Returned - Episode 1

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Elizabeth Shaw


“Here we are.”

I pretended not to understand what mum was saying to me as she said that. My nose was deeply buried in the MP3 in my hands.

“Come on, honey. I know you can hear me, don’t forget I’ll be going to work as well.”

I looked up and my heart sank when I recognized the building, especially at the name that was beautifully displayed at the gate, “Barden  College.” All these days, I dreaded coming back to this place. I knew I was coming back but I had hoped that times would be much slower.

I looked at my mum who was looking at me pitifully . “Why did you have to bring me back here, mum? There are other schools  here that would have been great.”

“But honey, you have a record here. Your friends are here, I thought things would be great…I…”

“Forget it,” I snapped and climbed out of the car. I slammed the door without waiting to hear any more excuses from her. She’s ruined my life by bringing me back to my nightmare.

When my parents were together, we lived in Branden Town in Johannesburg and Barden  High was the best High school in all of the province. But two years ago, they had a huge fight and Dad got transferred to Uganda

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. He left at the same time something terrible happened to me so I decided to leave with him. Of course, mum was really disappointed and furious. We never really got along, I thought she was really selfish, I wasn’t surprised when dad asked for a divorce.

However, several weeks ago, he remarried but Elizabeth and I never got along. For the sake of peace, he asked me to come back to South Africa I would never forgive him for doing that. Let’s just say, it was better for me not be back here at all.

Mum thought all my life was here, she spoke about my record and my friends. Little did she know they were the very things that made me leave in the first place?  Perhaps, things would have changed, I thought to myself, hopefully. Everyone might have forgotten….

As I walked down the corridor, I felt like nothing had changed. Last night, I kept reassuring myself that things would go perfectly well, what could go wrong?

Right now, I knew I was wrong, especially knowing that now, I would have to face my best friend, or well, my former best friend, Emily  and Vance , the guy I had stupidly fallen for, the one that led to my misery.

I swallowed as I pushed open the door and stepped into the principal’s office. It was a quick one. Mr. Levis welcomed me back, even though he never really knew why I had left in the first place.

“I believe you know where to go?” Mr. Levis asked as I picked up my bag. He scribbled something down and handed to me.

“I think so,” I replied while looking at the paper. On it was written the direction to the next class. “Thank you very much, sir.”

“Your friends will be happy to see you again,” the man added with a warm smile.

I smiled back, even though I really doubted it.

Minutes later, I was opening the door into the Chemistry class. Fortunately for me, my heart wasn’t beating really fast as I had earlier imagined. For no reason, I was exceptionally calm. What could be worse than the disgrace I had two years ago?

Mrs. Clarke was talking to the students who all looked towards my direction as I opened the door. There was an almost inaudible gasp from several people.

“Oh my goodness!” the woman shrieked. Mrs. Clarke was one of my favorite teachers then. “If it isn’t Miss Shaw,” the woman said, smiling pleasantly. “It’s so good to see you again, why don’t you take a seat, dear?”

I smiled confidently and tried not to look at anyone in the class. The whispering started just as I expected. Luckily, I found a seat two rows to my left. While I settled in, Mrs. Clarke continued.

As I sat, I could feel every eye on me. I sighed; they would really need to get a life. They must have had such a boring life when I left and now that I was back, things would get very interesting for them. I wasn’t going to pay any attention to them. 

I wish I could scream at all their faces but, the confidence wasn’t that strong. I would need to work on that, I thought, especially, knowing at one point I would have to face the people I hated so much. They would want to mock me as I never gave the chance two years ago; I left all of a sudden. I couldn’t just bear the thought of everyone knowing what had happened. I couldn’t face it. But now that I was here, come what may.

“Miss Shaw , are you with us?”

The mention of my name snapped me out of my reverie. I glanced over at my shoulder to meet Mrs. Clark’s  puzzled gaze. She’s standing beside me with her hands folded across her chest. Impatiently, tapping her heel on the floor, she scowled at me through her round-shaped glasses. “Are you alright, dear?” she asked in a calm voice.

“Yes, Mrs. Clarke,” I replied with a smile.

Satisfied with my response, she strode back to her desk before resuming her lecture on the nuclear energy. I waited for her to face the board before directing my gaze to the window by my right, overseeing the great view of the school’s large campus.

At Rosemount Academy, my former school in Uganda, the campus wasn’t very huge to begin with. Since it was a private school, it had a small size.

A smile came over my face as my mind drifted to Lucy. She was my best friend in Rosemount; we had such great moments together. When I told her I was leaving , she was devastated. She was also the one whose pep talk had helped in overcoming several of my obstacles. I missed her so much and I hoped she would visit really soon.

From my peripheral vision, I could see Emily  glaring at me. I was surprised as I knew she was in the class but I never expected I would be sitting right next to her. If I could trade seats with Matt that was sitting right in front of her, I would gladly do that. Matt was very kind to me while I was here,  Emily  and the girls thought he had a crush on me.
Even though there was a time we did everything together, right now, all I felt for her was pure resentment. I wouldn’t allow her torment me with her glare throughout the period. All I cared about was to finish this first day in peace.

I saw Rose sitting right behind her. She was also part of our clique. We shared everything together but Emily  and I were the closest, we were inseparable, that of course was before Vance  messed everything all up.

She wasn’t looking at me, I could tell she was trying hard not to. I’m certain she resented me as well. She did try to reach out to me while I was away but I wanted nothing to do with her. I was certain she knew about everything that happened and who else would she support if not Emily ? Then, I wasn’t interested in talking to anyone of them, I just wanted to be left alone. Right now, I felt guilty for not replying her numerous messages or telling her I was leaving, I should have done better.

“Still busy in your head again, Miss Shaw?”

On the teacher’s second remark,  everyone completely turned towards me, including Matt and Rose.

Now, I just became the center of attraction. Awesome!

“No, Mrs. Clarke, just thinking of how strong and powerful the nuclear energy is.”

Mrs. Clarke faked a smile, I could tell it wasn’t genuine at all. It was obvious she knew I was lying. Today was already becoming a nightmare. I sighed and tried to concentrate. I really couldn’t wait for the day to be over.

The shrill sound of the bell interrupted Mrs. Clarke. “Oh, well, that’s enough for today class, enjoy your weekend.”

Everyone gathered their belongings and rushed out of the class. I gathered my books into my brown leather bag and was about to stand when two hands came over my shoulders.

“Not so fast, young lady.”

When I saw James, I laughed and hugged him. It was good to see a friendly face and one of the best looking faces I’ve met.

“How have you been?” he asked. “I’m sorry I couldn’t reach out to you with the whole issue with Vance …”

I sighed. Great, I haven’t even spent a complete day and I could already hear his stupid name.

“I hope you don’t think I had anything to do with it?”

“Of course not,” I replied with a chuckle. Although James also had his own awful side, being Vance ’ best friend, he and I were good friends.

“Whatever happened between your friend and I have absolutely nothing to do with you.”

“Good. You should try and mingle, you are still very pretty you know?”

I smiled.

He chuckled and checked his wristwatch. “Shoot! I have a game soon. Vance  would kill me.

Read " Broken-Broken " by the same author ( Tobi Loba )

. See you later Hanny,” he winked. He was the only one that called me that Hanny. I used to tell him how I hated it but now, it just made me laugh.

He scurried out of the class and I did as well. But even as I tried to think that things might  be better, I still could feel some sort of anxiety, deep down, knowing I could walk into Vance  any minute from now.

** **

So this episode reminds me of my very first crush in Jss 3(Tobi is a bad child). Think I was thirteen  years then.  I remember how we used to smile stupidly at each other and we never even spoke to each other o. So oneday, he sent his brother to speak to me, but I thought the bro was trying to ask me out, so I embarrassed the bro. Later I saw the brother, walking out of the class with my crush, laughing at him. Damn, I was so embarrassed. I felt sorry for him. I think the crush he had for me vanished that day. Hahah. 

Tell me, how old were you when you had your first crush,


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