"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. "Audrey Hepburn
"Really what defines beauty? Is it having a nice house, nice car, a pretty face, a dazzling smile or a long flowing hair? Can anyone tell me in words?" Mr. Lawson said, glancing around the room for answers and a lone pale hand rose which was Melanie Parkston's, out class president and literally puts the S in snob big time. Melanie was what guys would call a "knock out" with long platinum hair and lapis lazuli colored eyes. To top it off she had clear porcelain colored skin, and long dark blond lashes.
"Yes Ms. Parkston?"
"Well Mr. Lawson, everything you said is what being beautiful is all about. Really, would you want to look like some fat person with bad acne and frizzy hair? Or lived in a low income family?" The room fell silent but if glares had a sound, they would be shooting lasers at Melanie's face. We all knew she stemmed from a rich prestigious family; it was the fact that she was rubbing it in our faces just proved how shallow she was. I could tell irritation was clear on Mr. Lawson's face, as he simply sighed and pushed his glasses up on the bridge of his nose, his green eyes seeming thoughtful.
"Anyone else have anything to add to the debate?" Although everyone had things on their minds, no one wanted to speak up and give their opinionated response. It was the deep rooted fear in every individual when it came to public speaking, especially in a school environment. Although my hands were clammy and anxiety filled my mind, I slowly raised my hand and Mr. Lawson's eyes shifted to me. A smile lit his face and he said,
"Yes, Rina?" The attention of the class shifted to me, and the scrutinizing and curious gazes made my pulse speed up faster.
"Well…." I started, "In terms of beauty, you can find beauty anywhere; it's just a matter of perspective. Take for example nature; animals aren't discriminatory against other animals. Have you noticed that? It's only the human race as a whole has this psychological belief of beauty, which can take on many forms, and I fell like it's so broad that there can be so many interpretations to beauty the possibilities are endless."
"That's an interesting response, very well thought out. Anyone want to add anything?"
"Yes, Kennan." Kennan, like me was one of the other African American students in the class besides Brenda and Troy. But Troy was mixed so maybe three and a half blacks in Philosophy. The rest of the class was majority white, a few Asian kids and one Hispanic, but that was as far as racial diversity would go in the class.
Most juniors just take mainstream English 11 AP, but seeing how I had a dreadful sophomore year in English 10 HH I decided taking patterns course in English which was a lot suitable.
Out of the many conversations in Philosophy, we always ended up in a heated debate or conversation at the end of the class. Mr. Lawson's motto of the class "Don't shy away from asking questions. In Philosophy there's no right or wrong, just an alternative".
Although it was still November, no one was still comfortable with public speaking except for Melanie, Vicky, Jeff, Mike, the occasional Kennan and me included when I wasn't anxious.
"Well Mr. L, when I see a girl I usually look at her face and then body. I'm not even going to straight up lie about that." A few snickers filled the room as he continued,
"But I agree with what Rina said, it's a matter of perspective and most people are shallow including myself. Everyone can't say everyone is attractive, and it goes for the same with ugly people. And yes I said it, there are ugly people but it's not their look it's more their personality."
" Okay, were getting somewhere."
"But going off of what Rina said, I know myself that I could be shallow, but at the end of the day someone's personality can make them more beautiful or more unattractive." Suddenly the bell rang, and people gathered their books.
" Okay class we'll continue this discussion later and tomorrow we'll be reading articles on how different societies view beauty and so forth!" I waited for Brenda as we exited the classroom and headed for our lockers.
"Rina, you really hit on some good points. It sure overpowered what blond Barbie said." I laughed a little and said,
"I guess so. Everyone makes a judgement on beauty." She nodded and said,
"With all that talk and such, it sure makes me hungry." I just chuckled and said,
" With all you eat, I'm surprised you haven't turned into a balloon." Brenda had a fast metabolism and since she was a cheerleader she exercised daily. Standing at 5'7 Brenda was very pretty with dark brown skin, wavy ink black hair and warm hazel eyes.
She just simply smiled, her dark eyes amused as we entered the cafeteria.
The cafeteria was literally like a zoo here. You had your monkeys( class clowns) , your lions( The rich, snotty kids), The sloths( Stoners, rebels, pot heads), the song birds( Theatre kids, choir kids, band geeks ( even though I'm in band) , hawks/falcons( varsity sport players football players mostly, the groundhogs( Nerds I guess?), snakes( popular girls, rich and vain) and what I liked to call the lone wolves( people I didn't mention ) . Yeah, if school was an animal kingdom, I'd think I'd be in the middle for sure.
The overwhelming smell of mystery meat filled my nostrils and suddenly I didn't feel hungry.
" Rina, are you going in line?"
" It's okay Brenda, I'll just have a slice of pizza." Taking a slice of extra cheesy, greasy pizza, I grab a bottle of water and pay for my food, finding the usual table I sit at with Brenda. Sitting there eating a sandwich was Kristy Lee, one my closest friends and band mate. Her long dark hair reached passed her shoulders, exposing her heart-shaped cream-colored face. " Hey Kristy." I said, taking my seat next to her.
" Hey Rina, how has your day been?"
" It's… a day I guess." A yawn escaped from my mouth and she laughed softly,
" Looks like you need some sleep. What were you doing so late last night?"
" Honestly, nothing. My little brother Andrew was playing video games up until twelve."
" Wow, that sounds like my brother Henry. His life belongs to a video game literally." We both laughed as Brenda approached saying,
" Can you believe lunch is 4.50 now? Almost freakin' five dollars! All for some mystery meat, frozen fries and slushy juice! This is an injustice!" Setting her tray down with a thud, we get a few glares from another table who we just ignore anyways.
" Anyways, enough about the lunch, how was everyone's day?"
" Oh yeah! I forgot to mention, there's a new kid in our in school."
" Really? What does he look like? Tall? Short? Black? White?" Brenda was pressing her on with questions and Kristy said,
" I think he's black, but he looks Hispanic so I'm assuming he's mixed . He's in my finance class and he's cute I guess." Brenda's face fell and she said,
" That's all? Really?"
" Yes really, unlike you I was paying attention in class and not looking gawking at the new boy.
Shaking her head, she continues to eat her lunch. Lunch ends in a quick blur and Kristy and I part from Brenda and go to band.
The familiar sound of tuning instruments and quiet talking always instantly relaxed me. What better way to end the day with your favorite class? Going into the instrument closet, I grab my flute and Kristy grabs her piccolo and we sit at the front of the class in our seats, assembling our instruments. Mr. Jeffery's is our band director and is an elderly man with a gray mustache and big glasses " Okay class settle down." The class quieted a little more and he said,,
" Mr. Robinson, you're late".
" Sorry, it won't happen again." Stepping into the classroom was a kid I didn't recognize. He was tall with a slender build and had light caramel colored skin. He had short curly hair, and dark brown eyes.
Also with high cheekbones and a straight but not too pointed nose and pink-tinted bow-shaped lips, he was considerably handsome. I noticed most girls were gawking at him.
" Class, this is Pierce. He just transferred here and as I band class I want to welcome him. I heard you play saxophone, piano, cello and violin?"
"Yes sir, I've only played piano a little, but I've played tenor saxophone and violin since I was in kindergarten."
" Well very, then next week I want you to bring in your saxophone and get started on the pieces we've played, is that fine?" He nodded, and Mr. Jeffery's was about to let us start before he got a phone call in his office.
Chatter again filled the room and I sat there talking to Kristy until Mr. Jeffrey came back into the room and we started playing. After band class was over the bell rang and we dissembled our instruments, calling it a day and getting our things to go home.
The bitter cold air stung my cheeks as I stepped outside and walked home which was literally only three blocks away. As I reached my house, I threw my backpack on the floor and watched some TV, sparing some time before I started my homework. The door opened and in came my brother dropping his backpack and running up the stairs.
" Hey Ri-Ri!" He said, as he passed me, running up the steps.
" Stop running Andy!" I say, but I knew he couldn't hear me. The phone rang and incoming was my father.
" Hey sweetheart how was school?"
" Good. How about work?"
" Work.. is work. Listen I'll be out on town for two weeks and your mother will be on that Christian women's retreat for a few weeks, do you think you can handle staying home?" With that I laughed and said,
" Dad, I'm not a little kid anymore I'm 16, everything will be fine." Although I said I could manage it, I knew it'd be lonely and a little sad. My brother was going over his friend's house and I didn't have anything else to do except for homework.
" I know, I know. But I have to go, okay?"
" Okay." I said and he hung up just like that. The phone rang again and I said,
" Hey mom."
" Hey sweetie,. How was school?"
" School is fine, what about work?"
" Same old, but I'm not complaining. Where's Andy?"
" Up in his room, probably playing dragon ball z or something."
" Tell him he needs to be doing his homework and no video games."
" Okay mom, see you later." After the conversation, I started my homework, eager to get it done.
After that, I made spaghetti and went up to take a shower.
After thirty minutes of relaxation I heard the door open downstairs and I knew it was my mother coming home.
Dinner was over with meaningless conversation and I headed to my room, which was like my sanctuary.
Painted a sky blue with white trimming, I had a matching sky blue comforter and a white canopy that hung from the bed.
I also had a small closest, a powder blue bean bag chair and small flat screen TV that hung across from my bed. Portraits of nature scattered my walls and a big picture of the cross was next to a picture of raindrops on the right side of my TV.
Plopping down on my bed, I put in my headphones and listen to the soothing voice of Imogen Heap, who is one of my favorite artists. As I listened I heard my phone vibrate in my sweatpants pockets and I retrieve it, seeing that it's Brenda.
" Hey, Brenda."
" Oh my goodness, you cannot believe what's going down this Saturday !"
"Kennan's throwing a Halloween party and he invited us! Isn't that exciting?"When it came to parties, Brenda was literally the party animal of our group. She's literally done it all from being drunk, to smoking to anything and everything you could name. She lived for excitement and danger but I didn't know if that was a good or bad thing...
" No.. why couldn't he tell us in class? ."
" Well I just got a text from him like a few hours ago, how come you didn't know about it? "
" You think I pay attention to that sort of stuff Brenda?" Ignoring my comment she said,
" Me, you and Kristy all have to go like seriously! Besides you know how boring it is going to parties on my own without you guys.
Please for once let yourself have fun, just once that's all I'm asking."
" Okay fine! I'll go to this party." I heard squealing in the background and I hung up, putting my Pikachu ( yes, I love Pokémon) pillow over my face, shutting my eyes,
" What have I got myself into?"
I know this might seem boring, but it will really pickup. Trust me, I didn't really want Rina and Pierce to just casually talk because I'm trying to build their characters and see them interact as the chapters go on and so forth so bare with me!