"Bye mom!" I said as I quickly tied my shoelaces and ran because I was going to be late.

Phew! I thought I was late but it turned out I arrived in school just right on time.

Hi! My name's Charlotte but I prefer to be called Charlie. I'm a girl, okay? And I didn't want my hair to be cut short. My hair turned out to be like this because 3 months ago I discovered a secret of my teacher. He got so angry that he failed me even if I'm no. 1 in class, he always scolded me in front of the whole class even if I didn't do anything and he wasn't satisfied yet with what he did. He also cut my hair. I didn't know why he did that! My hair was the only thing that made me look like a girl. Well, now that I've transferred to a new school, also because of that incident, I hope they won't confuse me as a boy this time. But I just wanted you to know that first off, I don't like girly stuff. So I usually wear pants, shirts, jackets and whatever boyish stuff there may be.

I looked for our room. It was 12-A. The guard said it was somewhere on the 3rd floor so I went up. I roamed the hallways. The school is big and I'm lost! I have to ask someone and the I suddenly hear someone shout, "YOU PERVERT!" After I heard that, I saw a guy running for his life. Behind her was an angry-looking girl. Oh! She really looked mad. Then she got hold of the guy's legs. He pulled him but he held onto the walls. "PLEASE! NO! I'LL BE A BETTER MAN! PLEASE!" the guy pleaded. She kept pulling him like she didn't care. And as she pulled him, his nails were scratching the walls peeling off the paint. "NO! WHAAA! PLEASE!" the guy was already crying out loud. Then he finally got his hands off the wall and she swung he arms round and round and threw him so far like a sling shot.

BOOM! He crashed into a wall face-first. I didn't know what to feel about this guy. A big lump grew on his forehead on the right side and his nose was bleeding. I think he also lost a tooth.

The angry girl walked towards him and shouted, "Give me 100!"

"But president..." the guy complained.

"1000," she added.

"NOOO!" the guy exclaimed.

"Do you want me to add another zero?" she asked in irritation.

"No ma'am," the guy answered.

"Start! 1! 2! 3!" she was commanding like she was a military.

So she was a president. Maybe a class president. She was tall and her hair was really beautiful. Its length was just below her neck.

Then she saw me. She put on a smile. She walked towards me. I was scared of her at first but she said, "Hi! You must be the new student!"

"Uhhh... Ah..." I couldn't speak in fright.

"Welcome!" she shook my hand, "My name is Denise. What's yours?"

"Uhh... Charlie," I managed with a smiled.

"Oh! so nice to meet you! Come! I'll show you our room!" she sounded really nice when she said those words. I wonder what happened to that guy earlier.

She brought me to 12A room. It was a little messy and noisy.

"SENIORS!" she shouted. All of them stopped whatever they were doing and looked at her.

"I'd like you to meet our new classmate, Charlie," she said with a calm voice.

"Hey Charlie! Welcome to 12A!" a student greeted me, "I'm Kyle!"

"And I'm Lance!" another guy told me.

"Uhhh... hi," I said shyly.

"Don't be shy!" Kyle said. He pulled me in front.

"We don't bite," Lance added.

"Oh yeah, we are having our P.E. class today as out first subject. Do you have P.E. uniform already?" Denise asked.

"Not yet," I answered, "but I have an extra shirt and jogging pants."

"Good! That should do," she said with a smile.

So we changed our clothes. They had lockers. Good. We went to our classroom again and a teacher entered as well. He was big and tall. He wore a cap and he had a whistle. He was wearing a tight-fit shirt. He had shorts that looked like a partner for a jersey. He was also holding something... I don't know. Maybe a record book?

"Good morning Seniors," he greeted.

"Good morning Mr. Scott," they all stood up and greeted him. I stood as well.

"Now, ready for some game guys?" Mr. Scott asked.

"YEAH DODGE BALL!" a guy somewhere behind shouted in excitement.

"Okay seniors. To the gym!" Mr. Scott said.

We went to the gym upstairs and oh wow! All I can say is... it really is big!

My fellow students looked excited. They had big smiles on their faces that could almost reach their ears. But that smile went off when they saw a group of people coming in the gym. These group of people had an aura that makes you want to hide somewhere. I felt like they were like gangsters, thugs, and whatever was scary out there on the streets. Ohhh... their first impression on me wasn't really good.

"Oh no... 12B?!" a student exclaimed.

"Mr. Scott!" another student tried to complain.

"What? The more the merrier," he just replied.

"They are cheaters! We don't play with cheaters!" a student declared.

"Yeah! And they have their own classes!" another student added.

One student from 12B smirked, "Sorry... our teacher's absent."

"Noooooooooooooooo!" 12A students all said.

Mr. Scott blew his whistle. Prrrrrt!

"Enough! My decision is final. Both sections will play together. Now each section should choose their representative," Mr. Scott said.

The two sections picked their representatives. They were two boys. The other one looked fierce. He's from 12B. And our representative looked very determined like I'm-gonna-crush-you kind of face but he didn't look as fierce as the other one. He looked... kinder.

"Alright! You two," Mr. Scott said to the two representatives, "Rock, Paper, Scissors."

"WHAT?!" our representative exclaimed.

12-B representative looked confident.

The two faced each other and were ready to rumble.

"Rock! Paper! Scissors!" the both said.

12-A representative had scissors while 12-B representative had paper. The 12-B representative was quite shocked. But he quickly closed his fist.

"HA! I win!" 12-B representative said in a taunting tone.

"WHAT?! You cheater! I was scissors and you were a paper!" 12-A representative exclaimed in anger.

"BOOOO! We won! And you've got nothing to do with it!" 12-B students said.

"BOOOO! CHEATERS! CHEATERS! CHEATERS!" the 12-A students were chanting.

Mr. Scott again blew his whistle. Prrrrrt!

"Alright... who won?" he asked.

"WE DID!" both sections answered.

"No! We did! You lost!" the two sections were arguing.

Prrrrrt!

"Stop! Toss coin," Mr. Scott said.

"Oh good," a student from 12-A said in relief.

"12-A... heads or tails?" Mr. Scott asked.

"Uhhh... heads," a representative said.

"Well... that leaves you 12-B the tails," Mr. Scott said.

He tossed the coin. Everyone was looking nervously at the coin as it was being tossed in the air. Mr. Scott finally caught the coin. And it's... "Heads," Mr. Scott said.

"WHOOOO! YEAH!" The 12-A rejoiced.

"Alright alright... 12-B go to the center," Mr. Scott said.

This was a different style of dodge ball. Team B, who will have to avoid the ball, will be at the center while Team A will surround them. And there is only one ball. I'm quite excited about it.

Prrrrrt! "Play!" Mr. Scott declared.

12-A students started throwing the ball at the 12-B students. Men! They're good. They have good reflexes. But as the game went on, they were getting fewer and fewer until all the members were out.

"YEAH! WE WON!" 12-a again rejoiced. "Not yet," 12-B students said. "There's still game 2. And if we get you all out, you lose," a 12-B student said.

"But if you don't," a 12-A student said, "we win."

Prrrrrt! "Game 2! Play!" Mr. Scott declared.

The same process was done. The only difference was my classmates were quicker... to be eliminated. I was in a panic. I'm not really good at this. And a ball hit me in the face and I fell on the floor.

"Ohhh!" they exclaimed. "That was solid men!" a student exclaimed.

There were only three of them left. One down... two down... it was all happening so fast.

Only one man standing. They throw the ball, he dodged. The same process all over until "TAKE THIS!" a 12-B student said. He threw the ball as if it was a cannonball. the last man standing had his eyes opened wide. The ball hit him and he flew to the other side of the court. "WHOO! Yeah! We won!" 12-B rejoiced.

But then, we stared at the last man standing. "He caught it!" a 12-A student exclaimed.

"What?!" a 12-B student shocked, "that's impossible!"

"Sorry guys," the guy smirked, "we win."

"YEAH!" 12-A was very triumphant.

"Congratulations 12-A you did a very good job," Mr. Scott said, "don't worry 12-B you still have a chance."

"WHAT?!" 12-A exclaimed

"We have another game, right?" Mr. Scott said.

All of the students looked puzzled.

"Patintero*" Mr. Scott said.

"Oh... I think this is our time to shine guys," 12-B seemed excited and looked like they had their evil plans. 12-A looked very intimidated but that didn't stop them to be determined to make 12-B lose.

"ALRIGHT SIR! Bring it on!" 12-A declared.

A 12-B student scoffed, "How brave."

"We won't give up!" a 12-A student declared.

"Sure..." a 12-B student replied and smiled evilly.

Mr. Scott again tossed the coin. 12-A was still the heads and 12-B was the tails.

And it was still tails this time. Patintero was a game wherein Team A (12-A) will be in positions. Team B will be the ones who will be running through the court.

(Team B) - this is the "home" of team B.

-1- let's say that the first line of the court, a player will stand there. A player from Team B will have to slap the hand of the player of team A in that row to indicate the start of the game. Team B players will have to avoid the hands of 1 for them to go on to the second row. They must be quick. Because 1 can go anywhere in the first row. Only in the first row.

2 this player has the vertical line. He/She can go anywhere be he/she must remain in the vertical line.

-3- this is the 2nd row. They'll do the same thing here as row 1

-4- same thing here and it goes on and on. You can actually have 2 players in a row if you are too many. Let's just say that this is the last line. When you go past that row, you will have to go back and avoid the players of each row again from tagging you. Until you reach "home". When you are tagged, it's now the opposing team's turn.

But in our case, since we were too many, We have 2 players in each row.

-1-2-

3
-

-4-5-

6

-7-8-

-9-10-

So, the game started. WHOA! 12-B really had good reflexes. But... one of our classmates tagged a 12-B player so it was our turn.

"WOW! I can't believe it! I tagged someone!" a 12-A student exclaimed.

"That's a good one," someone told him.

Now we had to avoid those very long hands of theirs and SLAP! Time to run!

It was horrible. They had very long hands that it was very much hard to avoid. So some of use couldn't move to the next row because we were afraid to get tagged. But there was a change of fate. Almost half of us was now getting home. WOW! That was quick... so I was the only one left?!

"GO ON CHARLIE! You can do it!" my classmates cheered me. I didn't want to fail them so I tried my best. I made it to the last row! All I have to do was run back home. WHOA! Trapped again in the 2nd row. The hands! They were very long and I was really cornered this time.

"Come here you little!" a 12-B student was very eager to tag me.

"Get that boy! Girl... boy?" a 12-B student declared, "what is she? he... ughh! Whatever!"

I was nervous. I didn't know which way to go. Their hands were almost reaching my shirt. No! I was out-balanced. I fell but I felt someone catch me. Where did he come from? We were staring at each other like... it was our moment oh ewww...

But he killed the moment and said, "You're it."

I was shocked, "Huh?!"

"YEAH!" 12-B won. All because I was tagged. "You rock Blake!" someone from 12-B declared.

"Oh... that was a nice game Charlie. It's okay don't feel bad about it," Lance told me.

"Well-played," Denise smiled.

"Sorry guys... I wasn't really..." I tried to explain but Kyle interrupted, "Nah! It's alright! The good thing is, we enjoyed."

"Blake... he really is good," Lance said.

"He was always the around-the-world guy. Silent... but when he attacks... BOOM!" Kyle added.

Oh yeah... around the world. Around-the-world was someone who can go anywhere but only at the sides of the court. It was the player who will actually slip your mind that it existed just like how it slipped our minds.

It was now dismissal. "Bye Charlie!" Denise told me. "Bye!" I replied. I was walking out of the school gate when I saw someone under a tree standing said, "Hey."

"Huh? Are you talking to me?" I asked.

He revealed himself and said, "Yeah." It was Blake. Blake was someone who they call gorgeous. But I don't know. Well, he had the looks but he wasn't my type. I heard he was really famous in the campus. Girls chase him whenever they had the chance to do so or maybe hug him whatever just like what fan-girls do. He was a 12-B student.

"Charlie, right?" he asked.

I was shocked, "How did you know that?" I was a transferee. How did he know me that quick?

He held my cheeks with his right hand. He was looking at me at all angles and was looking at my body from head-to-toe.

"What are you doing? Why are you squishing my face?" I asked. I was quite irritated. He released my face and said, "Well... I just wanted to know if I was right and they were mistaken and it turned out I was really right and was never wrong about this kind of stuff."

"About what?" I was puzzled.

"About you being a girl," he replied.

I was shocked. He wasn't even confused of what I was.

"H-how did you know that?" I asked.

"Well, let's just say I'm an expert when it comes to this kind of stuff," he said, "they were insisting that you a boy. I laughed at them."

I was really surprised to know that someone actually recognized me as a girl for the first time.

"Oh and... you have an unusual nick name for someone whose name is Charlotte," he added.

I was shocked again. How did he know so much? "Oh... so you knew my name. That's why you weren't confused of what I was anymore," I told him.

"No, I really know you are a girl," he said, "Oh well... so long."

Then he went on his way.

What's with him? Anyways, I didn't mind him. I walked home. But before that, I stopped by a dining place that had different flavors of ice-cream in their menu. It was really memorable for me. I entered the dining place and ordered ice-cream. Cookies and cream - my favorite. I looked for a vacant seat and waited for my order. But it arrived quickly. I started eating it.

As I ate my ice-cream, I remembered when I was a kid when my dad used to bring me here. Every time I cry, he brings me here and buys me my favorite ice-cream and I would just stop crying.

I was startled by a mascot. It was a cute ice-cream mascot of the dining place. It waved at me. When I was about to scoop more ice-cream, I didn't realize that my cup was already empty. It was also getting late so I had to go. I waved good-bye to the mascot and said, "The ice-cream's still great." Then I left.

Finally I arrived home. And I was startled again when someone actually said, "Hi." I was so surprised that I almost jumped and I looked behind me. It was Blake.

"What are you doing here?" I asked him a little irritated.

"Oh nothing. Just wanted to see where my new friend lives," he replied looking at our house.

"Friend?" I asked sarcastically, "you just knew me." Then I continued walking and ignored him. But he walked briskly and caught up to me.

"Well... does acquaintance fit the definition?" he asked.

I continued walking ignoring what he said and I was about to open the door when I still saw him behind me. My eyes narrowed and I was staring at him.

He finally noticed and asked, "What?"

"Aren't you supposed to be going home?" I asked sarcastically.

"Uhhh... I don't know my way home," he said.

I slapped my forehead and said in irritation, "So you followed me to my house and didn't even remember where you came from?!"

He shook his head indicating a no for an answer.

I pushed him away from the house and to the streets. I said, "Why don't you call a taxi?"

"Can't I come to your house acquaintance?" he asked.

"Well of course not!" I said. I was saying things to keep him away until I didn't realize that my voice got louder and my mom heard me.

"Charlie?" she called from inside the house, "is that you?"

"Go on! Go home! Quick!" I said like I was panicking suddenly our door opened. I pushed him behind the bushes. "Oh!" he exclaimed. We hid.

"Hmmm... what was that noise?" my mom was outside the house, "I'm sure that was Charlie's voice that I heard." Then she went back in.

All I can say was... phew! "Now go home," I told him.

"Alright acquaintance. Bye," he said and smiled at me like he didn't even notice I was irritated.

Now that I got rid of him, I went inside the house. We had dinner. Afterwards, my mom told me something, "Charlie. I have something for you." She looked a bit excited. She got something from behind her and said, "TA-DA!" It was a uniform. Oh no... a skirt and a blouse! "No mom... Please you know I don't wear things like that," I told her with a frightened expression. "Oh please Charlie. You didn't want to be called a boy, right? Now wear this so that you can look like a girl even for a little bit," she said. "No!" I said. And we were arguing the whole night about the girly thing.


Note: Patintero is a game played in the Philippines