Stephanie had enough of the Men’s Rugby Team yet he could not bring herself to report them to the Guidance Counselor or to the Dean. They had completely made a fool out of the Earth-Loving Club. They tore down every poster she, the President of Earth-Loving Club, had worked hard over the summer. Even the miniature billboard that was positioned at the back of the school, near the gymnasium, was smacked right through the center.
Mr. Donovan, the music teacher, helped her taking it down. She grumbled and cursed under her breath of the mischief that team has done.
“Do you have an idea who did this?” asked Mr. Donovan. He was a an average bald guy with wide-set gray eyes, tanned skin, and hairy arms. He wore glasses and his favorite orange sweater above a polo.
She knew. But she didn’t want to tell. Stephanie held back the tears. If she told any of the teachers, specially the Dean herself, they won’t stop teasing her. Well, almost everyone called her The Geek Melburnian. First, she was “Geek” because she loves nature and is totally dedicated to saving Mother Earth. Second, “Melburnian” because she’s the only true Melburnian in her year. Most of them were raised outside of Melbourne or were half-blooded. Not pure Australians. But she wasn’t either. The real Australians were the aborigines. Stephanie was just a part of that Aborigine race. It was an old tale in her family. Apparently, she has an Aborigine ancestor – a woman – who married an English man when the British people came to Australia. The “label” had become tiring already that Stephanie had completely ignore these people calling her that name. So as to prove she wasn’t a geek, she tried out for Handball and surprisingly (for other students), she qualified.
Stephanie picked up what remained of her miniature billboard. She knew it only could have been the Rugby Team. All of them called her Geek Melburnian. She carried it to the trash bin near the post. She dropped them on the bins. She closed her eyes to prevent herself from crying.
“Are you okay, Stephanie?” asked Mr. Donovan.
Stephanie turned, faking a smile. “I’m okay. I will be. Thanks anyway, Mr. Donovan.”
Mr. Donovan nodded and smiled. “If you need help, just go to my office, okay?”
She nodded and then left. It was supposed to be her third period this morning but her teacher for that period called her attention about the miniature billboard. When she left, she saw two members of the rugby team in her class snickered. She was positive about it. She decided to skip her third period. She went to the Handball Team’s locker room. She went around rather than entering through the door that was just inside the school building. She wanted to avoid the rugby team. Their locker room was exactly the first thing people will see. She went to the backdoor, walking pass the locker rooms of the hockey team. baseball team, and swimming team. It was the girls’ teams, of course. She walked lightly inside their locker room just in case a teacher would see her. Their locker room was the typical locker rooms unlike that of the Men’s Football and Rugby Team – which were the school’s most prided sports.
She walked around the benches to get to her locker where she kept scissors, tapes, glues, and marking pens. She didn’t exactly have a reason why she put them there instead of her locker in the hallways. As she was approaching she heard a cough. She turned around and saw Coach Halliday.
“Why are you here, Ms. Reid? Don’t you have a class to go to?” asked Coach Halliday. She looked bored as she leaned sideways to the lockers behind Stephanie.
“Um..I just…need to get…some things,” she lied.
Coach Halliday raised an eyebrow. Then she stood up straight. “Right. Well, since you’re already here~”
“I’m sorry Coach,” she panicked. She knew Coach Halliday will ask her to clean up their playing field. “I’m sorry Coach but I need to go to my class. I just came to pick up some things.”
Coach Halliday swallowed. “Fine. Go. I’ll have the first guy I see outside clean the playing field.”
So she went out of the locker room. Stephanie could hear Coach Halliday yelling at someone. She laughed. Coach Halliday was always like that. She turned the dial. Her locker was full of clothes. Extra jersey shirts and shorts and her shoes. Her scissors, tape, glue, and marking pens were beneath a platform that held her shoes. She lifted her shoes and put them on top of her locker. She raised the platform. Sure enough, there were about three pairs of scissors, four different kind of tapes, six glues, and ten marking pens with a variety of colors. She grabbed one pair of scissors, a masking tape, a glue, and a black, blue and red marking pens.
She put them on the pockets of her blazer. Then she put her shoes back and closed her locker. She went out of the locker room and saw Coach Halliday leaving beside a student.
Guess she found the right one. She laughed.
She quickly proceeded to her locker in the hallways. It was just along the hallway at the main door of the building. She ran quickly so no one would spot her. She finally made it. She panted. Her locker was just filled with books and some posters of the nature. She grabbed her backpack and dropped the scissors, tape, glue and the marking pens. She slung it over her shoulder and reached for some of the art materials she had.
She hastened her steps to get to the Green House. She wasn’t exactly looking good. She was struggling to keep her art materials from falling from her arms. Her steps slowed. Then all of a sudden, a blonde girl with blue highlights bumped into her. All of her things dropped. But the girl didn’t stop. Stephanie knelt and grumbled.
Not even an apology. She thought. She picked up her things one by one. The school bell rang. It was lunch already. People started walking around but none of them helped her.
It’s okay. Nobody wants to help the Geek Melburnian. She thought.
“Are you okay?” Stephanie knew that sweet voice. She looked up and saw Julia Rudnick, their Handball Captain and Xavier Rutter, last year’s voted Heartthrob of the Year and Athlete of the Year. Julia was almost as tall as Xavier. She had golden blonde hair like Xavier. Her eyes were cerulean blue and she was a bit pale.
Julia and Xavier knelt to help Stephanie pick her things up. Xavier Rutter was such a nice guy. He was one of the few guys in the football team that didn’t call her the Geek Melburnian.
“Are you making posters again?” asked Julia.
She looked at Julia. So everybody knows. She thought.
“It’s the rugby team, isn’t it?” said Xavier. “Don’t give them the satisfaction.”
They picked up everything. Julia arranged her things on Stephanie’s arms.
“Here,” Julia said. “But I don’t think you need to make more posters, Steph.”
“Yeah. That’s what those dropkicks want you to do. They want you to keep on repairing stuff they’ve ruined to get to you,” muttered Xavier.
Stephanie was a little surprise that the famous Xavier Rutter – every girl’s dream guy, the guy every cheerleader is drooling for – was giving her advice. They weren’t exactly friends. They’ve talked quite a few times but never like this. Their conversations were like
–Oh, hi! Or
–Hey, have you seen Julia/Gwen?
–No/Yes. blah blah blah.
Those were their conversations.
“I’m going. It’s okay, really. I’m not letting them put me down. So see you later!” Stephanie said.
She left without waiting for Julia’s or Xavier’s response. She just walked off because she knew she had only an hour to finish the posters before the assembly this afternoon. She walked along the covered walk at the back of the school building. The covered walks led to the gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria, and the Greenhouse. She walked better thanks to Julia’s and Xavier’s help. Then she came to meet Kylie. She was a tall girl in Year 9. She had dark hair tied in a ponytail. Her eyes were green and she had freckles over her face.
Kylie smiled. “Hey, Ms. President. Let me help you with that.”
Stephanie had no idea why Kylie was calling her Ms. President. She only knew Kylie because they had the same elective last year. Kylie reached her hands to Stephanie’s stuff. She took half of what Stephanie was holding. Stephanie’s eyebrows was still raised. But Kylie didn’t notice. She turned her back on Stephanie and continued walking towards the Greenhouse.
This odd girl. She thought.
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