As Joanna blearily opened her eyes, the first thing she realised was that she was very stiff. She concluded it was probably from falling asleep whilst seating on the window seat. The second realisation was that it was still dark. And the third and final was that Lucy was standing in front of her, wearing pink polka dot pyjamas, looking like she about to burst into tears. She swung her legs off the seat and leaned down to the little girl. “What’s the matter Luce?” She murmured, conscious that Maria would not be best pleased if woken up.
“Nightmare,” Lucy replied, her bottom lip beginning to tremble.
“Come and sit here,” Joanna said, patting the space next to her on the window seat. The little girl clambered up next to her, and immediately huddled next to her. “What was the nightmare about?” Joanna asked as she put an arm around Lucy.
“Monsters,” Lucy whispered. “They were going to get me.”
Joanna nodded. “Were they in your room?” Lucy nodded. “Well,” Joanna began. “Shall I go to your room and check there’s no monsters anywhere?” Lucy nodded again.
“Okay” Joanna murmured, standing up. As she walked towards the door she suddenly felt a small hand grasp hers.
As you may have guessed, there were no monsters in Lucy’s rooms. Not under the bed, in the wardrobe, or, as she called it, the closet. Not hiding in the pile of teddies, not behind the curtains. I sat with her, stroking her hair, till she finally fell asleep. I crept back to Maria’s room and fell asleep. It felt like only five minutes before she woke me up.
“Oh come on Anna,” Maria protested. “You said yourself that it’s skanky to wear that again.”
“Look, I don’t care. Just wear the clothes.” Maria made a puppy dogface. “Please.”
“Fine,” Joanna sighed, as Maria grinned. “What do you want me to wear?” She caught the items that Maria threw at her, and gasped.” I can’t wear your miniskirt. It’s your pride and joy!” She protested, holding up the tartan skirt.
Maria shrugged. “Just wear it Anna. For me. Please?”
“Okay…but it’s really cold.”
”So wear tights.”
Joanna looked suspiciously at Maria. “What’s this about?”
“It’s about you not wanting to wear manky clothes, and me making you look more beautiful than you already are.”
Joanna raised and eyebrow, as Maria pushed her to the bathroom. “Hey, think of Nike,” Maria grinned. “Just do it.”
The full list of clothes Maria was lending me? Tartan miniskirt, holed black tights, a black vest top with a white skull and cross bones on it, and a leather jacket. I wore my own black baseball boots and by some stroke of luck, I’d left a clean set of underwear at Maria’s from the last sleepover. Maybe I was subconsciously trying to move into her house. But then again, if I was, could you blame me?
It was like a teen movie when they walked through the school gates. The two girls, hair swinging, hips swaying and the boys turning to watch them open mouthed. Joanna, the usually conservative dresser, the cheerleader, the girl most likely to wear jeans and a T-shirt all year round, was all out punk. From the black top emblazoned with a skull, to the tartan mini that was accented with safety pins. Her wrists were encircled with leather bands and coloured string with shells on. Maria, on the other hand, the usually eccentric dresser, the school’s resident punk, the girl most likely to wear safety pins to prom, was fully, well, the only way to describe it was Barbie doll. From the white cap sleeve t-shirt to the baby pink mini. Her dark hair with the turquoise streaks was clipped to one side with a pale pink clip.
“Why aren’t you cold?” Joanna hissed at her friend, as they headed for the main door. “And why did I let you talk me in to this?”
Maria smiled serenely. “I’m not cold because I am superhuman, and you let me talk you into this because you wanted to be talked into it. Because, Miss Wilkinson, you are punk at heart.” And with that last comment Maria chassed over to a blonde boy and immediately began to kiss him. Joanna shook her head with a small sigh.
I guess in a way Maria was superhuman. She just moved from one boy to the next like it was no big deal. And because she acted that way, none of them, well, most of them, didn’t care. And she was half true about the punk at heart. I thought what they wore was cool, but my parents would have a fit, and, you know, I didn’t have the money to buy a whole new wardrobe.
A wolf whistle echoed down the almost empty corridor. Only almost because Joanna was at her locker, and now, apparently, there was someone else. She whirled round to see Will grinning at her. She smiled. “Hey.”
“Hey,” he replied. “What happened to you?” he asked as he walked across the corridor.
“I slept over at Maria’s,” she shrugged.
“Ah, now that does explain it,” he laughed. “You do know you should be in class.”
“Ditto,” she told him.
“Yes, but I have a hall pass,” he said, as he leant against the lockers, facing her.
He sighed, “Fine. Joanna, why are you in possession of a hall pass?” He ran a hand through his brown hair, as he finished his sentence.
He frowned. “You’ve got to see the principal? How come?”
“English teacher’s obviously complained about me one too many times.” She shrugged, slamming the door on her locker.
“So why are you here and not there?”
“I guess I left class a lil’ too early for out meeting,” she stuck her tongue out at him.
Will laughed. “Fair enough. Catch you at lunch.” And he walked away.
“Hopefully, Will.” She murmured as she headed for the principal’s office. “I really hope so.”