“When the only thing on the Line is your heart”
“I just can’t believe they made me do that,” said Darrel, who sat beside me in history class, “So humiliating!”
“At least you got yours over with,” Mitchell complained, “They just gave the challenge to me and I have to do it at the pep rally this Saturday.”
“Please tell me that you don’t have to streak,” Cheyenne, my best friend, walked over and sat in front of me laughing. Her voice and entire appearance reminded me of Pixie Lott. She’s petite, blonde, and wild person that thinks and dresses like she’s from the 80s. “No one wants to see that no matter how small it is.”
“Ha ha,” He pretended to be amused by her sense of humor, “No, no streaking.”
I rolled my eyes not wanting to listen to them about the Graduation Game. The game is not as simple as it sounds. The rules change for every single challenge and the only constant thing about this is that only seniors can participate. Every single one of my friends has had their challenge and most of them have completed. I think that I am the only one who hasn’t received their challenge and be sure, I’m impatiently waiting.
No one wants to take the challenge.
“Penny for your thoughts,” Cheyenne, realizing I had been silent, turned to me.
“It’s nothing,” I shrugged and shook my head nonchalantly, “I just refuse to dwell in this graduation game. It’ll only make things worse.”
Cheyenne looked down annoyed, “You guys stress about this too much.”
“Easy for you to say,” Darrel accused, “You got yours over with in the first week of school! Say, what did they make you do anyways?’
“Well,” She looked away flushed. “That’s unspeakable.”
“I don’t care what they made you do or what they’re doing to anyone, the committee is downright evil. Who started this tradition and why do we have to listen to them? Can’t we just all not do it and then overpower the stupid committee?” I vented quietly because Mr. Treetop was trying to teach us about the economy and kept giving us the evil eye.
“Think about it this way,” Cheyenne started, “at grad night, after the hazing, we get to know who the committee.”
“Yeah,” Mitchell cheered. “We can haze them.”
“That’s not what I meant,” Cheyenne interrupted the funfest, “Enough of this crap! Penny how was your date on Friday and did you make a second one for Thursday?” She winked at me. I love her and all but from the beginning of the year she’s been trying to set me up with someone but they are all total losers.
“He picked the movie, how do you think it went?”
She tilted her head with wonder, “So what?”
“He picked Joyful Noise.”
“Oh,” She frowned, grimacing at her poor choice of my date. “Sorry, thought he was different.”
“What’s wrong with that,” Darrel asked. “You girls love Chick Flicks.”
“But he picked it,” Cheyenne pointed out the obvious, “It would be okay if it is a special occasion or if she picked it but he picked it.”
“I don’t get you women,” Mitchell spoke loudly.
“Mr. Mull,” Our teacher called. “Please, share with the class what you do not get about women. I’d love to know.” To be honest, I was one of the few students at West Side High that respected Mr. Treetop. Although his name pretty much obligates the world population to harass him, he’s a very intelligent man with a lot of personality. I do not like History, but I do respect him.
Mitchell, who would have normally offered a snide remark, couldn’t muster up anything clever and so he just said, “Nothing, Sir.”
“Are you sure,” Mr. Treetop smirked, “So you know everything about women? See me after class, I’d like your input to help me with my wife.” Comments like that made me love him! Well, not like that because that would be creepy.
For the next twenty minutes, we sat there quietly listening to him drone on about our government and how in about four years we’ll be voting and we should be responsible about politics. In this sort of context, I don’t particularly care for Mr. Treetop. He talks deeply about politics and no one really cares. His hand gestures, closed eyes, and leaning in for emphasis are just awkward when you don’t have students on the edge of their seats. Well, we’re not on the edge of our seats and it doesn’t really help his popularity with the students when he talks like this especially because he looks like a white Ogre. Again, I respect him but at this point I can go either way.
The bell rang and each kid sprang to the door as fast as possible while Mitchell, another boy, and I took our sweet time. Mitchell had no choice but I wanted to talk to Mr. Treetop and I don’t know about the other kid. “Mr. Nolan,” He said, leaning on his desk with his eyelids fluttering trying to hide the fact that his eyeballs are rolling back – scary? Indeed. “What can I do for you?”
“I have a game this Thursday,” The ‘Mr. Nolan’ hesitated, “A double header actually.”
“Really,” The baseball fan in his professional exterior broke out. “Against?”
“To be honest,” The boy shrugged. “I don’t remember and I don’t really listen to Coach after were off the field.”
“I hear ya,” He gave a hearty laugh, “I remember my little league days where my coach, I will never forget his name, Coach Guerra yapped on like it was his last day every day. It was raining one day and he made us stand around the mound and he talked on and on.” He reminisced while I rolled my eyes getting a little impatient and hungry while this pigheaded jock took away my lunch time by trying to get an extension on the assignment due Friday I bet. “You’re a first baseman, correct?”
“Yes, Sir,” He nodded. “Home games so you should go.”
“Will do,” Treetop nodded. “So what can I do for you, Nick?”
“Well,” Nick, I suppose, hesitated again rubbing the back of his neck, brushing his brown curls along with it. “With everything going on Thursday and all the trouble I’m having with the assignment, I could really use the weekend to help me focus on the History assignment.” I called it. What a Neanderthal!
“With all the stress that you are going through this season,” Treetop took a deep breath. “I’ll be happy to grant you this weekend but it better be in my hand on Monday.” My jaw dropped at his ease to allow him this weekend just because of his baseball status.
“Thank you so much,” Nick nodded, “I promise it will be on your desk before you even walk through the door.”
“Don’t make promises like that,” He smirked. “I keep the door locked before I get to school.”
“Yes, sir,” Nick smirked and turned around holding his backpack strap on one shoulder. He looked at me and with one look I could pretty much feel the rejection. His blue eyes scanned me and his head jerked back with utter disappointment. I don’t appreciate the elevation from anyone especially him and I wanted to slap the smug look on his face.
“Ms. Jennings,” Mr. Treetop smiled. “What can I do for you?”
“I just have a quick question about the assignment,” I smiled, “Are we supposed to pick a president and discuss their campaign?”
“No,” He shook his head. “You are pretending that you will be president. In the paper, you will make a slogan, discuss your platform, and refer to a president who inspired your campaign in the last paragraph. It is an informal essay so there is no citation needed but I do expect about two to four pages double spaced.”
“Okay thank you.” I shifted my attention towards Mitchell and contemplated whether I should wait for him or not but I knew he was going to be drilled.
“You can go, I’ll meet up with you later,” Mitchell smiled.
“Oh, and Penny,” Mr. Treetop stopped me before I even turned towards the door. “You’re a promising student. Please don’t throw that away by goofing off this semester. Pay attention in class.”
I nodded, understanding that I’ve been a little off task, “Yes, Sir.”
So I proceeded out the door and to my locker just outside the cafeteria. My brown sack practically fell into my hands and out of my packed storage closet. When I finally reached the cafeteria, lunch was half over and my friends were almost done eating. “Why are jocks such imbeciles?”
“Are we talking about someone specific,” Cheyenne laughed.
“Nick Nolan,” I scoffed. “He had the nerve to ask for an extension on the gov assignment because he has a double header on Thursday. Whatever that means!”
Darrel interjected, “It’s when two games are played the same day and between the same two teams.”
“No one cares,” Cheyenne responded. “And Nick Nolan, you don’t like him? I’d figured he’d be your type.”
“No,” I replied. “Are you kidding me? He’s an arrogant jerk!”
“Whatever,” Cheyenne rolled her eyes. “Eat your lunch.
“I’m just saying,” I spoke while opening up the crumpled top of the sack and poured out the food on the cafeteria table to receive and apple and peanut butter jelly sandwich. “He could be a little more responsible and do it before Thursday.”
“That’s not fair,” She defended him. “You’re not going to do it until Thursday anyways.”
Rolling my eyes, I refused to respond and stuck my hand in to the sack digging for the string cheese I packed earlier today but instead I was met with an awful paper cut. Hissing was the only way to express the slight pain on my index finger. I pulled out the cause of the tiny cut and realized that I hadn’t packed this. Facing me, was the blue top of a card from a fifty two card deck.
“What’s that,” Darrel asked.
Flipping it over, my heart sank. It was the red two of hearts club with wording all over it.
Here is your clue to your Graduation Challenge.
Log on to tumblr.com and once you assume position further instructions will be given.
“Penny,” Cheyenne pressed on. “What is that?”
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