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Breaking Stereotypes

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  "...And these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through..." - David Bowie

 

March 24, 1984 - Saturday

 

  Our family's white Chevrolet Cavalier came to a halt. I solemnly glanced at the window, seeing the façade of Shermer High School. "Why must I receive detention on a Saturday? Why not yesterday after classes?" I asked myself.

 

  I heard my Mother sigh. "Kate, I know you're hesitant about this, but I am pretty sure that you'll learn something from this detention. I also received detention before, you know. Ironically, it was one of the best things that happened to me, sweetie."

 

  This piqued my interest. Mother never mentioned her receiving detention. Knowing her for years, she's not the kind of high school student who would mess up in school. "What happened, Mom?"

 

  She checked her black wristwatch. "I'll tell you some other time or perhaps, when you get home. My daughter is an early bird, better not mess with her strict schedule."

 

  I laughed. "You're crazy, Mom."

 

  "Bye Katelyn." She smiled warmly and pecked my cheeks. I grabbed my shoulder bag and left the car.

 

  Being an early bird has its perks. You can always ponder about life and whatever you want. As for me, pondering about leadership is what I do most of the time. Ruling over a classroom is arduous. What more if you're governing the whole high school? Being a student council officer requires tons of sacrificing. You need to sacrifice your lunch just to scheme a school party like prom. You need to be pulled out of class because the principal called you for a council meeting, causing you to be late for the lessons. 

 

  Yes, I do care about my education. Back in my freshman year, several students called me a freak for reading my school textbooks unremittingly, which was irksome. I shrugged them off, though. To be frank, I don't care about what they think of me. Unfortunately, those students keep on ill-treating my fellow studious friends. A few of them even recruited my 2 friends to the popular clique, because they said that, "Such pretty face would go to a waste if you keep on sticking your nose to that stupid textbook." My friends were intimidated of them and with what they can do, so much to our clique's dismay they unwillingly left us. From that day on, I promised myself to do something about this toxic issue.

 

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  A red head strutted down the library. Ah, Claire Standish. I never understood her clique — which is the populars. They can go on and on and on about the latest fashion trends and cute boys. Man, that's just a waste of time. I'd rather be spending my time contributing something beneficial to our community rather than talking nonsense.

 

  "Hello, Miss President." Claire greeted in a tone that I couldn't decipher.

 

  My brown eyes met hers. "Good morning, Claire. How are you?" 

 

  The Princess shrugged, and sat on the front row. "I couldn't believe that I am in here, Katelyn. My father couldn't do anything to bring me out of here." 

 

  I decided not to reply to that. Being in her clique has advantages, but she thinks getting out of detention is one of them? Preposterous!

 

  As I placed my black trench coat at the back of my seat, a familiar face entered the library. Brian Johnson smiled at me, making me smile a little at him. He took a place behind Claire's seat. After him, a muscular-looking boy wearing a blue varsity jacket sat beside Claire. Andrew Clark, that's who he is.

 

  A tall brown-haired guy wearing shades broke the silence. He nonchalantly stepped into the library, and disorganized few articles on the library's front desk. He also snatched a notepad and placed it inside his pockets. He strolled into the front, putting his shades up to get a good view from us. 

 

  I remember him. He is the same guy who pulled a false alarm and one of Shermer High School's resident delinquent. News and rumors travel the school abruptly, due to Mr. Vernon's annoying loud mouth. The boy approached Brian's seat and rudely gestured him to move into the next set of chairs, which Brian obliged reluctantly.

 

  Finally, a girl with an unruly short black hair, who was wearing a winter jacket silently set her foot in the library. She walked briskly and took a seat beside me. 

 

  "Hey, are you okay?" I asked, quietly. She didn't reply, but just shook her head. I guess she doesn't want to be bothered; I'll try to converse to her later, though. 

 

  Looking up, I saw Mr. Vernon waltzing into the room. The nerve of that man to do that! He is a power-hungry assistant principal, and acts like he is the official principal! Absurd man, I tell you. I even wonder how the hell he got the job.

 

  "Well, well. Here we are," he said, "I wanna congratulate you for being on time."

 

  Claire raised her hand. "Excuse me, sir? I think there's been a mistake. I know it's detention but, um, I don't think I belong in here." 

 

  That's right Claire, you belong in the department store. You can do all your shopping there. Just kidding. I have a weird sense of humor.

 

  The assistant principal ignored her and looked at his wristwatch. "It is now 7:06. You have exactly 8 hours and 54 minutes to think about why you're here. Ponder the error of your ways." Bender threw his spit up in the air and caught it with his mouth. Disgusting.

 

  "You may not talk," He pointed warningly at Claire.

 

  Brian moved to the next chair beside him but ceased when Mr. Vernon continued, "You may not move from these seats," causing Brian to move back to his original place.

 

  "And you," Vernon harshly grabbed the chair where Bender's feet were placed, "will not sleep." 

 

  "Yes, you pathetic excuse of a man." I mumbled, causing the girl beside me to nod.

 

  He looked at Bender and Brian for a while and spoke, "All right, people, we're going to try something a little different today. We are going to write an essay of no less than a thousand words," He placed two papers and pencils on our table. I stared at the papers, ideas starting to pop in my brain.

 

  "...describing to me who you think you are." 

 

  "Is this a test?" Bender questioned.

 

  Vernon continued, "And when I say essay, I mean essay. I do not mean a single word repeated a thousand times. Is that clear Mr. Bender?"

 

  "Crystal."

 

  "Good." Vernon drawled. "Maybe you'll learn something about yourself. Maybe you'll even decide whether or not you care to return."

 

  I heard Brian spoke up. "Uh, you know I can answer that right now, sir. That'd be no for me, 'cause –"

 

  The assistant principal interrupted him, "Sit down, Johnson." 

 

  "Thank you, sir."

 

  "My office is right across that hall. Any monkey business is ill-advised. Any questions?"

 

  "Yeah. I got a question." Bender piped up, "Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?" My head shot up and looked at Bender; his head turned to my direction and winked. Vernon peered at me, then turned back to Bender. "I'll give you the answer to that question, Mr. Bender, next Saturday. Don't mess with the bull, young man, you'll get the horns."

 

  "That man is a brownie hound." Bender told Brian as Vernon utterly exited the library.

 

  I heard someone biting their nails.  I glanced at the person beside me, and to my disbelief, she was the one creating the noise. The girl suddenly looked at me, then looked at the other people who were also staring at her, with mouths agape. The girl seemed not to care and decided to continue biting her nails.

 

  "You keep eating your hand; you're not going to be hungry for lunch." Bender uttered. The girl surprisingly spat at him, causing Bender to look at her weirdly. "I've seen you before, you know." He added, forgetting about what the girl did.

 

  "Well, it's small world, Bender." I replied indifferently.

 

  Bender smirked while mumbling, "Yes, it is, Sweets."