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'His hand breifly brushes hers...'

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His hand briefly brushes hers. A quiver rocks the grooves of her spine. Rising tentatively, her vision is obscured slightly by the rouge blaze of a Bunsen burner. Lifting her steamed-up goggles, she is, as always, greeted by his dark whirlpools of eyes, instantly melting her baby blues. In fear that she could become lost in their depths forever, she hesitantly sinks back to reality, awakened by a sharp dig in the ribs.

“Ouch!” she cries out, unaware of the extreme volume of her scream. Silence bellows through the science lab, accompanied by an abyss of puzzled stares. Her cheeks blush a deep rose.

“Back. To. Work. Miss Cookman!” Mrs. Berdfasse snorts deafeningly. The heavy chatter of third period Chemistry returns, ignorant to Beardface’s growls.

“God I hate her...you okay?” he asks after a few minutes, “I really didn’t mean to jab you so hard!” He reaches towards her, half-laughing, half-concerned, steadying her shaking hand. Feeling his thumb against her palm, she smiles lovingly up at him, picturing their lives together, as she has so many times previously.

“Senna...” he calls again, now confused by this strange trance she had become fixed within, “I kinda need the test tube you’re holding. You’re really not with it today, are you?” He smiles subtly to himself. Disheartened, her face droops into an expressionless mask, all hope of their being together rapidly evaporating from her mind.

“Ah... I know what you’re thinking,” he grins smugly, “it’s obvious.” Her heart skips a beat. Her mouth becomes dry. Her palms are now beaded with sweat as she struggles to maintain a tight grasp of the test tube. Gasping for breath, she is certain he has discovered her true feelings for him.

Pausing, he suddenly becomes straight-faced, serious. Senna holds her breath, motionless, as her heart thumps on impatiently.

“Yeah I agree, we definitely need some more hydrochloric acid...” he ponders to himself, barely looking up, completely unconscious to the love-struck teen suffering just inches away. Sneaking a glance in Jared’s direction, she deciphers that he is clearly none the wiser. Relief instantly swathes Senna’s body as she exhales loudly. Composing herself once again, she replaces her goggles, in grave hope that her strange behaviour would remain unnoticed. This was just another normal day, she thinks.

A few minutes later, the bell rings violently. Chaos instantly roams the lab as the class are desperate to escape, destroying everything in their path. Jared is one of the first to leave, followed by an army of admirers, who never strayed more than three steps behind. Slightly dazed, Senna remains in the same position, statuesque, recovering from the recent stampede. The strong aroma of pasta and beans seeps through the open door temptingly. She now regrets telling Beardface that she would stay behind to clean the classroom for extra credit. She did not even need extra credit.

The remnants of her and Jared’s experiment-gone-wrong lay on the side. She handles the test tubes from palm to palm: they are still warm from his touch. This was enough to send Senna into a dream world once more. She imagines being with him, stroking his dark, straight, sleek hair, her hand on the back of his perfectly sculpted neck, kissing his warm, soft lips...

“Senna...”

Her eyes are now tightly shut, her arms draped around her body, as if hugging herself, a dreamy smile creeping across her face. She envisages her hand in his as he strokes her face with his thumb. She reaches out, her lips slightly parted.

“Hello?”

“I knew you would be back, Jared,” Senna exclaims, eyes still half-closed, lips pursing into a love-heart.

“Senna!”

She awakes suddenly to face Mrs. Berdfasse. “The lab was tidy ten minutes ago. I want my lunch. Go!” she screeches.

No one argues with Beardface.

As Senna opens the door to the science block, she stops for a moment, dazzled by the iridescent shimmer of the midday sun. In the distance, she notices a figure. The figure waves in her direction and points towards her, stopping dead on the spot.

This black shape is familiar; his toned arms and long, dark sweeping fringe. His shirt is partially unbuttoned, the sleeves rolled to just below the crack of his elbow. His red and black striped tie is worn short and is, as always, smothered by that same brash scent of Jean-Paul Gaultier.

He waves again, slightly more frantically this time. A wide grin creeping across her face, Senna waves back. He finally knows, she thinks.

“Hey Jared,” she stutters, legs shaking fiercely, desperately attempting to remain poised. However, her palms become damp once more. As he approaches her, her breathing escalates exponentially. She can barely hold his gaze.

“Oh hey Senna,” Jared says cheerfully, tapping her lightly on the shoulder as he walks on, oblivious. Puzzled, Senna turns to watch him walk away. It is obvious now: he was not waving to her.

Behind her, Jared smiles at a petite, long haired brunette. Oh, just another of his many admirers, Senna thinks, rolling her eyes. The brunette reaches to stroke his arm lightly, smiling, as she delicately glides her hand up towards his neck. This girl, oblivious to Senna’s presence, bends up to kiss him lightly on the lips, feeding his tousled hair through her perfectly manicured fingers.

Everything freezes. She involuntarily focuses on their bubble of intimacy whilst the world around them becomes an irrelevant haze.

Senna’s stomach folds into a tenacious knot as she feels her eyes prick with tears. Not wishing to witness another second of this agony, she turns to walk away, barely able to move from the jolt of rejection and the sting of jealousy.

Despite these emotions, she curiously wonders how this girl has the ability to steal Jared’s heart, when so many others had failed in their attempts. What is so special about this one, she questions.

Brunette: typical of Jared’s type. That too-short-skirt also ticked boxes, with those almost transparent black tights and shiny, black patents with that subtle, forbidden heel that she could not help but recognise. Senna subtly turns her head a few inches to the left to inspect more closely. Those highlights running the length of her dark curls; that thick, black eyeliner smothering her fierce auburns; those raspberry lips, drenched in that clear, sticky gloss. Her identity was unmistakable.

Her fingers crease into a tight fist. Without another second of thought, Senna marches towards her two least favourite people. As she approaches the pair, she drags the traitor by her hair, hauling her round so that they were face to face. Just as she suspects, Senna is greeted by a mixture of horror and surprise splayed across the face of her best friend, Trix.

“You b****!”





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