"You can't stay there all day." I glanced up at my mum who was throwing open the curtains with the wild abandon of someone who's world wasn't ending.

"Moping never did anyone any good." She flung open the window.

"Come on. ..." she reached for my duvet as if to pull it away. I wrapped my fingers tighter around the edges, pulling it closer.

She rolled her eyes and gave it a harder tug.

"Mu-uuum". I complained. My voice sounding hoarse from all the crying. It had been days since I'd spoken a word.

"A shower. That's what you need....

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"the tie-breaker question for 100 points ..."

Katy worried at her cuticles. There was a lot riding on this. Too much. She took a deep breath, trying to steady her nerves.

In....2....3...out....2....3.

The host took a dramatic pause. She could hear the clock ticking loudly. She moistened her lips risking a glance at the group on the next table. How could they look so calm? Was their heart not beating in their ears.

Dawn, next to her, said something she didn't quite catch. Whatever it was, it made Lisa guffaw. A big manly laugh at odds with her petite physique....

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