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The Gradebook

Dedicated to



“And so, the particle theory of matter comes to light and is the best, and really only, theory to use when determining the state of particles. What state of matter forms when it is cooled down to -237.8 °C?”


Matthew’s hand shot up. He sounded and looked like a geeky monkey as he started leaping in his seat. Bradley, a failing jock, who was sitting behind him, rapidly pulled his chair backwards.




Matthew was sprawled on the floor, his arms under his legs, and his legs intertwined with the table. Everyone burst out laughing, and my giggles erupted as well. It was quite the sight to behold.


Matthew moaned and whispered in a raspy voice, “Bose-Einstein Condensate...”


“Wow, if Bradley had been knocked senseless like that, he wouldn’t have any brain cells left,” Alec, who was sitting beside me whispered.


“I don’t think he has any to begin with,” I played along.


“Excuse me, Miss Byers, care to tell us about your hilarious inside joke?” our Chemistry teacher said with a distasteful tone towards me.


“I think you were in on the joke too, Mr. Collington,” I blurted, pointing to Matthew, who was now rubbing his head, while Bradley’s face was turning purple from all his suppressed laughter.


The whole class started laughing again. Except for one.


Ethan Rayes!


He was clearly enjoying all this. He had a knowing smile on his face. When he caught me looking intently at him, I went back to doodling in my Science notebook, which held my course timetable. On the corner was a design I drew of a supermodel wearing a zebra-print flowing dress with a tight saffron sash, and matching saffron wedges. It was beautiful.


I opened to a new page. I glanced around the room, and scribbled all the boys’ names in a messy list. In total, I had about fifteen names. I started off with the basics. Eye colour, hair colour, height (I should start listening more in Math classes, I’m helpless with estimating), labels, lunch table, and life ambition. Then, I wrote a small blurb about each of them.


Alec almost peeked over my shoulder, but I flapped my arms around so he would leave me alone.


“Whatcha writing?” he said, smirking. “Love notes?”


I almost puked inside my mouth. “Ew, of course not! Maybe you should practice that form of writing,” I retorted.


“What are you getting at?”


“You like Alyce... A lot!” I sang.


“No, I don’t.”


“Yes, you do.”


“No, I don’t!”


“Yes, you do!”


“No. I. Don't.”


“Yes. You. Do.”

By the time we finished it sounded just like the musical, only the lyrics were a bit tweaked. People stared at us, and started applauding quietly, while wearing ridiculous smiles.


“Wow, quite the singing voice,” someone said, as they brushed past me.


“It’s nicer than yours will ever be!” I chimed with a small laugh.


“Maybe you should give that up too, since, you know, popularity matters more than life,” he spoke again, and I froze. It was him. Ethan.


“Don’t get me mad. You know I’m not some Malibu Barbie,” I defended myself. There was more to me than that, right? Definitely.


“You’re right. You’re the Malibu Barbie. Of this school, that is,” he sneered.


“I, uh... But, no! What are you... just be... Ugh! You... I can’t stand you!” I whined, running away to my last period before lunch, my saviour. I held my head down low, and stared fixedly at my shoes, feeling my shoulders tense up. Alec followed me.


“Leave me alone!” I shouted.


“Mia. Be real, who cares what he thinks? He’s just another guy at this school.”


“Just... go. I have some Spanish to catch up on,” I lied, directing my eyes as far as possible away from him. I heard him walk away slowly. I rubbed my eyes and forced my feet to move, and almost bumped into the door leading to my worst subject, Math. The teacher, Mrs. Pinette, was a crow. She had a raspy voice, and was possibly the strictest Math teacher I ever had. She also never bothered to give me the grades I deserved. The rule was that if she saw ‘Written by Mia Byers’, it was automatically worth a C+.

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Mila Kunisas Mia Byers
Audrina Patridgeas Audrey Spring
Amanda Seyfriedas Stella Odell
Ed Speleersas Cody Zehr
Drew Royas Ethan Rayes
Kelly Blatzas Alec Heyman
Trevor Jacksonas Jamal Jones

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