Pffft . . . You Mean Free Time
Amelia stood with the rest of her classmates, watching as Mrs. Kaler went around pulling curtains shut, flipping lights off and locking the door. “It’s a lockdown. You guys need to hide.”
When no one budged, Mrs. Kaler paused to stare at them. “Get moving. This might not be a drill. Even if this is a drill, it’s to be taken seriously.” This was the third lockdown they were having, so everyone knew what to do. Though, that didn’t mean they followed it.
With no urgency, Amelia, along with her classmates, began shoving desks against the wall in the corner furthest from the door. They then hid under them or were supposed to anyway. Despite the possible gravity of the situation, the students took their time. Many of them even stopping to grab their phones. Amelia had made sure to snag her clipboard and pencil case before she slipped under the desks where her friends were.
Since it was a class of very mature, sixteen-year-old, grade elevens, the first ten minutes was spent cracking jokes and giggling with each other. Mrs. Kaler came to crouch beside them, motioning for them to keep quiet.
Her back against Tanya’s leg, Amelia, balancing the clipboard on her knees, held the pen just above the paper, a look of frustration on her face. Putting the pen down, she leaned her head on the clipboard, sighing softly.
“Lia, what’s wrong?” Amelia looked up into the warm, brown eyes of an exotically gorgeous brunette. “Hey, Arya.” Stretching her legs, Amelia continued, “Just. Really. Really. Tired.” Each word punctuated with a pause. “Awwww.” Tanya chimed. “Poor Mimi.” Shifting her position, Tanya’s arms slipped around Amelia, pulling her into a back hug. Amelia leaned into the hug, sighing with contentment.
“Gayyy.” Amelia lifted an eyebrow. “Bro, why are the girls in our class so gay?” A curly-haired, freckled face student asked. “Shut up, Jeremy,” Valerie snapped from beside Arya. “You’re gay.”
Beginning to get up, Jeremy responded with, “No, I’m not.” He opened his mouth to say more but instead banged his head under the table. This produced snickers. “Val, look what you did, you made Jeremy hit his head. Now everyone’s laughing at him.” Valerie eyed the taller, mischievous boy who had spoken.
“I didn’t tell him to hit his head.” She replied offhandedly. “Even if I did, the fact he listened just proves he’s a dummy. Plus, I can’t possibly take credit for everyone’s excellent sense of humour.” Valerie finished, her tone syrupy sweet, as she admires her nails.
This resulted in several snorts of derision from the girls and a few stifled chuckles from the guys. Mrs. Kaler began massaging her temples, her eyes closed.
Sitting back down, rubbing his head, Jeremy glared at Valerie. “Guys, guys, listen.” All eyes aside from Mrs. Kaler’s turned to Jeremy. “I’m not gay.” Barely stopping to take a breath, he continued. “I took an online gay test, and they said I wasn’t gay.” Jeremy sat there looking like the cat that got the pet canary. Dead silence enveloped the class. It was finally as it should be, considering it was a lockdown.
“And you needed a test to figure that out?” Valerie retorted, breaking the silence. At this, all the girls, as well as some of the guys, started laughing outright. The other guys tried to cover their laughter behind coughs and throat clearings.
“One year more of high school, and then you guys would be adults. This is the new generation that’s going to be unleashed on the world.” Mrs. Kaler shook her head. “God, help us when that happens.” The students glanced around at each other, flickers of warmth, playfulness and contentment on every face.
It’s moments like these that tie our class together. Ahhh, what am I thinking? We’re all like family at this point. These moments just see how close we all are. Amelia smiled, sighing with satisfaction as she watched her friends and classmates interact with each other.
Arya and Valarie, along with a tall, rosy-cheeked girl, scootched closer to where Tanya and Amelia sat. “Guys, let’s take selfies together,” Valerie suggested as she opened the snap chat app on her phone. “We’re taking selfies on my phone too. Okay?” Arya piped in. “Obviously, my phone is next,” Tanya stated playfully.
“Bruh, if we’re all taking selfies, we ain’t leaving till y’all take a few on my phone.” Amelia grinned warmly at the girl who had spoken. I love Sammy’s accent. Come to think about it, I love all accents. The girls spent the next 10 minutes snapping photos together, trying out different filters on each other’s phones.
In the other corner, Sybelle sat with the rest of the girls in the class. They were also taking selfies with each other. “What is wrong with the girls in our class?” Asked the guy who had spoken up earlier. Many of the males stared as the girls took selfies, wearing looks of superiority. “Girls are so weird. Who takes selfies during a lockdown?” Another one questioned. They looked from each other to the girls giggling together. Then one of the boys pulled out his phone. “Hey guys, wanna take selfies too?” This produced a bunch of noise from the male students and even some of the female ones.
“Mimi, you know something I don’t get?” Tanya whispered, using the murmur of their classmates’ voices as a cover for her own. “It’s a lockdown. We’re supposed to hide and stay silent.” Amelia looked at Tanya expectantly. “It’s supposed to be like there is no one inside the classroom, so a bad guy won’t think to try and get us.” Amelia chuckled softly. “We’re kinda the most difficult class in the entire school since grade eight, ya know.”
Sitting up, Amelia grabbed her pen and clipboard and began writing. When she was done, she placed it on the floor, her fingers on the edge of it, facing Mrs. Kaler’s direction. However, Tanya grabbed it and began reading. Silently Tanya held her hand open, and Amelia dropped the pen in it. When Tanya was done, Amelia read what she wrote before sliding it to Mrs. Kaler.
“What are you two up to?” She asked. “Read it,” Tanya responded, both girls smiling widely. Mrs. Kaler laughed softly as she read. “Thanks, girls. I’m keeping this.” She took the page from the clipboard, folding it in four before tucking it in the file that was beside her. “I really don’t know what it is with this class.” She said as she slid the clipboard back to Amelia.
“Mimi! Let’s play tic-tac-toe.” Tanya began drawing the lines for the game. As they were about to start, there came a loud banging from the door. The entire class was startled.
Mrs. Kaler had been saying this may be a real lockdown. The students hadn’t been very concerned, and the meaning of that was now dawning on them as they collectively stared at the door in silence.