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Transformed Chapter 1
I am walking through the empty, shadowed halls of my high school, Skyline High. School won’t start for at least another forty-five minutes, but I am tired of waiting for everything to pass by faster at home.
I live in the old valley of Salt Lake City, and I have never been out. I wish I could say that I lived in a more exotic place like City of Deabreve, the city underwater that President Junkins has just finished building, but it seems like I might never get out. Salt Lake City is one of the oldest, middle-class cities in America, but the economy still isn’t very good, so my family can’t afford very much of anything. We might have been able to move many years ago, but the population has nearly doubled in the last one hundred years to seventeen point three billion people, and money is spreading out.
I walked up to a brick wall, sat down, leaned my back against it, and set my screenbox beside me. A screenbox is an older form of learning in schools; it is a thin, transparent, square foot screen that when turned on, can do anything that could possibly ever be needed in school.
Is it too much to ask for to have my life change a little bit.
I am a seventeen years old, and I don’t belong anywhere. I am smart enough to get into a good college, but there are too many people who are trying to get in, and I am definitely not brave enough to meet new people. Even if I do get accepted into a good college, I would have no friends, and I will continue to be alone in every aspect of my life. The number of people in my school now exceeds to nearly fifty-one hundred people, and even with all the varieties of personalities, I have not been able to make even one close friend.
My eyes darted up from the floor when I heard a shout from the entrance of the school.
A girl, Joyce, came sprinting down the hall and passed me without even noticing that I was there. Long red hair flew behind her.
I rolled my eyes the second after she passed me. Popular girls.
I stood up, picked up my screenbox and began to walk in the direction of my locker.
I heard a shout again, but this time, more near.
Then, once a boy came running down after her, I knew who the yelling had been coming from. He
was obviously chasing Joyce, since ever since middle school, they have been dating and are never found without each other.
“Hey Joyce!! Don’t be a chicken, come on back!” He yelled to the nearly empty hallway, and stopped walking. He leaned forward so I could only see his dark brown hair, and rested his hands on his knees.
I kept walking forward, even though, soon, I would have to brush by him.
To be more specific, by ‘him’, I mean Christian Snider. He is in most of my classes, but we have never actually spoken, except when he teases me and whispers sassy and rude remarks about me. He must be smart because all of the teachers seem to love him, even though he is the most popular guy in the grade, and is dating a popular girl, which is an extremely rare combination.
I keep walking; only five more meters.... What will he do?
Christian stood up straight again and his eyes found me.
I ignored his gaze and watched where I was trying to go.
Come on, look somewhere else. Why are you looking at me in the first place?
Three more feet.
I looked back to his face. He wore a smug smile on his mouth. Our eyes met, and I stopped walking.
For a moment, nothing happened, and we both just stood there. Have I been wrong about him all this time: is he really not mean like I thought?
He broke the silence in a slight yell, “What are you looking at! I don’t even know who you are; what is your name in the first place?”
No, I’d say that he hasn’t changed at all. I don’t want to answer his question. He’ll just forget my name, anyway.
I tugged my eyes from his face and began walking forward. His eyebrows raised and his head bobbed forward a little bit as he slid over to the right and blocked my way, “Hello! I asked you a question, here.”
My stomach jumped; I didn’t think he could lose his temper like that,, and I involuntarily spit out, “Pela...” His eyes jolted away from me to down the hallway behind me.
“Hey, Christian!!!!” I turned my head and saw Jocelyn running towards us, or, more correctly, towards him. She didn’t even slow down before she ran directly into him. He made an uff sound, as the air squeezed out of him.
She smiled as she brushed her hair out of her eyes, stood up on her tip-toes, and pressed her lips to his. His eyes closed.
I looked away, and walked down the hallway, being careful to be quiet and not to earn their attention.
That is just absolutely disgusting!! How could they enjoy doing something like that?
I shoved the thought away from my mind. School must be starting soon, and I should best be on my way.
U.S. Government is my first class of the day. It should have started a couple minutes ago, but it never has because the teacher, Dr. Donacute, is always a little late.
Even though all of my other classmates come late because they know he won’t be there on time, I do the opposite, just incase one day he actually arrives on time.
But, by now, most of the class has already arrived. It is a rather small group of 20 because it is an AP and IB section- a very difficult course.
I am standing and leaning my back against the single, wooden door. All the others form a clump in the hallway, away from me.
Suddenly, I straighten up when I hear, “Thank you!”, “Finally!”, and “OMG, why couldn’t you have gotten here sooner?”, as Dr. Donacute walks through the crowd and to the door. I slip out of his way as he says, “Hello, Pelatina. How are you today?”
“Fine, and you?” I responded quietly, quickly moving my eyes to my feet.
“Very well. Thank you.” He slipped his golden key, which had been hanging around his neck, into the door handle, and the door slid open.
Everyone begins pushing through the door, so I just stand off to the side, patiently, until I am the last one. Once I walk in, there were only two free seats left: one in the back left corner, which would prevent me from hearing anything the teacher says, and the second was in the front, but next to....
I know that I don’t want to sit next to her because I could be made fun of, but I also don’t want to sit in the back where I won’t be able to learn anything.
She is sitting on top of a desk, leaning against Christians chest, because all of her friends are not as smart as she is, so they never got into this class, and she is too popular to talk to anyone else in the class.
All the people in the room are chatting amongst themselves, so I hope they won’t notice what I am about to do.
I slump forward and slowly began walking towards the chair and fold-up table near Joyce, trying to be as natural as possible.
Immediately, the blood in my face is boiling, as I feel, or imagine, several pairs of eyes on me already.
Ignore everyone’s gaze. Just keep walking forward.
But, as I continued, it got more difficult to do that. When I finally arrived at and sat down in my desk, a knot in my chest unraveled, and I looked down in my lap.
Out of my peripheral vision, I noticed Joyce turn away from her ignorance of staring at the ceiling and talking to Christian and towards me.
“Okay, everyone, let’s get started, now.” The teacher shouted and and walked to the middle of the front of the classroom, and Joyce’s eyes ripped from me.
The weight lifted, and I straightened my back and looked up at the teacher.
“November 6, 2164,” he said, and it appeared on top left corner of the white wall in thick, black, cursive. “Today, class, we are going to continue learning about the structure of the three branches, and a little about the way it has come to be. We will go more into depth tomorrow.”
I pulled my screenbox off of my lap and set it on the table, turning it on by tapping it fifteen times alternating hands. I attached a string sticking out of the floor next to my desk to the side of my screen, and the date appeared on it. A screenbox is designed to have anything that appears on the wall, also appear on our screens, we can add notes, and save them to view later.
“Now, a little more than four hundred years ago, men from Britain called ‘the framers’ sailed here to gain independence from the king. They wrote the Constitution, which designed America’s government. They split America into 50 states, but...”
“Wait! Mrs. Cute Donna,” a blondie with bright pink streaks sitting by Joyce shouted, chuckled and paused, allowing all of the class to join in with her laughter. I sat, rolling my eyes, along with Mr. Donacute doing the same thing. “You must have made a mistake. There are eighty-six states, not fifty.”
His eyebrows raised, “Yes, Lina. If you hadn’t interrupted to make that hilarious comment of yours, I would not have needed you to ask that, which would save time. But now, does anyone else in the class think they know the answer to her question and would like to answer?”
His eyes glanced at me for a second, and then moved. How does he know that I know the answer? I raised my hand. And, without seeing, I also knew that Christian had raised his; I rolled my eyes, not sure whether I wanted him to be called on, but knew that it wouldn’t happen,, or because I just didn’t like him.
Mr. Donacute ignored Christian and asked, “Yes, Pelatina. Do you think you know the answer?
“I do. For about 300 years or so, there were fifty small states, but in the last one hundred and fifty years, the population has grown so much, that America has expanded into seas and other countries, and has had to make new states to give more room to everyone. For example, America joined with Mexico, and split that into states as well because so many Mexicans had crossed the border, that the two countries became one and began inhabiting all of what had been rural areas.” I shrugged humbly.
The teacher smiled and straightened up, and I noticed he had been leaning to his side and frowning. “Good job. I see you have been studying. You are exactly right.”
I tried to ignore everyone’s gaze on me. Does my hair look alright? I brushed it, but did it frizz up? Are my clothes clean? I brought my hands up to my hair, which had been slicked back into a ponytail, and tried to smooth my frizz down, as Dr. Donacute repeated what I had just said to ensure that all the kids with less....intelligent qualities....understand what I had explained.
Finally, after there were no more questions about the states, he continued with the lesson, “There are three branches: the legislative, executive, and judicial. As you all know, the executive branch, or the president is the most powerful branch, with nearly unlimited power. But, it does not extend to everything because any bill written by the President must be signed by the legislative branch, even though in some situations the president can pass laws without requiring the signature.”
“I knew that!” Lina blurted, and then gave a high five to and laughed with Christian.
But when I saw the teacher’s eyes widen and then squint, I knew what was coming. “Yes Lina. We all know that you would like to act like the smartest person in the class, but blurting out in class won’t do you a thing!”
Lina scrunched over and leaned on her elbow, looking down at her screenbox as Mr. Donacute launched into the rest of the day’s lesson until the bell announced that class was over.