Speak Easy
1920s America...where the gin joints were underground, the liquor was fine, women enjoyed life, and organized crime was born.
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Danielle Thamasa

One of only two private schools in the city and this one is the more prestigious of them. Practically every single graduate of this school goes on to do great work, no matter what profession they go into. The school is very exclusive. It takes a lot of brains and/or money to get into it and remain there.

1/22/2009 #1
The Star Catcher

Warren was not having a good day anymore. His excuse for being absent from home worked, as always, but Father made it his personal business to have a one-on-one conversation with Warren about 'doing everything to be the top' and 'never do less than the best.' Not your best, the best. There was a difference. In Warren's opinion, it was worse than the birds and the bees talk he was unfortunate to have when he was eight. Not that it really mattered to him back then, anyways.

He tiredly shifted his books into a better position. Here's to another tedious day of studying and working and 'being the best, not his best.'

1/22/2009 #2
Phoebe Powers

Lillian walked into the school, in the middle of a conversation with Leah, one of the girls she spent time with during the day. As she entered the school though she found herself glancing around, hoping to spot even just one glimpse of Warren.

"Lilly, are you paying attention to me?"

She started and looked back at Leah. "Sorry, I think I became distracted for a moment."

"Looking for anybody I might know?"

She shook her head. "Who said that I was looking for someone?" She smiled at Leah. "I should probably go to class. I'll see you later." Then Lillian walked away from her friend and headed for her first class, walking through the hall slowly so she could look for Warren.

1/22/2009 #3
The Star Catcher

Warren sat down in his desk of his first class of the day. He dutifully reviewed the notes that he took the day before to refresh his mind. There wasn't much point; he already remembered the information.

He looked up to see Lillian walking through the door. He raised his eyebrows in surprise. To think that she was in his first class of the day all along and he never noticed! Actually, he rarely noticed anyone around him. His mind was usually too engrossed in its 'own little world,' as his mother deemed it.

1/22/2009 #4
Phoebe Powers

Lillian sat down in her usual seat in the front row before she opened up her notebook so that she could fill up another five pages with notes. She always took extensive notes, ones that were perfect for anyone who missed one of the lectures. Her handwriting was highly legible as well. She sighed as she sat there, wondering if she was going to see Warren at all.

1/22/2009 #5
The Star Catcher

Miss O'Malley didn't notice him. He was a little crestfallen at that. He should be used to it, but he never was, actually. It did make him feel lonlier.

She was in the front row while he was in the middle near the side. He tried clearing his throat to get her attention, but realized that the clearing of the throat was as effective as a sneezing gnat.

"Miss O'Malley," he called out quietly. Several faces turned quizzically towards him. It was rare to hear Warren speak out loud.

1/22/2009 #6
Phoebe Powers

Lillian straightened, thinking she heard someone say her name. She looked over her shoulder and her eyes widened as she saw Warren sitting a few rows back. Smiling she waved at him.

Thinking about it she felt stupid that she hadn't even noticed him in her class before.

1/22/2009 #7
The Star Catcher

Warren smiled at her, relieved. Yes! Acknowledement! He was about to speak again until the teacher closed the door sharply with a loud bang.

Oh, yes, of course. Today was a test day. He glanced over his notes again just for precautions before stowing them under his desk. He decided that he should look for Miss O'Malley during dinner...unless she was in his second class also.

(Did they call lunch 'dinner' back then or is it just back in the nineteenth century?)

1/23/2009 #8
Phoebe Powers

((Um, not sure. If it isn't in the 1920s dictionary on this forum then I have no clue))

Lillian turned away from Warren and focused her attention back to the front of the room when the teacher walked in. Closing up her notebook she set it down with her other books. It was just another day for her. Tests almost seemed too easy but that was probably because most of what she did was focused on her education. Even her leisure reading helped with whatever was going on in the school building.

She watched as the teacher passed out the tests and once she received hers, she started to write, filling in each question with as much detail as she could.

1/23/2009 #9
The Star Catcher

"If you can't earn a perfect score, at least be the one to set the curve."

Father's words hung in Warren's head like a ravenous vulture impatient for a prey's death. The test wasn't hard, but the pressure seemed to squelch him. His pen flew across the paper, leaving dots of flyaway ink in its wake. He rested his chin on his hand, evaluating the test. Almost everyone in the class was quite intelligent, so they would score around the high nineties. Mid nineties at the least. If that was the case, he would aim for a ninety-eight or a ninety-nine percent. He probably could get a perfect score if he tried, but he wasn't in the mood to do so. Though he hated disappointing his father, Warren didn't want to live up to his standards and be trapped in his father's web.

He turned the test paper over when he finished, hoping that he got at least one question wrong.

1/23/2009 #10
Phoebe Powers

Lillian smiled as she finished her test. She felt quite satisfied with her work and her answers. Of course, she had no reason not to be satisfied because she was at the top of her class grade wise. She blamed it on the fact that practically all she ever thought about was her schooling and her homework. While her parents yelled at her siblings for not working hard enough or for running out when they have chores to do, they left her alone, knowing that she would do her chores and her schoolwork without question. Lillian was the dutiful child, the one who hardly ever rebelled against her parents wishes.

1/23/2009 #11
The Star Catcher

Warren had to give a speech the next class. Not something he looked forward to. Last time he gave a speech was last year, and according to the teacher, a powerful-eared bat would have trouble listening.

When class ended, he quickly grabbed his books. He spotted Miss O'Malley before he headed out the door. He hesitated before reaching out and tapping her on the shoulder.

1/23/2009 #12
Phoebe Powers

Thinking it might have been Margaret tapping her shoulder, Lillian prepared for a hasty depature even as she turned around. But that all faded away when she saw that it was Warren. "Hello," she said. "I didn't think I would see you again so soon."

1/23/2009 #13
The Star Catcher

Warren immediately felt reclusive again when Miss O'Malley spoke to him. He awkwardly withdrew his hand away from her.

"Neither did I," he said. "I'm afraid to say that I never noticed you were in the same class as me." He glanced around cautiously, paranoid that Miss O'Malley's friends may be spying and secretly scorning him. He seemed to always jump to this conclusion whenever he spoke to someone.

1/23/2009 #14
Phoebe Powers

"Well I apparently did not notice either." She smiled up at him, not even caring that the other students were filing out of the classroom around them. The glances from some students didn't even phase her, probably because she didn't really see them. Instead she looked up at Warren. "What is your second class?"

1/23/2009 #15
The Star Catcher

"Language Arts," Warren replied. He vaguely wondered if she was in his classes ever since he started private school...did he really never notice anything? "We had to write an essay, and now we have to give to the class as a speech." He quickly glanced at the clock to make sure he wouldn't be late. Language Arts was not far away.

1/24/2009 #16
Phoebe Powers

She nodded and smiled. "I do seem to recall that assignment," she answered. "I found it to be quite easy. What topic did you write your essay on?"

1/24/2009 #17
The Star Catcher

(sorry for being so late. I most likely won't be here all of tomorrow, so may see you all Monday...)

"The concept of perfection," replied Warren simply. "Things like that. You'll see...I suppose. You want to tell me yours or do you want it to be a surprise?"

1/24/2009 #18
Phoebe Powers

"I guess I will see. Mine is on women striving to achieve careers that were previously not available to them and how it may impact home and family life." She smiled at him. "How was it that we never noticed each other when we apparantly have several classes together?"

1/24/2009 #19
The Star Catcher

"We didn't pay attention, I suppose," Warren smiled. "We better get to our second class before we're late." He wouldn't mind being late, really. Though he was satisfied with his essay, he was not keen of speeches. English class was both his refuge and his vice, sometimes. He knew sooner or later the teacher would make the class do debates...

He looked over his note cards. The sentences were either severely fragmented or there was just one word to spark his memory. According to the teacher, students are allowed to use note cards, but should not need to look at them during the speech. In other words, they were pretty much there for comfort.

1/25/2009 #20
Phoebe Powers

She smiled. "I guess we didn't." Then she nodded, knowing that they should get to class. "We wouldn't want to be late for all of the speeches." She really didn't mind giving speeches as she found herself to be a sociable person most of the time. From all of her time spent reading she had also picked up a capacity for memorization, for locking information away until she needed it. Because of this she never used note cards when giving out speeches. Instead she relied on her mind, confident that she knew her topic well and that her speech was well prepared.

1/25/2009 #21
The Star Catcher

The class usually did the 'Ladies First' rule when it came to presentation, so Warren would go later. He was interested in O'Malley's speech, though he worried about the reaction of others. Though women were becoming more outspoken and independent about their traditional roles, it was still not widely accepted. He wasn't worried about the students, but the older generation. He sat at his chair and waited for the class to start.

1/25/2009 #22
Phoebe Powers

Well, considering the fact that she focused more on the impact of the home and family life due to women pursuing careers outside what they usually did, Lillian wasn't even worried about the teachers. Also, because she wanted it to be the best that it could be, she had met with the teacher a few times to get her opinion on all of it.

When the class started the teacher quieted the class down and then called up the first presenter. Lillian knew she was to be the third person to speak so she sat back and listened to the first girl there as she gave her speech, one that was on the different styles and fashions used today. It sounded like any other ad for clothing or make-up for women. Lillian really didn't care for those, especially as she still maintained a slightly more refined look, one that did not seem to try so hard to look like a prostitute. She was actually quite proud that she still had her own personal values to follow.

The first speech ended and the second began. Lillian ran over her speech in her mind, more out of habit than out of actual necessity.

1/25/2009 #23
The Star Catcher

Warren ran his fingers through his dark brown hair, calming his nerves. He knew his speech--he knew he knew it. Still, it was unnerving to speak in front of people. He never properly interacted with people in his entire childhood due to his mother's paranoia, so the effects were quite strong in the present.

Seeing how the students' seats were assigned, Miss O'Malley was next. He would wish her good luck, but not only was he on the opposite side of the room (boys and girls were strangely segregated, even after all these anti-sexist movements these days...), but once he thought of the idea, he no longer wanted to do it anymore. It was strange how the human mind worked; once you actually want to commit to do something, you no longer have the urge to execute it. It seemed as if people naturally liked to do things impulsively.

1/25/2009 #24
Phoebe Powers

The second speaker finished and Lillian stood up, moving to the front of the classroom and facing her classmates. She began her speech, calm and confident, the words flowing from her as she had practiced them. It was just the right tempo, not so fast that people couldn't understand it, but also not so slow that people would be bored. As she spoke she looked around the classroom, making eye contact with each member in the audience.

When she finished she stood there for a moment before returning to her seat, feeling confident in her delivery and the grade that would accompany the assignment.

1/25/2009 #25
The Star Catcher

Warren clapped politely along with the rest of the class. The subject was quite interesting. He silently calculated the other students and estimated that he would probably end up going soon. He arranged the note cards and his essay.

1/26/2009 #26
Phoebe Powers

Lillian sat back and listened to her fellow classmates as they got up and gave their speeches. Usually she would stay focused and concentrate on what everyone else was saying in their speeches but today she let her thoughts wander slightly. She looked like she was still paying attention but her thoughts had drifted over to the young man sitting a few rows over. He was very interesting; she knew he didn't say much while in school and that he usually kept to himself but then he had gone out of his way, breaking his normal routine to speak to her.

It made her curious and she knew she had to find out more about him.

1/26/2009 #27
The Star Catcher

Warren was the last person to speak for the day. He awkwardly stood at the front of the room, his note cards uselessly stowed in his pocket. He found that they made him feel even worse.

The class was already tired of listening to speeches upon speeches and were on the verge of dozing. This made Warren flustered. He was a relatively calm person, but when people did not pay heed towards him, it made him angry. He scanned the class and found a young student nearly dozing. Driven by indignation, Warren strode towards the boy and slammed his hand on the desk with a load bang. The entire class immediately jerked awake in shock at his bold movement.

"You," Warren said bruskly. Indignation could do wonders. "Do you think you're perfect?"

"I--what--no," the shaken student stuttered.

Warren turned to another student. The boy stared aghast at Warren, afraid that he would do something drastic to him also.

"What about you?" Warren interrogated.

"Perfect as in...personality wise? No."

Warren knew he had a good foundation now. He returned to his post in the center of the classroom, feeling oddly powerful.

"Why is it that people widely accept that they can never be perfect personality-wise, yet they expect everything else to reach perfection? The way you look, the things you do, the grades you make or the goals you achieve. People expect these things to be tip-top flawless even when we know perfection is only an idea, an abstraction."

This sent his tongue unraveling. Warren never talked this much in a week. But now, when he was finally speaking of something he advocated, he felt that it was obligation to speak his mind. When he finally finished, Warren suddenly felt the burning rush of both shock, coyness, and an unfamiliar sense of achievement.

1/26/2009 #28
Phoebe Powers

Lillian watched Warren, rather interested in what he had to say. His was definitely one of the more interesting speeches and she felt drawn into it, almost compelled to listen.

When he finished she was the first to start the applause and she offered him a smile, letting him know that his speech was good.

1/26/2009 #29
The Star Catcher

Class just ended right after Warren was finished. He breathed a sigh of relief and smiled at Miss O'Malley.

"I don't do that often," he assured her. "Your speech was interesting. How long did it take you to write it?"

1/26/2009 #30
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