Panerva's school for the Gifted
Author's note: This is relatable to any new kid at a school, and then some. I get all of my inspiration from... Show full author's note »
Chapter 2: The rest of the day and nothing goes wrongChapter 2: The rest of the day and nothing goes wrong
The next class I had was Advanced Placement English. But much to my dismay, Joseph didn’t have it with me. Well, there was a good side and a bad side to that. Good side: I’d concentrate better. Bad side: I’d miss him.
Speaking of pros and cons to things, it turns out that we were starting a huge debate that day. What it was about I didn’t know but that’s why I was there, to learn and find out why.
The teacher looked
The teacher wasn’t married, thank goodness, but that didn’t stop her from being happy. She claimed she was married to her job. Kind of creepy if you think about it. She had the kind of blonde hair you only get by dying it, with amber eyes that sparkled with her obvious youth. She liked wearing cowgirl boots and took her fashion very seriously. Today she wore a white sundress and was wearing sandals for a change. The only makeup she wore was lipstick, nothing else.
When I walked into her classroom, I wasn’t exactly sure what to do. My schedule had said I was being taught by a guy, which is why I was thrown into a backbend when I saw a girl in the classroom. On top of that, the student handbook showed pictures of every teacher and the guy looked old enough to have been in the Cold War.
But no, Ms. Reese assured me that I was in the right room. Apparently, she had been hired last minute when the other teacher had broke his back. Ms. Reese sat me with Jean, Lienu (the redhead who acted before she thought out her plans), and a brunette named Kaylee who made it known that talking was her hobby. I swear, someone should have installed an ‘off’ button on her.
Regardless, she was overly eager. Plain and simple.
I came into the classroom and before doing anything else, made sure I was in the right room.
“Uh.... You don’t look like Mr. Jones.” I said to Ms. Reese.
“That’s because I’m not. But don’t worry, you are in the right classroom, I swear.”
I nodded slowly. “Okay.... So then who are you?”
“I’m Ms. Reese. I was hired last minute at the beginning of the school year and I can safely assume that you’re new, which would explain the confusion. So, who might you be?” she gave me an angelic smile and waited patiently.
“I’m Nikita Brownston.” I told her. “Today is my first day.”
“It’s nice to have you, Nikita.” Ms. Reese told me. “Call me Amanda, that’s what everyone does.” She passed me a couple pieces of paper.
“That is the class syllabus. It explains the layout for the year, most of it pointless knowledge now, but... And the other thing is my grading rubric. I have found that some people think it confusing.” she frowned and picked and a seemingly interesting stray thread on the hem of her dress.
“I’m sure I can wrap my head around it.” I told her. “Shouldn’t be a problem.”
“I would hope not.” Ms. Reese agreed. “Well then, seating chart, right... Uh.... could you give me a second, while I take roll? Then I can configure a place to seat you.”
I found the request a bit odd but agreed to it anyway, watching as all the names were ticked off and then the empty spots were filled.
“There is a place for you by Jean, Lienu, and Kaylee.” Ms. Reese told me. “You can sit there. Will that be okay?”
I nodded and then took my seat.
“Hey shaky.” Jean told me, using her nickname for me.
“Shaky is your name?” Kaylee asked. “Where you from?”
“Actually, my name is Nikita.” I told her. “I am just called Shaky by Jean here.”
“Oh...” Kaylee frowned, momentarily silenced.
“Good afternoon, class.” Ms. Reese announced, silence falling into the room like a blanket, covering each of us thickly. “Today I have a debate that will put all of your social skills to work. Today is one of the few chances that you can talk as much as you like or as little,” she gave Jean a look. “but remember that talking, as long as it’s on topic, is considered participation and this exercise will be put in your class work and your participation rubrics. So, without further ado....” she picked up a remote and I could only guess it was for the projector. My guess was found correct when she pointed at the machine hanging from the ceiling to turn it on. Ms. Reese then scurried to her computer and hit a few buttons.
“Before we continue,” she said. “I would like you to know that these topics act like an anticipation guide for our next story we will be reading, The Diary of Anne Frank.”
She hit a few more buttons before a slideshow flashed from the over head and onto the one blank wall.
What is your opinion on the Holocaust?
The classroom flared into life, like a bomb going off, and the class divided the room into two. Arguing soon started, and Ms. Reese had to settle us down.
“Remember the rules of our debates.” she chided. “Whoever hold the bean bag has the right to speak and only when you hold it can your opinion be shared.” she picked up a small bean bag from her desk and tossed it back and forth through her hands.
“Does anyone want to go first?”
Half the class shot up their hands in the next heartbeat and Ms. Reese tossed the bag in an arch. The students started scrambling for the bag and finally one emerged with it in his hands.
It was Damien.
“Oh no...” I muttered. I expected him to say something so comical that the class would erupt into laughter. As it was, a headache was developing and I wasn’t sure how much I could take.
So when he started giving the most serious and thought out speech in the room, you could imagine my surprise.
“The Holocaust, even though it happened in Germany, affected us all.” he began. “The lives lost and hunting done is a milenia too many. But it is in the past.
“We shall not forget those dark times, when houses were burned and many innocents died. Who’s to say why they died? I surely do not know. Why is it Hitler wanted blonde haired blue eyed people when he himself wasn’t one? I cannot say. I cannot explain his reasoning, and neither can he, for he is dead. But I can say this, we continue to learn about the holocaust, we continue to remember, so we do not fall as far as he did. We continue to remember the story of a young girl, and any other eyewitness accounts we can find, to remind ourselves that it is in the past, and we are heading for a bright future, but only if we continue to stay as we are and not stoop as low as Hitler did.” Damien took a breath before continuing. “My opinion on this matter is probably the same as many of yours. I am horrified. And I hope that this tragic event is not repeated. I hope history doesn't repeat itself for the sake of all of us, or you can count me out of it.”
Silence filled the room at his words. No one moved. Even Kaylee was rendered speechless.
But as soon as everyone realized that he had finished, they burst into cheering.
“Well then, Mr. Zaleski, a truly impressive performance!” Ms. Reese said once everything calmed down. “Anyone else?”
No one after that was as impressive as Damien had been. They either kept going around in circles on the issue or broke into arguing as time reigned forth. Finally Ms. Reese split them up and ended the debate, killing any more arguments with threats of detention.
I just sat there the rest of the rest of the class period, still as a stone and barely saying a word. I was hoping that no one would notice the presence of a new person, for I really didn’t feel like saying much to anyone.
When the bell rang, I stood in the door frame, unsure of what to do.
“What are you waiting for, Shaky?” Jean asked me as she swept past.
“Why are you just standing there?” Jean continued. “We’ve got to go to our next class. For me it’s dance with Mrs. Fastsaf and her daughter.”
“I’ll just follow you, then.” I said, falling in a step behind Jean as we walked through the halls.
“Do you have your dorm keys?” Jean said over her shoulder as we walked.
“No. I wonder who I’ll be roommates with....” I replied pensively.
“Lets hope you aren’t paired with Astrid or you’ll be dead by morning.” Jean joked.
I frowned. “Yeah, I’ve been meaning to ask about her. What’s her problem, anyway?”
“She has a thing for Joseph but Joseph doesn’t see it.” Jean replied. “She thinks he’s getting too comfy with you and will probably become really jealous.”
“But nothing’s going on!” I insisted, right as they stopped outside a door.
“I know there isn’t. But Astrid doesn’t. And as long as you’re around Joseph, she sees you as a threat, one that needs to be taken care of.” Jean looked at me, eyes full of genuine worry. “But just be careful, okay?”
I nodded. “I will.” Together we stepped through the door.
A woman with short black hair and green eyes was waiting for us. She wore an orange tank top and a brown skirt with multiple layers. She grabbed the hem of her skirt nervously and curtsied as we came in.
“So glad you could make it...” she said. Beside her, a younger girl with hair that had been dyed silver and green eyes nodded in ascension. She wore a Nickelback t-shirt and a pair of jeans.
“Sorry Mrs. Fastsaf, Ms. Ashthorn.” Jean curtsied. “My friend here is new and so I had to escort her here.” she gestured to me, who shrank back slightly until I saw Joseph, who gave me a reassuring smile.
“How noble.” Mrs. Fastsaf noted dryly. “I expect you to be earlier tomorrow. Am I clear?”
Jean nodded and I hurriedly did the same.
“Good.” Mrs. Fastsaf spun on a heel and faced her other students, treating Jean and I as if we weren’t even there.
“Students! I know Spring Break put a wrench in our rehearsal time, but that is nothing to worry about! With a little hard work, you all shall be dancing again to your former glory. That practice starts today. Let’s get started!”
I came to stand with the rest of the people and Joseph slipped his arms around my waist.
“Heya...” he whispered.
“Let go of me.” I growled. “Or your dancing won’t be the only thing that has been damaged.”
“Well ‘meow’ to you too.” Joseph joked back but let go.
“I am lost...” I whispered.
“Lost direction wise or what to do wise?”
“What to do wise.”
“Well that is no problem. Talk to Mrs. Fastsaf.”
“She scares me.” I admitted. It was true. Her harshness wasn’t too appealing.
“She’s great once you get to know her.” Joseph reassured me. “Go on.”
“Meap...” I squeaked convincingly before going up to Mrs. Fastsaf. She gave me a hard look.
“Yes?” she growled.
“I’m... the new... kid...” I mumbled.
Mrs. Fastsaf’s face didn’t soften any, giving show to the few wrinkles that time had developed, but she did give me a sympathetic look with her eyes.
“Of course, my mistake.” she said. “You are probably lost beyond comprehension... I’m sorry.. We are doing partner dance routines and the project is due next month.... You know how to dance, don’t you?” I nodded. “Perfect! Well, that saves me a step. Now to find you a partner... Let me do attendance.”
I frowned. Why are the teachers so disorganized? I asked myself. Wouldn’t it make more sense to be better prepared? nonetheless, I stood patiently as the attendance was done and then waited to see who my partner was.
“It looks like Joseph doesn’t have a partner...” Ms. Ashthorn mused to Mrs. Fastsaf.
“Yeah, Nicolette transferred out over break. Such a shame, too...” Mrs. Fastsaf replied.
“Should we just pair up new girl with Joseph?”
“Yeah, lets just hope that Astrid doesn’t rip her head off in the process.” and with such speed that no ordinary human could possess, both mother and daughter spun around to face me.
“You are to be paired up with Joseph. That is all.”
It was apparent to me that I was being dismissed, so I gave a quick curtsy before turning on a heel and going back to Joseph.
“Well?” he asked me.
“I’m partnered with you.” I replied calmly, though inside I was a tornado of emotions. Being partnered with the cutest kid in school...; Who wouldn’t be nervous?
“Really?” Joseph inquired, trying hard to sound indifferent. He too felt like a swirl of emotions.
“Yeah... So what are we doing?” I wasn’t sure what to do. I had never had dance class before, it was always something I did for fun.
“Well, Nicolette and I had been working on this one insane dance routine before she transferred out. I kind of want to keep it...”
“What kind of dance was it?”
“Hip hop. Something we can dance to.”
“Nice!” I exclaimed. “So we have the routine... but to what song?”
“Nicolette and I had agreed on Something to Dance For.....”
“Ooh... Zendaya...” I bit my lip thoughtfully for a few moments. Impressive... I thought.
“Really?” Joseph asked nervously. “If it’s not, I can-”
“It’s perfect. Now let’s get dancing.”
The rest of my day was pretty uneventful. Joseph and I danced in perfect sync, which is awesome, and once I made a few tweaks to the routine, even Mrs. Fastsaf was impressed that a newbie could rock such complex moves. It sure caught the attention of every guy in class. But I wasn’t concerned about them. There was only one guy on my mind.
After Dance, I had Astrology, where nothing really happened; We watched a movie, and then I had computers. But to be honest, I forgot what happened in that class.
After Computers it was time to go to our dorms and do whatever for a few hours until dinner. Then after dinner, we had a few more hours to do whatever before curfew. After that, the cycle just repeated itself until the weekend. I had come in on a Monday, so I had to sit through the whole week.
Once I got out of the computer lab, I was to go straight to Mr. Panerva to get my set of keys to the room I would stay in. I was as tense as a spring at that moment, for I really didn’t want to be cooped up with Astrid.
But I obediently managed to get to his room using the map and stopped at the double oak doors. There was something sinister about just the doors themselves that I shivered slightly. But I knew that this had to be done, so I knocked, albeit tentatively, on the door.
“Come in.” Headmaster Panerva told me.
I slowly pushed on the door and looked around. The room wasn’t small, but it wasn’t overly gigantic, either. It was somewhere in the middle, I decided. The walls were a honey color and the carpet was grey. There was a cabinet that no doubt held the keys to the dorms and it was mahogany. I came into the room. On one wall, the one opposite the door, he had a window that took up the whole space. In front of that was a chair, and in front of that, a desk. In front of the desk, there were a couple other chairs.
“Have a seat, Ms. Brownston.” he said.
I sat down in one of the chairs in front of his desk. “Did I do something wrong?” I asked.
Headmaster Panerva shook his head. “Not at all. I just wanted to see how your first day was and give you your keys.”
“My first day went well.” I replied. “I made some friends and I have a feeling catching up will be no problem.”
“Excellent...” Headmaster Panerva purred. “We don’t usually watch a movie.” he said. “My apologies. I just didn’t want to overwhelm you...”
“Oh, it’s no problem at all.” I assured him.
“That is good.” he rose from his seat and went to the cabinet. He opened it and stared into it for a few moments before grabbing something and coming back to his desk. He then passed it to me.
“Might I ask who I am roommates with?” I asked and stared at the set of keys and the number on them: 234.
“Uh... I would have to check the database....” Headmaster Panerva tapped some some keys on his keyboard, checked the computer screen, and then tapped some more keys.
“Let’s see..... You are to be sharing a room with a girl named CeCe. Do you know her?”
I shook my head. “No, but that isn’t a problem. Thank you.” I rose from my seat and gave him a bow, slowly retreating to the door.
“Wait!” Headmaster Panerva called as I had started to turn the door handle. I froze.
“We are very fortunate to have you here, Ms. Brownston. And if at any time you have any question, do not hesitate in asking them, alright?”
I nodded. “Thank you Headmaster...” I said and left the room.
There were two dormitory buildings, one for the boys and one for the girls. I, of course, was now living in the female dormitory, which was on the west side of campus. The male dormitory was on the east. I’m betting they were on opposing sides of the campus to separate us all as much as possible. I could understand that, kind of...
Now, seeing as how this school went from ninth grade all the way to Senior year, there was a floor for each year, with Seniors on the bottom floor. I was on the second floor seeing as how I was a Junior. So I had to climb a staircase to get to my room. The first floor went from Room 1 to Room 150. The second floor went from Room 151 to Room 300. Needless to say, I had a bit of a walk ahead of me to get to my room. Why I was positioned so far away, I would never know.
Regardless, I walked through the hall, swerving through the crowds of girls who stared at me. There were some guys here, too, but they were too busy hanging with their girlfriends to notice. I did pass Astrid as I went and boy, if looks could kill, the glare she gave me would’ve burned me to the ground. It took me slightly more than five minutes to find my room and then another minute to get my door open; The key was being difficult.
Once I got into my room, was about ready to sink into the bed then and there, but that thought was squashed when I noticed all my things being on the bed and the only other girl in the room was staring at me.
“Who are you?” she asked me. She had been sitting cross-legged on her bed and gave me a curious look with her green eyes. “Are you the new girl?”
I nodded and started clearing what was on my bed: a suitcase, my box full of pictures, my purse, and my cell phone. I noticed that I had a dresser right next to the bed and so I took advantage of it by filling it with the clothes in my suitcase.
“You never directly answered me...” the girl whispered. She had bright copper hair and sparkling green eyes. She wore a pair of jeans, the kind that came pre-ripped, and a black tiger-print t-shirt. Her shoes, a pair of Chuck Taylors, lay on the floor, by the foot of her bed. There was something weird about her... But I ignored the feeling and continued to unpack.
“I am.” I replied.
The girl said nothing so once I finished unpacking my suitcase, I shoved it under my bed.
“So what’s your talent?” the girl finally asked me once I was perched on my bed and I was facing her.
Talent? I thought to myself. Like, what I can do? I didn’t know that talent was part of this....
“I’m really smart....” I said slowly.
“No, like- Oh... You don’t know yet...” the girl said the last part in a whisper but I still heard her.
“Know what?” I pressed, intrigued. What was such a big secret among these people?
The girl pressed her lips together, shook her head, and then looked away.
“So... You’re CeCe?” I asked.
The girl nodded.
“How long have you been here?”
“Since... Since Freshman year. I came here from Anacortes Middle School because Headmaster Panerva insisted that I come here for High School... As time has wore on, I found out why, but...” she scratched her arm nervously before continuing on. “I really like it here, but I kinda miss my family.” she shook her russet curls so they hung around her face.
I decided she was one of those not-so-talkative people, like Jean, and instead lay down. I had almost shut off my lamp when she whispered something.
“Huh?” I asked.
“Are you here to stay?”
“I honestly don’t know.” I replied.
“For your sake, I hope you aren’t. Bad things happen at this school and no one should have to go through them...” she then started going into her own world, eyes glazing over as she mumbled nonsensical stuff to herself. She suddenly reminded me of Hecate, if not slightly less crazy. But then I turned off my lamp and my world simultaneously melted into blackness.