It’s getting late… the sky glows cerise and salmon pink, warm splashes of wispy grey clouds tear the sky as the sun begins to set.
The trees around me drop their leaves, they tumbling down in a cascade of golden and brown like snowfall on a winter’s day.
I sit here for hours, in front of the lake; it’s cool and smooth surface relaxes me… and I like nothing better than to spend my time here, drawing, fishing and when it’s warm I’ll swim.
I suppose you might call me an angry person, really – I wouldn’t be offended if you did. I have issues, who doesn’t? Is it any wonder I don’t like people when the one person I’m suppose to trust hates me, and my mother couldn’t even bothered to stay?
I skim a large flat pebble across the water in front of me and I watch as it plops into the water pathetically.
“You know this is private property…” a voice startles me, and I stand up quickly, wiping my hands on the back of my trousers..
She appears from behind a tree, starring at me seriously. It’s Maya.
I roll my eyes, “Whatever, I’m going home now anyway…”
Maya shrugs and approaches the pebble ridden shoreline; she bends down and plucks a pebble from the ground – then she skims it across the water. It skips the surface, once, twice, three times and finally a fourth before it disappears into the depths, then she turns and smiles at me.
I roll my eyes and begin walking away.
“I tried to swap partners…” she calls as I’m about to disappear into the trees, I turn slightly, I can see her in my peripheral vision. “Ms. Lane said I can’t…” Maya kicks the floor, “So you’re stuck with me…”
I shrug and carry on walking away.
“I’m not doing so well at school…” she calls.
Sighing, I turn to face her, “I’m not,” she says, looking at her feet, “and I need this assignment… otherwise my grade will slip drastically… I’m barely getting a D at the moment…”
I don’t see why I should care, she’s Maya Hart… her dad is practically famous around here, plus they’re loaded… he’ll pay for her to get into university even if she does fail.
“You like the outdoors?” she asks.
“I do…” she smiles, “I love horse riding… have you ever ridden a horse…?”
I haven’t, and I’ve always wanted to… we’ve never had the money to be able to afford anything like that… I shake my head.
“It’s wonderful,” she smiles. “Listen, I’m sorry about this morning… I was stressing about the assignment. I felt bad that you didn’t come in today… I hope it wasn’t because of me…”
Maya shrugs, “Ok…”
“Listen, I’ll do this assignment… but don’t expect much effort on my part…”
I nod, kicking the floor.
Maya dashes up to me and hugs me, which is extremely disconcerting.
I sort of stand there as rigid as possible and wait for it to be over; her hair smells like vanilla and her body is small and warm, pressed up against my chest.
“Maya!” a voice calls out from the trees and Maya steps away from me, I turn to see a tall, muscular figure walking down the bank towards us… as he gets closer I see it’s Fintan Quade… school jock and total douche bag, the bane of my school life and one of many factors as to why I avoid the place at all costs.
“Hey Fin,” Maya smiles at him, her cheeks are flushed.
“What are you doing here?” Fin gestures at me and reading in between the lines I realise that what he really means is ‘What are you doing here with him?’
“Speaking to Yves about our assignment…” Maya says, “He’s going to help me after all…” she beams at me, the setting sun is shining behind her, giving her a sort of ethereal glow and turning her dark brown hair warm auburn colour… I’m suddenly struck by how pretty she is.
“Is that so?” Fin places his arms protectively around her shoulders and smirks at me.
I shrug and begin walking away.
“See you tomorrow, Yves,” Maya calls to my departing back, and I give her an awkward wave as I depart into the trees.
I feel another flick as chewed up paper is spat at the back of my head.
Yes, this really hacks me off but I ignore it.
Fintan Quade, he’s funny, good looking, and has all the maturity of a squashed sprout.
The Quade and Hart Families have resided in Maybury for years… there used to be some sort of a feud between the two of them, but now they’re practically best buddies – as far as I’m aware Dr. Hart and Professor Quade are frequent golfing buddies… Maya and Fintan spend a lot of time together.
I’m thankful for the bell at 3:30, and I’m one of the first to slide out from under my desk and gather my things, finally it’s home time… I forgot how monotonous school can be.
“Nice dandruff, Evie,” Fintan mocks, slamming me on the back roughly so I fall forward, he laughs deeply and loudly… it’s really more of a guffaw, two of his jock friends join in, reprobates.
They push past me, knocking me into the desk painfully but I ignore them. I got through an entire day. That’s really something.
I feel the back of my head and cringe as my finger tips touch the cold slimy paper which resides there. I swipe at it and feel it fall to the floor.
“Yves, a word please,” Ms. Lane calls to me from her desk and I sigh audibly.
I slump against the classroom door as I wait for one of my classmates to finish talking to the teacher, I couldn’t care less what she has to say to me, I just want to go home.
“Yves, come here.” There’s a vacant seat next to her desk and Ms. Lane gestures at it.
I don’t say a word but peel myself off the wall and slouch in the plastic chair before her.
“I don’t know what goes on in your personal life,” she begins, “but I do know that your school work is suffering.”
I scoff, really, we’re having this talk?
Ms. Lane sighs, “You’re one of the smartest students I’ve ever had the pleasure to teach…”
I raise my eye brows. “One of?”
Ms. Lane stares at me pointedly, “and most arrogant…”
I laugh derisively.
“You manage to do well at your subjects despite only attending school twice a month on average… I just really wish you would apply yourself… your attendance is letting you down, unless you show up for your lessons more I’m afraid that you’ll fail…”
I stare at the floor.
“I know things are difficult for you… at home… I want to help you, Yves…”
I stare at her. “You can’t help me…” I say, “You know nothing about me… I’m not failing at the moment, so leave me alone…”
I get up and leave her sat there. I don’t care that she’s calling me back, that she hasn’t finished. Who is she to offer me help? I don’t need her help, I don’t need anyone.