A month later

*** Elea

I'm sinking into depression. I know it. Freya's been meaner than ever these past few weeks. I heard her parents broke up, and she's under pressure from both of them. Of course, the whole school is supporting her; like she needs support. If anything like that happened to me, everyone would draw away and say it was my fault. It's not fair.
I sit in the back row of the English classroom, as usual. I've given up on this stupid competition. We would have got news ages ago if someone had made the state best or anything. I got sick of hoping every time I walked in this door. I don't bother now.
Freya is walking in with her gaggle of geese at her heels. I call them that because they scream like geese and act like they have their intellect. It's mean, I know, but I don't care. The teacher walks in with a big smile on her face. Why is she so happy to be teaching this class?


Its been ages since we sent those stupid entries in. Why hasn't anything happened? I hate my life. Everybody's a fake, even me. I need to get out of here. The teacher walks in, beaming at the lot of us. Why the hell is she so happy? Stupid cow.
"Girls," she says, "I am delighted to announce that in fact two girls from this very class have been chosen in the State Writing Competition!" Two girls? What did she mean, two girls? There can be two winners, one from each section. Surly they both weren't from- "Miss Elea Lampton and Miss Freya Smythe, you have each been selected first in your categories of poetry and writing and will both be continuing to the next round" I am in shock. So indeed, is Elea. Actually, the whole damn class is staring at the teacher in shocked silence. I take a slow, steady breath and. "WOHOOOOO! YES! YES! YES!" I leap to my feet and dance around; screaming in joy, shock, and god knows what else. Others join in. To our complete surprise (I just got into the damn competition, nothing should surprise me after that. I was wrong.), the teacher turns on some pop music and we dance around the classroom in ecstasy. Except Elea; she stays put. I give her a quizzical look. Her face is drowning in tears, but there is a huge smile on her face.


I can't believe it. It actually happened! I got into the state best category for poetry! Only ten people get that. And at the very least we get a trip to the capital, for the prize giving. And Freya got into the best for stories! No. Damn. WAY. I realise there are tears on my face, and I break into a huge smile. The other girls are dancing round Freya to pop music, screaming their heads off. Freya shoots me a look. For once, it is one of question, rather than malice or superiority. We both won.
Freya has the oddest look on her face. She looks torn, an expression I've never seen on the confident drama queen.
She beckons to me. What the hell?! I'm so confused. Slowly, I get to my feet and walk over, hesitantly. She smiles, though it looks a little forced. Then, she shakes my hand pompously, declaring she knew I had it in me, like the drama queen she is.
The teacher makes no effort whatsoever to halt the madness. She isn't blind. I don't think I've been happier in all my life.

*** Freya

We all dance around, higher than a sugar high could ever be. I'm going to the capital. I'm maybe even getting a scholarship in one of the best schools, then universities, in the whole world so my parents can't complain. I'm leaving this place far behind, as far is needed to start again. Only one more stage to go.
The teacher is explaining everything we need to know. She calls my parents and Elea's parents, even as we sing and dance around. I don't know how they can hear each other. The details are sorted. The plane tickets have already been sent to us. Elea's dancing too, in a half-hearted sort of way. One of the girls grabs her hands and spins her round to get her going. She screams and laughs. My face is stuck in the biggest smile of the century. I don't think I've been happier in all my life.