"If x squared has the same value as xy halved, what value is y?"
"Very well then, if x divided by y is the same value as r, what will be the quotient of r and y?"
"What's 2 added to 2?"
The teacher put her hands on her hips; it was about the 50th time her questions had been answered by silence. Apparently it had yet to be comprehended in her mind that her 6th grade students were obviously not so thrilled about today's algebra lesson; about 60 percent of the class had their torsos sprawled out onto their desktops, and the other 40 were either staring out the window or at their paper.
It seemed all of them had their own unique way of dozing off in class though, and the more the teacher glazed her eyes over her room, the more it seemed her seating was arranged into groups instead of rows.
A more trendy part of the student body was assembled in the middle of the class; they seemed to have some sort of ambience around them, signaling their popularity to their peers. They also appeared to have their own system when it came to passing notes and somehow managed to have their homework done completely right without so much as glimpsing at the board; perhaps it was because despite being the more popular among their fellow pupils, they were still humble enough to associate with the more intelligent students…that is whenever an exam or test was coming up.
The girls of this supposed group, often gave each other manicures or did each other's hair whenever there was some spare time in their instructor's lesson plans. And the boys usually fiddled with games of paper football or discussions about sports. There were three certain girls who seemed to be the head of this clique.
The tallest one, seated in the middle of the other two, had short brown hair cut at an angle with the more length of it towards the tips of her shoulders, fair skin, a beauty mark complimenting her right cheek, and was never seen without some sort of lip-gloss swathed upon the brims of her mouth. She wore the most up-to-date clothing and decorated herself with as much jewelry as acceptably possible. The last detail made out about her was two hot pink flip-flops with only the gap between her big toe and the toe beside it as a way to stay on her feet. The teacher recalled her name being: Melissa O' Malley.
Another girl, seated to her left, had thick, curly blonde hair down to her elbows, light blue eyes, fairly tan skin, frequently wore some sort of red top that often revealed her naval area and dark jeans, which were now a pair of somewhat undersized shorts. She appeared to be just as keen on makeup and jewelry as her friend, but for some reason only wore it with approval from her. Her current footwear was one light purple sandal with one strap going across the bottom of her toes on each foot. "Ashley Ambrosia"; the teacher remembered her name as.
The third one, seated to Melissa's right, also had short hair but was red instead of brown and was curled in at the ends right above her shoulders. Her nose was a bit turned up; slightly revealing two well-plucked nostrils, and she also had dark blue eyes. The words "Stacey Lynn" were sewn in pink near the collar of her white, blue-bordered, T-shirt. The baby blue skirt she wore lengthened just above her knees, where a few inches below a pair of bright orange, strappy sandals shelled over her feet.
Other than them, the room had its usual perks; smart, quiet kids in the front; fantasy-loving kids near the windows; the few troublemakers in the corner of the room as far out of the teacher's site as they could be; almost perfectly normal.
The last group of kids were seated not quite exactly near the back, but far enough so they could talk amongst themselves without their instructor's interruptions. They were what you would call the "Middle Class" kids of the group; not too popular, not too unpopular.
One girl, with a book in her hands, had bright baby-blue eyes and blondish-brown hair pulled back into two very perky pigtails high up above her ears; mostly likely due to the increased temperatures. She wore a purple T-shirt with two lighter streaks of the color over the sleeves of her upper arms, a darker shade of purple on her shorts which were average length, and vibrant yellow beach flip-flops. Jody Irwin, as she was called.
Another girl, to Jody's left, was (unlike the rest of her classmates) eagerly paying attention to every word that came out of the teacher's mouth. Although she couldn't exactly perceive the problems the way her instructor wanted her to, she tried her best and was more than willing to learn to do so. Her long, slightly frizzy, light brown hair was pulled back in a high ponytail. Her lively green eyes highlighted her face against her delicately tanned skin, her peach-colored lips matched the tone of the baby tee she was wearing, which was accompanied by a pair of light brown shorts. Her earrings were toned a very light tan color and were a similar shape to her necklace, which was black and had three long claw-like shapes brimmed along the string which held them together. Lila was among the school's top students, like Jody of course.
A different girl, to Jody's right, was lying back in her chair with her head looking up at the ceiling. One of her black sandal-covered feet was propped-up against the edge of her desk, the other slid underneath it. The dark grey T-shirt she wore complimented the ghostly-white skull plastered on the front. Black khaki pants aligned down to her ankles, matching the dark nail polish on her ten toes. Her hair was in ascending spikes on her head, with streaks of purple and hot pink aligned atop each other. She had several pierces in her ears, dark purple lipstick and eye shadow, with two spiked bracelets accommodating her wrists and a third one around her neck. Ophelia Ramirez had quite the reputation around the schoolyard.
A student sitting behind her, this time a boy, was busying occupying himself in doodling as much as he could in all his books. His yellow-lens sunglasses matched the tone of the heavy, circular ornament hanging around his neck. His afro of brown hair was snugly tucked underneath his blue cap which matched the short-sleeved over shirt he wore, open down the middle, revealing a regular yellow T-shirt. His dark blue baggy pants overlapped his lighter blue sneakers; his legs must've been scorching from his own body heat. Roger Radcliffe; the school goof.
There was one last girl within that group; sitting on the very end of the row near her four companions. Her lightly tanned skin matched lovely with her dark brown eyes which were shaped like almonds. Her black hair cascaded over her shoulders with a single magenta streak tucked behind her ear. A green and magenta belly shirt rose above a pair of dark denim capris which were but a few inches high from a pair of light brown tennis shoes. Juniper Lee was quite the eccentric student.
"Class? …Class? CLASS!" The entire room jumped in surprise at the sound of their teacher's voice; which did not sound happy. And upon averting their gaze to her, they were dismayed to realize they were correct. Her nearly frustrated gaze washed over every one of her pupils, before she spoke again.
"Now I realize Summer Vacation is not far away but that's not an excuse for not paying attention; at least in my classroom." The students did not reply. The teacher stood firm for a moment more, before diverting her watch to the near back of the room.
"Jody, please read out the instructions for us on page 74." She instructed in a vaguely firm voice, most likely getting fed up with the class' lack of participation.
"You got it Miss Marsh," Jody began in a chipper voice before looking down at the page and reading, "if divided by the quotient, the denominator becomes relevant to the…"
The classroom's attention was zapped from her words upon the first mathematical term that passed her lips. Some continued dozing while others busied themselves with other things, such as plans for summer.
Juniper, or June as she was more commonly known, had lost interest in the school subject as well. She slowly traced some shapes along her paper; nothing in particular, just the initials J and M in hearts with a plus sign in between drawn over and over again. This "M" by the way, stood for nobody other than "Marcus Connor"; a well-known jock around the school.
Marcus was a boy of about average height for his age, perhaps slightly taller. His dreadlocks overlapping his head dangled freely with every body movement he made; June sighed dreamily at the mere thought of it. His attire, since the hot weather had came in, became a casual green jersey with a black stripe over each upper part of the sleeve and a black "1" on the front. His denim pants came just below his knees. His plain white sneakers made sort of a cute noise each time he took a step whenever he went. Marcus and June had been dating for several months now.
And this summer was going to be great for June, not only because she'd have a lot more time to spend with her boyfriend without the frequent inconvenience of the educational system, but because she'd get to do a lot of other stuff with her friends she couldn't normally do because of her schoolwork.
For one, her mother and father weren't as busy in the summer months and, unless they planned a family vacation or something, didn't mind if their children had company visit. So unless her two brothers had friends of their own over, June could invite Jody, Lila and Ophelia for a sleepover or campout. She could see movies with them, have dinner dates with her boyfriend, and go to camp if possible; was there anything Summer didn't have?
"June?" Came a voice, followed by a tap on the classroom window.
Oh yeah; there was one thing. The thirteen year-old girl sighed and raised her hand.
"Yes Juniper?" Miss Marsh asked.
"May I please be excused?" She asked in a lightly annoyed voice.
"And the reason for this time would be…?" Her teacher trailed off. June quickly hid the writing utensil she was using, as well as the drawing she had made with it, in the empty space of her desk.
"I lost my pencil."
"Does anybody have a pencil for June?" Miss Marsh asked her classroom. Nobody raised their hands, not even her friends; they knew she often used this to get a break from the school's modern torture called "boredom". Miss Marsh sighed to herself before gesturing to the only exit from her class.
"The hall pass is by the door." June instinctively, but calmly, made her way towards the doorway, grabbing the pass as she left.
Upon entering the hall, she groaned in frustration; there was just one thing that would constantly keep her vacation imperfect. And it was waiting for her right outside the school. June tried to make her trip as dawdling as it would go; stopping at every chance she got to see something even moderately interesting, such as a dent on a locker or a scribbled sketching on the wall.
But eventually, as she knew she would, she had reached the double doors leading out of the building; on the other side, one of the many nuisances of her life. Languidly as she could, she pushed open one of the doorways and heaved a breath at the first person she saw.
"What is it Jeff?" June had come to recognize the illustrious, (and slightly absentminded) leprechaun just by the sound of his voice. Nearly two years, so far, of being the Te Xuan Ze can do that to a girl.
"June! Great to see ya made it! Took ya long enough though; what happened, the ol' bf stop by?" He then laughed, which sounded more like a cough. June had a pretty good idea why but didn't way a word.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah; look, what do you want? I'd be madder but you've actually caught me at a good time for once."
"Oh, right. Well, ya see June, y'know how us leprechauns tend to be…the curious kinda type? I wouldn't exactly call it a bad thing in fact some folks think it's kinda cute the way we like to fool around with every nook and cran-"
"JUST TELL ME WHY YOU'RE HERE!" She burst out. Not long after becoming the Te Xuan Ze, June had learned to be aggressive when need be in order to be taken seriously by the magical counterpart of the world; it was about all she could do to amend for her young age.
"Ok ok!" Jeff said as he put his hands up in defense.
"Anyway, me n' my buddy Frank were checkin' out all these leprechaun babes earlier today; luck wasn't so great with us though, despite our fortunate reputation it's still a little exaggerated with the-" June firmly clearing her voice was enough to tell the hippie leprechaun he'd better get right to the point.
"So anyhow, Frank started talkin' to this one babe, really hot lemme tell ya, and they seemed to be hitting it off until…well…"
"Well what?" The thirteen year-old girl demanded after he trailed off.
"She wasn't exactly a leprechaun."
"She was Medusa; the man-eating, statue-loving, cousin of The Gorgon!"
"She is a Gorgon." June corrected him.
"Yeah well, Frank tried to put the moves on 'er, y'know and then he noticed she was wearing sunglasses. He asks her to take 'em off; she says that wouldn't be cool; he insists; she takes 'em off-"
"So now your friend's a six-foot-tall rock figure that looks like it's been decorated with a pair of sunglasses."
"Oh don't get me started on how freaked out the place got, man! She looked into his eyes and it like, turned him into stone, June! Like in some kind of, Kirk Douglas movie!"
"Ok, first of all, Kirk Douglas starred in 'Spartacus'; not 'The Gorgon'. Second of all, you're gonna need one good portal spell to take us there; 'cause class ends in half an hour and I promised Lila I'd take her to a movie that had talking animals in it. Luckily The Lion King's being rerereleased all this month."
"Oh yeah; hey how is the little sasquatch babe anyway?" Jeff asked.
"Uh, statue of Frank?" She reminded him.
"Oh right; hang on to that bracelet J-girl!" The next thing she knew Jeff had pulled out some sort of stone and used it to open a medium-sized gateway that quickly sucked them in.
A line of cars awaited outside the entrance of Orchid Bay Jr. High; one by one they dripped off onto the highway as each student entered a vehicle. Others were walking down the block, knapsacks and duffel bags slung over shoulders, as they made their way from the implemental building. Some though were still lingering to chat with friends or for one of the automobiles in the long line to be the one that would reveal a familiar figure at the wheel to take them home.
A small group of four however, were only staying behind to wait on another one of their friends to show up.
"Where's June? She said she'd be here to meet us for the movie." Jody wondered aloud. She, along with Lila, Ophelia and Roger were waiting somewhat patiently near the outside of the school.
"Oh I hope she gets here before the part with Timon and Pumbaa comes on! Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phr-"
"Ok hello! Stop singing before you ruin a song beloved by a populous of like, all ages. …On second thought…" Ophelia said.
"What? I love those guys! There not as humorous as Ed though; that guy's awesome!" Roger exclaimed.
"All he does is laugh." Jody stated.
"Through the whole thing." Ophelia finished.
"Kinda creeps me out." The blonde finished.
"I know." The goth girl lightly smirked.
"See what I mean?! He's funny with a vengeance!" Roger stated. The other three girls just stared at him.
"Whatever." Ophelia remarked.
"Who's your favorite character Ophelia?" Jody asked. Her friend smiled as much as a goth was allowed to smile.
"Shenzi." She hissed.
"She gives credit to all us other underappreciated venomous females. Plus I love how she's got two men constantly eating out of her hand…or paw or whatever."
"Oh and Stacey, orange sandals do not go with baby blue; we're stopping at the shoe outlet on the way." Came a voice to everyone's left. The group of four looked over to see Melissa and her groupies standing at the corner. Melissa was pointing out Stacey's strappy sandals, while Stacey merely hung her head and said nothing. Ashley was glancing over to the side with her hands behind her back; also silent.
"Shouldn't they be off waxing their eyebrows or something?" Ophelia irritably stated.
"Hey guys!" Somebody called out. The friends looked to their right to see June running up the sidewalk.
"June! You're actually on time for something!" Roger happily remarked. Ophelia and Jody gave him a look before turning their attention back to her.
"Yeah, sorry. I uh…had to help a friend who was…let's just say between a rock and a hard place. …So uh, are we still on for the movie?" The young Asian girl coyly asked. Jody darted her attention to her pink Hello Kitty wristwatch.
"By my estimates, if we leave right now we should get in there right in the middle of the previews, considering how much time we take to buy snacks before we actually see the movie. With the amount of money we have we should be able to buy two medium-sized popcorns, three boxes of candy and one super-gulp drink of our choice; with five straws of course because I think it's kind of unsanitary to use the same one for five people. Did you know that's one of the easiest ways to spread diseases?
And if my calculations are correct we should be able to get there in time for those previews, provided we take the main streets instead of public transportation; the bus fare was raised eight cents more so if we do that we won't have enough for licorice whips and I really need a box of licorice whips. Not just because they're like my favorite candy of all time, next to sugar-free chewing gum, but because the company that makes those brand of licorice whips is offering a prize for a new limited edition Hello Kitty knapsack and I own nearly every Hello Kitty item known to man except for the limited edition knapsack which by the way has a secret compartment at the bottom with a cute little blue flower pattern on the edges.
Oh, and let's sit in the row next to the row next to the very back row because I don't want anybody sitting too close to the screen. It's not that I'm scared of eye damage it's just that I'm a little worried about any "special" moments; there's a few flashy scenes in the Lion King, especially in The Elephant Graveyard. I mean with all those geysers I'll never know how all those kids didn't get seizures and sent to the emergency room. Oh, and we should be especially aware of "I Just Can't Wait to be King"; that's flashy too.
Other than that, I think we're all set. Who's carrying the ticket money this trip?"
The others stared: whatever language that came just out of her mouth was either not of this earth or so high only dolphins and banshees could understand it.
"Uh…does that mean we can still go?" Lila asked.
"What?" Jody replied.
"Your voice was so piercing and rapid that only a porpoise with a hearing aid could actually make it out." Ophelia told the blonde.
"Wait, I think we're missing somebody." June stated as she began looking around. Jody and Ophelia exchanged glances, as did Roger and Lila, all of which were slightly teasing.
"Marcus said he'd be here after football practice." They all told her in unison. June smiled at the ground in embarrassment, but was giggling inwardly; it wasn't often, but as much as she could June tried her best to make it to Marcus' football practices. She even remembered back to when she supported him at tryouts, particularly because it was shortly after that that they became a couple. That and also it was when she and her friends had first begun middle school…oh, and the time Ray Ray had nearly turned Monroe into an ugly, undersized, two-headed dragon.
Unfortunately her unofficial job as the "Te Xuan Ze" occupied most of her time, and she missed out on quite a few practices. Whenever she could make it though, she was rooting for him among the most dedicated fans and closest friends of the players. Most important of all, she never missed one of her boyfriend's games. Suddenly though, June felt something snaking onto her waist from behind. She whirled around…only to smile at Marcus upon seeing his arm wrapped around her torso.
"Uh, guys?" Came a familiar bigfoot girl's voice. The two quickly snapped back into reality and bashfully turned back to their friends; June looked at them with a demur expression and Marcus rubbed the back of his neck.
"How's it going, guys?" Asked the jock politely.
"Just so you know, we're seeing an animated movie; not a romance flick." Ophelia stated. Just then Jody's watch beeped; the blonde instantly darted her attention to the numbers centered amid some cartoon-like flowers, and a picture of "Hello Kitty" waving at you. She gasped at the time.
"We won't see anything if we don't leave now!" She immediately began jogging down the sidewalk, her yellow flip-flops noisily hitting the pavement.
"I'm coming Limited Edition Hello Kitty knapsack!" Her voice declared as she continued running. The other five exchanged glances for a soundless moment, before calmly going in the same direction.
In all the rush of her sudden realization that she could be late, Jody had failed to notice she ran in the completely opposite direction…