Checking the time briefly from the circular clock above the door to the library, I decide I have enough of my study hall left to meet up with Kaitlin, like she requested when she drove us to school. After getting my hall pass signed by the librarian, I swing by my locker to check my phone for texts. I have one from Kait that says she'll be in the courtyard for this period, so I grab my books for the next few classes and head in that direction.
Bright sunlight cuts into the dim hallway when I open the door to the courtyard, causing me to blink and squint as I stumble into the brilliant, early-summer morning. Hiking my purse up higher on my shoulder, I trod through the freshly mowed grass toward Kaitlin, who sits propped against one of the trees that dot the yard.
"Let's see the damage," she sighs, holding her outstretched hand up at me as I approach her. Fumbling through my purse for the schedule she wants to see, I cock a brow at her as her arm flails impatiently.
"How was your nap, Sleeping Beauty?" I mutter sarcastically as I dangle the schedule just out of her reach, noticing the way her dark hair was muffed up on one side, with a maple leaf stuck in the tresses.
"Pleasant enough," I chime with a laugh as I let the schedule float down to her. I throw my purse and books next to hers before plopping down beside her, plucking the leaf out of her hair as she whips out her own schedule to scan over the similarities and differences.
"Oh, thank Jesus," she grins at the papers as I peer over her shoulder. "At least we have AP Physics together." I give a burst of gut laughter.
"You're taking AP Physics?" I crow in a fit of giggles, snatching her schedule from her hands. "You're screwing with me." She grins and narrows her eyes at me as I confirm the fact that she's taking an advanced science class with my own eyes. Physics, nonetheless.
"We have to have as many classes together as possible next year! It's our last!" she defends with a laugh, and I throw her a look out of the corner of my eye.
"You're gonna hate it, and fail the AP test, Kait," I chuckle as I toss her schedule back at her.
"Don't care. All the other science classes suck."
"Have it your way," I sing as she looks back at my schedule. She whaps my shoulder, suddenly.
"Ow, what on earth?"
"Why aren't you taking AP English?"
"Cause I hate English."
I fall onto the grass in a bout of laughter as Kaitlin glowers down at me with a crooked smile.
"Oh my god," I manage between my amusement, "Why are you taking all these advanced classes?" I grin up at her from where I lay in the sweet-smelling grass. She flops on her back next to me with a sigh, and I watch her glare up at the swaying leaves as she answers.
"'Cause I want to get into a good college…"
"Awe," I croon as I pat her arm, "You're thinking of your future, I'm so proud of you!"
"I hate you, Allie."
"I love you, too, Kait."
"All juniors planning on taking AP Physics next year are to meet with Mrs. Farthing in room 76 at this time. Juniors planning on taking AP Calculus next year should meet with Mr. Roth in room 72 during morning homeroom on Monday. The AP English meeting will be held with Ms. Jackson in room 42 during 2nd period, also on Monday."
The announcements drone on through the speakers in the hallway as Kait and I exchange a look.
"Right now?" she inquires with scorn as she shuts her locker, playing with her car keys as I sigh.
"I guess so. Lucky us for having our AP meeting after school on a Friday." Kaitlin guffaws as we make our way towards the science wing of the school, in the opposite direction of the student parking lot, and the weekend.
"I get to miss 2nd period on Monday," she teases.
Once we make it to our meeting, we grab two desks next to the window. The teacher of our AP Physics class hands out the syllabus for next year, along with a list of supplies we'll need for the semesters like graphic calculators and mandatory 3-ring binders for organization. When everyone arrives, Mrs. Farthing begins with her run-down of her expectations, and suggestions for keeping up on certain formulas over the summer. I notice most of the class reflects the way I know Kait and I feel: Tired of work, tired of studying, tired of tests. The teacher's speech is met with worn, blank stares.
I zone out a little during parts of her meeting, looking around at the class that we'll be with our senior year. I see a lot of the smarter kids here, a few I know and a few I'm not too familiar with. An elbow to the side from Kaitlin draws me back to the teacher's speech. I catch the tail-end of a summer project, and my stomach drops.
"Are you serious?" I whisper at Kait, as a murmur of displeasure spreads through the other students. She presses her head against the desk.
"Make it end."
"-I've printed a list of assigned partners for the project, along with the procedure, report template, and list of supplies you'll need. You can find all this information in the back of the syllabus, under 'AP Physics: Summer Project.' I hope you all have fun while you work together and utilize skills you learned in your physics class this year, in preparation for next year." Kaitlin stares at me wide-eyed from where her head lies on her desk. Simultaneously, we tear through the stack of stapled papers for the project information at the back. Kait finds it first, and my stomach drops farther as she hisses a string of curses.
"Of course we're not freakin' partners. This class sucks."
"I warned ya," I murmur as my heart sinks once I pull out the list of partners and confirm Kait's words. "Who did you get?" I ask her, searching for my name on the list.
"Some smart chick. At least I won't fail," she mutters. "Ooo, look at who you got." I spot my name just as she speaks, and I blink at the name mine is paired with on the page.
A. Revora and R. Spade
I take a glance at Kaitlin, who is shaking her head.
"Roman?" I say, peering around the room for the kid I know little of, other than his name. I spot him near the back with one of his friends, massaging his brow with a large hand as he stares at the paper on his desk.
"I'd rather be partnered with a hottie than a smart chick," Kaitlin groans, patting me on the back.
"Lucky ho," she chuckles. I shoo her away from me.
"Didn't he go to rehab a while back?" I ask.
"Yeah, I think he does drugs. Kind of a troublemaker, I guess, but I think that's hot."
"Gross, Kait," I laugh. "I'll just be doing the project on my own, I guess. Why are everyone and their druggies taking Advanced Practice classes this year?" I grin as I poke at Kait's arm pointedly. She wrinkles her nose at me.
"Oh, shut up. If you're not interested, can I help you guys work on your project, Allie, pretty please?" she says with a devilish grin, waggling her eyebrows at me suggestively.
"To your heart's content," I mutter with a smirk.
I flip through the rest of the information on the project, scanning over the purpose and procedure. Turns out, we're going to be building life-sized balsa wood boats, with a limited amount of balsa wood planks. We did a lab similar to this one in Mrs. Frann's Physics I class this last semester, only the boats were tiny. These rafts/canoes/whatever-we-can-come-up-withs will have to support both partners. My heart goes out to the hefty students.