CHOLESTEROL-FREE KNUCKLE-BURGERS

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SERAPHINA'S SCREAM BANGS THE CAFETERIA like an evening monk drum and silences every living thing out of their skeletons. And around a table brewing with frustration and the aroma of roasting brains, a table filled with jocks washed and rinsed in, dried and pressed with SAT prep classes. Wrong timing.

          A growl bounces out of Kaolin's lips before he slams the table. "Are you crazy, Seraphina, what in the fucking hell?!"

          Drake sighs, blowing a stray blond lock away from his eyes, and his index lazily clogging his ears from. While a pendulum of drool ticks off his lips, Pharrell is looking around, still stunned out of his sleep by the scream. Leroi is too busy devouring his heavily meatballed pasta -- who eats pasta in school even -- to even bother.

          "I'm sorry. So sorry." Seraphina giggles, her hand over her mouth. "It's just, Leroi," she whispers, with another gasp, "is that a zit?"

          Nixon can be found shifting between Leroi and Troy like he just pooped in his sandpaper diaper. He's watching Seraphina's revolted countenance carefully as she pokes the pimples.

          Then her eyes land on him. "Bitch!" Then her hands land on his sweatshirt. "Bitch better have my money. Y'all should know me well enough!"

          "Okay, okay. Cut it out. I'll pay you."

          "Another bet, I bet." Drake snickers, humming to the Rihanna song.

          Seraphina licks the yogurt off her lips. "Nixon here." She gestures to the sulking boy. "Because he was Charles Darwin's lab assistant, bet that Leroi will never have a pimple due to some "biological, environmental calculations" he made and now look who the clown is."

          "Wow." Drake whistles, his interest vanishing like heated camphor. "That's interesting."

          "Look Sera I--"

          Seraphina interrupts Nixon with a teasing smirk, "before you start proving your point, I'm still collecting my money."

          "Ugh! I tried this calculations on my hamster at home, and myself! They involve diabetes to, so you know."

          "How are you even sure of this? Self-diagnosis does more harm than good." Leroi, intrigued, smiles at the blue-haired Chinese spark who continually harangues the nerd with a grin on her face. "Nixon is just a slacker."

          "Oh, so you're labelling a nerd a goldbricker?"

          "You are." Seraphina flips her straight, melanoid hair. "And please stop with the big words. I don't have the energy today. Babysitting two little twin brothers is hell enough."

          "See, the symptoms are pretty much standing in front of me. If you like it or not, I'll take care of it myself." Nixon argues, wiping the droplets resting on his Cupid's bow like a ball cupped in a lacrosse stick.

          "Why would I like it or not, who even gives a two fucks about you?"

          "Then why are edifying me about self-diagnosis?"

          She scrunches her face in disgust. "Eww, please don't even go there."

          Seraphina Montana, also a sophomore like Nixon, has been hooked to Leroi and Kaolin since she started a greed-driven aspiration to the seat of Phoenix's queen bee; during her second week in this school. And she thinks hanging out with the co-captains will kind of boost her chances.

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