Friday, December 23, 2011

Dancing Into Darkness, Part 2

Well, Rinna's name will stay the same, but I changed the title a little bit (I'm still not satisfied with it). Also I promise this isn't some rule 63'd Twilight. Or, hopefully it isn't. I haven't read the series, soooo...

Also yes, this is based in Seattle. Because referring to "the mall" would get on my nerves so much.


Friday, February 24th

"Class, the paper I am handing out right now is your project, due two weeks from now. That's March 9th. Write that date down. There's always that one group that gets a zero because they misheard the deadline. Don't be that group." Mr. Randell chuckled with part of the class. "You laugh now, but there will be that group. It is always this project, every year."

"Go ahead and read along with me." Mr. Randell returned to the front of the room. "You'll be working in groups of three to advocate for one government and its actions, as a representative of that government."

"Yes, you will be required to act in character. Except please," He put extra emphasis on these words. "Please, speak English." The class snickered. "If I can't understand what you are saying, you get a zero. Now then, let's look at the specifics of this project, and then I'll assign you groups and governments."

My world exploded with sound. My head jolted up from its comfortable seat in the crook of my arm, and the room came into focus. "Shit!" I shouted. Mr. Randell stood before me, smiling as the rest of the class held back laughter. I glanced around the room. Textbooks were strewn about the floor. It took a moment to piece everything together. I must have dozed off, and the class gave me a wake-up call by dropping their textbooks to the floor. "Err, ignore what I just said." Heat rose to my face. "Sorry about that. It won't happen again."

"I'm glad to hear that, Bryan. You've been paired with Rinna and Eleanor. They can fill you in on what you missed." Mr. Randell turned to the rest of the class. "You have the rest of the period to meet with your partners and get started." He turned his back to the class to clean off the whiteboard.

Phew. Lucky for me, Mr. Randell was a laid-back teacher. Swearing wouldn't get you detention in his class - that policy was stupid, anyway. I had also gotten lucky with my group members. Both Rinna and Ellie (Mr. Randell called everyone by their full names) were intelligent, and Ellie was a spirited actor. It would be an easy project....whatever it was. I rose and headed to the back of the room, where Rinna and Ellie were already seated around a table.

"So what did I miss?"

"You mean while you were snoozing?" Ellie responded, grinning mischievously. She brushed a wisp of blond hair behind her ear while waiting for a reply.

"I was taking a well-deserved break!" I protested with false indignation. I took a seat. "Well? Are you going to tell me or not?"

"Well..." She stretched her reply out, leaning back and crossing one long leg over the other. "Later. We're probably not going to get anything done in ten minutes. But let's meet sometime this weekend to figure things out. How about over lunch?"

"I still have no clue what we're doing."

"You're smart, you'll figure it out. Figure out where we're eating, and let me know, alright? Somewhere around Northgate would be great. Ciao." Ellie launched herself out of her chair, across the room, and into her friends, easily slipping into the conversation.

I sat there in silence for a moment before someone spoke softly from behind me. "Victorian England." I swiveled my head toward the voice.

"I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that."

"We're covering Victorian England. The main concern will be legitimizing maintaining the English colonies." I had nearly forgotten that Rinna was in my group. Hopefully it my face did not show it.

"Ah, thanks. So, what else did Mr. Randell cover while I was out?" I turned towards her.

"Not very much." Rinna spoke slowly. "He went over the rubric, and assigned groups and governments."

"Err, what rubric?"

Rinna grabbed the paper I held with the project details, and flipped it over. "Check the other side."

"So what's a good place for a group to eat in Northgate?"

"Is Olive Garden alright with you?"

"Sure. Let's meet at noon. I'll pass the word on to Ellie."

The lunch bell rang as I picked myself up to fetch my backpack, and I started out of the room. A hand fell on my shoulder, the pressure familiar. "What's up, Tony?"

"Not much man, not much." Tony was one of my closest friends. He had a tendency to be overprotective, something which had gotten me out of more than a few potential disasters in the past. However, on a day-to-day basis, it could be a hassle to deal with.

"What's on your mind? Did you get paired with a bad group?" The crowd of students on their way to the Commons pushed us along, steering us in the direction of our lunch haunt.

"Be careful with Rinna."

"What?" I glanced over my shoulder, to make sure she wasn't behind us to overhear. "Why?"

"I know it's just rumors, but don't get swept up into any cult or any other weird stuff, alright?"

"Uhhh...this is a group project. It's not exactly the same as prying into her private life. There's a slight difference, you see. Would you like me to explain it to you?" I joked.

"You can never be too careful."

"Ellie will be there too. If Rinna tries anything funny, the two of us can take her, easy. She looks pretty frail. Hey look, there's Rami!" I made my way through the crowd to the familiar Indian face, glad for an excuse to change the conversation topic.

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