Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Snippets, Middleking Prep

Welcome to the world of the privileged. The teens at Middleking Prep have never known anything other than relaxing in the wealth of their rich and possibly famous parents. The story is told by Molly, the 'new girl' and Alex, one of the veterans of playing 'rich boy' at Middleking. Their paths cross, and each of them is touched in a different way, and at the end, neither of them will be the same... 

You can find the Middleking Prep Pinterest board here


It’s getting hard for me to laugh along with Jess. We are practically twins, but when it comes to looming goodbyes, we have a completely different way of dealing with it. I prefer to spend time talking with the person who’s about to leave, digging myself into a hole or misery, while Jess jokes around, sometimes at others expense. 
Jess rescues the cheeked, pleated skirt from my hand where I’m unconsciously crushing it. 
‘Chill. I’m just kidding around.’ 
‘I know. I can’t believe I have to leave.’ I feel my throat close up, and squeeze my eyes shut for a second. 
Jess picks up a jersey with the Middleking logo on it, and lovingly strokes it. 
‘But on a serious note, you are so lucky…’ Jess’s voice trails off wistfully. 
From the minute Jess and I meet in the library in year 1, we have been best friends. We are both essentially driven by the same thing: leaning. We both want to go to Harvard, and here I am off to one of the best schools in the country because my father can afford it. Jess is stuck in public school without a hope of getting into Middleking. Her parents are too poor, and Middleking doesn’t offer scholarships. 
I wrap my arms around her in a surprise hug. 
‘I’m going to miss you.’ 
Jess stiffens slightly, and then there’s a sniff. She’s crying. I haven’t seen Jess cry since year 6 when Benny Cole broke her heart and she swore she would never cry over anything again. I mentally note the date down. 
‘I’m pathetic.’ Jess untangles herself from my arms and tucks her chestnut hair behind her ear. I pass her a tissue, and let her pack my uniform for me.

‘Alex.’ Britt trills my name, Dad snaps. Dad never orders me around in front of the camera’s. He’s to scared that a reporter will hear. I know what will happen if I don’t hurry up, so I take bigger steps. 
Britt gets in the front seat and I’m left in the back by myself. Dad’s driving tonight.  
‘Back to school tomorrow then?’ Britt twists around to face me. 
‘Yes.’ I force myself to be civil. 
She lays a hand on Dads. ‘Your so lucky to have Alex. He’s so talented and dedicated.’ For a second I think I actually here a wistful tone in her voice, but then its gone, as she does one of her awful giggles. Dad joins in, with a quick, very false chuckle. 
The rest of the car journey is spent in silence. 
I go strait to bed when we get home. In the dim, I can see the outline of my bags that are already packed. 
‘Alex?’ Britt is at my door. I shut my eyes quickly, glad I’m going back to school tomorrow. She inside my room, I can hear her coming closer. I resist the temptation to open my eyes. 
She pushes my hair off my forehead. 
‘Goodnight.’ Her tone is soft. She’s knows I’m really awake. I squeeze my eyes together. I cannot wait to be back at school.  

The library is well lit, and the most beautiful place on campus, as far as I am concerned. It’s on two stories, and absolutely filled with books. It is tastefully decorated like the rest of the school, with small spaces holding chairs and sometimes tables. At one end there is 5-person tables where you can study. 
I look around for a while, but when I can’t find the books I want, I head back toward the front desk. Two girls are leaning on the counter, chatting. When they see me, the red haired one slips behind the desk, and sits down on the office chair. 
‘How can I help you?’ She smiles up at me. I’m pretty sure she’s in my math and science class. 
‘I’m looking for the books on Tudor England.’ I lean on the desk, and smile.
’Confidence is always the key when approaching new people.’ That was what mum used to say. 
‘Your the new girl in Math, right?’ 
Her friend trials behind us as she leads me through the library. 
‘Yes. I’m Molly.’ I keep pace with her. Inside I my stomach is tumbling, but I hold my facade together. 
‘I’m Ally.’ She tucks some of her red hair behind her ear. ‘You can sit with me in Math if you like. Jade and I always like making new friends, isn’t that right?’ She asks over her shoulder. Jade shrugs. 
‘Sure. She seems ok.’ Being referred to as she hurts, but I smile at Jade anyway.
‘Thanks. That would be cool.’ 
‘Here you are, just bring it up when you have picked what you would like to get out.’ Ally gives me a friendly wave, and Jade avoids my eye. 
More friend groups. Wonderful. 

‘May I?’ I slid her book away, also writing the time down. Apart from the brief nod when I asked for her book, Molly hasn’t looked at me. I take the chance to flick through her book. It’s full of quick scribblings, the letters large and loopy. Her pen is lying on the table, so I slid the book back, and pick it up, The fluff is softer than I expected, and my finger rests in the waving tendrils. 
‘What are you doing?’ Molly’s hand is wrapped around mine as she removes my fingers from her pen. 
‘I was just-’ 
The pen is forcefully removed from my hand. My first response is to clench, but then I relax and let her take it. The pen is slipped into her jacket pocket, the ridiculous fluff - soft fluff- pokes out. She keeps patting the pocket to make sure its there. I shake my head. 
‘It’s just a pen.’ 
‘Just a pen.’ Molly spins around and stares at me. Her hands slam on the desk in front of me, and her face is suddenly at my level, and close enough for me to smell the minty tint to her breath. 
‘My pen is the last thing my mother ever gave me, ok.’ She slams her book shut, and marches up to the front of the classroom. 
‘Can I got to the bathroom?’ I hear her ask. 
‘Sure.’ Mr smiles at Molly, and the returned smile looks strained. 
‘Nice.’ Ally glares at me. I shrink in my seat. Sitting next to Soph now looks pretty tame to sitting with Molly and Ally.