easily be able to act nice and forgiving but actually be as horrible as the rest of the bags that teach here. Not letting her have the chance to catch my eye again, I looked down, trying to see from underneath my eyelashes where she was looking. Not at me apparently, as she then said,

"Claire? Can you follow me? It's about the audition on Friday." The teacher at the front looked at her in surprise. Someone was getting out of detention. "Oh, can you inform Claire's teacher that she will bring her lines to her first thing tomorrow morning? She will be able to do them tonight after I have spoken to her, but won't be back in time to finish them here." The teacher at the front still looked shellshocked. I looked up to see what Claire would do. She shot me a quick look, making it clear that I better have it finished and back to her so she could hand it in tomorrow.

"Ok," said Claire, hopping down from the table, and giving the boy a last kiss and continuing, "I'll be at school by 8 tomorrow, so I'll easily have time to hand it in." Of course, she knew I was listening, and would be there in time. Catching the bus at 7:30am meant I was there 5 minutes later anyway. I nodded briefly so she could see that I had seen her, before getting back to writing her lines. I hadn't even started mine.


The time was almost up when I wrote my last line. 250 lines in 1 and a half hours. Very good actually. My hand was aching though. I was almost crying from my treatment from Claire and from self-pity, which only made me feel pathetic and cry harder. I legged it out of the room when e were set free, and straight up to Mrs Dasse. I then ran to the toilets and cried. I had to pull myself together pretty quickly though, as I heard the cleaner coming down to check if anyone was still in there before locking them up. I'd have to hide in my room and cut. No time now.

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