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School Life

 

School Life

Shakespir Edition | By Zac Moore

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Copyright 2017 by Zac Moore

This book is a work of fiction, any reference to real persons living or dead, places, or events past or present is purely coincidental.

Content warning

This book mentions gender reassignment surgery in the first sentence on the first page, it is not a critical plot point but if you think you’ll be offended by this, I suggest skipping the aforementioned sentence, you won’t be missing much don’t worry. It also contains strong language and sexual references and as such the author does not deem this suitable for persons under the age of 15.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Breaking the Fourth Wall

Chapter 2 – Alex V Gotthold

Chapter 3 – The Election

Chapter 4 – Curse you, 7W

Chapter 5 – A Surprising Visitor

Chapter 6 – Where’s Eve?

Chapter 7 – I Love You, Idiot

Chapter 8 – You Must Take a Vacation, You Must Have Fun, You Must Enjoy Life

Chapter 9 – We’re Moving?!

Chapter 10 – Hi, I’m Elizabeth

Chapter 1
Breaking The Fourth Wall

It is the 30th of January 2007, and my life is about to be changed forever… no, I’m not getting a sex change, I’m starting at a new school.

“That’s not really a life-changing thing, Alex” I hear a familiar female voice say, “Everybody starts high school at some point in their lives”.

“Oh! Good morning, Mrs Herriot!” I say, cheerfully.

Mrs Herriot is the mother of one of my sisters’ friends, and also one of the teachers at my new school, she and her family have been looking after me since early January because both my parents are overseas representing Australia at the UN’s International Nursing and Corrections convention, what do those two have to do with each other? Hell if I know, I guess they’re both state-run services? Anyway, I should really get ready for school.

“That you should” says Mrs Herriot

“MRS HERRIOT STOP BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL! You can’t hear the parts that aren’t in quotation Marcuss remember?” I enquire.

“Now you’re breaking the fourth wall, mister!” says Mrs Herriot.

“ Oh for the love of- let’s just get going” I say, frustratingly.

Mrs Herriot and I head out to her car and head off for school.

“Now Alex I know I’ve been asking this a lot, but I really need to be sure of it. Are you nervous at all? Don’t forget none of your old classmates will be there” Mrs Herriot enquires.

She has been asking that a lot, I am sort of nervous but I think I’ll be fine once I settle in.

“I’ll be fine, Mrs Herriot, please don’t worry too much about me, it’s not like you’re just dropping me off then heading back” I say,

“Key phrase mister, “will be”, that means you aren’t fine at all currently, what’s up?” she asks.

Gah, I thought she was a Languages teacher not an English teacher!

“Well to be perfectly honest, I’m sort of worried my class won’t like me, I mean I’ll have to LIVE with them for the next year! What if my Asperger’s gets the better of me and I unknowingly say something offensive?” I ask, worryingly.

“You’ll find a way to make things work” she reassures.

“You know what I think will work? Me just staying at your place!” I say, in a sort of panicked tone.

“Alex, you said the exact same thing before the orientation and you turned out fine, just give it a chance” she reassures, this time a little more firmly.

“Yes, miss” I acknowledge.

Hey, wait a minute, wasn’t that the bus station we just passed?

“Mrs Herriot” I call for Mrs Herriot’s attention.

“Yes, Alex?” she enquires.

“Didn’t we just pass the bus station where I’m supposed to join the bus that’ll take me to the school?” I ask, worryingly.

“Alex, look at the clock, what time is it?” she enquires.

I know she knows but I’ll humour her.

“It’s seven” I answer

“And what time is the bus supposed to leave?” she enquires.

“Eight” I answer.

Hey, wait a minute, why’re we so early?

“We’re going in already? What do you have a meeting or something?” I enquire.

“Yep, and you’re coming with me!” she says.

Why am I attending a staff meet- oh never mind.

“You’ll be meeting all your teachers there!” she says, excitingly.

“Really? Yay!” I exclaim, also excitingly.

I feel sort of tired, I think I might rest my eyes until we arrive.

“Mrs Herriot, I’m going have a little nap, could you please wake me up when we arrive?” I request.

“Sure, Alex” she responds.

I close my eyes, and the next thing I hear is Mrs Herriot’s voice.

“On your feet mister, we’re here!” she exclaims.

“Huh? Wha? What’s going on? Where are we?” I question while trying to regain my bearings.

“Just relax, we’re at school, take it easy now” Mrs Herriot says while helping me out of the car.

We walk past a sign saying, “Lisa Hills Community School – Administration district”.

“Get your student ID, ready, Alex, you’re gonna need it soon” she says.

We walk up to a closed gate with a tall looking guy standing guard.

“Garnett, a pleasure to see you, and this must be your charge, Alex Moore, right?” the tall guy says.

I quickly hide behind Mrs Herriot, aside from my shyness around strangers, this guy kind of scares me!

“What’re you so shy for? This guy’s gonna be your PE teacher!” Mrs Herriot says, reassuringly, “Sorry Brad, his kind of shy around strangers, he doesn’t mean to be rude it’s just his Asperger’s”.

“I can relate to that” I hear another feminine voice say, it isn’t Mrs Herriot.

The new woman stoops down to my level, as if I’m some sort of kid, I’m not a kid I’m a preteen, I’m just a little bit short!

“Hi Alex, my name is Sabrina, Sabrina Wine” the new woman says.

I move my head out of my hiding space a little, so I can talk to this person.

“H-Hi, M-Mrs Wine” I say, in my usual shy tone I always use with strangers, “Y-Y-You look very beautiful today!” I quickly say.

God, why did I say that? She probably thinks I’m some sort of creep now!

“Awww, thank you, you’re not looking too bad yourself” Mrs Wine says.

Well, that was unexpected, hey, what’s the deal with this pounding in my chest, I’m not in love, am I?

“By the way, it’s Miss Wine, not Mrs” she says.

That did not help the pounding, quick Alex, say something to kill the mood!

“I’ll try to remember that, Miss Wine” I respond.

Mission “Avoid a romance with a potential teacher”, complete.

“So, are you also going to be one of my teachers?” I ask, curiously.

“Maybe, maybe not, we’re actually supposed to be discussing that this morning” she says, “At the moment it’s a given that Mr King; this tall man here, will be your PE teacher, and that Mrs Herriot will be your Languages teacher. But everything else is uncertain”.

“Oh, I see!” I exclaim, “Hey, when does the meeting start? Soon, right?” I ask.

“Yes, actually we should quickly introduce you to your year advisor and then get going, there’ll be time to meet everybody else later” Mrs Herriot responds.

“Alrighty, a pleasure meeting you Miss Wine and Mr King” I say.

“Wait a minute, Alex, we need to see your ID before the gate will open” Mr King says.

“Oh, sure, no problem, here you go” I say, handing my ID to Mr King.

“Mmhmm, that’s all good, alrighty, you guys can go in” Mr King says.

The gate opens and Mrs Herriot, Miss Wine, and myself go in, I see a familiar face, at least I think I do, my blindness does not help my facial recognition.

“Alright Alex, this is one of your year-” Mrs Herriot says, before I cut her off.

“DAV-MAN!” I exclaim, on this occasion my facial recognition did not fail me!

Chapter 2
Alex V Gotthold

The man I just called “Dav-man” and I join both of our hands, cross our arms over each other twice, I jump around and indicate a low-ten (like a high-five but it’s down-low and uses both hands), he does the same, Mrs Herriot and Miss Wine look on with confused expressions.

“Um, what was that?” Miss Wine enquires.

“Our secret handshake” I respond, cheerfully.

“You and Mr Davin already have a secret handshake?” Mrs Herriot enquires.

“We sure do! Right Mr Davin?” I ask Mr Davin.

“Heck yeah! How have you been Alex, my main man?” he says.

“Pretty darn sweet, brother!” I respond.

“Good to hear! Hey, a couple of members from your class are already here, maybe you should go say hi to them while we adults take care of some boring stuff” Mr Davin suggests.

“Sounds good, which students might these be?” I enquire.

“Eveleen Grace and Elizabeth Gotthold” he responds.

“Gotthold? Aw crap” I respond, disappointingly.

“What, you guys don’t get along?” he asks, in a more serious tone.

“Not exactly, we’re just a tad indifferent about each other” I respond.

“Well, you better learn to deal with each other, you’ll be living together, remember?” he warns.

“Don’t worry, we’ll find a way” I say, reassuringly.

“Alright, well, they’re both right over there in that white tent with the number 7 on it” he says.

“Alrighty man, have fun dealing with boring stuff!” I say, cheerfully.

“Boring stuff, WOO!” he says, sarcastically.

I walk over to where my classmates are. Like Davin said, two of them are here, Eve, and a dark-haired girl, Elizabeth Gotthold.

“Eve, a pleasure to see you!” I say to Eve, excitingly.

“Same to you, Al!” responds Eve.

“I’m here too, you blind idiot” says Elizabeth.

“Gotthold” I say to Elizabeth, in a neutral tone.

“Moore” she responds, also in a neutral tone.

“Davin has told us that we should find some way to co-exist, so how about this: keep my name out of your mouth and I’ll do the same” I say.

“Sounds good to me!” she responds.

Elizabeth and I, like I said, don’t exactly get along, why I don’t know, but it’s been like this ever since the orientation, Eve chimes in.

“Hey guys?” Eve says, calling for Elizabeth’s and my own attention.

“Yes Eve?” Elizabeth and I say in chorus.

“Somehow, I don’t think that’ll work! What will you do when you’re forced to work together?” Eve questions.

“Simple, we’ll avoid working together” Elizabeth says.

“That might work for now but I get this feeling you’ll have to work together eventually” Eve rebukes.

Elizabeth and I burst out laughing.

“Not even joking guys” Eve says, in a dead serious tone.

Elizabeth and I cease laughing.

“She makes a point, Moore” Elizabeth says, “Maybe we should start the new year on at least a neutral note”.

“You know, I must agree, Gotthold. Let’s start by reintroducing each other”.

“Good idea. Hi, I’m Elizabeth” Elizabeth says.

“Hi Elizabeth, I’m Alex” I say, cheerfully.

“Yeah you know, this isn’t working, I can’t just work past that one time you threatened me with your sister” Elizabeth says.

“I can’t work past all those times you picked on me” I say, “Maybe for now we should just learn to stay away from each other”.

“Fine by me!” Elizabeth says.

This is going to be an interesting year.

“Hey, Eve?” I call for Eve’s attention.

“Yes, Alex?” Eve responds

“Do we know who else is in this case besides you, me, and Gotthold?” I ask.

“To be honest, I have no idea, Elizabeth might have an idea though” responds Eve.

“Forget it, Moore, you’ll find out over the next half hour or so” says Elizabeth, in that bitchy tone she always addresses me with.

Geez, would it kill her to be civil for once?! You know, I’ma ask that.

“Gotthold, would it kill you to be civil for once? I asked a pretty reasonable question!” I say, angrily.

“Moore, you know, I am a pretty civil person, but you seem to think that you’re better than everybody else! So let me answer your question with a question; would it kill YOU to get off your damn high horse?” she exclaims.

Me? THINK I’m better than everybody else? HA! That’s a laugh, I KNOW I’m better than everybody else.

“Alexander, Elizabeth, what happened to staying away from each other?” asks Eve.

“You know what? Forget I asked anything” I say.

Knowing who’s in the class isn’t worth getting into a fight with Gotthold. At that moment, a short girl approaches our tent.

“LIZZY BABE!” the short girl screams.

Hm, this must be Gotthold’s best friend, hopefully she’s nothing like Gotthold.

“ELLY BABE!” screams Elizabeth.

“Man, it sucks we’re not in the same class, hey?” says “Elly babe”.

“Big time” says Elizabeth.

They’re talking like Eve and myself aren’t here! I gotta say something.

“Hi there, I’m Alex. Nice to meet you” I say to “Elly babe”.

“Oh! Hi! I’m Ellen! Elizabeth’s best friend” says Ellen.

Knew it, they’re best friends, but thankfully she’s nothing like Gotthold.

“I’m not actually in your class, I’m in whatever class is in the Green tent” says Ellen.

“I’m here too, Ellen” says Eve.

“Oh, hi there Eve” says Ellen, “Hey, a few minutes ago I heard yelling, thought I’d come over and check that everything is OK”.

“Don’t worry, myself and Alex don’t really get along, we were just having an argument” says Elizabeth.

“Oh! Well that’s too bad” says Ellen.

Ellen approaches me and motions for me to come closer.

“Hey, listen, Elizabeth may come across as a bitch at first, but she’s alright once you get to know her, so try to put up with her and she’ll eventually come to like you” whispers Ellen.

“Thanks for the advice” I whisper back.

“Well, I best get going, take care everyone, and Alex” she says.

“Yes?” I ask.

“A pleasure meeting you” she says.

“Yes, you too, Ellen” I say.

Ellen leaves and goes back to her own tent.

“She seems nice” I say.

“She’s very nice, even to people who don’t deserve it” says Elizabeth, “I’m talking about you by the way”.

“I thought that was obvious” I say.

“Hm, maybe there is some hope for you after all. Anyway, what did she whisper to you?” questions Elizabeth.

“Some nonsense about how you act bitchy around people you don’t know but are actually nice to people who put up with your BS” I say.

“Heh, that is so something Ellen would say” says Elizabeth, “Don’t get any funny ideas, it’ll be a cold day in hell before I actually begin to call you my friend, Moore”.

I sigh as I wonder when more people will get here.

“Hey, I have an idea! Why don’t we all say something interesting about ourselves?” says Eve.

“Eh, might as well” says Elizabeth.

“Sounds fun” I say.

“Alright, Alex, you go first!” says Eve.

“Well, there’s not much to know about me aside from the fact that I have 1 of every kind of medical condition, my physical condition is Cerebral Palsy, my intellectual condition is Asperger’s Syndrome, my neural condition is Epilepsy, and my sensory condition is Ocular Albinism” I say.

“You didn’t cover mental” says Elizabeth.

“Yeah yeah, whatever, it’s still interesting” I say in rebuttal.

“Alright Elizabeth, your turn” says Eve.

“I am fluent in Spanish” says Elizabeth.

“There’s no way that could be possible, I mean how old are you exactly?” I ask.

“I’m 11” says Elizabeth.

“So you learned Spanish in under 11 years?” I question.

“Yes, see my family is Spanish, so of course I had to learn it from a very young age, otherwise how would I communicate with my relatives who only speak Spanish?” says Elizabeth.

“Hm, interesting” I say, “Alright, Eve, you’re up”.

“Well, this is going to pale in comparison to you two, but I’m also vision impaired” says Eve.

“Really? I’d never have guessed, do you wear contacts or something?” I ask Eve.

“Nope, I’m not legally blind like you are, Alex, so I don’t need the same level of corrections as you” says Eve.

“Oh, I see!” I say, “Uh, no pun intended”/

“Oh ha ha, very funny” says Eve.

“So, how does your vision affect you?” asks Elizabeth.

“Well, I need any small text enlarged, and that’s about it” says Eve.

“Hm, alright then. And Moore, you mentioned you had Epilepsy?” asks Elizabeth.

“Oh, finally taking an interest in me, Gotthold?” I ask, sarcastically.

“Don’t get the wrong idea, I just think it’s important that at least one person in the class know about such a condition just in case” says Elizabeth.

She makes a point.

“Good point, so, what would you like to know?” I ask.

“Could you explain your condition in a nutshell? Like, how does it affect you exactly?” asks Elizabeth.

“Basically, it doesn’t affect me at all so as long as I have my medication. But if I don’t have my medication I may suddenly collapse and become unresponsive for a few seconds, but my heart will still be beating and I’ll still be breathing normally, this is known as a drop attack, my last one was a year ago” I respond.

“So, what should we do on the off chance you do have one of these drop attacks” asks Eve.

“I’m not sure, but the last time it happened I was moved to the sick bay, and then I went home with my mother and rested for the rest of the day. I’ve been told if I’m out longer than 2 minutes than an ambulance has to be called” I respond.

“So basically, seek medical attention immediately and if you don’t recover within 2 minutes, call an ambulance” says Elizabeth, “Seems simple enough”.

“Yep! Pretty simple!” I exclaim.

Gotthold is being way too nice for somebody who hates me, what is she up to?

Around half an hour later, the rest of the class arrive. Aside from myself, Eve, and Gotthold, there are 15 other students in my class; Marcus, Stuart, Dillan, Hayley, Ming, two Cal’s (one of which whose brother one of my sisters know), Tracy, Elva, Bailey, Nela, Cydney, Bianca, Tatiana, Jaden, /, and my best friend and worst enemy from the orientation; Deniz!

“HEY ALEX!” screams Deniz.

He really is quite loud.

“Hey there Mister Ear Infection! So, we’re in the same class hey?” I ask, rhetorically.

“Sure looks like it, be prepared for a whole year of non-stop talking!” says Deniz.

We better not end up having to share a room!

“Hey bro, any idea what your living arrangements are?” I ask.

“Oh, yeah, I’m living in the Support Unit’s residences, what about you?” Deniz asks.

Oh, thank goodness!

“Oh, I’m living in the mainstream residences” I respond.

“Oh! Cool!” Deniz says.

At that moment, Elizabeth chimes in, what’s she got to say now?

“Oh great so I’m going to have to deal with you AFTER school as well?! Far out, God give me strength” says Elizabeth, begrudgingly.

Hey, maybe I should try that tip Ellen gave me.

“Sorry Elizabeth, I don’t like this anymore than you do but in my defence, I wasn’t given a choice” I say, in my most sympathetic voice possible.

“Hey Alexander, remember how earlier I said it’d be a cold day in Hell before I called you my friend?” Elizabeth enquires.

Hey, she didn’t refer to me by my surname for once!

“Yes, I do, what about it?” I ask.

“Well, it’s still far off, but it’s starting to feel awfully chilly” she says, while smiling.

“What do you mean? Are you cold?” I ask.

“Oh for the love of, IT’S A FIGURE OF SPEECH, you idiot!” she says, frustratingly.

Well, at least we’re on a legal given name basis.

“Hey! Don’t call me friend an idiot! I’ll bet you’re not exactly a genius yourself!” says Deniz to Elizabeth, angrily.

Oh shit.

“Stay out of this, Deniz, this is none of your business, this is between Alexander and I” says Elizabeth, sternly.

“Like hell it’s none of my business, that’s my best friend you’re picking on there!” says Deniz.

…I’ll just leave ‘em be, let’s see, quick exit, quick exit, oh is that Tracy over there?

“AL!” yells Tracy.

“TRACY!” I yell back, running over to Tracy.

“Thanks for that, I needed an exit, Elizabeth and Deniz are arguing” I say.

“Yeah, I saw that, just stay out of it, come talk with me!” Tracy suggests, enthusiastically.

Chapter 3
Election Time

I met Tracy during the orientation, and we hit it off almost immediately, no, not romantically, though I certainly wouldn’t mind that! Ha ha! Right, where was I? Oh yes, introducing Tracy, so like I said we met during the orientation-

“Alex you already said that” says Tracy.

“Crap, Tracy, now YOU’RE breaking the fourth wall?!” I ask, surprisingly.

“Haha, yep!” Tracy acknowledges.

Alright, so like I was saying, Tracy is that ray of sunshine that everybody could use in their lives, she’s basically the opposite of Elizabeth.

“Hey I heard that!” shouts Elizabeth.

“Can everyone just stop breaking the fourth wall for a few minutes!” I shout.

Mr. Davin then enters the tent.

“What is UP, 7W?” he enquires.

7W? The hell is he talking about?

“Mister Moore you look confused, what’s up?” he asks.

“Oh, it’s nothing, Mr. Davin, just wondering what on Earth 7W is?” I question.

“Oh! That’s just the code for your class, year 7, class W, see?” he explains.

“Alright, but that raises another question-” I say, before being interrupted.

“Alexander, is this really that big a deal to you right now?” Elizabeth questions “Just let Davin finish his talk than you can ask all the meaningless questions you want! Ugh!”.

“Sorry dear” I say to Elizabeth, sarcastically.

All I wanted to know is what the W stood for. Calm your beans, Elizabeth.

“Alex I’ll answer whatever questions you have after this is over with, for now just listen” says Davin “Now, do any of you know what a class leader is?”.

Almost everybody except for me and Tracy look at each with this face that just screams “I dunno, do you?”.

“Nobody?” he asks again.

Somebody really should answer.

“Well I guess nobody read page 12 of the Student Handbook, so I’ll just-” he says before being interrupted.

“I KNOW” Tracy and I scream in chorus, throwing our hands up.

Crap, now who’s going to answer?

“Alright, Tracy, you’ve been at Lisa Hills longer, you answer” he says.

“A class leader is, as the name suggests, the leader of the class, they’re responsible for organising everybody in the class, resolving disputes, liaising between the class and school staff, year advisors and the year leaders, that kind of stuff” Tracy explains.

“Very good, now Alex, I recall you reading the Student Handbook multiple times during the orientation, do you know how class leaders are chosen” he asks.

“ Sure do, Dav-man! First at least two students volunteer for the two positions, then if more than two students volunteer two elections happen, one for the male candidate, and another for the female candidate, these elections work similar to how federal House of Representatives elections work, everybody ranks the candidates by order of preference, and a candidate needs at least 51% of the vote to win, if nobody gets 51%, then the candidate with the least votes gets eliminated, and the process continues until the position is filled” I respond,

“Pretty good explanation, but do you know what happens if nobody volunteers, or if only one student volunteers?” he asks.

“Simple, if nobody volunteers then everybody in the class is put up for election, and if only one student volunteers then everybody of the opposite gender is put up for election” I respond.

“ Correct! So, does anybody want to be school- err I mean class leader?” he asks.

Being class leader doesn’t seem like a bad way to get closer to my classmates, and it’s not like I don’t have the experience, I mean, I WAS a reserve SRC representative a couple of years ago, alright, let’s do this! I throw my hand up with enthusiasm.

“I’ll be a candidate, Mr Davin!” I say, enthusiastically.

“Awesome, Alexander Hamilton! Anything you want to say to your fellow classmates, maybe a reason they should vote for you rather than anybody else?” He enquires

“Well, uh, I mean I’m not exactly the best public speaker” I reply, shyly.

I’m really not!

“Come on, Al, have some confidence” says Tracy.

I feel a sudden burst of confidence from Tracy’s words, ah screw it, what do I have to lose?

“You know what? I will give a speech!” I say, confidently, “Students of 7W, I know most of you don’t know me, but I promise you this: if you do decide to vote for me, you’ll be voting for experience, as I have a year’s experience as a reserve SRC representative, now pardon my boldness, but I don’t see a single pinhole on the guys’ shirts, but I’m sure they’d be great if you’re only looking for familiarity, but let us remember, our current Prime Minister has been around for years and is doing a terrible job at the moment! Thank you”.

My hypersensitive hearing allows me to clearly hear many murmurs among the class; “Alex is a great public speaker”, “I’d vote for him”, “Sure he’s a total stranger, but that speech…”.

“Any of you other guys want to run for class leader?” enquires Mr Davin.

“I will” says some tall guy with messy hair, I think his name is Cal.

“Cal, maybe you’d like to say something as well?” suggests Mr Davin.

“Gladly, Dav-man!” says Cal, “Guys, sure Alex is a good speaker, but that’s only part of being a good leader, sure he has experience as a reserve SRC representative, but here’s a question we need to ask: What has Alex actually done for the class he represented?”.

Cal’s speech was literally just a smear campaign on me! Wait, is that Elizabeth standing up?.

“Mr Davin, might I get a word in?” asks Elizabeth.

“This is odd, but I’ll allow it” says Mr Davin.

“Cal, what kind of a speech was that? All you did was rag on Alexander for never representing his class! Big deal! He was a RESERVE, you know, somebody who attends meetings when both main representatives are unable to? Students of 7W, I implore you, don’t let Alexander’s lack of experience in representation dissuade you, give him a chance! I rest my case” says Elizabeth.

Thank you, Elizabeth.

“Well, that concludes the time for male candidate speeches! Now it’s time for the ladies. Any of you ladies want to be class leader?” asks Mr Davin.

Elizabeth puts her hand up, I thought maybe Tracy would’ve ran but the fact that she isn’t is honestly surprising.

“Tracy, you’re not running?” I ask Tracy.

“Alex, I’m more an advisor than a leader, and while working alongside you would’ve been fun, I think you and Elizabeth need a reason to sort out your issues” she says.

She’s right, damn why does she have to be so wise!

“Looks like Lizzy G is our only female candidate, so she wins by default” says Mr Davin, “Elizabeth, any words for your students?”.

“Only 6 Mr Davin; Let’s get along, students of 7W” says Elizabeth.

I would point out that 7W isn’t technically a word, but I’d hate to turn our neutral friendship into a fierce rivalry when we could end up leading the class together!

“Alright, now Mr Mackie, Mr Moore, kindly come stand either side of me” says Mr Davin “You have about 30 seconds for final words before your classmates go off and vote”.

Cal and I go up and stand either side of Mr Davin, neither of us have any final words so he just briefs our classmates on how the voting works.

“Alright guys, now here’s what you’re going to do: take one card and envelope, pass the rest to the next person, go to those booths at the back of the room, write the name of the person who you want to win on the card, put in the envelope, close the envelope, and put it in the plastic box, don’t write your name or anything identifying on it”.

The class, except for Cal and I, go off to vote, so what do we do now?

“Now you two would normally get to vote, but there’s a special rule for candidates; you can’t vote for yourself, so officially, you two are just presumed to have voted for each other, basically cancelling each other out” says Mr Davin.

Guess they can’t have anybody looking at the public record getting suspicious, actually, would the results be public knowledge, or even recorded?

“Hey Mr Davin, after the election, are the results recorded in writing anywhere?” I ask.

“Oh, of course, myself, Ms Janson; the other year advisor, the deputy principals, and the principal can view them on any school computer, the class leaders can view them on any class leader computer in your year group, and anybody in your class can ask to view it at the front office” says Mr Davin.

“So, we can access through it our computers, so in theory, could our classmates ask us to view it?” asks Cal.

Isn’t the idea that we DON’T know that they’ve seen it?

“Well, you’re not supposed to know that they’ve seen it, but there’s no actual rule against it, just give either myself or Ms Janson a call and we’ll tell you what to do” says Mr Davin “So, any other questions guys?”

“I have one; I recall you saying before the election that one of our responsibilities is liaising between the class and year leaders, what are year leaders exactly?” I ask.

“They’re basically like class leaders, except they’re only responsible for the 8 class leaders under them, all the class leaders vote for one set of their own to represent their year to the High School Leadership Team” says Davin.

“So, in other words we don’t vote for people we vote for classes?” asks Cal.

“Well, you still vote for people but both of those people have to be from the same class, essentially you can’t elect the male leader from 7W and the female leader from 7R, it has to be either the leaders of 7W or 7R” says Mr Davin.

At that moment, my classmates come out from the voting area, and they all return to their seats, as do myself and Cal.

“Well done, 7W, I’ll take the plastic box with your votes in them and hand them in for counting” says Mr Davin, grabbing the box and leaving the tent.

We spend the next hour or so making small talk, during which I found out that these elections take place every 2 years, so we’ll have to do this again in years 9 and 11. Oh, hey, counting must be finished because I see a woman with red hair coming in with an envelope.

“Thank you for your patience 7W, I have with me the results of the class leader election” she says.

Alright, moment of truth!

“For the males, Calvin Mackie got 9 votes, while Alexander Moore got 11 votes, and obviously only Elizabeth Gotthold volunteered for the other position, so your new class leaders are Alexander Luna Moore and Elizabeth Gotthold! Could they both please come up here” she says.

Applause come from all around the room, even from Cal, and especially from Tracy and Eve, while Elizabeth and I look at each other in disbelief.

“I HAVE TO WORK WITH YOU FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS?! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE JOKING ME! FORFEIT NOW!” We scream at each other

Chapter 4
Curse You, 7W

Author’s note: This chapter takes place from Elizabeth’s perspective for plot reasons.

Oh, my, GOD, I can’t believe this, I mean it’s not like I hate him but REALLY, I have to work with somebody who THREATENED ME?!

“Ms Gotthold, Master Moore, will you please come up here?” says Ms Janson.

Oh yeah, that “woman with red hair” that Alexander mentioned in the previous chapter? That’s Ms Janson, she’s our other year advisor.

“Ms Janson, may Alexander and I please have a few minutes to get our speeches ready?” I ask, politely.

“Of course, go right ahead” she says.

I drag Alexander out of the tent by the collar, we’re not really going to prepare speeches, as if it wasn’t obvious enough.

“Now see here Alexander, neither of us clearly want to work with the other so how about this: I forfeit the position and then maybe they’ll have another election for the female leader” I suggest.

“Yeah that’s not actually going to work, I had a read of the candidate’s guide and forfeiture is only permitted after 1 semester in office or under special circumstances, like ill health” says Alexander.

“Blast! Well, I’ll give it a try for 1 semester but after that, don’t expect me to hang around” I say “Well, time to go face our fellow classmates”.

A whole semester with this guy, Lord, give me strength!

“Are you two ready?” asks Ms Janson.

“As ready as we’ll ever be” says Alexander.

“Alright then, get up there and face your adoring public!” says Ms Janson.

We ascend our podiums and nod at each other approvingly.

“You go first” says Alexander.

“Alright” I respond, “Students of 7W, it is my pleasure to be leading you alongside Alexander here, if there’s anything I can do to better represent you, then please, do not hesitate to say so”.

I turn my head and nod at Alexander as if to say, “Your turn”.

“Students of 7W, I know we don’t really know each other, but I thank you for voting for me, and I hope we get along” says Alexander.

I knew he wouldn’t be able to give more than one speech without making it about himself. Thankfully though the whole class is cheering for us, Ms Janson beckons for us and we descend our podiums.

“Well done Elizabeth and Alex” says Ms Janson “By the way, Alex, I’m Ms Janson, your other year advisor”.

“A pleasure to meet you Ms Janson” says Alexander.

“Same to you, Alex, now follow me you two, there’s an important class leader’s meeting” she says.

“ALREADY?!” exclaim Alexander and I.

She leads us into the residential district and into this giant black building with a sign saying, “Class of 2012 – Leaders Building”.

“Ms Janson, what’s this meeting about?” asks Alexander.

“To introduce all the class leaders and elect the year leaders” says Ms Janson.

We’ve had a big morning can’t this wait until the afternoon? *sigh* Oh God I’m turning into Alexander.

The meeting lasted about 2 hours and like Ms Janson said, we all introduced ourselves and elected the year leaders, 7B is represented by Kana and Michael, 7G by Ellen and David, and 7R by Amber and Robert, Kana and Michael were unanimously elected as year leaders, and yes, Alexander and I actually agreed on who to vote for.

“You didn’t even give me a say in the matter!” exclaims Alexander.

…Alright maybe I took the lead on the vote, but I had a very good reason for doing so!

“I would’ve given you a say if you were even listening to me during the 20 minutes I was trying to explain all the candidates to you!” I exclaim “Besides, who would’ve you voted for?”.

“Well um” says Alexander.

“Exactly, you had no idea” I say.

We spend the rest of the day with our class unpacking our stuff, hey wait, did Alexander just pull out a laptop?

“Hey, Alexander, what’s the deal with the laptop?” I ask.

“You remember how I have Cerebral Palsy?” he replies.

“Yes? What about it?” I reply back.

“Well, that affects my writing ability, and since my handwriting is so messy, instead of writing by hand I use a computer to take notes in class and then transfer them to books later when I’m not being rushed” explains Alexander.

“Why not just ask the teacher to slow down so you have time to write? It’s not like it’s an unreasonable request” I say.

“The teacher might not mind, but unfortunately not every school student is as understanding as you, Eliza. Long story short, I can’t ask the teacher to slow down because I’m afraid my classmates would judge me” explains Alexander.

I’ll admit I can’t argue with that, I’ve never been in Alexander’s shoes, for all I know he might’ve had a prior experience where he WAS judged by his classmates for asking a teacher to be more accommodating to his needs, I would ask if that actually happened but quite frankly, I don’t really care about Alex’s history.

Wait, did I just call Alexander his short name?

A few hours later everybody finishes packing and we have a short class meeting where we discuss things like room assignments and emergency procedures, all the guys have their own rooms separate from the girls but Alex and I, being class leaders, are roomed together, there I go again referring to somebody I’m only acquaintances with as if they were my friend! After the meeting Stuart gets up to speak to the whole class.

“Hey guys, remember that arcade we passed on the tour? Let’s celebrate our first night together by going there!” says Stuart.

I could use a break, hey wait a minute, didn’t Alexander say something about flashing lights and loud noises, something almost every arcade has?

“Hate to be a party pooper guys but Alexander is an epileptic, I’m not sure the arcade would be the best place for him” I say.

“Hmmmm, good point Lizzy, maybe somebody should stay back with him, we did agree as a class he is never to be left alone” says Bianca.

“I will, I have some CL stuff to do anyway” I say.

“Thanks, Lizzy, take care you two” says Tracy.

The class leaves and I turn to Alexander.

“Now see here Alex, I’m only doing this because it’s the decent thing to do, in no way is this a sign of friendship between us! We’re only acquaintances!” I say, firmly “Ellen will be here soon to discuss some stuff with us, so get ready for another meeting”.

“Elizabeth, you know I would love to join you and Ellen, but I’m not exactly feeling well right now, I have this huge headache and I kind of feel dizzy” says Alex, rocking from side to side.

“You better go lay down then” I say.

I walk him into our room and lay him down on his bed.

“Now you better relax!” I exclaim.

Oh, there’s the doorbell! Must be Ellen!

“Ellen is here, don’t worry about us, just relax” I say.

I go to answer the door.

“LIZZY BABE!” screams Ellen.

“ELLY BABE” I scream.

“Where’s your partner?” she asks.

“Not feeling well” I respond.

“That’s a shame” she responds.

Ellen and I head to the lounge room.

“So, what were we going to discuss again?” asks Ellen.

“An alliance between our two classes” I respond

So basically, I had this idea that the W and G classes should form an alliance of some sort, it was sort of a spur-of-the-moment idea so I hadn’t had time to figure out the exact terms, but we’ll figure something out.

Ellen and I spend about an hour discussing our alliance when I hear a loud noise come from Alex and I’s room. What has he done now?

“Pardon me Ellen, I should go check on that” I say, leaving the lounge room.

I wall in to not a mess on the floor, but a freaking ALEX ON THE FLOOR!

“Hey, Alex, you alright there, buddy?” I ask.

No response.

“Alexander?” I ask again, trying to get his attention

Still nothing. His heart is still beating and his breathing seems study, he also appears to be awake. Hey, wait a minute, heart beating like normal, breathing normal, eyes open, no response, slumped over on the floor, HIS HAVING A SEIZURE! I run back to the lounge room.

“Ellen! Could you please go keep an eye on Alex while I call the front office?” I ask, as calmly as I can.

“Oh, uh, sure Lizzy” she says, heading towards where Alex is.

I run to the house phone and call the front office.

“Front Office, Mrs Boyd speaking, how can I help you 7W?” says the office person.

“Yes, this is Elizabeth Gotthold, Alexander Moore is having an epileptic seizure, we need medical assistance immediately!” I scream into the phone.

“Elizabeth, please calm down, we’re sending somebody from the Support Unit and also informing Alex’s guardian, now how long has he been out for?” asks Ms Boyd.

“About two minutes” I say.

“In that case, we’re also sending an ambulance. Sorry, but he won’t be sleeping at home tonight” says Ms Boyd.

His guardian; which turns out to be our languages teacher Mrs Herriot, as well as Mrs Waltz from the Support Unit, arrive within 5 minutes, they storm the door.

“Where is he? Is he with somebody?” asks Mrs Herriot, frantically

“He is in the class leaders’ room, he is with Ellen Carr from 7G” I respond.

They run towards where Alex is, and not 10 minutes later leave with him – still out like a light – in an ambulance.

Please be OK, Al.

The rest of the class return that evening, they have no idea what happened, I should tell them about Alex, but they look so happy, I don’t want to ruin their day.

“Elizabeth, you look upset, is everything OK?” asks Tracy.

I’ve been caught.

“Oh, I’m fine, but Alex on the other hand…” I say.

“What’s up with Alex?” asks Hayley.

“What isn’t up with Alex! He had a seizure while you guys were gone and the last time I saw him he was being driven away in an ambulance!” I say while crying.

“A seizure? How on Earth did that happen?” asks Nela.

“I don’t know! All I know is that he has Epilepsy!” I exclaim, crying even harder.

“Guys stop questioning poor Lizzy, it isn’t her fault that Alex had a seizure! Lizzy, chill, you had no way of knowing that Alex would suddenly have a seizure, none of us could’ve known!” screams Tatiana.

“Tatiana is right guys, all we can do now is wait for news regarding Alex’s condition” says Eve.

“Thank you everyone, I’m going to go lay down for a while, it’s been a long afternoon” I say.

I nap for about an hour, after which we go and have dinner, the whole class was quiet, I didn’t see Ellen after Alex left for the hospital, she’s probably quite traumatized after seeing him on the brink of death. When we get home Mr Davin and Ms Janson gather us for an emergency class meeting.

“Alright, so does everybody know what happened to Alex this afternoon?” asks Mr Davin.

Everybody nods.

“Well we have news from the hospital, Alex is in a stable condition at Sutherland Hospital, and provided he sleeps well tonight, his doctors have ordered that he be transferred to the Princess of York hospital in Randwick” says Mr Davin.

“We’ve been told he’ll be allowed visitors the day after his transfer, so your first opportunity to visit him will be this weekend” says Ms Janson.

I can hear murmurs reacting negatively to the fact we won’t be able to visit Alex until the weekend, “This weekend oh come on!”, “That’s bullshit”, “What a load of crap”.

“Miss! With all due respect, many in this class feel very strongly about Alex, could we please visit him sooner?” I ask.

Chapter 5
A Surprising Visitor

Author’s note: We’re back to Alex’s perspective

It’s the 1st of February, I’ve been out of school for 2 days now and I hate it, stupid Epilepsy *sigh* Oh well, what’s there to do? A nurse pops her head into the room.

“Master Moore, you have a visitor” says the nurse.

“It’s not Doctor Bi is it? I can’t stand anymore blood tests!” I say.

“No, Alex, it’s somebody from school, one of your classmates, Elizabeth Gotthold” says the nurse.

What is she doing here? Probably some class leader business.

“Send her in, please” I say.

Here she comes.

“Al! So good to see you!” says Elizabeth

That’s odd, she didn’t call me Alexander.

“Alright, how much money am I transferring from the class budget to your personal account?” I ask.

“Idiot, I don’t need money! I came to see you as a friend!” she says.

Did she say “friend”?

“You consider me a friend now?” I ask.

“Yes, I do. Don’t know why but after your seizure I felt this sudden feeling of concern for your health” she says.

“I thought I’d never say this but, thank you Elizabeth” I say, sincerely, “So how are the rest of the class holding up, and more importantly, how are you Elizabeth?”.

“Please, Alex, call me Lizzy, you’ve earned that right. The class is pretty shaken up but otherwise they’re doing pretty good. I’m still a little upset by what happened that afternoon but I’m slowly working my way past it” says Elizabeth, sincerely.

“So how did you get out of school today? It would’ve taken you at least at least an hour to get here by public transport so no way you would’ve had time to attend many classes” I question.

“Oh, well funny story, I used my class leader entitlement to get a day off to visit you, the rest of the class, officially at least, won’t be allowed to visit you until the weekend, I protested the restriction, put up a fight, and they said, “yeah you know what, just log this as CL business, you have 1 day off a term for that kind of stuff”, Ming gave me evil eyes when she found out what I did” says Lizzy, while laughing.

Lizzy and I spend about 3 hours talking, eating biscuits, and watching Cartoon Network (possibly the best, and really the only good part of being in hospital).

“Well Lizzy, thanks for visiting me, you’ve really made me happy, now you better get going before Ms Wine gets back” I suggest.

“Ms Wine? I thought your guardian was Mrs Herriot?” asks Elizabeth.

“Oh yeah, see the thing with that is that I actually have two guardians, Mrs Herriot takes care of me during the day and basically acts in place of my parents, but because she doesn’t live on campus, Ms Wine looks after me after hours and during the mid-semester break” I explain.

“Oh, I see, well, hope to see you back soon, Al!” says Elizabeth.

She leaves quickly, and about an hour later, Ms Wine returns.

“Hi temporary mum!” I say, excitedly.

“Hello Alex! You seem excited! What’s the occasion?” asks Ms Wine.

“A classmate of mine came to visit today!” I exclaim.

“Oh, so that’s why your class was 1 short, let me guess, Lizzy?” she asks.

“Yes!” I exclaim.

“Y’know, she was supposed to be class leader business today” she says, suspiciously.

“…Oh crap, you aren’t going to report this, are you? Please! Don’t! I beg of you!” I say.

“Oh don’t worry Alex, to be honest I’m one of the teachers that thinks that your class should’ve been allowed to visit you today” she says, reassuringly.

“Phew! Thanks Ms Wine, you’re the best” I say “By the way, you didn’t happen to find out when I’m being discharged did you?” I ask.

Please let it be soon!

“Oh yeah, the doctor said provided your blood comes back fine you’ll be discharged on Saturday” says Ms Wine.

“Wait, SATURDAY?! But that’s the first day my class is allowed to visit me!” I scream.

“Calm down Alex, your class is being informed as we speak, here watch this live stream” she says.

It’s a bit choppy because of the hospital’s crap internet, but I can make out most of it. Ms Janson is addressing the class.

“Good news, guys, provided the doctors deem Alex healthy, he’ll be allowed to come back on Saturday” says Ms Janson.

“Define healthy” says Cal.

“Oh geez, whaddaya THINK it means, Calvin!” says Elva.

“Alex has had a number of blood tests, and provided they all come back clean, he’ll be allowed out” says Ms Janson.

Ms Janson, you saint!

“Alright, now would you all like to say something to Alex? it looks like his watching us through the camera” asks Ms Janson.

“Alright guys, just like we rehearsed, raise your pieces of paper!” says Lizzy.

They raise these sheets of paper to the camera, and it’s a poster that’s half blue (my favourite colour) and half black (what I see when I have a seizure), on the blue half a message spells out “AL MOORE RULES” and on the black half “EPILEPSY DROOLS!”.

“Hey Ms Wine, is there any way I can actually talk to these guys?” I ask.

“Uh, yeah I think so, if I just push this and this” she says while pressing various buttons on the computer, “Alright, you’re live, go ahead”.

“Hey guys” I say to 7W, drearily.

I’m really quite tired.

“AL!” screams the entire class.

“Thank you so much for your undying support, it’s what is keeping me alive at the moment” I say.

“You’re very welcome, Alex, but I’m pretty sure medicine also has something to do with it” says Ms Janson.

“Oh yeah, that too!” I say while giggling, “Well guys, I won’t keep you from dinner, I just wanted to thank you all”.

“You’re very welcome, Al” says Hayley, “Now please, get some rest, and remember…”.

“FUCK EPILEPSY” screams the entire class.

“Can’t say I agree with the words themselves but yeah, Epilepsy can go stuff itself” says Ms Janson.

I close the live connection and a few minutes later, the nurse comes in with my dinner – ugh, MORE potato and pumpkin?! It’s bad enough outside of hospital! Oh well, if I finish this I get jelly and ice cream, and that’s the best!

Friday comes and goes, my blood tests come back clear, and on Saturday morning my brain doctor comes in.

“Good news, Alex, you’re going home this afternoon!” says the doctor “Are you excited to see your family again?” says Doctor Bi.

She does know that I live AT A SCHOOL, right?

“Sure am Doctor Bi but I think you mean school instead of home and classmates instead of family”

“Oh yeah, that’s right, my mistake Alex!” she says.

I spend the morning signing forms, packing my belongings, and buying some souvenirs from the hospital gift shop (What? People don’t normally like to remember their hospital stays? Well neither do I but this serves as a reminder to always have my medicine, which we discovered was the cause of my seizure). That afternoon Mr Davin comes in.

“Alexander Hamilton! You ready to get moving?” he asks.

“Hell yeah Dav-man! Get me out of this dump” I say.

Oh, right, I almost forgot…

“Nurses, thank you so much for assisting me these past few days” I say to the nurses at the nurses’ station.

“You were an excellent patient Alex, see you in a few years for that eye test!” says one of the nurses.

“Oh, don’t remind me!” I say.

Dav-man and I make our way down to the lower ground floor of the hospital, but instead of walking to the parking lot, we go the other way.

“Hey Mr Davin, where are we going? The parking lot is the other way” I say.

“You’ll see” he says.

He leads to one of the school’s buses, he didn’t charter a bus just for me, did he?

I walk into the bus, and what do I see?

“AL-LY MOORE, AL-LY MOORE” chants all of 7W.

“Aw, you guys came to pick me up! You truly are the best class” I say.

“Eliza begged me to use a bus, but I never imagined she would bring the class” says Mr Davin.

We drive off back to the school, and Elizabeth and I have a little talk about what’s been happening in the class.

“I heard there are some new procedures in place to prevent another trip in an ambulance” I say.

“Oh yes, from now on two people will be required to stay home with you, one of which must be able to reach you within 10 seconds, and the other must have the phone in arms reach, we have also installed a PA system and wired a handset in every room in the house to it, in the case of a suspected seizure, the person closest to you times the seizure, goes to where you are, and checks you over, while the person with the phone prepares for the worst, if you are indeed having a seizure, they pick up the PA handset and say “Urgent call for…” and whoever the person with the phone is, this signals the person with the phone to call the Support Unit’s emergency line, which was also established because of what happened, after that, we follow their instructions” explains Lizzy.

“What if more than two people are at home” I ask.

“We figured the only time that would happen is if everybody’s home, since the class is mostly required to travel together, so in that case, I’m with the phone and Eve is the person closest to you” says Lizzy.

Man, they really have this all planned out.

“Nice planning, Lizzy, but I’m thinking we should have a drill just to practice” I suggest.

“Yeah, we were planning on doing one tomorrow” says Lizzy.

When we get back, Lizzy and I have a quick meeting with Mrs Waltz (the second-in-charge of the Support Unit, though I call her Evil Overlord and Queen of the Unit) and Mrs Brush (an aide in the Support Unit, I like to call her “School Mum” even though she isn’t one of my guardians) discussing the drill.

“OK, so here’s how it’s all going to work: Alex, at 12:07 PM you fake a drop attack, Eve will respond and follow through with her part of the procedure and page Elizabeth over the PA system, Elizabeth, our emergency staff will be expecting you and will dispatch Mrs Brush, Alex, when you hear Mrs Brush ask, “where is he?” you wake up” says Mrs Waltz.

“Understood” both Lizzy and I say.

So tomorrow comes, and like Mrs Waltz said, I fake a drop attack. I see Eve running in.

“Alex, Alex, are you OK? Alex can you hear me?” asks Eve, who then heads to the PA phone.

“Urgent call for Elizabeth” says Eve.

I can sort of make out what Elizabeth is saying.

“This is Elizabeth Gotthold of class 7W, Alexander Moore is having an epileptic seizure” I hear Elizabeth say.

About a minute later I hear Mrs Brush entering.

“Where is he?” I hear Mrs Brush ask.

There’s my cue to wake up! Eve stops the timer.

“Right through here, miss” I hear Cal say.

Cal escorts Mrs Brush to Eve’s bedroom, where I faked my seizure, Elizabeth follows. Eve hands the timer to Mrs Brush.

“1 minute, 45 seconds. Well done 7W, in a real scenario Alex wouldn’t be out this long, but if this were real we wouldn’t need to call an ambulance, just remember to stay on the phone with our emergency staff until somebody from the Support Unit arrives and if the timer exceeds two minutes before then, tell them so they can call an ambulance” says Mrs Brush.

“Good job everyone, you can all go back to whatever you were doing before the PA announcement” says Elizabeth.

“Actually Elizabeth, might I suggest lunch” I say.

“Yes, actually, let’s go and have some lunch!” says Elizabeth.

We all jump in the class bus (yeah, we have one of those, it can also drive itself within the school) and drive to the canteen for lunch

Chapter 6
Where’s Eve?

Author’s note: The rest of the book will take place from Elizabeth’s perspective.

It’s about 6am on the 17th of July, we agreed during the initial class meeting that this would be our regular wakeup time on school days, this was also reaffirmed at our start-of-semester meeting yesterday. As usual, Alex is a very heavy sleeper, so I have to wake him up.

“Al, it’s 6am” I say to him.

“Ugh, why so early?” questions Alex

Geez, such a high maintenance little boy.

“Alex, you yourself suggested this time because it takes you at least an hour to get ready in the morning. Now get your butt out of bed and go wake the boys” I say.

“Alright” says Alex, tiredly.

He goes to wake up the guys, and I head the other way to wake up the girls. I’m slightly less forgiving when it comes to waking people up other than Alex.

“Everybody up!” I exclaim, opening the blinds.

“Geez Lizzy, that’s quite blinding you know!” says Nela.

Oh, cry me a river.

“Is everybody ready for another fantastic semester?” says Tracy, excitedly.

“Hell yeah!” says Bianca.

“Let’s be extra productive this semester, and maybe consider a later wakeup time!” says Elva, excitedly.

“Hey, guys, shot in the dark but isn’t somebody missing?” asks Bailey.

“Yeah, Eve has moved to the Hunter Valley so she left with her family last night, Alex is really upset about it” I say.

“I can imagine he would be, he loved her” says Cydney.

“Oh well, he’ll always have you, Lizzy” says Hayley.

“Hols! Alex and I aren’t involved in that way, we’re just friends!” I exclaim.

I’ll admit though, Alex sure is sweet enough to be boyfriend material. No, Elizabeth, put the thought from your mind, you and Alex are both in year 7 and far too young to be dating!

“Well I’ll leave you ladies to get dressed” I say, quickly leaving the room to escape their oh-so-suggestive comments!

I get dressed myself and Alex and I gather everyone in the lounge room for morning class announcements.

“I am happy to announce effective from today our alliance with 7G is in effect, we’ll be permitted access to their house, and they’ll be permitted access to our house, we’ll also share study sessions and break periods, and occasionally we’ll also merge classes. Any questions regarding this?” says Alex “Yes Marcus, what is your question”.

“Will we also be able to bang the chicks in 7G?” asks Marcus.

Alex sighs and murmurs “I knew he’d ask that”.

“After you both turn 16 and can legally give consent, yes” says Alex, with his face in his palm “Just remember school policy forbids such inappropriate conduct anywhere on campus!”.

Alex, you are a legend. Hey, I wonder if he’s going to announce Eve’s departure.

“One final announcement guys” says Alex

Yep, he is. Somebody get the Kleenex.

“Some of you may have noticed we are missing a certain someone. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about Eve. She has made what she has described to Elizabeth and myself as “a difficult decision” and left us to move with her family to the Hunter Valley. This happened last night but Elizabeth and myself have known about her intentions since the start of term 2, we wish Eve the best of luck in her new home and at her new school” says Alex.

Wow, he didn’t even shed a tear!

“This concludes this morning’s announcements, now, let us head for the class bus, ready our breakfast and eat hearty!” says Alex, excitedly.

Alex and myself leave the room and while heading to the class bus, he taps my shoulder twice.

“Hey, do you still intend on resigning?” he whispers.

…I completely forgot about that!

“I know I said I was going to when we were first elected, but you know what? I think I’ll last out this term, maybe I’ll even run again in year 9” I say.

We reach the class bus, Alex opens it, everybody gets in, and Alex tries to start it, the engine makes some pretty unhealthy sounding sounds when he turns the key.

“Come on” complains Alex.

He tries to start the bus again. Same result.

“Give me a break” he complains again

Wait a minute, weren’t the bus’s passenger compartment lights on for a moment when we came down here?

“Hey Alex” I say.

“Yes Lizzy?” he replies.

“I think the bus’s battery might be dead and that’s why it isn’t starting” I suggest.

He turns away and gives me that look he always has when he’s angry.

“You’re kidding me, right?” he says, angrily.

“Nope, better call roadside assistance” I suggest.

“Oh, fuck me” says Alex to himself “Bus 2012 Whiskey to base” he says on the backup handheld radio.

“This is base, what’s up Alex?” says the radio operator.

“Our bus isn’t starting, we think our battery might be dead” says Alex.

“Alright, hang tight, I’ll send an engineer out with a spare battery for you” says the radio operator.

“Roger that base, we’re down at the 7W Residence Garage” says Alex.

We spend the next half hour waiting, the engineer arrives, changes the battery, charges Alex for it, and we go off and have a late breakfast, by the time we’re finished it’s already 8.30am, we sign in and quickly run to roll call, where Ms Janson is waiting for us.

“7W, sleep in did we?” asks Ms Janson.

“No Ms Janson, our bus had a dead battery so we were stuck for half an hour” says Alex.

“Well, lucky for you roll call is just about to start, so get a move on misters and misses!” says Ms Janson.

School happens, at some point during lunch Ms Janson calls myself and Alex into her office, apparently she caught wind of our little conversation on election day and had already prepared the forms for me to resign, we cleared everything up though. We are now on our way back home.

“Hey guys, how about pizza for dinner tonight?” Alex asks the class.

I hear murmurs of agreement, “I could go for pLizzy”, “Been way too long since I had takeaway”, “CAN WE GO PIZZA HUT?!”.

“I think everybody is in agreement, Alex” I say.

“Awesome, pizza it is then!” says Alex.

Shortly after that we arrive home, an announcement comes over the PA system from our home automation system (yeah, we have one of those now, ever since that one time last term where Alex forgot to set the alarm).

“Good afternoon 7W, welcome home, you have 1 new message on your answering machine, also year leader Kana wishes to speak with you at your earliest convenience, class leader Alex” says the announcement.

“Kana wants to talk to me? I wonder what about?” says Alex.

“Whatever it is, it’s probably important, so maybe go attend to that right away” I say.

Alex heads off to the communications room to talk to Kana. I wonder if he knows that he could just speak to her across the road in the Class Leaders building, she has an office there and is there until 6pm. Oh, right, I should probably go check the answering machine.

I head over to the phone and press the MSG button (that button was originally programmed to key the PA system from that phone but Alex reprogrammed it to instead play back messages on the answering machine).

“You have one new message” says the answering machine “New message from Eveleen Grace, received today at 12:30 PM”.

Eve? How funny getting a message from her.

“Hi guys, just calling to let you know that I arrived safely at my new home last night, Alex emailed me the video of this morning’s announcements, thank you very much for your kind thoughts and maybe we’ll reunite in the future, who knows? Haha, take care guys” says Eve.

Normally I’d delete the message, but I choose to transfer the message to Alex’s archive, he deserves closure of his relationship with Eve, even if it was rather one sided. I sit down in mine and Alex’s room to do some homework, and about an hour later Alex comes out of his meeting with Kana.

“How’d it go?” I ask Alex.

Alex sits down across from me.

“Mr Folder wants me to be the Support Unit’s class leader after Rebecca graduates” he says.

“Will that impact on your duties here?” I ask him.

“No, I’ll still be allowed to be 7W’s leader, but I’ll have to spend the first term of every year in the SU residences” says Alex.

“Then take the position, I’m sure 7W will understand you not sleeping here for 1 term a year” I say.

“You didn’t let me finish, that means I won’t be able to be present at the election for 9W class leadership because I’ll have to contest the SU leadership!” he says “Kana is trying to find a loophole for me to still contest the 9W leadership in absence but for now I’m stuck!”.

“Don’t worry, Alex, there is still a whole year until the next election” I say.

“You’re right Lizzy, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it” says Alex “Thank you”.

“You’re welcome, Alex, now go do your homework, you don’t want Davin getting on your ass again, do you?” I ask.

He gets his homework and starts to do it. A few hours and about 5 of Alex’s homework tantrums later, we hear an announcement over the PA system.

“Attention class leaders, year leader Kana Farmer has entered, please proceed to the entry hall” says the announcement.

“Wonder why she’s here? Could this be about your new position, Alex?” I ask Alex.

“Probably, let’s go greet her” says Alex.

Alex and I proceed to the entry hall wearing our class leader badges and jackets. We both salute the year leader, who is wearing her official year leader jacket and badge.

“Ten-hut!” says Alex.

“At ease” says Kana “A pleasure to see you, 7W class leaders”.

“Same to you, year leader” I say, “I apologise for the lack of formal greeting, we weren’t aware you were planning to visit”.

I read in the CL handbook that it’s protocol to wear full class leader attire when addressing the year leader or anybody above the year leader in a class leader capacity, we’re also supposed to address each other by title and not name, and when the year leader or above makes an official visit, you’re supposed to have a speech prepared to greet them.

“Oh, this isn’t an official visit, Elizabeth, I just didn’t have time to swing by home and drop off my jacket” says Kana “I just came to speak to Alex”.

I look at the time, and just as I suspected, it’s after 6pm, surprise official visits can’t be made after the school closes. Well we’re idiots.

“Oh! No problem, Kana! I’ll leave you two to talk” I say.

Alex and Kana head into the communications room and I go around and take orders for pizza.

Chapter 7
I Love You, Idiot!

The meeting between Alex and Kana has been going for a few hours now, they came out for dinner but quickly went back in, maybe I should check in them to make sure that Alex hasn’t had another seizure. I knock twice on the communications room door and pop my head in only to see Kana TICKLING Alex! Yeah, you read that right, TICKLING!

“Kana! Alex! Whadaya doing?” I exclaim.

“Isn’t it obvious Elizabeth? I’m torturing Alex!” says Kana.

“What for exactly?” I ask, suspiciously.

“I’m trying to get him to be the year’s IT advisor!” says Kana.

“Alright, alright, I’ll do it! Just stop touching my emergency sausages!” says Alex while laughing.

Alex quickly calms down.

“For real though, it’s taking quite a while to fill out these forms to allow me to run for the leadership of 9W, that’s why we’ve been so long” says Alex.

“Yeah, he also needs a representative to represent him at the election” says Kana.

“I’ll be his representative” I suggest.

“That would disqualify you from election, since technically you’re already standing” says Kana.

Blast, hey wait a minute…

“One minute, Kana, I think I might know somebody!” I say, quickly leaving the room for the lounge room.

“Hey guys, any idea where Cal is?” I ask.

“Which one? Schwebel or Mackie?” asks Hayley.

“Mackie” I say.

“Oh, he would be in his room” says Alex.

“Thanks guys!” I say, running off to Cal’ room.

“Hey Cal, pardon the intrusion, could I have a minute of your time?” I ask Cal.

“Sure Lizzy, what’s up?” he asks.

“You don’t plan on running for class leader in year 9, do you?” I ask him.

“No, I’ve no intention on challenging Alex, nobody does, why?” he asks.

“Well here’s the deal: He’s been asked by the Support Unit Co-ordinator to be class leader there, and that has no direct impact now, but in year 9, he won’t be able to stand for re-election without a representative, but that representative won’t be able to stand themselves since technically they’ll already be standing, so I was wondering, would be his representative?” I ask.

“I will, but only if he is OK with it, I mean, I did sort of run a smear campaign against him at this year’s election” he says.

“I’m sure he won’t mind. Thanks Cal!” I say, before heading back to the communications room.

“Good news Alex, Cal has said that he’ll be your representative! How does that sound?” I ask.

“Thanks, Lizzy, that’s awesome!” says Alex.

“No problem!” I say, leaving the room.

About 10 minutes later Alex and Kana leave the communications room.

“Hey, call me later baby” Alex says to Kana as he escorts her out.

Grrrr! Why does Alex feel the need to flaunt his romance with Kana in front of everyone, especially me! Wait, are these feelings, jealousy?

“Alex, are you and Kana, romantically involved?” I ask Alex.

“Me and Kana? Ha! Gotcha Lizzy! Nah we were just playing around to see who would believe it!” he says.

“Oh, OK, that’s good!” I say “Wait! I mean! I don’t care, I was just curious! It’s not like I harbor feelings for you or anything! Oh my goodness I’m so tired I’m going to bed, good night everyone!” I say, quickly leaving the room.

God, why did I say that? You’re such a fool Elizabeth now everybody will think you actually do have feelings for Alex, oh what am I saying? My feelings for Alex are out of this world. A little while later Alex comes to bed,

“Did you remember your medication dear? Err I mean Alex?” I ask Alex.

“Um, yeah, I did, Lizzy” he replies.

“Good, good, don’t want you having any seizures overnight” I say.

“Are you sure? You seemed to enjoy visiting me in the hospital” jokes Alex.

“Idiot, don’t joke like that! I was genuinely worried about you!” I scream.

“Sorry Lizzy, you know I couldn’t resist the urge” he says, “Seriously though, Lizzy, you were acting pretty strange today, is everything cool with you?”

“Geez, do I have to spell it out for you? I LOVE YOU ALEX, MY DEAREST IDIOT!” I scream.

Shit, did I actually say that?!

“I’m sorry! I have to go!” I say.

I try to run but Alex stops me.

“Lizzy, please, don’t run from your feelings” he says “You love me, so what? That’s nothing to be embarrassed about”.

“Idiot! I’m not embarrassed it’s just… well, can’t a girl have secrets?” I say, “So, is the feeling mutual?”

Alex places his hand on my left cheek.

“It is” he says.

He tries to lean in but I move away, causing him to fall over.

“Ow! Haha!” he says.

I help him up and put him back to bed. I see some of our classmates at the door, whispering their approval, “About time”, “Go Alex!”, “Go Lizzy babe!”.

“I see you out there, Cal, Hayley, and Ellen, get to bed before the curfew enforcers come out to play” I say.

“Sorry Lizzy!” they all scream, running back to their respective rooms.

The morning comes and goes quickly, about 10 different people ask Alex and I if we’re in a relationship, we give vague answers so they’re left guessing, but we decide to meet at lunch to discuss when or even if we should announce our relationship.

“Absolutely not, at least not until you’re 16” says Alex.

“Alex, it’s just announcing our relationship, not boasting about our sex lives” I say.

“Oh, right, well mid-year exams are coming up, maybe we should wait until after so the class can focus on their studies and not what we do in bed?” he suggests.

“A sound idea, there is gossip going about the class surrounding us but that should quickly die down” I say.

So we agree to leave it be until after mid-year exams.

The gossip takes a few days to die down but eventually, with the help of Hayley and Tracy, who now both know the truth about Alex and me (though obviously Hayley knew since the night we got together), the class start to focus on studying for exams.

A few weeks later Alex and I address the class at the morning announcements.

“By the way, I know many of you are curious about the relations between Alex and I, the rumours are true, we are now dating” I say to the class “But for now we would like to keep this a secret within the class, we’ll reveal it to others when we’re both ready”.

Alex and I both agreed that I should deliver the announcement to the class, as they’re less likely to defy me than him. The class move on but Alex and I stick around for a private chat.

“Nicely done” says Alex.

“Thanks babe” I say, “It’s a new dawn for us”.

“That it is, Lizzy” he says, hugging me.

“No threats, no insults, just hugs and kisses, oh, and occasional beatings!” I say, punching him in the back.

“Ow! Heh, I love you Elizabeth Gotthold” he says.

“I love you too Alexander Luna Moore” I say, pecking him on the forehead.

We live our lives as we have been before my confession, and then the end-of-term class leaders meeting happened. Ellen stands to address the class leaders.

“The female leader of 7G has the call” says Ms Janson.

“Thank very much advisor, ladies and gentlemen, I stand today to bring something to everybody’s attention, it appears the leaders of 7W have become infatuated with each other! As class leaders, we are to maintain a strictly professional relationship with our partners, and while I have no problem with them having relations outside of school, in school I believe they should keep their more-than-friendly relationship to themselves! I thank the hall” says Ellen.

Ellen, why?

“An interesting accusation, I’d like to hear what the leaders of 7W have to say for themselves” says Ms Janson.

“Alex, what are we supposed to do? We can’t lie, it could result in us being charged with contempt!” I say.

“Don’t worry, I got this!” says Alex “Class leaders, year leaders, and year advisors, it is a pleasure to be addressing the hall regarding these extremely personal matters raised by the honourable female leader for 7G, and I ask you this: Have my relations with my partner affected my work at all? The answer is of course no, I’ve continued to make representations on behalf of my students, I’ve continued to attend meetings, and most importantly, I haven’t broken any rules during my relations with my partner! The same is of course just as, if not more so true of my partner. Advisor, I rest my, I mean our, case”.

“A very compelling argument from 7W. It is very true that they haven’t broken any rules nor has their performance declined. I will give the female leader of 7G one chance to withdraw penalty-free, before I charge you with contempt” says Ms Janson.

“I humbly withdraw, advisor, and for the record, I am very happy for Lizzy and-” says Ellen before being interrupted.

“Titles not names!” screams David.

“Sorry, I am very happy for the leaders of 7W” says Ellen.

I think I might have a word with her after this.

“Alright, anybody else want to accuse somebody of something meaningless? Oh, wait time has expired for that item, and with that this meeting of the class of 2012 class leaders is adjourned” says Ms Janson.

Alex and I go to confront Ellen about what she said.

“Ellen, what the hell was that about?” I ask.

“I’m sorry for deceiving you, Lizzy babe. That was a test that Alex asked me to give him” says Ellen.

A test?

“I know what you’re thinking, but Alex wanted to show you that no matter what, he would fight for you, it was kind of cute actually” says Ellen “We cool?”.

“Yeah, we’re cool Elly babe” I say.

Alex and I head back home, then go to check our emails, wait, is that what I think it is?

“Alex?” I say, with fear.

“Lizzy?” says Alex, also with fear.

“Is that” I say.

“The announcement for” he says.

“THE YEARLY CLASS LEADER RETREAT?!” we say in chorus “AHHHHHHHHH! WE’RE NOT EVEN PREPARED!”.

Every year the school holds a summit of all class leaders, it’s meant to allow us to “relax and unwind after a year of hard work” but really, we’re quite stressed because it’s always held right in the middle of end-of-year business for us! There have numerous petitions for the principal to put it at the end of the year close period, and every time the response has been “I’ll consider it”, which really means “I’ll think about it for two weeks, and decide against it anyway”.

“We’re screwed” Alex and I say in chorus.

Chapter 8
You must take a vacation, you must have fun, you must enjoy life

It’s the 30th of November, end-of-year exams are finally over, results have come back, Alex and I have announced them to the class, and now we’re just entering them onto the computer, or rather, I’m entering the results for all 20 students in our class, while Alex is anxiously packing his bags for the retreat… which isn’t until Monday!

“Hey, Mister Stress-Way-Too-Early, you want to take care of our end-of-year budget return while I fight with SRRS which keeps crashing every 5 minutes?” I ask Alex.

“Sorry Lizzy, but if I do this later I won’t have time to check I have everything, if only somebody would do my packing for me?” says Alex.

As if on cue, Ellen and David from 7G come in.

“Ellen!” I scream.

“Lizzy!” screams Ellen.

“Hey David” says Alex.

“Hey Alex” says David.

“Do you guys need a hand with anything, David and I have finished all our end-of-year business” says Ellen.

“Actually, yeah, could you guys help Alex pack his bags for the retreat while he takes care of our budget return?” I ask.

“Sure, we can do that” says David.

“Thanks guys. Get on that budget return, Alexander!” I say.

“Yes dear” says Alex.

So now Ellen and David are going through Alex’s bags and figuring out what else he needs, I’m entering the last of our exam results, and Alex is working on the budget return. It takes a few hours but we finish in time for dinner. Monday comes faster than any of us imagine, and now we’re just sitting with the other stage 4 class leaders waiting for the bus.

“So, does anybody actually know what we’re supposed to do on this retreat?” I ask “Is it anything like the SRC retreats we had in primary school?

“Oh! I gave the previous 7-12 Support Unit class leader a call and apparently it changes every year, so the year 8s and above can’t spoil it for the year 7s, she did say though that they are nothing like the SRC retreats, it’s pretty much a vacation” says Alex.

“It feels like we’re living under a dictatorship, ‘You must take a vacation, you must have fun, you must enjoy life!’” I say.

“I, don’t think you quite understand dictatorships, Lizzy, normally they don’t want their people to enjoy life” he says, “And besides, we’ve got everything covered back home, at least until the 22nd of January when we have to start entering new enrolments onto the computer”.

He has a point, but that bit about entering new enrolments worries me!

“Alex, quit stressing your woman about stuff that’s not even happening for another month!” says Ms Janson.

Yeah, you tell him Ms Janson!

“My apologies Ms Janson, I have a tendency to think about stuff that’s far off” says Alex.

It’s about a 2-hour trip to our accommodation, we check in, unpack our bags, and gather in the hall for a quick meeting.

“Lisa Hills class leader, from year 7 to year 12, and related staff! The Sydney Sports and Relaxation Park welcomes you!” says the site director “I hope you’re ready for 5 days of relaxation, oh, except for you year 11s, you’re going to have a few days of team building and then 2 days of relaxation”.

Oh yeah this takes place at the same time as the year 11 camp, poor souls.

“Thank you for having us, Director Margret, our students and staff very much enjoy being here” says Principal Bay “Alright guys, that concludes the meeting, years 7 to 10 and year 12, if you want to go back to your rooms, that’s fine, if you want to make use of the facilities, that’s fine too, remember, this is YOUR week, do as you please, feel free to partake in the activities we have planned for you, or don’t, it’s all good, year 11, follow me, you don’t have much freedom this week, BUT YOU WILL NEXT YEAR!”.

Alex and I decide to go back to our cabin, and go over the planned activities.

“Hey, this looks interesting” says Alex pointing at a cooking class.

“I thought you hated cooking?” I say, “I don’t want to go there just for you to complain the whole time!”

“I don’t hate cooking, I just hate cleaning afterwards” he says.

“Well, it doesn’t say cleaning up is part of the class, so yeah, let’s do that!” I say, enthusiastically.

I really quite enjoy cooking; Food Technology was one of my favourite subjects this year! We also decide to go bushwalking on day 3, and spend the remaining two days at our leisure. I hear Ellen and David come in.

“Lizzy, Alex, can you guys help us out, we have NO CLUE what optional activities to do!” says Ellen.

“Well, on day 2 we’re doing the cooking class, on day 3 we’re going bushwalking, and we’re using days 4 and 5 as free days” says Alex.

“You could join us if you want, Ellen?” I suggest.

“How’s that sound, David?” asks Ellen.

“Sounds good to me” says David.

“Awesome!” I say, “We’ll call it a Green-and-White day!”

“Green-and-White?” asks Alex.

“Yeah I recently found out that the letters relate to colours” I explain “Ms Janson told me”.

We spend the rest of the day walking around the park, discussing various things like life as a class leader and what it’s like living at the school. We also asked Alex how he came to be enrolled at Lisa Hills.

“Well, I spent my primary school years at White Cockatoo Public School, it was a pretty good school, though the uniform wasn’t the best looking, I mean really, it was yellow and brown for goodness sake. Initially my parents tried to enrol me at Pademelon Wallaby Sports High, which on a side note is another school involved in the School Life project, but due to my Cerebral Palsy, I wouldn’t be able to navigate the school very well, so after a few months of checking out different schools, it was decided that Lisa Hills was the best one for me to attend” says Alex.

“That’s quite interesting” I say, “But there’s still one question I’m curious about, at the start of the year you mentioned there was a specific reason you had to stay at the school; what is it exactly?”.

“My parents are overseas on work business, representing Australia at something called the United Nations International Corrections and Nursing Convention” says Alex “I miss them every day, but still, it’s thanks to their work commitments that I’ve become so close to my class, and that I’ve become romantically involved with somebody who I used to be indifferent towards to!”.

Alex, you would have to be the sweetest guy I’ve ever met!

“Actually Alex you should also be thanking your Ep-“ I say before being interrupted.

“NO! DON’T SAY IT!” screams Ellen “I STILL HAVE NIGHTMARES ABOUT THAT AFTERNOON!”.

Poor Ellen, I didn’t even consider her!

“Sorry Ellen, I didn’t know you were even having nightmares about that” I say.

“All good Lizzy babe” says Ellen.

It’s getting dark so we start heading back to our cabins, we make it halfway before bumping into Mr Davin.

“Hey, Eliza G, Alexander Hamilton! I hear you guys are together now!” says Mr Davin.

God I hate that nickname.

“You hear correctly Dav-man, Lizzy and I are indeed together, in fact we have been since the election in term 1, you know, since we were chosen as class leaders?” says Alex, who then laughs.

…Alex, leave the bad jokes to Davin.

“Oh, very funny mister! I meant romantically, you know, all that ‘I love you so much babe’, ‘I want to spend the rest of my life with you’ stuff?” says Mr Davin.

“Well, we’re not quite at the ‘I want to spend the rest of my life with you’ part yet, but yes Alex and I are dating” I say.

“Good on you two, now remember what Mr King taught you in PE Theory” says Mr Davin.

“Yes, yes, we know” says Alex.

“Use protection, every time” Alex and I say in chorus.

Geez, we’re not having sex yet!

“Alright guys, anyway, it’s about 10 minutes to dinner time, from here it’ll take us about 2 minutes to get to the dining hall, so why don’t we get down there now, and grab some sweet as seats!” suggests Mr Davin.

“Sounds good to me” says Alex.

“Me too!” I say.

We get to the dining hall, and Alex instantly locates the table nearest where the food will be.

“There it is!” screams Alex.

He’s blind in all other situations but suddenly gains full vision when there’s food involved. Alex makes a bee line for the table he identified.

“Dav-man, Lizzy, come, sit” says Alex.

Mr Davin and I go and sit, soon after, Ms Janson arrives with Ellen and David.

“Ellen! David! Ms Janson! We have a few spare seats, come, sit with us” says Alex.

“Thank you, Alex” says Ms Janson “Oh by the way, Alex, we got a message from Mrs Herriot, your parents will be back next week, so after the year is over, you can go home with them”.

“My parents?! YAY!” screams Alex.

Good for him, maybe I should introduce myself to them.

“Oh, but, Lizzy and I agreed that I could go home with her” says Alex, hesitantly.

“Alex, they’re your parents, and you haven’t seen them for the whole year, you can come to my place closer to the start of the new school year, but you should at least spend Christmas and New Years with your family” I say to Alex.

“Yeah, Lizzy, you may be right, I’ll go home, I miss my folks so much. But won’t you be lonely? Since you live alone?” asks Alex, worryingly.

“Don’t worry about me, Alex, it’s been like this since the start of the year, rest assured I’ll be fine” I say, reassuringly, “And besides, I can always call you if I get lonely between the end of the school year and Christmas!”.

Oh yeah, my situation is not that different from Alex’s, my parents are ambassadors for Australia in Spain, as such I spend most of the year on my own, I still have family here just in case I ever need help but for the most part I’m very mature for my age, I can cook, clean, do my own laundry, go shopping, I can even change a lightbulb! The look on Alex’s face when I told him this at the end of term 2 was priceless! Eventually all the other class leaders and year 11 students arrive, Alex goes up to get our food, he comes back with a Spaghetti Bolognese, 2 Macaroni and Chesse, a Gnocchi and Pesto, and two steaks with vegetables.

“Alex, how on Earth did you carry back 6 plates?” asks Ms Janson.

“Skill, determination, the will to succeed?” says Alex.

“You’re forgetting one thing, Alexander Hamilton” says Mr Davin.

“Oh yeah” says Alex.

“DISCIPLINE!” screams Mr Davin and Alex in chorus while slamming their fists into their palms.

We eat dinner, stay for post-dinner trivia, after which Ms Janson, Mr Davin, Ellen, and David go back to their cabins, while Alex and I go to watch the sunset. The retreat ends as quickly as it started, and we all head back to school for the remaining 4 weeks of term.

Chapter 9
We’re Moving?!

It’s the 14th of December, the end of the second last week of the school year, and Alex and I are at the last class leader’s meeting for the year, so far we’ve just be discussing things like what our classes have accomplished over the year, and what our goals are for next year, 7W hasn’t had much to report, aside from Alex being appointed class leader for the Support Unit, and next year we’ll be focusing on increasing performance in sport, having formed a sort of rivalry with the R class over it, there’s an item on the agenda simply called “Special Announcement”, and everybody is sort of on edge about it, come to think of it it’s actually the next item.

“Time for end-of-year reflections has expired, next item would be… Oh, the Special Announcement, Advisor Davin you have the floor” says Ms Janson.

“Thank you, Advisor Jaden, so you’re all probably really on edge about this announcement, well, you can rest easy now, because the announcement is…” says Mr Davin.

Here it comes.

“…You and your classes won’t be remaining in your current residences next year! Thank you, Advisor Jaden!” he says, enthusiastically, leaving the hall.

Oh, thank goodness! Wait, WHAT, WE’RE MOVING?!

“Any questions regarding this announcement?” asks Ms Janson.

“Yes, hey, 7W has a question: Why exactly are we moving?!” I exclaim.

“Oh, right, Advisor Davin didn’t really touch on the how or why, did he? Well, the school is reorganising the residential districts, from now on each district will be dedicated to and have facilities for one year, this district will be dedicated to year 7, and years 8 through 12 will have their own districts, the only thing changing will be the residents, trust me, the time spent packing and unpacking will be worth it!” says Advisor Jaden “That concludes this meeting, I hope you all have a fantastic Caltmas and New Year, and we’ll see you back on the 22nd of January!”.

Alex and I rush back home to announce the news to our class.

“Everybody in the lounge room NOW! This is not a drill! Emergency meeting, I repeat, THIS IS AN EMERGENCY MEETING!” screams Alex.

Everybody runs in the lounge room faster than Alex runs to a newly opened Italian restaurant!

“So, today at the class leaders meeting Mr Davin announced something that should’ve really been circulated at a school assembly! Next year we won’t be in this house anymore!” says Alex.

The whole class is shocked by this revelation, and rightly so, he made it seem as if the school is closing its dorms!

“What Alex meant to say is, next year we’ll be living in a house in the next district” I explain.

This calms down the class significantly, and Alex to some degree.

“Yeah, so, get to packing the stuff you intended on leaving over the break, so that it can stored securely and moved when we move in next year” says Alex.

Well done Alex.

“Meeting adjourned” says Alex.

Everybody disperses back to their rooms and Alex and I go to our room to pack our stuff.

“Right, let’s see, what kind of stuff am I supposed to pack?” asks Alex to himself.

“I’d pack all your class leader and school stuff, that way there’s no chance you could lose it and if the storage people do, you can just blame them” I suggest.

“Good idea Lizzy! Oh, what would I do without you, my love!” says Alex.

It takes the class a few hours to pack everything, but like with the preparations for the retreat, we’re done by dinner. After dinner Alex and I take everybody’s boxes and take them down to the storage place.

“This is all 7W’s stuff” says Alex.

“Alright, storage for this will cost $5 per day, so for 20 boxes for 38 days that will be $3,800” says the storage officer.

“Wait, $3,800? But we’ve been told by our year advisors that if we’re only storing them over the break that the school would cover the cost!” says Alex.

“Oh yeah, but it doesn’t work that way, see you’re supposed to arrange for them to be collected or hand them in on the last day of term, you can’t hand it in earlier” says the storage officer.

“Oh, OK then, thank you” says Alex, taking the boxes.

Thanks for the information, Davin!

“Geez, what on Earth is Davin doing, he didn’t say we could only hand them in on the last day of term! And also why is it that a school’s storage facility is open at any point other than outside a break period anyway, for what reason would you need to store anything during the semester?” rants Alex.

“They also rent out lockers larger than the ones in the residences term-to-term, and students and staff can store their valuables there when they’re away from school for longer periods, we put your stuff there when you were in the hospital, and also when you went to Vanuatu in term 2” I explain.

“How did you pay for it?” he asks.

“Well the hospital one was paid for by the school, and the Vanuatu one was paid for by the class budget” I explain.

“You authorized a transaction on the class budget without my knowledge?” he questions.

“You didn’t correctly inform me of your intention to take a week off school! So I guess we’re even then!” I rebuke.

Sure, he may have technically told me about it verbally, but protocol mandates that a student who plans on taking a week or more off school during term inform a class leader and year advisor, and if they themselves are a class leader, the year leader, IN WRITING! Nowhere does it say that class leaders can exclude their partner from the list of people to notify! We spend the rest of the walk home arguing about the idea of a class leader having to inform their partner of a planned absence. When we arrive home, we are greeted by Cal.

“No room in the inn for our boxes?” asks Cal.

“Not that, because it’s not the last day of the year yet they wanted $3,800 just to store it from today until the first day of school!” I say.

“What a croc” says Cal.

“Yep” says Alex.

On Monday after school Alex and I go to visit the new house, nobody is occupying it at the moment since the year 10s have finished for the year so the year 9s have moved into the year 10 district, and the year 8s have moved into the year 9 district, the only reason year 7 haven’t moved yet is because the year 8 houses are in great disrepair, though year 7 class leaders have been granted security authorisation to visit the houses during the week during recess and lunch, before school after 8am, and after school before 6pm.

“Hey, there are two extra bedrooms here, the hell are we supposed to do with these? We should only need 18 to house everybody!” says Alex.

“Maybe they’re planning on extra people being in 8W next year?” I suggest.

Alex goes down to check out the garage.

“Hey Lizzy, there’s a whole vehicle repair facility down here!” screams Alex.

“That’s great Al” I say.

I really don’t care. Oh hey there’s an office here, and it doesn’t look like the class leaders’ office.

“Hey Al, come check this out!” I yell down to him.

“Be right there!” he yells back.

He takes his sweet time coming back up, he is really into buses and anything bus-related. He enters the office.

“What IS this?” he says with disbelief.

“It’s an office of some kind, but it’s not the class leaders’ office” I say.

“This ain’t no office, this is a freaking study! Hayley is going to FREAK when she sees this!” says Alex.

“She so is!” I say.

“Freak when I see what?” says somebody familiar.

How did Hayley get in here?

“Oh, hey Hayley, Lizzy and I just thought you’d, y’know, lose your mind when you saw this study!” says Alex.

“I wouldn’t exactly say lose my mind but, this wouldn’t be a bad place to do some reading” says Hayley.

“Yeah, by the way Hols, how did you get in here?” asks Alex.

“Well, funny story Alex and Lizzy, Ms Janson has appointed me as the new residence manager for 8W. That grants me the same permission you guys have with regards to the new residence” says Hayley.

“Residence Manager?” I question.

“What’s that?” asks Alex.

“Well, it’s as the name suggests, I manage the residence, set up room assignments, organise for repairs, basically all the residence stuff you guys currently do” explains Hayley.

“Wow! Sweet! Less responsibility for us!” says Alex.

“Actually, you guys now have two new responsibilities; co-ordinating subject selections, and managing the various managers you have below you” says Hayley.

Of course, I knew that, it’s listed under the “Year 8 and above only” subheading on the list of class leader responsibilities in the class leader handbook. Alex looks quite dejected, so I decide to cheer him up with an interesting fact about class leaders.

“Hey Alex, don’t feel so down, mate, look, every year we get more staff but our responsibilities remain largely the same” I say.

In year 9 we get a timetable manager, year 10 we get secretaries, year 11 we get a student assessment reporting officer, and year 12 we get a Board of Studies liaison officer.

“Wow, we sure get a lot of help!” says Alex, whose face instantly beams up.

We walk around the house with Hayley, who draws out a map of the new house, before returning home. On the way back home, Alex strikes up a conversation.

“So, what should we use the extra lounge room for?” asks Alex.

Oh yeah, the new residence actually has TWO lounge rooms, except only one is hooked up to the TV antenna, but we did find a cable outlet.

“Well there is that cable outlet, maybe we could have Foxtel installed?” I suggest.

“No! Video games room! That second lounge room has sound proofing so all the guys, oh, and Elva, can move their game consoles in there and leave the rest of us to study or watch trashy TV!” exclaims Hayley.

“Why don’t we do both of those things? I mean the TV does have 3 AV ports on the back” says Alex.

“Because one of those is being used by the surveillance system monitoring box” I say.

“Yeah, because we TOTALLY need to be able to watch the security camera feeds in the lounge room when the class leaders’ office already has a computer dedicate to that which is also secured with our usernames and passwords!” exclaims Alex.

We spend the next 10 minutes arguing over unplugging the surveillance monitoring box, later we discover that the surveillance monitoring box actually has three AV inputs on it, we head home and phone the chief of security to ask what these inputs are actually intended for, as it turns out the surveillance box is a discreet AV receiver, so the inputs can be used for any kind of AV device.

Chapter 10
Hi, I’m Elizabeth

It’s the morning of the 22nd of December; the day after the last day of the school year. Last night we packed, the class leaders had a little end-of-year party, and 7W stayed up until midnight to reflect on everything that happened over the past 10 months, from Alex’s seizure to Eve’s overnight departure and Hayley’s appointment as residence manager. So far this morning Alex and I have seen our classmates and fellow class leaders off on the buses back to where all of our high school journeys started, well except for Alex, whose high school journey started at his sister’s friend’s mother’s house. I could’ve also gone back to Sutherland, but I choose to stick around and wait for Alex’s parents to arrive. We’re sitting at the front of the administration district.

“Are you nervous?” I ask Alex.

“Nervous? Ha! What a laugh, I’m not nervous! I mean these guys are my parents, I’ve known them since forever! Oh Lizzy!” he says, hysterically.

“Don’t run from your feelings” – Alex taught me that lesson on the day we became boyfriend and girlfriend, and now it’s my turn to remind him of that lesson!

“You hypocrite” I say.

“What?” he says.

“Wasn’t it YOU who said that I shouldn’t run from my feelings? Well why don’t you take a look in the mirror!” I scream.

“But I’m not running from my feelings! I have no feelings to run from!” he screams back.

“Look, I can tell when you’re lying, you ARE nervous about seeing your parents again, aren’t you?” I say.

“Alright, I am, it’s been so long, and I’ve changed so much, what if they hate me, or worse, what if they don’t approve of our relationship?” he questions.

“It’s fine, Alex, your parents know about me. Sorry you had to find out this way but I intercepted some emails from Deniz, at the end of every term he emailed your parents to tell them how you were doing and what you were up to, not only in school, but also in general, they were clearly worried about you, so they took measures to monitor you, if that doesn’t show how much they care about you, I don’t know what will” I say.

He seems reassured, go Doctor Iz!

“Thanks, Lizzy, but can we talk about something other than my parents for now?” he asks.

“Sure, what would like to talk about?” I ask.

“So, I know about the existence of the School Life Project, but what is it exactly?” he asks.

Alex must have been living under a rock, the School Life Project was all over the news in the months leading up to when the first students moved in!

“The School Life Project, or SL Project for short, was a NSW government plan to turn some public schools into boarding schools, plans for it started in June last year, and construction on the first residencies started in November the same year. The idea was to eliminate enrolment areas and allow students in senior years and their parents to pick a school based on its educational programs without having to worry about traveling from home to school every day, it faced some real opposition from smaller high schools with fewer classes and selective high schools” I explain.

“That’s quite interesting, but if the original idea was to allow SENIOR students to be enrolled wherever they wanted, why on Earth are year 7 and 8 students living here?” he asks.

“I said that WAS the idea, but eventually some principal somewhere had the idea that they could extend on the idea to also include students who would otherwise be living on their own. I wouldn’t say that was the case for all the students in our class but that I can’t explain” I say.

“I can” says a familiar voice, “See, Elizabeth, most of the students in your class were actually from around here, and if there are still empty rooms in a class’s residence after all the out-of-area seniors and students living away from family are placed, we offer those rooms to local students, of course, this was the case for your class and also everyone else in your year, you and Alex are the only exceptions”.

“Principal Bay! Thanks!” I say, “By the way, it was a principal’s idea to allow students living away from family to be part of the SL Project, right? So, which principal was it?”.

“It was mine! Pretty neat idea, right?” asks Principal Bay.

“If you asked me that at that start of the year, I’d have said it was a terrible idea because it meant I’d have to spend the whole year with Alex, but now I can say that I think it’s awesome what you did!” I say.

“That’s great, Elizabeth, but you should know, as a teacher I can’t say I approve of your relationship with Alex, but I suppose as long as your parents approve and you’re not breaking any school rules, I can leave it be. Hey, isn’t that your Mum now, Alex?” says Principal Bay.

“I think it might be Principal Bay” says Alex, looking off into the distance at a silver Honda Odyssey with the licence plate HM-1505.

The car Alex was looking at pulls alongside the curb, a woman with blonde hair gets out as does a rather dark looking man with no hair.

“Hey! That’s my Mum and Dad! MUM, DAD, OVER HERE!” screams Alex, standing up and waving his arms.

Alex runs over to his parents and gives them a huge hug, I also stand up but don’t run towards them, I mean, I’m not their daughter!

“Mum, Dad, I, I’ve missed you so much!” he cries.

They hug for a few minutes before Alex wipes his tears away.

“Come! Let me introduce you to my girlfriend!” he says, enthusiastically.

Moment of truth!

“Mum, Dad, this is my fellow class leader and girlfriend, Lizzy, please, introduce yourself!” he says.

“Hi, I’m Elizabeth, Elizabeth Gotthold” I say, shyly.

Please oh please let them be approving!

“A pleasure to meet you, Elizabeth, thanks for taking care of our little boy” says Alex’s Mum.

“We know he can be a bit of a pain at times” says Alex’s Dad.

“Andrew!” says Alex’s Mum, angrily.

“Thanks for a good year, Lizzy, I’ll see you after New Year’s, call me if you ever want company” says Alex.

“Do you live on your own, Elizabeth?” asks Alex’s Mum.

“Yes, my parents are ambassadors for Australia in Spain, I’m alone from the night of the 2nd of January to the morning of the 23rd of December every year” I say, “I’m VERY independent for my age though!”

“It’s true! She can even change a lightbulb on her own!” exclaims Alex.

Alex’s Mum whispers something in his ear.

“Hey, Lizzy, how’d you like to spend the night with us?” asks Alex.

Spend the night, hey? It’s the first time a guy I liked ever asked me to his house. Well, it’d give Alex’s parents and I a chance to bond and form a stable relationship!

“Sure, I’d love to, Al” I say.

Alex’s Dad loads Alex’s and my own bags into the VERY spacious boot and we head off to Alex’s place. When we arrive, Alex introduces me to his pet dog, Robbie, pet chicken, Chooken, and his two sisters, Amelia and Anna. Amelia seems to be happy for Alex and I but Anna gives me a few cold stares.

“Alex, I get the feeling that Anna doesn’t really like me” I say as we unpack.

“She doesn’t, remember that phone call I made to my family after we settled in? Yeah, I told her all about our previous experiences with each other” says Alex.

“Well, all I can say is, I hope Anna and I can move past it and become good friends” I say.

After dinner Alex goes to take a shower and I have some alone time with Anna while washing up dishes.

“Anna, look, I’m sorry for everything I did and said to your brother, I know what I did is unforgivable but I really hope we can get past this for Alex’s sake” I say.

“Elizabeth, Alex may have gotten over all that but that’s because he’s as soft as the Spaghetti we had tonight, now I am a little bit empathetic to you because he threatened you and that wasn’t right, but know this: I will never ever grant you forgiveness” says Anna, sternly.

Well, it’s pretty clear where Anna stands on this subject.

“That said though, I am more or less happy that Alex found someone like you, but I just have to protect him from his feelings getting hurt, if you were an elder sister, you’d understand, trust me” says Anna.

Anna thanks me for the help and we go our separate ways, later, I’m talking with Amelia.

“So Lizzy, how did you and Alex come to be?” asks Amelia.

Barely met and already she’s calling me my nickname.

“Kind of a complicated story, Amelia, basically what happened is Alex had a seizure, I skipped school to visit him in hospital once, a few months later he jokingly flirted with another girl, I felt jealous, he picked up on it, and I told him I loved him” I explain.

“Aw, that is the cutest underage love story I’ve ever heard!” says Amelia.

How many underage love stories HAVE you heard exactly?! Somehow, I don’t think it’s greater than one with mine included! Later on, I’m sitting down with Alex and his family watching TV.

“Now Alex you a choice to make, if you like you can return to live with your class again, or you can stay at home with myself, Dad, Amelia, and Anna” says Alex’s Mum.

“Stay home? Mum, to me, school IS home! No disrespect but I felt more at home at school than anywhere else, even here!” exclaims Alex.

“That’s good to hear, Alex, so back to school it is!” says Alex’s Mum.

“We won’t have to go through that security clearance thing again, will we?” asks Anna.

“No, says on this email that they’re valid until 2012” says Alex’s Dad.

Security clearance?

“Hey, Mr and Mrs Moore, what’s the deal with this security clearance?” I ask.

“Oh, Elizabeth, prior to the start of school Amelia and I had to get a security clearance to allow us to visit Alex at the school in case there was a family emergency. Mum and Dad didn’t have to because they weren’t in the country anyway and even if they were, Dad wouldn’t have to get anything done because he works in a maximum-security prison” explains Anna.

Interesting.

At about 9.30pm Alex and I go to bed, Alex’s bed is quite big, we both fit in quite snugly. Yeah, we’re sharing a bed, we’ve practically done it ever since we became boyfriend and girlfriend! I lay next to Alex as we have done at school.

“Sleep tight now, Al” I say.

“Will do, Lizzy” he says.

And after that, we both fall asleep, we’re a very synchronized couple, aren’t we? Well anyway, it’s been a pretty hectic year, I get elected as class leader, fall in love with a guy I used to hate, skip school to visit him in hospital, learn to cook with him, and adore nature with him. The next morning, I return to my own home, then the 2nd of January comes, my parents leave, and Alex moves in. I wonder what adventures await us in 2008.

 

THE END

 


School Life

  • ISBN: 9781370458776
  • Author: Zac Moore
  • Published: 2017-07-16 14:00:17
  • Words: 18818
School Life School Life