Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Absent / September 5th / Thursday



Absent / September 5th / Thursday

"Mr. Thegian is legit the 5th teacher of mine absent this week. I honestly think there's a psychological test just to see if children deserve to have responsibility for themselves." Jeff laughed as his own statement as he opened up his black lunchbox. "Some lord of the flies shit." Arielle and Hil didn't hear what Jeff said as they lit their smokes as fast as possible in order to maintain the amount of rat poison and bleach needed to survive for the next hour and fifteen minute period.
                "Why are you in a suit?" Asked Noah Felming,  a local nicotine addict. Jeff hadn't taken the time to notice that Hulio, who had been expelled 2 years prior, was standing at herb pit in what looked like a six hundred dollar All's brand tuxedo.
                "Take a fucking guess!" Shouted Hulio in an angry voice. Noah Felming, or Felming, as everyone called him, was close friends with Hulio, so Hulio's angry retort was to be taken with a grain of salt.
             "Going to court, I presume?" Said Andre wittily, while his mind drifted off into thoughts about Sharlit.
               "Hey, I didn't actually think anyone was going to guess it that quick." Hulio laughed, pulled out his AllPhone 6 and started tapping the phone screen. Jeff assumed that Hulio was probably texting some girls who were 3 or 4 years younger than him, as Hulio was known for being a recreational LG slayer.
                "Shit bro, I got court tomorrow too." Added Osama. This seemed unlikely of Osama, as he was such a cheerful and kind kid. "Breaking and entering." He added.
                I got one for house invasion."Said Habib casually. "No court though, just a charge." A
              "Shit, I didn't know going to court was a thing now!" Chuckled Jeff as his closed his black lunchbox and put it into his back pack.
                 "Yeah, I was thinkin' about stabbing someone to get my rep up." Said Felming in a deep, droning vioce.
                 "Can I add that to my list of my favorite things anyone has said ever? I'm going to anyway." Arielle smiled cheerfully. Despite the praise Felming had just recieved, he continued to puff on his cigarette and stare somewhere in the middle-distance. Jeff couldn't comprehend whether Felming was actually spacing out as he stared at a dog pooping in the middle of the field, or whether he was just trying to be dramatic, and come off as if he didn't care whether people thought he was funny or not. Jeff ruled out the latter.


                  "Oh my gods! What does that effing mean already?" Arielle's outburst broke a silent 5 seconds of cigarette puffing.
                  "Oh that?" Asked Andre, as he pointed at a jumbled of characters on the wall at herb pit. "You mean OFWGKTA? It's Tyler The Creator's thing or whatever. Odd Future something something Kill The Animals or whatever, you know?
                  "No, I really don't know actually." Replied Arielle, still feeling the sass from her prior comment, but also feeling relaxed having understood the unusual anagram. "Jonesmob forever anyway."
                  "Zee!" Screamed Hil as a very averagely looking, averagely structured, averagely white skinned teenage girl ran up to the herb pit.
                  "Sorry." Said the girl plainly. "Irvyne and Violet are being bitches, and Shaymus won't answer his phone."
                  "Sorry to who? Doesn't what you just said make us your third option?" Said Andre in an offended voice. The thing is, Andre didn't actually know how to be offended. He couldn't calculate the emotions properly.
                  "No! that's not what I meant!" Cried the girl, Zee. 
                  "Don't worry, Zee, we're here for you. Did you want to get baked for arts and crafts?" Hil said, comforting Zee, who, as far as Hil could tell, was having a bad day. 
                  Jeff looked around and noticed that neither Hulio, Osama, Habib, nor Felming were at herb pit anymore. Jeff wondered if whatever was in his lunchbox made his senses fuzzy, as he wasn't really listening or looking at anything or anyone, but was rather thinking about philosophical ideas.
                  "Where's Sharlit at?" Andre thought out loud.
                  "Got a little lovey dove goin' on there Andre?" Arielle smiled, teasingly.
                  "Lil' lovey dove? Lil' kissy kiss?" Added Jeff.
                  "Lil' smoochy-smooch?" Added Hil.
                 "Shaymus is such a fucking asshole!" Yelled Zee. Her negative emotion drowned out the previous positive.
                  "Dump him then." Said Andre plainly.
                  "You don't even understand, we've been together for like four years!" Complained Zee.
                  "When your partner defines who you are and what you do is when you need to get the flying fuck out of the relationship - just a tip." Jeff literally summed up the way that every single teenager - no - every adult - should ever think, and always think, about relationships.
                  "Your partner should let you be free as to who you are, not turn you into them." He added.
                  Andre turned around to notice Thapello walking up to herb pit. Andre's eyebrows jumped "You don't smoke, do you?".
                  "No." Said Thapello, watermelon smile draped upon his face. "But neither do you!"
                  "Well, once in a while." Andre replied.
                  "Hey Thapello!" Arielle said cutely as she smiled, cutely.
                  "Hey Arielle, how are you?" - The rest of Arielle and Thapello's conversation was TV static in Andre's mind. Andre looked over at Jeff and noticed him staring into the distance as he was. Andre wondered if Jeff, too, was contemplating and exploring life, all while standing in the same position. The static evaporated.
                  "So many absent teachers." Jeff said softly to himself.
                  "You gonna show up at Violets?" Thapello asked Andre as he came to his senses.
                  "Ehh, I don't know bro, I'm not really into those kind of situations." He replied honestly.
                  "Come! It'll be fun!" Said Zee, jumping in to the conversation.
                  "For you, Zee." Andre said, already bored.
                  "Why wouldn't it be fun for you too?" Zee persisted.
                  "Well, I prefer biking around aimlessly and building empires. Meeting strangers and interacting with human beings that I actually enjoy to be around, rather than just hanging out with them because we happen to go to the same educational institute and were born in the same year. You see, Zee, It's like stereotyping - just because we happen to be raised in similar circumstances and taught similar methods does NOT mean that we will agree about life choices and have a good time hanging out with one another." Andre's rant seemed to flow, not as if he had practiced, but rather as if knew himself so well his words bounced like a poem off the tip of his tongue.
                  "You're such a downer." Said Zee, plainly.
           "Well maybe you're just a basic bitch!" Andre's guilt hit instantly. "Sorry, Zee, you're not a bitch, but what you said was basic."
                   "That was a good rant though, Andre." Arielle added.
                   "You and Jeff are honestly child philosophers." Added Hil.
                  
Arielle smiled as she thought back to 11 minutes prior.

 "Yeah, I was thinkin' about stabbing someone to get my rep up."






















Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Benches / September 5th / Thursday

THE BENCHES

September 5th / Thursday

“Any of y'all dogs wanna buy some fireworks?” Was the first thing Andre heard from the back of his consciousness as he came out of 30 seconds of deep, cosmic exploration. There were 8 individuals that looked too young to be adults yet too old to be children sitting on a set of graffiti covered bleachers that faced a baseball field and seemed to be a popular spot for dog walkers and weed smokers. Andre swiveled on his bottom to see who was speaking. “Mighty-Mites are twenty bucks a brick, and M-80's fifteen bucks apiece” The firework salesman looked in his early 20s and wore a black jacket with a fur hood and adidas track pants. Nobody seemed to answer him. Andre looked around to inquire if anyone else had noticed, but it seemed he was the only one paying attention to the salesman. “Um, no thanks, but thanks for the thanks.” The man had a puzzled look on his face, gave a nod, then walked away. Andre recalled his statement and thought there must have been something wrong with it, however, he had already forgotten what he had said. He looked over at four bubbly teens who sat in a close circle, laughing methodically. They were playing cards.
“What game is this?” Andre asked the teenagers, who were deeply into their realm of strategic yet incomprehensibly random throwing patterns . “Durak.” One of them said. “Some Russian game.”
“How do you play?” asked Andre.
“Trust me, I've tried to learn many times – explaining won't help.” Said a fifth person, who was sitting on the top row of bleachers like Andre was. The bleachers were made up of three sets of long, thin, wooden boards. The lowest set of boards was about one foot from the ground, while the other two sets were six inches higher than the previous, and about 12 inches apart. Due to the shape of the benches, it was extremely easy to back out of a conversation and join another at a simple swivel of the butt cheeks.




The girl who had who had answered Andre was still staring him, puffing her cigarette. She had dyed (not natural, like Sharlit's) blonde hair, wore a black Juicy Couture hoody, yoga pants, and had a violent pimple on her upper lip. Her name was Hilary, but everybody called her Hil.
“Seems confusing.” said Andre - Hil didn't seem to notice. Two older teenage girls were sitting to the left of Andre. One of the girls, Courteney, was sitting cross legged, eyes closed, balancing with ease upon the bleachers. The other, Ellie, was staring at the blue October sky with a very blank look on her face trying to get the last dregs of real sunlight before the winter months tormented the outdoors. A collect yell of incomprehensible words signaled the end to the complex card game. The sudden outbreak of noise seemed to startle the sunbathing friends. Ellie jumped up like an excited dog.
“Who's going to Violet's this Friday?” A chorus of “me” and “I am” rang from the bench-sitters.
“Not me.” said the blonde one.
“Who's violet?” asked the gingery one.
“Some sassy ass bitch who can't keep her mouth shut – just kidding!” Cara laughed and showed her incredibly beautiful teeth.
“Okay, she's not that bad.” Said Ellie, defending Violet.
“She's been rude to me before, that's all I know.” Added Hil.
“I'd actually rather die than go to a place like that. I don't have anything against Violet, but it's actually like an internal suicide being in a room with a bunch of those kids.” Said Andre, talking to anyone who was listening.
“Word.” Replied Jeff.
“I wasn't either, but I'd be down to go.” Said Magowan, who dealing cards out in a circular fashion.
“Please do, Magowan.” Said Cara. “And bring your friends so all those loser people will get scared.”
“Hey no need to be mean now.” Said Arielle.
“No no, my dear.” Cara looked into Arielle's eyes. “These are the judgemental folk that make you feel worse about yourself. If you walk in their puffing a cigarette, all you get is dirty looks. I prefer the parties where people ask you for a light, rather than a kiss.”
Arielle smiled, but Andre could tell that she didn't entirely agree with Cara's statement.
“What about if they ask you for a line?” said Hil quietly to herself.
“I prefer when they ask you for a conversation.” Said Andre.
“That's what I meant when I said light, Dre.” Said Cara, exhaling herb smoke.
“You meant conversation when you said light?” Andre smiled. “I dunno, I guess I don't catch on that fast.”
“Anyway! Throw away your judgements please! Any of you can come to Violet's if you want! This Friday! Just don't be idiot and don't get kicked out.”
“Word.” Said Magowan, now drawing on the bench surface with a sharpie. “I'll bring Umansky and Rovogin and what not.”
“Don't you dare bring Felming or Julio though.” Ellie stared directly at Magowan.

“All right! All right!” Magowan paused. “If they come" he paused again. "It's not my fault.”

Magowan!”

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Wordsmithing / September 4th / Wednesday


WORDSMITHING

September 4th / Wednesday 

                                Mattias was ecstatic when he saw who was in his seating group: Sharlit and Andre. He didn't bother to read the other four names of those in the seating group written underneath the arrangement that was drawn on the chalkboard at the front of the class. He walked across the classroom with excitement. The classroom was very unusual. First off, it was shaped like a giant triangle, obtuse if you looked at in one way, acute the other, and on some days, neither. And a chalkboard – this was the only room in the entire school with one (every other room has a white board, or some new form of technology). Every inch of the every wall was covered in posters and inspirational quotes. Mattias saw at least ten posters that he hadn't noticed before, which was a pretty low number in comparison to how many he usually didn't recognize – after all, he hadn't been in the classroom all summer. He always got a strange vibe that the room was constantly changing. A short, blonde, and chubby teenager with a longboard sat across the table from Mattias. Matt had known him since first year but had never had a conversation with him that lasted more than an attention span. “Chase” Matt read on the blonde boy's longboard as he looked directly upwards at a picture with a sleeping kitten and a caption reading “If life gives you lemTOO CLICHE MOTHE - ” Mattias could tell that someone had obviously written over the original quote, but how they managed to get that high on the ceiling, he couldn't tell. Two more very different looking teens sat down around Mattias, while Andre and Sharlit were still nowhere to be seen. One of the teens was Irvyne, a 5th year. Irvyne was short and blonde, wore a short jean skirt with ripped black tights underneath, an ACDC T-Shirt that was low cut enough to show her push-up bra, wore firetruck red lipstick, and had eyelashes that were somewhere near in between the border of glamorous and frightening. The other teenager was Jeff, a yellow skinned, tired looking individual with a laptop at the ready and a plume of black hair.
They were in the wordsmithing classroom, which functioned as a counselors office after hours and as the student council's meeting place during lunch break. Arielle, the red headed girl that Sharlit had mentioned to Mattias, took a seat next to him.
“Arielle, right?” Said Mattias.
“Oh My God” Arielle said, startled. “How does everybody know me already?”
“Hmmm...” Mattias racked his brains for something charismatic to say. “Probably because you're incredibly easy to notice with that mane of ginger-ness.” Arielle's smile evaporated.
“And because you look like a mermaid.” He added hastily. Her smile returned.
“Good save, asshole.” Said Arielle in a non-offensive manner.
“I'm not an asshole!” Retorted Mattias, offended. “Assholes are self centered, just like donuts... I'm more like a bagel.”
It wasn't an incredibly funny statement, but Mattias was trying establish the fact that he was kind, and to avoid any prejudice of being a total dickweed. After about 60 seconds of conversation between the new friends, Arielle and Mattias, Andre and Sharlit walked into class and plopped into their seats. Hilarity ensued in conversation between classmates for an amount of time until the silence was broken oh-so-famous Mr. Medissin walked into class and interrupted the teenagers' conversations. Mr. Medissin was wearing his predictable attire of khaki's and a Biggie Smalls T-Shirt. Mr. Medissin looked like a student. He wore Vans, a shoelace belt, ripped – but stylish – pants, and had a collection of rapper and band T-Shirts, most of whom didn't actually listen to, but wore the shirts because he thought they were cool.
“Wordsmithing” He said, coolly, as the excitable teenagers sadly went silent after hearing another droning voice. “The art of crafting your own words and your own ideas, with no boundaries.” No boundaries. This idea seemed to intrigue the class. “Writing stories, writing poems, writing lyrics – But not music! Now music is great! A very great thing! But!” His words were bouncing with excitement. He paused, and then continued. “Wordsmithing concerns only words, the crafting of phrases, how the syllables flow from the edge of the tongue and travel into the cosmos before they enter your ears. I don't like to lecture. I like to learn. I would much rather teach you how to teach me how to become a better teacher than teach you how to become better students.” Profound, thought Mattias. “There are many units we will be going through this year, they consist of rhymes, flow, syllables, content, BLABLAB....” The words were drowned out even in Arielle's best attempts to keep her semi-fried brain awake. “BLABLABLA….Our first unit this year focuses on rhymes.”

Arielle noticed Andre make a hilariously unusual silly face and poke Sharlit in the ribs.
“Umm... Why did he do that?” Arielle asked Mattias, observing Andre's excitement at what Mr. Medissin had said.
“Just wait.” Replied Mattias. “it'll be cooler if you hear for yourself.”
“Cooler? What?” Arielle was bewildered. Mr. Medissin continued. “Before anything, let me give you some examples of rhyming.” Mr. Medissin started to write on the chalkboard. It looked to Arielle as he was writing without a piece of chalk, and just with the tip of his finger, but no one else seemed to notice this.

The chalkboard had 4 columns and 7 rows, each entitled with a caption.

LAP
LAPTOP
OVERWIEGHT
UNDERESTIMATE
1



2



3



4



5



6



7




Andre started before the teacher said another word -

“ Whole buncha kids tryin' to rap on they laptops / I am the mascot / listen to what Matt drops / you are just the backdrop / happy cause I laugh lots / I have got a fat - ”
“Andre, you're very experienced” Mr. Medissin interrupted. “But let the other kids have a chance.” Mr. Medissin didn't sound angry, in fact, he was speaking in a very calm manner.
“Oh. He's a rapper or whatever.” Arielle now understood Andre's previous excitement, and nodded at Mattias.
“Class, I want each of your table groups to come up with at least seven rhymes for all of these words!” Seven? Thought Arielle. Holy shit.
Sharlit seemed to read Arielle from across the table. “Don't worry Arielle, it's all just a copy fest, most answers come from Andre, anyway, let him do all the work.” Sharlit's bright smile lit up Arielle's insides.
Mr. Medissin continued. “And when I say I want rhymes for these words, remember each syllable must rhyme! Yes map rhymes with lap, but not sure as hell doesn't rhyme with laptop.”
“How not?” Asked Arielle.
“Well, my dear.” Mr. Medissin came over to Arielle's desk, and looked her in the eye. “Each syllable must rhyme, and plop rhymes with top, but it does not rhyme with laptop, understand?”
“No.” Said Arielle, honestly.
Mr. Medissin pulled up a chair. “Alright, so can you think of anything that rhymes with underestimate?”
Arielle racked her brains. “Featherweight?”
“Not bad.” Mr. Jones sounded slightly impressed. “Featherweight rhymes with estimate, but what part of featherweight rhymes with under?”
It clicked. “Oh, so like, fucking featherweight would rhyme with underestimate,?” The whole table group, including the shy blonde kid, Chase, burst into laughter.
“Exactly, my dear! You cannot be more correct!” Even Mr. Medissin tried to suppress laughter. “Although.” He continued. “According to school rules, I must tell you that swearing is not allowed in class, and that if I hear you do it again, I'll have to give you a detention.”

Mr. Medissin gave her a wink.


Then again, that's just school rules.” 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Mr Spacey / September 4th / Wednesday


MR. SPACEY

September 4th / Wednesday 

              Arielle's first cohesive thought in the morning was “Why the hell are there so many 13 year old boys with peach fuzz dancing around me.” Arielle had already been awake for a whole hour and fifteen minutes, but the lack of Starbucks in her bloodstream restrained her from conjoining loose thoughts and forming them into brain code. She knew she had definitely woken up, rolled out of bed, spent an undisclosed number of minutes in her bathroom, walked out the door at ten past eight, and was now sitting in second period woodwork class. She knew she had had Social Studies first period, taught by her homeroom teacher's father, Foular Senior. Thankfully, Senior's soothing voice and slack teaching attitude allowed most kids to nod off while World War II tactics were discussed.
Arielle could barely hear the announcements being broadcast over the school PA system while kids shouted back and forth across the class “...Good Tuesday morning Tunebears!...Mrs. Linkydink....Mr. Misty....Shortage of teachers....” The crackling voice that seemed to be coming from all directions was drowned by a chorus of acne-covered youngsters trying to rap out Eazy-E's “Boyz In Tha Hood”. Arielle couldn't understand what the boys we're doing, marching in a circle, trying to rap. However she could understand why the boys were doing it, she told herself. It was out of boredom, simply put. She knew the feeling of boredom very well, but would've solved her dilemma in a way separate from doing gangsta rap. Sharlit noticed a teenager wearing a Supreme hat and wondered if he was dyslexic like she was, because she saw him writing out a word in sharpie that looked similar to “OFWGKTA”. Arielle contemplated whether this meant something, but she ruled out all possibilities.
Arielle had just plugged her headphones in when a man who resembled a magician-comedian walked in the door. The man was skinny, at least 6 feet tall, and was wearing a black suit designed with gray swirls that matched the notebook he has in his shirt pocket. He wore circular black glasses like Ozzy Osborne, and had strawberry blonde hair that resembled a peacock, spreading outward and upward making his persona look bigger. A modern Einstein, or a white Danny Brown, Arielle thought.
“Alright, class.” Said the modern Einstein said with a friendly authority. The reassuring kind of authority, as opposed to the frightening. As if the police showed up at a crime scene, but you were getting saved, not arrested. “Mr. Buyers is away on holiday, and they've asked me to take leadership of his class until he returns.” A laugh erupted as a member of Eazy-E's choir threw a paper airplane across the class. The Einstein man caught it with the tips of his fingers. The boys went quiet. “Sadly, however” He continued as if he hadn't noticed. “I do not have the paperwork that allows students to go into the workshop under my authority.” He glanced around, still full of confidence. “But!” He shouted excitedly. “That does not mean this class will be a waste of time, nor does it mean you can skip out without my notice!” The man had a voice that made you want to keep listening, like every word was a cliffhanger. “I.” He said boldly. “am Mr. Spacey.” Students exchanged glances. “I am trained as a counselor for youth, but am more than excited to share a thing or two about digital magic.” Arielle wasn't sure what 'digital magic' meant, but she kept listening. “In an era of cellphones, it seems like you youngsters never have to knock on doors anymore, or check in at home with your parents. You live in a system with dozens of shortcuts.” The entire class leaned in to listen. “I mean, who's going to bother asking Dad to drive them to Forever 21 when you can buy the latest fashion online? Who wants to take planning with a teacher when you can take the short route via internet?”
“You can't take woodwork online.” mentioned a boy that Arielle recognized from her homeroom.
“You'd be surprised, Dre.” replied Mr. Spacey, trying to dart away from the question. “Now, when I say digital magic.” Mr. Spacey continued. “Not only do I mean that we are living in the digital age, but also we are in an age when we must learn how to use our digits properly.” Arielle and the teacher made eye contact.
“Red head!” He shouted. “What is your name?” Asshole she thought. Calling me a red head.
“Arielle.” Said Arielle, hoping the attention of the class would divert away from her.
“Tell me, Arielle. What do you think when I say use your digits properly?”
A silence ensued. “Uh, our fingers?” Arielle guessed.
“Ahh!” The teacher's eyebrows made an eccentric jump. “I was hoping for the wrong answer.”
“Sorry.” Said Arielle, feeling a twinge of guilt upon disappointing the teacher.
“Sorry? Sorry? My dear, do not be sorry! You've exceeded expectations! Fingers ARE what I meant! Most students take at least five guesses before they manage to figure out what I'm talking about.”
“Fingers.” Said the teacher. Arielle wasn't sure if she should be concerned or intrigued. She stuck with confused. “Digital Magic. How to use your electornics and how to use your fingers.”
“Like fingermagic?” Asked Arielle.
“Exactly, my dear! You cannot be more correct!”
Mr. Spacey twisted his fingers in a peculiar pattern. Arielle noticed the boy with the Supreme hat who was doodling earlier stop in his strokes, and look disappointingly as his Sharpie had no more ink.
“We must exercise our fingers!” Yelled the teacher. “First! We start with the most basic of basics – applying pressure.” Mr. Spacey closed his eyes and pressed the tips of his thumbs and index fingers together, as if he were meditating. “Slowly” He said, every word still interesting. “Press all four of your digits, in order, against your thumb. Press hard enough to hurt yourself, but not hard enough to get hurt.” Classmates stared at each other wondering what the teacher meant. Nobody bothered to ask though, they were all too intrigued by their new woodwork teacher who seemed to be some sort of charismatic crackpot.
* * *
One extremely eye-opening woodwork class later, Arielle wondered what had been so soothing about Mr. Spacey's attitude and the entire finger-yoga exercises. – the man was extraordinary – his personality  threw away all expectations of lowliness inferred to from his looks.
* * *
As Arielle waited at the parking lot for her father to pick her up, a familiar voice jumped out from behind her.  Arielle spun around to see Sharlit and two other unidentified girls smiling at her.
“Hey!” Sharlit beamed. “This is Courteney and Ellie!”
“Heeeeyyy” Said the two girls in unison, dragging out their vowels as if they were pronouncing a drunk text phonetically. “We know about you, and we admire your hair from afar!” Said Ellie.
Arielle was overwhelmed with happiness. “Oh my gods thanks guys! I hate my hair!”
“No girl, I want it!” Said Courteney.
Arielle vibrated with joy in her usual fashion“You guys make me really happy!” Smiles were shared.
Sharlit didn't even have to say a word – her positive energy was already contagious.
“Anyway, Arielle.” Words were spoken, but Arielle wasn't listening: she was in a world of bliss. Courteney and Ellie both reminded Arielle of Sharlit - what seemed like best friends within minutes of acquaintance.


She was in a world of bliss.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Herb Pit / September 3rd / Teusday


Herb Pit / September 3rd / Teusday

It almost felt like it was Hogwarts. Like you'd been sent to the school of your dreams after being tormented by an ungrateful family your whole life. Amazing people everywhere, (it seemed the Draco Malfoy's hadn't show up yet) amazing classes for the most part, and amazing teachers, ¾ of the time. Sharlit bounced into Music Composition class. The class was supposed to be taught by Mrs. Linkydink, but it was ran by a couple of the seniors who were mature enough to keep the kids occupied while Mrs. Linkydink did her coffee-runs and had her cigarette breaks in between yelling at kids. The seniors that ran the class were Mattias Jenkins, an average stoner and self-entitled philosopher, Marianne Placeholder, a kind soul who kept a firm grip on misbehaving kids, and who bore an uncanny resemblance to Jasmine from Alladin – and Izzy Hueng, a FOB Asian who had seemed like he hadn't had a full education on which clothes were appropriate for males and females in the Western Hemisphere.
“Mrs. L. didn't show up this morning...and we have no idea were she is.” Mattias said, loud enough for everyone to hear, but in an unconcerned enough voice that made it seem like everything was going to be okay and that no one really cared anyway. “Roma, Michael – you guys can't sit together. Magowan, Baretta  don't leave in the middle of class please. Aaanndd....” Mattias looked around the room to recall if he had missed anything. He stared at Sharlit, and paused. “Nope that's it! 75 minutes without Mrs. L! Have a blast!”
Just like everyone, Mattias was mesmerized by Sharlit. She was a year younger than him, but he had had a major on and off crush on her since 8th grade. The thing that most males experienced with Sharlit, however, was even though you could ask her on 1000 dates, she would never think anything of it, and would act like you were friends who had no interference of love whatsoever. Mattias had gone on 12 “dates” with Sharlit. He stopped counting them as dates after that because he realized they were just “chill seshes” as she would call them. Hanging out. Having a good time. No love or sexual tension even considered. Mattias looked around the classroom. Magowan and Baretta were definitely not in their seats (how long since he asked them not to leave, 20 seconds?), and Roma and Michael had began to untune guitars as fast as they could. Mattias walked over to Sharlit, ignoring all other preoccupations.
“Sup, loser.” Said Sharlit.
“Nah much homzie.” Said Mattias. “Mrs. L called in sick and they notified us at like 7 telling us we needed to run the class without her.”
Sharlit laughed in response. “Do they not even have a substitute?”.
“No.”
“That's honestly so welfare. Even I'd do a better Mrs. L than you.”
“At the being psycho part, not the music part.” Mattias joked.
“Oh, yeah?” Sharlit liked to pretend it was a competition, and she started strumming Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix on the acoustic guitar she was holding. “Better than you.” She said. She was really good at guitar.
“You cease to amaze everybody.” Mattias said, speaking from the bottom of his heart. Sharlit just smiled and kept strumming away.
“Mattias, can you please go find Magowan and them? They've gone somewhere.” Marianne said to Mattias, tapping him on the shoulder. Mattias stared at Marianne.
"Can't you see I'm clearly busy talking to - "
“Sharlit, yes. No. I don't know. Just do it.”
“Lol.” Mattias said, phonetically.
Mattias got up to walk away as Sharlit gave him a friendly butt spank. Mattias checked his watch – it was 9:39 - AM. Dang. He thought. I would've slept in til 12 if mom let me. Mattias walked out the back door of the music room that opened to the school field hoping he would see were the rebellious students had dashed off to. The school field was 100 by 300 feet, lusciously green, was dotted with indistinguishable silver objects, and had big soccer goals at both ends – there! Mattias saw Magowan, Baretta  and another unidentified teenager a little more than halfway across the field.
“Hey!” yelled Mattias. “Get back here!”.
“You come here!” Yelled Magowan. Normally Mattias wouldn't have even considered it, but he paused in his tracks, and remembered that Mrs. Linkydink wasn't in class today. He poked his head back inside of the classroom to notice that Marianne had taken his seat beside Sharlit and was now in deep conversation; Roma and Michael were still occupied with some form of mischief, and the rest of the kids were making fun of Izzy from a distance. A couple were playing guitar too.
“Be right back.” Mattias shouted across the class to Marianne, who didn't notice. 30 Seconds later, Mattias had ran across the back field and around the corner into the Herb Pit. The Herb Pit was like a secret smoke pit. It was only about 50 feet away from, yet still in the view of the school thanks to a couple of trees. “You serious?” Magowan laughed. “Skipping your own class to smoke weed, while you're supposed to be teaching.” a sarcastic tone was definitely being used, but the stoners were more than happy than sad that Mattias had joined them in their sesh.

A couple of minutes of bored, half-assed conversation ensued until the green bowl was passed around the circle, twice.

A time of conversation...

A time of laughter....

A time of... something...

A time of fried memories...

“Shit.” Mattias thought, coming to his senses. “How long's it been?”
Sasha, the unidentified stoner from earlier, laughed. “Good bud, huh?”
“Yeah, but I gotta get back to class!”
“Relax, goofball.” Said Magowan. “We've literally been out here for like 15 minutes.” Mattias checked his watch. 9:59 AM.
The next indistinguishable period of time included smoking a joint and having some good heart to hearts with the trees at the Herb Pit. Jokes were tossed and cigarette butts were thrown into the unusually giant sewer grate that stood a few feet away.
“Is there even a bottom to this thing?” Asked Baretta.
“Hello!” Magowan yelled into the giant sewer. His echo replied “hello – hello – hello – hello”.
A loud 'clunk' was heard from the bottomless pit.

A spirit of silence entered the group of young men and overwhelmed them, until they all accepted that it would probably be a good idea to embrace the peace and quiet.


“HEY!” Blurted a powerful, happy voice, frightening the life out of the partaking individuals. The boys turned around to see none other than – Sharlit. “Naughty boys, being all super deep and philosophical, smoking a blizzy during class time. I don't blame you though, I would too, If I were a pooks.” Sharlit's spontaneous accent seemed to grown with each word she said. The boys laughed. Not because they wanted her to think they liked her, but because she was funny.
“Skipping class, smoking weed. What is this Shar?” Mattias said flirtatiously, like the loser that he was.
“I could say the same for you, doofus! I'm not even going to smoke.” All the boys, again, laughed at Sharlit's comment.
“Besides, I have spare next block, and me and Arielle and Hil are going to go lie on a quillow and talk about boys.”
Mattias stared at Sharlit. “They're going to talk about boys. You're going to talk about educated shit that actually makes a difference in life.”
“Probably true. Plus I'm gonna bring my guitar and jam out fat.”
A girl who wore black jeans and shoes and a leather jacket walked over to the stoner circle and lit a cigarette. Sasha offered her the bowl, but she said she didn't smoke - Sharlit didn't smoke either. Sharlit, Mattias, Sasha, Barett, and Magowan had all known the girl with the cigarette for a long time, since all five of them – Sharlit, Mattias, Magowan, Baretta  and Sasha – had been going to Andre's Academy since they were first were in first year. The girl's name was Sarah. She was never very talkative, but never seemed angry. She kept to herself.
Another indistinguishable period of time passed by as the group of fuzzy-brained on-drugs teenagers laughed in conversation while watching Sarah colorfully spray paint “MEDIA KILLS CREATIVITY” on the ground at the Herb Pit.
“That's flipping amazing.” Said Sharlit, staring at Sarah's freshly drying spray paint. A huge smile showed up on Sarah's face, which was extremely unusual, except for with Sharlit.
“Thanks, dear.” Said Sarah in a voice that was much softer than her 1970's punk rock appearance. Everybody simultaneously shouted “Yaaay!” for obvious stoner reasons, and started walking back to class. Mattias checked his watch.

It was only 10:03....How? –


Good bud”

The Academy / September 3rd / Teusday

The Academy / September 3rd / Teusday

Sharlit was like, “the one”. The one who everyone wanted to be. She was that one girl in the whole school that everybody knew, yet nobody hated. You could literally put effort into hating her, but it would be actually impossible. She had it all - a sweet aroma, platinum blonde curls, a white smile. But the most amazing thing, which was tenfold more stunning than all of her physical features combined, was her positive, bubbly, energy filled personality that seemed to fire rays of joy that surged through your body whenever she was around. You could have seen her in the hallway, whether receiving a simple (amazingly pearly white) smile, or a full on “Hey!” accompanied with one of those flirty hand waves that kind of look like you're tickling somebody in a repetitive pattern. Seriously though, it was like, she could get along with the try-hard Asians, the stuck-up bitches, the stoners, the jocks, the artsy folk, and the regular people without categories. She volunteered to help out with the special needs kids after school, and at least once or twice a week she would hang out at with the smoke pit kids – but wouldn't smoke. She could be friends with anyone.
“Hey” Said Sharlit, as she sat down in one of the designated blue school chairs next to a freckled red head with a summery feel, while a nervous teacher wearing a “GO TUNEBEARS GO” sweater spoke to himself repetitively at the front of the classroom, rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet.
“I'm Sharlit.” Said the blonde girl. “You're Arielle – right?” A smile lit up on the red head's face.
“Ya! How –”
“Oh, don't be shocked -” Interrupted Sharlit. “I follow you on Tumblr. I'm a fan.” Arielle s smile got even wider as her cheekbones levitated in unison with her hands and she started vibrating with excitement. “Oh my gods, I love you!”
Sharlit laughed. “And we were on the same softball team in like grade 2 remember?” Sharlit said, talking almost as if she and Arielle had already become best friends within 15 seconds.
“I actually don't, but I wish I did!” Arielle said smiling, but with a frown of guilt in her eyes. “I have a really bad memory!”
“Trust me, I don't mind.” Sharlit said, sincerely. “I can barely remember my daily homework load.”
“Yet you manage to get straight A's.” A deep voice said sarcastically, as a 'cute' boy (any boy was cute to Arielle) rotated in his chair and made eye contact with both girls for a split second as redness flushed through Arielle's face making her skin camouflage in with her freckles.
Sharlit replied back in confidence. “Yes, I do get good grades, Magowan, and I love it! It makes me feel great about myself!”
“Getting stoned makes me feel good about myself.” Magowan said, staring at a environmental awareness poster across the classroom, talking to no one in particular except for what seemed to be the ghost of his own boredom.
“I like getting stoned.” Arielle replied in an honest but quiet voice. Magowan turned around. “Nice.” Magowan seemed friendly. “Are you any good at rolling?”
Arielle laughed and smiled. “No, I'm not really good at any kind of weed thing besides the smoking part”.
Magowan, Sharlit, and an anonymous dark sinned teenager all laughed what seemed like a sincere laugh at Arielle's statement – this cheered her up.
“Trust me, Girl.” Sharlit said with a stereotypical Southern United States African American teenage girl accent, that would be welcomed on WorldStarHipHip.Com. “If you wanna be rolling high class and rolling doobies, you gotta be rolling with me!” Sharlit's accent didn't die down – she sounded like a full fledged gospel singer. Arielle felt positive energy surge through her, but she didn't say anything about the spontaneous accent because she was too surprised that an angel of a girl like Sharlit would ever even consider smoking pot.
“You tryna be a gangsta or som'm?” Said the dark, now noticeably male, face that Arielle noticed earlier. The face had a gigantic smile on it. The boy was almost charcoal black with a giant mouth, and an unnaturally large pair of headphones hanging around his neck engraved with a finger pattern on the end. At least 8 people around the classroom laughed at his comment, while only 4 people were actually in the immediate conversation. Arielle started noticing more and more people look her way.
“Sharlit, please. You ain't even smokin' kill.” Said the dark skinned boy. The two opposite colored but similarly beautiful faces made eye contact that had a yeah that was our inside joke and you aren't part of it bitch vibe to it. The dark face directed itself at Arielle  Normally Arielle would've been frightened, but the huge smile seemed contagious.
“Nice to meet you, the name's Thapello.”
“Nice to meet you, too! I'm Arielle!” Said Arielle in a high-pitched voice, lengthening her vowels to make herself sound a little more friendly.
Thapello's accent was warm, just like his smile and voice, although they were hard to categorize. The fact that he looked scary (except for his smile), yet acted nice was a little off putting.
“Okay class.” The nervous teacher croaked, trying to raise his voice. Arielle and Sharlit payed immediate attention, while Magowan and Thapello said something that sounded like “Marianne... Party... Knocked Out!” and went into a fit of laughter. Ten seconds of teenage gossip ensued, then became silent in a soft crescendo.
“Alright class, so this is my first day teaching ever and I'm super nervous about it and I don't know how to keep a class under control!” The teacher blurted in one breath, his voice getting louder and louder every syllable he progressed further. By now no one was talking besides two girls at the back of the class, one dressed like an Anime character with a pink headband and high socks, the other in a black leather jacket with a cigarette in her ear. Another girl was completely oblivious to the teacher, and stroked her phone screen repetitively.
“Thank you.” Said the teacher, with a bit more confidence. “I'm Mr. Foular, and I'll be your homeroom teacher for the rest of the year. I don't really do much besides take attendance and tell you good luck during in the tenth grade.”
Heads went down slowly as the teacher kept ranting. “...Extra curricular....Lots of fun.....Budget cuts.....” The teacher kept talking until almost every head in the classroom was either nodding to sleep, subtweeting, or playing the newest version of Angry Birds on their who-knows-what types of flashy electronics.
“Here!” Sharlit blurted, startling Arielle. She had nodded off for at least a minute.
“Nigg-When-Ya?” Said the teacher.
“Ing-win-yah”. Said Thapello, as if he had repeated the exact same phrase a million times before.
“Magowan!” Yelled the teacher, as the tall dozy-eyed boy with a gym bag and an Arizona Iced Tea container yelled “Present!”, and his entourage of friends behind him laughed and said phrases that were similar to “you're so baked” and “Magowan's ripped”.
“Magowan.” whispered Sharlit, chuckling to herself. Arielle blurted out her words before she had time to think about what she was saying. “Is everyone here like a weed-smoker or something?”.
Thapello and Magowan made eye contact. “I don't go to high school, I go to school high!” They laughed and proceeded to do some sort of secret handshake. Arielle stared, but ignored what seemed to be like an inside joke.
“I'd say so yes, for the general public of adventurous children.” The voice wasn't familiar. Arielle spun around to see another new face talking to her. This was unusual for Arielle  as she was generally not one for meeting new people. The new face kept talking. It was a boys face.
“But if you added up the population of like the entire school together, the weed-smokers would probably only take up like 20 to 30 percent.”
“Cool. Cool.” Replied Arielle. “At my old school people left me out because I wanted to smoke weed.”
The boy laughed genuinely . “Welcome to Andre's Academy, I think you'll enjoy it here.”
***

It seemed like a split second had gone by when the bell rang. Arielle's last hour and 15 minutes had been flooded with positive energy as her and Sharlit talked about their schedules, boys, good vs. bad teachers, Pretty Little Liars, and Tumblr, all while strangers would lean into their conversation cracking jokes and bringing joy. Arielle walked of class completely oblivious as to where to go next.
“Home room. Now what?” Arielle said, walking out of class, hoping one of her new friends, half of whom she didn't know the names of, would answer her.
Sharlit answered first. “Yeah! Home room's all we have for today! We're free to roam! Go adventure! Be spontaneous guurlll” Sharlit dragged out her syllables. Another surge of now slightly familiar but all the same amazing joy filled Arielle.
“By the way, Dre, you left your hoody in my brother's room.” Sharlit said to the boy who Arielle had talked about stoner populations with. “Anyway, nice meeting you Arielle!”
“You too!” Arielle squeaked. Arielle stared at Sharlit as she walked down the stairs, hair bouncing, throwing comments at almost every person she passed by. “If I was lesbo I'd so go for that bitch.” Arielle thought out loud. She felt like someone was watching. There was a big person behind her. She turned around as she saw Thapello's smile grow to the size of a watermelon as he tried to talk, but every syllable was intertwined with a huge laugh that made his sentence slightly inaudible.
“Keep that to yourself, Missy. Don't get me wrong she is one damn good-looking girl but...” Thapello didn't even finish his sentence, as he was laughing too hard. Arielle was confused, what had she said?

Oh right.

She was thinking out loud.