Reckless Magic (Page 4)

“Oh, do you know him?” Her question caught me off guard because clearly I was new to this school.

“No, not at all. I don’t know anyone here. I ran into him in the Administration Building.”

“That’s so strange. He’s new today, too.” The worry lines reappeared on her forehead.

“Why is that strange?” I remembered that Talbott was worried about Kiran being late on his first day. But if he was new too, then why would he offer to take me to the Nurse’s Office?

“Well, Kingsley doesn’t usually allow anyone to start classes late, let alone three students in one day. I can understand Kiran Kendrick, but why did they let you in?” Her question could be taken offensively, but the way she asked it seemed only curious. Her voice was so pure; and her eyes so innocent, that I could hardly believe this girl could ever have a hurtful thought about anyone.

“I’m not sure, actually. I’m not what you would call the ideal student,” I confessed with a cynical smile, but offered no explanation to my statement. I wanted at least one friend in this place; admitting that I was practically a ticking time bomb seemed like the wrong way to make one. “You said three students, who is the other one?” “Talbott Angelo. He was sitting on the other side of you.” Lilly started blushing as soon as she said the word “Talbott.” Her cheeks turned a crimson red against the pallid tone of the rest of her skin, yet somehow it enhanced her beauty instead of diminishing it.

I gave her a slightly knowing smile. I had barely noticed Talbott, other than his size and stature, yet, Kiran’s blazing blue eyes flooded my memory. I couldn’t help but blush too, as I thought about his perfect features and the way he seemed amused at my discomfort. I should have been offended, or at least irritated, but I couldn’t blame him.

Instead of being offended, I was more embarrassed at my body’s reaction to any close approximation to him. First, I stared unabashedly; then I acted clumsy and erratic. Next I had physical reactions that no one could explain and eventually I fainted. Clearly I needed a class on how to behave in the presence of the opposite sex, which I was sure they offered here at the prim and proper prep school I now attended.

The bell rang in the hallway, and we started to gather our things. I noticed that Lilly was wearing the best of every designer imaginable, which was hard to do considering we all wore the same, plain uniform. But her book bag was designer, her shoes were designer, and what little jewelry she was wearing screamed expensive. I looked down at the backpack I had carried since junior high and laughed at its…. um…. wear and tear.

I stopped to glance at myself in the mirror. My black eyeliner was smudged in the corner of my eyes, but I didn’t bother to fix it. I probably had laid it on a little too thick to begin with; I had been in a hurry this morning. The black from the eyeliner matched the color of my dark eyes, making the white of the pupil appear almost neon. I grabbed my pink lip-gloss out of my pocket and applied it quickly, unsure of the reason behind it.

“What is your next class?” Only Lilly's clothes screamed snob. Her demeanor and voice were so sweet that I doubted she belonged at a place like this.

“Um, Drama with Mrs. Woodsen,” I replied, looking at the class list Mrs. Truance handed me earlier.

“Oh, good, I have that too. Hopefully we’ll have most classes together,” Lilly smiled again and I could tell that she was truly happy we had the same class. I already felt relaxed now that I had a friend or at the very least someone who didn’t utterly hate me; the rest of the day didn’t seem so impossible.

We left the restroom and entered the throng of students hurrying to their next classes. We joined them, and Lilly took me through a winding hallway to a set of beautiful marble stairs, leading both up and down. The English and Arts Building of Kingsley was another red brick building, but much larger than the Administration Building.

Located on the first floor were the theater and dressing rooms; there was also a lavish foyer and an elegant, marble staircase that led up to the second and third floors. All other grade levels of English, honors or non-honors, were located on the second floor. The third floor was dedicated entirely to the Drama department.

Although this floor had many small rooms assigned to storage and props, the majority of the floor was taken up by a large, unusual drama studio. There were no desks or white-boards in the room. The room glowed with paint in effervescent colors: oranges, and reds, greens and blues; beautiful silk floor pillows were scattered around the room. Oriental room dividers stood in one corner, suggesting a dressing room, while various props and costumes cluttered together in another corner.

An exotic but frazzled looking woman stood in the front of the room, holding her hands wide, welcoming us into her classroom. The woman, whom I assumed to be Mrs. Woodsen, the Drama teacher, had frizzy, unkempt dark black hair and leather-like skin that suggested years and years in the sun, as she seemed to be in her late fifties.

She was wearing a deep purple kimono, with vibrant red dragons embroidering its floor length silk. Around her wrists were dozens of golden bangle bracelets that jingled with every small movement she made.

This teacher, who seemed more than human, transfixed me as I took a seat on the floor like everyone else. I had noticed that although the room would suggest chaos and confusion, all of the students entered the room silently and took their respective places on the floor. I sat close to Lilly, not sure whether to be terrified of what was to come next, or excited.

“Hello, my darlings,” Mrs. Woodsen's voice purred her hello. As I looked at her thick eyeliner and dark red lipstick, she reminded me of a cat, or an Egyptian, or maybe an Egyptian cat.

“I understand we have new actors to join this vivacious cast today,” she slowly moved her eyes to mine and held my attention for a few seconds before searching out Kiran and Talbott. I was horrified when I realized they were in this class as well, but as I looked around, I noticed that I recognized most of the students from English were here. “So before we begin our work with the one-acts, I would like for each of these newcomers to introduce themselves and enlighten us on their unique personas.”

I was mortified; surely she didn’t expect me to speak in front of this entire class of people. Not to mention the fact that almost all of this entire class of people witnessed the only unique thing about me already this morning. Thankfully, Talbott stood up first. I tried my best to shrink into a ball of nothing.

“Well, I am Talbott Angelo,” he said in a strong, authoritative voice, his accent thick, making his words run together. “I am new to this place and this school. I come from London with Kiran. I hope to enjoy America very much,” he gave a goofy smile and laughed a little, along with the rest of the class. He waited for Kiran to stand before he took his seat back on the floor. His huge frame seemed too big among the other, smaller-framed girls that had surrounded him.

“Welcome Talbott, we are so thankful you have been sent to us,” Mrs. Woodsen purred to him. She turned her full attention on Kiran, gazing at him until I was almost embarrassed for her. He was not able to look fully at her face and I noticed a light shade of red creep up the back of his neck.

“My dear Kiran, you don’t have to say anything unless of course you want to,” Mrs. Woodsen’s eyes became glassy with obvious adoration. Yuck.

“No, it’s all right,” he forced his eyes up and gave her a benevolent smile.

Kiran cleared his throat. His perfect posture and amazing good looks already set him apart from everybody else; but now with him standing and everyone else on the floor it almost seemed as if we were bowing down to him. Thinking that Mrs. Woodsen practically was, I smiled, and then realized Kiran was looking directly at me.

“Hmmm…” he continued to stare at me, while seemingly thinking about what he was going to say. “I am Kiran Kendrick. I am also from London,” Unlike Talbott, Kiran’s accent was light and crisp, making him sound like the perfect English gentleman. “We arrived yesterday. And let’s see…. something unique only to me ….” he was obviously dragging this out on purpose because a mischievous grin began to appear in the corners of his mouth. I found myself impatient with him, despite all of his looks and glory. Then he looked directly at me again, “Well, recently I caught a fainting, young girl, and saved her from imminent danger,” he finished dramatically.

As his eyes locked with mine so intensely, and since apparently everyone in this class had already been a witness to my episode, all thirty voices burst out in laughter at once. The sound was shrill and mocking and I was once again humiliated.

“Quiet down my darlings. I apparently am not privy to the joke, so let us calm ourselves and our inner auras so that we may hear from our last new soul,” her calming voice met with immediate success and all voices became silent. Kiran took his seat, but not without giving another roguish wink in my direction. I now found myself extremely irritated with him.

I struggled to my feet, not nearly as effortlessly as the two boys before me did. I looked around at my seated peers; my mind was blank and my face bright red. The faces staring back were exceptionally beautiful; their eyes unnaturally bright, and their hair unnaturally shiny. They were also exceptionally hostile and judgmental. It was nice to know I had once again been able to isolate and alienate myself just as quickly at this school as at any other.

“Um,” I coughed to clear my voice and found Lilly’s face, the only genial expression in the room. Even Mrs. Woodsen seemed to be eyeing me skeptically. “Um, I am Eden Matthews. I am from here, I mean from Omaha. And I recently fainted in front of my entire first hour class, but I don’t remember anyone saving me from banging my head against the floor,” I finished quickly and quite sarcastically, before plopping down cross-legged next to Lilly, unable to look up or at anyone. I thought for a second that I might come off funny or at least witty, but the deafening silence indicated otherwise. Lilly patted my knee reassuringly, but I was too mortified even to look at her.

“Well, I do hope you are all right, dear,” Mrs. Woodsen eyed me even more suspiciously before turning her gaze on a few students who had begun to whisper. I looked over to see that it was the girls who had surrounded Kiran and Talbott. They stopped talking after receiving the evil eye from Mrs. Woodsen, but all turned to give me a dirty look. “Unfortunately for those of you who are new, we have already started working on our one-act plays, and the groups have already been chosen. I am afraid you three will have to work together quietly on busywork, until after the One-Act Meet, in a few weeks. I will have you grade papers from the younger classes. Please sit in a group behind the dividers, so that the other students can have room to work on their small masterpieces.”

At this point, the entire class stood up and moved into their one-act groups. Lilly gave me an encouraging smile and went to stand with her own group. I picked up my backpack and shuffled slowly behind the dividers. This had to be some cruel joke. Mrs. Woodsen was now officially my least favorite teacher, even worse than Mr. Lambert was. Again, I was reminded that this was only second hour and the day was far from over. I had never regretted burning down a school more than I did at that moment.