Death by Algebra. The seat creaks when I sit. It echoes around the room reaching the ears of my peers with a scream of FAT KID. I watch thinner girls sit, and the creak is a tiny whisper reminding me they’re better than me.
Mt algebra teacher’s mole is the only thing the students pay attention to. And she has the worst taste in style. She wears the same ugly old school sandals every day. The remind me of something Hercules would wear. The room is painted yellow and brown, with orange shapes and equations everywhere. One of the circles in the back of the room has a face drawn on it, with an exaggeration of teacher’s mole on it.
I thought algebra would be hard, but my worksheet is in a different language. There aren’t even numbers on it. The girl behind me, Molly, who is known for her nose ring, and the drug hook up is breathing too hard. I doodle on my worksheet and throw it in the trash thirty minutes until the end of class. Teacher doesn’t get up. It’s a Friday late in the school year. No one cares anymore.
I swear someone calls cow as I leave the room.
Boring, boring boring. It’s all about men and their political wars. And when we do talk about the women of the past, they’re always strong, independent, and intelligent. I am fat, vulnerable, and of average intelligence. There’s never any talk of how the bigger woman got the man of her dreams and changed the world.
The room is plastered with maps. At least twenty different ones. One is upside down, another backwards. It’s easy to forget where you are in the world in this classroom. It almost makes me feel safe. Questioning which direction to take.
My teacher is hott. Blonde hair, blue eyed, typical gorgeous older man. His pants are tight, and he rolls up his sleeves to let us know he goes to the gym. He chews gum and gives out candy for answering a question right. He’s been seen going to the liquor store and coming out with imported, expensive beer. Rumor went around that he was a stripper on the weekends. He now buys domestic.
I receive two bite sized candy bars for answering questions. I feel the insults from my peers like fire ants under my skin. I toss the candy bars into the trash on my way out.
My second favorite class. Grammar, punctuation, and literature. I get that. It’s a class where you are rewarded for having an opinion. And for actually reading the book, and not waiting on the movie. Easy, peas.
There are giant portrait posters around the room. Mark Twain. Nathaniel Hawthorne. Edgar Allen Poe. And Emily Dickinson. Now, Dickinson, I get.
My teacher is normal. Picture teacher, and that’s her. Slightly overweight, motherly tone, and glasses. She actually reads our essays and grades on the curve. She has yellow teeth, and nine kids. I am not the fattest kid in this class, and feel fine taking my jacket off.
It’s a peaceful break. A place to clear my head and prepare for next hour.
Kyle is in my class. He is friends with everyone in the room. And I only have one. I sit next to Michael, a very flamboyant talented artist. He thinks it’s cute to pinch my cheek. It’s not.
The room smells like burnt paper and paint chemicals. Jazz music plays softly from the teacher computer, and the kids have a good time.
My teacher looks like a turtle. Hunchback and her upper lip dip down in the middle. I want to know if she likes pizza and would consider a martial arts class, but think it would be rude, and she wouldn’t get it any ways.
We’re painting movement today. I’ve made the final stroke when the fire alarm goes off. Just a drill. We head outside to talk loudly again.
Kyle bumps into me.
Cheeks start to burn, and Michael steps away.
“I tried to friend you online. You haven’t replied…”
He shrugs, puts his hands in his pockets, and looks down.
Is he nervous, or nonchalant?
“Oh! No, it’s just. I uh, used up all of my data this month. I just uh, can’t get online, so I um, just didn’t see it.”
I try to laugh. And it sounds like I was trying.
|Daniella Monet||as Malorie|
|David Henrie||as Kyle|
|Amanda Seyfried||as Rachel|
|Nathan Kress||as Daniel|
|Jeremy Sumpter||as Mark|