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“It’s pouring again.” I sighed as heavy drops of rain hit the lunchroom’s tin roof. The cafeteria was overflowing with the smell of 9th grade boys mixed with whatever slop the high school was serving as a main dish, not very appetizing. More and more kids filtered in trying to escape the rain, filling up every table because sitting with another clique apparently wasn’t acceptable.

There weren’t any ‘cool kids’ really. More like people who had different interests sat at a different table, separate but equal. Ralph chuckled to himself as this occurred to him. “Right. How are we supposed to stand against separation if we’re raised to accept it…” I shook my head disgustedly making my scruffy dark brown hair fall over my even darker brown eyes. There were twice as many kids than normal in here but not one wanted to sit at the remaining empty table. The very table I was sitting at of course.

Not feeling particularly hungry, I slowly stood up and surveyed the crowded room. There was the stereotypical Jock/Cheerleader area in the corner. The letterman jackets hanging over every chair were a dead giveaway. Two or three of the players were trying to get closer to the girls with the shortest skirts, while the other guys were gesturing excitedly like they were telling a story. The other cheerleaders were mostly engaged in what appeared to be a vicious conversation, occasionally shooting dirty looks at another table, others attempting to fix their already perfect hair before next period.

In the other corner were the kids who considered themselves nonconformists I guess you could say. Black baggy pants with chains hanging off them seemed to be the most popular style. All of the girls wore dark makeup-and even some of the guys. They didn’t seem to be too interested in anyone else’s agenda. A couple sitting behind everyone else in the corner were making out, hoping some hall monitor wouldn’t come along and break up the time they have before the next class.

There was another group near the jocks who looked like they were going to a rock concert shortly after the period. Another that all wore matching blue polo shirts, all the shirts read: Trooper High School Choir. The list could go on and on. In fact, the only ‘clique’ that didn’t seem like they really cared who they hung out with was the marching band members. Every couple of tables you see a few scattered here and there mixing with the crowd, which seemed to be somewhat astonishing to me. “Huh. Interesting”

Through out history every movement started with someone who broke the chain of conformity. Wouldn’t that be something if band geeks were the cause of the total desegregation of high schools throughout the nation? Now it’s the 21st century however, and progress is something people will always expect but never contribute to. After 9/11 America launched into war mode, and within the same decade they turned around and decided war was pointless. America’s future is sitting in this very room yet instead of taking the initiative they are simply following the road signs.
I picked up my oversized mesh backpack and headed for the door thinking a little rain never hurt anyone. Just as I got up a group of six or seven kids quickly claimed the table as their own. I growled under my breath and moved under the lunchroom doorway.

Everything was wrong. Life is supposed to be a grand experience, making friends and understanding how you can ‘better’ the world. Society sets us up so that people who are jocks are supposed to become athletes, Band and choir nerds become song writers and singers, Mathletes into Rocket Scientists, Art students into Artists, Good students into Teachers, the list can go on forever. But nothing is a perfect system, and nothing can be in simple black and white anymore. As if it ever was…

I dropped my threadbare sweatshirt and backpack by the door and stepped out into the warm summer rain. My shirt was soaked instantly and shortly after my jeans were sticking to my legs. If society had the perfect plan for everyone, why was I the only one outside in the rain?
On a typical summer day at Trooper High School, a typical teenage boy was standing in the rain outside the lunchroom. No one even knew he was there. Typical.



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