Hey you guys! This is Chapter 2 of New Age Misfits. It’s filled with lots of dark and dry humor. It follows the story of a group of teenagers that are part of the Millennial generation as they grow up into adulthood in today’s society.
If you haven’t read chapter one, click here: New Age Misfits: Chapter 1
I took off on my bike to school the next morning still holding onto the prayer card from Aaron’s funeral in my pocket. It brought me comfort like I was carrying him around with me. He always helped me get through the day with his goofiness, and now he couldn’t. Today is gonna suck.
The sun had risen, but clouds shrouded it, which made the day seem gloomy. When I approached the school, I locked up my bike in the usual spot beside the front office. I heard the sounds of drilling and hammering on the other side of the blue office building. Following the noises, I came upon a gigantic wooden archway with a banner strewn across it that some men were putting up with the help of the school’s student council.
I stared up as the students struggled on the ladders to hang up the banner. The hired construction workers held down the ladders as the students slowly climbed up. Katy, or as I like to call her Ms. Prissy Pants, insisted on putting up the banner herself with the help of her god awful side chick, Eliza. “Ma’am, don’t you think we should do this,” asked one of the workers.
“No,” she said in her mousy voice. “We made the banner, we put it up.” She reminded me of the lead actress in Clueless with her straight blond hair and the head band that always matched her outfits.
I put my hands in the front pockets of my black sweatshirt as I stared up at them smirking. I was hoping someone would fall. Kevin came riding up on his skateboard behind me and stopped. “What’s going on,” he asked.
“Something stupid, I’m sure,” I said. When they finally got the banner strewn up, I saw it was for the winter formal dance. I looked at Kevin. “See, I told you.”
On Katy’s way down the ladder, she slipped on her pink heels and nearly fell off the ladder. She caught herself by grabbing onto the banner, which made it rip and fall down to the ground. She groaned, and Kevin and I laughed.
She and Eliza shot glaring looks at us. “Whatever, you losers. Like you’ll be attending.” She said.
“You’re right, we won’t be because we don’t give a fuck,” I said.
She scoffed. “Like you and your group of burnouts care about anything.”
“Nobody has used the term ‘burnouts’ since the 80s, dude,” chimed Kevin.
She flipped her hair before fixing her pink and black plaid skirt. “Whatever. I bet you didn’t even care that your stupid friend died.”
Kevin and I both fell silent. That’s what we did when we’d shut down. What she said hit me right in my heart and twisted it, but I didn’t want her knowing that. So I took in a deep breath and said in a nonchalant tone, “Well I’m gonna go home and kill myself.” I turned and left towards where my first class was.
Kevin smiled and called out, “Can I join you on that?”
“Nope!” I waved at him as I kept walking. “I prefer to die alone.” I turned back to him and smirked to let him know I wasn’t serious about my suicidal joke. Although, we both knew it was half true.
Our first class was English, and our teacher insisted on assigned seating. “Now Shakespeare was ahead of his time,” began my teacher. I rested my head on my head and rolled my eyes. I couldn’t stand Shakespeare. He made me hate English.
My teacher held up a book in her hand. “We’ll be reading his famous play, Romeo and Juliet.” The whole class groaned. Of course, it’s that play. I’ll just use spark notes through the whole damn thing. I am not reading that garbage again.
In algebra, we were going over polynomials. Ralph always had the hardest time in math. I sat beside him and enjoyed watching him scratch his head and erase over and over again until his paper would rip apart. Ralph had the curliest hair I’ve ever seen, and it was a soft brown color. However, he had bad dandruff, so whenever he scratched his head out of frustration, little flakes would fall onto his shoulders and desk.
I reached my hand over and dusted off his black System of a Down shirt. He muddled a thank you and went back to erasing and then working on the same problem again. “Why don’t you ask for help,” I offered.
Ralph sighed and raised his hand.
“Yes, Mr. Carlson,” said our teacher, Mr. Jones.
Ralph put down his hand and scratched his nose. “Yeah, are we actually going to use this in real life or do we just need to know this to pass some test? If so, I think I can make it for the test, but I’m going to forget everything right afterward. I just can’t seem to get it.”
Mr. Jones blinked before responding. “Of course you will use this in life.”
Ralph rubbed his eyes. He always got fidgety whenever he was stressed out. “Okay, like when? Give me an example of when I’ll actually use polynomials? Because all I seem to use in the real world is how to create percentages and adding and multiplying crap. You know, the basics.”
“Well if you choose to become—”
“Okay I’m going to stop you right there. At no point will I ever become anything that involves heavy amounts of math. I’m talking everyday shit. Not if I choose a certain career because it’d be safe to assume I’d avoid that.”
The teacher was silent.
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Okay.” Ralph threw his pencil onto the table and leaned back against his chair. “Fuck it, man. I’ll just fail this test and take summer school I guess. It’s not like this is important for my actual life.”
Mr. Jones looked absolutely insulted by Ralph’s remark, but the bell rang and we took off out the door before he could say another word. What we learned in school was that half the shit we learned we don’t actually need to know, and the shit we do need to know, we are not taught.
During lunch, I left to use the restroom. Like always, the girls that are obsessed with their looks were fixing their make up in the mirror. I quickly went into one of the stalls with my head down. Afterward, I kept my head down as I washed my hands hoping to stay invisible. I let my black hair fall to the sides of my face hoping it’d conceal myself.
When I was leaving out the door, I noticed the girls staring me up and down and then giggling to themselves. My cheeks burned bright pink and I quickly got out of there. What they found so funny, I had no idea. Maybe because I wasn’t wearing a skirt or some cute top. Instead, I had on a black shirt of my favorite heavy metal band, Kittie.
Usually, Aaron would be there waiting for me as I walked out and would pretend to be one of the girls pampering themselves in the mirror. He knew how much I dreaded that bathroom, and his humor would help me feel better once I got out. But he wasn’t here anymore, and it sucked. I held onto his prayer card in my sweater pocket as I walked over to the guys.
The sun had finally peaked out from the clouds, and I took off my sweater once I sat down. We always hung out near the snack bar because it was in a corner, and nobody seemed to notice us because they were too busy paying attention to the food. It was perfect.
Steven came walking over with his hood up, and one of the teachers came by and pulled it off his head. “You can’t wear your hoods up. You know that,” he said as he walked by. Steven rolled his eyes and groaned before taking a seat. “I just wanna go home,” he said.
“Don’t we all,” said Kevin as he poked around the rice pilaf he packed for himself.
“I hate this place,” said Ralph.
“Don’t we all,” I added.
Steven took out a can of soda and opened it. “I wanna be homeschooled or something. Anything to be away from… These mouth breathers. They all seem to think high school is everything.”
“Only because they’re so self-involved, they can’t see how lame this whole thing really is. I just want to stay at home and learn,” said Ralph.
I shrugged as I played with a loose string on my shirt. “School is not that bad. It’s just that all the rules, you know the social rules and the school’s rules, is what makes it lame. That and the lack of quality education. They make learning so boring here, and it’s the same everywhere else.”
“The system is dead,” said Steven. He passed around his soda so we all could take a sip.
To be continued…
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