"If you want me, call me"
That's what she'd said in her letter, a few words of encouragement in a tiny note with a backup plan if I ever got out of my depth. A life line. That's what she'd always been to me, a way of survival. And now she wasn't here I wasn't so sure I could make it alone.
It felt like walking through a jungle walking back to the dorm, hands clenched around the pale paper that smelt so much like her perfume, like she'd spritzed the page before sealing it shut. I kept my eyes on her words as I climbed up the stairs, taking in her wisdom and looking around every so often to see it heavy in action. She wasn't wrong when she said they were like a wild pack. The screaming and fighting was enough to make any animal look tame and sensible. I swallowed the fear that came with my realising that I was their leader now, looking down at her next line of words saying it was my job to lead them right. My eyes lingered and looped on the last line;
If you want me, call me
I did want her. I wanted her to come back and deal with this mess she'd left me to look after. What was she thinking?! I couldn't handle these girls! They'd never take me seriously. They'd leave my new position of power down to my connections, headmistress' niece and the ex head girls favourite. I definitely didn't stand a chance. I never in a million years have the right qualities for head girl. I wasn't brave or strong. Or brilliantly ingenious. I doubt I could think up a school trip let alone a full blown heist like she had. I was far too much of an anxious over thinker for this job.
If you want me call me
I missed her already and it was only half an hour into day one. Walking around these halls just didn't feel the same without her to walk beside, and the ghostly memories of our first and only year together still lingered in the chipped paintwork on the walls. I couldn't help but smile nostalgically as I passed every significant landmark that signalled a new memory. Laughing by the maths classroom. Setting up a trap in the chav's beats room. Talking together on the fourth floor stairs when we should have been in class, and later getting told of by an unamused Polly when we'd failed to leave that spot. But I wasn't too interested in those places. Not when I had a few specific memories that were nagging me for attention.
They took me to the roof, our favourite spot. The dorm was in full swing when I drifted past, too busy reading her letter again to do anything more than chance a glance in at them all. I couldn't help but think of sere-toning tablets when I saw the mania going on in there. Worse was knowing this was just their unpacking and re-assimilating stage, they'd be a whole lot worse later once they'd settled in.
The girls were following someone around the dorm, a new girl I didn't recognise. She must be something if she'd caught all tribe attention on the first day. I hadn't managed that until I'd shamed the Minister of Education in front of the press! I walked off deciding I'd deal with it later. Tara and tania both caught my eye as I turned and grinned at me from behind their contraband registration desk. I had to smile back. They'd been her favourite to tearaways, her little adorable yet completely lethal pair of prodigies. And they only seemed to be growing cuter with age. I could hear her telling me to play nice where the twins were concerned, almost as if she was stood beside me, nudging my elbow for attention like she used to while she leant in to share her advice.
"Get the twins on side and you stand half a chance at surviving this. Then tackle the geeks"
I nodded, I'd seen how much more easier her job, now my job, had been with those two tribes as her allies. Nobody dared go up against them. If I could get those girls on side I wouldn't have to worry about the rest. As much.
I found myself falling into a strategic plan as I wandered upstairs, catching myself saying her old scraps of advice while feeling that old amused smirk of hers flood my mind when the entire thing started to sound ridiculously impossible. I think that's what I'd miss the most about her. The way she'd start out as serious and completely interested in what you had to say until you began fumbling under her intense gaze, forgetting that train of thought as it left the station for good while her happy smile started to crack into existence. She'd been a cocky overbearing obnoxious cow at times but I'd take her even in her foulest murderous of moods if it meant having her beside me now, in our little hang out where so much happened.
I wonder if wherever she was now she was thinking about the school. About how she should be here overseeing pack life like she always had, or whether she was enjoying being away from the stress of it all. I wondered if she was thinking about me, worrying perhaps that she'd made the wrong choice, regretting her decision and now hating herself for endangering the wrong girl like she had.
I didn't have to worry about whether she was thinking about our time together up here. I always caught her drifting into daydreams about it. I wasn't talking about the cold strip poker match in December up here, or the various shot matches with Anoushka. I wasn't talking about the game of spin the bottle where I'd learnt quite a few truths from her while she had her fill of fun daring me into some rather ingenious dares. Or the night laid out side by side watching a meteorite shower with the geeks, or the time we'd persuaded Flash to act gay for the heist; a fond memory we both cherished dearly. I wasn't even talking about the countless days we'd wasted just talking up here, about anything and everything. These chimneys and that sofa knew more about me and her than the other girls ever will with everything we'd shared. That thought bubble made me grin a tad as I locked the door, just like she used to for privacy, and walked up to the chimney beside the sofa.
My hand trailed over the brickwork, a remembering shot of pain running under the skin as the memory hit. I must have rewound that tape over a thousand times inside my head, and a million more in the past month, but it never failed to make me smile. It'd been such a perfectly beautiful moment. I never wanted to forget it.
I could still feel our relieved laughter singing happily into our first kiss as she pulled me away from the chimney and into her arms. I could still feel her warmth seeping through my shirt as I'd walked with her, feel the pleasant sting of her fingers pressing into my back while her mouth ventured down the side of my neck. I walked over to the sofa and dumped myself on it, landing as heavily as I did that day she'd pushed me down over the cushions, eager smile in place on her tantalising mouth.
A different moment pushed into me as the ghost of her pressed me back into the sofa as she climbed on top, sitting over my knees while she pulled me forward into her. My arms flashed with warmth as I remembered how I'd wrapped them around her back, pressing her closer while I kissed the happy gasps out of her.
Fingers trailed a loose pattern down my throat and I sighed annoyed when i realised it was just me following the invisible road she'd paved down it. I sank back in the sofa and closed my eyes, giving myself up to the memories entirely.
It was the same one. The world around us fading into a beautiful cold twilight while we found a way to stay warm. She was still sat over me, panting a little with a breathless smile, topless while a gorgeous shade of red started to flush her skin. A perfectly edgy smirk kissed onto her mouth while she unknotted the tie trapping my wrists. I could feel the blood in my veins burning just remembering the way her fingers glided over them, delicately brushing over the pounding heartbeat pulsing underneath my boiling skin before pinching the fabric free. She'd laughed a little to herself at the wince I'd made when she'd wrapped the tie around my the back of my neck and tightened her hold on it briefly to drag me up to her for a cheeky kiss. I smiled just remembering the taste of her above me, hands scratching deep marks into my skin that would take weeks after to heal. Not that I hadn't given just as good as I got. She'd walked around afterwards smiling endlessly at all the love-bites I'd tattooed into her skin. No I certainly wasn't going to forget that night in a hurry.
A faint crash from downstairs stirred my thoughts and mixed them into another of our meetings. Her gasping loudly as I slammed her into the door. Me groaning pleasantly when she backed me up to a chimney and tore into me with desperate hands. Our echoed laughter when we completely missed the sofa and landed on the floor with bruising aches working into our bodies.
Another crash reached me, the slamming of the door as she marched up furious with me, shouting away at me because I'd kissed Andrea in a dare Chelsea had trapped me into.
"You're my girlfriend!" She'd screamed before freezing with shock. I'd done the same. We hadn't made anything official up until then, knowing only too well how the days were slowly running out before she had to leave St. Trinians behind.
"My..girlfriend?" That had to be the first time I'd ever seen her so nervous and scared for an answer. I'd held back on the ecstatic smile and slowly walked up to her, mimicking her deadly grace with a hint of Chelsea's seductive swag thrown in in a show of complete indifferent confidence
"Whose to say I'm anyone's?" I still remember the way her black eyes flashed with disappointment and rejection as they fell away from my face to the floor. It nearly made me crack
"It's cool. i mean i completely understand. We both knew what this was and all so...I'm just gonna.." I'd stopped her before she could leave and backed her up to the door, smirking a little at the full out confused look she shot me.
"You didn't let me finish," I'd whispered leaning in closer to her while I grabbed her school shirt and tugged her to me. Her eyes narrowed a little with confused suspicion while a small smile started to grow, like she knew what i was going to say.
"Whose to say I'm anybody's..except yours?" She kissed me then, so hard I was gasping for air
"What about Andrea?" She'd asked biting down a little on my lip with the emo's name while her hands clawed my back possessively.
"Nothing. Promise" I kissed the doubtfulness off her face after that and she started to move us back to our usual spot.
"Where we going?" I asked playfully. Her hands already began their usual travel down my shirt, unbuttoning it with ease while her fingers brushed my skin.
"To make this girlfriend shit official" she'd growled pushing us back some more until we tripped onto the leather cushions, both of us eager to test out our new relationship status...
"Belle you up there?!" I jumped out of my reveries and sighed. I guess it was time to face the music then. I felt sick just thinking about how I'd have to go down there and assert myself.
"I'm going to die" I muttered holding my face in my hands. The crumpled edge of her note touched my cheek and I quickly smoothed it back out flat, reading her words again.
If you want me, call me.
My hand dipped into my pocket and the phone was flashing her number in seconds. The dial tone filled my ears until her voice replaced it. Voicemail. I sighed and smacked my knee. Of course she would be busy. She'd probably be working. The line beeped signalling my shot at a message but I hung up. I didn't want her hearing the nervous uncertainty in my voice. She'd only laugh about it later. I'd call her later, after all this shock had subsided enough for me to think it all over. I sent her a text instead and forced myself down past our room and all the brilliant memories lying behind its door, to the dorm to face the animals.
I wasn't wrong about their reaction to my position as their leader, or their jump to the connections assumption. It would take a while for me to get the hang of this sure, but I had something no one else did when it came to this job. A killer ex head girl as backup. Who, if I wanted her, I could call.