English 9 (Mr. Gordon)
Write about one of your closest friends. How did you and your friend meet? Be sure to include details and make it interesting! Everybody will have an opportunity to present their reports and read them in front of the class. (Due December 3, 2010)
It was a sunny September afternoon, a day in the first week of school. I still remember Mrs. Lark, with her red, thick-rimmed glasses and her woolen orange turtleneck sweater.
The class was chatty that day; as she was going through and checking the science lab equipment, Mrs. Lark relentlessly tried shushing the class, to no avail. Frizzy, chaotic brown hair with shades of gray fell between her tired, swollen eyes. I was only 9 years old, but evidently it didn't take a genius to figure out she couldn't wait until she could retire.
"Class, for today's experiment, we'll all be working in pairs," Mrs. Lark had drawled at the beginning of the class, barely audible over the noise of the students. "As I go through this equipment, please find yourself a partner. No more than 2 people can be in a group unless I state otherwise." Something told me I was really the only one who had heard her.
I sat alone near the front of the classroom and peered around, trying to find a potential partner. Seeing as I'd just transferred into Elwood Elementary, I hadn't made much acquaintances as of yet. Well, except for this chubby Asian kid named Lee Chang, except I really didn't like him all that much. He had cheeks the size of basketballs. Hell, his glasses practically sat on top of them. All he could talk about was his collectible Yu-Gi-Oh cards and Pokemon. He cursed like a sailor, and was obviously full of himself. Just from talking to him, I could tell he had an ego the size of his bulbous cheeks. No way I was working with him, but I didn't need to worry. He was 2 tables away, chatting it up with some other gawky looking Asian guy. Probably about catching Pikachu or something.
Me? I was a scrawny little nerdy-looking kid with thick black-rimmed glasses (yeah, I used to wear glasses), probably no more than 4'7" at most. Haven't really changed my hairstyle since then; black, short, straight hair with a few stray hairs sticking up. Don't ask how I remember, quite frankly I don't have any idea, but I remember that day, I was wearing a brown, long-sleeved buttoned sweater, probably from Gap. Underneath were some plain blue jeans my mom likely just bought in the thrift store down at Atlantic Avenue, and some white, ratty old Nike sneakers stained beige from excessive wear. Embedded on the side was the trademark Nike logo in black.
All of a sudden, this skinny little kid, even shorter than me, with bushy brown hair goes up to me, an adorable toothy little grin stretching across his face. Luckily, my mom wasn't there, or she'd probably strangle him to death in a hug.
"Uh...hey! Do you wanna work together?" the kid asked. So I wasn't the only one who'd heard Mrs. Lark. "Everyone else seems to be...busy and stuff."
I shrugged. "Okay."
As I shuffle over to the side to make room, the kid pulls up the chair next to me and takes a seat.
Before I can say anything, the kid spouts out four sentences in a split second. "So, what's your name? You seem quiet. Are you new here? I haven't seen you around before!"
"Dominick, and yeah, just transferred in from another school."
"Why'd you transfer?"
"Meh. The kids there were weird...plus, I just moved recently."
"Where did you move from?"
Jesus Christ, was this an interrogation or something? "Not far. Just several streets from here. Our family was getting big, so my parents decided we needed a bigger house."
Mrs. Lark finally gets up from her chair, a bunch of lab equipment tucked under her arms. "Has everyone found their partners? Good. I'll be handing out the equipment. Do NOT touch anything until I give further instructions. Erica dear will also be handing out the lab assignment papers. Please remember to write you and your partner's name at the top. On these papers, you'll record the results of the experiment."
A small Mexican girl with a pink blouse gets up and takes the stack of papers from Mrs. Lark's desk, then starts handing them out, her chin held high. It was only the third or fourth day of school, but she was already the teacher's pet.
As soon as Erica comes to us, my partner takes the paper. He goes into his schoolbag and gets out a stubby pencil that's missing an eraser, then scribbles what looks like alien language in the name space. It takes a moment for me to realize that they were, in fact, incredibly sloppy English letters: "samson parker and domneek".
The bushy haired kid, who I now knew as Samson, pauses and turns back to me. "What's your last name?"
He furrows his brow. "Uh...how do you spell that?
"A-l-t-a-i-r. Also, you spelled my first name wrong...it's D-o-m-i-n-i-c-k."
"Oh, hehe...sorry, I'm pretty bad at spelling."
Once he's done with that, he turns to me. "So what should we do first, Dominick?"
"I don't know...let's wait for the teacher."
Don't remember the exact details of what we did that day, but I think it had to do with mixing together something in a blender. Most of us were still pretty confused on what to do, even after the teacher's demonstration. Probably because everybody was so damn loud; I could barely hear a thing and I was sitting in the front.
So Samson and I kind of just figured out the whole thing by ourselves using trial-and-error. Everybody else was either doing the same thing, or just talking and not giving a damn about the work.
As we worked, Samson asked me some more inane questions. He was probably just trying to make conversation, but it annoyed the heck out of me. Poor me; little did I know that I would have to deal with this for years to come.
One of his more particularly annoying questions: "You're Muslim, right?"
"Oh, you look like it...then what are you?"
"I don't know, for Christ's sake, but I'm not freakin' Muslim, okay?"
What's even more annoying is the fact that he's not the first to assume I was Muslim. I guess some people like to assume that anybody who even relatively looks like they're from the Middle-East is Muslim. Not too long ago in fact, some ignorant douchebag called me a terrorist. But I digress. Actually, I'm not even sure where my family's from. Never really thought or cared about it much. Point is, I'm not a Muslim.
Anyway, what was I talking about before? Oh yeah, Samson and his stupid questions.
"What's your favorite color?"
"What do you like to do?"
"Do you have any pets?"
"Do you play video games?"
"Do you have a PS2?"
"Do you like marshmallows?"
"How old are you?"
"Do you play the computer?"
"Did you ever watch that weird music video with the red-headed guy dancing? It's so weird!"
Etcetera, etcetera...urgh, he just wouldn't shut up. I'm getting a migraine just remembering it. Please excuse me as I go over and bash my head repeatedly against the nearest wall.
So yeah, God forbid, I was subject to Samson's endless prattle for most of that hour; something I wouldn't wish on my greatest enemy (on second thought, maybe I would). I nodded, answered his questions, pretended I cared (well, we just met at the time, so I guess I felt like I had to be polite).
Around the latter half of the period, as I was listening to Samson blabbering, I suddenly felt something cold splatter against the back of my neck. I reached a finger to touch whatever it was, and withdrew my hand to find a mysterious, goopy green substance that smelled strangely of bananas. Thinking it was some idiot's idea of a prank, I swiveled around, grimacing, just to find that the whole classroom had erupted in a frenzy of green gloop. Who knows what happened? Maybe some genius forgot to put the lid on their blender. Kids all around us were running around frantically, screaming at the top of their lungs and going completely ape shit. Others, like me and Samson, took cover underneath the desks. All we could do was squat down and watch the pandemonium in befuddlement.
The school's security guards had to come and control the whole situation. After several long minutes, most of us had calmed down from all the excitement, and were ordered to sit back in our seats. I swear, it looked as if the classroom was attacked by the Kids' Choice Awards. Puddles of green glop were all over the place. Likewise, the walls, desks, and chairs were dripping with more green gloop.
All the while, poor Mrs. Lark looked like a complete disaster. She was soaked in the green stuff from head to toe, and was meekly using a napkin to wipe some of it off her face. Her hair probably frizzed up about 2 feet high, her fair skin had deepened into a beet red, and her eyes were practically bulging out of their sockets. She yelled at us for about 15 minutes straight. Even when the bell rang, she didn't let us leave until she finished her lecture. On top of that, we were all assigned a 6-paragraph essay on how to behave properly that was to be handed in the next day.
Later that day, Samson came up to me and asked to come home with me. As much as he was annoying, I felt bad, so I decided why not. At my house, we worked on the essay together (with me doing most of the work, as he was completely clueless on what to write), and finished at about 6. Then we just played some video games until it was dinnertime. From that point on, Samson started considering me as a friend, and started following me around all the time. The rest is history.
So there you have it. That's how I met Samson Parker. Sure he's a real pain in the ass...well, all the time, but as much as it pains me to say, I guess he's not such a bad friend.