History Class

"If you don't get your history book off of my desk, I'm going to fall asleep on it."

"What?" asked my friend, Orion.

"I'm about to use your book as a pillow."

He immediately picked it up and moved it to his own desk. "Drool on your own book cover," he said defensively. "I actually had to cut up a paper bag to cover this thing."

I just shrugged, dropped my arms on my desk where his book had previously been, and put my head down.

"Ben, we're supposed to be working on this together," he said, then pulled the worksheet the teacher had just passed around out from under his thick book and tried to shove it in my face, but I didn't look up.

"Then why," I asked him, my voice slightly distorted from my arms and whatever manmade material my desk was made of, "did you take the book back?"

"Ben," Orion said, "you were going to drool on it. Get up." He shoved my shoulder, pushing me partway onto the desk beside me, which was luckily not occupied.

"Lemme sleep," I protested, but sat up anyway then I added, "And I was not going to drool on it; I was just going to use it as a pillow."

He informed me I was an idiot. Our teacher looked up from the pile of tests she was grading and Orion quickly handed me the worksheet and his pen. "You take these and write what I tell you. Got it?"

"Yeah, whatever."

He then opened the book in question and began looking up the French Revolution. I looked at the pen he had handed me. It was blue. I started clicking the end of it over and over again until he told me quite forcefully to cut it out.

"Okay," I told him. I then clicked it one more time. I needed the little ballpoint tip to stick out so that I could write with it. Orion glared at me and I held up the pen and said, "I had to. I've got to write, don't I?"

After rolling his eyes at me,he looked at the first question on the page on the desk and told me, "First answer is 'Jean Paul Marat.'"

"Hey isn't that the guy who was murdered in his tub?" I asked.

"Yes," said Orion. "And if you had read the first question on the page, you wouldn't have had to ask that question." He seemed a bit annoyed with me.

"Oh." I read the first question. It indeed asked about a public figure who "stirred up violence" and ended up dying in his bathtub. I wrote his name down on the page, which was green. Worksheets for our history class were almost always green, with the occasional blue and pink thrown in. I think at the beginning of the year we had one that was yellow. But it could have been from biology.

Orion was busy turning the pages searching for the answer to number two, which required a longer answer than just someone's name. Speaking of names, I hadn't written ours at the top yet. I had just started when Orion began.

"Go slower," I said.

"Write faster," he replied.

I finished and our teacher walked over. "Ben," she said in that condescending voice of hers that suggests whatever student she's talking to might actually be a seven-year-old sitting in her high school class, "are you letting Orion do all the work?"
"No, of course not." It was what she wanted to hear. "I was just about to look up the next answer." I yanked the book out of Orion's hands.

"Okay then," she said and left to hover over some other pair of students. They were probably splitting their work too evenly.

Orion looked at me. "I had the right page."

"Oh? What was it?" But he didn't remember and he wouldn't help me find it again. I looked back at the question on the page and started reading it. "In your opinion, was Marie Antoinette a victim blah blah blah. Dude, this is an opinion question. Why do you need to look it up?"

"To read about the events surrounding – " he cut off his sentence. "Just give me the book."

So I did. As he began to look for his opinion somewhere in the pages of his history book, I got back around to writing down our names.

"Okay, I got it," he said.

I handed him the paper and pen. "Do you still need that?" I asked, indicating his book.

"No."

I looked back at the paper, read the fourth question, and began looking for the answer as Orion wrote down his answer to number three. I mean, I might as well.


Tell me what you think. Can I pull off writing from the pov of a guy? (It's nothing I currently plan to make a habit of.) Review, review, review!!! Thanks much.