A bell chimed loudly out over the school yard. A ton of teens, both male and female, too many to count, herded to the front of the school building. Ronald scanned each face hoping to find a familiar one besides his BFF. But he didn’t see anyone from the Lutheran school or his neighborhood.
Cassandra stuck to him like Velcro. She never left his side even after they shuffled into the hallway of the building. They both went to the same home room for ninth graders.
“Where do you want to sit?” Ronald glanced around the room. There were more than enough empty desks. The front row sat vacant.
A tall greasy-haired boy stood in front of a chalkboard drawing a hangman. Five girls sat in the very back of the room chattering to each other.
“I don’t care,” Cassandra whispered. “Just as long as we sit together.”
The kid at the chalkboard drew a pair of square-shaped glasses on the stick figure’s face. After, he swirled around laughing, searching the room for someone’s attention to his masterpiece. “This ouhgta make Mr. Hangman feel welcomed.”
“I thought our home room teacher’s name was Haggermen?” Cassandra plopped in a desk smack dab in the middle of the room, in front of what appeared to be the absent teacher’s.
Ronald sat in the desk to the left of her. “It is. The kid is just being stupid.” He made sure that his BFF could only hear him and set her book bag beside her.
The girls in the back giggled.
One of them said, “She looks like Miss Piggy.”
“And he looks like Kermit the Frog,” another one said through a cackle. “They must be boyfriend and girlfriend.”
Ronald raised his brows. “I thought high school was for the more mature.”
“Me, too.” Cassandra twisted her face. “They’re not a very polite for a bunch of Southern Baptist Christian kids.”
“No. They’re not.” He figured as much. His parents hung out with a Southern Baptist couple and they were known for gossiping about anyone. But at the same time they were the most pious people he’d ever known.
“Did you hear that?” one of the girls from behind guffawed. “I believe Kermit croaked and Piggy snorted.”
“Yeah,” another girl agreed.
Before Cassandra and Ronald could even make a comment, from behind, a tall, lanky girl waltzed between them. “My friends and I were talking to the two of you.” She pushed at her dark, bushy curls over her shoulders, giving Ronald a serious look. “Don’t you two have any manners?”
“We had no clue who you were talking to.” Cassandra squinted at the girl.
“Yeah.” Ronald said. “We didn’t realize that we had walked onto the set of The Muppet Show.”
Shelly Arkon © 2015