31 Questions

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 1 (v.1) - Day 1

Submitted: July 20, 2017

Reads: 564

Comments: 2

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Submitted: July 20, 2017

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"Today's the day!", proclaimed Jaq as he admired himself in the mirror. Today was the start of his thirty-one day plan to get Asha to go to Homecoming with him. He continued pumping himself up for this exciting endeavor, "One question a day, leads to love! I have it all planned out, and it all leads up to the homecoming game, where I'll ask Asha to be my date!", He hoped that no one else would ask her before he was able to complete his plan.

 

"Jacques! Dépêchez-vous et accédez-y! Vous serez en retard pour l'école à nouveau!"

 

"Oui, maman!"..."la tuqliqu, fa'ana ln yakun fi waqt muta'akhir min hdha alwaqt!", He chuckled to himself. After twenty years of marriage, his mother still could not understand most of her husband's Arabic language. The same was said about his father and his mother's French. Jaq, luckily, was raised to be fluent in both.

 

"Very funny, Jaq", said Mrs. Rajab as she rolled her eyes, "Hurry up before your late!"

 

"Almost forgot my trombone! On my way down!" Mr. TaKara would not be happy if he was missing his instrument again. His tall, slender frame tumbled down the stairs and to the 2017 Dodge Durango.

 

"Hey, Ma, don't forget to stop by May's house", said Jaq as he buckled in and put on his pleading face, "She asked for one Monday."

 

"Mrs. Greer must be working out of town again?" She looked down at her gas gauge and put the van in drive.

 

"Yea, she's off in Texas again"

 

"Maori's lucky I love her like a daughter and she's on the way to your school. Otherwise, I'd have to charge for this taxi service!"

 

Jaq stifled a laugh at his mother's jokes. His dad wasn't that amazing  at 'dad jokes', but she more than made up for it. He and Maori were the best of friends. They were an inseparable pair ever since her family moved to their small town from Hawaii. She was always hanging out at his house, and he at hers.

 

"Two peas in a pod!", their parents always joked. Jaq remembered when he first met May. He always wanted a sister. She had just enough 'tom boy' in her to be the daring, adventurous one, but still had the older sibling mentality. Their families got along so well that they pretty much meshed into one bigger family.

 

They turned onto Glover Street and saw Maori sitting in a tree outside her house.

 

"C'est la vie," said Maori, while giving a pageant wave, "My chariot approaches." She hopped down effortlessly, and headed towards the van. Jaq gave her the signal for their private conversations.

 

Jaq put his hand in the shape of an imaginary two way radio, "Agent M, Operation 31!"

 

Maori knowingly copied his actions, "Agent M here, clear for listening. First Q2 of the day?"

 

"First Q2–Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?"

 

Mrs. Rajab furrowed her brow as she kept her eyes on the road. "What in the world are you kids talking about?"

 

Jaq quickly tuned around and stopped May from saying a word, "Nothing ma, and May you better not say a word!"

 

"Aye, aye captain! Next time I'll drive. I mean, it has to be a little embarrassing being dropped off since we're juniors."

 

Mrs. Rajab slowly pulled around the round-about and stopped in front of the school, "And, were here! Out of my van you little hoodlums!"

 

Maori saw a chance to try out her theatre skills. She threw her hands up and sounded hurt, "Oh, mama-Rajab, you're so cruel!"

 

Jaq rolled his eyes, but he couldn't resist adding in on the banter, "Why oh why must we be struck down by the cruel hand of mama-Rajab!"

 

There was no holding back the laughter after Jaq's performance. The whole van burst into tears of joy and loud roaring. 

 

Someone saw the fun being had and walked up to the van, "Hey, guys, what'd I miss?"

 

"Cade!," cried Maori with arms stretched out the window for a hug. "We haven't seen you this entire month since school started. Where have you been?"

 

Cade was the third member of the group. He would usually tag along and make a trio whenever the two would hang out. The three of them became close friends freshman year. The two climbed out of the van and talked to Cade.

 

He quickly hugged Maori, "Sorry 'bout that May, just been kinda' busy...ya' know?", he started to fidget and look around the front school yard, "Noticed all ya' guys over here havin' fun, so wanted to say hey." 

 

He saw another friend walking up to the school. "Hey Cade-meister! Come on bro. We're heading in." 

 

There was his exit point. "Sorry guys! Gotta go. May, Jaq? Good seeing you two"

 

Mrs. Rajab did not like to interfere with the lives of Maori and Jacques, but wanted to break the silence. "Hey kids, who was that?"

 

Maori threw her hand on her hips and stared as Cade and his friends walked by,"That, my mother from another brother, was Zane.", she put on a mocking voice, "You know? Star football player, hit with the ladies, school messiah, and all around jerk!"

 

Jaq normally wouldn't let things like this bug him, but for some reason he couldn't let this one go. "And it looks like Cade has traded us in for his crew. Can you believe it May?"

 

Mrs. Rajab couldn't help but see the humor in highschool drama. She decided to leave before she caused more problems. "Well I'm too old for all this drama, so I'll leave you two to your own devices. Remember, you're about to be 18. Act like it!", Mrs. Rajab hollered as she left.

 

"Come on May, we better get to the gym before we miss the morning assembly" The two casually conversed as they made their way to the gymnasium. 

 

Maori loved teasing Jaq whenever he came up with a crazy idea. She put on her 'love doctor' impression. "So, Jaq. how exactly did you come up with this plan to win over  your dream girl?"

 

"Cut it out with the lovey-dovey voice", laughed Jaq, while pushing her away, "Do you really care that much about it?"

 

They entered the gymnasium and made their way to the Junior section. The room was lively with chatter, laughter, and horseplay. There were certain cliques in each grade that sat together. They climbed the bleachers to their usually spot and sat amongst their fellow band members.

 

"Yes I do!", repeated Maori as she promoted Jaq to speak, "It just seems so random and all of a sudden. How long have you had this plan?

 

Jaq could feel his cheeks starting to warm up and began feeling uncomfortable in his seat. Why would he begin to feel embarrassed about his plan? Would Maori think it was stupid? Would it end up imploding all around him? 

 

"Well, if you really want to know, I'll tell you. He got comfortable in his seat and Maori followed, "It all started this month. We were at 'Finch & Steele's' picking up some last minute school supplies. Ma let me drive around town while she shopped. You know how Ma' is with her shopping."

 

Maori chuckled "Yea, that woman can take all day!"

 

"Right!", he said, "Anyways, here's where it gets crazy." Jaq's eyes began to focus. He stopped animating his words, "You know I'm not messing with you, right?"

 

Maori's eyes widened as she nodded her head and leaned in closer.

 

"Ok, so I was driving down Main Street when it started raining out of nowhere."

 

She looked perplexed, "I remember that! My mom called saying her flight was delayed! Heavy rain!"

 

He nodded, "Windy as heck too! Ma called me and told me come back.

 

She laughed, "You know how worried she can get."

 

"I was heading back when a giant 'thud' hit my window! I pulled to the side and saw a book laying on the highway"

 

Her right brow raised, "A book? What was in it?"

 

Jaq's eyes lit up with excitement. "That's where I got these questions from. Opened to the first page and it had all this information. It had PROPERTY OF inside but the name was smudged out. The title said FOR THOSE SEEKING HAPPINESS. There was a column with names that said CHECKED OUT BY - DATE - RETURNED."

 

Maori was confused. She wanted to find some kind of reason why this would happen. "So, there was a tornado?", she paused, "Or something? How else would that book end up hittting your mom's car?"

 

"I don't know, but you want to know the weirdest thing of all?", he said with a sly smile.

 

"Of course!" She started playfully shaking his shoulders. "What was it? Stop teasing the ending!"

 

He let a little bit of silence happen before speaking. Did this really happen? Was he day dreaming about all of this, or was this his reality now. "My name was written in there!"

 

Maori started to laugh, "No way!"

 

"Yes way!" He began to get more serious to prove he wasn't playing games with her.

 

She rolled her eyes, "Don't believe you. You're lying! Nice try Jaq!"

 

"I don't have the book on me, but I can show you after school!", he insisted, "There were instructions on the next few pages but I didn't bother reading them. I turned to one page and saw QUESTION 1 at the top in big fancy letters. The question was right below and an explanation below. There was question after question in the book! The last page said FOR THOSE WHO CAN FOLLOW THIS GUIDE, LOVE AND HAPPINESS SHALL TRULY RESIDE"

 

"Wow!", Maori was in awe of every word that Jaq had spoken. She didn't know if she fully believed him, but there was something about all he said that made her want to. If this was true, why did Jaq receive this book? And just so he can go out with Asha? "So you think this book will lead to Asha going to homecoming with  you?

 

A tall, average man walked up to the podium on the stage. "Attention students and faculty. Let us bow our heads for a moment of silence.", ordained Principal Holloway. The man was one of the youngest principals in the area. He was know for his stem, yet unburdened leadership at the school. 

 

He carried an upbeat and positive attitude everywhere he went. He had the nickname of  'Mr. Freeman' because of his strong voice. Everyone could hear him audibly clear his voice. "Thank you for the giving those the respect they deserve. I am glad to say LaHaye High is starting off to a fantastic new school year! It brings joy to my soul to see so many returning, and new, faces after our long summer break. Now some of you have received a new schedule while we're still in the process of getting situated. Find a friend and they will happily show you where to go. Have a fun time in home room!"

 

The bell rang and the student mass was dismissed according to seniority. First the Seniors who were full of life and ready to tackle anything. Then came the Juniors who were finally out of the lower-tier and able to fellowship with the upperclassmen. 

Zane and his group were Seniors, so Cade had to shuffle back over to the Junior section. "Hey Jaq, my man! Looks like they switched my home room again. I heard you have Mr. TaKara too! Looks like you're gonna have to show me around!"

 

Jacques was happy to see his old friend wanted to hang out again. Yet, he still held resentment for his actions earlier. Would Cade end up leaving as soon as Zane and his posse showed up again? Cade seemed to act like an entirely different person since school started. He didn't show up to Jaq or May's respective houses since the start of school. 

 

Jaq's mind started to drift towards the book he and May were talking about. Cade has nothing to do with this, so why was he thinking about it now? Jaq decided to forgive and forget. Friendship  will always stand the test of time, right?

 

Jaq stood up and confirmed the secret handshake only their group knew. "Yea man, come on!"

 

Maori beamed with joy, "Yay! The musketeers are trotting through Junior year together! And we share a home room together now!"

 

Their old friend seemed to have returned to them. Cade fit in perfectly with their crazy personalities. Maori's acting was amazing but Cade's had an extra sense of believability. He put on an olde English accent. "By decree of the king, knight Cade is at your service!" 

 

The three shared a laugh and headed towards home room. May and Cade were usually the most talkative of the group while Jaq interjected at prime points in conversations. He walked a few steps behind with his mind wondering on the book, his plan to win the heart of Asha, and the nagging feeling that something was wrong with Cade. He tried his best to keep up with May and Cade's conversation.

 

Maori was always a tease to people. Her friends, however, got an extra dose of her humor. "So, Cade. Telling by the grass mark on your uniform pants, I can see that you're still wearing the ones you had from last year. And your jacket. This hole right here was from when you fell out of that tree Christmas break."

 

Cade's eyes widened by the surprise of her comment. "Wow, May, you're lucky I'm so self confident or all your pointing out would make me a walking ball of anxiety"

 

Now she had him! She loved messing with her friends and she hadn't messed with Cade in forever. "I just wanna' know why you're so cheap to go and buy some new stuff. I see you're still using the same binder for English too." She winked.

 

Cade knew she was messing around, but it had been a while since he and Maori had a joke off. Why did it feel different? "Knock it off May, you're lucky I understand your sense of humor. Trying to see why you have any friend at all if you're always joking like this."

 

May bust into one of her uncontrollable laughter fits. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry! It's just been weeks since I've been able to joke on you like this! It feels amazing!" She continued laughing as hey neared home room. Through her tears of laughter, "By the way Cade, have you heard of Jaq's thirty one day plan yet?"

 

Jaq froze in his steps. That warm feeling was returning in his cheeks. "May, quiet down! Do you think the whole school needs to hear? You know she's in our home room too!"

 

She didn't realize how loud she was. "Oh no!", she tried to stop her laughter, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"

 

They entered into the half-full classroom and took there respective seats. Maori was to the right of Jacques; there was an empty seat in front of Jaq that cade took. May was busy chatting with a fellow flute player while Jaq and Cade were catching up.

 

What Maori said earlier, caught Cade's attention. He turned around as best as he could to talk to Jaq. "So that's what this whole thirty one question plan is about, huh? What's the first question?" he asked as the bell rung.

 

Mr. TaKara was the LaHaye High band teacher. He was a laid back personality, but when it came to band, he was a very tough, but amazing, teacher. His wife, Mrs. TaKara, was the cheerleader, dazzler, and flag line instructor. Most of the students on her teams were interchangeable, so she didn't have as much work as it sounds. Plus she had an assistant, Mrs. Yaycee, and a student aid, Lainee. All of these teams shared a home room.

 

He yawned as he stood up in front of the class for roll call. "Good morning guys. As you can see, Mrs. TaKara, Mrs. Yaycee, Lainee, and Asha aren't going to be with us today. They're 

having a meeting with the principle about homecoming week activities." As Mr. TaKara continued his monologue, Cade and Jaq continued their conversation.

 

Cade shrugged his shoulders at Jaq "Looks like no Asha for homeroom today, bud"

 

Jaq was disappointed, but then he remembered, "Yea, but there's always English or Science!"

 

"Like I was saying, explain this first question, stat!"

 

"Alright, man!", he could see that Cade was very intrigued by the concept, "So the first question is: If you could have anyone in the world as a dinner guest, who would it be? Why?"

 

"Man, that's a tough one! Gahndi? Einstein? Abraham Lincoln? No, I'd have to say, Barrack Obama. I didn't agree with his politics, but he is an inspiration to me. He shows that anyone can become successful. That just because of my circumstances, that doesn't mean that I have to stay in them." Cade had a gleam in his eyes. He became animated with his words and carried inspiration with each one! The passion radiated from him as he spoke. "That you can escape them no matter what they are. Just stay motivated and don't let anyone bring you down. That if it feels like the whole world is against you, you can make a way to the light at the end. That's who I would pick for dinner."

 

Jaq was amazed at Cade's answer. What his friend said left a lasting impression on him that he wasn't expecting. Where did all this come from? Cade never expressed any feeling like this before. Weren't these questions meant for happiness and love? Why did he get an answer from Cade? He did not care about Cade's answer in a romantic way, but he felt as if their friendship began a closer chapter.

 


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