Lyssa and Ronny looked back at me and gave me sly smiles. I rolled my eyes and began to stare at my hands again. *Damn hands! I just had to sneak to the kitchen to get that apple, how in the hell did I manage to slice half my nail off with the apple cutter along with the apples?!* I really needed help. I was starting to scare myself.

"Ms. Jones?" I looked up to find Mr. Jackson inches away from my face. I moved back quickly. I hadn't realized he was there. All because of my stupid hand!

"Sorry, Mr. Jackson. W_what were you saying?" I asked. This was so embarrassing. Mr. Jackson gave me a weird smile, backed away from me, and put his hand of Jerome's shoulder.

"I was introducing Jerome Thompson to you. Say hello, Jerome, Becca." I rolled my eyes and have a half-hearted wave.Jerome nodded and sat down next to me. Our not-so-welcome hellos seem to please Mr. Jackson, because he went back to talking to the class. I slowly turned to examine Jerome, but when my eyes shifted I was taken aback to see him examining me. Our eyes locked. He made me sick, and we hadn't even said a word to each other yet.

"Problem?" He asked rudely. I shook my head and turned my attention to Mr. Jackson.

"Now, I hope you all did your math and science homework for Ms. Grey. She was very unhappy about the outcome of Fridays homework." Some people began to whisper and giggle with their neighbors. I suddenly remembered Friday morning. My math and science teacher Ms. Grey was yelling at the class. I was so scared of her. She was a very tall and thick woman with short bleach-blonde and white hair. Her several chins jiggled as she talked and secretly people would call her 'neck' because hers was hidden under her many chins.

I go to a very small catholic school where they don't have much room to teach our 115 [I think] students. We have two buildings which separates our school into two parts. The St. Lawrence Building, which teaches the 1st through 4th grades, and the main building which has the school office, the kindergarten, and grades 5 through 8. I've been at my school all my life and well, like it, until 5th grade, which you obviously know about, anyway, Mr. Jackson told us to take out our reading books and read silently until the bell rang.

Ever since I was a little girl, I've been a bookworm. That day I was reading a collection of poetry that I found in the library. My school's been around for 150 years, and seems like the books have been there that long. I always had an interest in finding when books our copyrighted, the book I was reading today was copyrighted 1929. That amazed me.


The bell snapped me back to reality. I gathered up my math and science book and a couple of writing utensils and was hurrying out of the of the class when Jerome stopped me. I raised and eyebrow at him.

"Where's everyone going?" He asked clearly confused. I had the nerve to be rude, but decided that it because was his first day I'd try to be nice.

"Math and science. Bring two notebooks and a pencil and pen. You'll get you're textbooks when we get to class." I was too nice for my own good, because as soon as he got what he needed he said,

"Well, you're not just a nosy girl, you listen to the teacher, too." He smirked as I led him out of the class just as the eight graders were coming in. He whistled at one of the girls as I forcefully grabbed his arm and led him down the hall to Ms. Grey's classroom. She had already begun and gave me an angry glare as I opened the heavy wooden door.

"Ms. Jones! You're late." Ms. Grey barked. I nodded.

"I'm sorry Ms. Grey, I was helping the new student." I pointed to Jerome who looked as afraid of Ms. Grey as I was.

"Well, fine, then. Show him where the text books are and then find a place to sit," then she added "and quickly." That was one scary bitch. I couldn't believe that I would have her next year. I quickly gave Jerome a math textbook and science textbook. I slid into my seat next to Ronny who gave me a quick smile.

What was with my friends and smiles? I didn't find anything humorous to smile about. Ronny leaned over and whispered,

"So, do you and the new boy have a thing going or something?" She asked with a slight giggle. I rolled my eyes and replied,

"No. He's all yours." I said. Ronny gave me a startled look.

"I don't like him." Ronny said and turned to listen to Ms. Grey lecture us about an upcoming math test. Ronny liked him, I knew she did, she just didn't want to admit.

After school, I immediately called Lyssa and we did the usual. Talk about B2K, talk about guys, then talk about how stupid Ronny was. Today, instead of Lyssa complaining about her, I did.

"All day, she acted as though I liked Jerome! The jerk! He didn't even say thank you when I told him what class we were going to, or when I gave him his books! He doesn't appreciate anything! Mr. Jackson better change move the desks around soon! Then Ronny! She likes him! I know it! She kept asking me if I liked him and I kept saying 'no'! What part of no doesn't she understand?" I asked as I curled my dark brown hair into Shirley Temple curls.

"Calm down Becca. Ronny's stupid. She likes almost every guy in our class, what makes you so surprised that she likes Jerome?" asked Lyssa. I sighed and looked at myself. She was right. Ronny was known as the biggest flirt in the class, why wasn't I surprise.

"I suppose your right." I said as I played with one of my curls.

"I think you like him as well." Lyssa said.

"What? I, no. I do not, are you crazy? It's. No." I said shocked the Lyssa would make such a stupid accusation. I heard Lyssa laugh over the phone.

"I gotta go bye." I hung up quickly. *I don't like him, I don't like him, I don't like him, I do like him, no, I meant don't, dammit! He isn't cute, he isn't cute, although he's slightly attractive, no, no.*

"What is wrong with me?" I shouted and went to my room to…think.

My thinking must have took me all night because when I woke up to my mother shouting at me to get up I realized it was 6am. I rushed to shower, quickly dressed in my ugly green uniform and was running to school when I noticed Drew was yelling my name. I turned to find him running behind me. Reluctantly I stopped.

"What?" I asked as he huffed and puffed his way next to me.

"Listen, Becca, I'm sorry, really, really, sorry. Okay? Forgive me?" He asked pouting slightly. I gave in.

"Fine, I forgive you." I said a gave him a hug. Weird though, his arms were so tight around me, like he didn't want to let me go. And, well, he was starting to hurt me.

"Drew? You can let go now." I said softly. Drew loosened his grip and then finally let go. He wouldn't look at me. I suppose he was shy, but he wasn't around other girls, Drew acted differently around me.

We walked half-way to school in silence, until I couldn't take it any longer.

"What's with you?" I asked.


"You're acting weird, what's wrong?"

"You hugged me." He said shyly.

"Yeah, so?" I asked angrily. What was wrong with me hugging someone?

"Sorry, it's just, we don't hug, a lot."

"And? I can't hug a friend?" Drew looked down at is feet. He looked sad. We reached the school five minutes later. Drew went to the library, which was odd because he didn't like to read, as I went to Mr. Jackson's classroom.

As usual he was drinking coffee and waiting for the first student to arrive. This morning however, with Drew acting totally weird, I just decided to tip-toe to my seat and pray that he didn't notice me. But lucky me, he did.

"Ms. Jones! Please, come here, I thought you could help me with something." I sighed and came over to his perfectly organized desk.

"Yes, Mr. Jackson?"

"Ms. Grey, some of the other teachers and I are having a little riddle contest and I just can't seem to get this one, would you mind helping me?" He asked. I shook my head.

"Formed long ago, yet made today

Employed while other's sleep;

What few would give away

Nor any wish to keep" I began to think about the riddle.

"Let's see. Ooh! Maybe someone who works night shift…no, no. Formed long ago, yet made today. I xould be an old person who works night shift...okay, no. Few would give away. A baby? They stay awake sometimes when others sleep…no, nah, formed long ago and nor wish to keep." Before I knew it my class was filling in and I was still up front thinking. Finally Mr. Jackson shooed me to my desk to think.

* Long ago, yet made today, what could that be? Sounds familiar, I've heard this before, what was the_* My thoughts were interrupted by the annoying beep of the intercom.

"Good Morning everyone, please stand for prayer." 3 Hail Mary's, 1 Our Father, and a Pledge of Allegiance later, I finally realized the answer to the riddle.

"A bed! Mr. Jackson it's a bed!" I shouted excitedly before realizing how loud I was, obviously not as loud as Mr. Jackson.

"Ms. Jones, great job! Brilliant you are!" He shouted as he scribbled down my answer. I smiled slightly.

"It's only my second day and I already know who's the teacher's pet." Jerome said aloud. I gave him a steamed glare that could melt the pencil that was behind his ear.

"For your information, I was helping him with a riddle. Do you have a problem with that?" I asked. The whole class turned to look at me and Jerome.

"Yeah, actually I do. Why do you have to be such a know-it-all snob?" How dare he?

"You don't know me! I am not a know-it-all, nor am I a snob. But I do know, for a fact, that you're a nasty, slimy hood rat!" I hadn't even realized that I was standing up until Jerome was standing up too.

"Hood rat? Better than being some white-talkin' black girl." I slapped him. With all my might too. All my life I'd heard people call me an oreo. You know, black on the outside, white on the inside. It really hurt me when people said that.

Two hours later, we come out of Sister Mary's office. Our ears ringing from the lecture she gave us about being children of God, and being proper young ladies and gentleman, then gave us a months detention. I was too ashamed to go back into Mr. Jackson's classroom. I couldn't.

"It's all your fault you know." I said as we reached the stairway to Mr. J's room. Jerome scoffed and said,

"Please, you're the one who was being the good-girl. 'Mr. Jackson, I know the answer!!! Oooh! I know! I know!" He finished the poor imitation of me. I ignored him, but apparently, he wanted to get noticed.

"You hit hard, for a girl and all."

"Was that a complitment?" I asked. He ignored me.

"So you don't live in the city, right?" He said with a little laugh.

"So? I live about half an hour away from here."

"Oh, the 'burbs. Yeah, I could see that, you sound that way."

"What way?" He shrugged and opened Mr. Jackson's classroom door. I was so into that conversation I forgot where we were. We entered the room the find the class staring at us. I guess they hadn't forgotten the little show that we put on during homeroom.

"Welcome back! Sorry, I didn't move you. This shall be a learning experience." He said. I sighed and walked to my once comfortable seating arrangement. Ronny gave me and angry scowl as I walked past her. *Why can't Ronny just admit that she likes him?*