8: Armand de Brignac

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A few days later...

"So the motion for today's debate is, private school is better than public school," Ms. Bishop announces before placing a clocked box in front of us.

"Team A, go ahead," she says to my group motioning to the box placed on the table in front of us.

I take a step forward and dip my hand into the box and pull out a card, inwardly I freeze when I realize that my group is debating on the affirmative side.

My mind going back to some days back when mum told me to change schools. Back then I nothing but outright refused the idea, mentally painting the most horrific picture of that school--which is private--in my head and now I have to defend its kind?

"Great!" She claps her hand excitedly when taking notice of my card. "Now you guys know the drill, in the main competition you guys will have an hour to prepare but since this is a practice session I'm giving you guys five minutes." All of our jaws hang open at her words.

"Five minutes?!" Danny--my team member whispers yells, the shock evident in his tone.

"Yes Danny, five minutes," she replies flatly. "And remember, the three students going to make up our team for the upcoming competition will be chosen for today's winning team," she adds only adding to our growing anxiety.

We scurry off to our respective stations, right before panicked whispers and ideas start being fired. The two other members in my group talking over the other raising total mayhem.

"Okay, hush! Both of you," I demand, my tone firm yet soft.

"Last go step by step. First, we decide whose opening the argument, and then we figure out our arguments," I tell them, to which a receive a chorus of agreements.

"I'll do the opening," Marji--the brunette beside me volunteers. She's a new student, who joined in the middle of the year.

Danny pastes an apprehensive look on his face that he didn't even try to be discreet about.

Admittedly Marji is a new student, but I've seen her argue, and she's good and I just nod in her direction and give Danny a reassuring look.

"I'll go second then," Danny says firmly. "In case we need damage control," he adds under his breath receiving a glare in response from me.

"I'll do the closing argument," I affirm before we move on to figuring out the points for our argument.

Within no time the timer goes off and before we know it the debate begins with Marji presenting the affirmative side of the debate by pointing out the individualized attention students receive in private schools.

"This is a losing battle," Danny mumbles, and I apprehensively inwardly agree, not that Marji is doing a bad job she is doing great so far, but defending a topic you inwardly know isn't true is hard, to say the least.

Half an hour goes by and to my astonishment, my group is doing great so far. Not only did Marji set a good foundation, but Danny took it a step further with his arguments, now it's up to me to bring it home.

My team for far we're perfect in every way, from the voice modulation when required to the rebutting of the opposition's arguments with facts everything was right so far, my anxiety grows when I realize the fate of whether we lose or win now is on my shoulders.

Cold numbness spread through my fingers as my heart picked up its pace. I set foot on the podium before glancing down at my notes.

"To summarize the argument so far, my colleagues have established not only do private schools offer a more individualized learning experience for students with the use of sophisticated teaching methods but also maintain their independence from municipal funding allowing them to have a more flexible curriculum," I pause.

"And while I agree with the opposition that not everyone can afford to attend such schools, I would also like to point out that the main reasons that these schools can offer such individualized teaching to their students are because they aren't dependent on the funding that they receive from the government, giving them the freedom to incorporate more diversity and opt for more specialized teaching methods into their curriculum," I reason.

Alison--the opposing team's member--concludes her argument after me dancing around the point that private education is expensive and not available to all, and by the end of it gauging by Ms. Bishop's expression and body posture I can positively conclude that my team has won.

"Well presented and defended students," Ms. Bishop takes her place at the front of the room facing both teams.

"But at the end of the day, only three students can represent our school at the competition," She adds.

I notice everyone holding their breaths, and soon realize I'm doing it as well. My palms turn cold and although my mind is telling me we have won, I refuse to sigh in relief until I hear it from the horse's mouth.

"Team A--" my ears strain themselves to hear more clearly although I can hear just fine. "Guess you're going to be those three, congratulations," she finishes with a smile.

Danny and Marji pull me into a celebratory group hug that I try my hardest not to pull away from, but I do anyway after a solid minute of sheer discomfort.

Soon we are dismissed for the day and everyone hears towards the entrance of the school with the other team holding utter disappointment on their faces, their shoulders slouched, and voices low.

My team on the other hand is bubbly and full of excess adrenalin causing them to be loud and excited. I part ways from them offering them a small smile, and head towards the main gated entrance of our school and wait patiently for one of Ryan's kids to come pick me up like mum said they would in her previous text to me.

With my bag heavy on my shoulders and a day full of stress loading my brain, I mentally pray that they are here soon.

Reaching the gate I'm taken by surprise when I recognize the silhouette beside a fancy car to be no other than Enrique.

He is quick to take notice of me and motions for me to enter the car and I do, my mind still caught up with the debate we just finished up inside, recalling that it was their suggestion to move me to a private school that mum was acting on.

"How was debate club?" He asks, as he backs away from the school and onto the freeway.

"Productive," I reply.

"So, what did you debate about?" He asks curiously and I frown.

'Why does he care?'

"The usual is one better than the other," I reply vaguely.

"Oh," he raises his brow, his eyes not leaving the road even for a fraction of a second.

"What topics do you often debate about?" He inquires.

'What's with all the questions?' I wonder.

"Random ones," I reply.

"Today was a random one as well?" He asks.

'Something isn't right, why does he care about the topic of my debate?'

"Yup," I reply, he just hums and quits asking any more questions.

Questions start flooding my mind with doubt, the topic of today's discussion and now his president's questioning makes me wonder if he had anything to do with it.

'I'm being stupid, how would he be able to pull such a thing'

'And there was no way of knowing I would be defending private schools and not opposing it'

'I'm being ridiculous' I conclude.

Or am I...

Author's Note:

Hey guys thanks for reading!

Hope you enjoyed this chapter, and I'm sorry for disappearing like this I just got done with my internal tests and I already have a mountain of assignments and term work to turn in...so yeah.

But anyway I'll try my best to update soon...

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