Lark(7)

By: Erica Cope


My parents' anniversary really isn't until June, but he doesn't need to know that.

“I bet you could get out of it if you tried,” he says with his eyes narrowed suspiciously at me. I'm a terrible liar so I wouldn't be surprised if even he could tell I was full of crap.

“Sorry, but no. I can't do that.”

“What if I got some Sophomore to babysit for you?” He suggests impatiently.

“I already told them I would do it. I'm not going to ruin anybody's Homecoming, so, no, that won’t work.” I'm quickly losing my patience here.

“But it's our Senior year. Don't you want to go?” He's getting frustrated and I have no idea why he is pushing this so hard. Obviously he can't take the hint that I'm not interested.

“Not really, it's just a dance,” I tell him with a casual shrug. “Sorry, but I'm babysitting.”

“Okay, well, maybe next time.” He slumps back to his own desk.

“Yeah, definitely,” I lie.

I start getting my book and notebook out when I see the silver package. Hmm, well, a little peek wouldn’t hurt anything. I pull it out and set it in my lap so the teacher won’t notice. I peel the ends back as quietly as possible. It’s definitely a book. I peel back the paper a little further so I can read the title: Álfheimr: A History by Winston Cressey.

A history book? That’s weird. I wonder what would make him think I would like a book like this? I open it up and the first sentence starts out with ‘Once upon a time…’

Is it a fairy tale? I do like reading fantasy stories so I guess a fairy tale would be about the same. I’ve never heard of this one, but I guess I’ll give it a try since it is from Grey. The book is really ancient looking though with its yellowed pages, and I am afraid if I open it, it’s going to fall apart. I start to skim through the pages when a loud cough interrupts my thoughts.

“Ahem, Mia?” Mrs. Coleman interrupts me. “It’s your turn.”

“What page are we on?” I ask sheepishly. I really like Mrs. Coleman so I hate that she caught me not paying attention in her class.

“Page 102.”

I put my new book away and open the one our class was currently reading, The Scarlet Letter.

The rest of my morning drags on slowly. I don't really enjoy school anymore. I’m pretty certain Senior-itis does in fact exist and that the disease is currently running rampant through my veins. I’m not a bad student, and my classes are actually pretty easy. Some are even enjoyable. English isn't terrible when my personal space isn't being invaded by boys with bad breath and dandruff. But that probably has a lot to do with the teacher. Anybody that can make reading Nathaniel Hawthorne tolerable, is A-OK in my book. I also really enjoy my German class. I didn't think I would take a foreign language credit two years in a row, since only one semester is technically required, but German is actually pretty fun.

However, I’ve not been so lucky when it comes to my science elective this semester. It makes me wish I would’ve just stuck with Choir. I dread going to Chemistry, mainly because the teacher is awful. Mr. Shilling decided at the beginning of the year that I am an idiot just because I happen to sport a cheerleader uniform once a week. It doesn't matter how hard I work or how well I do on the tests, he just doesn't seem to like me much. I try not to take it personally, but it sure doesn't make me look forward to sitting through his lectures. At least Hannah is in the class with me.

Hannah Peterson is a perky strawberry-blonde with the curliest hair I’ve ever seen and a cute splattering of freckles just across her nose. She is slightly taller than me, but of course just about everyone is, and is the other “flyer” on the cheerleading squad. She’s also my best friend.

As I enter 4th period Chemistry, she is already sitting at our usual desk. When she sees me, she smiles, and I can practically feel the excitement radiating from her. I know she has been waiting, probably not so patiently, to talk more about Seth asking her to the upcoming Homecoming dance. She texted me as soon as she got home, but because she was out past her curfew her parents took her phone away for a week. I wasn’t sure how she was going to survive.

“Mia!” She greets me. “Did you have a good weekend?”

Even though she is a good friend and probably really does want to know if I had a good weekend or not, I also know that she really wants to gush about Seth, so I keep my answer brief.

“Yep, how was yours?”

“Oh my goodness! It was fantastic!” She practically squeaks. Hannah and Seth have had an on-going flirtation since summer. Even though we both are still fairly pale, we spent a ridiculous amount of time sunbathing at the pool where he was a lifeguard. They have yet to make their relationship official though, so we have been crossing our fingers that Homecoming would be the turning point.

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