by Marisa Gonzalez ’18
On a Tuesday, Carter Mills walks down the hall with long strides. She is hard to miss with her cropped, spiky purple hair against the dull walls of Fordham High. I watch as she maneuvers herself masterfully through the sea of students. She glides gracefully until she spots a petite brunette who goes by the name of Flora. She is a nice girl. Friendly to everyone. How she became friends with Carter is a mystery.
They exchange smiles and begin to talk. I wonder what about. It seems to be lighthearted, yet Flora seems to be puzzled. She tilts her head slightly to the left with furrowed eyebrows. Her lip is thin. Carter continues to talk and her hands begin to move. First, they are steady but begin to increase in rhythm. Her hands pick up the pace as Carter continues to talk, Flora looking on. Then, all of sudden, the hands stop in midair and slowly sink back down. Carter seems flustered. Her face is slightly red and she sighs, annoyed at something. Flora laughs, I can hear her delicate laughter from my locker. I have always wanted that laugh. Flora is so perfect and Carter is so Carter. Again, I wonder how the friendship began.
Flora finishes laughing and shakes her head. Her fingers reach into her coat pocket and she pulls out a folded yellow piece of paper. Carefully, she unfolds it, like a clam opening to revel a pearl. I lean forward to see. Now I understand. In Flora’s hand was a pamphlet for the Senior Dance. Clearly, Carter did not want to go, yet it seems Flora may have persuaded her. With a frustrated sigh of defeat, Carter takes the paper from Flora’s hand. I am amazed. Carter would never go to a dance. Once again, I wonder how Flora and Carter became friends. The bell rings and with one final smile, the two depart.
Carter has always fascinated me with her carefree personality. Nothing really rattles her, and although it is clear she hates everyone in this school, except for a select few, she has never lashed out. Instead, she will look at you with a death glare, pretty much asking why you exist, and then proceeds to ridicule you with her snappy remarks. So, she is not the friendliest person. Yet she has somehow managed to snag five friends, and Flora, who is the definition of a goody-two-shoes, is one of them. I want to know her appeal. Why have these five individuals gravitated towards her and how has she let them in?
With thoughts of what I just saw rolling around in my head, I make my way to science class. A large body barrels into me and has the nerve to snarl, “Watch where ya’ goin’!” Oh, how I wish Carter was my friend. She would put him in his place. I resist the urge to flip him off and walk into class. Upon entry I hear Mrs. Hertz’s scratchy voice. “Ok class, today will be a lab day. This means lab partners. I am going to assign them.” I yawn and take my seat as the teacher drones on. I slump into the chair, my eyes drooping. I had stayed up late last night finishing a paper and science was too boring to really be awake for anyway. As I am about to drift off into dreamland I hear a ”pop.” Startled, I jump up and open my eyes and see purple hair. Carter.
She stares at me, chewing her gum. Then she blows another bubble, right in my face.
“What?” I exclaim. “Geez, no need to shout,” Carter snorts. I really want to punch her but I maintain my cool. “What do you want?” Carter chuckles, “Telling by the drool on the table, I would take a wild guess that you didn’t hear the lab partner assignment.” I huff, “Good guess. So?” Carter chuckles again. “ Wow, is your brain still asleep or is having generally no clue normal for you? I’m your partner, genius.” Carter plops onto the seat next to me. Yikes.
I just stare at her. She stares back. Finally she caves, “Look, I don’t like this either. But we gotta’ do it, ’kay. Now are you going to get the materials?” I am about to ask why I have to do it when she gives me her lovely death glare. I scamper out of my seat and head for the materials table. I look back at Carter, her chair on two legs and her feet on the table. She continues to chew that stupid gum. I sigh. Well, I have always wanted to examine her. What better place to do that than in a science class.