By: Emily B.

I’ve always seen the numbers, most of them were zero, but sometimes when I went to the city I'd get a glimpse of a one or a two. My third grade teacher had a four, but at the time I thought everyone saw her number and just didn't care. Now when I say numbers I don't mean the numbers that are on a car or on a cheap plaque you'd get at a gas station that says “#1 Mom”. No I mean the numbers above your head. Never noticed them before? Well they're there and whether you think I'm a hallucinating, drug addict or not, the numbers are most definitely real.
            Numbers followed me from being a day care, to Junior High, and are here with me at Benjamin Franklin High School on Simon’s Drive. I’ll be cliché and say the day was a typical Thursday afternoon, the sun was shining bright and the temperature was absolutely perfect. But I wasn’t enjoying the weather. I was stuck in Ms. River’s math class that was as exciting as a woodchip. Why would I care how many watermelons Sally bought or why I should be studying for the upcoming test that was supposedly going to be tomorrow? I just found myself staring at the floating zeros over everyone's heads.
            “Mackenzie, she asked you a question.” Steven King’s whisper brought me back from my thoughts. His perfect green eyes seemed to be staring into my soul, discovering all my deepest secrets and fears. I hated him. I hated him for having girls wrapped around his fingers and for being so nice to everyone. No one’s supposed to be that perfect, especially in this school full of demon teenagers.
            Great, here’s another lecture about the importance of focus and vigilance. I zoned out again. Maybe it'd be easier to take Ms. River seriously if she had focused while doing her own mascara. She looked like a panda went through a car wash, and I'm not being rude I'm being honest.
            I looked at the whiteboard in the front of the room that appeared to be hanging on by duct tape. Question 7, An electric motor makes 3,000 revolutions per minutes. How many degrees does it rotate in one second?
            She gave me the easiest question! I'm easily distracted not dumb.
            “It's 18,000 degrees per second,” I said, with my head down in case I had gotten it wrong. I let my eyes skim over the front of the room and saw the teacher nod and go on. I let my breath out slowly. Good, no follow up questions.
            Ms. River was just about to uncap the pink dry erase marker when the bell rang and audible sighs were heard throughout the room. Being able to leave the room of water stains and moldy wallpaper was a breath of fresh air.
            All the 10th graders bustled around the hallways, as they got ready for lunch. The day was halfway through and I still hadn't ripped out someone's throat, it's been a pretty decent four hours.
            “Mackenzie!” my best friend Willow screamed down the hallway. This is was pretty normal of course and no one seemed to care, or maybe they were just too intimidated to say anything. “I got a low A on my science test! I'm dead! My parents are going to kill me!” A few people turned away from her and rolled their eyes. I probably would've too if this didn't happen twice a week.
            “What's the grade?”
            “93, I'm so doomed.”
            “That works, just take the same colored pen and change the 3 to an 8. If your parents ask then say there was extra credit. Honestly, you'd think I'd have taught you something at this point.”
            Willow’s green eyes lit up and she smiled, “A 98! Ok. I can live with that.”
            “Yea, the worst they could do is ground you.” I stopped before calling her a nerd and we headed towards the cafeteria.
            The room bustled with the usual activity. Kids were carrying trays here and there, a football player was pestering a freshman boy, and a girl with a side braid was trying to get people to sign her petition. Everything was the same as always and it comforted me.
            “Did u see the new guy?” I flinched and gave a small shriek as Christopher whispered into my ear from behind me, “Someone said he’s from California, but I don't believe it because he’s almost as pale as you.”
            “For one thing, you scared me!” I said, giving him a small shove. “For another thing, I am not that pale! I went to Florida for spring break and I’m at least a little tan.” I gave him a harder shove and he grinned for succeeding in getting on my nerves.
            Willow got in between us; probably feeling left out of the conversation, and turned to Christopher. “What new guy? Have you seen him? What grade is he in?” Her eager eyes made me a little uncomfortable, but who was I to complain about her constant obsession with guys? You'd think that fantasizing over fictional boys would be enough for her.
            “Why don't you ask him yourself,” Christopher replied, pointing at the doors to the cafeteria. A guy that had to be at least six feet tall walked into the room buzzing of all the students. He kept his head down, trying not to be noticed. He was wearing a gray hoodie and jeans. I couldn't focus on his facial features because I was a little preoccupied with what was floating over his head.
            The number 13 appeared was a transparent cloud looming above him.

To Be Continued.


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