Karina sits outside on the bench in silence, feeling the heat on her arms. Lynette takes a seat next to her and licks an ice cream cone. They both face straight forward, Lynette’s eyes darting around every so often.
“It’s a nice day today,” Lynette states.
“Yes, it is.” Karina answers.
“Do you like bunnies?”
“Mhm.” Karina nods.
“That cloud looks like a bunny.” Lynette points upwards. Karina doesn’t look but nods her head.
Lynette licks her ice cream again. “Can I go to the movies later? There’s a new movie and my friends say it’s the best movie they’ve seen in years!”
“I’m really looking forward to it. What was your favorite movie a long time ago?”
“I can’t think about that right now.”
“When I saw it I couldn’t believe my eyes.” Karina says, crossing her legs.
Lynette looks down at a red flower.
“I just want to know why.”
Lynette fiddles with her fingernails.
“Are you going to tell me?”
“It doesn’t matter. That’s in the past now.”
“I need to know why, because this will trouble me every day if I don’t know.”
“It has nothing to do with you.” Lynette scratches her arm.
“Of course this has something to do with me, Lynette. This is about your future!” Karina looks straight at Lynette. Lynette puts her hands in her pockets and kicks a rock. She looks around and stares at a leaf on a tree.
“It’s my life, not yours. I can deal with my own problems.”
“I don’t want to live my own life worrying about your life.”
“Then, don’t worry about me.”
Karina exhales and crosses her arms.
“It’s my job to worry about you. Your problems are my problems so please tell me what happened.”
“I don’t want to. Leave me alone.” Lynette stands up and throws her leftover ice cream in the trash. Karina follows her.
“Let me help you fix this. I can contact them if they made a mistake.”
“If you want, I can complain to them and they might give you something better.”
“I don’t need any help, and I can do this alone. It’s my life.” Lynette walks a little faster.
“If you really want to ruin your life then go ahead, but I’m trying to support you through these high school years.”
“And what happens after you help me? The grade wouldn’t change.”
Karina holds Lynette’s hand. Lynette freezes. “Will you please tell me what happened?”
“If I tell you would you go away?”
“It’s okay if you were the one that messed up, I’ll help you.”
“When will you stop bothering me?”
“Because I know that you’ve never failed before, and this is very important.”
“Would you really help me, or would you be disappointed in me?”
“You should know this is for the future.”
“Yes, the future. Everything is for the future, and the present never matters.”
Karina leads them under a tree.”This is serious. Talk to your teacher.”
“If it gets me away from you, gladly.” Lynette rubs the back of her neck and grabs a tree branch.
“When I was your age I accepted help when it was offered. These days no one cares anymore.”
“These days we live in the moment and make use of our time by not stressing over the far future.”
Karina looks at Lynette intensely, then shakes her head. “If you don’t care about your own life then I don’t care either. Your life is your life, so do whatever you want and face the consequences later.”
Lynette snaps the branch in half. “I’ll do what I have to do and worry for myself.” She sits down at the base of the tree. Karina sits down next to her and Lynette starts fiddling with the grass.
“Anytime anywhere, call me for help ok?” Karina smiles.
“I’ll never need it.”
“You know, if you want me to confront the school, then-”
“Can we stop now?”
Karina sighs. “You’ll have to face the truth eventually, Lynette.”
“I. Don’t. Want. To. Talk.”
“You’re being really stubborn, do you know that?”
“You’re being really persistent, do you know that?”
“You know what? I’m done. Until you catch up and do better, you aren’t allowed to hang out with your friends.”
Lynette’s eyes widen. She opens her mouth and closes it twice, then starts pulling the grass.
“And if I catch you trying to sneak out, I’ll confiscate your phone too.”
Lynette curls up into a ball, burying her face in her shirt and covering her ears. Karina looks down and closes her eyes. She takes a deep breath and looks at Lynette, who hasn’t moved, so she stands up and heads for the ice cream store.