Chapter 3 Part 2
Back to School
Click here to read Chapter 3 Part 1
She took Jason’s hand and shook it strongly. His brown eyes sparkled in the fluorescent lights and she noticed how his dark hair complimented his smooth, cocoa skin.
“Paivi,” she said. She felt her heart flutter in her chest and hoped her face wasn’t turning a bright shade of pink.
“Paivi? Well that’s one I haven’t heard before. What does it mean?” He turned sideways in the desk to look at her.
“It means ‘day’ in Finnish,” she answered. “We still have some cousins that are like eight times removed that live there.”
“Finland? I heard Santa Claus lives there! Nice!” He laughed.
She looked away a bit shyly.
“So, why did you take this class?” he asked her, trying to draw her back into conversation.
She relaxed a bit.
“Last spring when we were picking classes, I decided that I wanted to take Intro to Law, but when I went to my guidance counselor, the girl in front of me beat me to it and took the last seat. This class was open, and it sounded kind of interesting.”
At that moment, Paivi’s friend Crystal bounded through the classroom door and plopped herself into the seat behind Paivi.
“Hey, P, do you think they’ll let us keep these seats?”
“I doubt it— most teachers make you sit alphabetically. Oh, Crystal, this is Jason.”
Crystal and Jason exchanged a polite hello.
At that moment an explosion of bright fabrics, wild hair and papers flew through the door.
“Hello, everyone, hello!” she shouted, sounding a bit flustered as she dropped the pile of books and papers onto the desk at the front of the room. The woman took a deep breath and looked around the room as she attempted to straighten her hair and her blouse at the same time with very little success. Little wisps of blond permed hair continued to float around her head, making her look like she had been struck by lightning. It almost seemed like her hair was frantically trying to escape her head. Her navy suit was a bit disheveled and her shoes were black. Paivi wondered if the woman had looked in the mirror before she left in the morning. Clearly not!
It took her a few moments before she realized she had failed to introduce herself.
“Oh! My name is Dr. Hasenpfeffer. Welcome to Current Events.”
The students said nothing.
“There is no text for this class,” the students perked up a bit, “I will supply all of the necessary materials. In this class we will look at our current world and domestic problems such as terrorism and poverty. We will learn about the media and also about other countries that affect us daily, though you may not realize it.”
The students were all waiting anxiously for Dr. Hasenpfeffer to move them into new seats. She said nothing about it and they were afraid to mention it. No one wanted to be responsible for giving her the idea. She spent the rest of the period discussing the outsourcing of jobs, terrorist attacks in the United States since 2001, and her cat, Clarence. Apparently he was suffering from a chronic hairball condition.
The bell rang, meaning it was finally time for lunch. The students filed out of the classroom. Crystal was shaking her head as they exited.
“Honestly, we aren’t supposed to remember any of that stuff, are we?” Crystal moaned.
“Well, I hope how many hairballs Clarence tosses in a normal week and how that effects global warming is not on the final,” quipped Jason, as they all laughed.
“I feel like my brain was just pulled in ten directions! I can’t possibly understand what she is a doctor of! Thank God it’s time for lunch. Anybody else have lunch this hour?”
“Not me! Later!” said Crystal as she headed off towards her Spanish class.
Paivi and Jason made their way through the crowded hallways down to the cafeteria, both being unfortunate enough to have the very last lunch hour of the day. But at least they could finally relax; it was nearly the end of the first day of classes.
“So, are you meeting any friends in lunch?” asked Jason, keeping the conversation going as they moved through the hallway.
“Yeah, luckily my best friend, Michaela, has it too. What about you?”
“I’ve got some friends in here too. Although I don’t know how easy it will be to find them.” He looked around the mayhem in the cafeteria. Hundreds of students wandered around aimlessly, looking for their friends. The smart ones headed straight for the lunch lines, deciding food was more important than friends. Paivi saw Michaela out of the corner of her eye. She was standing on her seat in the far corner of the cafeteria, waving her arms wildly in the air in order to get Paivi’s attention. A lunch monitor ran up and began scolding her to get down.
Paivi laughed and pointed to Michaela. “I am sad to say I found my friend. I better get over there before she gets herself thrown out! See you tomorrow!”
“Later!” Jason headed off in the other direction.
Paivi made her way through the maze of tables where Michaela and Aimee had saved her a seat. Michaela was promising the lunch monitor that she would never misuse school property again in such a fashion. She sat back down out of breath.
“Getting in trouble already? It’s only the first day!” laughed Paivi.
“Just be glad you didn’t have to wander around like some idiot to find us in this mess!” She sounded mad, but Paivi knew better. Michaela suddenly brightened. “And who, may I ask, was the cute guy you were with?”
Join me on Friday for the next installment of INTO THE SHADOWS.