In a perfect world, people read all the time. Unfortunately, most people don’t live in the perfect world. Reading and Writing was something people only did when forced or they reach the pit of boredom. When people hit the ripe age of thirteen, it’s pushed into your head. Writing isn’t a real job, you only make money when the losers stop crying from their position on the floor and do something productive.
“Earth to Jess.” The sixteen-year-old had his nose buried into the textbook that the teacher had been reading from… twenty minutes go. He shot his head up and his light green eyes fixated on the teacher; Mrs. Lee. she didn’t look intimidating considering she was shorter than most of the students she taught but if you got her mad, she was something out of a horror movie. Jess had been on the receiving end of the yelling on many occasions. It reminded him of when his father came home late and drunk. Jess smirked and replied, “Jess reporting for duty, Earth.” There were a few snickers throughout the class, but Mrs. Lee was not amused.
Mrs. Lee shifted her light brown glasses and walked over to Jess. “You are not in comedy class.” Jess laughed a little too loud and looked her in the eyes.
“If I was, you wouldn’t be the teacher. That’s for sure.” The comment got more laughs then the sixteen-year-old had expected, causing his face to flush a light shade of pink. The teacher turned to the class, signaling them to be quiet. “Very funny. Now please unless you’d rather get expelled, I highly recommend you open your correct textbook to page one hundred and sixty-four.” She walked away, leaving the teenager to open the textbook by himself with his own brain cells. He slowly flipped through the pages and reached the page that she had mentioned. Asexual Reproduction vs. Sexual Reproduction was printed on the top.
“Does anyone want to tell me what Asexual Reproduction is?” It had been ten minutes since Jess had dozed off when she asked her question. Zero hands were raised in front of the class but in the back, a bright blue-eyed freckle-faced eager blond girl had her hand straight in the air. If Mrs. Lee could change her facial expression, she would’ve made a slight smile at the girl.
When she finally realized that nobody else had their hand raised she pointed to the girl and said, “Yes Maddie? Do you remember the question?” Maddie nodded her head aching to tell the teacher and the whole class what she knew and that she had paid attention during the lecture.
“Asexual reproduction is production when you only need one parent to successfully reproduce. There’s an ‘a’ in front of sexual because it’s not sexual.” She told the teacher, making eye contact with all students in front of her. If Mrs. Lee had to pick a favorite student and admit it, that student would one hundred percent be Maddie White. Her notes were perfect, she had beautiful posture, she was always eager to participate and asked questions whenever she needed help.
Maddie smiled at Mrs. Lee as she walked back to her desk. Getting a nod from her was on the same level as you’re parents suggesting to get pizza for dinner. Ten minutes went by while she lectured, but nobody paid attention until the bell rang dismissing the class to their lunch period. Eagerly, Jess stood up, gathered his backpack, books, and pencils from his desk, and walked over to Maddie. “If I were you, Maddie, I wouldn’t be friends with that trouble-making boy.”
The duo walked out of their Science class and headed to Maddie’s locker so she was able to switch out her books. She put in her combination and eyed the photos on the inside of the locker. It was a photo of her and her late mother who had passed away two years ago, just below it was a picture of Jess and her at the beach that they had visited the previous year. Inside the locker was a photo of her and Jess when they were five years old when they first met. She smiled softly and turned to Jess. “That was not funny. I mean, she’s the teacher. She can’t be funny all the time.” She told him, grabbing her Sociology textbook.
Jess laughed slowly. “I get that, but she’s never funny.” Maddie smiled softly again and shut her locker. Their past together was amazing, and every time Maddie closed her locker the photos brought a smile to her face.
Maddie shrugged and walked down the hall and made a left, the opposite way of their Science class which is where the duo tended to eat their lunch. “Do you really expect her to be?” She told him, “I mean, teachers are adults. Adults have to be serious so that they can inspire and keep us safe and happy.”
The boy turned around and walked backward. “They’re still regular people with hopes and dreams.” Maddie laughed again and nodded her head, causing her bun to bob slowly.
The duo constantly turned heads when they were seen together. They were total opposites so people were shocked to find out that they had been friends since they were five-years-old. The next question was usually if they were forced to be friends by their parents or something. The answer was always no. They met by one hundred percent chance, and because they were actually really good friends. They arrived in the library and they sat down and started eating and talking before being interrupted by a tap on their table which caused Jess to fling his carrot across the floor, which allowed him to watch it roll away.
“Maddie! How in the world have you not fallen for him yet?” The voice belonged to a strawberry blonde girl with tight back jeans and an oversized sweatshirt that she probably borrowed from her brother or one of her own guy friends that she had.
Maddie lifted her head from her textbook she had been studying. “Because he’s my best friend and I don’t think of him that way?” She kept her answer brief, hoping that Alex would take a hint and leave. Unfortunately, Alex just laughed and looked at Jess who continued to watch the carrot on the floor.
“You don’t think of him that way? How? I mean, he’s tall... He’s funny..” The girl twirled her fingers as she spoke. In most moments, people would leave and fight back, instead, Maddie just laughed and slurped her drink that had been sitting in front of her throughout the conversation.
“He’s my best friend. Maybe you don’t know what that means, so I’ll explain it to you. I’d cross fire and ice for him. If I was forced to make a choice between me dying and him dying, I’ll die just to save him. Maybe if you weren’t such a jerk, you would be able to keep yourself a friend.” Maddie told her. Alex shook her head and walked away from the pair.
When Alex was finally out of earshot, Jess turned to Maddie. “How have you not fallen for him yet?” Maddie laughed at her friends’ impression. Somehow Jess was always able to bring a smile to her face even when she wanted to crawl into a ball and cry. “Fits her quite well, I’d like to think.” She replied still laughing softly.
Jess looked to Maddie. “Can you believe people are always like that to us being friends? I mean, I see nothing wrong with two opposites of the opposite gender being good friends. Excuse me! Some iconic trios in television and books have both genders.” Maddie smiled, it made her happy to hear Jess caring so much.
Maddie got told a lot by people that their friendship was something that was fake and something that was clearly a made-up story between their parents. “We’ve both been told this since we were five.” Maddie reminded the boy. Jess smiled softly.
Maddie leaned in and hugged him. “I promise you that no matter what, we’re always going to be best friends. Always. No matter what people think. No matter what teachers think. I don’t care if people think we shouldn’t be friends, I do. That’s something we should always agree on.” Jess nodded and leaned in and returned the hug with Maddie. “I love you so much, you know that.” Maddie smiled into the hug. Liking Jess as anything more then friends was something she could never imagine and would never go through with.
The two separated from the hug and Jess spoke first. “We’re meeting at the diner later, right?” Jess nodded and grabbed the water bottle she had brought him for their lunch.
“Of course. Sorry if I can’t stay too long. My dad is going to be out of town this weekend on business so I have to make dinner for myself tonight which means I need to get there early because there’s a high chance I’ll burn down the entire house in the process.” Maddie smiled and sipped from her drink again.
Jess smiled softly. “Please don’t burn down the house. I’ll miss you too much.” Maddie looked down at the ground and smiled. “I’ll try my best, just for you.”
The duo stood up and walked toward the door of the library so that neither student were late for their next class. Before they exited entirely, Maddie smiled and said, “What if Alex likes you?” Jess laughed at the comment slowly and looked around. “That’s a crazy idea. She hates me and I hate her right back.”
Maddie wraps her arm around him and smiles softly. “Just a joke, just a joke.”
Directly after lunch, Maddie had Sociology and Jess had his creative elective. He didn’t tell anyone that he had the elective, but that was because it was the last class anyone would ever think to find him. He took two lefts and entered Mr. Parker’s creative writing class. It was a class that Jess signed up for as a joke, but he slowly fell in love with pressing his pen or pencil to a piece of paper and just feeling the words come out. It was one of the only things he never told Maddie about throughout their friendship. He walked over to his desk in the corner and took out a pencil and his dark green notebook that just had his name scribbled upon the bottom. Today was going to be the day that he was going to start a new page for the new project Mr. Parker had mentioned the day previous. Jess’s eyes grew wide with anticipation and he could feel the twinkle in his eyes come as the teacher wrote Presentations on the board.
Creative writing was the only class that Jess looked forward to giving presentations. Although he wasn’t one hundred percent confident with his work, sharing them always made the anxious teen feel better about himself. “I know you were looking forward to the project, but we need to finish presenting!” Mr. Parker announced in the booming voice that was the main reason most people didn’t fall asleep during class.
A short brown haired girl turned to her friend and mumbled, “Present what? I don’t remember a project that we had to do.” Jess heard the shorter girl question the presentation and turned around slowly.
“It’s our favorite character or the moral behind our favorite childhood movie.” She tapped her foot nervously and turned back to her friend who was looking around the classroom. “Macy, how about you start us off?” Mr. Parker said pointing to the short girl that had a freakout.
“My favorite movie is Phantom of the Opera. Although some people may call it boring and long I believe the opposite. The moral of Phantom came to my mind when I forced my best friend Celeste to watch it again. You shouldn’t judge people based on their outward appearance. Before judged Phantom for how he looked but underneath it, he was really just a troubled and confused guy.” The girl nodded and sat back down.
Mr. Parker turned his head to the back of the class and looked at Jess. “Jess how about you?” The young boy nodded and stood up, slowly heading up to the front of the classroom.
“When re watching The Lion King with my best friend, I realized the moral is more twisted then I remember. As kids, we’re told the basic moral is to be kind to your family. It makes enough sense, sure, but I kept thinking about it. It came to me when Scar told Simba to run. The actual moral in my opinion is ‘Bad things happen, but you have to deal with your problems rather than running away from them’. If Simba never ran, Scar wouldn’t have been at power for as long as he was. Thank you.” Jess smiled and nodded, slowly walking back to seat a grin plastered on his face.
After the whole class presented, Mr. Parker approached the class, a large smile on his face. It was the same face he gave when he announced new projects. “Those of you that presented today did a beautiful job. However, today is a project announcement day!” Most of the class clapped and nodded eagerly at the idea of spending their weekend plotting their project. “Since we’re at the halfway mark for the semester, this project will determine you’re grade. You’re writing a story. A one hundred percent you’re own story! The minimum page count is ten. And the maximum is as many as you want. Like all things in this class, it will be done on paper. You are not allowed to share your plot with anyone in this class or any of my classes.” The bell rang and clapped his hand excitedly and added, “Have a merry weekend.”
Jess smiled and gathered his things. It was the reason he had joined the class in the first place. To write and express himself. He walked to Maddie’s Sociology class and greeted his friend after the short separation. “Next stop, the Diner,” Maddie exclaimed, wrapping her right arm around Jess. “Absolutely.” He answered wrapping his left arm around her.