Day 111 – Folie à Deux – Part 3 – Catherine

Not bad for 20 minutes work!

Word count: 811

Yawning, Catherine was being prodded by Jenny as they sat slumped in at their desks in physics class. Fortunately for Catherine, Mr Watson was writing on the white board the answer to some complicated equation on momentum and if he had caught her yawning for the fifth time in a row, he had promised her that he would make her get up and solve the equation in front of everyone. It was unusual for Catherine to be in any sort of trouble at school for she had always gotten on quite well with the teachers.

It was the last week of school for Catherine and her year group. In the run up to exams, though, Catherine feared that she would not get the opportunity to truly savour the last few days of school. At this stage she was not sure if it were to be a celebration or a little funeral. There might be no more assemblies, late slips, boring lessons, strict rules and uniforms but what was the alternative when all this was over? The thought feared her a little and it was a continued throbbing vein of panic for Catherine.

“Are you alright?” whispered Jenny.

Catherine nodded. She felt as if she had barely slept in a week, even though she had at least ten hours last night. This had been going on for a number of days now – she was sleeping for vast stretches of time and wakening as if she had not slept in days. For now, though, she was putting it down to stress. Within the next few weeks she had several exams to prepare for and sit and she had certainly not been paying enough attention in class the last few weeks to really justify having a break in the study regime.

Physics was a small class: there were only four of them. Jenny’s boyfriend Tom did not attend this class – he was more a man of music than a man of electrons. Adjacent to her preoccupation with yawning, Catherine was also distracted from question and answer session the teacher was holding by someone sitting just behind her. He was smoulderingly attractive. Catherine liked the quiet guys – and she was convinced that Dave ticked all of her boxes.

When are you going to get married, then?

Jenny scrawled on the corner of her notepad, throwing a look back at Dave sitting like vacantly behind them. Catherine blushed and shook her head, secretly wishing to say a date but outwardly passing it off as a joke.

Just then the bell rung to signal the end of the lesson. Everyone started packing up immediately whilst Mr Watson’s quiet voice continued to convey the answer to a class that had stopped listening a while ago. A small slice of guilt entered Catherine’s heart: why were teenagers so cruel?

“You have got to get some serious sleep, my dear – you were dying in there!” Jenny put her arm around Catherine as they walked out of the classroom.

“I have! That’s the thing, I’ve been sleeping way too much!”

“Maybe it’s an over sleeping kind of thing? I’m always knackered on a Saturday if I ever sleep more than twelve hours.”

Jenny’s boyfriend Tom appeared around the corner. He had a habit of magically appearing near whatever class Jenny had just finished only mere seconds after his own one had concluded. Catherine suspected he snuck out early from each class just to get here in time.

Jenny and Tom hugged and kissed. Catherine played with the clasp on her bracelet for a bit.

“Me and Tom are going to head somewhere first before maths, is that alright?” Jenny asked, though she was not seeking permission.

Catherine nodded and they both went their separate ways – Jenny and Tom towards the secluded trees by the playing field no doubt and Catherine down the opposite stairway to avoid being a third wheel.

Half way down the stairs, though, she felt her body shift as if out of time from her mind. Clutching on to the bannister, she felt a bit woozy. Her head was swimming. No one seemed to notice her as they rushed by to their own classes, leaving Catherine on the stairs, feeling as if she were spinning around and around.

Soon there was no one left that was passing and the corridor was once more quiet and empty. Catherine, though usually liking this, did not want this right now; she was so exhausted that she was reaching the point of needing to throw up; she needed help. Her movements seemed slow and delayed. She felt a heavy sensation weighing her down – both physically and mentally. Though her senses were all numb, she felt her head bang against the bannister as she collapsed to the floor and the sound of children’s voices from far away returned to her eardrums once more.

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~ by S.G. Mark on January 26, 2012.

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