“Have you seen Marie Richwood?”

The urgency with which Anna asked me the question made me look up from my Map tracing; it was a free period after the library class which I decided to put to good use. After what I did to Marie at the library, I knew she was going to retaliate but I did not expect her to disappear.

Examining Anna, she was looking so worried and tensed, her hands wrung together, she seemed to be on the verge of tears. Fat globes of tears sat on her eyelids, threatening to fall which was something I hated, crying girls were not my thing.

“No sorry” I answered eager for her to leave me alone, I was only waiting for the closing bell, so I can head home to the delicious food, Mrs. Adams always prepares for me, My Nanny is the best. My only problem was Anna would not leave, she stood there looking at me like i was some sort of savior. We had managed to spark the curious gazes of our classmates

“What is wrong? Hannah, why are you crying?” a nosy classmate asked, getting up from her sit at the back to come to mine which was at the front of the classroom. She took Anna by the hand, looking deep into her eyes

“Principal Francis asked me to call Marie, when I could not find her, he told me to get her within five minutes or he would punish me” she cried the tears slipping from the confinements of her eyelids, she turned to me this time with a puppy dog look.

She continued innocently, trying to get the attention of our fellow classmates which was beginning to get on my nerves

“ I asked Cyrus for her whereabouts since he was the one who spoke to her last but he is not answering me” she accused, she knew they hated my guts and was pressing that to her advantage.

Aghast, I frowned, I hated complicated situations, and her act looked so well-rehearsed I began to doubt the truthfulness of her words.

“What are you saying? The librarian sent her out of the library, before our study time was even over, and I have not set my eyes on her since then” I explained trying to save myself. Marie’s minions were so scary.

Anna would hear none of my explanations instead she implicated me further clearly trying to instigate me to do something “He is just sitting here ever since I told him, Principal Francis really needs her and he asked me to find her, you know how Crazy he can be when he is not obeyed, and Cyrus here just won’t help me look for her, she is your seatmate you should care” I nodded, feeling the violence of her statement

I nodded, now I get my part in all of these” Why should I come with to look for her? Go to the information desk, they will probably announce air her name; she will hear her name being called wherever she is. I have better things to do than to bother myself with the new girl” I said dismissively. I only wanted to have a peaceful graduating year but thanks to Marie Richwood, I knew my last year in high school will be anything but peaceful. I knew she was trouble when I first saw her

I took my sit, and continued with my map, I ignored them all but not for long

“You have to help me find her, or else I will tell Principal Francis, you were the one who made her so uncomfortable, so she ran off” she scowled, clearly not done with me. Now she showed her true colors, somewhere in between our arguments, her tears had disappeared replaced with the mien of a woman on a mission.

“And where is the wiseness in that? It is public knowledge Principal Francis is close to my Dad, who happens to be one of the best lawyers in SA. Think clearly who would he believe, you or me?” I challenged, I knew I sounded cocky but if Miss petite height thinks she can manipulate me, then she needs to think twice. My father’s name was not something I am proud to use but if it gets me out of scrapes like this, it is okay. Not like his name was useful to me in any other way.

“Anna says you are the last to talk to her, you have to help find her, I don’t care if your father is the governor of this state, you have to help find her, she is new here, she must have gotten lost somewhere, you know our school is big” Mercy another of Marie’s new friends spoke up. I was fast getting choked by her minions.

“Why do I have to help? The fact that you are all jobless and do not have something profitable to do with your free time. Does not mean I have to throw mine away, Am I clear? Now get out of my sight!” Exhausted, I turned my attention back to my books

“If you don’t follow me, I will tell?”

I shook my head with a suppressed groan ”Tell what? I do not have your time Anna, You can go look for your mistress by yourself, and you won’t be getting my help” I deadpanned.

“Are you sure about that? Your good boy reputation might be completely crushed you know” she said cunningly sweeping a glance across the classroom, our classmates were already murmuring among themselves.

if this continues, word might get to Principal Francis, I was about to ask her what it was when Nicole, the girl sitting behind me spoke up, I have noticed over the years we have spent as classmates that she speaks up for me whenever my persona was attacked.

She rested her hands on her desk, staring daggers at Anna “If he does not want to go, you have no right to force him. Marie is not a small girl, she can find her way back to class, better still take his suggestion and go to the information desk and stop bugging him” she advised menacingly, a spark of anger tracing her words.

I wondered why she was angry though, I was the one who was being questioned not her.

Anna ignored her and stepped closer to me, flipping her permed hair in my face; I smelt sweat mixed with lavender soap. Disgusted I scooted back but she would not budge, she leaned forward offering me a generous view of her sumptuous cleavage, she had unbuttoned the shirt, loosening the first two buttons. I swept away my gaze hurriedly.

I noticed the whole class’s gaze was fixated on us, Richard was watching me like an owl. Anna must have been one of his conquests. I wondered why he did not offer to go look for Marie instead. Such a sucker.

“You better come with me” she mouthed

“Make me” I said pissed off, Marie was sure spoiling my day. First the siren button and now this. I haven’t even told Principal Francis about it yet. He would no doubt have my head and definitely slip a word to my father when next he sees him. I might have to speak to the Janitor when school closes. The Siren was needed for the morning assembling and emergency assemblies. I just want to be left alone. But Anna only stepped closer still.

Bringing her mouth close to my ear, she whispered “I will tell the whole class how you were sticking your hands under Marie’s skirt at the library”


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