Claire

Slowly, the sounds from elsewhere in the house invaded the warmth of Claire's bed. She'd fought against waking up as long as she could, but now the sun was a little too much in the room, the pounding of her father on the bathroom door a little too loud to ignore further. Monday morning again. She sat up and stretched her arms high above her head, trying to coax more life into her mind and muscles. Her eyes drifted around the bedroom, caught in it's time-warp between the room of a woman and that of a child. Posters of movie stars and rock singers fought for space with lace-trimmed curtains and stuffed toys from Christmas holidays long past.

Claire finally rolled out of bed and began the time-honoured process of deciding what to wear to school that day. But today was different. Today, there was a new consideration – John Bender.

Claire paused, and thoughts of this past weekend's detention filled her mind once more, as they had for most of the previous 36 hours. She'd been dreading spending her whole Saturday locked up with strangers – and they didn't come much stranger than John. It had been a refreshing shock to realise that her fellow detainees weren't so different from her. But even though she now knew that John had his problems just as she had hers, Claire really couldn't believe that she'd given him one of her earrings. Her grandmother would have a fit if she ever found out. More than this though was the kiss. Not the one in the closet, although that one was pretty good. It was the one they shared whilst stood by her mother's car that really did it for her. The ride home was… interesting. For once, her mother was absolutely silent, as if there was nothing adequate that she could say. Claire knew it would come, but during that ten minute car journey she knew that she'd succeeded in stunning one of her parents into silence. Of such small victories is the life of a teenager forged. And there would be more to come, for she had a feeling that things were going to change.

She'd not seen or spoken with John since the car pulled away from the school entrance Saturday afternoon, and a small part of her still wondered if it had actually happened. This tension only heightened her excitement and anticipation of what might happen this day at school.

Turning back to the wardrobe, she cast a more than critical eye over the sea of pink that hung before her. This first decision of the day was proving more difficult than she expected. How much of a change to make?