"Que pasa, Lizerds." I said as I walked up to my friends, pronouncing the word with a sham Russian accent making it sound like "blizzaird." The story behind our tacky inside joke is a long one, but hey, this is only page one, so I'm sure I we'll get around to it. I plop down next to H on one of the benches of the four-sided table, the furthest possible seat from the lunchroom on the terrace. My short, quiet, snappy Filipina friend is mumbling to herself in French. To her side, El is carefully folding her napkin. To my side, E brushes her long red hair. Across from me, Varsity volleyballer S's boot rests on N's lap as the black hipster ROTC boy feeds his girlfriend a greasy cookie.
"Hey, Iceland. What are you doing with your life?" E assaults me with New York Jewish accent.
I lift my Oreo in response. S is eying my green peppers. "No, bad Strawberry." I'm distracted as a bee lands in El's short bob. E notices too, and shares an amused look with me. I try to remember how to sign "danger", "insect". N bats it for her with greasy fingers, his other hand remaining on S's thigh.
"So today, Wa taught us as spell." I offer.
"You're kidding me. Tell me." The New York Latina leans into my personal space. On her side, wispy, brilliant TJ—who we call Jeff, as in Thomas Jefferson—lifts her manicured fingers from her iPad keyboard to lean in expectantly as well. "It was only a matter of time. Did she demonstrate her powers?"
Wa is our ogre-like AP Lang & Comp teacher. No one likes English anyway, but her eyebrows evoke Spock-in-a-car-wreck, all naturál, with a personality as dark as her eyes and thicket hair to match. Really, she's not that mean, but compared to our bubbly, blonde a AP US History teacher Wo, she's Satan's accomplice. The first godawful passage we were employed to read this semester was The Crucible, hence the witch comparisons. Don't even get me started on Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.
"She cursed C in Spanish. I didn't even know she actual spoke Spanish. It was something like 'Adolescentes malditos me hacen estesado. Maldice...a este chico negro hiper, Satanás.' Everyone looked around. We knew immediately."
"Oooohh." E says. "I bet she made a deal with a devil, and that's why she so ugly and why her powers aren't strong enough to curse our wifi." TJ proposes.
"What was the deal?" I guzzle down some organic chocolate milk.
"IDK, something stupid. I can't fathom why someone would choose to be a High School teacher." TJ returns to her iPad.
Emerald offers her slimy turkey towards me. "Tienes alguna hongos? Dame los hongos o te enviaré al infierno con la filipina!"
"Qu'en est-il de la Philippine?" H pipes up.
"No se sabes." I shoot her down. Among us are known the languages Arabic, Tagalong, English, Spanish (level 3-4 to 5-6 Honors), French (3-4 H), Hebrew, Indian. I'm assuming El speaks English and Sign Language only, and Nathan and Sarah, the language of love. We're the coolest kids on campus. A round-up of agnostic Muslim, Catholic, Jewish, Sikh and those Christian and atheist groupies.
"Y'all are crazy." says H. She's not wrong.
There's one person missing from this ensemble. That person would be my best friend in the whole world, K. She's the Killua to my Gon and she moved to England over the summer. We FaceTime Saturdays. She one of about three people I wholly trust, the others being my mother and her best friend who I call Aunt. My children will call K Aunt, and vice-versa. The rest I'm not so sure about. E is a ticking time bomb, TJ is graduating this year, and S won't have time to get pregnant because she has a different boyfriend every month (N is the first I've liked, probably ever, and probably the first nonwhite of her paramours). I have no idea why El sits at our table. I've never had a lot of friends.
Elementary through middle school, my best friends were busty and condescending Beliebers Ca and Na, and then anime Hu. I ditched them when I got fed up with their double-crossing me. We still ride the same bus. K and H went to our middle school, but I had little interaction with them. Most of my energetic friends went to the other high school, and the rest weren't in my classes. I don't hang on to friends well. My memory is shit, and I really don't really want to remember.
Uncontrolled laughter in AP World History with H and K is the first thing I've wanted to remember. Memory fades whether I want it to or not, buy K always replies to my texts and reblogs my Hunter x Hunter gifs. K and I have more in common than I've had with anyone, but we're still so different. We take care of each other.
I usually only talk at lunch to placate E from biting El's head off, as I am busy nibbling away at tuna and crackers. It's stressful, and I ask myself why I mum over the rudeness of asking El to leave (for her own good) rather than questioning my allegiance to a fire like E over clueless, racist, Christian sweetheart El. It probably has to do with that second adjective. When E asks me if I'm selling train tickets to the camps, I know she's joking. When El says that H looks like Mulan, I get a little sick. I always feel like the center of the world, the diplomat 24/7. I'm really a self-absorbed coward. I convince myself I don't have a problem with that, and continue procrastinating. I KNOW who I am. That's enough motivation for me to keep moving forward.