Fair warning - it's awful. And now that I've said that, you can not blame me for the brutal stinging of your eyeballs -.-
It became evidently clear that something was dramatically wrong when I walked into homeroom to see not Mr. Henderson at the chalkboard, but a new, short, fair-haired woman in a knitted cardigan (despite the weather), hovering about the room. The students who were already there had chosen their seats and were waiting patiently for attendance to begin, while the teacher – whoever she happened to be – was socializing with the peers.
I did not know who this woman was, but she obviously believed that she was at a country club or something other of the sorts than a high school homeroom, and this placed a rather disgruntled bee in my bonnet quite quickly.
Mr. Henderson did not socialize with the students. He called us hoodlums and announced our names with the characteristics of a dead body and obviously could not wait to exit the room. That is the way it had always been, and that was they way I liked it.
This person, however, was instantly ruining the mojo. And she definitely looked like one of those people who pretended to be nice but really weren't, because she wasn't even smiling as much as she was grimacing, unless that was her sorry attempt at a friendly facial movement.
In homeroom, the seating is a bunch of desks with two chairs at each of them, all through the room. You do not get to chose who you sit with unless you are fast. I chose a seat in the middle of the class, with the wall at my side, and promptly moved my red and silver backpack to the seat next to mine. This did not at all go unnoticed, because the new teacher – I now noticed she'd scrawled over the entire blackboard “Mrs. Tanner” – speared me with feral eyes immediately and began to make her way towards me.
I held my ground and kept a pleasant look, staring straight ahead at her lovely penmanship. I wondered whether or not to comment on that, because even I could not deny such a person their handwriting, but, while I was being my indecisive self, she paused by my desk.
“Mr. Zemeckis,” she told me, somehow having known my name, “what might your backpack be doing up here?” Oh, questions, questions, first day on the job.
“Well,” I began, “it is hardly a very high 'up', Mrs. Tanner. And I am saving this seat for a bosom friend. I would quite dislike it if someone whose company I'd much rather do without were to plant their tush here.”
She summoned a tight-lipped smile to her tight-lipped mouth. It was quite entertaining to watch the skin around her mouth stretch as if she'd never smiled before – that, actually, probably wasn't too far off, I imagined, though I rather smartly kept my imagination to myself.
Because her well-forced smile, the kind adults tend to give when they believe they are proving you wrong, was, as a matter of fact, quite intimidating!
“Mr. Zemeckis,” she said again, and let her index finger tap my backpack, “it appears that this 'friend' of yours will not be joining us this morning. So perhaps you would –”
The loud bang from across the classroom at first led me to believe that our wonderful homeroom door had randomly combusted. Inspection revealed that it was still intact and had been thrown open with gusto, smacking against the wall that held its door frame which said door was forever bound to. I gave Mrs. Tanner a somewhat smug smile and moved my backpack to my lap.
It is a strict, well-known, and common rule that we students are not allowed to run in the classrooms or halls, and dear Robert did just that. He quite literally skidded to a stop in front of Mrs. Tanner with a humorous expression mirroring surprise as to why she did not move an inch to avoid an unflattering collision – he flung himself into the now vacant chair beside me to barely miss smacking into her, this being an interesting feat that I quite enjoyed being a witness to.
“Good show, good man, good show,” I went.
Mrs. Tanner's smile had disappeared by now and she peered at us over her very prim spectacles. I smiled back and Bob muttered a sheepish, “Good morning, Mrs. Tanner” while refusing to make eye contact, and this seemed to satisfy her enough to release us from her web. Eying us once more with a look I could only interpret as a warning, she left us to ourselves and went to find other flies to chew on.
“I do say,” I decided, “she will be a tricky one.”
And so we sat there, smugly, together, carrying an air such as two kings next-in-line to the throne of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. This was because, under normal circumstances, it was not wise for us to sit together during classes of any kind. The teachers interspersed us and the rest of our gang at considerable intervals throughout the classrooms, ensuring that we kept our attention spans on schoolwork and did not cause trouble.
They are content to keep us separated, and that shalt not do. Substitutes, however, are quite fun, because most do not heed the warnings of the school's more experienced and allow the students to sit where we like.
The rest of homeroom went by like a breeze. We passed through attendance and then Mrs. Tanner, who had only arrived that morning and was quite set on possessing us, gave a little speech about Summer vacation and the dos and don'ts to maintain our natural teenaged innocence. I didn't hear much of it, for Bob was drawing something in his binder and would not allow me to see it, which led to me wrestling it from him while Mrs. Tanner had raised her nose in the air and could not see us, and it turned out to be his truck with added weapon mounts and flames dispersing from its rear.
And then, when all was said and done, the bell rang and Mrs. Tanner excused us, and so we left to fill the halls with our presence.
“I wouldn't mind you two acting like children so much,” Sophia said as she joined us by our particular row of blue lockers, “if you didn't do it so often, and in school, of all places!”
“Lass, we are simply expressing our integrity,” Bob announced with a sweep of one arm.
“There's a difference,” Sophia tossed back, “between integrity and stupidity.”
“Ah, yes. But our integrity – consistency of character, I might add – is unexplainable,” I added, philosophical, and opened my locker to retrieve my history books. “We are a mystery of science. Henceforth, we can not be classified.”
And Bob and I got to high-fiving, although he probably had no idea what I had just said. He is one of my best mates regardless, though. He has dark brown hair and chocolate eyes and works out as well, and even speaks with a Brooklyn accent that all the other chaps at school more or so are jealous of.
Sophia shook her head and gave up, her wavy black curls bouncing around her shoulders. “Fine – whatever. Do you guys have plans later?”
“Well, well, well, look who's so curious,” I quipped, rather unsmartly. ““Don't get me wrong, as much as your growing fixation with us rather flatters me, I must ask you to stop perpetually stalking me. And I must be going to our next class now, so please do not watch me walk away – it's disturbing.”
This was apparently the very last straw for Sophia, even so very early on in the morning, and she turned to huff away. We did not attempt to follow her because we knew quite well that it would only make matters worse, and instead went about retrieving our books.
“I say,” I said, once finished, “what are our plans?”
“Don't ask me!”
“Well, then! You, sir, are of no help!” I decided, and promptly closed my locker door. We then began to walk the halls in search of history class. “And please restrain your female – her obsession with me is becoming quite unhealthy.”
“That I will, but you yourself aren't so subtle either.”
“And now I have just enough reasons to suspect that you are mentally impaired. My, my, the days of youth – what have they done to you?”
“All I'm saying, my man, is that you bait her,” he said in a very matter-of-fact tone.
“Allow me to admit you to the looney bin with Bronx. I in no way have ever, ever baited your girlfriend – my devilish good looks and charm have nothing to do with this, so please do not bring them into it.”
“Phaha – whatever helps you sleep at night.”
“If you had as much smarts as you did contractible organs, you would be positively brilliant! Muscles for brains will only get you so far, you know!”
“As I'm aware of, although that is why I intend to borrow your spectacular cranium for next semester.” And he proceeded to grab me in a headlock to prove this statement. “I understand you wouldn't mind terribly, correct?”
“You are insufferable,” I informed him, and wriggled out from his grasp. By now we had received our fair share of odd looks from many bystanders.
“Ah, why, thank you – I shall cherish that thought.”
“I'm sure you shall – it's been said enough times! Now, speak of the lad, what say we go visit Bronx once we are ultimately released?”
“Why, that would be boss. Two o'clock?”
By now we had reached our class. Quite a bit ago, actually, but we'd been standing outside the door for a few moments because it is not wise to speak inside of Mr. Greyson's history classroom unless you are spewing time lines and ancient facts, but no one remembers those anyway, and thus the room is mostly silent.
Since, afterwards, I had my advanced classes to attend, we quickly agreed to meet at lunch and filed into the class. We took our seats – in far-away lands at opposing ends of the class, wherever Mr. Greyson's eyes directed us – and cooperated. For a short time, at least.
Comments, please! C:
Did you see that? That twas a cheesy smile C: