"Jasper, you're not listening to me!"
"Sure I am."
"Okay, then what did I say?"
Jasper sighed and flipped to the next page in her textbook so she could write down another vocab word. The table shook, and she knew that Peridot was trying to kick her – and if her legs were longer, she would have succeeded. Not reaching only made her friend more irate.
"Do you even care what your cousin's doing to me!?"
"Shhh!" Champaign, Ms. Diamond's most dedicated teacher’s pet, glared over at them from the library counter. Knowing that working in the library would give her some form of authority, Champaign naturally had to take on the job and make herself more insufferable to everyone else.
"Now look at what you did." Jasper looked up from her textbook, smirking. Peridot's face flushed pink.
"Can you please tell Amethyst to stop? Every time I talk she starts laughing at me! Even if I'm on the other side of the room, it's embarrassing!"
Peridot's been bullied heavily before, so it was natural that she'd be sensitive to anything she'd perceive to be mockery - which, in Amethyst's case, most likely is. The worst of it died down about a year ago - the same time Peridot and Jasper sparked a friendship. Now only Amethyst would dare to do anything.
"If I bring it up, it'll only encourage her." If it was completely necessary for Jasper to intervene, she will. But she doubted Amethyst would listen - if anything, she'd take it as a chance to challenge her to a fight out in the parking lot.
"Then what am I going to do? Every time I tell her to knock it off, she laughs harder! .. Jasper? Jasper!"
As unfortunate as Peridot's predicament was, Jasper really needed to study. She continued to write down definitions and pressed her finger against her friend's lips every time she attempted to interrupt her. If she wanted to get into the army, she’ll have to pass her classes. Eventually, Peridot gave up and worked on her own assignments. At last, silence. Surely Champaign was pleased. It almost made Jasper want to cause commotion, but for the sake of her grades, she refrained.
Aside from an occasional locker door slam, clock ticking, and clanking of high heels, it was quiet. School ended half an hour ago, and this was the only time where she and Peridot were more at ease there. Jasper would be more at ease though, if the sun wasn't peeking through the blinds and reflecting off of Peridot's blonde hair.
"Peridot, can you move to the other chair?"
She's still pissed. Ah.
Jasper sighed and got to her feet, much preferring to just shut the blinds then to start bickering over it. The library windows had the best view of the ocean from anywhere else in the building, too bad she didn't care enough to allow the sun to burn her eyes. With a tug, the blinds fell and covered the scenic view.
Before turning back, she saw that someone else was sitting by the windows, a couple tables down. The girl had her elbows propped on the window sill, her music still capable of being heard despite her headphones - Crystal Castles, by the sound of it. The headphones were just a slightly lighter shade of blue from her hair - which was dyed a vibrant shade. There were books to the side of her, but they weren't opened. From what Jasper knew of this girl, that wasn't surprising. School didn't seem to be a high interest to her, and Ms. Diamond especially gave her a hard time about it in the classes they shared together.
The blue haired girl turned around, and Jasper quickly retreated back to her seat. A boy that Jasper knew to be a freshman ran past their table.
"Shhh!" Champaign sounded again. The boy apologized, but still spoke to Lapis with the same volume.
"Ready to go home?"
"Sure," her voice wasn't nearly as loud.
Lapis and the freshman walked towards the exit. Unread books in one hand, the boy's hand in the other. Her skirt swayed with her movements. She always wore skirts, as far as Jasper knew.
"..Jasper?" Peridot was poking her.
"I don't remember this topic being talked about in class."
"Give me the sheet."
Quickly forgetting about Lapis and the boy, Jasper took Peridot's worksheet and started examining it.
Lapis traced the lines on the picnic table with her finger while her foster brother, Steven, hummed to himself. The sea breeze moved her skirt around and tickled her ankles, the smell of salt mixed in with the scent of grilled hot dogs. Greg always grilled hot dogs.
"Alright, kiddos, eat up!" He gave her and his son plates and placed a hot dog on each one.
While they ate, Greg strummed his guitar in attempt to make a melody out of the crying gulls that flew overhead - hoping to get a bite of their food, no doubt. It went on like that for awhile, until Greg asked how school was.
"Great! Me and Connie are building a machine in science - we're supposed to try moving a pencil across the room with it."
"Ah, levers and pulleys, I remember learning about those. Cool beans, son. What about you, Lapis, how was your day?"
"Not wonderful? Not spectacular?"
Horrendous. Like always.
"No, just fine."
Her grades were plummeting, and Lapis couldn't bring herself to try raising them. She's so far behind that Ms. Diamond said that she'll have to either stay behind after class to work, or she'll have another student tutor her. That, and apparently making fart noises during class was frowned upon and not appreciated. Earlier she was serving detention in the library, but the teacher that was supposed to be watching her left to talk to another employee - so she got away with blasting her music.
"I gotcha. Hey, whoa whoa whoa!" Greg jumped to his feet and rushed to the grill, which had smoke rising from inside of it. Before Steven ran over to help, he turned to Lapis.
"I can help you with your homework if you want, we can be study buddies."
Lapis smiled. He always referred to them as 'buddies,' of some sort. Earlier that year, it was 'beach summer fun buddies.' Last week it was 'movie buddies.'
"Thanks Steven, but I don't need any help. Besides, it senior stuff, you probably won't understand it yet."
Steven shrugged, but nodded.
"Well, okay. Let me know if you change your mind - coming dad!"
"No, no! You'll get hurt, stay back!"
Eventually, Greg managed to put the fire out without Steven having to do anything. Lapis couldn't quite remember how he did it, having spaced off during the ordeal. Always spacing off. Never alert enough. One of the many complaints Ms. Diamond had regarding her. Lapis Lazuli - the worst student ever. Was once the best student ever. Those glory days are gone now.
Sliding away her barely eaten hot dog, Lapis pulled out her MP3 - courtesy of Mr. Greg Universe - and tuned out the gulls and waves to the beats of electropunk.