The bell sounds. Some cheer. Some groan. Most don't really care. The boys at the back row throw their last rubber band at one of the girl's heads in front of them. She spins around and shoots a swear word at him.
"Fuck you, Daniel."
"Charlotte!" Miss Perkins gives a daggering glare at the brunette fourteen-year-old as she walks eagerly towards the door of the classroom, blanking out her teacher.
She huffs, rolls her eyes and turns around; her teacher is already signing a detention form.
"What the hell?"
"If you carry on you're going to find yourself cleaning every toilet in this school, including the boys'."
"What? So you send me to detention for one swear word whereas the boys have been swearing and doing fuck all in the lesson and you just let them walk free?"
"But that's the thing Charlotte, I didn't hear them swear. But I've heard you swear. Three times in fact." She jots down a few more words on the red paper to which Charlotte couldn't read.
"Oh, for fucks sake."
"Miss, that isn't really fair though. Like, cumon. She didn't do nufink." Kiera rambled in between deliberate loud chews of the soagy gum in her mouth.
"You mean "she did nothing"." Kiera and Charlotte spin around, frowning in puzzlement at their messy black haired classmate.
"It's a double negative."
"Oh." They both raise their eyebrows and nod slowly before resuming their argument with Miss Perkins.
"It's all kicking off." Jerry Hughs said in the style of a news presenter with one eyebrow raised and a slight curve to his mouth, glancing at the row in the classroom and at the crowd of his classmates in the corridor who all burst out laughing.
"Ooh, I'm gonna want to see this."
"Someone call Jermey Kyle."
"Can't be bothered with this shite." Andy Lester laughs and continues his run down the corridor before a passing teacher scolds him.
"What's next lesson?"
"Religious education...wait why are you laughing?"
'Because you always sound like a posh snob, Yardley."
"Oh, so I'm Posh Snob now am I? Posh Snob of Cambridge? The Posh Snob of Cambridge brought up on a council estate in a block of grey graffitied flats? What happened to The Peasant? Did I have some sort of flipping financial transplant?" By this point, Charlie is howling with laughter and clutching his stomach, his eyes sparkling with fresh tears.
"Katy, they still arguing?" Jade asks her blonde haired friend with a grin.
Miss Perkins is now shoving the red letter, which is full to the brim with angry writing, to a swearing Charlotte who screams one last harsh insult in her teacher's face before slamming the door hard and storming down the corridor, Kiera calling and following after her like a sheep. Charlotte's piercing yells almost echo the school, her classmates silent for a few seconds.
"Had another tantrum did ya love?" Jerry laughs out to Charlotte before she can slam the door which would put her out of sight. She stops dead, one hand still gripping the door, her head turning slowly.
"Fuck.The.Hell.Off.You.Fucking.Twat." She replies shakily in fury and proceeds to slam the door.
"Surprised she didn't blow your head off, mate." Daniel sighs, his eyebrows raised.
"My head, it hurrrts." Henry the Eighth groans and clutches his head, Sarah giggles beside him.
"How do you think Miss feels?" Henry laughs this time. "No, honestly. Some of the things she said to her were blimin' hardcore. I'm gunna see if she's alright."
"But we're only a few seconds to the bell for R.E."
"I don't care. I'm gunna see if she's alright." Sarah rushes down the almost empty corridor back to her maths class, the sounds of footsteps hurrying up the stairs slowly fading out. She puts a hand on the handlebar and knocks the door softly with the other. After a hesitating pause, she pushes through, breathing in the orange scent of Miss Perkin's classroom.
The lights are flickering softly and papers are scattered across the shiny brown floor, presumerly the results of the argument.
"Miss Perkins? It's Sarah, I'm just here to check if you're alright." The soft chatter from the corridor is gone now and the bell suddenly screeches like a siren, making her jump and shudder with the panic of being late for the first time. "Miss Perkins?" Sarah scans the classroom again; the windows are closed shut and there is no other door in the room apart from the one she came from, and she was watching as Charlotte fled and also during her conversation with Henry; Miss Perkins' voice was coming from the classroom and she hadn't seen her leave. One thing was for sure; Miss Perkins was no longer here.