Act 1: Chapter 4, Part 2

Posted on May 28, 2017

In Which Megan is Re-embarressed

Evan. First Day of School. End of Fifth Period.

Once the bells finished ringing, Sam turned around and said, “Hey Evan, what class you got next?” at Evan.

Evan froze for a half-second, taken off-guard, then said, “Uh, Nihongo One.”

“Cool!” Sam said with a wide smile, revealing her small white teeth and her braces. “Vicky and I have Quechua One next. We can hang out until our classes start.”

“G-great,” Evan said as he started putting away his notebook and new textbook. He didn’t quite know how to feel about this. Sure, Sam was kind of cute, but nothing like this had ever happened in middle school. He wasn’t sure how to approach the situation. And he rather suspected he was just going to be asked about Gramyre.

“I’ve got Algebra One,” Jack said, his expression glum as he too packed up.

Evan finished collecting his stuff, and stood and started heading toward the door.  “Um, I kind of want to go put this textbook away, actually,” he said as Vicky and Sam scrambled to catch up with him.

“Oh, really? Lockers’re on the other side of campus,” Sam said, a small frown creasing her brow, finishing zipping up her bag as she followed in Evan’s wake. “You’ll be late to class. Your bag still has some room in it.”

“I’ll be fine, I walk fast,” Evan said.

“Okay, well, you were saying about Chris? Something happened with him and Megan?” Sam replied, keeping pace with Evan as he headed toward the stairs, a hopeful note in her voice. Evan had to turn such to start heading down the stairs that he was able to note Jack and Vicky trailing behind them in his peripheral vision.

“Yup,” Evan agreed. “Sure did. So that’s why they sat with us. Chris seems like a nice guy,” Evan said, his footsteps faint rapid staccato as he descended the stairs.

"Slow down a little,” Sam said, a few steps behind and above him. “What’s he like, though? Did he tell any good stories?”

“He’s very friendly,” Evan said over his shoulder. “He wants to learn everyone’s name by Samhain. I’m sure if you wanted to ask him about himself he’d be happy to talk to you.” He hit the bottom of the stairs as he finished speaking. The doors were right across the hall from him, so he strode right toward them.

“Oh, that’s cool. Um, see you later. Tomorrow, at least,” Sam said as she reached the bottom of the stairs, as he pushed open the door.

“Sure, see you tomorrow,” Evan said before the door swung closed entirely.

Once it had and he was off on one of the paths that looped around the central tower, which was the Magic and Technology building. The Freshman locker hall was in the Math and Science building, on the opposite side of the campus. The buildings formed a sort of simple infinity symbol when viewed on a map, with the tower at the intersection of the two loops, the Language and Arts building on the far end of the west loop, the Math and Science building on the far end of the east one, the Administration and Gym buildings on the north ends of each loop, and the Vocational and Social Studies buildings on the south ends of each loop.

Evan was annoyed. He’d had one lunch with Gramyre. He didn’t know what the hell Sam wanted him to tell her about the guy. She clearly had no problem just up and talking to someone she’d never met. She should just talk to Gramyre directly.

Ryan. First Day of School. Beginning of Sixth Period.

Ryan waited for Evan in the Nihongo classroom. He and Angie had made their way over from the Social Studies building; she had Art, which he hadn’t been interested in, and he had Nihongo with Evan, and those were conveniently in the same building. But they’d split up and just gotten into their classrooms early, as was their wont, and Ryan had assumed Evan would already be there. But he hadn’t been. Instead, Ryan had been forced to ward off Katie Kay and Nisha Twiggs, another member of Lauren’s party, with a slow shake of his head, as they’d shown every sign of intending to talk to him.

Evan finally burst into the room maybe a minute before the bell was going to ring. “Hey, you get lost or what?” Ryan said as Evan passed to sit down in behind him, not bothering to hide his annoyance.

“I went and put my Fredonian book away,” Evan said, perfectly reasonably. He wasn’t out of breath at all.

“By the Powers Above, why?” Ryan said as he turned to look at Evan, incredulous. “That’s on the opposite side of campus.”

“I’m fully aware of that, I just walked it,” Evan said, a little testily. “Because this girl Sam from Arcadia Middle School wanted me to present her with a Power Point on Gramyre,” he went on, sounding as annoyed as Ryan felt. “And she had a Quechua class next, so she was also just going to be hanging out in this building.”

“Ah,” Ryan said, grinning, as the bell rang. “Yeah, we’re gonna get some of that now. Well, you and Angie will.”

"The fact that people are scared to talk to you isn’t something you should be so smug about,” Evan said.

Then the teacher, a thirties something Hāfu1 man with a trendy haircut, started speaking, and they had to shut it.

Megan. First Day of School. Also the Beginning of Sixth Period.

“Hey,” Chris said, walking up to Megan looking mildly concerned, after walking into the algebra classroom a few minutes before the bell. “You okay?” Megan had started blushing the moment he’d come into the room.

Megan hated her stupid face. “Well,” she said, squeaking despite herself, “I may have gotten my phone taken away trying to send your number to Angie and them. In the middle of Life Science.”

Chris regarded her for a long moment, his face totally straight. He sat down in the seat in front of her, and then he burst out laughing. “I’m so sorry,” he said after a moment, sincerity in his voice, somehow, despite the fact he was actively laughing at her. “It’s just really funny! You’re so embarrassed over such a little thing. It’s adorable! That was a pretty silly thing you did, but I’ve done some way dumber stuff in class than that before, girl.”

Megan stared at him, then started giggling a little herself. His laugh was infectious. “Um, the teacher let me write down numbers, so I got their numbers for you instead.” She held out the folded piece of paper she’d be clutching.

“Hey!” Chris said, leaning forward. “That was pretty decent of him, huh?” He reached out and took the paper from her, and his fingers, large and warm, brushed up against hers as he did so. It was a good thing she was already blushing. He pulled out his phone and started entering the numbers.

“Yes, it was,” she said, her voice small. She paused for a moment, then said, “You’ll have to tell me what dumb things you’ve done sometime.”

He scratched at an ear, then said, “Do I have to? You’re not the only one capable of getting embarrassed, you know.”
“It’s not a very comforting statement if you can’t back it up,” she said, scrunching her nose at him.

“Well, that’s fair,” Chris replied, grinning at her. The bells rang as he did so. “Saved by the bell though. I’ll have to tell you later.”

“Bleh,” Megan said. “Bleh to you.”

  • 1. Seattle’s largest foreign trading partner is Nippon, and as a result Nihonjin is a common background among mixed ethnicity families in Seattle. Hāfu is the Nihongo term for people who are half Japanese and half other ethnicities, and has entered the Seattle lexicon as the descriptor preferred by most hāfu Seattleites. This is relatively unique to the Fredonian language, which has not typically developed ethnonyms for people of multi-ethnic background. Fredonians instead by-and-large keep track of each language spoken by their ancestors, with a greater variety of languages in one’s background conveying some measure of status in Fredonian society as a whole, that measure varying from city-state to city-state and region to region.