“Thanks a lot,” I said to the man. He bowed his head and quickly left the room.
I studied the paper he gave me, a smile slowly appearing on my lips.
I crumbled it and threw it away, my mind whirling with a thousand possibilities.
My head snapped up, and I saw Mr. Loren standing in front of my desk, his face red, nostrils flaring.
He leaned closer and hissed, “Sleep in my class one more time, and you will be seeing yourself in the principal’s office.”
I nodded slightly, my ears burning. He scowled and walked to the front of the classroom, continuing with his boring lecture.
I sighed, looking outside. It was snowing slightly, white powder falling from the sky. The students outside stared up with wonder, putting their palms up to catch the flurry.
The branches of the trees were slightly coated with snow, occasionally shaking with the harsh winter cold. People walked, wrapped up in coats and scarves, attempting to keep out the persistent wind.
Suddenly, I felt a harsh poke in my shoulder, I turned, and my best friend, Amelia, was looking at the teacher, who was staring at me.
I suddenly realized Mr. Loren was waiting for something. An answer maybe?
“Um, could you repeat that?” I asked him, trying not to cringe as his face contorted in fury.
“Who was the vice president under Abraham Lincoln?” he spat.
I blinked, trying to remember.
He didn’t give me any time. He stalked over to me, trembling.
“Leave my classroom. Now!” he roared.
I shot up, grabbing my things and immediately rushing out of the classroom. I could hear my classmates laughing at me, and Mr. Loren yelling at all of them to shut up.
After I put away my things in my locker, I went straight to the library, not saying anything to anyone as I went to my usual chair, grabbing a random book in the process.
I sat, trying to not tremble in anger. I scanned over the pages of the book, serenity passing over me as I jumped into a world of fiction.
I didn’t know how much time had passed. I wasn’t aware of anything as I read the book, but I heard the school bells, indicating that it is now passing period.
I got up, going to the front desk to check my book out. As I left the library, I was vividly aware of people staring at me, laughing and whispering.
I clenched my book tighter, my teeth grinding together, but keeping my face emotionless as I went to my locker, gathered my things, and dropped them into my classroom.
I was about to leave, but Mrs. Gray stopped me at the door.
“And just where do you think you’re going?” she demanded in a high voice.
I rolled my eyes as I pushed past her, saying over my shoulder, “Bathroom.”
I went inside a stall and sunk to the floor, digging the heels of my palms into my eyes.
I didn’t want to be here, inside a prison of crumbling brick, having to endure the hisses and smirks of other students.
I opened my eyes, tears leaking down my cheeks. I furiously wiped them away, standing up and leaving the stall.
Even if no one was there, I would not give them the satisfaction of my tears.
A sound rang through the air, so loud and high my ears threatened to bleed. A voice shouted above the siren.
“All students and teachers are to leave the building immediately. Now!”
It must be bad, I thought as I ran out of the bathroom. They always keep a calm voice for even the worst of emergencies.
I heard distinct screams and shouts, but I was focused on getting to the parking lot. As I ran, I saw something that made me stop in my tracks.
Amelia was laying on the floor, her eyes wide and shocked.
I choked. Oh gods.
A hole went through her chest, and a pool of her blood surrounded her and drenched the carpet, the color so red it seemed to be black. Her golden hair was now a very deep red, blood splattering her face.
I stood, staring until I shook my head, running past her as my chest grew tight.
There would be time for mourning, I told myself. Just get out of this mess alive.
I burst into the parking lot, the winter wind assaulting me.
My eyes widened and I froze in place.
Dozens of police officers swarmed the place, barking orders into their walkie-talkies.
Students and teachers were herded onto the long, all of them wore the same mask of terror.
Instantly, the police looked at me and paled, holding their guns to me.
My heart stopped.
“Freeze!” they all shouted to me, and I lifted my hands, my mind blank with fear.
Suddenly, a pair of rough arms yanked me around my waist, knocking the air out of my lungs. A hard object was brought to my head and stayed there.
“Move a muscle, and she’ll be dead,” a deep voice growled at the officers.
Tears ran in rivers down my cheeks, and my mind felt non-functional.
Was there a way to die with fear?
The officers lowered their arms, all of them glaring at the person holding me.
Why aren’t they doing anything? It’s just one guy, my mind thought dimly.
I moved my head an inch to the right, and the arms around my waist tightened. Then, I saw why the police didn’t move.
Dozens of men were behind me, all dressed in black, holding guns of their own.
I knew they weren’t police officers.
I don’t know how long I stood there, restrained by a man, the police staring at me, no doubt trying to find a solution to the problem.
I needed to do something. Fast.
My hand dipped into my pocket and stayed there. I tried to calm my nerves and my churning stomach as I took out the item and held it, waiting a second before shooting.
The police officers fell to the ground, and the men around me shot until everyone in the parking lot was on the floor, the white snow now a glistening red.
The arms released me and the gun removed its hold on my temple.
I looked at my men, nodding to them. A hooded figure came to me, the same person who delivered the paper this morning.
“The plan was a success, Ma’am, as I knew it would,” he said in a grave voice.
“I am well aware,” I snapped, waving him off, slightly annoyed.
I looked at the person who had restrained me, Nick, and he smiled at me, bowing. A warm feeling filled my chest, replacing the irritation.
“Wonderful acting, miss,” he teased, rising.
I nudged his ribs with my elbow playfully, glancing behind me, at the grisly scene, before returning my gaze back to Nick.
I stood on my tiptoes and kissed his cheek.
“Come on. Let’s go.”