Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 8
Gym Class Zeroes

Ugh...” Reese McKinley said, frowning at her sweaty blond hair in the bathroom mirror. “I hate gym!” She pouted, placed her tanned arms on her hips, and turned to her friend Karyn Harrison.

Karyn had choppy, shoulder-length, dark-red hair and eyes that seemed to have no pigment at all. And not the red-eyed Albino kind either. They were almost a ghostly gray-white color. She wore a plain blue t-shirt over a black pleated skirt. She was one of those people Reese talked to whenever she was bored and had nothing better to do. Or when her real friends weren't there to entertain her.

She giggled. “We haven't even done anything, yet.”

“Yeah, but the stench of feet and sensation of the airless gym makes me wanna hurl.” Reese grabbed her hair with one of her hands and tied it into a ponytail with the other. “Hmm. So long for curls.”

They exited out of the bathroom and into the varsity gym. Their class was already seated on the bleachers.

“Took you two long enough.” A stern-faced, middle aged woman said to them. Her hair was blond and curly, but it was beginning to lose it's color.

She stood in front of the bleachers where their class was sitting at.

“Sorry,” Reese said, annoyed at the woman's rude greeting. “Bad chili dogs.”

A few classmates laughed at Reese's response.

The teacher rolled her eyes and told them to take their seat.

Reese and Karyn sat on either side of Elisha Carpenter, Reese's best friend.

“It's almost the end of the day!” she exclaimed quietly to Reese. “You know what that means...”

Reese rolled her eyes. “Yeah, your anniversary with Mark.”

“Oh, congratulations.” Karyn said, smiling at Elisha.

“Thank you.” Elisha said, composing a confused, fake smile on her face.

She then leaned over towards Reese and whispered in her ear “Who's that?”

“Some girl I went to middle school with before I transferred to Paramount Middle.”

“Oh,” she said, nodding.

“Alright, listen up!” the woman yelled. “This is P.E. 1-1! Which means you are expected to wear the appropriate attire for gym! If you come to class wearing your gym shorts and shirt, but not the right shoes, you would sit out from all of that day's activities and you will have to write one paragraph on why you chose not to dress properly for gym!”

“Give me a break.” Reese mumbled. “This old bat doesn't know what she's talking about.”

Elisha giggled. “Damn, right.”

“My name is Mrs. Close!” she continued to shout. “For those of you who have brothers or sisters who formerly had me, you may have heard some stories about me being cruel, evil, strict, a tough grader, and unjustifiable!”

Andy Simms, who sat two rows behind Elisha and Reese, snickered. “Unjustifiable.”

Reese turned to him. “I know, right. This bitch is wacko.”

“Young lady, I'm talking!” Mrs. Close shouted.

Reese rolled her eyes and mouthed, “Whatever.”

Several students turned around to face her.

“What!?” she snapped.

Mrs. Close arched an eyebrow at her. “Anyways, all of those things you heard are true as well as accurate.”

Andy whispered in his best friend, Monica Christy's, ear. “I'm pretty sure 'true' and 'accurate' mean the same thing.”

She giggled. “Ssh...”

Karyn blew a pink bubble, making it splatter against her thin lips. Elisha glared at her. The cracking noise of the bubble popping irritated her eardrums.

Karyn took the hint. “Sorry.”
“You're okay.” she said politely.

But she wanted badly for the school day to end so she could spend the whole afternoon with Mark. She had only seen him twice and that was during passing times.

She sighed. “I wish Mark were here.”

“Baby, don't obsess over him.” Reese said affectionately. “You don't wanna end up like Jenny McFarland.”

Who could forget Jenny McFarland? She had been in love with Mark for two years in middle school and it wasn't until eight grade when Mark outed her in front of the whole class. She was the ultimate liar. She would make up stuff about her being raped by her father, beat up by a bunch of gang-bangers, and brought up in an orphanage. All to make Mark feel sorry for her. They soon found out she was manic-depressive and ended up committing suicide over the summer.

“Don't even joke about her.” Elisha said sadly.

“I'm not!” hissed Reese. “It's tragic what happened to her, but I'm just saying don't get yourself all in a tangle mess.”

“I won't.” Elisha promised.

Mrs. Close allowed the class to talk while she called up each student to give them their locker combination.

Andy and Monica  came down to where Reese and Elisha were sitting.

“Hey, girlfriiieeennndddssssssss!” he trilled in a flamboyant voice. He then leaned over to give each of them an air-kiss.

Monica, a five-six, bespectacled girl, wearing a lime YMCA t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up and black basketball shorts, laughed. Her dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail, revealing her high forehead.

She plopped down next to Reese. “So, how was your summer?”

Excruciating.” she answered. “I had to work in the cold mines all summer long.”

“No, you didn't.” Karyn piped. “You said you spent part of the summer with friends and then the other half at Camp.”

“That was supposed to be a joke, Karyn.” Andy said. “Don't you understand?”

“Oh, yes.” she said embarrassedly. “I must not be good with jokes.”

“That's for damn sure.” Elisha said under her breath. She was already beginning to think Karyn was annoying. Not to mention a killjoy at jokes. But she decided that wasn't going to stop her from telling them her exciting news.

“Welp!” she announced. “I've decided I'm running for class president and Homecoming queen!”

“Oh, wow, Elisha.” Monica said sweetly. “That's really nice, I'll vote for you.”

“Excuse me.” Andy said. “Don't encourage your opponent.”

“Andy, I'm not running.” she said quickly.

“That's right.” Andy coached. “Let the enemy think you're modest.”

Monica rolled her dark-green eyes. Ever since the date of Homecoming had been announced at the Freshman Orientation, Andy had been badgering Monica to run for Homecoming queen. Every time he would bring it up to her, she would freeze the thought out and try to change the subject.

Andy didn't understand why she wouldn't run. Cause after all, how can Monica lose? Out of all the superficial girls who wear contacts because they think they look ugly with glasses, how can Monica lose? How can any other girl beat Monica? A girl as kind and sexy as Monica, how can she be second rate to some bimbo?

Suddenly, Reese let out a high pitched scream.

“What is it?” Monica said, annoyed at Reese's sudden outburst.

“M-m-m-m-moooouuuuuusssssse!” Elisha let out a blood curdling scream.

“Mickey?” Karyn asked. “That's my mouse I was given to in Mr. Connery's Advance Biology class. Every student got one. He's completely harmless.”

“And you let it out?” Andy demanded.

“It could've gotten stepped on!” Monica said.

“He must have gotten out on his own.” She reached into her partially opened backpack and dug out her square container. The lid was already off. “Come here, baby.” she cooed. “Mommy's gotcha.” She scooped him off of the bleachers with her hands and put him safely back in the container.

“You five!” Mrs. Close shouted. “You all just earned yourself zeros!”

Several kids laughed at their expense.

Zeros?” Reese exclaimed.

“The five of us?” said Monica. “I didn't even scream.”

“Neither did I.” added Karyn.

“Nor I.” scoffed Andy.

“Zeros.” Mrs. Close said unsympathetically. “All of you. It's ashame it had to be on the first day of school.” She didn't sound like it was shameful. She seemed to enjoy their pain and misery.

“Errr!” Elisha growled. “Thanks a lot, Karyn.” She broke her name into two syllables to show how mad she was.

“It's not my fault.” she tried.

“If you would have kept a closer eye on that mouse, none of this would have happened.” Elisha pointed.

She was in fury. It was one thing for Karyn to straggle along with her and her friends, but to get them all in trouble because of her stupid Mickey Mouse was just... unjustifiable.

Is today over yet? She thought bitterly.


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