All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Fake it or Break it!
The echoing chatter of students filled the hallway as two teens stopped in front of an English classroom. Looking up the two juniors both read aloud: “WELCOME TO INSIGHT” before reaching simultaneously for the doorknob. Knocking hands with each other, they laughed at their clumsiness. Opening the door, the pair entered their homeroom and quickly took the two seats in the rear of the class. The room was alive with excited freshmen and sophomores, who were talking amongst a handful of experienced seniors. The couple glanced about their environment and looked to one another before Allyster, the oldest of the pair decided to flag down a few fresh bloods to chat up.
A moment or so later a cluster of the upper-classmen headed for the front of the room, a stale silence soon followed their presence as the students began to settle down and take their seats.
“Hey there and welcome to Insight club. I’m Noah Waters, the club president,” said a boy with shaggy blond hair and a messily trimmed goatee. He gestured to his cohorts and soon listed their positions and names off one by one.
“Now I know I don’t recognize a lot of you newcomer’s faces but I’m sure that’s nothing the ‘name game’ can’t fix.” He stated and smiled at the blank stares he received with unshakeable confidence.
Allyster chuckled at the comment as he felt a smirk twitching at his own lips, “Hey Noah. Are we gonna have to rhyme our name with an animal too? I mean, seriously the ‘name game’. That’s so first grade, man.”
Offering a smug sneer in Noah’s direction, Allyster snickered out the remark and folded his arms over his desktop. His friend Reilly snorted at the boy’s cheeky statement as she shook her head and apologized on Allyster's behalf. Noah rolled his eyes and rubbed the side of his face, he was used to back talk but this kid was going to be a nuisance and he knew it. Looking to his partners, the blond shrugged off the commentary and continued as if nothing had been said.
“Anyways I was thinking that maybe we could go around the room and let you guys introduce yourself. Why do we started with you,” He suggested and gestured to Reilly, who looked up from picking at her chipping nail polish with a look of surprise on her face.
“Uh… what exactly am I suppose to say?” The redheaded girl inquired while nibbling on her bottom lip— it was a nervous habit of hers.
Noah repeated his explanation, giving the last few words an extra emphasis. Reilly still felt a little anxious and glanced about her surroundings, her eyebrows furrowed even so slightly as her gaze turned back to Noah.
“O-okay, yeah… I-I’ll give it a shot,” She said in a shaky breath which barely even broke the sound barrier and the awkward cricket chirping in the place.
The entire classroom went dead quiet as Reilly stood and walked to the head of the room, every step felt just dreadful as the next. Finally, she had reached the front of the class then turned to face the heavy gaze of her peers.
She swallowed nervously but it was to no avail, and her tongue ended up sticking to the roof of her palate. Clearing her throat, which did nothing but create a worse effect on her sudden dry mouth syndrome, the ginger quickly stumbled over her introduction.
“I’m Reilly Cormack, I’m a junior and I have red hair and I have two little brothers, Scott and Brody and and…..” Reilly stammered on as her face grew more flushed and her anxious ice blue eyes trembled. Finally, when Noah had thought the girl had suffered enough he stepped in and placed a hand on the nerve- wracked child’s shoulder. Helping her back to a seat, he offered a polite thank you and warm smile.
“Now, who’s next?” He inquired enthusiastically and took a seat on a nearby desk as he looked over each kid’s face sitting within view of him. Silence. No one was brave enough to raise his or her hand, no one except the raven-haired nuisance sitting in the very back and waving his arm obnoxiously to get Noah’s attention. No one except Allyster Maghearth that is.
Smirking at the boy’s zealous energy, Noah nodded to him and stood up, tucking a stray blond lock behind his ear. Before chuckling out, “Well, come on up hot shot,” the towhead motioned the other male to the front while making his own way to the teacher’s broad fold-up desk. With a cocky swagger and an impish glint in his eye, Allyster got up and strolled down the aisles with a mischievous grin plastered on his lips. No one was going to scare him with some stupid ‘name game’. Once he had planted himself under the watchful eye of the class, Allyster scanned the crowd’s expression and snickered quietly.
“Hiya, kids!” The statement earned him a couple skeptical glances and a wave of disdainful silence. “Man, aren’t you guys a rowdy bunch. No but seriously, settle down. Don’t want you smiling too much, too much of a good thing can kill you, y’know?” More silence. “Anyways the name’s Allyster Maghearth, you might wanna write it down,” He jeered and continued, “if you haven’t figured out yet, I like attention. Any attention I can get.” The chestnut brunette informed the mute and unimpressed crowd even the crickets went calm. “Uh, yeah.”
From behind, he caught the sound of Noah and his friends chortling at the awkward situation. Huffing quietly, the teen pursed his lips tight and frowned,
“Okay, okay. I can tell you guys don’t really like me.” He reasoned with a laugh.
“Well I guess, I’ll just tell you guys a little bit about me… ” Allyster said, trying to tone down his obnoxiousness enough to regain a few of his half-listeners.
“Better yet I’ll tell you a story… I’ll tell you my story!” The words seemed to darken the mood of the class further before nevertheless they listened.
After a longer moment of annoying lights buzzing and blank stares, Allyster internally nodded and began his story.
“Well you see it all started last summer…”
The wind whipped and hissed around my helmet as our instructor, Brayden, was going over basics for the billionth time today. I, of course, was only half-paying attention. I knew all that stuff already. Those were for the greenhorns. Besides this was my chance to prove that I knew what I was doing, it was my chance to be the leader! At the waterfront, the instructor had two hands up and was gesturing the river. I smiled and rubbed my gloves together before leaning down to hoist my kayak over my shoulder and heading my way down to the riverbank. A couple of new girls from the group came running up to Brayden for some help with their kayak. Man, I am so glad that I am not like that anymore. Looking back, I glanced around in search of my friend, Reilly. She had promised to come along and video tape the rapids for me, and it was nearly time to head up to the banks. Sighing I shrugged off my disappointment and decided to join the others, Reilly would eventually show up soon or later.
An hour later and Brayden had situated all of the newcomers in their kayak as I pushed my boat in the water and slipped in the cockpit before grabbing my kayak paddle. Brayden came up behind me and offered my stern a little push to get me going. Once I had gotten a feel for the current, there was nothing stopping me. It was just me, my kayak and the calm splosh of water. Soon a new sound filled my thoughts, a voice to be exact. It was Reilly and she was calling for me from behind the bend I had just passed.
Slowing my strokes, I looked over my shoulder and placed my paddle over the cockpit before cupping my hand over my mouth and answering her calls.
“I’m over here!” I said as my kayak continued to decelerate from lack of force. After a long moment of stalling my boat, my eyes finally caught sight of a familiar redhead brandishing a giant grin.
“Sorry, I’m late. I was stuck in traffic in Flagstaff. Man, those people are crazy drivers,’’ Reilly laughed and paddled up to me, “How about we get started on that video, eh?” She suggested while pulling a small waterproof Kodak from her cockpit and opening the screen-flap. I nodded and murmured something of an agreement, “How’s this?” I asked, paddling ahead of her and catching a few light rapids.
She chuckled in reply and shot me the “thumbs- up” gesture, holding the camera higher to give the video some depth. We continued goofing off for another couple of hours before noticing the waters ahead were starting to get hard to navigate through with our paddles. Reilly hollered for me but I could not make out what she was saying. Suddenly a swift current pulled her away from me and her boat collided with the wall of the canyon before it had capsized with Reilly still inside. I felt myself grew colder and colder as I fought against the harsh waters. What if Reilly was suffocating the longer I took? What if… no. I would not allow myself to think about any of horrible possibilities. At last, I reached her kayak and turned it right side up to find that it was empty. I panicked and began called out for my friend, praying—begging whatever god there was—not to let her be hurt or worse… dead. My prayers, answered by some heavenly figure, brought my worried thoughts to solace for a mile away-- on a small island hugging the canyon’s wall-- stood a shivering and sputtering ginger.
I quickly rowed my way over her and climbed out of my boat. Without thinking, I hugged her; I hugged her so tightly that I swore if I held Reilly any tighter that she would have surely collapsed under the pressure. I wanted to ask her if she was okay but before I could her muffled sobs quickly drowned my thoughts out and so I just stood there and held her.
“Yeah and that’s my story, well’s my girlfriend story…” Allyster said calmly and shrugged before walking back to his seat near Reilly. The girl leaned over and hugged her boyfriend briefly. It was obvious that his story was not just a spur of the moment thought and her huge smile proved it. The class remained dead quiet from a few long minutes before a faint clapping from the back of the room broke the icy barrier. Everyone’s head turned to see who was applauding the boy and the discovery nearly shocked the entire student body for it was the teacher. She had set down the book that she had been reading and now stood in front of her desk clapping for the teen’s story.
Allyster suddenly felt a small tinge of both pride and gratitude as he offered meager wave in her direction. Soon Noah joined the applause to which the brunette shot a conscious yet smug smirk of appreciation at the other. Before long, the entire classroom was in a quiet uproar over the teen’s simple tale. Allyster laughed as he thought to himself.
Maybe, just maybe Insight club wasn’t that bad…