Chapter Two: Boy

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Journalism II went on for a rather long half an hour after the names had been drawn and announced. A whole thirty minutes since Lauren had found out she would have to actually interact with Camila Cabello. The girl who thought with a change of her name and a bettering of attitude could completely erase what she had done in the past. Lauren couldn't think straight for the rest of the class period, itching to talk to Miss Perino about choosing someone else, anyone else. She would do a paper about the president of anime club if needed.

Once the classroom had ended, the bell ringing over the sound of the news playing from Miss Perino's tiny television, the teacher had clapped her hands together, smiling at the class.

"I hope that you took good notes of what happened in today's news. We're having a quiz tomorrow over it," Miss Perino announced, making Lauren sigh dramatically, flopping forward on her desk into her folded arms. Of course, the day she wasn't paying attention, it mattered the most to take notes.

The students groaned collectively after Lauren had, packing up their things quicker, planning to skip tomorrow's class. As everyone filtered out of the room and Miss Perino bid them a goodbye, Lauren packed up her things slowly, then put her sketchbook back together, pressing the tape back down onto the cover. She had to think of someway to either switch her person for the paper or get away with not doing the paper at all. Which was rare for Lauren, who liked to go above and beyond with her assignments. She always thought that they made up for her silent time in class.

After the last person had left the classroom, Lauren shuffled up to Miss Perino, clutching her sketchbook closer self-consciously. Miss Perino stood for a moment, not noticing Lauren for a moment, until the darker-haired girl cleared her throat. The teacher jumped, almost sending the fishbowl on her desk flying.

"Oh! Hi, Lauren. Wh-what's going on?" Miss Perino asked, adjusting her glasses so she could see Lauren better.

The green-eyed girl looked down at her feet, toeing at the ground.  "Um. I, uh. I n-need to ask f-for a different p-person," Lauren murmured, biting her lip nervously after. She had always hated talking so much, but Lauren hated asking for things a lot more. She was always worried that she'd come off as needy or selfish or whiny. And in the case, Lauren knew she sounded whiny.

"Why is that, Lauren? Is it because you're jealous of Camila or something?" Miss Perino asked truthfully, walking around Lauren to sit at her desk. The chair squeaked pathetically under Miss Perino's tiny weight.

Lauren frowned, biting her cheek so she wouldn't say anything off color. "N-no! I just...I'm not a big f-fan of her," she admitted, lifting her head up so she could meet the teacher's gaze.

Miss Perino quirked a thin eyebrow, which was much like the rest of her, and sighed through her nose. "Well, this assignment can help you get over your spat with Camila, I'm sure. Maybe you'll find out that you quite like her."

Lauren's eyes widened. "No, no, no, no. You don't understand. She...she used t-to bully me. All of the time. I c-can't be around her!" she said, voice growing louder.

Miss Perino looked almost as shocked as Lauren did. But, she composed herself a lot faster. "No. You don't understand, Ms. Jauregui. Your grade depends on this final," she replied, turning towards her computer, pulling up the grading book. Lauren frowned, peeking over the teacher's shoulder. Her eyes widened when she saw her grade. "If you want to get that F up to a B, you will be doing this assignment."

Lauren stood still, unable to think coherently. How had her grade gotten so low? She never missed school unless she was severely ill and always turned everything in on time. All she could think of was the read aloud sessions. But, Lauren had thought those were optional.

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