Zazzalil had never been the ‘school’ type of girl. It was hard for her to sit still and listen when there so many more interesting things she could be doing. While Zazzalil was very smart and particularly witty, the structure of the American educational system just didn’t sit well with her. She tended to learn better by doing as opposed to listening to lectures and taking notes. Being forced to stay and participate anyways had led to a slight rebellious streak in the small, curly-haired teenager.
Despite her truly tragic grades, Zazz walked the halls of her high school as though she owned the place; her hands were shoved in her jean pockets, a black leather jacket worn over her neon yellow-green Hillary Clinton “I’m With Her” t-shirt. Her ankle boots clipped against the tile floor as she walked down the hall. She seemed to be the only student in the hall but she didn’t care who saw her anyway. Jemilla’s temper flared as she came out of the bathroom, clutching a hall pass as though it were her lifeline. Zazzalil, upon seeing her, smiled and waved.
“You should be in class, Zazz. What are you doing wandering around? Where is your hall-pass?” Jemilla hissed, dragging Zazzalil back into the bathroom, which prior to their entry had been empty.
“I don’t have a hall-pass and I have been on the hunt for snacks.” Zazzalil replied in a bored tone, leaning against the cold stone wall, her arms crossed over her chest. She didn’t have any particular dislike for the other girl except she felt her to be rather pretentious. At the same time, she found Jemilla to be ridiculously attractive.
“You should be in class. This whole ‘rebel without a cause’ schtick you have got going on is not as good of a look on you as you seem to think.” Jemilla said tiredly as a half-hearted jab. Jemilla actually found it an obnoxiously attractive look.
“Come on, Jem. You know everything looks good on me!” Zazzalil scoffed in return, her tone teasing with fake confidence. The half-smirk on her face leads Jemilla to roll her eyes at the truth of the boast. She couldn’t bring herself to argue.
“I am concerned about you, Zazzalil.” Jemilla said earnestly. “I don’t want you to get left behind, I could tutor you if I needed to. You’re a friend and I wouldn’t charge you.”
“I don’t need help. I just want to get out of here and my parents won’t sign off on dropping out. I only have to wait six months until I turn eighteen.” Zazzalil’s voice dropped low and Jemilla could see her shutting down.
“Dropping out isn’t the answer. Graduation is. Please let me help you. Together we can find a study method that works for you.” Jemilla’s tone is surprisingly earnest.
“You are lucky you’re cute.” Zazzalil grumbled. “You have to promise not to treat me like an idiot. I am not stupid.”
Jemilla blushed somewhat but accepted the compliment with a nod. Zazzalil suspected Jemilla knew just how good-looking she was.
“I would never, Zazzalil. I know how smart and creative you are. Some of the smartest people in the course of history have sucked at school and book-learning.” Jemilla says, not allowing Zazzalil’s flirtatious nature to capture her attention.
“Yes, well… what are you going to get out of this? What would you want in return?” Zazzalil asked warily, cocking one shapely eyebrow at her.
“I don’t know.” Jemilla shrugs but begins to blush a bright pink that reached the tips of her ears. “Maybe you can take me out to dinner sometime.”
“I knew you dragged me in here because deep down you wanted to make out with me! Was this your plan all along?” Zazzalil asked teasingly, her eyes lighting up with delight. She seemed rather pleased by this new information.
“Not quite, but as a reward for doing better in your studies, I will allow you to escort me out on a date.” Jemilla corrected, tucking a loose curl behind her ear in mild embarrassment. She couldn’t help but find Zazzalil’s excitement adorable.
“I will steady very hard, then.” Zazzalil said, calming down as the bell rang, announcing the end of the class period. She leaned up quickly before Jemilla could process the movement and kissed Jemilla’s cheek. Softly. “I guess I had better figure out what my next class is.”
Jemilla just stared after the other girl as she seemed to skip through the crowd and down the hall. It took a concerted effort to focus throughout the remainder of her day. Instead, she day-dreamed of the ways in which she and Zazzalil could ‘study’ together.