"Emerson Watts," Mr Greer called out. My stomach did little flips every time I heard that name. I felt like an idiot. Why was I acting like this around Em? Em's always was my best friend. And she wasn't interested in me. I'm just a dork (as Frida liked to point out very frequently).
I looked over at Em who jumped at the sound of her name. She, like me, was taking a mid-Public-Speaking nap. But as I observed the classroom, it was immediately obvious that we weren't the only ones taking this opportunity to snooze. It was eight fifteen in the morning; it was unreasonable to expect us to be fully awake.
"Here," Em blurted out. She must have been answering roll call or something. I saw her try to slyly remove any evidence of drool from the corner of her mouth. Unlike last week, there wasn't any. See, this is what's great about sitting behind Em. I can look at her, whilst "paying attention to the front of the class".
Well... that's what was great about sitting behind her.
Out of the corner of my eye I could see Whitney Robertson hiss the word 'loser' to Em. I felt this weird feeling of wanting to walk over to Whitney and... well, do anything that would make her shut up!
Guys at Tribeca love to fawn over her as though she's some pathetic little woodland creature who can't think independently. Her and her vapid friends were constantly talking about the latest cosmetics and that Nikki-girl who everyone had been obsessing over for the past year. Everyone… except Em.
Em must have mouthed something back to Whitney because I saw Whitney's fake-red lips mouth the words "You wish" back at Em. If I'm honest, I was a little intrigued.
"Em," Mr Greer said as he tried to stifle a yawn. I guess, he didn't want to be here either. "I wasn't calling roll. It's time for you to give the class your two-minute persuasive oral piece. We're going in reverse alphabetical order, remember?"
Half of me just pitied Em for having to talk for two minutes at a class who weren't paying attention (excluding me). However, the other half wanted to hear what her piece was on. Em had mentioned something about her mom helping her. So all I know is that it's going to be somewhat related to females.
I sat upright in my chair as Em walked towards the front and Mr Greer started setting the timer. By the time he signalled to Em to start, both he and I had drifted back into a peaceful two minutes of sleep.
I really did try to stay awake to listen to what Em was going to say, but it was eight twenty! Like I said... unreasonable.
I had absolutely no idea what her piece was on, but from the snippets of it that I did manage to hear, it wasn't just your run-of-the-mill oral persuasive piece.
All I heard was: "Females... computer games... industry... study... UCLA... dropped... decreasing... education... problem-solving... skills... sweatshirt... short shorts... Lara Croft... flame-retardant... glow-in-the dark dinosaur stickers."
Ok, I'm not going to lie, I was actually wide awake from the point where she started talking about stripping off her clothes. For the rest of her piece, I had to try and hold back the laughter that was bubbling inside of me. I tried to keep my mouth shut as tight as possible so that I wouldn't let on to her that I was actually listening.
As the oven timer went off, Mr Greer's body jumped and he woke up startled just to say thanks to Em for her "very persuasive piece".
And after he announced that the next person was Whitney Robertson, I simply dropped my head to my desk and let my brain switch off for the rest of the lesson, because I could pretty much guarantee that anything she said was going to rot my brain cells.
The next time I woke up was because of the bell rang signalling the end of the lesson. I got up from my chair slowly and I saw that Em was by the teacher's desk and her and Whitney were having some kind of dispute. And whatever Whitney said, I could tell hurt Em even though she tried to brush whatever insult made as just another lie spewing from Whitney's mouth.
"Thanks, Mr Greer," she had said to him as he began to leave the classroom. She turned around to face me and I started to act as though I had only just woken up so that she wouldn't realise that I was trying to listen in on her argument with Whitney.
"Thanks to you too. You were a big help back there." She said sarcastically, and I had every urge to tell her that I wanted to defend her against all the people making fun of her, especially Whitney.
But instead I just said, "Dude, I heard every word you said." I wanted to call her anything but 'dude'. I wanted to tell her that every time she was near me I just wanted to hold on to her and never let go. But I thought that might have been a bit deep for a Public Speaking lesson.
"Oh really?" She raised an eyebrow at me. "What was my assigned topic again?"
Stripping off your clothes. "Uh... I'm not sure." I accidentally let out a smirk. "But I know it had something to do with short shorts, and glow-in-the-dark dinosaur stickers."
She rolled her eyes at me and shook her head and walked off. I brushed through my shoulder-length hair as I started mentally scolding myself for liking my best friend, when she never thought of me as anything more than a friend.