Twenty minutes passed, and at 10:30 Rosaline's head hit the table.

"That's all I've got. I'm totally spent. No human can endure this kind of torture," Rosaline murmured.

"Well, that was fun," David said sarcastically as he began to stand up to leave.

"Siddown!" Rosaline barked. She straightened up to deliver the intimidating order, but her face quickly collided with the table again. "I need coffee."

"I'll get you a cup," Frankie offered as he began to stand up.

"No, Frankie sit!" Rosaline shouted. "No leaving the table, not for drinks, snacks or even the bathroom."

"No leaving until everyone finishes their homework?" Frankie clarified.

"If the house catches on fire we will go down with the ship," Rosaline decided for everyone.

Frankie pondered this as his eyes drifted to R-Kelley next to him. The boy with the long black hair and backwards baseball cap had quickly fallen asleep at the table, his head resting in his arms as his breathing slowed. Unlike the others, R-Kelley had no supplies out in front of him, and after hearing Rosaline's declaration, this was worrisome.

"R-Kelley, wake up," Frankie said as he softly shook the boy's shoulder.

"Don't worry about R-Kelley. When he wakes up, I'm sure he could just summon the slenderman to do his work for him," Al chuckled.

Frankie figured that Al was probably right about not concerning himself with R-Kelley and returned to his work amongst frequent moans and groans from Rosaline.

"We're all going to the beach together. You should come to," Mitsukiki Hurahi said with a smile.

D-does this mean that Hurahi likes me? It might just be wishful thinking, but if she invited me then it means that she doesn't hate me even after that little misunderstanding in the girl's locker room. And the beach is perfect. If I can get some alone time with her, I'll be able to confess my feelings. Not to mention I'll be able to see her in her swimsuit. Sweet! And all of her cute friends will be there, too. My new year's wish is finally coming true!

"You're not fantasizing about girls in swimsuits, are you?" She had a skeptical face.

"N-no, I was just thinking about how much fun it's going to be. I'd love to go with you guys. Let's have as much fun as we possibly can," you say. Mitsukiki still looked at you suspiciously, but seemed willing to forget it.

David's efforts weren't going well. He rubbed his eyes and sighed.

"Quiet!" Rosaline screamed loud enough to surprise Carrie and make her accidentally throw her pencil. Rosaline made angry faces at David before returning to her work.

The abrupt interruption from the person across the table from him made Frankie inclined to check the time. According to his cell phone, it was five minutes past noon; they had been working for almost two hours. He figured it was a good time to take a break. He took a deep breath and stretched his arms above his head.

"What class are you taking notes for, Frankie," David asked.

"European history; I've got to read this whole book and take notes on every chapter." Frankie held up the four hundred page book. "On the first day of school we're having a test on this and we're allowed to use our notes."

Rosaline's face lit up.

"That's it! Frankie, let me use your notes. If we share, it means I won't have to waste time reading that piece of crap!" Rosaline was too excited about this.

"So what classes are you taking?" Frankie asked David, completely ignoring Rosaline's proposal.

"Hey, you jerk stop ignoring me," Rosaline shouted as she childishly began banging on the table.

"Well, you see," David started amidst a frustrated scream from Rosaline, "I ended up going with AP chemistry and AP gov."

"You're lucky it worked out that way. What about you Carrie; just AP English and AP gov?" Frankie asked.

"Yeah, I just have to read these three books," Carrie said with a smile, "I should probably be taking notes on them, too, but I'm hoping I'll remember the important stuff."

Rosaline glared across the table at Frankie. She was thinking deep, selfish thoughts. She slammed her hands down loudly on the table, garnering the attention of her friends.

"Frankie, I order you to let me use your notes!" she demanded.

"No," he said shortly.

Rosaline was taken aback. That's right; this isn't Pervy we're talking about here. Frankie won't knuckle under with just a little pressure. I've got to lay on him thick like tree sap.

"Frankie, if you let me use your notes I'll be your best friend!"

Before Frankie could reply, Rosaline heard a muffled sniffle from next to her. She looked over to see Carrie, her face red and tears in her eyes. Her lower lip trembled as she spoke.

"R-Rosaline, am I so easy to dispense of? No, I understand. Don't worry about me; I know that you can be best friends with whoever you want. I guess, I just didn't expect this to end so suddenly," Carrie spoke as the tears poured down her cheeks like waterfalls.

Al almost laughed at how ridiculous the whole conversation was. But then he saw Rosaline, her head down and her voice solemn.

"I'm sorry, Carrie. You see, Frankie?" She lifted her head and stared at him through her own tears. "Don't you see how devastated she is? Isn't my friendship worth a few pages of notes?" She sniffed hard.

Frankie looked at the crying Carrie, who was now in David's arms as he comforted her.

"No," he said stoically.

"Carrie, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean it." Rosaline immediately pulled Carrie close to her, as if she couldn't bare the charade any longer.

This is no mere pistachio. How much pressure do I have to exert before I can crack his nuts? Rosaline thought after Carrie calmed down.

"Frankie, upon allowing me the usage of yon notes, I will forever be your eternally grateful slave-dog!"

An image came to Frankie's mind, one where Rosaline would wear a dog collar as she prepared meals, which she can't do, clean house, which she would do poorly, and laze about, which was inevitable. Moreover, Frankie thought, she was most likely the kind of annoying dog that would yap uncontrollably until he would just want to throw her into moving traffic.

"Thanks, but I'll have to pass," he finally said.

Rosaline angrily clenched her fists in front of her face.

"Fine then," Rosaline held out one hand and placed the other over her heart, "if you give me your notes I'll go on a date with you!"

Those words pierced Frankie's heart like an arrow. He placed both his hands on the table and looked down as he thought.

A dateā€¦a date with Rosaline. Could this finally be it? The time has finally arrived? Yes!

Frankie looked up at Rosaline and the other people staring at him as they waited for a response.

Uno momento, cool your jets hot shot. She's not serious; it's just a ploy to get my work. The sneaky girl is just trying to leach off of me, and somehow she hit my weak spot! No way on this planet little missy!

He looked up at Rosaline's unusually sweet face. Her eyes glimmered cutely with expectation.

Frankie turned away in his seat and bit his thumb, his face scrunched up from anxiety and frustration. He pumped his fist up and down as he thought.

But what if we go on a fake date, and while I'm off picking up our food from the counter, she'll think of me romantically for the first time. She will just think of it as a passing thought at first, but then she'll get jealous when I smile at the cute waitress. Then she'll find herself staring at me and blushing whenever our eyes meet. She'll be so confused until after dinner, when she finally turns to me on the walk home and says "Frankie I know this wasn't a real date, and I can't explain why, but I think I've fallen for you." I could then confess my love for her; we could get married and have a happy life forever!

"No, I can't," Frankie finally forced himself to blurt out.

"Humph, jerk," Rosaline said as she returned to her work.

Frankie rubbed the sweat off his face, took a deep breath and then dove back into the book once he regained his composure. No one else was sure of what to make of that scene.

The room was pretty quiet aside from the scratches of pencils and the occasional turn of the page. Outside the beach house was another blossoming summer day, complete with the sounds of happy screams and excited crowds.

Al suddenly slapped his hand over his forehead.

"My brain," he stuttered with a panicked look on his face, "its dead. My brain is dead!"

"No, Al!" Rosaline shrieked.

"Someone call an ambulance!" Al shouted.

"Relax," Frankie said calmly, "we've been working for almost three-and-a-half hours. I think you deserve a break for ten or fifteen minutes."

"Sweet!" Al said happily, "David, let me use your laptop."

David had grown tired of playing the dating simulator and had put the laptop aside in exchange for a manga series he had brought to the table. David was reluctant and made Al promise not to look up anything dirty before handing it over.

The group was interrupted again several minutes later by a gurgling sound. It wasn't so loud that it was earsplitting, but it did get everyone's attention, much to the dismay of Carrie, who blushed at the sound of her own growling stomach.

"Hungry, Carrie?" David asked. She nodded in confirmation.

"I could make us some lunch if we put our holiday celebrations on hold for a few minutes," Frankie said, looking at Rosaline.

"Absolutely not," Rosaline said seriously, "I said what I said and I meant what I meant. No one leaves this table until all the homework is finished." She looked under the table. "Not even you, Bro Dog."

The golden retriever had been trapped under the dining room table since the morning. Rosaline decided that, as a member of the household, Bro Dog had the privilege of joining his human roommates in their homework session. He whimpered sadly.

Another hour passed and by then, everyone was hungry. Rosaline could only do so much to stifle the frequent complaints, especially when the majority of them came from her. Stubborn as she was, Rosaline was not about to let her companions give in. Then there was a knock on the door.

"Come in!" every person in the room that was awake yelled in unison.

A teenage girl with blonde hair in a ponytail stuck her head in hesitantly.

"Michy!" they all cheered as if she was an angel sent to save them.

The lifeguard was a little surprised by the welcoming, knowing something strange was going on. She would have slowly backed out of the doorway and left, if the others had not begged her to stay.


Next Time: Things come to a breaking point.