Six groups of four metal desks put together were placed all over my almost-empty homebase classroom. In front of the room was the blackboard (why do they call it a "blackboard" when it's green?). Sitting in front of the greenboard was the gray teacher's desk.

My desk was in the first group on the left side of the door. Nobody in my group came yet. I put my bookbag on the floor and went into the coatroom in the back of the class.

I came out wearing a dark green sweater that my dead father gave me. Also, I wore a pair of blue jeans and black sneakers.

By the way, my name is Scott. I'm 10 years old and I'm in the fourth grade.

On my desk was a purple card. As I got to my chair, then sat down, I picked up the small card and looked at it. Princess Jasmine and "Prince Ali" were sitting on the magic carpet. Fireworks were blowing up in the cloudy, nighttime sky. The bottom of the card read "Happy Valentine's Day" in the Aladdin letters.

I turned the card over and looked at its white back.

To: Scott

From: Caroline

I turned around to look for Caroline. Her red bookbag with Pikachu on the back was on the floor by the desk across from mine. More students were in class now, but I couldn't see her.

Me and Caroline first met when I got transferred here last month. I got transferred 'cause I skipped mad days of my old school. Caroline and another girl sat by me in lunch, probably 'cause they felt sorry for the new kid. Since then, me and Caroline have been best friends.

And I liked her since then.

Caroline and our friend, Allie, were coming out of the coatroom together, not looking at me. Caroline must have went into the coatroom just when I left. They came toward me until Allie had to walk to her desk on the other side of the room.

"Heeeeeey," Caroline greeted with a wave. She sat in the chair across from me and folded her hands on it.

Caroline was a little shorter than me. A red scrunch held her black hair into a big ponytail. She was wearing a red shirt with tiny, white polka dots.

"Hi, Caroline," I smiled. "Thanks for the Valentine." I held it up to her.

"You're welcome," she said with a smile. "I asked my mother to buy me one so I could give it to you."

I felt a little bit disappointed. "You didn't have to. I wish I could have made one for you."

"It's okay. Friends don't really have to give each other valentines. I did just 'cause I wanted to."

The bell rang and the teacher walked in.

"Good morning, class," she greeted.

"Good morning, Mrs. Brescher," most of the kids, including me and Caroline, said over the chatter of others.

The rest of our homeroom/Social Studies class, then second and third periods, went by as normal.

I dropped my Language Arts workbook into my bookbag and tossed the bag over my back. Caroline and Allie were talking while walking down a side line of desks. I stood at the end of the row of seats, near the line of some of my classmates, and waited for them. All three of us walked out of the room and joined to the line that was in front of room 216.

I turned around to look at Caroline. "So... are you ready for the dance tonight?"

Her eyes grew with excitement, which happens a lot. "Yeah! It'll be so cool!"

"You're going with somebody?" I felt myself get worried as I waited for her to say something back.

The line marched into the classroom where we learn music (the most pointless class ever). I turned and followed it.

Colorful mats were stacked on top of each other, made to look like three stairs. I sat on the green bottom mat that was closest to the door. Caroline and Allie sat on my right side.

"No. I'm just going for fun. I like parties."

She raised her fists and moved them like she was playing a drum. With her mouth, she made cymbal sounds.


"Are you going?"

"Um, yeah. I'm going."

Caroline dropped her jaw in her sign of excitement. "Cool. Maybe we can dance together." She broke into a big smile.

Her face was so cute that I had to return my own smile -- even though it was a sloppy, stupid-looking one.

After lunch -- we had triangle-shaped slices of grilled cheese, half oranges, and those nasty potato ball things -- me and the girls went outside. The three of us sat in our favorite spot -- right outside the windows of our homeroom.

Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out a bunch of Pokemon cards. Caroline did, too. She had a little more than me. I put most of my stack down and held the rest up like I was playing cards, but I was really looking through them. It was cold out, but not windy enough to blow them out of my hands.

"I traded my Wartortle yesterday," I said. "I got a Geodude." I showed it to Caroline.

"Wanna trade it for my Gastly? I have doubles of it, and I don't have Geodude."

"Yeah." I picked out my Geodude card and held it out to her. She gave me her Gastly card.

"Hey, imagine if there were more than a hundred and fifty Pokemon," said Caroline.

"A hundred and fifty-one," I corrected her. "Don't forget Mew."

"Yeah, what if there was more than that? I know I'd still catch 'em all."

I laughed. "A hundred and fifty-one is already mad Pokemon. Why would they make more?"

"But in the Pokerap, they say, 'At least a hundred and fifty, or more to see.' Sounds like there's more to me," Allie said.

"And to be a Pokemon master is my destiny!" Caroline smiled. "I'll get all the cards even if I have to carry them in my bookbag!"

Caroline's so funny. 'Over a hundred and fifty-one Pokemon.' What a Pokemaniac.

After another homeroom, art was the next class. For some reason, the six long tables that were all different colors were moved so three were on opposite sides of the room. Crayons, papers, colored pencils, and stuff like that were on top.

"Okay, class," Mrs. Carlin said, "today, we're going to make valentines. You can give them to your friends or family. I want all boys to sit on this side," she pointed at the tables on the left side of the room, "and the girls to sit here," she looked at the other tables. "Plenty of supplies are here for both groups, so you don't have to borrow from each other and ruin your surprise."

Knowing how much Caroline liked, no, loved Pokemon, I knew exactly what to draw. Her favorite Pokemon was Rapidash. Rapidash ain't easy for me to sketch, but I'll try.

Standing by the supplies, I picked up a yellow crayon, a white crayon, and an orange crayon. Then I got some red paper and some scissors. Holding everything, I found a seat.

Picking up my white crayon, I drew an unfinished oval, then put the crayon down. Then, I dragged the crayon down the other side of the oval. Well, that's his (is Rapidash a boy or a girl Pokemon? Well, only a boy would have fire all over him, so I guess it's a he) neck and head. I went to the end of the neck and drew a straight line for his back. *Sigh* Where's the eraser on this thing?

Turning around, I looked for Caroline. She was scribbling with a marker. Since she was smiling, she couldn't have been having as many problems as I was. Digging into my pocket, I found my pencil. The eraser looked almost brand new. Picking the shavings off, I flipped the pencil over and rubbed the eraser over Rapidash's crayon-colored back. *Sigh* It didn't work!

Holding the paper in both hands I tore it so I could try to draw on a clean part. Like a dummy, I ripped it wrong, leaving a big, pointy piece in one hand, and a little piece in the other. I balled both papers up and tried to throw them in the big, gray garbage can by the door. I missed. On the way to get more paper, I picked it up and dropped it in.

After mad mess-ups, like mixing the tail with the fire on his back, and making the body too fat, I was done. The white horse had really straight legs; each pair looked connected. His circular eye (he was standing sideways) was big and had a dot in the middle. Orange and yellow triangles were all over him; they were supposed to be fire, but looked more like one of those things that cover cartoon characters when they get electrocuted. The tail looked the same as the rest of the fire. All I had to do now was cut the paper into a heart shape.

I put the bottom of the scissors on the top of the paper. I cut a straight line, making a triangle shape come off. Next, I pointed the scissors down and cut downwards. I kept cutting until I made a heart that was pointy and straight, but not round at all. The two top parts were flat squares. At least I did the bottom right.

The top left part was shaped like a triangle. The right part looked like a skinny rectangle. Caroline's valentine ended up being a lot smaller than I wanted it to be; now, it was barely big enough to cover both of my hands. I didn't want to start all over again, so I left it like that before I messed up again.

Since I didn't have anyone else to give valentines to, I cleaned up and waited for the bell to ring.

When it did, we lined up at the door. I walked up to Caroline. She was giving valentines to two boys, and one gave her a white, square paper. I felt jealous at first, but held my heart-shaped card out to her.

Turning her attention to me, she looked at it, and then at me.

"For me?" she asked. Her eyes grew and she smiled real big.

My face felt hot. I nodded and said, "Yeah."

"Ooh, thanks, Scott!" She took the card. "Wow! You drew Rapidash! She looks really cool!"

Rapidash is a girl?

The line began to move into the hallway.

"I would have drew a valentine for you," Caroline told me, "but I gave you one this morning."

"That's okay, now we're even. Can't wait for the dance."

"Me, neither."

After that, we went to Spelling.

Why are Spelling, Language Arts, and Handwriting all different classes?

My mother dropped me off at school later that day. It felt weird to be in school in the almost nighttime, but at least we weren't doing work.

I put my coat on top of the pile that was by the door. I was wearing a red shirt with long sleeves. Black pants barely covered the ankles of the white thermals that I wore underneath them. My black sneakers from earlier were still on.

Mad kids from second to fourth grade were dancing to the YMCA song. Others were talking and eating. Of course, teachers just had to be there, too. Some were just standing around like they were waiting to give somebody detention or something.

I looked a little bit to my left and had to double-take.

In front of the wall of pushed bleachers, Caroline was raising her hands like she was making the letters Y, M, C, and A. Her hair was the same as earlier. She wore a dark blue sweater with black jeans and sneakers.

I walked past a lot of students, teachers, and parents to get to her. Caroline saw me when she was doing a 'C', and smiled. Her hands went to her sides and she stopped dancing.

"Hey, Scott," she said over the loud music.

"Hi." We gave each other fives. "Did I miss anything?"


I danced beside her until the song was over. Some song I never heard before replaced it. It went like "Blue da ba dee," or something, over and over again.

Caroline went to the snack table and I followed her. Reaching into a white bowl, she pulled out a handful of pretzels and put them in a napkin. I got Doritos from another white bowl. Then we sat in chairs that were against the walls. We talked like we would on any other day, while sharing our snacks.

Later, the song went off and the 'Pokemon-mon-mon-mon' song was on. Kids were dancing and jumping around wildly.

Oh, yeah! Pokemon-mon-mon-mon


"I really like this song," Caroline told me while moving her head up and down to the fast music.

"I bet you do," I smirked. "You really like singing anything with Pokemon in it."

She copied me in a funny voice while shaking her head from side to side. We both burst out laughing.

"Wanna dance?" She stood up like she was gonna dance even if I said no.


By now, mad kids were dancing. Me and Caroline found a spot and danced. Caroline jumped around in circles with her hands up. I was moving my raised arms from side to side.

"We Like to Party" started playing. Caroline moved her arms up and down like she was running. She moved her head crazily, making her hair fly all over the place. It was kinda funny, and I think she did it just to be funny.

When that song went off, "Bye Bye Bye" came on. Our Language Arts teacher came out of nowhere and said:

"Come on, Mrs. Silvermane, let's show these kids how to do it." Mr. K (he has a really long and weird name, so we just call him "Mr. K") said as he walked with Mrs. Silvermane. "It ain't no lie, goodbye, goodbye, goodbyyyy-yyye!"

The kids, including me and Caroline, laughed at him. Some told him to sing it right.

We danced through two more songs and gave up. By now, "All Stat," by Smash Mouth was playing.

"Having fun?" Caroline asked me as we walked toward the snack table.

"Yeah." I picked up a clear cup and gave it to her. Then I picked out my own.

"Me, too."

I poured both of us some fruit punch and we went to stand against a wall, since all of the chairs were taken.

A teacher had told us when Caroline's parents had called. Since I had no other reason to be here, I called mine. We were sitting in the main office with Mrs. Carlin, who was sitting behind the counter, where we could hardly see her.

"I had a really good time at this party," Caroline told me. She then made a face that made me laugh. "Eww, I never thought I'd say that about school."

"I had a good time, too," I said.

We sat there until her parents walked in.

"See you in school tomorrow," Caroline said.

I stayed in my seat and watched my friend/crush head for the exit with her parents.