"Well you look like shit."
I turned around, reaching up to pull my scarf down a little as I looked at Danny making his way to me through tired eyes.
"Gee, thanks. As if I didn't feel shitty enough as it is."
He laughed, looking behind me as he waved at my mother's car just as she was driving away.
"Why'd you come to school anyways then?" he asked, staring at my snot-filled red nose, I bet.
"I have a stupid Bio test today. Then we're going to start our next lab during the second period. Does Mr Jorge hate us or something?"
Danny shook his head sympathetically. "You should have taken English. We just have two hours of reading Sherlock Holmes. I have the movie downloaded on my iPad." He pointed towards his bag, where I
was sure his iPad was snuggled nicely in between his iPhone and Macbook or something.
"That's good for you," I muttered. If I was relying on English, oh god help me.
"At least you're not missing today. I heard from Sharon that we were getting a new scholarship student today." I gulped, even though it kind of hurt my throat to. Not this again.
"I wonder who it is," I murmured quietly to myself but of course, Danny still heard.
"It doesn't matter. He's a scholarship student. What is this? The 1980's? I mean any school in this country is just as good, and more affordable for people like him." He was ranting again. I sighed
in exasperation, ready to launch into my speech again.
"I wouldn't be too sure about that. Our school has the highest percentage of getting into an Ivy League and top SAT scores. Who wouldn't want an opportunity to come here?"
Danny shook his head. "Not right man. We got to bust an arm and a leg to donate cash for the programs and all they do is come and use it all? I heard he was going into the dentistry field. That's
another guy you have to compete with."
Shoot. That would be the ninth one in three years. Our school was prestigious. Only the smartest and the richest are able to make it in. Seeing as I have never told Danny my deepest darkest secret,
I belonged in the second field. His parents donate quite a bit to fund every program, even though all he really needs is the literature.
Being the gifted child I was, I tested high in junior high. I just knew stuff. I could do math and science and I did it well. My parents were able to get me on a scholarship here.
From the beginning, I put on this face I never was. Flashed money I didn't have. Pretended to be somebody I'm not.
My parents realized this quickly and although they tried to get me to stop at first, it never happened. I was able to find some people who never pushed it, never asked too many questions. They
enjoyed my company and I enjoyed theirs.
Three years later, and here I was. Standing here with my rich ass best friend, talking about some scholarship student that wasn't me. My liking for those students was something my friends regarded
as part of my nature. They never questioned if I was one of them. We all had a mutual understanding that we were here because we had something to offer whether knowledge or money.
"Hey Martin, snap out of it," Danny told me, waving a hand in front of my face and bringing me out of my daydream.
"Sorry dude. Spaced out for a second."
Danny snorted. "No kidding man. You still have to get to your locker before first bell."
I nodded, as Danny took my hand and practically dragged me up the school steps and inside the school.
"Dammit man, you're so sluggish. You should've had your mom call in and make you stay home or something." I didn't disagree. My mother suggested this as well but because I didn't want to have to
catch up on my lab tomorrow, I just decided to suck it up and do it.
"Yo Martin, don't you dare fall asleep on me," Danny hissed into my ear, forcing me to snap up from my position of almost crushing him under me. Okay that was almost impossible since he was so much
larger than me, but still.
"Sorry man," I muttered, trying to stand up but almost falling into one of the top class lockers, which had a couple of freshmen standing right in front of it. Whoops.
"No it's fine. I love being a pillow at 7:30 in the morning but I don't want one of the teacher's sending you home."
Danny wasn't a total douche. He wasn't much of a douche at all. He only sounded like it when talking about scholarship students. Oh how much he despised them. If anything, he mustn't ever know what
kind of family I come from or this part-douche would come after me.
"Thanks man," I mumbled. I felt my forehead. The fever was getting worse. I reached into the side pocket on my backpack, feeling for my Tylenol. Danny grabbed it for me and led the way to a water
After I swallowed it down, I felt significantly better. Good enough to make it through the first hour of the day at the very least.
"You look like you're going to die. I can drive you home man. School doesn't start for another ten minutes." Immediately, I shook my head. He hadn't been to my house yet and having my best friend
leave me at this state while missing two Biology things wasn't exactly how I pictured today to go. I was sick, not completely out of it.
"Don't worry about it." I was so tired that I didn't even notice when I nearly ran into someone.
"Whoa, watch it," someone said loudly (or was it just loudly to me) before they quickly gasped. "Damn Mar, are you going to die?"
Why did people have to be so over dramatic? "Shut up, Neil." Danny said, moving me away from him.
"Sorry about that. I thought you were that new scholar kid. I need to find him and scare him to leave you know." Neil waved goodbye, moving away from us and I heard Danny scolding him under his
So when Danny made fun of him, it was all fun and games but the minute Neil said something, all hell broke loose. I didn't know what kind of story Neil and Danny had but it dated back to
elementary, I'm sure.
I wasn't aware of what was really happening. Danny became my eyes, ears, and mouth as we made our way to my locker. Awhile later, I felt something being shoved at me.
"Take your books," Danny muttered, removing my scarf from my mouth. "If I get sick, it's all your fault."
I chuckled lightly but thanked him. He nodded in return, shoving what I didn't need into my locker.
"Be glad your math class is right here," he said, leading me to my class. He opened the door for me as well, that gentlemen.
"Thanks man," I said as I made my way inside, instantly slumping down on the first desk I saw.
The door closed behind him as he made his way to French and later, Spanish.
Man, wasn't this desk comfortable? I should really consider sitting in the front more often. It just felt so nice...
This was strange. I felt like I was in a parallel universe. I saw one of the jocks that bullied me when I was in the ninth grade, standing there and spitting in the path of little freshman. He
graduated three years ago though....
I looked around. I wasn't dizzy. Yes, I wasn't sick anymore.
I coughed again and again, clutching my stomach as it ached. Dammit, spoke too soon. I recovered from it in a minute or so and as I held my head up, I felt like nobody even cared or even noticed at
"Hey Jordan! Check out what my parents got me when they went to the Caribbean!" I turned around and my jaw dropped. I was staring at a short, during puberty Danny with his voice cracking and hair
slicked high into a mohawk. He looked exactly like he would've back in freshman year.
This was getting freaky.
"That's so cool!" Jordan, his best friend at the time, said, taking hold of the little Tiki toy. "My parents are still in Australia though. Some business trip or something and my housekeeper
dropped me here almost an hour early!"
"No way," Danny cried. "I see no one we know at all. I hope they come before we have to go to first period."
Jordan nodded in agreement, his face marked with the same distress as Danny's had.
"I can't believe we have no classes together. That's so BS. Do you think you can transfer to some of mine?"
Danny scrunched his nose up. "But I like my classes."
Jordan sighed. "I do too. I get wood shop second period. My brother said the first day, we get to work with the saws."
Danny snorted. "Yeah right. Your brother lies to you all the time," he said. The two boys set out towards the auditorium, where the freshman had to be on the first day of school. I would know. I
was the kid sitting in the corner by himself.
Wait. Was I here?
I checked the watch on my wrist. It wasn't working, being stuck at 7:45.
Regardless, I made my way around everyone walking and talking to their friends. It was getting more crowded with the upperclassman who weren't even supposed to come for another three hours while we
(the freshman, not me) got settled in.
Someone turned from a hallway and I nearly ran into them. Instead, I ran through them. That was wicked.
Knowing I wasn't going to hurt anybody, I just ran. Whoa, my head felt so much better now.
I slipped in the door right behind someone and was hit with the sight of the auditorium. It was huge with chairs on the ground and then more upstairs, much like an opera house. The velvet red
curtains were closed, where I knew a projector with the achievements of the students was being set up.
Each seat was covered in really soft leather, some torn and ripped from students. On the upper level, there were mosaic windows that covered where seats weren't. A large glass door was situated in
the front with two smaller wooden doors off to the side.
It felt like I was seeing it for the first time again. I was scared out of my wits when I saw it, scared that I would be hiding in the corner during lunches. That was why I already decided to claim
one near the back, where some of the more snotty 9th graders were already sitting. There was like ten seats in between us, my leg brought up to my chest.
I walked over to the back and saw myself- at least a younger version of myself. I was staring off into the distance, trying to get rid of the thought of the bullies that I knew were to come. I
tried to block out the laughter and the way everyone seemed to have somebody.
"Martin," I said. I was about to nudge myself when I realized it would go right through. "Martin, can you hear me?"
I watched my eyes remain unmoved. I was still trying to ignore the world.
Something a student said from the left of me made both of us snap our head up. That's when I remembered.
"Damn, there's so many scholarship kids here!" Danny's voice was disgusted. He found a few of his friends from his previous school, each of them wearing the Baynview uniform, a large crest fitting
nearly above their vest pocket with pride.
"I can't believe this school allows them. They should be ashamed to call themselves a private school."
Little Martin averted his eyes, looking at his hands instead. He didn't see Danny who was sitting somewhere in the middle of the group.
"We should transfer guys. Better yet, make them transfer. The day I make friends with a scholarship kid will be the day that I lose all respect for myself."
I scoffed. Little Danny, if only you knew.
"Martin, wake up."
I felt someone nudging me. How was this possible? I thought everything just passed through me.
"Mr Westfall, wake up."
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