Tell us one interesting fact about yourself" the teacher had a strained smile, that didn't reach her eyes and her arms were crossed in annoyance.
One interesting fact about myself? I didn't want to be here- was that interesting enough? I wanted to be somewhere I could breath properly... Possibly with people that weren't going to ask me for one interesting fact about myself...Humans are novels of facts and details and half of them haven't even figured out who they yet. So if you really want to learn about a person you have to do it for yourself and not just ask them for one pointless fact that will be completely fabricated to suit their audience and then immediately forgotten.
"I have a cat." I muttered for the third time that day. The teacher and the rest of the class had no response and I resumed my position. My chin leaned on the palm of my hand, my face expressionless and my mind else where.
Occasionally, I tuned in to the facts being given- the boy besides me had broken his wrist three times, the girl at the front had a grade 8 in singing...
A boy at the end of my row muttered "I have a cat" and I rolled my eyes before realising I'd said the same. That was my worse flaw; I thought I was different from everyone else- better- but always kept it in, whereas everyone else I took at face value. If you appeared boring, you probably were. Which was hypocritical of me, I was aware.
I cast my eyes to the boy with the cat, he was completely nondescript: brown hair, average everything and a look of boredom. I concluded that he probably did have a cat and it was probably black and called lucky too. Again, I was being a judgemental bitch; I too had a cat, like I'd said, and just because she was grey and called Sappho after the lesbian poet didn't make me any more deep than every other shallow teenager in this room.
The whole day passed in the same vain, classes postponed for the sake of helping the new students "settle in" and meaningless conversation between boring people just hoping to fit in.
My fourth lesson was worse than normal, the teacher was sickeningly excited and genuinely seemed to enjoy the mediocre discussion the class was having about their first days at their new school. All of which were equally uneventful. So by the time he finally drew the discussion to a close and gave us five minutes of recovery time before the lessons end, I was more than ready to get the hell out there for lunch.
"I'm Dixie," the girl sat next to me smiled. I dragged my eyes away from the clock in the wall,
"Did you do that yourself?" She flicked one of my braids intrusively.
"Yea," I tapped my nails on the table impatiently.
"You have to do mine," she gushed, "I'm so bad at anything like hair and makeup- your makeups so nice too, I wish I was good at that stuff... Am I talking a lot? I'm talking a lot aren't I... You can tell me to shut up if you want, don't worry, I get told that all the time... Do you want me to shut up?" I felt slightly winded by the tidal wave of information she had flooded me with but I shook my head. I might be a bitch internally but I do attempt to act civil with other people.
"It's fine," Dixie continued to ramble about her friend that used to do her hair when they went to school together. She was an odd mix, at first glance she seemed cold and judgemental -probably just because she was pretty. But there was something more; before she'd started talking, her face had been expressionless, but when she had she'd sprung to life... Like the sales people in the streets that stand and wait for someone to walk by so they can rehearse their sales pitch. Similarly I wondered how many times she'd repeated the same complement and anecdote today.
"What are you thinking?" She demanded abruptly, halting my analysis of her.
"Like right now. What are you thinking?" She insisted, her face curious and friendly in equal measure.
"Nothing. I'm just listening." Her question had surprised me.
"You have to be thinking something. You're just one of those people." My curiosity got the better of me,
"One of what people?"
"Like the lead in a comedy, you know, the one that never says much but has a constant witty inner dialogue going on in their heads," She seemed convinced,
"I'm not witty,"
"I bet you are; most quiet people are,"
"Maybe we're just quiet because we have nothing interesting to say," I challenged.
"I don't believe that,"
"What do you believe?" She leaned back in her chair and looked up thoughtfully. She was pretty when she did that. Unlike me, you could tell she adored being asked questions.
"I believe that everyone is interesting and intricate and complicated, they just chose to reveal those parts of themselves in varying levels," I smiled for a split second. Why I smiled I have no idea- but nevertheless she noticed it.
"You should do that more." She narrowed her cat eyes at me. They were a jade green, flecked with yellow.
"What?" My mask was back on.
"Maybe," I was kind of scared to refuse anything this girl said. Her manic energy was terrifyingly unpredictable. Appeasing her seemed like the safest option.
"What are you doing at lunch?"
"Going out probably." I shrugged, my eyes once more on the clock. One minute to go.
"Are we even allowed?"
"Can I come with you?" Once again, her forwardness startled me.
"Aren't you friends with flick and them lot?" I turned to her, one eyebrow raised. I'd only been at this school one day but the popular group was very much formed and this girl appeared to be in it.
"Only flick really, I don't talk to most of them." Unlike usual she didn't have much to say on the topic so I shrugged.
"Do you mind if I smoke?" I tried to put her off... I knew smoking wasn't an attractive habit but I needed it. I might always be an outsider, but at least I could be the cool scary one, not the loser everyone pitied...
"I smoke too." She smiled, the dimple on her right cheek appearing for a second.
"You don't seem like the type," I thought out loud. She was at no risk of being a loser.
"Am I not edgy enough?" She joked.
"You don't seem sad enough." My honesty was unintentional and it surprised both of us.
"Looks can be deceiving," I hadn't expected her answer, and for a second we just sat there in silence.
The bell rung and the quiet was broken.
I stood up and slung my bag over my shoulder, "Are you coming?"