LiNK: Chapter One, also known as Iggy (stylized as iGGY) is the first chapter of the ten part special, LiNK. It revolves around 16 year old British girl Iggy Eriksen and the stress she has under her belt for being the little sibling of a child prodigy. It's followed by UNA.
I lay there sleepily in my bed until the bright light next to my bed post turns on. "Come on sleepy head, you'll be late for first period" my roommate Una says. Me and Una have been best friends since year six when we both came to Mary McEvans School of the Arts. McEvans is a dream school for any kid like us, music lessons instead of maths, art classes instead of history, even lunch periods are twice as long as normal schools'.
"Come on Iggy, you don't want to be late for sculpting again, Miss Watson will be so freakin' pissed." Miss Watson was a dream teacher, she's fun, nice, so educated in the subject, but even better, she gave us candy when we behaved well. "Ugh, fine," I say as I groggily step out of my light pink bed and put on my fuzzy lime green slippers. "What time is it?" I ask. "Time for you to get your arse to class. Well I'm not gonna be late again, peace." And just like that Una was gone.
I trade in my pyjama pants and tank top for a black crop top, some denim cutoff shorts, black tights and my favorite black converse sneakers. Some people find my style of dress weird, but that's how I like it. I'm constantly compared to Deirdre, my older sister. Deirdre was everyone's dream, artistic, smart, friendly; I'm nothing compared to her, everyone knows that. And after graduating from here she decided to go on to bigger and better things, The BRIT School and now she's signed to a recording label working on her debut album. Sure I'm proud of her and all but- "Shit" I mutter under my breath after briefly gazing upon the clock on my nightstand. Class starts in two minutes.
I dash outside of the girls dorm and get onto my bike where I ride like there's no tomorrow. When I reach the Visual Arts Centre I run into the building at record breaking speeds until being pulled over by Ms. Walsh. Ms. Walsh is an elderly woman who works as a secretary at McEvans. Her and I have a special bond, she only recently lost her husband and lives alone with her dog right next to the school's campus. I visit her a lot, just to take care of her and stuff.
"Oh honey, why, you're gonna be late to class" she says to me in her sweet, innocent voice. "Yeah, got Watson's class, I was kinda in a hurry so-" I say rushed until she cuts me off. "Oh don't worry sweetheart." She takes out a notepad and a pen from her overly sized tan handbag. "Please excuse Iggy Eriksen from being tardy to class today Justine, she was helping me with an errand. ~Elizabeth." she read aloud. "Oh my gosh, thank you so much Ms. Walsh." "Oh don't worry about it Iggy, it's the least I can do." The perks of helping the elderly, I take the note being handed to me and walk to room 201, Miss Walsh's room. "Oh Iggy, one more thing sweetheart." Ms. Walsh blurts out. "Yes?" "Try to stay out of trouble." she winks at me as she turns away, walking back into the main office. I manage a small smile and continue walking to room 201.
As I manage up the stairs to the second floor I see Una and the others in my class sitting in front of the classroom door. "Late again?" I ask the others. "Nope", Una says, "she's making out with Mr. Greene in there." "Ooh, so she's on to Mr. Greene now? Not what I had planned." I jokingly say. Miss Watson was kinda the school whore among the teachers, she's slept with probably all the visual arts teachers and at least half of the drama and music teachers, even some of the females, she's into them all.
"How long do you think they'll be at it?" asks Rachel Fisher, a girl in our class. "At least three more minutes." replies Una "They seem pretty into it, meaning this has been going on for quite awhile." I manage a small smile. "Since when are you the kissing sensei?" "Since a week ago, remember, me and Bobby totally happened." We both giggle in our girly unsophisticated ways until Miss Watson and Mr. Greene finally come out of the classroom looking disheveled. "Um, well class, Mr. Greene and I were just planning a lesson for sometime, nothing more." she stammers while we look back at her in disbelief. "Well, Justine I should get going, goodbye. Class... I'll see you around." I catch her gazing at Mr. Greene's arse until she snaps back into the real world. "Well are you guys just gonna stand out there? Come on in."
As we walk into class I realize my note from Ms. Walsh isn't going to help right now, so I just stick it in my pocket for next time. "So, you guys can... um work on your projects from yesterday" Miss Watson practically shouts to the class. As she walks to the front of the room I hear her briefly murmur "Yeah, that's right Justine, you got this." Sure, she's a great teacher, but she isn't fit for the job at all. In fact there's a rumor going around school that she's an alcoholic, another that she was forced into the job from the government in return for her protection, but that's much less realistic.
As usual, me and Una station ourselves at the two wheels next to each other in the front of the classroom. Our projects, which it seems like we've been working on for years are to sculpt a bowl on a normal pottery wheel, seems simple, right? Not true at all. Of course Miss Watson has to put a 'Justine Watson spin' onto it, so, our bowls have to be the exact size of our heads when four centimeters are subtracted. Apparently she doesn't enjoy how at McEvans we don't take any 'real world' courses, just artistic ones. So she just meddles in our lives and adds maths, history, science, any subject taught in normal schools, to our projects. She's still a great teacher though, despite all her, well we'll leave it at quirks.
Once we hear the painful ring of the bell Miss Watson decides to check our performance so far on our bowls. As she walks up to Una a smile is clearly visible on her face despite the face practically filled of tears on Una. You see, Una has very low confidence, she never thinks she's merely as good as she actually thinks and that isn't a good quality to have, in fact I'm the exact opposite of her. Some people call it arrogance, I call it extra confidence. "Very well done so far Una, I'm impressed." she says as Una takes a sigh of relief.
"Miss Watson, what do you think about my project?" I eagerly shout out to her. "Well, um, it's good Iggy, surely not a work of your sister's, but, remember, Deirdre was an amazing student." she says as she walks away, seemingly relieved. As she stammers away in her almost drunken state I hear her mumble "And I thought it was the genes, guess not." to herself. When I thought she was different than the rest, appreciated me for who I was and knew I was a different person than my sister, I was wrong. Una, obviously knowing how frustrated I am reaches her arm out to my hand forcefully pressed onto the table. "Iggy, you ok?" "Yup. Just fine." I barely manage to say because of my rage. Una's the only one who understands me. I appreciate the time I spend with her, she's my best friend, basically my only friend.
As me and Una walk out of the Drama Centre and begin walking to the cafeteria we see a black sports car drive by. "Wonder who drives that." I say, clearly just trying to kill the silence. "Oh, who knows, probably just some teacher." Una says obviously worried. "Una, I know you like a book, when you're nervous, you talk like that. What's going on?" "Nothing, why would you expect something?" "Fine." I roll my eyes as we enter the cafeteria.
The McEvans cafeteria is a fairly large building complete with changing rooms to the right the kitchen to the left and a full sized basketball court in the centre used for varsity practices and games. Una looks behind her shoulder where the same black sports car we saw earlier is parked outside. "Um, Iggy I gotta go, my parents are picking me up for lunch today, they're in London for the week and wanted to see me." "Um, ok" I stammer "go have lunch with your parents, it's fine." "Ok, thanks Iggy, I'll make it up to you sometime." And just like that she was gone, off into the car. Oh well, lunch alone isn't too bad, and now that I've got an hour and twenty minutes to kill before last period, I think I'm gonna take my lunch back to the door. I grab a bagel and quickly go back to the Visual Arts Centre where I left my bike this morning and head back to the girls dorm.
When I arrive it's empty. Most girls probably in class or at the cafeteria, or in Una's case, off campus. But that's when it hit me. A week ago Una told me that her parents would be taking care of her granddad in Dublin for the whole month. Why would she lie about this? So, now my one and only friend doesn't like me either? "Fuck my life." I quietly whisper to myself. As I walk to the third floor I notice a picture of Deirdre on the staircase. "They really want me to hate myself don't they." Her crystal blue eyes, her perfect platinum blonde hair, natural, of course, her porcelain skin, her perfectly manicured nails. She's everything I'm not.
I run up the stairs into me and Una's room and dive onto my bed. Tears keep pouring out of my eyes and I just can't deal with it anymore. I add another scar to my collection right before Una walks in. "Iggy! What the fuck are you doing!" she screams. "Don't act like you care." I snap back to her. "What are you talking about Iggy? You're my best friend of course I care." she says as she rips the razor out of my hand. "Then what's up with all this lying Una, who's car was that really?" "I told you, it was my parents." she stammers to me. "Well if you're gonna keep lying to me, I'm out." I say as I walk to the door. "Fine." Una says in a tone I've never heard her speak in before. "I guess I can be honest with you. That car belonged to my boyfriend."
I jerk my head towards her. "What about you and Bobby?" Bobby Levine has been Una's crush since we came to McEvans in year six, she claims they hooked up last week, but I guess not. "Me and Bobby didn't really hook up, I've been with Roger for about two weeks now. He's really cool and everything." "So where does he go for school?" I ask. "Um, he's not in school, he's um, 19 years old." the redhead says discreetly to me. "Una, come on he's overage? Where did you even meet?" "Well, remember that time we went of campus together for fish and chips awhile back? When you were in the restroom he came up to me and we exchanged numbers. Said I was the most beautiful girl he's ever seen." she says almost in a daze. "Listen, I got Mr. Martin's class next, I'm gonna go." I leave my bagel on my nightstand for later and run out of the dorm in shock.
Why would Una lie to me about this? I'm her best friend, does she not trust me? I get on my bike and ride down to the Music Centre, the farthest from the girl's dorms. I clearly have a lot to think about. No wonder Una's been acting weird. Going out late and disappearing, she's been with this 'boyfriend' of hers. Whatever, I shouldn't let this affect me, I've got my own problems. Mr. Martin is the most critical teacher of mine by far, always comparing me to Deirdre, which makes no sense considering she couldn't play a flute if she tried, something I like to think of myself as an expert on.
Class sucked, all I could think of was how Una lied to me, and of course Mr. Martin's criticism didn't help. "He's such an arsehole." I mutter to myself before getting on my bike to go back to the girl's dorm. When I arrive in my room I find a note, from Una. It read "Iggy, this isn't easy to say, but our friendship is falling apart, you don't trust me and I honestly can't trust you. I've requested roommate reassignment, and I already moved all my stuff out. I'm sorry and I do hope we can still talk sometime. ~Una" I take the note and rip it into pieces. "What's wrong with her?" I mutter to myself. I don't trust her and she doesn't trust me? What happened? I fall into my bed and instantly think of Deirdre. "She's one of them now, she was the only one I had but now I have no one. No one at all"