This is a short story I wrote a bit back and entered in a contest. I didn't win, but the new story I'm writing is based off of it. Review.
It all started with coffee, a strict teacher, and me. In the official reports of Morton, it'll probably say that I intentionally messed with the physical and emotional well being of half the high school and teaching staff, resulting in lower grades and over-all discomfort. Really, it's not that bad. I'm not going to do a Holden Caulfield-esq whine about how much the world sucks. It's a waste of my time. So this is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. And if it's the truth, it's not going to be pretty.
There's a reason I'm sitting inside an empty history classroom, with an authority figure known as a teacher sitting in front of me. The world hates me. Well, Lizzie Sampson, whose dad is a major investor in most of the stock on Wall Street, hates me. I guess that's sort of like all the world's wealth hating me. My post-pubescent friend doesn't seem to be enjoying this quality time together. He's rotating between glaring at me and looking at the clock on the wall. Hey, I'm not having much fun either. Trust me, I'd rather be practicing the guitar, but I'm stuck here.
"Aryanna Maines?" And I thought my day couldn't get any worse. Why is Mr. Pierce my detention head? Why? The man hates my guts.
"Ryann. It's Ryann. Like the boy's name, but with an extra n." Mr. Pierce looks up at me, slowly, before going back to the slip of paper he has in his hands.
"Aryanna. Weren't you that child who spilled milk all over me on Remembrance Day two years ago?"
"Uh, that was some other red-headed girl. I really have no idea what you're talking about."
"Is that an iPod I see in your ears?" Crap.
"Yeah. It helps me focus. Honestly."
"Give me the iPod." Mr. Pierce walks over to my desk, sticking his hand out. I flick it off and pull my headphones out.
"Please, can I keep it? Please?" Begging isn't going to work on this guy, but it's still worth a shot.
"If you got to keep your iPod, it would be rewarding you for bad behavior. Detention is a disciplinary measure. It would be counterintuitive."
"Fine. Whatever." I sulk. If sulking were an Olympic sport, I'd be a many-time gold medalist.
"What are you in for?"
I look up from my math book, surprised. Nobody's asked before. Well, the administration knows, but that's about it. "Huh? What?" Mr. Pierce looks back at me and rolls his eyes.
"Why'd you get detention? I've seen your records. You're a smart kid. You haven't ever gotten a uniform violation or tardy. What happened?"
"I don't want to talk about it." I pull my sweatshirt hood on and look back down at my desk.
"Why not? What did you do that's so bad you won't talk about it?" Mr. Pierce moves out from behind his desk.
What was I supposed to say? Something like "I didn't start Morton in kindergarten. I started in sixth grade. So when I got here, everyone knew each other. Oh, and I'm scholarship, and apparently the school told the family sponsoring me who I was. It was Lizzie Sampson's family. She told everybody. Even at day one, I was an outcast. Do you have any idea what that's like? I guess my likes didn't help. To all of those rich daddy's girls, I was a rebel with a screwed-up taste in music. They tormented me. So I tormented them back"?
I look up. "I always talked about these stupid plans I had. Seriously, most of them were pranks. I'd just come up with something never put in the rules, so it would technically not be against the rules of Morton. Like I would "accidentally" punch holes in the cups in the cafeteria and then laugh my head off when some idiot got her five hundred dollar heels ruined by fruit punch. Stuff like that. Well, Lizzie Sampson called me a coward, because I'd never do real stunts. I wanted to prove her wrong so bad.
"So, over the summer, I came up with pretty much the best plan in the world. You know how there's that coffee maker in the cafeteria? Well, for the first week of school, I put espresso in it, which let me tell you was expensive. So anybody who drank the coffee would be all hyped up. The next week, I put decaf in and everyone crashed. I kept on rotating the cycle. One morning, I was stupid and got caught. They blamed me for causing this senior to flunk some test because she crashed in the middle of it. So that's why I'm here."
"That was you? That was really you?" Mr. Pierce sinks into his chair. I give a sort of shrug and half smile.
"Yeah. Pretty much. Hey, I'm sorry if I screwed your first quarter or so of the school year up."
"Why'd you do it?"
"Uh, 'cause I wanna be anarchy. You've never heard the Sex Pistols? Seriously? What sort of deprived childhood did you have?" I've never met somebody who hasn't heard the song Anarchy in the U.K.
"Be serious for a few seconds, Aryanna. Why did you do something that stupid? You're a smart kid." Wait. Did Mr. Pierce just compliment me?
"I wanted to be different from all the girls in my grade. It wasn't like I had any friends or anything. It was just me on my own, pretty much. And they all thought I was this badass rebel, so I needed to prove it. I had to show them I was a troublemaker and they should be afraid of me. And I did. So now they know I'm that creepy kid who will hurt them if they bug me. Joys."
"That's not who you really are." I almost fall out of my chair. Last I checked, this isn't therapy. It's detention. I'm being punished, not psychoanalyzed.
"I think I'm a better judge of myself than you are. No offense, you haven't been a teenager for ages. Or a girl. I hope."
"I'm not saying I'm a better judge of your personality than you. It's just that I think, well actually I know you're not a rebel."
"Prove it." Mr. Pierce flicks through my iPod library before looking up again.
"Your music. Sure, you have the Sex Pistols, but you also have Steve Reynolds. You'd never have Steve Reynolds if you didn't have some sort of tender side."
"Let me get this straight. Just because I have a couple nice, people-friendly songs, I'm a faker and all sensitive."
"I never said that. Listen to me. You say being nice and showing your emotions in being fake. Well, you're wrong. That's called being yourself. Rebelling, acting like you don't care, that's faking. It's called being hypocritical. I'm pretty sure you're not a hypocrite."
"Do you any idea how hard that is?" Does he have any idea what it's like being different?
"Well, yes, but…"
"Never mind. Thanks. Thanks a ton, Mr. Pierce. Oh, and look. Detention's over." I grab my book bag and push the door open, trying not to cry. And of course, it doesn't work.
"Ryann? Are you okay?" Mr. Pierce touches me on the arm, softly.
"No. No, I'm not."
"Look, I'm sorry." I wipe my eyes and nose off on my sweatshirt's sleeve. Mr. Pierce gives me the most awkward hug I've ever gotten.
"It's okay. I understand. It's just… It's just… Never mind. Thanks."