“Would you answer that, Mr. Novachez?” Mr. Flint asked peering at me through his small glasses over his pointed nose. I took my head up drearily and asked, “What’s the question, again?” Mr. Flint sighed. “Dylan, you need to start focusing in class.” We were in math class, the worst part of school at Barnsthustle Middle, my dope middle school. “Now answer, what is fourteen to the power of six?” Mr. Flint said.
I glanced over at my friend, Ernest, for help. He didn’t see me, because he was waving his hand around in the air so Mr. Flint would pick him to answer the question. “I-uh-I,” I stammered. “I think Ernest knows,” I said. Mr. Flint ignored that statement. “Fourteen to the power of six,” he growled.
“Mr. Novachez,” Mr. Flint hissed. “You already worked it out for homework didn’t you?” I nodded, lying. “All you need to do is look at your paper from last night,” Mr. Flint continued. I pulled the paper from my backpack. I hadn’t done it last night. I glanced at it and looked at Mr. Flint.
I was about to say a random number, but the bell rang. “No homework for tonight,” Mr. Flint stated to the class. “Except for Mr. Novachez,” he said glaring at me. He motioned for me to come to him.
After everyone had left the class, Mr. Flint sat down and said, “Dylan, you gotta do what you are supposed to do. This is school. Welcome to real life.” “Sorry Mr. Flint, but I had soccer practice until nine.” “Well tell your coach, to let you leave early.” I was about to leave when Mr. Flint stopped me. “Ernest will be your tutor from now on.” I frowned. “He will make sure you do your homework and do it right,” he continued.
I took my homework and ran to my locker. I shoved the papers into my locker and grabbed my other books. The next class was history. History was my favorite class. We were learning about World War II. I had the same history class with Ava and Wyatt.
I sat down in class. Wyatt sat at the front. Ava sat next to me. “Already, let’s review what happened yesterday. When did WWII start?”
“September 1st, 1939” everyone answered. “Great! When did it end?” Mrs. Jackson asked. “September 2nd, 1945,” “What year is it right now?” Wyatt said with his dry humor. “As that is not funny, the date is currently April 5th, 2050,” the teacher responded.
Half an hour later, class ended. For my schedule, lunch is always after history class. I sat at a table with my friends. Ernest called them, “The Cool Kids”. He had a good reason to call them the “cool kids”. Our lunch group was the most popular in the grade. Ernest sat at a different table. Ernest called his table the “Rejects Table”. He always played “Dungeons and Dragons”. Whatever that is. Finn, Ava, Mary, and I were at the “Cool Kids” table along with several other kids.
I finished my lunch. After, I headed to the school yard. We just hung out in a big grassy field. Normally, I would play soccer with the “cool kids” and Wyatt and Ernest always sat at a bench and played “ Dungeons and Dragons”. I swear, they had sat there so many times, they might have their butts imprinted on the bench.
Today, I had to do my homework, so I hung out with Ernest.“Heya, Ernest, Mr. Flint made you my tutor.” “Awesome!” He exclaimed, but when he saw my expression he said, “I meant unawesome.” I handed him my homework. “This is easy,” he said. He explained how to do the problems. We went over everything.
I went inside. We had one more class until school was over. We had ten minutes to get ready and leave for class. These ten minutes were known as, “Drama time”. Gossip was always shared at that time. Bullies would also start beating up kids. Everyday, bullies would take turns making fun of Ernest. Ernest got cornered at his locker. I saw it happen. They started throwing insults at Ernest. They took his glasses and made fun of them. I got riled up and charged through the crowd. Ernest’s lip was bleeding. He sat on the ground crying. He looked helpless. His glasses were smashed, laying on the ground. A bully had stomped on the glasses. “Watch it, dude! You don’t want any trouble and I don’t either,” I said.
He was an 8th grader. They were the oldest grade in the school. “Listen, Shorty, you don’t know who you’re messing with!” A big crowd of kids was surrounding us. People started chanting, “Fight! Fight! Fight!” the kid started throwing fake punches to scare me. The bell rang. “Now I’m late for class! Thanks a lot shorty!” the kid raced away. The crowd shrank as they left for class. I told Ernest to go to the nurse.
I would always tell my lunch group to not mess with Ernest. He was helpless. They understood, so they were nice to Ernest. The 7th and 8th graders were always the problem. Ernest has had so many different glasses, because they kept breaking them. This was an average day at school. It happened daily. Until, the soldiers attacked.