Nothing to her name, Chapter 1.
So, I can write stories in here right? Well I'll jump right in and do so but before I do, this is a draft of the first chapter not the finished thing. So feel free to chime in if you have any suggestions or crit on my writing.
Please, Thank you and enjoy.
Nothing to her name
Concealing his sadness beneath a mask of celebratory smiles, the principal gave his specially prepared speech to the graduation class of two thousand twelve from atop the worn, wooden stage in the expansive college hall. Ninety four students sat amongst each other in rows, wearing the ridiculous blue blazer with blue and yellow striped tie, over their similarly coloured, but paler shirts. Sherelle –one of the few girls opting for black trousers rather than a blue skirt- looked on into the principal’s empathetic eyes and did her best to endure the scripted congratulations.
"So, you think he’ll cut the crap soon? Don’t know how much more of this I can take." Rachel whispered.
"I figure if he doesn’t, I’ll jump stage and take his watch. You know, make an early start" replied Marcus, with his usual comedic tone.
As the two whispered amongst themselves, Sherelle chose not to take her usual place in the group and instead, took the time to weave a single plat into her lengthy, black hair whilst tuning out the principals tedious speech. He gives the same one to every cohort anyway. He congratulates them on their graduation, reminds them of its implications, and then reels off everything he knows about surviving beyond the campus walls. Sherelle glanced up a moment at the principal.
"As terrifying as this may be to some of you, you have no need to worry. You are all fi-"
Sherelle returned her attention to her half completed plat. Why not you idiot? She thought. Most of us won’t even make it to next week. This thought was more or less fact in zone eighty nine. By the time she was finished with her hair, the principal was giving out graduation parcels. Sherelle knew she was to receive very little in her parcel, and her heart sank deeper and deeper into her chest the nearer her name was to being called out.
"Luke Godward," the principal announced, forgetting to hold the microphone to his mouth, as usual. Luke smugly strutted down through the rows of his class mates and took the stage in his always immaculate uniform. Oh boy, I wander if they got him a parcel or just gave him a house and car, kiss ass. Sherelle’s thoughts became evident on her face as her brown eyes rolled.
"Sherelle relax, the more he gets, the more we got for easy pickings later when we can take it from him." This was Marcus’ attempt to quell Sherelle’s disdain toward every teacher’s favourite, Luke Godward. Sherelle wore what could be a smile, but could equally be a ‘shut the hell up’ expression, whilst Luke collected a giant package from the principal that he then struggled to heave off stage.
One by one those whose names begin with L were called to the stage to get parcels that vary in size. A parcel of particular surprise was that of Liam Archberry. Only matched intellectually by Luke, you expect his parcel to be similar in size, but it really does pale in comparison.
"The hell is that about! Liam’s way cleverer than Luke!" Sherelle whispers with a sharp tone and a sense of alarm. Liam was close to tears when Sherelle shot him a reassuring smile. He then joined her, Marcus, and Rachel upon his decent from the stage.
"Marcus Tantalus," the principal continues. Marcus was too busy consoling Liam - who was fear stuck at the sight of his tiny parcel- and missed the announcement
"…erhum! Marcus Tantalus," Marcus hears this time and gazed upward. "Away with the fairies again are we? It’s a good job the staff like you isn’t it?" Sherelle breathed a sigh of relief as Marcus rushed to the stage to collect quite a large parcel. The teachers have always warmed to Marcus. He spends most of his thinking time somewhere over the rainbow, but he’s a charmer, and it must have saved him here. Marcus was beyond belief with the package he’d received, and many teachers give him a nod or an approving wave before he took his place amongst his friends again.
The principal continued to read off names and hand out packages, causing both triumphant smiles and cascades of tears as he went.
"Sherelle Styles," finally her name was read out. Sherelle rose to her feet aware of the miniscule amount she was about to receive and, chin tucked toward her chest, eyes to the floor, she carried herself up onto the stage.
"Well my dear, I’m afraid the staff weren’t too generous toward you, and I can’t say I cared to contribute either." The sorrow that was present in the principal’s voice for the other students had been replaced by at least double that in arrogance. Nothing! He didn’t spare anything! With all he has! Not a single carton of milk or used sock! Sherelle clenched her fists and kept her head down.
"Oh but there is something, from Mr Banks I believe." He hands out a crumpled old envelope. Not a parcel, an envelope. She snatched the envelope, cursing under her breath, and thundered back toward her rusty, deformed seat. Sherelle knew it unlikely the principal would get her anything after the attitude she’d given him the last 6 years. But to have announced the fact with such amusement at the slim life chances he had guaranteed her was infuriating.
Sherelle had already screwed up the envelope in her pocket by the time she got back to her seat.
"Don’t sweat it Styles, I’ll help you out, we’re gonna work together remember?" Rachel tried to ease Sherelle but before Sherelle could offer any response the principal chimed in.
Sherelle spent the rest of the ceremony tuned out to the world, thinking about how on earth she would survive without a starter’s parcel. She was certainly no thief and without the parcel to get her going, what would she trade?
After the last name was read out, so began the graduation party. Like graduation was anything that Sherelle can celebrate.