Written by: TVM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"Nervous about the mid-terms?" Chi asked me on the way into class. Anisha catching up as we passed the desk, and curiously Emily would not even look at me, and listening.
"Very," I whispered to Chi. "I just know I bombed it."
"But your math grade has been improving," Anisha whispered. "Right?"
"Some, but barely enough to pull it above a C," I said and that included Emily's 'grading on the curb' help.
"I seeeee that Miss Preston is ready to start," Chi said as Anisha giggled and I rolled my eyes.
"Ladies, good morning," Emily said. "I'm proud to say that as a whole you made me look really good on your mid-terms. And you did pretty good on them too."
"Does this mean we're stuck with you for another semester?" Chi asked as the class laughed.
"Everyone but you," Emily said.
"What does that mean?" Chi asked in confusion.
"I'm having you transferred to Twilight Hills Academy," Emily said as a chorus of "ohhhh" and "awwwww" swept over the class. "That way you won't have to put up with me."
"Smooth move, Snickers," I said with a push to Chi's shoulder as this time the class giggled at my joke and she gave me a dirty look.
"Knock it off," Emily commanded from the front. "And to answer Chi's question, yes, you will be putting up with me for another semester."
"Can we get our tests back now?" Anisha asked.
"You can indeed and as a reward for all your hardwork this semester I'm gonna dismiss you guys early today," Emily announced to everyones delight. "So everyone line up in a single file line at my desk."
"WOW, I did pretty good," Chi said from a few people in front of me.
"How did you do?" Anisha asked Chi.
"86, and you?"
"UMMMMMMM...98?" Anisha asked sheepishly.
"The next time you say you're not smart I'm gonna whip your butt," Chi said as Anisha blushed and the two made their way out.
"Hana join me for a minute after class?" Emily asked me as I reached her desk a minute or so later. I simply swallowed hard and knew all eye balls were now on me as the last few students made their way out and left me alone with Emily. She closed the door behind the last one and then handed me my test result.
"I got A?" I asked in surprise. "Is this for real?"
"Yep," Emily confirmed. "You've improved a lot in these last couple months. But you still needed a little help."
"Yeah, I figured," I said as my ego deflated immediately. "How bad did I really do?"
"You got a C," Emily admitted as she joined me by the end of the desk. "But I didn't want it to screw up your transcript..."
"I'd rather have the C at least I earned it honest," I said as I handed the paper back to Emily. "Can you change it?"
"No I can't," She said. "I wouldn't if I could because you're gonna earn it."
"How?" I asked and suddenly growing nervous.
"Every day of Christmas break, except Christmas Eve and Christmas day you will be at my place," She said as I tried to fight a smile.
"Secret Life marathong?" I asked as Emily laughed.
"More like Math marathon and if you forget your book you can go back and get it," She said as my lip dropped in shock. "Don't even start complaining because you have to get this stuff to pass sophomore year."
"I know," I said with a defeated voice. "But do you honestly think we can concentrate on math without goofing off?"
"We'll have to," Emily said as she moved in front of me and placed her hands on the desk behind me and trapped me in front of her. "Because you are not leaving my place until you get it."
"Get what? You?" I asked as she gave me a confident grin and did the most shocking thing ever in life...she kissed me. A sizzling, brain melting kiss.
"Hey Hana!" I said to stop her as she went by me in the hallway and seemed to be dazed and confused. "How did you do on the math mid-term?"
"I got an A," She said with a glassy eyed look. "I gotta go somewhere now."
"Are you OK?" I asked.
"Numb!" She said before walking off and leaving me giggling.
"She is weird," I said to myself.
"And so are you," Molly said as she now stood behind me.
"Go away half-pint," I said as she laughed.
"No way Icey!" She fired back. "You ready to hand in that story?"
"Actually I emailed it to Miss Walker last night and she said come by and see her this morning and she'd give us the verdict," I said as she fell in step beside me and we headed down the hall for English class and Miss Walker.
"By now she should be done laughing at us," Molly said as I rolled my eyes and she grinned ear to ear. Problem was we'd have to wait till after class to get a moment alone with her as the entire class seemed to be in need of some assistance.
"Everyone have a great Christmas break and I'll see you in the new year," Miss Walker said an hour later as the rest of the class filed out. "Cindy, Molly see me at my desk."
"This should be fun," Molly muttered as we reached the desk and Miss Walker looked up at us over the top of her glasses and gave us a stern look. That got me nervous.
"I read your story..." Miss Walker said and then paused. I took a half breath and hoped she liked it. "...and I loved it."
"Really? Cause I did most of the writing," Molly said. Prompting me punch her shoulder in protest. "OWWWWWW, the truth hurts."
"It's not the truth," I said as we exchanged dirty looks.
"I can tell you both spent considerable time on this just by reading it," Miss Walker said to draw the attention back to her. "I know both of your writing styles pretty well by now."
"So we got an A?" Molly asked.
"Even better," Miss Walker said as she handed us a piece of paper each. "Those are good for one assignment next semester. You give me that and you get an easy A. Except for final exams."
"It was worth putting up with you to get this," I said as I bumped Molly's shoulder and she giggled.
"I trust we've learned something from this experience?" Miss Walker asked.
"Yeah, that I really like writing," I said. "Molly?"
"I don't so much like writing but I did like the times we just sat around and brainstormed," Molly said.
"Yeah this girl is the idea person," I agreed. "She came up with most of the ideas and I guess I put them into words."
"You make a good team no matter how it came together," Miss Walker said as she stood. "I'm gonna have a talk with Mr. Woods about possibly starting an AV club here and maybe you two can head it up?"
"Sure," Molly and I said in unison as Miss Walker smiled and left the room. Passing by Mindy as she spotted Molly and squealed before running our way. Skidding right past us in the hallway and being stopped by Molly. "What is up with you?"
"I passed all my finals with an A, except for two B's," Mindy said as I started laughing.
"I did really well too," Molly said as the two hugged (for a long, long moment). "And Chloe said she might ace all of her finals but that was hours ago so things might have changed since then."
"Nope, she did," Mindy chirped. "Ran into her a minute ago in the hallway."
"Well I did good too," I inserted as Mindy grinned and hugged me. Something I used to not like, but this time, it was nice. "Though I did struggle a bit in Science."
"You'll make up for it in the spring," Mindy said encouragingly. "You always do."
"I hope so," I said. "Anyway, I'm just glad it's finally over for a couple weeks."
"Me too," Mindy agreed. "By the way Mom called and said we fly out on Sunday night."
"That's only two days from now," Molly said. "What am I gonna do without my best friend?"
"Soaking up sun in the Bahama's," Mindy said as Molly smiled and nodded. My phone drawing my attention as I plucked it from my laptop bag and saw I had a TEXT.
"Hit around at the Field House! Bring friends!" I read aloud.
"Huh?" Molly asked as I showed it to her. "Anyone can come?"
"Yeah I guess so," I said. "You wanna go?"
"Might be fun," Molly said. "Let me go find Chloe and let her know what's up and I'll meet you at the side doors."
"See ya there!"
"Hey are you going to the Field House for the hit around?" Laney asked me as she arrived behind me as I was squated down in the hallway and rummaging through my locker and attempting to clean it out. Not realizing my undies were on partial display. "Cute thong."
"Hit around...what thong?" I babbled as I looked back and followed her eyes to the back of my skirt and saw her grin as I jumped up. "Pervert."
"Why am I a pervert? I've seen you in a thong before," Laney pointed out. "Sweet brown sugar!"
"You better stop," I said as I blushed from head to toe and Laney grinned victoriously. "Anyway how did you do on your mid-terms?"
"I'm still really s-m-r-t," Laney said as Randi came up from down the hall.
"You know that lame s-m-r-t joke was only funny once," I said as Laney shrugged.
"When was that?" Randi asked as I laughed.
"You hush," Laney said to Randi as the two grinned at each other. "And how did you do on your mid-terms?"
"Straight A's as usual," Randi said smugly. "It was almost too easy."
"You two deserve each other," I said as Randi and Laney nodded in agreement. "Both are goofy."
"Speaking of Goofy, guess where I'm going for Christmas?" Randi asked as I had returned to emptying out my locker.
"Home to Rochester like you said days ago?" Laney asked as she knelt down to help me (like always).
"Disney World in Florida," Randi said with a smug grin.
"You are not," Laney said.
"Dad said that my Grandparents in Orlando were having the whole family down and we could go," Randi said. "I'm so excited."
"So unfair, I don't even know where I'm gonna be staying and you get to go to Disney World?" Laney asked.
"You don't know where you're going..."
"...but you're Dad..." Randi interrupted.
"Is going on emergency tour and won't be back till well after Christmas," Laney said. "His commanding officer called earlier with the news. I hate the friggin military."
"So what are the options?" I asked as she sat down beside me in the hallway and Randi sat down beside her. "You have other family?"
"I'll probably end up in Kentucky with some of my backward cousins," Laney said. "And I swear they live so far up in this holler in Perry County that you can't even see daylight."
"I'm sure it's not that bad," I said as Laney half-smiled.
"Why do you have to go all the way down there when you could stay with Shelby?" Randi asked as my eyes sprang open in shock at the ease of that fix. I was looking at a rather boring Christmas with just me and Dad and our friends from Fast Eddie's but this may actually make this vacation fun. Laney smiled and kissed Randi's cute lips. "Good idea?"
"Shelby?" Laney asked.
"Good idea? Best idea ever," I squealed as I hugged Laney. "You think Captain Bryant will be OK with it?"
"I don't know, your dad did call him the worst military commander of all time," Laney said as I laughed. "Which he is."
"Be serious," I giggled as Randi and I cracked up.
"You call your Dad and I'll call mine?" Laney suggested as we both grinned and excitedly went for our cell phones.
"Hey the hit-around at the Field House is starting," Randi said just as Laney and I were dialing. "Can we go?"
"Sounds like fun," I said and just then remembering Laney mentioning that very event earlier. "Let's take care of this first though."
"Gotta clean out my locker right quick so meet me there," Randi said a moment later as she walked off.
Laney and I excitedly confirmed our impromptu plans with our respective fathers (both loved the idea) and were soon dancing like five year olds and giggling in the hallway as school let out for the final time before Christmas. This was defintely gonna be a fun Holiday break.
"Did Chloe say she'd meet us over here?" Cindy asked as we walked up the front walk to the Field House and saw Chi standing outside of the front doors.
"Nope, she's going to pack for us back at the dorm," I said.
"But you're not leaving till Sunday," Mindy said as she trailed a bit behind. "Why is she packing this early for?"
"You've known her longer so maybe explain that to me," I said as Cindy and Mindy both laughed. Chi seemingly becoming rather nervous when she realized it was me.
"Hey," Chi said to break the ice. "Do you still hate me?"
"As long as you don't start harrassing my friends again we're cool," I said as she nodded and quickly transitioned to something more pleasant as she showed Cindy her cell phone and said, "Mini-me sent me a video."
"Mini-me?" Mindy asked.
"It's what she calls Kimmy," Cindy inserted as Mindy giggled. "Why is my little sister sending you a video?"
"Because she likes me," Chi said as she held up her phone and all of us gathered around to watch.
"Hi, Chi, I miss you," Kimmy said as she waved at the camera. "You coming to see me right? Mommy say I can send you videos now. So you can send me one back, ok?"
"She's so adorable," I said as the video ended. "You gonna send her a video back?"
"I already did," Chi said with a smile. "Randi and Laney had to be in it too though."
"They inside?" Cindy asked as the four of us walked inside to find the place a behive of activity. Looked to be a hundred people or more, I thought.
"CHI! GRAB YOUR GEAR?" Coach Rock said as he spotted us.
"Sure Coach," Chi said as she ran off to the equipment room as Cindy noted.
"While your here I wanna see what you can do with the bat," Cindy said.
"Sports are not my thing," I said as Mindy nodded her agreement. "I'm a spectator."
"Not today because you came to the hit-around and you're gonna hit," Cindy said and before I could protest she dragged me along to the far end of the Field House. On the way the ping of a bat made me jump as Randi was stinging the ball back into the protective nets as her dad (Coach Newman) tossed her some easy ones.
"I am not hitting," I protested and was thankful to see some girls already had it occupied.
"Yes you are," Cindy said as she looked me over and picked out a random bat and handed it to me along with a helmet. "Put this over that hideous spike job on top of your head."
"You're one to talk about bad hairdo's," I fired back before both of us laughed.
"Candy Fanning this is my friend, Molly Harris," Cindy said as a girl came over to the side of the nets.
"Hey!" Candy and I said in unison.
"Think you could squeeze her in?" Cindy asked.
"If you don't have time it's fine," I said and was hopeful of getting out of it.
"Don't be silly," Candy said as she lifted the net and motioned me under it. The other girls now standing down behind the pitching machine as Candy directed traffic. "Go stand down there by home plate."
"If I embarass myself I'm gonna whip you Cindy Sullivan," I warned her as I took my place and prayed I could at least make contact. Some contact, any contact. "Ready! I think."
"A few easy ones to start," Candy said as she clicked a switch and the ball came whizzing at my head and sent me twisting away as everyone laughed. "What's wrong the balls not gonna hit you?"
"I quit," I declared as I pointed the bat at Cindy.
"Another one is coming now so either hit it or duck," Candy said as I paniced and turned just as it was coming and somehow summoned up my courage and took a vicious swing in defence of my own body and with my eyes glued to the ball I heard a loud ping sound. It rocketed off the bat and into the net. "I did that? I DID IT."
"You sure did," Candy said as the machine tossed another and I did it again with a solid crack of the bat as it rocketed the ball back towards the machine. "Cindy, did you bring me a ringer?"
"I had no idea she could hit like that," Cindy said just as I drilled another one.
"FYI, neither did I," I said as everyone laughed.
"And me makes three," Came Mindy's voice as she joined us at the cage. "Who taught you to do that, Punky?"
"I have no idea," I said before I whacked another one. "You wanna try it?"
"No thanks," Mindy said. "Cindy got all the athletic talent in the family and I got all the looks."
"Hey!" Cindy said with a finger point as Mindy giggled.
"Guys I think we're gonna need the cage," Candy said as Coach Newman came up with Randi, Chi and this cute girl whose name I didn't immediately know (turned out to be Anisha).
"How is your arm feeling right now?" Coach Rock asked Anisha as I joined Mindy on the other side of the net.
"It's been great for the past two months," Anisha said. "I keep telling you that but you're not listening."
"If I wasn't listening I'd let you throw as hard as you want for as long as you want until you blew your shoulder out again," Coach Rock said. "Now I have no idea what kind of mind set your old coach was under when she let you pitch both ends of a double header but that's most likely what damaged your shoulder and it's my job to put you back on track for a career at what is it? UCLA you wanna go to?"
"That would be cool," Anisha said with a bright grin. "But if I don't start throwing more now how am I ever going to be ready for the spring season?"
"Simply put you're not gonna be ready," Coach Rock said. Both Chi and Anisha apparently didn't like that answer.
"What?" They practically screamed in unison.
"Chill!" Coach Rock boomed. "You are 8 months off surgery and there is no way I'm throwing you back into the lion's den on opening night. You're not ready."
"But you told me I'd be pitching for Mintzler..." Anisha started.
"You will be," Coach Rock said in a gentle voice as Anisha fought back tears. The coach kneeling in front of her. "But I promise you if you follow me I'll make you the best damn pitcher in the state of Minnesota by your Junior year."
"The best?" Anisha asked with a comically wide (ear-to-ear) grin now.
"I saw what you can do and I know I can make you the best," Coach Rock said. "But if you don't listen..."
"I'm listening!" Anisha said with her ever present grin.
"So Capiche?" Coach Rock asked.
"Capiche," Anisha agreed as Mindy and I walked off.
"Glad you finally decided to show," Dakota said with a smirk as I walked into the computer room and saw her sitting in front of one of the computers.
"Shut up, I had to pack and that takes a while when you do it for two people," I said as I sat down by her.
"Why can't Molly pack for herself?" Dakota asked.
"Cause it saves time if I do it," I said and looking at Dakota's screen in confusion. "Now leave me alone and let me check my email...what are you doing?"
"It's a caveman flirt game," Dakota said as she clicked once and the caveman bonked his girlfriend on the head and dragged her off. "You can make him do or say whatever you want by clicking the commands."
"You must be a guy to find that funny," I said as she giggled.
"It's neat, watch you can make him say stuff," Dakota said as she typed in a message and clicked enter.
"Dakota now own Chloe," the computer caveman voice said as I laughed.
"You heard him now you belong to me," Dakota said as she put her arm around my shoulder.
"I belong to Molly," I said as I pushed her hand away.
"OK watch what happens when you resist," Dakota said as she typed in another message.
"Chloe resisting," the computer caveman voice said as the caveman whacked the girl at his feet in the head with his club.
"That's mean of you," I said as I pushed her in protest as she laughed. "I'll never go out with you now you bully."
"Why? That's how a guy used to...hit... on another girl, get it?" Dakota asked as I rolled my eyes. "I hope Molly doesn't mind me hitting on you."
"I never liked you," I said with a finger point.
"Yes you did," Dakota said. "You used to moon over me all the time."
"Name one time," I commanded.
"8th grade year," she said as I blushed. "I was dating Mindy and you were with Maxie. You wanted me."
"You wish," I said as she reached down and squeezed her fingers into my thigh in protest. I squealed and scooted away. "Admit it."
"No I will not," I said as she slid over and grabbed my other thigh and made me squeal again. "Stop it."
"Admit it or you're gonna get it again," Dakota said as I looked around and saw the librarian (Miss Harris) already eye balling us. "Chloe?"
"OK, fine, I had a huge crush on you," I admitted.
"A huge crush?" She asked in surprise.
"Yes now stop," I said as I took my place back in front of the computer.
"I just thought it was something small," Dakota said. "So you like actually thought about kissing me and stuff?"
"I had one stupid dream about us dating," I said. "We shared one kiss and for some reason we were on a farm hiding out in some barn. That's all I remember."
"I never had a dream about you but I sure did have a crush on you," Dakota whispered to me.
"Uh huh," She confirmed as I smiled. "I think when you have a best friend it's sorta of natural to fall in love with them. Or least think about it."
"Well I was madly in love with you then but now thanks to the way you treated me on that game I can't stand you," I said as she started laughing so hard she lost her balance and went crashing to the floor. It was then my turn to laugh.