(Author's Note: Mackenzie's point of view)
“Hi, I’m Mackenzie Wilde. Welcome to Arbor Valley High,” I said with a wide, friendly smile.
The boy tore his gaze away from his beat up Vans to look up at me. His pale blue eyes were blank as they met my deep brown ones. “I’m Cameron,” he murmured back flatly.
“Yeah, I know,” I informed him. “Cameron Ross; junior; just moved here from San Diego,” As student ambassador I was required to know these facts.
“You did your research,” he replied with a small smirk.
“Well Ms. Pete, the one who runs the student ambassador program, filled me in.” I let him know.
“I see,” he uttered, glancing back down at his shoes. He tossed his long, tousled hair away from his eyes with a small jerk of the head.
“Yeah,” I said a bit awkwardly. “So…ready for a complimentary tour of the school?”
“Complimentary tour, huh?” he inquired.
“Yep,” I replied. “And I must say, I’m a pretty amazing tour guide,”
A hint of a smile flickered across his lips, but he regained his emotionless expression quick enough. Just when I thought I was getting through to him too. Oh well, I’d get him to open up to me
“Alright, what locker number do you have? I can show you where it is,” I told him.
He reached into the pocket of the dark wash skinny jeans he wore and pulled out a folded up piece of paper. When he unfolded it and smoothed it out a bit, I saw that it was his schedule.
“Locker B211,” he read off to me.
“Cool, we’re in the same locker hallway,” I said with an amiable grin. “My locker’s B234,”
He nodded in response but didn’t say anything. Sighing softly, I turned and began walking towards the B wing hallway. He followed a few paces behind me and only the sound of our footsteps filled
the air. It was the beginning of first period so everyone else was in class. Therefore, aside from Cameron and I, the halls were vacant.
Finally, we reached his locker. “We have arrived at our destination point,” I said in my best GPS voice. He didn’t get a kick out of it though. Instead of laughing along with me, he pushed past me
to get to his locker and quickly dialed in the combination.
The door swung open and I had to take a step back to avoid getting smacked in the forehead with it. Cameron didn’t seem to notice that he’d almost knocked me out with his careless locker-opening
I stood there in silence as he began pulling notebooks and folders out of his black backpack and stacking them up in his locker. Once that was done, he jammed the empty backpack inside and slammed
the locker door shut. He turned to look at me, impatience clouding his eyes.
“Um, ok,” I said, trying not to let his rudeness get to me. Part of being a student ambassador was making sure that you were always friendly to new students. No matter how much you wanted to go off
on them. “What class do you have first period?”
“P.E. with Kimpton,” he said, glancing back down at his schedule.
“Same here,” I told him. “I’ll warn you now though, Kimpton is the toughest gym teacher at this school. Some people think he’s an ex-drill sergeant, but my theory’s that he’s the descendent of a
He pursed his lips as he stared back at me, completely impassive. Another attempt at lightening his mood failed. I was getting absolutely nowhere with this kid. Had he been born without a sense of
humor or something?
“So where’s the gym?” he asked me.
“Follow me,” I led him out of the B wing and just around the corner, where the gym was located. “Come on, I’ll introduce you to our teacher. He’s a real good time,” I said sarcastically.
We walked into the gym and made our way across the basketball courts to where Mr. Kimpton was standing, giving orders to the class to run two laps around the gym. Once they took off, I approached
him with Cameron right behind me.
“Hello, Ms. Wilde,” he boomed, his deep voice startling me a bit.
“Hi,” I replied. “This is Cameron Ross. He’s gonna be in this gym class too,”
“Nice to meet you Mr. Ross,” Kimpton said, holding his large hand out for Cameron to shake. Cameron took one look at it and then looked away without shaking it. Well at least he wasn’t rude to just
Kimpton looked up at me, his expression one of confusion. I just shrugged in return, not sure what to say exactly.
“Have you already purchased a uniform, Cameron?” Mr. Kimpton asked him. “If not, I’d advise you to do that now. It’s only ten dollars.”
“Oh, I won’t be purchasing any uniform,” Cameron remarked.
“If you don’t have the money today that’s fine.” Kimpton told him. “You can always just bring it tomorrow,”
“Don’t count on it,” he uttered back.
I looked at him with wide eyes, feeling like I should do something. I wasn’t quite sure what to do though. I couldn’t magically give Cameron the gift of manners.
“Well if you don’t buy the uniform, you won’t be able to participate in class. And if you don’t participation, you’ll fail. And if you have a failing grade, I’ll have to make a phone call to your
parents.” I could tell that Kimpton was getting irritated with him and his rebellious attitude.
“Is this supposed to be like, a threat or something? Because if it is, just save your breath. I couldn’t care less if you called my mom. Discipline really isn’t her thing,” Cameron retorted smugly.
The vein in Kimpton’s forehead was beginning to bulge and his teeth were clenched tightly. People were beginning to finish up their laps, and they were all gathering a few feet away from us,
watching and whispering as Kimpton grew even more angry.
“I don’t know if having an attitude with your teachers was tolerated at your old school, but it’s definitely not tolerated here. Especially not with me. So you’d better think twice before speaking
to me that way again. Because if you do, you’ll be in the dean’s office with a referral. Is that clear?” Kimpton demanded. His resonant voice roared throughout the gym, echoing off the walls. Other
classes stopped to see what was going on and soon enough, everyone was pointing and gasping at the scene.
I bit down on my lower lip, praying to God that Cameron would just say ok and then shut up. But of course, he did no such thing. In fact, he smirked in return to Kimpton’s ranting and raving.
“Why don’t you talk a little louder? I don’t think everyone heard you,” he remarked, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
“That’s it. I’m writing you up for a referral. I don’t care if it’s your first day here, I will not be spoken to this way.” Kimpton stated in rage.
“Wait, Mr. Kimpton, come on,” I said. I knew that if Cameron got a referral already, Ms. Pete would find a way to blame it on me since I was his assigned student ambassador.
“Come on what?” Kimpton remarked. “Did you hear the way he was speaking to me?”
“Yeah, but it’s his first day. He’s new to the school and it’s a really new experience for him. I’m sure if you moved halfway across the country in the middle of junior year, away from your home
and all your friends, you’d be a little angry too. I promise it won’t happen again,” I told him. I looked up at him with wide eyes, silently begging him to just let it go this one time.
“Fine,” he finally agreed, although he didn’t sound too happy about it. “But this is it. If it happens again, it’s a referral.”
“Thank you,” I told him. “Come on, Cameron,” I murmured. I grabbed his arm and guided him past all the gossiping students. Once we left the gym, I stopped and turned to look at him. “Would you mind
telling me what the hell happened back there?” I demanded.
He shrugged in response. “I was just being honest with him. I’m not gonna tell him I’ll buy a uniform if I’m not going to.”
“I don’t get what the big deal is with buying a gym uniform though.” I said. “It’s not like it’s ridiculously expensive or anything. I think you can spare ten dollars.”
“Not when you’re mom’s in between jobs and you’re living paycheck to paycheck. We can barely afford to pay the bills. The reason we moved here was because California was way too expensive. We had
to sell our house and move into this shit hole of a town. I think if I had a spare ten dollars lying around, I’d rather use it to go towards paying the bills then buying a freakin gym uniform.” His
eyes were burning into mine, until finally I had to turn away.
“I’m sorry,” I said softly to him. “I didn’t know,”
“Yeah, I guess Ms. Pete forgot to mention that part,” he retorted.
I could tell that this was a really touchy topic for him to talk about, so I decided to make a subject change to lessen the awkwardness. “So what do you have second period?” I asked him.
“Chemistry with Baker,” he said.
“Looks we have second period together too,” I told him, flashing him a warm smile. He nodded, making sure to avoid any eye contact with me. Great, I’d offended him. Now he officially didn’t like
me. “Hey,” I said, “I’m really sorry about what I said. That was stupid. I shouldn’t have just assumed.”
Slowly, his head rose and he looked up at me. A small smile spread across his lips and he let out a light sigh. “It’s cool,” he replied. “And sorry I was such an asshole too. Things have just been
“I get it. It’s totally fine,” I let him know. I was just glad that I’d actually managed to make peace with him.
“Cool…so where’s the chemistry room?” he inquired.
I grinned back at him, “Follow me,”
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