I finished the essay in only half an hour. The clean wood against my bare arms felt cold and I shivered, turning in the assignment. My sixth grade English teacher congratulated me before moving onto the next student. I closed my chromebook and sneaked a look at my phone hidden in my bag. Still twenty minutes of the class left. I tapped my foot quickly, bored.
“May I go to the bathroom?” I asked, adjusting my mask. Ms. Gordon nodded at me and I slipped out of the classroom. I took a deep breath as my ankle boots hit the carpeted floor silently. I stayed on the 6 feet stickers sealed into the floor, telling me where to stand.
When I got back to the classroom, I sat back down, and started drawing on one of the sketchbooks I had for my art class. I drew my teacher’s dark pink high heels. The bell rang and we all gathered up our stuff before heading to our last classes of the day. My next class was study hall. My best friend Eva also had a study hall, so we met at the library.
“Sup Hayley. What subjects do you have today?” Eva asked when I met her at the desks in the back.
“History, science, and strings. You?” I placed my violin next to my chair.
“Science and Spanish,” Eva answered. She pulled out three binders.
“I have Spanish tomorrow. Ugh. Ms. Santos gives so much homework!” I complained, signing into my chromebook.
“I know, right? It’s like, doesn’t she have a life?” Eva groaned.
I take notes on two air pollution articles. I finish quickly, turn in the work, and move onto history. I just have to finish a paragraph on the electoral college. Eva’s still working on her Spanish assignment. As I finish the last three sentences, I close my computer to go look around the library. I’ll do violin practice later, at home. At the check-in desk, I pulled two plastic gloves out of the box, and returned to the wooden shelves.
“Dear Martin, Dear Justyce, The Hate U Give,” I mumbled the names of books my gloved fingers touched.
“Are you looking for something specific?” One of the librarians walked over to me.
“No thanks. Just looking,” I replied politely. I walked back over to Eva, and sat down.
“I’m bored,” I whined. Eva sighed and looked up from her science notes.
“I’m almost done. Go take a mask break outside and I’ll meet you there,” Eva turned back to her notes. I took the gloves off and threw them out before grabbing my bag and waving to the librarians as I walked outside. I sat on one of the white x’s spray painted outside, and took my mask off, opening my book.
“Hayley Anderson?” A voice said. I looked up and put my blue and white checkered mask on before standing up. The girl in front of me was wearing a purple mask, with hoop earrings, a black t-shirt, and ripped jeans. She looked way older than me.
“Hey! Ummm…” I trailed off. How did she know me? She laughed.
“Alana. Gomez,” she said. OMG she was my brother’s ex-girlfriend! I remembered her now. She was really great.
“Nice seeing you again,” I said honestly. She laughed.
“Sorry this is so awkward. I know Shawn and I broke up, but I’m tutoring in math if you ever need anything, call me,” Alana offered, and left in a blink of an eye. I sat down and pulled my mask off again, thinking about her offer. Eva walked out of the library and sat down on the X next to me.
“Ms. Santos made us write two paragraphs on what we thought the electorates should know about climate change.”
Eva said, and sat down to take her mask off.
“Yeah, the earth is…” I trailed off, only half listening.
“Becoming ruined. We need to do something.” Eva said. I turned my attention to her.
“Definitely,” I said, agreeing 100%.
“I love having study hall as our last period,” Eva said, and I nodded.
“Yup. And then I have bat mitzvah practice. Which I totally don’t feel like doing today,” I said, lying on the grass. Eva fell next to me. I breathed in the fresh, clean air. I saw a handful of students on their way to the buses, and I sat up to check my watch to see what time it was. 3:30, time to go home. I put on my mask and grabbed my backpack, Eva following me. We got on the bus first, and soon the other three 6th graders in my color group and on my bus got on.