3 First Day at School [2]

On my way to class, I strolled through the hallway, now packed like sardines during the breaks. It was your typical high school scene, straight out of a New York movie. You had the tech-savvy kids, buried in their phones, leaning against the lockers, probably crushing candy or battling aliens.

Then there were the gossip circles, you know, the Queens of Drama, chatting up a storm like they're auditioning for a reality TV show. They had the latest scoop on who's dating who, who's failing what, and who's wearing what.

Of course, you couldn't miss the jocks, towering over everyone, their jerseys proclaiming their athletic prowess. They'd be tossing a basketball or trading sports trivia like it's the secret language of the hallway.

And there's always that one group in the corner, the artsy types, covered in paint smudges or wielding guitars, discussing their latest masterpiece like they're about to sell it for millions.

Yep, the high school hallway was a microcosm of New York itself – diverse, lively, and never short on drama.

Today especially, I felt the simplicity in what I see. The simplicity of society.

It's like the most basic rule of society, man. Everybody's trying to fit in somewhere, with someone.

But feeling kind of weird that I was zoning out like this, I finally made it to the classroom doors. I walked in and there were only three boys chillin' there. We knew each other pretty well cause we were the ones who decided to roll with the Polish class. We're all kind of the same wavelength. Not really into the whole study thing, but maybe that's changing.

"Yo, Max! You hittin' up that party at Elias' place tonight?" Martin, one of the boys, asked.

'Fuck no!' I thought. Elias is one of the bullies from yesterday, and if I had to be in the same spot as him, I'd rather take a rain check. Anyway, I'm trying to brush up on my math skills before the SAT.

"I'm in too, man," Ethan chimed in. He's a tall dude I like to talk with about the new LOL champions.

"Nah, I'm really trying to study, finals are creepin' up," I replied.

"Are you serious, man? Didn't you say you were going the humanities route? Why the fuck are you even bothering with studying?"

Just then, the teacher strolled in, and Martin caught a look from him. "What's with the language, Martin?"

But he didn't press it any further. That teacher's pretty laid-back.

I grabbed a desk and took a seat.

"I asked you to prepare a speech about your typical day in Polish. Who wants to kick it off?"

"Damn... just remembered that," I thought, glancing at the other guys in class. I was pretty sure I was the only one who spaced out on this.

The teacher turned to Ramy, the last person in our small crew. "Alright, let's start with Ramy. Show me what you got."

Ramy kicked it off: "Mój dzień... starts with putting on clothes and eating breakfast, then I go to school and spend my day there before coming back home and playing games until the night. That's when I go to sleep."

"It's basic, Ramy, but I guess it's ok. I'll give you a B for that," the teacher said.

Listening to Ramy talk, was weird. I somehow understood everything.

It ain't my mother tongue, but if I focused enough, it felt like the language was pretty straightforward. I mean shit, Polish, one of the toughest languages in the world, seemed kinda simple?

"Alright, Max, now it's your turn. I didn't see you taking out any notes. Did you forget or something?"

I thought for a minute and then replied, "Nah, I got this all up here." pointing at my head.

The teacher looked at me, surprised. He didn't see me as someone who'd ever do anything extra.

"By the way, what's up with your posture today? You've never sat this straight in my class. Anyways... go ahead"

"No dobra, więc... my day usually starts with the sound of the alarm clock blaring in my ear. I drag myself out of bed, and do the whole morning routine - brush my teeth, put on some clothes, pack my stuff. Then it's off to school, where I sit through classes, trying to stay awake."

I started spittin' fluently about my morning in some foreign tongue, and I swear to you, I ain't have a clue how the hell all the words I picked up just clicked together like they were meant to be.

The teacher gave me the look, with eyes wide open, like I just dropped some next-level knowledge bomb. Even my accent, man, it wasn't half bad. I had 'em all shook.

"After school, it's back home, and I dive into some serious math studying, especially with those SATs looming over my head. I like to challenge myself with complex problems, you know, to keep the brain sharp."

"Once I've had my fill of numbers, I take a breather and maybe catch up on some gaming. Finally, when the clock ticks closer to midnight, I call it a day and hit the sack. Another day is done, and hopefully, a step closer to acing those exams."

My classmates? They were all buggin', looking at me like I just pulled a magic trick outta thin air. Ethan and Martin were whispering, "Yo, he got some skills!" while Ramy was just plain jaw-dropped like he had seen a ghost on the subway. It was a straight-up scene, let me tell you.

"How long did it take you to learn that, and with such a decent accent too?" asked the teacher with a smile on his face.

"I came up with it on the spot"

"Right... anyways, that deserves an S, good job Max"

Time flew by, and the class finally ended. It was two weeks before the SAT exams, and the mandatory classes had become scarcer than a unicorn in the Bronx. Today's session left me feeling like a different guy altogether, and I was loving that. I felt like I was on top of the world.

As I strolled out of the school gates, my ancient Motorola G23 from back in 2020 lit up and made a sound. I had a new notification.

'Amelia Rosby added you to the friend's list, Say Hi!'

I looked at the picture on the display. It was the girl from back in the library.

Damn, it seemed like my explanation had really left an impression. And maybe, just maybe, I wasn't lookin' too shabby myself.

I rocked dark, almost black hair and stood over 6 feet tall. Was I handsome? Well, I guess, maybe today especially...

I tapped "accept" on my phone, and just then, someone loomed over my shoulder.

"What you've got there, man?" It was Alex, fresh from his French lesson, and of course, he couldn't resist nosin' around my business on the phone.

"I got myself a girl."

"Sure... she probably took pity on you. Show her to me!"

I hesitated for a second but then reluctantly showed him her picture.

"Holy smokes! She looks good. Where'd you meet her?"

"At the library."

"You? At a library? What's goin' on with you, man? Wake up! Let's bounce back to the apartments, and play some games, but first, I need my Cola fix."

I never understood what was up with Alex and his Cola obsession, but the guy couldn't go a day without it.

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