Terry settles into his seat, his classmates piling into the room carrying their loud voices with them. They seem to echo in Terry's head. They echo in circles, repeating over and over again until every word feels like a dagger to him, piercing slowly through his throbbing brain.
"Shut up!" Mrs James bellows, her fiery stare sinking into every eye. That single word, no matter how loudly said seemed to always wash away Terry's grinding headaches. "Thank you." She says softer this time as the voices are reduced to quiet muffles. "Not everyone here goes home with a banging headache after teaching this class. Even looking at the name "9DJ" is enough to give me a migraine." Mrs James smiles. Terry smiles, but secretly to himself.
"Slightly ironic considering the volume she screamed at. God." Adam hisses to Josh who sniggers and rolls his eyes with him.
"Well, would you have preferred for me to have whispered it to you then, Adam? Because I'm sure you would all listen if I said "shut up" at the noise you were making." Mrs James mimicked a quiet whisper and most of the class laughed with her, mainly due to the fact that Adam always seemed to get caught out on everything.
"Miss, Addison's touching Raji."
"Jerry, I'm on the complete other end of the table."
"Then you must be Helen Parr from the The Incredibles, then." Addison smiles at this. "Leonard, Paula, shut it. Just because you're brother and sister, doesn't give you the excuse to talk just so you can agree on who will take the blame for braking your mum's candle. And Amy-Leigh, please stop chewing my pencils!"
"Does she ever shut up?" David laughs to Yasmine just as Sarah bursts into the classroom, cheeks flushed on her pale skin, knotty dusty brown hair which is stuck to her shiny forehead and with wide brown eyes, she is breathing in rapid breaths, clutching her chest and stuttering.
"S-s-sorry I'm, l-late m-miss." She gasps.
"Calm down, jeez." Some murmur, other just sigh and roll their eyes at the fear and panic over Sarah's face.
"It's alright Sarah." Mrs James says cautiously and smiles.
Over-flowing with relief, she collapses into her chair, feeling dizzy as she calms.
"First time?" Terry smiles.
"Yes. First time. How did you guess?" They both chuckle, letting their laughter evaporate into the air, almost echoing and fading away; fading away like a ghost and at that very moment, every person in that classroom felt a shiver down their backs so sharp and sudden they jolted with surprise, or a look of horror passed through their confused faces, but only for a split moment so quick that none of them barely noticed it, and only continued with their voices, feeling them echo like ghosts more and more. It was only a few who were consciously aware of it enough, and those few all locked eyes, seeing the reflection of their own fear in each other. And that's all they did. They just stared.