The boy in front of me heaves through his nose, practically choking on his own spit and exhaling like it was an effort.  I physically shudder, doing my best to block out his vile, wet, noises while trying to not smell the nauseating stench of B.O. hovering in the air like a cloud.  My eyes constantly dart to the clock, willing time to move faster.  Why don't high schoolers ever shower?  My sympathy for these poor teachers grow each day.

When the bell finally blares over the loudspeakers, the teacher holds out a hand.  If we aren't dismissed until they tell us to leave, what's the point of a bell in the first place?  I just shake my head and swoop up my books so I can get out of here as soon as possible.  This is my last class today and it's the weekend.  For the umpeenth time I wish I have Jenna's number so I can actually know if she has academic team practice or not.  

As I'm leaving the classroom and turn into the math hallway, sure enough, she's standing right by my locker with a deadly smile.  "Why the morbid smirk, freak?"  I ask while I put my current novel in my backpack.

She hooks her thumbs through the shoulder straps and rhythmically twists back and forth.  "You know, I was thinking.  What if I do something completely scandalous, like wearing shorts or leggings with a shirt that doesn't reach my knees--heaven forbid--so I can get sent home.  How would that go?"

I shoot her a look that tells her just how idiotic I think she is.

"Hey, come on," she protests.  "You don't want to wear a shirt with porn on the front?"  She jostles me with her elbow, grinning with her teeth.

I roll my eyes at that.  "Yeah.  Cause I have an unlimited supply of porn shirts.  Crewneck or hoodie?"

She laughs.  As we leave the school, I notice that she never chuckles or flirtatiously giggles.  It's always a full-fledged, tilting back of the head, laugh.  

"Why are you in such a good mood?"  I ask before I pull open the car door for her and head around to climb in myself.

"I don't know, why do you have the manners of a guy from the 40s?"  She jokes, pulling out of the parking lot.  I try to not point out that the gas tank is almost empty.

"Maybe you've just been with the wrong guys and have low expectations," I say before I can really think about it.  I prepare myself for the furious hurricane to slap me, but she just shrugs.  

"You're probably right."  She leaves it at that, like this should be enough explanation for anything.  We spend the rest of the drive without signing a word.  Even if she can annoy the heck out of me, it unbalances my day if we don't get this short ten minute ride.  There's just this certain normalcy that she brings to my life that I don't want to give up.

Karen's cooking something on the stove as we throw open the kitchen door, chucking our bags onto the couch even though she'll just tell us to move them.  "How was school?"  She asks, raising her eyebrows and shaking her head as we both make a mess like we're third graders.

Jenna wraps her arms around Karen's waist for a brief squeeze and makes a gagging noise.  "I just got out.  The last thing I want to talk about is school."  Karen looks to me next, but I just shake my head.  I can at least agree with Jenna on this one.

"Well, you two are doing a lot better in that high school than where you used to be."  She stirs with a wooden spoon, smoke rising out of the big black pot to cloud over the microwave.  Jenna reaches on her tiptoes to draw something in the moisture.  Before I can see it, she swipes it away, only leaving a handprint.  Karen mutters something about smudges and glass cleaner.  

"Make sure you remember to do your homework--" Karen hardly has time to say before we both leave.  

Later in the evening, I walk past Jenna's room to the linen closet at the end of the hallway to grab a towel before I hop in the shower.  But there's a muffled sound coming from inside that gives me the wrong feeling.  I cautiously turn the knob, preparing myself for Levi or something equally horrific.  What I'm not expecting is her to be sitting cross legged on her bed, staring at her phone, and sobbing.  She's biting the sleeve of her sweatshirt, obviously attempting to stop the sound from calling attention.  

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