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Raccoons

“El! Let’s go, c’mon!” Tori said yanking on my arm. I stayed at my seat at in the cafeteria. Why was she proclaiming this so loudly? Normally when one decides that they were going to skip classes and leave campus, the logical thing was to keep it a secret. Of course my best friend Tori was the loud and oblivious one who didn’t understand that.

“Hush, that last thing you want is to have Russell find out!” I told her. Russell was our school’s security guard. He was a stickler about leaving campus. Students who drove to school had to have parent call the school in order to let them leave, which was a nuisance for many. So today, we were going to skip our afternoon classes just like we always did on Fridays.

“He’s never caught us before,” Tori said rolling her eyes.
“But you were never this loud before!” I said.

“Oh c’mon Eleanor, let’s just go. Don’t be such a worry-wart,” Matty, my boyfriend said to me.

“I’m not. But where will we go today?”

“The pier, like always,” Matty said.

“It’s raining. Who’s driving? It’s my sister’s day to have the car.”

“I’ll drive,” Marcus said.

“Okay, well let’s head out to the lot. There’s two minutes left.” I said glancing at the clock.

“Bossy,” Tori rolled her eyes again. She was a drama queen most the time. But I have known her my entire life, since toddler tumbling classes. She knows how to not be a drama queen too. She knows my innermost secrets.
The four of us walked through the locker filled hallways of Blue Shore High School. Matty had his fingers intertwined with my, as always. We had been together since October. The entire school said we should get married and that we were the cutest couple to walk the halls. Well, at least the sophomore class said so. Despite the small size of our beach suburb, our school was quite large. Just before we reached the exit that led directly down the hill to the parking lot, we had to pass the “Raccoons.” That’s what everybody called them. They were the ones who wore the heavy eyeliner, dyed their hair black, and wore all black. The infamous eyeliner is what got them the nickname of Raccoons. In total, there were about ten of them who hung out here.

“Scavenge in any dumpsters for your dinner, Raccoons?” Tori hollered at them.
Matty and Marcus whooped with glee at Tori’s blow, I kept my giggle to a minimum.

“You won’t find anything good that I’ve put in a dumpster. I ate all my food,” Marcus said. This was quite the jab because it was obvious that a couple of the Raccoons were most likely anorexic or bulimic.

“Same here. I’ve got keep eat healthy for sports. Sorry guys. Maybe someone will have thrown out their food,” Matty said.

I kept my mouth shut, other than my light giggles. The ten of the Raccoons sat scattered on the floor against the wall, without talking. They just exchanged awkward glances at each other. None of them made eye contact with us either.

“You going to say anything, or are you just going to walk with your baseball player boyfriend and giggle?” One of the Raccoons spoke up, she was the only Raccoon who didn’t have black hair. I think people referred to her as Flame or something like that because she had red hair.

“Yeah, I will,” I said sounding tough at first. Then I smiled at her. “I like your hair your natural red color.”

“It’s not natural, b****,” she glared at me.

“Whatever,” I shrugged. I didn’t sound mean or condescending. I just meant whatever if it’s natural or not, it looked nice.

“Why’d you compliment her, Eleanor?” Tori scoffed.

“Because, her hair looks nice that color. It’s true.”

“You’re acting really weird, El,” Tori told me.



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