Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.
The bell signaling that it was time to be in class rang throughout the halls of Jonathan E. Hubbard High School. Evan looked around the classroom for the seat that had his name on it. He eventually found it. He sat in the very middle of the furthest row from the door, right next to the window. He could see the houses that were situated across from the school. The ginger took out a disinfecting wipe and began discreetly wiping down the desk. After disinfecting enough to satisfy his germophobia, Evan put the small packet of wipes away. He looked around the room. And then he saw him. The same brown-haired prick from earlier! And their seats were really close! Evan was mildly ticked off now.
The rude guy sat directly next to Evan. The freckled teen couldn’t have imagined that his luck would be this bad already! Evan averted his crossed eyes away from the adjacent student. He quietly awaited the teacher, and she soon arrived.
Mrs. Keaton wasn’t something to write home about. She was a young woman, probably around her mid-twenties, with blonde hair tied up in a bun and a business suit that didn’t quite fit her correctly. She began calling out the role in a monotone voice. She eventually got to the kids whose last names started with “M”.
“Call me Jamie,” the stranger said.
So the weird guy’s name is Jamie? Evan asked himself in his head. Interesting.
In any event, Jamie and Evan would be sitting next to each other for the whole year, so Evan thought he might as well try to get rid of the bad blood that they already had.
But not then and there. Some other time.
Jamie observed the ginger next to him. Same one from that morning. For a moment, Jamie considered speaking up, but he couldn’t. Don’t be vulnerable, he thought to himself. He decided to just face forward, his expression stone cold.
Jamie pretended to pay attention to the teacher’s self-introduction, only coming back to Planet Earth when he picked up that there was about to be an activity.
“Write three things about yourself on this piece of paper I’m about to hand out, then turn it in at the end of class. If you finish, I don’t care if you sleep or play on your phone,” Mrs. Keaton said. The woman seemed to be quite apathetic towards her job.
What kinda second grade bullshit is this? Jamie thought to himself. The brunette sighed. Might as well humor her and do it. Jamie wrote down his three facts.
Jamie sat back in his seat, satisfied with his work. Even though he was being a smartass, he gave Mrs. Keaton what she wanted, right? He briefly looked at the cross eyed teen next to him. The small fight with the Hispanic girl from earlier still lingered in his mind. Usually, he wouldn’t even think about a fight after it ended, but this fight stayed seared into his head. Don’t let the stupid stuff bother you!
The brunette sat in silence as lifelong friends chatted around him. He had a tendency to get completely lost in thought for long periods of time. He folded his arms on his desk and let them cradle his head.
Jamie only ever lifted his head up again to pass the busywork forward. The school’s history teacher, Mr. Brady, walked into the room. Jamie never he saw Mr. Brady’s face. He fell asleep soon after the man began to talk. The next thing he could remember was waking up at the ding dong of the bell. All his classmates around him were getting up when he woke up, their stuffed all packed up and left on their desks. Jamie decided to leave, as well.
Freshmen weren’t supposed to leave campus for lunch, a rule that Htee (and most of her grade) ignored when she got into Marie’s car along with her two best friends. Evan got in the front passenger seat, Marie in the driver’s seat, and Htee in the back.
“Where to?” Marie asked. “Y’all kids get to pick. I’m feelin’ nice today.”
“Mary Ann’s!” Htee exclaimed. “I have a lot of coupons.”
“Mary Ann’s it is then. Since you were begging us all summer,” Marie replied.
Htee threw her hands up as if victorious. One of her hobbies was couponing, which made her the butt of her two friends’ jokes. She got out her wallet. Already prepared to pay.
Up in the front seat, Evan recalled something. “You guys remember that kid we met earlier? The one Marie almost murdered?”
“The brown haired one? Yeah, I know the one,” replied Marie.
“He’s in my grade! And he sits right next to me!” Evah revealed.
“You’re kidding right?” Marie asked.
“Nope. The guy slept all throughout Mr. Brady’s sermon. His name is Jamie,” Evan explained. He pulled down the visor in front of him to take a look at himself.
“Wow, Evan, are you counting all those freckles?” Htee replied, looking back down to sort through her coupons. Evan and Marie laughed at the little jab.
After just a small, four minute drive, the clique made it to Mary Ann’s. “I just want a large soft drink, Htee,” Evan said.
“Why am I ordering?” Htee whined in an overly dramatic tone.
“Because you’re ordering,” Marie replied. “When Evan pays, he orders. When I pay, I order.”
“Wow… I really am… umm… a Martian?” Htee trailed off, realizing that she had said the wrong thing.
“A martyr?” Evan asked, smirking.
“It’s fun to see Htee’s attempts at understanding the English language,” Marie added. Evan guffawed. “It’s like watching Evan try to count.” Htee broke out into laughter. She was willfully ignorant of the joke towards her. Even though she thought it was funny, as well.
“I’m gonna go wash my hands, I’ll be right back,” Evan said, quickly walking to the bathroom to wash his hands thoroughly. He took noticeably longer than the recommended twenty seconds. He made it back just as Htee got to the front of the line.
Htee went up to order her and her friends’ food and pay. She took their number to a table and then went to go get her drink. Evan had gotten whatever 7-Up knockoff that Mary Ann’s had, while Marie had simply just gotten water. Htee decided to take a chance. She grabbed her cup, got a little bit of lemonade, a little bit
“Htee, you aren’t!” Evan exclaimed. Marie simply shook her head like a disappointed mother. Htee soon had her large cup filled up with a little bit of every single drink that the fountain offered.
“You’re gonna regret doing Suicide with the drinks here. Hubbard restaurants are all too poor to have the good shit,” Marie said, as the trio returned to their table. They all sat down, and Htee took her seat. The short girl was about to take the plunge.
Jamie walked into the restaurant, unseen by the trio.
Htee put the straw to her lips.
Evan gasped while Marie raised her eyebrows.
Htee took a drink.
Htee looked up from the drink and her face slowly became one of disgust.
Evan and Marie began cackling.
Jamie almost began to laugh, too.