The bell rang harsh and metallic, snapping the gathered students out of their conversations, reading, or general stupor and directed their attention towards the front of the room. Their eyes focused on a figure sitting at a desk there, who sat shuffling papers for a few moments before clearing her throat.
"Well, I hope all of you read the assigned chapters, or you will be hopelessly lost in today's lesson. Now, let's begin." She stood an walked to a blackboard admist some low groans and picked up a piece of chalk, writing quickly and furiously, beginning to lecture in time with the movements of the chalk.
The students reacted in many ways, some doodling in their notebooks, others promptly falling asleep, but since this was an honors class, the majority fell into the habit of actually taking notes. One such student sat at her desk, attentive on the teacher's every word as her hand translated the lecture into her own words. She was a pretty girl, a tuxedo cat with a silky black fur accentuated by white patches that gave definition to her classification and accentuated her charm. Her hair was glistening white, folded into an elaborate bun and kept in place by two chopsticks with points on either side falling down to frame her face. However, her most striking feature was her emerald green eyes that sparkled with intelligence, naivety, and exuberance for life and what the world would bring tomorrow. Her name was Jasmine.
Her pencil glided across the paper, transforming the droning words of the lecture into a easily comprehensible script for later usage. She was so engrossed in her copying that she almost didn't notice a small finger poking into her side. Reluctant to break her concentration, she glanced over to the owner of the finger and mentally sighed. Her friend Mina sat there, a dog with curiously tied ears that gave her the appearance of a rabbit. She had a mischievous grin on her face and whispered when Jasmine turned her attention in Mina's direction.
"Psst. Jazzie! Jazzie! Hey, you busy?"
Jasmine, with a flat face, gave a gesture with her freehand to the notes she had been taking.
"Great!" Mina continued. "Hey, how are things going with Paulsen?"
Jasmine shot her a glare and carefully whispered back.
"His name is Paulo, and fine, now can we talk later?"
"Fine, fine." Mina said, looking slightly abashed.
Jasmine shook her head and went back to writing notes when the teacher suddenly turned around and pointed the chalk directly at her.
"Can you please tell me the answer to this question?"
Jasmine sat there, mouth open in shock. Stupid Mina! She made Jasmine lose track of the topic and now this! She looked at her notes furiously before sighing and bowing her head. "No ma'am."
The teacher sniffed and pointed at another student in the room who gave the answer flawlessly, however Jasmine was too shamed to even hear the sound of their voice.
"He's pretty awesome huh?"
Jasmine glared down at her paper, not being sucked into Mina's words this time! A blessed period of complacency occurred, where only the sounds of pencils on paper, chalk on the chalkboard, and the teacher's grating voice permeated the room. As Jasmine's pencil glided across the paper her implement's path was obstructed by a folded piece of paper. She inwardly groaned and looked at Mina who was pointing at the paper with great enthusiasm. She sighed and opened the paper, keeping her eyes on the teacher this time before glancing to read it.
In a very cutesy cursive was scribbled: "Do you think I have a chance with the new guy?"
Jasmine looked at Mina with a, "What the hell is this?" expression.
Mina blinked and blurted out. "The guy who answered that question, you know, Daniel!"
Mina's head suddenly shot back as something small and white rebounded from her skull.
"No talking in my class you miscreant!" The teacher screamed, fury written on her face.
Mina rubbed her head and muttered an apology as the class burst into laughter around her. Jasmine shrugged and shook her head as the teacher quieted down the class and the lecture continued without any further interruptions.
The bell rang and the classroom spilled forth its contents into the hallway, the silent corridors bursting to life with the movement of the students and the sounds of conversation. It was the last class of the day and the students were very excited to leave the institution, for tasks more relevant to their interests, although each had a heavy heart knowing the reprieve would be short lived as the day was only Monday. Seeing the tide of people Jasmine gripped her books tight and dived into the crowd. Mina bounded after her, rubbing her head but oblivious to the sea of students.
"That teacher is so mean, geez my head really throbs." Mina whined.
"Well, maybe you should have been paying attention instead of trying to talk in class." Jasmine replied, rolling her eyes. "What was so important anyway? Some guy or something?"
Mina stared at Jasmine aghast. "Some guy? SOME GUY?" She grasped Jasmine's arm, stopping both of them in place, forcing the crowd around to part in a manner akin to throwing a boulder in a river. "Jazzie, do you even know who I'm talking about?
Jasmine gave a nervous chuckle and looked around her, seeing the odd looks on people's faces as they rushed past. "Uhm, well no, but maybe we should move.."
Mina continued on, staring at her intensely. "I'm talking about Daniel! Ugh. I can't believe you haven't even noticed the guy, he's been here since like, last week!
Jasmine just blinked. "Uh…"
"Anyways, Daniel is like the smartest guy you'll ever see, you remember in class how he answered that question that stumped even you? Well he's also super sweet, I hear her spends a lot of time with little children and animals in his spare time and he loves the environment and volunteers and, well everything! Oh! But the most important part is…" She leans in close to Jasmine and says with a wicked grin, "He's hot."
Jasmine patted Mina's shoulder. "I'm sure you'll be happy with him." She then proceeded to break out of Mina's grasp and return to walking. Unfortunately the dog continued to hound her.
"So you think I have a chance? Oooo, I don't think he even notices me… Any advice you can give me? I mean you're doing so well with Paul and…"
Jasmine missed a step momentarily, losing her balance. Mina didn't seem to notice however, but Jasmine's face took on a more somber edge.
Jasmine took a deep breath and smiled at Mina. "Well, I'd say you need to be yourself, show him a picture of your eccentric personality and well…" She pauses for a moment. "Just, just make sure you are ready for a relationship okay?"
Mina thumped a hand to her chest. "I'm ready for anything! Thanks Jazzie."
Jasmine smiled an looked at one of the clocks on the wall of the hallway an gasped. "Oh! Speaking of which I need to go meet Paulo before environment club! Uhm, well I hope things go well with this Daniel, but I've got to run!" She gave a wave to Mina and dashed down the hallway.
Mina cupped her hands to her mouth and shouted, "Go get em Tigress, growrr!" shaking her head as the black and white cat faded from sight.
Paulo tapped his foot impatiently in front of the school building. Admittedly it hadn't been very long since the bell had rang but Paulo had been itching to see Jasmine all day and the wait was starting to get to him. He was a tall, handsome Somali cat, orange fur resplendent in the sun. A cool fall wind blew by him, ruffling his spiky hair. His striking green eyes betrayed in impulsive, impatient, yet very passionate cat who currently wanted to lay said eyes on the form of his girlfriend.
He watched masses of people flood from the school off to their cars, the buses, or to walk home. He scanned inventively for her. He waved at a few people he knew as they moved past but they quickly faded from view. He sighed and moved to lean against a nearby railing when he heard a voice behind him.
"So, waiting for that girlfriend of yours?"
He smiled briefly at the voice and then realized what had been said, changing his expression before he turned to face the source. "Yeah, that's right Lucy, something I can do for you?"
Lucy shrugged. She was a shorter cat, a Khao Manee by breed with silk smooth white fur and a very shapely figure. Around her neck was a pink ribbon tied into a bow behind her head, a contrast to her usual demeanor and scowl, almost as if to remind people that she was IN FACT a girl. Her eyes, which were blue as a deepest ocean, often reflected this attitude however, if one were to dive into their depths they'd be lost in the tempest of emotion contained within. At the moment though, she was busy showing a feigned disinterest in the Somali's situation.
"Oh, nothing really Paulo, just seeing what you were doing out here, that so much of a problem?"
Paulo chuckled, not put off by her attitude in the slightest. "Aww, you came to check up on me, that's so sweet babe, but don't you have rehearsals for that dumb play or something?"
The Khao Manee groaned. "Yes, gah! Thanks for reminding me, what you want to get rid of me that fast?"
Paulo's face darkened. "No Lucy I didn't mean it like that I'd never.."
Paulo's attention shifted rapidly to his name being called and found that the source this time was Jasmine, moving to him from the front entrance. He waved his hand at her and then stopped when he realized Lucy was still there.
Lucy rolled her eyes. "Fine, I'll go Casanova. You two play nice now." And with that she departed, leaving Paulo feeling slightly abashed as Jasmine finished closing the gap.
"Paulo!" Jasmine giggled, giving the Somali a hug.
Paulo had no choice but to be elated by her arrival, regardless of what had just transpired. He chuckled and returned the gesture. When the two ended their embrace Jasmine rubbed the back of her head. "Sorry I took so long, Mina held me up talking about some new crush of hers."
"Geez, sounds like it it's not one thing it's another with her huh?" Paulo joked.
Jasmine laughed, "Ahahaha, I suppose so!" her expression changed then to a curious look. "So, what were you and Lucy talking about?"
Paulo coughed a bit. "Oh, nothing, she just wanted to say high before rehearsals is all." Feeling slightly awkward he changed the topic. "So, you ready for Friday?"
Jasmine beamed at him. "Of course! Oh Paulo a romantic night out, just you and I. It's so cheesy!" She giggles. "Ah, but you treat me just right."
Paulo gave her a soft smile. "I do my best for you." And it really was his best, to afford doing this for her he had to save all his allowance and do tons of odd jobs around town. But he knew she was worth it. His smile turned somber however. "Are you sure you have to go to environment club today? Can't you just skip?"
Jasmine shook her head. "Sorry Paulo, but if I want to be an officer of that club…"
Paulo cut her off. "I have to go to every meeting, yes I know." He sighs. "Well you made tomorrow free right?"
She brightened up at that "That's right! Things will be better tomorrow, I promise." She glanced at the clock above the school. "Oh, I guess I do need to go though, I'm sorry." She gave him a quick hug and pulled away slowly, looking at him.
"Go on" Paulo sighed.
She nodded and dashed back to the school, leaving Paulo along with only the wind, blowing wistfully around him.