Bright minds think AlikeI sat on my padded velvet stool, brushing my waist-length blonde hair and counting the freckles on my nose. They were scattered across, but only on my nose. I could live with that, I supposed. I sighed. The teachers at school were really firm about long hair being tied back. I thought of my best friend Summer’s tawny bouncy bunch. I wanted a new style. But I had too much hair for a simple bunch. It wasn’t just long...it was awfully thick for straight hair. My Mum had been trying to persuade me
‘I hope Steve isn’t late again; that’ll mean detention and we have a date tonight...’ Summer was saying.
‘Date?’ I raised my eyebrow.
‘Well, OK, it’s just down KFC but still,’ Summer whined.
‘Don’t worry, Sum, I’m sure he won’t be late,’ I reassured her mechanically. Summer had expressed doubts about Steve not getting detention almost every day since the start of the term after Easter. However, she got lucky today. Just as the shrill bell sounded he raced in, catching up with us as we made for the stairs to our form.
‘Alright, babe? Alright, Fliss?’ Steve greeted us casually.
‘Hi, Steve,’ We chorused together.
My name was short for Felicity – and I couldn’t stop a flutter of butterflies in my stomach when Steve used my nickname. God, I was lame. Only the teachers and my parents called me by my full name, for God’s sake. Steve narrowly missed detention for a different reason than punctuation – he had his tongue down Summer’s throat. I had looked away, feeling sick and worthless. I’d never had a gorgeous and cheeky boyfriend like Steve before and nothing was changing. I had kissed Kevin Parker last year at a party but as soon as I had realized he was a lout and a prat who only wanted me for one use I was well shot of him. Pig.
I couldn’t concentrate in History or Maths or P.E. Steve’s face kept popping into my mind at regular intervals – and in between. Steve had carefully gelled black hair had slicked onto his forehead, wavy at the ends. He had spiky hair at the back to complete the look, slanting hazel eyes, a button nose, plump lips and beautiful gold-brown skin. The image of his face had flashed up in my mind when the rounder’s ball was swung and hit me hard on the forehead, so I toppled onto the muddy grass, my vision slightly blurred and doubled. I was vaguely aware of shrieks and Summer and Steve running over and speaking anxiously.
‘Fliss, Fliss...are you alright? Oh my God, Fliss, you have to answer me...’ Summer was actually sobbing.
Through narrowed eyes I viewed the scene above me: a hysterical Summer and an apprehensive Steve was staring down at me. I focused on Steve’s face, and then shook my head. I wasn’t being fair on Summer.
I opened my eyes fully. ‘I’m fine, Summer.’
‘How do you feel?’ Summer and Stevie demanded in unison.
I felt my forehead. ‘Like I’ve just been smacked on the head by a hard ball...’
Summer snorted with laughter and looked relieved to see I was alright enough to joke. Just then the P.E. teacher ran over; she had been fetching another bat when the incident had happened. Moira, the one who had hit the ball at me and Summer and my deadly enemy, was with her. She had carefully arranged her face into a concerned mask, but her eyes, full of malice, gave her away.
‘Fliss, I am sooo sorry! I guess I didn’t see you, there,’ She shrugged.
‘Felicity, how do you feel?’ The P.E. teacher asked.
I sat up unsteadily and got to my feet. ‘My head’s a little sore, but I feel alright...I mean, I can remember everything so I’m pretty sure I don’t have concussion...’
I sounded so stupid I flushed, and Moira’s mouth curled up into a sneer worthy of first place any day.
‘You’d better go to the school nurse for an ice-pack and a check up, just in case. Summer, would you be a dear and accompany her?’
Summer bit her lip. ‘I do have a guitar test but friends are more important. Sure, I’ll take her.’
But I could see how glum she looked. She had practised for weeks for this opportunity, and here was I ruining it for because I had been dreaming about her boyfriend. That just wasn’t on. She was too nice for her own good. After loads of persuasion Summer started coming round to the idea, though she looked extremely guilty once she’d tottered off. Steve ended up taking me. Moira had volunteered, no doubt hoping for any chance to taunt me. But the lovely Steve, who knew all about our little feuds, was very firm and insisted on taking me. Probably because he got to miss ten or fifteen minutes of Science. There would be absolutely no other reason for his offer – no, escape from Science. He nattered on all the way there, talking about football and computer games and Summer, commenting on the fact he thought she was too nice for her own good, too –
Bright minds think alike.
Steve held the ice pack on my forehead for me and our eyes met. Electricity jolted through my body and I wasn’t totally sure but Steve was staring at me like he was experiencing the exact same thing.