“Well…” Mrs Collins muttered, looking slightly dazed. “Er… take a seat Brandon.”
As I slumped into my seat, my mate, Connor, who sits next to me, leant over and whispered, “Dude, what were you doing while you were gone?”
“I–” I had only gotten one word out when Mrs Collins, without looking up from her computer, called out sharply, “Brandon Roberts and Connor Perry! Stop talking now or you will both be in detention!”
“Sorry Miss Collins. I was just discussing our… maths homework. Yeah, it’s really interesting and I can’t wait to get started on it!” I lie sarcastically. I add an extra bright face as I hear Connor muffle a snigger. Mrs Collins sighs and I hear her murmur, “It’s Mrs, not Miss. Pfff, typical.”
Quietly, I pick up a small piece of paper from the floor and write on it: “I’ll tell you at break. Meet me at our place.” I pass it to him and as he reads it, he slowly nods.
“Boys!” Mrs Collins' shrill voice makes us jump. “Brandon, have you signed in to Student Services?”
“Yes.” I answer without hesitation. No is the real answer, I think.
As she turned away, she whipped around again, snatching my new era cap off my head before I had a chance to stop her. “And I think I’ll be confiscating that.”
I roll my eyes.
I leant against the wall, my hair in my eyes. Deserted, tucked away in the folds of the building and a pungent smell. Perfect place for a secret hangout.
“Hey.” I look up to see Connor striding over to me, hands in his pockets.
“So,” I ask, pulling out a lighter and a box of cigarettes. “Where were we?”
Carefully, I light my cigarette and give one to Connor. Smoke rolls out of my mouth into grey, candy floss clouds.
“So, I was ‘walking’ to school and–”
“Oh! There you are…!” A familiar voice makes us both drop our cigarettes and cautiously turn around.
Oh, great! When am I actually going to get to say a full sentence in school?! I think.
“What are you both doing here? I have been looking for you everywhere, Brandon!” Mrs Collins’s face was shocked. But that was nothing compared to when she saw the cigarettes drop from our hands. With a shaking hand, she pointed at them. “Are those…?”
She was so traumatized, so speechless, I almost found it funny. But, at that moment, I figured it wasn’t the right time to laugh.
Desperately, Connor looked at me, eyes pleading me to do something. Obviously, neither of us wanted to get expelled.
A light bulb suddenly clicked in my head.
“Don’t worry, Miss–I mean Mrs Collins,” I say, with a slight stammer in my voice. “Connor and I were j-just picking cigarettes up off the floor t-to improve the environment.”
Mrs Collins shook her head with disbelief.
“Anyway, I came here to say that your parents are waiting for you in the office. Come with me,” said a puzzled Mrs Collins.
“My parents!” I shout, forgetting the fact that we had just been let off for smoking.
Wow, I thought - this better be good.
To be continued.