I know it doesn't seem like the actual story follows the summary, but it will make sense soon....
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“Ladies, don’t you ever get here on time? You need this education, whether you like it or not!” James, the ten year old teacher, chides Payton and me.
For a kid with so much intelligence, he has yet to figure out a way to make himself taller, and is often mistaken for one of the elementary children. Though, drinking his weight in coffee every day most likely does not help.
“Sorry James, the time seems to have slipped,” I murmur, making a bee-line for my assigned seat.
I retrieve the thin and sleek notepad from my purse and turn it on. The blue display shines brightly for a moment, and then dims to my preferred setting. I hunt in my pencil bag for the electronic pen, and give a victorious smile when I find it. James checks the role again to ensure we were the only two missing, and I look about the room. Two of the twenty students in my class are on a video monitor, obviously having caught the flu, and are readjusting the webcam so they can see James better as he paces around the room yelling out names in his prepubescent voice.
“Ms. Sailwood! Are you even paying attention?” he gripes, folding his skinny arms across his puffed out chest.
“Here,” I answer, rolling my eyes in annoyance.
After a ‘harrumph’ and some mumbled words, James finishes the last two names of role. Then he looks up and grins maniacally. He strolls to the back of the room and begins setting out the different chemicals of whatever experiment we are performing today. These include purple, red, emerald, lime, yellow, and bright blue colored liquids in flasks and a couple of different colored smoky test tubes. The foggy contents of the tubes interest me and I watch them move inside their glass containers without fleeing through the open top.
“Okay class, today we are doing an experiment on how different acids affect this mystery substance. Whichever group can successfully find what this cloudy substance is first will receive no homework for the next week; second place will receive a homework pass; finally, third place receives no homework next time I pass it out. Form four groups of five please, I would suggest not grouping with people who waste time talking,” and though I am not sure, I can almost swear I hear him cough Payton and my name.
Glaring, I pair up with Payton, and then head to the table with Chelsea and Robert. They smile as we approach, hands locked on the table top. I grin myself and plop down on the uncomfortable stool next to Chelsea.
Robert smiles my way in greeting. He recently cut his hair down to its normal length and has gelled it to resemble a hawk’s spike. His bird-like eyes are set on his girlfriend, and his tanned skin provides a subtle contrast to Chelsea’s. He seemed to fit his nickname, Hawk, rather than the other way around.
“Hey Amy!” she whispers to me as she uses one hand to set up the experiment as much as possible before James tells us to begin.
Chelsea’s hair catches the lab’s light and shines blue, green, and purple and then in the shadow of her head, it changes back to its natural black. She glances up at me with her cunning eyes, which appear to have no iris because the color matches her pupil exactly. She is wearing her usual black and today it is an elegant and short dress with silver feathers etched into the shiny fabric. Her eyes are made up simple and dark. Her nickname never fit her better then when she looked like this.
“Raven,” Payton began, using Chelsea’s preferred nickname, “where were you last night? We missed you! And you Amy, why don’t you ever come to the parties?”
I feel heat rising to my cheeks as I explain, again, “Because part of my ‘talent’ is that I fall asleep at around six. Plan a party in the morning and I will come.”
She snorts, and then whistles. “Jake! Over here, we need one more,” she calls at Jacob, one of the few guys who she has not slept with though he fits her type like a puzzle piece.
His crooked grin spreads across his face and takes the last seat at our table, commenting, “Have you noticed that though you both are always late, James never counts either of you tardy? I think he is smitten for you Pay-a-ton, or maybe you Amy.”
I roll my eyes and know that the dwarfed genius is certainly not ‘smitten’ for me, “Well, Jacob, I do not think it is I he prefers, though I believe he may just be too lazy to make a ‘T’ on the roll sheet.”
Suddenly the room falls silent as an AFP145 flies into the room. The small hovering disk pops a white screen from its innards and its even smaller companion sphere turns a lens to canvas. An image flickers on the screen and focuses until its subject is clearly shown. Our continent’s leader taps the MWP9 until he is sure it is working.
“Hello citizens! I have exciting news for you all; there has been a discovery of a new planet in the galaxy Andromeda I! We have brave men and women eagerly preparing to scout the planet in hopes of intelligent life. We will keep you updated on the matter, and have a good day!” Mr. Costling announces before waving the webcam away and effectively shutting all the AFP145s off.
And like a pup being called back to its master, the machines fly back to wherever they came from.
“Well-” James tries to begin, but a sudden outbreak of voices overpowers his miniscule one.
My table, however, remains silent. We all have the knowing look that says there will be no life on this new planet because out of the thousands we have searched, none held so much as a blade of grass and only two even had water. I silently help Raven set up the tubes and flasks for the task at hand.
“Silence!” James’ voice screeches above all the rest.
With the faces of punished toddlers, the other students quickly set up their lab tables. Soon after James gives the okay for everyone to begin and even sets a timer.
“Thank you James, I will appreciate this homework free week,” I chirp as I leave his class.
While I am worming my way around bulky and dreary eyed students, I am snagged from the crowd into a class room. Whipping around to face my snatcher, I almost collide into another student trying to exit the classroom. When I look up I see the most beautiful blue eyes on earth.
His eyes are the blue like that of the sky in the middle of a cloudless afternoon; his golden shaggy hair is down just past his cheekbones and is as luminous as the sun itself. His skin looks as if the sun has kissed it himself, and his broad shoulders are well toned and each muscle that does not hide behind his clothes is well defined. I grin lovingly as I straighten his collar and then hook my fingers through his belt loops.
“Hello, my angel,” he murmurs, as if by raising his voice any louder he might scare me off.
“I do not look as if I have taken a swan dive from Heaven,” I whisper back, sharing his ungrounded fear that by lifting my voice he will run away.
One of his gently calloused hands wraps around my waist while the other is used to lift my chin. As he lowers his angelic face down to mine, I feel his warm breath spread across my face, scented with mint, and I close my eyes.
“Amelia and Michael, sittin’ in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!” Joseph’s gruff, graveling voice rumbles across the room.
With a huff, Michael releases me from his spell and moves his fingers from my chin.
“Apparently, we are a Disney movie compared to Pay-a-ton and yourself,” Michael retorts, sending Joseph into a perplexed mood.
“Dude! I told you to stop doing that!” he gripes, holding his beefy hands over his ears as if it will block Michael from reading his mind.
“I can’t help it just like you can’t help looking like some wrestler from MMA or WWE,” Michaels British accent flits across the room toward the bulky teenager.
Flexing, Joseph responds, “Have to keep my girl somehow.”
As if on cue, Pay-a-ton skips into the room, her skirt pulled up more than it had been this morning and her jacket removed to reveal a crop-top. Joseph swung her into his arms and placed his longer black haired head on top of her honey yellow one. I could see his grey-green eyes meet her chocolate colored ones and I couldn’t help but smile. It was the same old story of ‘jock meets cheerleader,’ but this tale would last beyond high school.
“Now that he is distracted…” Michael murmurs seductively in my ear, his hands wrap around my stomach and he pulls me close.
He rests his head on my shoulder and we stand, him leaning against the wall and me leaning against him, until the tardy bell rings and he gives me a kiss on the cheek as he leaves me to get to his class.