Frankie is a fourteen year old with a funny relationship to her boyfriend George (he doesn’t want anyone to know they’re dating), and an even more weird friendship to her best pal Dabby and a history of not fitting in with her peers altogether.
Then one night, Frankie has a dream. About their gymteacher….
Fragment of Frankies’ Fifteenth:
” Mathematics class was about to get started.
Frankies’ fellow pupils were stumbling around for spots that seemed alright enough to hide everything that wasn’t studymaterial-related.
A walkman, discman, headsets big and small, chewing gums in all colors, shapes and tastes of the rainbow, nail polish, hair brushes and elastic bands, all shades of velvet tip pens you weren’t supposed to use and other things that weren’t to be exposed until lunch break.
They were badly hidden behind ridiculously big brand backpacks. Without those, you had no point even bringing your beloved belongings to school in the first place. It was the innocent approach of breaking the rules, if you will. Teachers were obliged to object to them, so hiding was the best way to go. The Mathematical teacher, bearded Mr Fennel, was quite easy in approach.
He always pretended he didn’t see it. He didn’t understand what the fuzz was all about, nor did he care. Mr Fennel liked his students and as long as they did their very best, he wasn’t prone to do what was expected.
Frankie Thompson and Dabby Leavy had long found their place on the side. A perfect spot, as it had a set of tables pretty much glued to the wall. Or actually the chairs were. They could check everyone coming in and going out, as if it were a pub and they were about to order a drink they weren’t supposed to have.
The spot had the lovely possibility of leaning back against the wall with their chairs and not be bothered to keep a balance, because of it. Ideal.
Frankie had been growing so fast the past time, it felt quite liberating to her feet not touching the floor for once.
Dabby usually used the oppertunity to insult someone she fancied. Though it was hard to tell the difference, as Dabby always insulted anyone that came across. Frankie was just happy if it wasn’t herself for a change.
Frankie was really only waiting for the right moment to tell Dabby she wanted to go to the library.
Eagerly waiting for the class to be settled down, as the hours just changed and they had to walk and sit down a new classroom.
Looking at pupils who practically emptied their backpacks with all the stuff they couldn’t find. Holding her breath when it looked like they were concentrated so deeply into their works that no-one would even notice her and Dabby to exist.
Patiently waiting like an animal waits for its prey to sit exactly right, ready to attack. Waiting for the surrounding factors to be exactly right: no wind, no dust, no rivals, just an easy to catch moment. A predator waiting to attack. Trying to be a chameleon, to solve into thin air, becoming one with everyone and everything so its presence is not noted.
One could wonder what the fuzz was all about concerning the library in the first place: it were just books, nothing special, right?
But there Frankie was, sweating, trying to fix her skirt in such a way it didn’t look like she was there. Getting rid of every wrinkle in the fabric. Every crumble that could be a spot. Checking her nails, if they were in order. Neatly cut and clean, not long and creepy, like a dead finger or something. She had long and thin fingers, but enough nerves to wind up to make the existence of valium a blessing in the end. She wasn’t allowed any, of course, but her sister sometimes threatened to pour it in her drink when Frankie was acting up again.
‘Shut up or I will put Mom’s valium in your tea!’ but since Julia wasn’t here, Frankie felt she could bite her nails the way she liked. Besides, Julia also, would have no idea what it was Frankie got so worked up about. Why would she? Frankie never shared her secrets with anyone at home. Not since Terry had revealed Julia’s favorite type of underwear during dinner. And not in a subtle way either.”
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