Technically speaking, Rose should have been in class. Maths class, possibly. Luckily, Rose was never particularly bothered about technicalities, and she'd long since mastered the art of lying to teachers, so that by now they all knew that she had a singing lesson at 11am every Wednesday. The fact that she sounded like a rusty trumpet when they sang the national anthem at school assemblies hadn't clued any of them in, but then, Rose was pretty sure you didn't become a teacher because you were smart.
She was in what had once been a storage shed for sports equipment. There were still a few old gym mats on the floor, which were comfortable enough if you ignored the smell. Rose found that her cigarettes camouflaged the smell quite nicely. There'd be other kids in here during the lunch break, getting their nicotine fix, but she preferred her own company. That way she could think about how much she hated Cassie Sandsmark in peace.
There was a lot of things that Rose hated, but Cassie Sandsmark, the golden girl, little Miss Perfect, the teacher's pet - she definitely topped the list. There was something satisfying about hating her - probably, Rose had decided, because there was so much about her to hate. For one thing, she was good at everything. English, languages, Physics, History, Art. She was the captain of the lacrosse team, which was a pity, because once upon a time Rose had liked lacrosse. But there was no way she was doing the whole school spirit thing, and there was especially no way she was joining any team where she'd have to get bossed around by that blonde bitch.
The worst thing about Cassie - no, one of the worst things - was the way there was absolutely no getting away from her. She was in every single class that Rose was in, and when Rose turned up, usually late, Cassie would always be sitting at her desk already, posture perfect, pen in hand, watching Rose slink in. Rose had flipped her off once or twice, but had stopped after the chemistry teacher had caught her. Dad was never happy when she came home with a detention, and anyway, she wasn't going to give Cassie Sandsmark the satisfaction.
Recess was no better. Rose did her best to sit by herself at lunch, but she was forced to overhear the silly chatter of other girls in the bathroom, and Cassie was all that anyone ever talked about - what she was wearing, what she was doing, what was happening in her ridiculous rainbows-and-kittens relationship with her stupid oaf of a boyfriend. For a moment, Rose wondered what would happen if she just straight up walked over to Cassie's lunch table, straddled her boyfriend and kissed him. She could just imagine Cassie's face, her brilliant blue eyes wide, her cheeks flushed with hurt and anger, her full pink lips trembling. She'd know, then, just how much Rose hated her.
The bell started ringing for the end of period. Rose hurriedly stubbed out her cigarette and stood up – and then, remembering that she had Food tech and that the teacher never took the role, sat back down again, feeling in her blazer pocket for her lighter. She was just rifling through her backpack to find her pack when a noise made her look up. There was someone tentatively knocking at the door. Not a teacher then – they sure as hell wouldn’t knock. A junior, probably, too damn stupid to know that it was better to come straight in than to stand out there, drawing attention to itself. Irritated, Rose dropped her bag and strode to the door. “For fuck’s sake,” she began, and then she said, “Shit.” Cassie Sandsmark was there, cheeks flushed, staring at her almost as hard as Rose was staring back. "What the fuck are you doing here?"
"I'm not here," Cassie snapped at her. "I'm working on an extra credit research report." Rose reached back into her pocket, fingers tightening around her lighter for reassurance.
"Don't tell me that little goody two shoes lied to a teacher-"
"Shut up, OK? Just - shut up." Cassie's voice was tight and miserable and Rose felt her blood boiling, because how dare Cassie think that this was a place she could come to and be miserable and angry? It was Rose's place, during class time, had been as long as she'd been at this piece of shit school, and she wasn’t having it ruined by Cassie fucking Sandsmark. Although as Cassie pushed past her into the shed, she realised that in the short-term, anyway, it was better to have her inside than outside, attracting attention.
“This isn’t just some place you can come to and cry,” Rose said shutting the door and turning around. To her surprise, Cassie had not retreated to the far corner, but was still standing just next to her, arms locked behind her back, waiting. It was bad enough, Rose thought distractedly, that Cassie was perfect and brilliant at everything she did – it was completely unfair that she also actually looked good in the ridiculous skirt and blouse they made you wear here.
“I suppose you’ve heard,” Cassie said, and Rose didn’t think she’d ever heard the other girl sound so bitter. “About me and Connor, I mean.”
“Actually I don’t go out of my way to give a shit about you,” Rose informed her, and instead of getting angry like a normal fucking person, Cassie’s mouth actually twitched into a smile.
“Yeah, I know. That’s why I like you. That’s why…” She hesitated, and then seemed to come to some kind of decision. She stepped towards Rose, and before Rose had a chance to reach she reached up and kissed her full on the mouth.
What. The. Fuck.
Afterwards, Rose had to assume that her brain just went into shock at that point, because there was no other explanation for why, instead of just pushing Cassie away, she moaned softly and clutched at the other girl’s arms; instead of smacking her for actually having the nerve to touch her, she opened her mouth and thrilled as her tongue brushed against Cassie’s; instead of just dumping her on Cassie ass she tilted her hips forward as if trying to give her entire body a chance to touch her. And then Cassie broke the kiss.
“I guess Connor was right after all,” she said flatly. She turned, tugged the door open, and left. Rose just stood there, panting slightly, feeling more confused and angry than ever.
What the actual fuck?