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Emilee Sat at Her Desk...
Emilee sat at her desk, working on Trigonometry. Every so often she would peek at the clock in order to know the time to make her escape into the hallway, a five minute vacation from the 46 minute hell. Emilee’s day often consisted of waiting…waiting to get out of school so she could wait for the weekend so she could wait for summer. She waited for something better to happen until she could make the greatest escape of all time—college.
Not that Emilee sat at home doing nothing while she waited. No, she ran cross country and track. She was alright. Unfortunately, running could only take up so much time after school.
The bell rang. Whatever sleep crust had been left in Emilee’s eyes from when she woke up had definitely been knocked out by the glorious (yet startlingly loud) bell that granted the first five minute get-away. Emilee gathered up her things in no particular hurry, and managed to make sure the age-showing notebook and textbook were closed as she hugged the two to her chest. With her calculator in her opposite hand, she left the sanity of the classroom to the chaos called hallways. The sharp whispCLANG of slammed lockers echoed, mixed with dull fragments of conversation, off the walls. High heels clacked, sneakers squeaked, and men’s dress shoes silently left black scuff marks on the tile floor. Already famished boys opened brown bags to extract snacks, the first of many throughout the day. Shreds of giggles and hushed whispers of sometimes old, sometimes new gossip wafted through the air. Emilee quickly waded through all of this to make it to her locker.
“Jeez, you are so slow, Emmy. I made it to my locker to get my stuff and still get here before you, to your own locker.”
“Sorry,” Emilee jokingly mumbled to her friend Ann. “It takes me awhile to wade through everyone.” This is true. Hallways can get so congested; people stop for more than 20 seconds at a time. After two years, upperclassmen knew the drill of putting underclassmen in their place. Usually it was mostly freshmen, and they separated like oil and water once a junior or senior came along.
“Ann, we don’t even go to the same class right now. What’s the big hurry?” Emilee asked.
“Well, so? Sorry I want to talk to my best friend…”
“Why, hello there, my dears. What’s going on today?” It was Victoria, whose locker was right next to Emilee’s locker.
“Hey, Vic. What’s up?” Ann and Emilee asked.
“Not much. Pretty boring day so far.” It was just over one hour into school on Friday. Not only were the first three hours of the day really boring, Fridays were just useless. Emilee failed to mention this to Victoria, because she was already deep in excavation mode. She pursed her thin pink lips even tighter, and her blue-green eyes narrowed. She dropped to her knees and yanked out two notebooks and a textbook. Shortly after, a flurry of papers fell from her backpack and fluttered to the ground. Vic glanced around herself and sighed, as if exasperated with a young toddler who only knew how to play 52-Card-Pickup. With a quick flick of the wrist, Vic swept up all the papers, crunched them into some sort of paper wad, and tossed them into her locker.
“Alright, let’s go.” Vic said, after one more exasperated sigh.
“I hate when that happens to me.” Emilee offered, with a touch of empathy.
“Em, that doesn’t ever happen to you. All your stuff is so organized.”
“See you guys later.” Ann said in front of the library.
Emilee nodded at Ann to acknowledge what she had just said as Em and Vic continued to the other side of the school.
“Well, sure that stuff happens to me. It happens to everybody. Besides, it’s no big deal. It’s Friday.”
Victoria murmured something in agreement. “Ricky still mad at you?” she asked. Ricky was Emilee’s best guy friend. Emilee considered him one of her best friends also, though.
Emilee half-shrugged. “Dunno.” She muttered. For the remainder of the walk the two girls didn’t say anything until they parted.
“Have fun in English. See you at lunch.”
“See ya. Have fun.” Obviously school was not fun. Sure, there was the occasional class or funny remark or great group project. But for the most part, school wasn’t fun. Saying “have fun” was kind of cementing how un-fun school usually was, but if left the door open for fun to come and go as it pleased.
Emilee had a theory, though. Science even backed her up. If you start out the morning saying things like “Today is a good day” or “I am happy today” or some other positive saying, your day will turn out positive. Mind over matter, right? If you think something is good, it will turn out well, for the most part. The positive-day-reinforces totally worked.
Except when your best friend is mad at you. Sometimes that poses a problem.
Emilee walked to her seat, dropped her books, and slid into the chair. She quickly glanced around, wondering if Ricky would sit next to her. The other night online, she made a comment about how pathetic he was with girls. How feeble his flirting was. She was only joking, but Ricky didn’t talk to her for the rest of the night. Ricky hardly looked in her direction yesterday. And today, it was the beginning of second hour, so she was about to find out if he was still holding the grudge.
Ricky shuffled into class and sat next to Emilee. He didn’t say a word. Emilee knew that if she said anything, she risked making him even madder, so she just kept her mouth shut. She had already apologized via online, via cell phone voicemail, and via handwritten note. She was just waiting to be forgiven.
All through class, Emilee just sat there and waited for Ricky to say anything to her. Fortunately, the teacher just lectured the whole hour so Emilee didn’t have to make small talk or even consider apologizing again. But still, it would’ve been nice if he wasn’t mad at her.
The bell rang and Emilee went to stand up, but an hand held a firm grip on her left forearm. “We need to talk.” Ricky grumbled.
“But I have to …” She trailed off and settled back into her chair. “Alright, go.”
Ricky took a breath and looked around the room. Once everybody had left, he took another deep breath. “I forgive you.”
Emilee just looked at him. I mean, he just made it seem like he had something important to say. Emilee had to hold back laughter. “What?” she asked.
He shrugged and smiled. “You’re my friend. I forgive you.” And that was that.
“Uh, cool, Ricky. I, uh, have to…go to class…” She picked up her things and trotted to her next class. Ricky was such a bizarre kid. He made it sound like he needed something more important than to forgive her. Of course, maybe he needed to say something else before she scampered off to class. Boys were weird.
Emilee halted in her tracks. She was the one who had wronged Ricky. She turned around and found him turning the corner.
“Hey, Ricky. Sorry I just … ran off like that. Thanks for apologizing. It means a lot to me. I’m really glad you’re my friend.”
Ricky smiled. “Yeah. I shouldn’t have been so uptight about it. It wasn’t even a big deal. I mean, you wouldn’t care if I did that to you.”
“Don’t push it, Ricky.” Emilee teased. “Seriously, though, I have to go to class.” Emilee turned from Ricky and walked off to her class with a clear conscience.