Last chapter people... read it and savour it :S


Stars


I trudged through the arched doorway of WPH, not caring that everyone was watching my entrance. I hoisted my bag higher up on my shoulders and made my way through the sea of moving bodies towards my locker.

On my way, I passed Derrick's locker and glanced at it. He wasn't standing in front of it like he usually does every morning. I shook my head. Probably wasted from last night's party.

I was almost not going to come to school today and I probably would have gotten away from it since both mum and dad were away on a business trip. But in the end, I did since I had a chemistry test that was going to be worth 25% of my grade and no make-ups were allowed.

I de-puffed my eyes as best as I could when I woke up and found my eyes were red and puffy from crying myself to sleep. Lots of water, cream, eyeliner and eye shadow later, I manage to make my eyes look partially normal.

But as I spun my locked dial open and looked into the mirror that I hung on my locker door, I saw that my eyes looked like they had too much make-up (which they did). I sighed, grabbed the books I needed, slammed the locker door shut and made my way to the girl's bathroom.

I pushed the heavy door open and a throng of girls were already crowding around the three sinks and mirrors. I groaned and went out of the bathroom. I guess the locker mirror would have to do for now.

I made my way back to my locker where I saw Layne standing in front of it. She saw me immediately and came running up to me.

"Massie, what's wrong?" She asked, her voice filled with concern.

"How did you know there was something wrong?" I asked, my voice trembling a little.

"Cuz I taught you the 'cover red puffy eyes with cream and eye make-up' trick. But you didn't exactly do it properly and now you look like you have hooker eyes."

I cracked a small grin.

"Come. We have about 10 minutes before homeroom to de-hookerise your eyes."

"The bathroom's full." I said flatly.

"These one's are. You do know we have more than one bathroom in the school."

I wanted to smack myself for such dumbness. But Layne grabbed my hand and pulled me through the crowd. I saw that the crowd made a little path for Layne.

Two bathroom stops later, we found one that was not filled with too many girls who were hogging the mirror. Layne pushed past two freshmen who immediately scuttled out of the bathroom, clutching their make-up purses. She then turned to me.

"Ok. Let's see what I can do here."

7 and a half minutes later, she was done. I surveyed myself in the mirror and saw that she had completely de-puffed my eyes. She had also wiped all my hooked make-up off and applied some more natural looking ones. I gave her a hug.

"Thanks so much!" I said.

"S'ok. Now let's go before you're late for homeroom!"

We rushed out of the bathroom and made our way down the hallway. Before we went our separate ways to our different classrooms, I gave Layne a quick hug.

"Thanks. For everything."

"No, no. Just go before you're late!" Layne smiled at me before she pulled away and ran the opposite direction to her homeroom. I turned my back on her running figure and ran towards my own homeroom.

I opened the door and slipped to the back of the classroom and sat on my usual seat. The teacher hadn't realised that I was late so I presumed that he had not taken attendance yet.

The homeroom teacher glanced up from his newspaper and sighed. He put the newspaper down, took a sip from his coffee cup, and took out the attendance book from a drawer.

After saying a yes after my name, I listened up for Derrick's name.

"Derrick Harrington?" Homeroom teacher droned on. There was no answer.

Disappointment washed over me. I shut the noise out and pulled out a tattered Pride and Prejudice. I started reading and didn't stop until the bell run me out of my trance.

The whole day I was in zombie mode, not really caring or paying attention to anything. At lunch, I sat in the library, studying for the chemistry test that I was going to have next period. But I couldn't really concentrate on studying.

I exhaled noisily and slammed the thick chemistry book shut. I glanced up and saw people studying give me dirty looks. I blushed and hung my head down, letting my auburn hair shield my face. I slid my phone out of my front pocket, flipped it open and opened a new message.

Massie: Hey you ok after last night? Didn't see you at school today. I miss you, please text back...

I pressed send and waited for the envelope to "fly away". I went back to the message and re-read it. I cringed at the message and mentally hit myself for sounding so needy.

I waited and waited until the end of the period. I even waited a little after the bell rang since we were not allowed cell phones in class. But I received no messages.

I hurried to the chemistry lab which was fortunately near library. I saw that I was not too late and my classmates were still filing into the classroom. I took my clear plastic bag with all my stationery in it out of my bag and slipped into the line.

I sat at the back of the classroom and waited until Mr Blakenly said we could start the test. I flipped the paper booklet over and started the test.

About 5 minutes into the test, the door opened and a runner from the office entered, looking a little nervous since half the class had looked up and was staring at her, hoping that she was the ticket out of the test. She had a slip of paper in her hands and handed it to Mr Blakenly, who was peering at her over the top of his glasses.

I looked back down at the test and continued balancing the equation. I heard the scrape of the chair as Mr Blakenly stood up and made his way down the aisle and towards the back of the classroom. I saw him come closer and closer to me and finally stopped in front of my desk.

I looked up, puzzled. He handed me the slip of paper and told me that I was excused from the test and that I could re-sit it after school next week. This must have been really important because Mr Blakenly NEVER let anyone re-sit tests.

I took the slip of paper and gathered all my stuff up. I made my way down the aisle, with envious stares following me. I went out of the laboratory, got my bag from the bag lockers, and made my way to the office, clutching the white slip of paper in my fingers.

I stepped into the office and went to the front desk. She looked up from her typing and told me to walk straight into Mrs Hillary's office.

I gulped and walked down the hallway towards the last door. It was quite unfamiliar to me since I had never been to the principal's office before.

I knocked at the door and got greeted with a "Come in!".

I walked into the office and was surprised at how nice it was. Tasteful furniture was placed around the room and colourful paintings adorned the creamy walls.

Mrs Hillary finished what she was writing and put down her black Mont Blanc pen. She looked up at me through her stylish black cat's eyes shaped glasses and smiled.

"Massie, nice to see you're well. Come and take a seat." She gestured one hand over the two seats in front of her desk. I pulled up a comfy looking chair and edgily sat down.

"You must be wondering what you, a model student, might be doing here in my office." When I didn't say anything, she carried on. "Don't worry; you're not in trouble or anything."

I relaxed a little but immediately tensed back up. Was there something wrong with mum or dad?

"Anyway, I'll get right to the news. Derrick Harrington has been expelled from Westchester Private High."

I gasped at the words. What?! That's impossible.

Then another thought sprang to mind. Why was she telling ME this?

"You must be wondering why I'm telling you this," she carried on, reading the second part of my thought. "This morning when he was getting his belongings from his locker, he stopped by my office to officially sign out of school and he asked me to give you this."

She opened a drawer and pulled out a small, cream coloured envelope. She paused for a moment and handed me the envelope.

"I normally don't do this but he insisted I do so."

"Thank you," I breathed as I reached out and took the envelope in both hands. I pushed my chair back and stood up.

I walked out towards the door and turned the handle open. But before I walked out, Mrs Hillary spoke up.

"Massie, I just want you to know how sorry I am. I know that you are very close to him but we had to do what we had to do. He was sitting on two strikes and last night had accumulated his last strike. And you know how the strike system works at Westchester Private High; three strikes and you're out."

I turned back and gave her a small smile. "I know."

And with that, I walked out of the office.

I hitched my bag higher and walked down the corridor and out into the open breeze. I walked through the school gate, down past the shopping complex where everyone hangs out after school, past the row of houses, past Arabesque, past some more streets and stopped in front of Alicia's house. I paused for a second and walked across her lawn, knowing that nobody was going to be home.

I went around the back of her big estate and onto a gravel path, which was a shortcut to my own house. I used to take it whenever I had forgotten a toothbrush or something at one of our sleepovers.

The gravel crunched underneath my flats and finally thinned out into hard dirt. A few steps later and I stood at the backdoor of my own house.

I quietly unlocked the door and slipped into the kitchen. I walked upstairs into my room and closed the door behind me. I changed my school clothes into an oversized t-shirt, some sweatpants and my comfy purple slippers. I flopped onto my bed and just lay there, with my eyes closed knowing that nobody at school, except Layne, would miss me now Derrick's gone.


I cracked my eyes open and realised that I had fallen asleep. I glanced over at my bedside table and realised that it was 8.30 pm. Sniffing, I smelt something by the door and realised that Inez had left my dinner in my room. I walked over to the door and picked up the tray with my dinner on it. It was beef stew tonight, with bread.

I took a bite from it before putting it down on my desk. I looked down and realised that I had dropped the envelope on the ground which had somehow skidded itself next to my desk. I bent down and turned the envelope over.

There on the front, was "Massie", written in Derrick's narrow writing.

I flipped it back over and thumbed it open. The flap unreleased and I pulled out the piece of paper inside of it. I unfolded it once, twice then smoothed it out onto my desk. I sat down and began to read.

Dear Massie,

When you read this letter, I would be out of the country and trying to settle in the shittiest boarding school on the other side of America. I'm not allowed to tell anyone where I am so I'm sorry. I know what I did was stupid and it was risking my school life here, but I was happy, happy that I actually had a chance to play at state, even though we didn't win and happy that I have you. You have changed me, Massie. You changed me into the person that I am today, a more caring and... nice person.

I am so, so sorry about what happened last night. I really didn't mean what I said and if I got a chance I would take all of it back. You're probably wondering what happened after you left. Well, I won the drinking contest and got completely wasted. I then took a joyride in my car and crashed it into the front door of Coach Larry's house. When my parent's heard about my car and Coach's house, they immediately told me to pack my bags and to cancel all my email accounts, my Facebook profile and my cellphone number. All this before the school could expel me. So technically, I didn't get expelled.

I know you think that this is totally stupid and I know how cliché it sounds but I had no control of myself that evening. I wish I could have listened to you so now I wouldn't have to be writing this letter.

I have something to say to you, something I wish I had the freedom to say to you face to face. Massie, I love you. If you left me, my heart would slowly and painfully die, which is what is happening to me right now. But I keep telling myself that it is just two more years in this hellhole and I would be free to do anything I want. But for now, I'll just keep looking at the picture of you I was allowed to bring in. Ugh, when I say that, it seems like I'm in prison or something. Well, I basically am.

Keep dancing Mass, just for me. I know you'll make it out there.

Massie, I promise I will see you soon. This time, I will keep my promise.

Love always,

Derrick Harrington.

When I looked up from the last word, I realise that the letter was wet and the ink was partially smudged. My hand flew up to my eyes and found that they were crying.

I folded up the letter and placed it gently in my jewellery box. I looked up at the night sky and gasped at the stars scattered on the midnight background. We never get this many stars in Westchester.

I glanced at the stars again and smiled because I know that Derrick was looking at the same night sky as me, just a few thousand miles away.

I closed my bedroom curtains, threw myself on my bed and cried my heart out.


So.... whaddya think? Please review for the last time in this story... it would mean a lot (:
And yes... I am thinking of doing a sequel to this story... I am currently working on the storyline... and I think you guys would like it. Look out for it soon! (:

So... 'till next time...

SkyexHIGH xxoo