I lift my head from my French homework (which is due in half a period) to further examine the strange noise I hear. It's coming from the yo boy next to me, some kind of rap. It's just loud enough for it to leak it's poison into my ears but still soft enough so that I cannot hear the deathening nonsense the rapper is saying (yes, saying, not singing, I'm not calling it something that it is not).
The kid in front of me turns his music, which has the reassuring goodness of a guitar being strung by experienced hands, even louder then the kid across from him. the study hall teacher looks up to determine whose headphones the noise is coming from but since Ipods and mp3 players became legal in study hall by my school's standards it's almost impossible to detect who has the one playing above permitable volume and trying to figure it out would be more work then giving a kid a detention is worth so she gives up.
The yo boy next to me turns his up a few more notches and is joined by someone else in the room, one of his own kind. Now two different rappers spit out venom that could brainwash a young child into stupidity at one time. To respond to this more "emo" music is played, then more yo boy, etcetera.
Finally, the teacher gets annoyed at all the noise keeping her from the papers she is grading. She stands up, walks up to the desk of some kid, one of my kind, in the first row, and throws her hands down on his desk so that it makes a loud thud and gets the attention of everyone in the room, especially that kid.
"The next person I find blaring their music will lose their music player for the rest of the week," blah, blah, blah. She goes on until the end of class starting her lector with how being able to listen to music is a privilege and how she didn't get to when she was in school (which was when people still beat each other with sticks) and ending it with how she's going to speak to the principal about the intolerance and little "battle" we have going on.
I wouldn't call what the preps, jocks, yo boys and the punks and emos have a battle. No, I'd call it a full out war. A war that's been going on before my generation of eleventh graders even made it up to the high school a year ago. To be exact, I think the war has been going on for three years. It started with the "popular" kids making fun of the small group of punks we had at the time and it resulted in what we have now; current day Demolition High (no joke, that's the name of the school, the founder thought it would make for an excellent sports school because we "demolish" our competitors (not really though) and actually gave no thought to the fact that it was actually a pretty violent name for a school with a zero tolerance to violence)
The "intolerance" goes beyond just blaring different types of music to annoy the opposing side. There are more fights at Demolition High then at any other high school (which is so much of a coincidence considering the school's name it actually makes me laugh). Not only that but you really can't watch two people from two of the opposite social groups pass each other without them saying something mean about each other. There's also vandalism, spitting, false rumors, and pretty much everything except for nuclear warfare (but I suspect that to change within a few more generations of students).
If you mess with the wrong person it gets even worse then all that put together. That is why I try to keep myself out of the fight. That doesn't mean I wear old people clothes so that I don't fit in any of the groups, I'm actually "emo" or whatever you want to call it, but as far as the nasty stuff such as starting that rumor that Kayla Piggle used to be a man, well that's as far as I'll go into it I swear. (That rumor spread like freaking butter by the way and she never even suspected me. I smile just remembering it)
The bell rings and I go to French class. In French the English language is completely outlawed. It makes talking to your friends extremely difficult because our teacher never taught us any ACTAULLY useful words. I mean, sure, if I go to France and I want a loaf of bread or something, then I'm set to go, but I'm in America now and all I want is to hear the exciting news Heather has to tell me and I can't until she has found every single freaking word in the French to English dictionary.
"Avez vous entendu Kayla etiez par le passé un homme?" she asks and then I have to go through all the trouble of looking it up when I'm sure she got at least SOME of the translating wrong. Finally I figure it out. "Did you hear Kayla were in the past a man". Lovely. She has amazing French speaking skills. Once again, I blame our teacher for this. We spent too much time on rooms in a house and not enough time on teenaged gossip.
"Oui parce que j'ai commence la rumeur" I say and I sigh as she looks that up. The bell rings and all we did the whole class period was go over homework, tell the class what we did yesterday (in French), and start to talk about Kayla and her secret past that only exists in my imagination. Like I said a million times before, if our teacher only taught us something we could actually use the whole "no English" rule would work just fine but what kind of conversations are we supposed to have with passé compose, or the rooms in a house, or even things in Martinique?
"Yeah, because I started the rumor" I say as we walk out of the class to go to science, which we have together. On our way to room A47 we pass a pair of preps. They whisper something to each other and laugh. It was undoubtedly about us and it probably had to do with something about Satan as well but we pay them no mind and keep walking. A lot of the time I'll break my Treaty Of Demolition High (saying I will not be mean to the opposing pansy ass's and they will not be mean to me, I happen to be the only one who knows about this treaty right now by the way) to "whisper" something about them to Heather, loud enough for them to hear, but this time I don't. Heather never says anything. It takes a lot to get her pissed to the point where she'll enter audible bitch mode.
"Oh it was just a rumor. Darn I actually thought that one was real. Revenge for her saying you broke the plate in home ec?" Heather asks sort of disappointed. I can see why, any time anything juicy happens at our school it turns out to be a freaking rumor. (Oh and by the way, Kayla broke the plate, not me, Kayla. I was just unfortunate enough to be dishwasher in our group, yes, OUR group, I'm stuck with Kayla because our home ec teacher is bipolar or something and makes us suffer for it)
"Yup. And it has yet to be confirmed as nothing more then a rumor. You never know, some rumors end up being true. Remember when someone started the one about Meghan Huck being pregnant? She's seven months now, right?" I ask nudging her arm trying to get her to feel better since I feel sort of guilty for ruining the joy of a rumor for her. Only a true monster doesn't feel guilty for that.
"She was slept with four guys in two weeks, Amy, and that's just the ones who bragged about it! The person who saw that rumor wasn't really making something up, they were just seeing into the obvious future." Heather informs me and I admit that was a REALLY stupid example but there are no freshly true rumors at the time. If I thought really hard I could probably come up with a really good old one but if it hasn't happened in the past six months it's of no use. That would make it history, and history is boring.
The bell rings again bringing the bell quota one step closer to the final bell of the day. Heather and I make it into the classroom just in time and we take seats next to each other at one of the tables set up for a lab. The class is enthusiastic. Not because everyone in the room happens to be an Einstein loving science geek but because on lab days we pretty much get to look at that one geeky table's results and talk the rest of the time. It's like study hall only if study hall were fun.
"You guys have assigned partners today" the science teacher, Mr. Willows, says as he enters the classroom. The whole room is sucked of every last bit of joy that had been gathered in the last five minutes. Then the denial comes, people start assuming that they are hearing wrongly, this is SCIENCE with MR. WILLOWS, if we do have assigned partners it's all a joke and he's going to assign us the people we'd pick anyways.
But he doesn't. He names the first pair. A jock and an emo boy. People's jaws drop. The emo boy, Frank (a personal friend of mine) starts to try to object but is too speechless. He tries to put what just happened together like everyone else is doing. This is Mr. Willows we're talking about. This is the science teacher who LIVES to make his students happy. This is the guy who will stop a tape right in the middle of it if he sees nobody is enjoying it as much as he had when he watched. This is the science teacher that you pray you'll get when you get your schedule. So…no.
I raise my hand. He stops reading from his list to call on me. "I thought you said at the beginning of the year that you would never have a lab where we couldn't work with who we wanted to?" I ask getting nods from everyone in the class, preps, jocks, emos alike. Normally, agreeing or even being nice to someone of a different social class would mean you were a trader and a lot of people, the ones who took this whole war REALLY seriously, would shun you or make your life hell, however this is different. This is not them agreeing with an emo, this is them agreeing with the only person not speechless enough to speak up and possibly save their asses.
"Sorry Amy, I got an email from the principal last period. He's tired of the intolerance and wants all the teachers to take action. That means partners in all classes are assigned until this stops. I hate to say it but you guys brought this on yourselves, we're the most violent high school around right now," he says and stops to see people's reactions. I bet he wasn't expecting the cheering and wooting going on. First off, did he honestly expect anything other then that from teenagers? Teenagers, violence, that seems to go together. Second off, DUH! It's a school called DEMOLITION HIGH, it's expected of us to be violent, we're simply trying to make our high school proud by carrying out its name by all means.
"Amy, don't take a name so seriously" he tells me when I inform him of all this. So if I see a place called "power plant" I should not take it so seriously and just walk right in? I mean, c'mon, if you gather a bunch of teenagers who already hate each other around and put them, no FORCE THEM, to be in a place with "demolition" in its name, and expect everyone to hug and bake cookies for each other you have another thing coming. Though that would be nice.
"Mr. Willows, maybe you're just taking the email too seriously. I don't think the principals going to come in here and make sure nobody is having fun. We sometimes fight but it's really nothing to take these kinds of drastic measures on." I say as I look at the mystery liquid we are supposed to identify by a lab on the desk. Plan B, if I do have to work with someone unspeakable which I most likely will have to, I just take the object and throw it on the person. If it's not something acidic I just gotta put a flame next to them, maybe with luck the mystery object of the day is nitroglycerin.
"We're one of the smallest high schools in the area yet we still manage to have the most fights? No, this is not blowing it out of proportion; it's putting an end to it before it gets even worse. When it comes to your guys safety fun isn't always first priority and so this discussion is over. If you're so eager to get things back to the way they used to be then you have a lot of changing to do. Next group is Amy and Kayla" he says, pairing me with the used to be man of the school (though that has yet to be actually proven true…and yet to be proven FALSE)
Mr. Wilson has just gone from coolest teacher to the most horrible man alive in not even ten minutes. He's mad that I interrupted class or something, that's it, and he wants to punish me by giving me the most stupid person available to him as a partner. Worse of all, Frank just accidentally spilt the liquid in shock (he knows how much I hate Kayla) and all it did was bubble. It's mountain dew. It's not acidic and it's not flammable. It doesn't even stain real well.
However, passing science is very important if I don't want to work at some fast food place for the rest of my life (and trust me, nobody likes an old lady serving them fries. Even if you think you don't mind, you do. Subconsciously). Besides, I already know what the object is. I can answer every question on the sheet without having to do anything at all. I'm sure Heather caught on too, she's smart, and when we're done with the lab Mr. Wilson will defiantly let us talk, it's not like we'd be doing anything anyways.
"Wanna, like, I don't know, actually work as a team and not keep all the answers to yourself?" Kayla asks once I'm halfway through the first side of the sheet. I look up at her; she's preparing the first part of the experiment (wrongly). I roll my eyes. I see her drinking mountain dew basically everyday at lunch, how does she not know what it is? It's YELLOW and CARBONATED for crying out loud and it's the only thing next to water and coffee in the teacher's lounge! What the hell does she think it is?
"I already know what it is, we don't have to do the experiment" I say trying to be nice. She rolls her eyes at me and folds her arms. She mumbles something but I don't catch it so I just raise my eyebrow assuming it was something bad. She glares confirming my suspicions. Do you see why I hate her? Honestly, this girl is impossible.
"Yeah, I'll just write down your little guess because we all know you are a fucking genius. What, you don't have any time to talk to Satan if we don't finish this soon?" she asks and I resist the urge to punch her. Treaty of Demolition High, Treaty of Demolition High. It clearly forbids punching. Or pulling her hair. Or full out attacking her. What the hell was I thinking when I created that treaty?
"Okay smarts; let's spend the whole class period doing the experiment, so while other people who were smart enough to identify the substance are all talking with their friends and furthermore not by the people they don't want to be by, IE you, we can be doing a whole bunch of science together like geeky little friends. If that's what you wanted that's all you had to say." I inform her and suddenly her perspective of the whole situation is changed. I smile a cocky little smile as I nudge the paper towards her. Who said you can't teach a moron a new trick?
"I don't think so. I'm not copying from a freak. Just tell me what the shit is and I'll do the worksheet by myself." She says. Whoever said you can't teach a moron a new trick needs to win some sort of noble prize for trying to warn us. All preps ever do is make things difficult, why did I think this was going to be any different. Then I smile again. Fine, she wants to be difficult, I can be a bitch. That's in the Treaty of Demolition High; I like to call it the "escape clause".
"Fine, if that's the way you want it. It's Nitroglycerin. Need help spelling it?" I ask and she flicks me off. I glance over at her paper where it says "conclusion:" out of curiosity. In purple pen on the line provided it says "Nytogliseren". That is honestly enough to convince me never to use a purple pen again, just incase stupidity is contagious and it was passed to all purple pens through that one she's using now. It can happen.
We both turn our papers in and I go to talk to Heather. I try to tell her what I just did in French (the walls have ears) but "Je…just…tolder…Kayla…lui? No…um…that…le answer…is…un nitroglycerin" didn't sound too French. It sounded like a two year old with a strictly French speaking mother and a strictly English speaking father. That, I would just like to add, would very much suck.
Near the end of class the teacher calls Kayla to his desk. He asks her if it's some kind of joke and he doesn't believe that she could actually think the answer is nitroglycerin. He suspects it was a way of suggesting violence so in the end even if she had to work with me she got the last laugh. he then goes on about how violence is never ever funny especially when conditions are already so down in the pits and she gets a lunch detention which is an example to us all that he's not kidding when he says this crap better stop. Then he talks about "when you get into the real world blah, blah, blah" while Kayla glares at me. Heather and I do cheers with the Mountain dew, just to be bitches.
A/N: Nitroglycerin go BOOM!