Someone was cracking gum. Tessa gripped her pen tightly, picturing herself stabbing it into the culprit’s throat. She knew that sounded violent, but Dr Connolly kept saying that was okay. Healthy, even. Violent thoughts are fine as long as you don’t act on them.
Whoever it was cracked their gum again. Obviously Dr Connolly forgot how annoying teenagers can be. Tessa bet if she could get just one of them, nobody at this school would ever crack their gum again. She’d probably get away with it, too.
Especially since gum was banned from the school premises. After that incident with Laura Whitman’s hair (and Lacey Collins’ eye, though nobody ever remembered that part of the story) the teachers were hot on the gum thing for like a week.
Tessa looked up at Mrs Peters, wondering if she was planning on doing anything about the incredibly noisy rule-breaker (seriously, Tessa thought, just chew quietly. It was like people wanted to get caught), but she was squinting at her laptop screen as always. She claimed to be marking students’ work, but since she hadn’t handed back an assignment on time in over four years, there was a pool going about what she was really looking at on the screen. Tessa’s money was on eBay. Mrs Peters was definitely the type to buy bits of old rope or knitted mice on the internet.
Tessa sighed, earning herself a dirty look from Cathy Green (this action alone was enough to convince her that Cathy was the gum-chewer), and then went back to the questions she was supposed to be answering.
What is your proudest moment?
What is your favourite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?
If you could change one moment in history, what would it be?
The last one was a new one. Mrs Peters had been Tessa’s English teacher for the last four years, and she’d asked them all the other questions five times now. It was her first day of class, break-you-in-gently exercise, but that last one was new.
Tessa dashed off some stupid comment about wearing blue nail polish instead of green to see Stan, since the teacher wasn’t going to read it anyway, and looked at the last couple of questions.
What is your greatest hope?
What is your biggest regret?
And there she was, right back at Stan again. Tessa wondered what Mrs Peters would say if she put the truth? She wasn’t going to read the answers, but if she did, Tessa didn’t imagine selling my soul to the devil would go down too well. If she was lucky, she’d get detention for not doing the exercise properly. If she was unlucky, which by this point she knew she was, well...Tessa figured she’d spend the rest of her days strapped to a bed in a padded cell.
Well, things could be worse.