Monday morning, the start of my second week, I got off the bus in front of the Rich V. Gemthe Academy and walked toward the door. Las Vegas got only six inches of rain a year, so the weather was pretty consistent from day-to-day. This day, however, an unusual wall of black clouds dammed up behind Sunrise Mountain. Looked like a brewing thunderstorm.
A sleek, red sedan pulled up to the entrance the same time that I got there. Trent got out and grabbed a backpack. Peeking through the windshield, I sized up the driver, a dark-haired lady wearing sunglasses. His mom, maybe? Some of the other kids told me last week that Trent didn't live at the school like the rest of us because of this touch phobia. Someone drove him to school every day. That's why I was so nosy to find out.
I held the school door open for him. "Hi, Trent."
He didn't greet me back, but before entering, he stopped and sniffed the air. "Ah, petrichor."
"What's that, a quote from Shakespeare?"
"No, it means it's going to rain. It's the scent of actinomycetes, a bacterial spore atomized by rainfall."
What a nerd. "If you say so."
"Close the damn door. You're letting the hot air in," Mr. Chase yelled from the reception counter.
Trent lowered his gaze to the ground and walked into the screening area, I followed him and made sure the door closed behind me.
After we cleared security, I followed Trent down the hall making sure to not accidently brush up against him. Mr. Boone's words played in my head about how I should try to get closer to Trent, to help him. "Trent, we have Algebra first thing. Walk with me to my room so I can change out of these street clothes and into my uniform."
He said nothing but followed me.
Other students gave us a wide berth as I led Trent into my room. While I changed, he opened up some. Turned out he lived with his grandmother. She was the lady in the red car. His grandmother's house had a pool and Trent told me he enjoyed hanging out there.
We took the stairs down to the second-floor classrooms.
Approaching the door to Mr. Abhijeet's class, out of nowhere Trent blurted out, "-2, 0, -6, 38, 12, -5, -18, 21, 27, and 10."
"What's that mean?"
"The answers to the math quiz from last Monday."
Was he serious? Could Trent be so smart that he not only knew the answers but had memorized them for a whole week? "Why didn't you finish the quiz? Why didn't you even try?"
"Too easy. That quiz insulted my intelligence."
I trailed Trent into class not knowing what to think about his bizarre behavior.
Mr. Abhijeet cleared his throat and class began.
My next two classes weren't with Trent, so we went our separate ways. I figured to meet up again with him at lunch. That's when I was also supposed to check in with Darla. After going through the cafeteria line, I noticed her eyeing me from the table where she sat. She waved me over.
"Did you find your way to all of your classes?" she asked.
"Have any other problems?"
"Good. Now get out of my sight."
The girls sitting with Darla giggled which humiliated me. Taking the hint, I looked for Trent but didn't see him, so I ate with two of the other kids from math class.
YOU ARE READING
The Story of SingTeen Fiction
[2018 Wattys Short List] - Sixteen-year-old Sing strives to do well in school so that he can find a decent job and provide a better life for his crippled mother and younger brother, Jacko. That goal becomes derailed when Sing is falsely accused of a...