Dayanara received her second detention that morning.
Grumbling angrily to herself as she sat down in homeroom, she scanned the small, rectangular slip of paper with her grey eyes, slightly smiling as she remembered the first one she had acquired.
"Okay, class. Now, I have a question for all of you: What part of the new semester are you looking forward to this year?"
This was the question that Dayanara's Language Arts teacher, Mrs. Ludwig (whom, in Dayanara's opinion, was unusually cheery), had asked the students on the first day of the new semester.
"What about you, Dayanara? What part are you looking forward to?"
'It's Dana,' Dayanara had thought silently before standing up to give her reply. Taking a deep breath, she had slowly looked up into her teacher's face, before boldly exclaiming,
"Screwing with your class so it would actually be fun."
Dayanara chuckled lightly, reminiscing on the aftermath of her bold statement. The whole classroom had gasped as Mrs. Ludwig's usually cheery smile had faded into a dark frown of disdain, and her eyes, usually a bubbly hazel, turned cold and stony.
'Up to the office, Miss Black,' she had said.
Needless to say, Dayanara had been transferred out of Mrs. Ludwig's class that very day. She now had Mrs. Clarkson for Language Arts.
Dayanara didn't mind, however. She enjoyed having Mrs. Clarkson for Language Arts.
Her light mood was interrupted by a sharp voice that rang out over the PA.
"Miss D-Dayonara? Doyanora? Er-oh! Miss Dayanara White, your presence is requested up at the front office immediately. That is all."
Dayanara frowned, rising from her seat and making her way towards the door. What the hell did they want this time?
"Ah, Miss White, so glad you could make it," Ms. Pine, the secretary, greeted her, smiling as she looked up, her blue orbs sparkling.
"Spare me the formalities; what the hell do you want?" Dayanara asked, growling.
Ms. Pine's smile flickered, before she calmly replied, "Miss White, language like that will not be tolerated in this prestigious building."
"Point taken; what in shit's name do you want, then?"
Dayanara couldn't help but give a small smirk as the blonde sighed dejectedly, flailing her arms in exasperation. "I honestly don't see why I even try with you," she commented, rubbing her temples.
"Figures," Dayanara muttered darkly.
Ms. Pine's head snapped up. She took a deep breath before beginning her speech. "W-Well…" she stuttered. "As you very well know, Miss White, the system at this school is operated by the means of each student being paired up with another – partners, for a lack of a better word."
"Oh, so it's a system now?"
"IT ALWAYS WAS!" Ms. Pine thundered. She inhaled sharply, before letting out air. "Anyhow, Miss White, I'll get straight to the point. Since your partner, Miss Abigail Jones, graduated last year, the school thinks it necessary to assign you another one."
"And I think it necessary for you to shut up, but will it really ever happen?"
A vein throbbed in Ms. Pine's temple as she glared at Dayanara. "Therefore, Miss White, I'd like to introduce you to your new partner for the rest of the term," she snapped, venom lacing the tone of her voice. "Say hello to Mister William Bradford."
Dayanara blinked, before looking around skeptically. "Hi, William," she remarked sarcastically.
Ms. Pine quirked an eyebrow.
Dayanara gave her a look. "I take it he's invisible?" she asked.
Just as the secretary opened her mouth to respond, a fifteen-year-old stepped out of the nurse's office, saying "Yeah, sure, Miss Wall. I'll see you tomorrow." Turning, he noticed Dayanara. "I'm sorry, did I miss anything?"
Ms. Pine shook her head, smiling. "Of course not, Mister Bradford! You're just on time!"
He smiled embarrassedly. "Ms. Pine, you can call me William, you know."
"Of course!" she gushed enthusiastically. "But you'll have to keep reminding me, you know – I'm not as young as I used to be!"
Dayanara wanted to gag.
"Oh, right. You must be Dayanara, am I right?"
"It's Dana," she hissed.
"Okay then. Hi! The name's William; you can call me Will, though." He extended a hand.
Dayanara shook it. "Cute," she mumbled.
Will withdrew his hand, still smiling, although a little less enthusiastically than before.
Ms. Pine intervened at that moment. "Well, then!" she exclaimed ardently. "Now that introductions are over, I'm sure Miss White here wouldn't mind showing you the rest of the campus – wouldn't you, Dayanara?"
"Dana," Dayanara emphasized, glaring.
"Yes, yes, I meant to say 'Dayanara.' Now, be a dear, and do show William around campus during lunchtime, won't you?" she asked, gritting her teeth.
Dayanara shrugged indifferently. "Only if pretty boy here wants to, I guess."
Ms. Pine shot a quick glance at Will.
"Heck, sure why not?" the brunette responded. "Besides, I'd love to see more of Biscoff Academy (1)."
The blonde secretary beamed. "Wonderful! I suppose I'll see you soon, then – or, well, how do you teenagers say it? 'Catch you later,' or something of the like?"
William, in response, merely grinned embarrassedly.
Will shuffled his feet as Dayanara led him back to homeroom. From what he had seen and heard earlier, the girl in beside him did not talk much, nor was she outgoing.
How on Earth was he going to strike a conversation with her?
"We make a left here."
Will nearly jumped as he heard Dayanara's – Dana's – voice cut the thick silence that hung in the air. She swiveled on the heel of her shoe, leading him closer towards homeroom.
He swallowed. "So, um, Dayanara… that's your name, right."
Dayanara gave him a sharp glare, stopping in her tracks.
"It is," she verified. "But don't ever call me that. "
Her glare softened.
"It's Dana," she muttered, continuing to walk.
"Uh… okay, Dana, then. Um…"
Will twiddled his thumbs. Clearing his throat, he began. "Uh… Assuming that we're partners, I take it that we have the same schedule?"
"Cool." He folded his arms behind his head and closed his eyes, smiling.
She gave him a funny look. "You're very laid back, aren't you?"
Will opened one eye. "In a manner of speaking, yeah. Why?"
Dana shrugged. "Nothing."
Will blinked. "You're… kinda antisocial, aren't you?"
"No? What was your first clue?"
"Eh… never mind," he said, looking away.
They continued walking down the hall before Dana suddenly asked, "Just wondering… do you have Ludwig for Language Arts or Clarkson?"
Will drew his schedule from his pocket. "Uh… Clarkson," he replied after briefly scanning it. "Why?"
"Nothing really; I just used to have Ludwig before I transferred to Clarkson."
"Is he good?"
"It's a she."
"Excuse me, is she good?"
Dana shrugged. "She's okay, I guess. Still, I can't help but wish I had Lee. He's fun."
"He actually makes grammar seem interesting, that's why."
Will laughed. "Seriously? How?"
"He turns it into a game."
Will smiled. "Huh… interesting." He hesitated. "So… how far away is our homeroom?"
"It's around the next corner."
"Hello again, Miss Yumi," Dana mumbled dully as she entered her homeroom.
Miss Yumi looked up from her papers. "Hello, Dana," she replied. Upon seeing William, her eyes narrowed. "And… who might you be, Mister… ?"
"Bradford," Will responded. "William Bradford. Call me Will."
"Will, then." Miss Yumi smiled. "I hope you enjoy your time with us here in homeroom. Let's see… you can sit next to Rob – oh, no, wait, Kyle sits there, doesn't he? Well…" here, the teacher paused, looking into her papers before pulling out a seating chart. She hesitated before looking back up at William. "Well… I hope you don't mind, Will, but you'll have to sit next to Dana for the time being. It's too early for me to plan a new seating chart – I just formulated this one last week! Don't mind her, she can be a really very nice girl at times…"
Will smiled brightly. "Not at all; thanks!" He turned and made his way over to Dayanara.
Dana looked up from her book as Will approached her. "Sitting here, are you?"
"Yup," William replied, setting down his backpack. "I hope you don't mind," he added apologetically.
Dana sighed, putting away her book into her own backpack. "I suppose it can't be helped," she muttered, zipping it up.
Will frowned as she got up, carelessly tossing the thing over her right shoulder. Eyeing his expression, she explained, "The passing period's gonna start right about-"
"-now," she finished, readjusting her backpack. "See ya."
Will blinked, before rising and grabbing his own backpack. "Hey! Wait up!" he called after her.
"You're supposed to show me around!"
1 – Um…. I was kinda typing up this chapter on an airline flight to Chicago… I just named the school after the cookies the airhostesses served (Biscoff cookies. They were good, by the way…)
Sorry for not updating in a while… I was kinda busy.
P.S. Yes, in case anyone is wondering, I did name William after the guy who proclaimed Thanksgiving as a holiday. Happy Turkey Day everyone!