This is very much a high school story.
As in, while the focus of the story is on the relationship that grows within the main characters, there will be as much focus on the other characters' lives and relationships too. I aim to reflect high school as it really is, using events and a romance as a backdrop. If this isn't your kind of story, please don't flame me. Otherwise, proceed to-
Never Entrust a Walnut with Your Brains.
"Word has reached my ears, children, that certain factions of this class are not behaving the way young men and ladies of your... calibre should be!"
There was a brief silence as Lana Law cleared her throat, making sure to toss her newly dyed platinum blonde tresses towards the unfortunate students in the first row. Head of Boarding, School Psychologist, Personal Counsellor, Emo Hunter, Self-Proclaimed Springfield High Ambassador to the United Nations and High Commissioner to the Land of Pink and Annoyance, Ms. Law had always been one to make sure she lives up to her fame...
As she continued clearing her throat, my friend Reno sent me a sideways glance and whispered,
"Are those sacks in the front of the room actually hiding kinky cosplay outfits?"
For a second, the rather disturbing thought of Lana Law in a bunny suit crossed my mind, complete with fishnet tights, bow tie, and oversized pink glasses... I cringed. In an attempt to shake the mental image out of my head, I took a quick glance at the brown bags. They seemed as normal as they could be, or as normal as anything could be while you were watching a 40-year-old woman act like she had a bad case of the bird flu. I raised an eyebrow, and replied,
"While they're at it, someone in a maid costume should wash your mind out with soap and water. No. I have no idea what-"
"Mr. Chen! Mr. Kunchai! Stop seeking attention, and please pay attention to me for the briefest of seconds! I utterly refuse to tolerate this sort of attention-seeking behaviour from students of your age! Now, children." Discounting the fact that demanding we listen to her was not "seeking attention" while talking to each other quietly was, Lana Law continued to babble on about "spreading love" and "mutual understanding between schools".
I saw my other friend Shinji Takada give her the third finger. Universal sign language for Please Get Hit By A Bus. Now that was a good example of mutual understanding. However, the blonde woman didn't notice his commendable behaviour, and was instead passionately persuading a rather bored Reno to find other outlets for his supposed misery, before striding to the other side of the room to gush about love for self and love for others. Turning to Reno, I replied,
"So was that a figment of your imagination, or are there really-"
"Mr. Chen! Please, allow me to express myself like you should be doing outside of class! Students, word has travelled far and reached my ears that some of you have not been behaving the way you should! I heard word of... pranks!" She gasped, and took a step back or two. Lifting her hand to her forehead, she sighed. "Your behaviour has been... horrid! Stupefying! I feel... faint! Sick to my stomach..."
"Should we call an ambulance, miss?" My twin sister Gina muttered under her breath, a snide grin surfacing on her face as she twirled the orange ribbon she had taken out of her hair. Her best friend Cheryl smirked, and said just loudly enough for both Gina and I to hear,
"I believe that there is a rather prominent mental institution near our school that might be able to host unique cases like hers. Allow us to -"
"Yes, my children," Lana Law boomed, and Shinji added another stroke to his count of the number of times she had used that word, "There have been pranks! And rather rude ones at that! You!" Lana Law pointed to a boy and a girl sitting in the back row, both who were staring intently into each other's eyes.
And by that, I mean they were having a staring contest. The girl, Serene, seemed to be winning as Zach was grinning like a maniac, but that smile seemed to be on his face perpetually so I wasn't sure if it was a reliable sign of defeat. Unfazed by Lana Law's words, they continued staring, ignoring her accusation of,
"Is it true that the two of you single-handedly orchestrated the destruction of your school building by causing the explosion of a chocolate fountain?"
The rest of the room burst out into laughter, except for the former denizens of St. Georgette's Private Institution themselves, who were pursing their lips at the fact that they were being forced to wear the uniforms of commoners while their school was being cleaned up- because, according to a rather rotund blonde that I had overheard while he was moving about sixty suitcases into our dormitory, white shirts, black bottoms, and red ties were "so three seasons ago".
"Miss Grayden! Mr. Vanblaine!" Lana Law said, shaking her head towards the sky and dandruff towards the front row. Serene and Zach, of course, were ignoring Lana Law and still staring at each other, a far cry from the remainder of the St. Georgette's students who were staring daggers at us. My eyes met those of the same rotund boy, who turned up his nose towards me. Meanwhile, the raven-haired girl next to him examined the collar of her commoner's shirt, before leaning over to whisper to the same rotund boy-
"Miss Grayden! Mr. Vanblaine!" Lana Law screamed again, but the rest of the class had started to ignore her as she prattled on to the brown-haired friends about respect and listening. Reno and Shinji had started up a game of Tic-Tac-Toe, but were drawing phallic symbols in place of noughts and crosses. From what I could make out, Reno had drawn a very large, black hole, and labelled it "Lana".
"Too much information, Reno..." I said, raising an eyebrow. "Or have you learned about it through experience? Because-"
"Garrett, what's your theory on the weirdoes? Theory on the weirdoes!" Gina interrupted, giving me a push on the shoulder.
"You know, it's not as though you're very normal yourself," I replied as Cheryl articulated in her crisp, clear voice,
"My theory about the St. Georgians, Garrett, that the reason for their bitterness is that they will never muster up the intelligence to comprehend the fact that the sheer amount of velvet used to coat their floors makes it near impossible to clean their school up within the next three years, which meant that they will have to attend our school until their graduation," she interjected, mumbling underneath her breath, her face still set in its usual thin-lipped smile. Gina piped up,
"No, it's because they're a bunch of spoiled brats that can't even make instant noodles without setting a kitchen on fire. And who can live without instant noodles? I like noodles. They're good. Hey, Cheryl, there are some really good Korean ones from..." I blocked Gina's voice out and tried to recall Lana Law's reasoning for the St. Georgette's students' erratic behaviour. What was it again?
Oh right. It was that they were insecure, seeking attention, and needed us to spread the love...
Which was clearly not working, as could be apparent by a loud yell from Serene's direction. I turned around and saw the girl jump up from the black lab stool, and punch her fist into the air,
"Zach! You blinked!" she yelled. "I've won! I've won! Yeah baby, you owe me dinner, you owe me-"
"Aww," the male said, scratching his head, "But I bought you dinner the last time when I won as a treat! Can't you-"
"Serena Lynn Grayden and Zacharias Vanblaine!" Lana Law yelled again, but the two of them had sprung up from their seats and started an animated debate about the merits of fried noodles over fried rice. The blonde teacher rolled her eyes, turning away from the dastardly duo.
"Sometimes, I wonder whether the two of you are a gone case... But that wasn't the point of gathering all the Year 11 students here. The point was- Mr. Brooklyn, Mr. Snow and Mr. Chang! Might the three of you be able to tell us a bit more about the sudden disappearance of the statue of their school mascot?"
I took a quick glance at the three of them. Edward Brooklyn and Raymond Chang were busy flying paper aeroplanes while Callum Snow was leaning back in his chair with a Chemistry book draped over his face. His friends had hung a sign around his neck saying "Kick Me I'm Sexy", written in Ray's illegible handwriting- Edward's idea, probably. He grinned,
"Nope, Ms. Law. Any ideas?"
Next to me, Gina scoffed, rolled her eyes and mouthed something along the lines of "Sausage McMuffin" to Cheryl, who wasn't even paying attention to her ex-boyfriend on account of her finding solace in staring at her French manicure. Ray's voice piped up in a fake English accent, possibly in mimicry of the snoring Callum's,
"I believe, children, that we have sent it off to Scotland to experience eating haggis and bungee jumping in skirts, haven't we?" the half-Canadian, half-Chinese boy said with a perfectly straight face, and this sent everyone, even the St. Georgette's students into peals of laughter.
Except Lana Law, who sighed as she declared pompously,
"Don't be silly, children!"
Meanwhile, Shinji and Reno were debating intently as to whether Ray's use of the word was worthy of adding another point to their total, while fencing using pencils instead of swords.
"Children, you should never, never, make fun of another school's mascot! Its emblem! Its symbol of honour and integrity! You are-" She did the sweeping fainting motion again, and gasped. "You simply should not! And that isn't the worst of what you have done- and that's not just Springfielders, I'm looking at all of you! There have been panties in the boys' rooms! String cheese in their shoes! Salt in the sugar bowls! Rotten tomatoes in the fridge!"
"Thus," she said, glancing at us with a look that might have seemed intense to a group of five-year-olds, "Thus, I would like to introduce..."
She paused again, and made a dramatic gesture to the sacks in front of us.
The clank of Reno and Shinji's pencils falling to the ground could be heard.
Reno's eyebrows twitched, his eyes widened, and his jaw dropped. Shinji, on the other hand, was pointing to the sacks and making whimpering noises,
"B... But... This isn't some..."
"Yes, Mr. Takada. These, my children, will serve as your babies for the remainder of this term. I have randomly assigned each of you a partner, and yes, they have been... mostly boy-girl. You will serve as a couple and take care of your sack of flour, bring it to classes, take it for parenting lessons, everything!"
"I have broken up cliques. Taken children from St. Georgette's and Springfield, and made them work together. Paired children with children that they would never co-operate with, never, never!"
She paused for a while, and I wondered whether she was done. I was just about to tap my fingers together in mock applause when she added with a flourish of her pen,
"You will learn how... difficult! It is! To raise a child!"
"Miss," Edward piped up from the other side of the room. Lana Law whirled around.
"What is it, Mr. Brooklyn?"
"Miss, might I have a question?" he asked, a smirk growing on his face as he stood up with his arms folded. With his tanned skin and red-brown hair, Edward's athletic ability was only matched by his reputation for being, in Gina's words, a "man-slut", but that didn't deter most female eyes in the room from detracting to his body. Including Lana Law's, for a brief second, before she shook her head. Regaining her composure, she said,
"Yes, you may. Even though I believe that you, of all students, need a lesson in co-operation the most-"
"Miss," Edward interjected, and the edges of his mouth curled up a little.
"How would you know what it is like to raise a child seeing as you're a 40-year-old virgin yourself?"
Lana Law's horn-rimmed glasses fell, and her mouth widened into an O of shock and horror. She gasped a little, took a step back, and started teetering back and forth with her hand on her forehead. She stumbled onto a lab stool, lunged forward to take a glass of water, before gulping its contents down with half of them splashing onto her face.
"Mr. Brooklyn. We will simply have to discuss that comment of yours in detention tonight," she said in a soft, menacing tone as she took a few steps towards him. Snarling, she grabbed one of the sacks rather viciously, then threw it onto the lab table.
"Mr. Snow, Mr. Chang, I dare say that neither of you seem to have had any positive influence on your friend... I shall see the two of you in detention too, unless one of you can muster up the ability to get him to apologize. And Mr. Snow,"
Callum sat up in his blue office chair,
"Yes, Ms. Law?" he asked, smirking.
"Stop. Sleeping. In. My. Class!" Lana Law shrieked, stamping her foot on the ground and storming towards the front of the room. "I believe that I have demanded respect! Integrity! Love! And-"
"Err, okay, sure, good night," the blonde replied, giving Lana a small wave before slamming the Chemistry book on his face and sinking back in the chair. He let out a little snore, and I swear I could have seen smoke arise from Lana Law's ears as she snapped,
"Fine then! I shall assign all of you your partners! Mr. Chen, please come to the front of the room, and you'll be paired with Hiromi Takahashi..." Lana Law's voice trailed off in my mind as my eyes darted around the room and met my partner's...
Brown met brown.
A smile. A wink.
For a second, my heart lurched.
Something, somewhere, changed forever...
Well, not really. That would have been too much of a cliché. But as Hiromi stepped off her lab stool, bounced onto the one that Reno had recently vacated, and swivelled around with a laugh, I knew that I was going to have a very interesting term...
I just didn't know just how interesting it was going to be.
A/N: Well, that's Chapter 1! More information on the characters can be found on the Angel-Hair Pasta website, which can be accessed through my Author Page. Feedback greatly appreciated- who do you like? Who do you hate? And are there too many characters for a first chapter?
Thank you very much!