December 5, 2023

(The Heart In Between)

By; Sommy Pearl F.



★ ★ ★

Nadine watched as Maxine kept moving closer to her desk, but in that instant, Maxine turned to the opposite direction which led to her to her seat and sat down.

Nadine stole a glance at her, at the back where Maxine sat, and quickly looked away.

Miss Becca soon walked in and everyone greeted her as usual. She smiled when her eyes caught Nadine whose eyes were also on her.

“Nadine” She whispered.

Nadine took her eyes away from her quickly.

“Nadine?” Miss Becca called again and with hesitation, Nadine faced her with a stern look.

“Have you introduced yourself to the class yet?” She asked.

Nadine swallowed hard and nodded.

Gigi scoffed then.

“It’s a lie, Miss Becca. She never introduced herself” She said.

“Oh really. Nadine, would you like to introduce yourself to the class?” Miss Becca asked and Nadine shook her head.

“No ma’am” She cooed.

Gigi laughed and turned to Nadine. “Come on. Don’t be a little baby. We want to hear about you, girl. Everyone cheer, Nadine! Nadine! Nadine!” Gigi chanted.

Mia joined her immediately and before one could count to five, everyone were already chanting her name, which made her extremely uncomfortable.

“Nadine. You don’t have to do it, okay and everybody, enough!” Miss Becca yelled.

“No ma’am. I’m…I’m fine. I’ll do it” Nadine smiled anxiously and scratched her sweaty palm.

She slowly walked to the front of the class and stood beside Miss Becca. She inhaled deeply and spoke;

“Hello everyone. I’m Nadine West, 17-year-old. I love sports and music. Please, take care of me here, thank you in advance”

“We will take care of you alright” Gigi smirked.

Everywhere was quiet. No one spoke a word, nor even clapped. This act made Nadine more anxious. She felt nervousness building inside her. She was already regretting why she came out in the first place.

“As great teens, you all should clap for her. Go on now” Becca said.

Gigi chuckled, sinisterly.

“You know what? Why don’t you go back to your seat?” Becca whispered at Nadine.

She nodded and was about leaving when she heard somebody clapping from behind. Everyone including her, stretched their necks only to see none other than Maxine clapping her hands with a small smile on her face.

“Welcome Nadine West, Welcome”

Nadine bit her lower lip.

“I’m Maxine. Maxine Barker. It’s a plsasure to meet you”


Nadine ran into the bathroom and locked the door immediately. She was breathing hard and fast. She squeezed her chest, thinking it was going to stop her heart from palpitating.

“Umm” She whimpered.

Hot tears flowed down her eyes. Embarrassment was something she dreaded. She slowly sat on the toilet seat and lifted her skirt up. She took out her pen and lifted the lid.

“Ouch” She whimpered, feeling as the pointed area shook into her skin.

“Ah” She Mõ@ɲed painfully.

She quickly brought it out and saw blood slowly oozing out from that area. She sniffed and wiped her tears.

Furthermore, she kept her pen back into her pocket and went out of the restroom to wash her face at the sink.

Her heart jumped when she met Maxine facing her. She was resting on the sink with her arms crossed against her stomach.

“Hey there” She waved.

Nadine looked away and walked briskly to the other side. She switched on the faucet, but water didn’t run.

“There’s no water for now” Maxine said.

Nadine felt anxious again. Her face was looking bad and surely, she couldn’t leave without wiping it. She wished she took a handkerchief.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to pry, but I heard you crying” Maxine muttered looking at her cracky lips.

“But you pried. Don’t apologize after doing something nasty. It agitates me” Nadine whispered and tried to leave.

“Wait” Maxine said quickly and grabbed her wrist.

Nadine turned her face to her.

“Don’t tell me you’ll walk out like this? With this face? It’s very pale, you know. Your eyes are red”

“What can I do? There’s obviously no water. I can’t stay here forever” Nadine answered and tried taking her wrist away from Maxine’s grasp.

“Here” Maxine uttered, displaying a bottle of water. “I was thirsty and bought it on my way. You can use it”

Nadine looked at Maxine’s face for a while.

“Go on” Maxine whispered.

Nadine sighed deeply and took the bottle from her.

“Thank you” She said.

“Much welcome” Maxine nodded and let her hand go.

Nadine went back to the sink and started cleaning her face with the water.

“You can use them all” Maxine forced a smile.

“Thanks” Nadine nodded.

“Here” Maxine gave Nadine tissues which she used in wiping her face.

“Thanks. Since you aren’t ready. I’ll leave first. Thank you again” Nadine whispered and walked out.

“Wait” Maxine said and walked to her front.

“What is it?” Nadine asked carefully.

Maxine only smiled. She plucked out the tissues which clogged at the corner of Nadine’s eyes.

“You weren’t going to take that to class, right?” Maxine smirked.

Nadine cleared her throat and walked away without saying a word. She simply trashed the bottle and left sight.

Maxine went back into the restroom and faced the mirror before her and sighed deeply. “You don’t have to be guilty. You’re doing all this for yourself. It for your own good, darling” She whispered.


“Miss Becca?” Nadine suddenly gasped and stood up quickly from her chair.

“Yes, Nadine?” Miss Becca asked.

“May I visit the restroom?”

“Sure, you can”

Nadine nodded and ran off.

Gigi laughed loudly and Becca couldn’t tell her to stop. She knew who her father was. She only shook her head.

“Bring out your literature textbook everyone” She said.

“Miss Becca?” Maxine suddenly stood up.

“Huh? What’s it Maxine?”

“I really need to visit the restroom” She said and scurried away.

Maxine entered the restroom and looked around. She didn’t see Nadine anywhere, though. But she soon started hearing her sobbing and whimpering.

Maxine sighed.
“She must be crying. Poor girl. She doesn’t know who Gigi is” She thought and proceeded to leave.

Something popped in her head and she stopped in her tracks. She quickly went outside and picked an empty bottle from the trashcan.

She went back to the restroom, turned on the faucet and filled half of the bottle with water. She bent down and turned off the main faucet, which controlled the sink tap thus stopping it from producing out water.

Having done that, she stood up and inhaled deeply. At that instant, she heard the door opening, and she quickly placed her back against the sink and folded her arms.

“Hey there” Maxine waved.

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