1 - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (The Beatles)
"Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyesCellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
And she's goneLucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Anthro test tomorrow, so I know that I've got to focus. In the same way, I know that I can't without some tunes in the background. Again, darn it.
There's no way around the problem unless I cancel music practice, or at least cut it short. But, with Mr. Collins there to supervise, that's not an option either.
So, sneak out during lunch, maybe? We do get the full hour, and if I only need fifteen minutes to get back home, then the twenty minutes to travel to the shop...
No, it won't work. Either way, I won't have enough time.
After first period, thoroughly confronted with this truth, I wonder if maybe I can ask Eden to help me study. She's a wiz at things like this, good at keeping a schedule, keeping her life together. If she helps me out, I'm sure Mama and Dad won't say anything, since she's a girl and all.
"So, how about it?" I ask her during second period-gym, usually easily skippable, but my parents pay attention to things like attendance, so I'm always there, even if Eden sometimes isn't. Thank my lucky stars, she is today.
"No can do, Becs," she says, stretching up gracefully, like a swan, whereas I'm sweating before we've even started the activity of the day-stretches are killer, it's no joke. "I've got babysitting after music practice as is, and then Robbie's (her younger brother) got a game tonight and needs 'support'." She rolls her eyes. "Like that kid could ever lose."
I smile, nod, and agree, but none of this solves my problem.
"You could try studying in silence ton-no?" I shake my head emphatically-we both know that I need a musical rhythm to keep me going. She shrugs. "Well then, how about going to Study Group in the library? They meet there every lunch, sort of eat and read at the same time. It could work."
Technically, it would solve all my problems. It's within a place that Mama and Dad would approve of, is during my school hours anyway so I won't lose any time over it, and it allows me not to have to study tonight, so I won't have to worry about the batteries for at least another day. Sounds good, except...
I'm the most socially awkward person I know and that place is bound to be full of people I've maybe occasionally seen, but never actually spoke to. And that means introductions. And talking. And something new that could potentially be bad.
Lesson #1 of my life: hope for the best, but always expect the worst.
So, for all I know, joining study group could end up with me having a panic attack and looking like an idiot, or not having a panic attack and still looking like an idiot somehow. Either way, I lose.
The scissors idea should go over well once Daddy gets home, especially since I've thought up the perfect arguments to back it up. Yeah, it should be easy, a breeze, a walk in the park, a peach, a...
A disaster, if I'm not careful.
In any case, as I've vowed to do for myself since the beginning of high school, at least for one hour during the day, my beloved Study Group hour at lunch, I won't think about it and instead focus on what I like to do: read and study.
Out of everyone in the group for our grade, I'm technically the "smartest", a straight-A student who's there more to help others than to really study for myself. I do both, since I need to keep my marks up, but I have yet to need help understanding anything. I like to go there to help others, it's just something fun to do. I haven't really crossed the boundary line between tutor and friend yet, but I'm getting there, I hope. It would be nice to have some friends.
Today, there's the usual people, along with a couple of familiar faces that drop in occasionally just for certain subjects. Today's focus is anthro, with the big mid-semester test coming up tomorrow. Out of everyone I see, there's only one new person-one of those last-minute studiers, I guess. Although I'm not usually good at introductions and meeting new people and all, I decide to go over to her first, just to see if maybe there's anything I can help her on. During Study Group, I sometimes feel like I'm having an out-of-body experience: it's the only time I can talk to anyone without my voice cracking.
"Hello," I greet her. From afar, she looks kind of like Snow White, with black hair and pale skin, but as soon as she looks up at me with green eyes, I discredit this comparison, since Snow White definitely did not have green eyes. "Er...welcome," I say, reverting back to my otherwise ordinary awkwardness. Not a good voice for confidence, but it just slipped out!
"H-hey," she says, avoiding eye contact, but still acknowledging my existence. A good start, I guess-in any case, it's good to have someone else who's not all that into "talking". For me, again, it's just a role I take during this particular hour.
"Here for the anthro test tomorrow?" I question, trying to sound friendly even though I can't quite manage a smile.
"Well, I usually help things along in the group for our grade, so would you like some help getting started?"
When literally the most forties-looking girl walks up to me and asks me to state my business (not in those words, but more or less), I figure it's just my luck that I've been spotted as the newbie. I guess if I wanted to blend in more, I should've joined at the beginning of the year, but then, I hadn't thought about it. I also hadn't thought about maybe asking Eden to come with me and help divert some of the attention, but, again, that's just my luck.
The girl who I'm talking to now looks and seems harmless enough, but having her here at study group already tells me that she's smarter than I am and knows what she's doing. I'm not a "bad" student by a long shot, but I do tend to only study at the last minute. That's the only way information stays in my mind though, so it's not like I'm slacking off or anything. Of course, the music's necessary-I still don't know how well I can study without it, but I guess I'm about to find out.
"Uh...yeah, please," I respond to her latest question, after which she takes a seat. Maybe it's my imagination, but she seems to move around just as awkwardly as I do. More to the point, now that she's seated and I can kind of see her out of the corner of my eye, I observe that she's wearing a below-the-knees skirt and a grey blouse. Old-fashioned much?
"Nice outfit," I mumble, to get the conversation going.
"O-oh! Thanks," she says, putting her books down on the table. I spot a few sticky notes inside-organized.
"Anyhow, what part would you like to start reviewing first?"
I look down at my own not-nearly-as-organized notes. "Well, the focus is both physical and cultural anthro, right? I guess we could work on...one at a time."
"O-ok," she replies, despite my lack of clarity in a completely pathetic study suggestion. "T-then, how about we start with listing off the stages of evolution and their approximate years?" I look up and see her awkwardly attempting what kind of looks like either a smile or a grimace. She's trying to be friendly, I think, but it's so long since I've interacted with anyone new at this proximity, that I'm not sure. "It might be a multiple choice question."
"I do remember us going as far back as Australopithecus Afarensis," I say-please be right, please be right, please be right...
"Yes, that's the first one we have to know," she says. Do I detect a hint of approval in her voice?
"Y-you know, there's something special that we have to know about that one-just a fun fact, sort of," she continues.
"Oh? What's that?" I ask.
"Well..." She hesitates, biting her bottom lip. "Do you know the first Australopithecus Afarensis they ever discovered? It was found by Donald Johanson and his team and they named it 'Lucy'."
Now it's my turn to smile, and I really mean it. "Actually, yeah, I do remember that." It was one of the few things that I'd heard in class that I remembered from the get-go. "After 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' by the Beatles, right?"
Her eyes widen and suddenly she smiles for real, and it's by far the best sight I've seen all day.
"R-right. Y-you know the Beatles?"
I nod. "They're one of my favourite bands!"
"Y-you're into old rock?" She sounds hopeful.
"Heck yeah I am!" I exclaim, only to get shushed by a few people nearby. Ducking down and blushing at my unusual blunder, I go back to staring down at the table again. "I-I'm even in a sort of band, actually. I play the drums."
"Oh!" Was that a happy 'oh'? "Did you take lessons?"
Chancing to look up again, I see a strange bittersweet look on her face. "I play guitar," she says. "My...daddy taught me."
"You can play?" I whisper.
"And you like old rock?"
I can't help it-the time has come.
I hold my hand up. "I'm Becca."
She takes it just as awkwardly, and we awkwardly shake. "Hi, Becca. You can call me Jo."