"Christina, if you don't stop interrupting me while I'm talking, I'll send you to the deputy principal!" the teacher yelled.

April continued on with her work, pretending not to notice the noise next to her.

"Seems a bit overkill Miss." Christina sassed. "So what, you're going to kick me out cuz I said I wanted a pen?"

April wished she'd stop provoking the teacher. The woman's voice had the squawking quality of a parrot. The teacher stood face to face with her, the desk between them, but Christina didn't back down, flashing the woman a look of disinterest.

"Sit down!" the teacher screamed, her face turning red.

The girl made a show of rolling her eyes and scoffing before dropping back down into the chair. It was enough to satisfy the teacher and she returned to the whiteboard. The class murmured but April ignored it. She didn't want to take part in the gossip, preferring to be left alone.

A pale light in the corner of her eye made her glance down, where she saw Christina texting under the table- to her boyfriends by the looks of it. Her ombre green hair curtained over her face. April returned to scratching her pen into the paper, working quietly until she heard the sounds of rattling stationery and zipping bags signalling the end of the period. She began gathering together all her pens just as the bell rang and her classmates began shoving through the narrow door.

April was in no rush though, packing up her things at her own pace. It wasn't as if there was someone waiting for her.

"April, do you mind locking the door on your way out?" the teacher asked.

"Yes Miss." She nodded obediently.

"Thanks hun." She said as she left.

April swung her bag over her shoulder and pushed in her seat. As she was about to leave, she saw a school jumper on the seat where Christina sat. Evidently she had left it behind.

April clicked her tongue. Now she was left to deal with this. She considered just leaving it there; let it be someone else's problem tomorrow, but in the end, she picked it up. Locking the door behind her, she took it to the office lost and found.

She opened the door and stood around awkwardly in front of a bespectacled woman in a blonde perm as she tapped on her keyboard, her eyes glued to the screen. She lifted a finger up at April, gesturing for her to wait. With a final clack of the keys, she pulled her glasses down and peered up at her.

"I found this in the classroom." April told her.

"Does it have a name tag on it?" she asked.


"Well, do you have any idea who it belongs to?" she questioned.


April left the office, glad that it was no longer her responsibility. Passing the classrooms, she walked by Christina sitting under a classroom wall with her friends, drinking a can of diet coke as she listened to her music on her phone.

April considered telling her, but she continued passed her. She had no business with her anyway; they were from two different groups. She was part of the popular, but bad, crowd. They had never exchanged a single word their entire high school lives and April doubted they ever would.

April arrived at her destination, a table made of painted wooden slabs beneath a roof, where she could see her friends eating their lunches.

"April! What took you so long?" Her friend Libby chirped as she leapt out of her seat and began barrelling into her, wrapping her in a crushing hug.

April lightly reciprocated the hug. "I was handing something in to the office." She croaked when Libby released her from her death grip.

April followed her as she returned to the table, rubbing the places on her skin where Libby's rings had dug in. Libby was almost childlike in the sense that she didn't know her own strength.

"I was about to place a bet." Said Kim as April sat down.

"On what?" she asked, not particularly interested.

"That you had detention."

"Haven't had one in ages." She replied. The last time it happened was because she forgot her P.E. uniform.

"Goody little two shoes." Kim mocked, sticking her tongue out like a child.

"It's a good thing." Said Grace.

April paid no attention to their conversation. Instead searched through her bag and pulled out a metal container. Her friends chatted, but she focused on eating her lunch of lukewarm fried rice that she had made that morning. The collective voices of her friends became background noise until she felt a hard tap on her shoulder.

"April!" Libby called out.

"Huh? What is it Libby?" she asked when she finally realised that all eyes were on her.

"We were talking about coming over to my place after school." Libby explained excitedly. "Are you coming? It'll be the first time we'll all be together outside of school! We can watch a movie and it'll be like a girl's night!"

"Sorry but I can't." April answered. She shot down the idea almost as soon as it left Libby's lips.

Libby's' face fell. "Why not?"

"My parents." She lied. Her parents wouldn't care, but it sounded bothersome to her, a brake from the norm.

"Why?" Kim questioned. "You're fifteen; they can at least let you go to your friend's house."

"It's just how they are." April shrugged.

"My parents are pretty over protective too to be honest." Grace interjected.

"Do they keep you house bound like Rapunzel without the hair?"

The conversation drifted away from April, which she was grateful for, but every now and then, Libby would ask her again. April felt a little bad for turning her down. She was a sweet girl, if a little dim.

The bell soon rang again, and April packed away her things, bidding her friends a brief goodbye before hurrying off to class, leaving them behind as they hugged with promises to chat over the weekend.

Her final class was dull and quiet, just as April liked it. It gave her time to think. She listened to the teacher, she did her work, she answered questions, and soon after, the final bell for school rang and April packed up her things and left.

She shuffled with the rest of her school as they poured out the narrow gates. When she made it into the open, she walked down to her bus stop. From across the road, she saw her friends walking together to Libby's home.

She caught the first bus to arrive and hopped on, picking the seat behind the bus driver, it ensured no one else would sit next to her. As the bus rumbled into motion, she sat facing a polished grey wall that showed a rippled reflection of a lone girl with a flower clip in her hair.

April wasn't much of a looker. Her hair was cut into a simple, straight black bob, decorated only by a flower clip in shades of a gradient blue. Although she had pleasant features, her face was unassuming, showing a jaded expression in her reflection.

She heard soft murmuring from the seat next to her, and she turned to see a young couple. The girl sat on the boys lap, and the boy had his arms wrapped gently around her waist.

April felt the slightest twinge of envy. They weren't like the couples in her school that showed excessive affection. These two just seemed naturally at ease with each other's presence. The girl had her head tucked beneath the boys chin; both were looking ahead, talking quietly about trivial things.

April looked away. She shouldn't wish for something like that. It wasn't something she could ever have, and she doubted she was capable of it.

She pressed the red button on the pole and the bus slowed to a halt. She mumbled thanks to the driver and got off and began walking up the long road to her recluse neighbourhood. Trucks and cars roared passed her.


She felt something drop on her forehead.



It was raining. She raised her hand out and a few more droplets dotted her palm. The sky was growing grey as the clouds gathered above her.

The rain quickly picked up pace and intensity, colouring the concrete with darkened splotches. April unhooked the umbrella that swung from a clip attached to the side of her bag. She quickly opened it and raised it over her head before the rain could dampen her uniform. She liked the sound of rain and the smell it brought, but she didn't like getting wet.

She raised her hand to pull the black sheeting over a bent wire. The unevenness was bothering her, but she couldn't expect much from a lost umbrella picked up by her aunt.

As she approached her home, just at the end of the street, she noticed something strange ahead of her. There was a person sitting on the edge of the sidewalk. As April drew nearer, she could see it was a boy. His hair was bleach blond and messy, the ends flicked up a little as if he had just rolled out of bed. He wore a large hoodie jacket and torn jeans. Piercings lined the edges of his ears, and a leather cuff around his wrist. She thought he looked like a punk.

His appearance stuck her as unusual. He looked more like a city boy than someone from suburbia. She'd never seen him around, her neighbourhood was fairly secluded. She wondered what someone like him was doing brooding in the middle of her street.

The rain drummed on her umbrella. She could see he was getting soaked but he made no effort to cover himself or find shelter. April just kept on walking right passed him. She was going to ignore him and go home.

But five steps away, she slowed as she remembered how the rain dripped from his skin. Groaning internally, she turned on her heels. Her conscience was a persistent bugger.

April moved her umbrella over him and he looked up. In an instant, April realised he was attractive. Big, catlike eyes, olive green and speckled with hazel stared back at her with a confused, questioning look. His face was boyish with rounded features.

"Here." April said, offering him the umbrella. She spoke quickly and bluntly. "Take it. You're getting wet."

Cautiously, he took the umbrella, looking at her the suspiciously the entire time.

April made a hasty, vague gesture towards her house. "I live over there; you can give it back to me later."

Raising her textbook over her head, she spun around and ran to her home, leaving the stunned boy behind with her umbrella.

Fishing her keys out of her bag, she unlocked the door as quickly as possible, throwing her bag and textbook on the ground as soon as she stepped inside. Slamming the door shut with a thud, she leaned against it and dropped down.

The moment she handed him the umbrella, she regretted it. She'd probably never see it again. Even if the guy wanted to return it, the gesture she made towards her house was too vague for him to know.

She began rationalising. The umbrella was a spare her aunt had picked up from a bus stop. It was old and broken. It wasn't any loss to her, and she knew that she'd probably never see that boy again.

Sufficiently calmed, she bent down and picked up her things. There was homework to be finished and dinner to be made. Taking off her shoes, she went upstairs to change her clothes.