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Angel Misery: Chapter Four

4 Score and what?!

The last month of the school year has come around and the Sequoia State Junior High has started their spirit week.

“Today we get to wear PJs to school!” Maria said, waking up.

“PJs? I’ve never heard that expression before. What does it stand for?” Aiden asked Maria.

“Hmm, Pah… pah…” Maria was trying to figure it out. “Oh it stands for Pajamas!”

“Pajamas? Like sleepwear? Why would school allow that?” Aiden asked Maria.

“Just something fun, it’s my first time ever doing it too! So let’s match today!” Maria suggested to Aiden. “But you don’t sleep, do you even have Pajamas?” Maria asked.

“What kind of question is that, I could just create them.” Aiden responded to Maria with a smirk. “The real question is out of the dozen of sleep attire you own, which one are you going to wear?” Aiden asked.

“It’s not dozens, I have like 5 max.” Maria quickly responded.

“I literally clean your room everyday. You have 16 Pairs of sleeping bottoms, 10 normal sized sleeping shirts and 6 oversized sleeping shirts. Putting it all together would give you 256 different outfits you could design.”

“So which one do you think I should wear?” Maria asked Aiden. “And remember, you have to match me, so unless you like pink you probably should get rid of half of the list!” Maria laughed.

“The Light Blue shirt, and Light blue pants with the white stripes will probably work best for the both of us.” Aiden suggested to Maria.

Maria looked at the choices and decided to go with it.

“Looks good to me!” Maria took the PJs and went into the bathroom to Brush her teeth to get ready for school.

Allison and Maria were downstairs eating some cereal.

“Maria, why haven’t you gotten ready for school yet?” Maria’s mom asked.

“Today’s the first day of Spirit Week which means we get to wear our PJs to school!” Maria said to her mom.

“Hmm, lucky.” Allison said, eating another spoonful of cereal.

“You’ll get to do it too next year when you are in the 7th grade.” Maria said to Allison.

“That’ll help me monitor you more too.” Allison said with a serious look.

“You’re still upset that you had to do my chores for the month. Come on, it’s no big deal.” Maria said with a quick laugh.

Aiden was in Maria’s room and changed his outfit to match Maria’s.

“I look…” Aiden looked at himself. “Strange.” Aiden thought to himself.

Both of them were at school.

“I can’t believe he is actually still friends with her, and on top of that they are now matching outfits, we aren’t even wearing uniforms!” Ashley said, looking at Aiden and Maria walking down the hall.

“Are you getting jealous?” Sarah asked Ashley.

“She has placed top in the finals, now scores above average in class room assignments, and has a tall friend whose a guy, this is nothing like how Junior High was supposed to be.” Vanessa said, also looking at the two.

“She has a speech at the end of the week, we could try to ruin that for her.” Sarah suggested.

“Yea we should, we should take her down from her pedestal. She’s not even trying to be our friend anymore. Not like we wanted her to be anyways.” Ashley said as the girls went the other direction.

Aiden and Maria were sitting at their lunch table when Silvia Reiners came and sat down at the table.

Maria looked at her confused.

“So I finally get to meet the top of the class, Angeal Heavens.” Silvia said, ignoring Maria’s presence.

“What are you doing sitting with us Silvia? Shouldn’t you be sitting with the other prep students?” Maria said with hostility towards Silvia.

“So Angeal. Rebecca, Joshua and I are organizing our speeches to compliment one another for our class speech at the end of this week. I was wondering if you’d like to organize with us?” Silvia asked Aiden.

“And why not me? I’m giving a speech too during the rally also!” Maria said to Silvia.

“I don’t know how you did it, but you are definitely not on our level, ah… what is your name again?” Silvia said to Maria.

“You know my name, Einstein. Especially since it was on top in the same place your name was!” Maria said to Silvia.

“You are so annoying.” Silvia said to Maria. Silvia then stood up from the table. “I will talk to you later Angeal when she isn’t around.” Silvia said before walking back to the prep students.

 “We sure told her.” Maria said to Aiden.

“I didn’t say anything.” Aiden responded to Maria.

“You aren’t going to plan your speech with them, are you?” Maria asked.

“Of course not, unless you are planning with them. I couldn’t care less about it.” Aiden said to Maria, refilling her soda.

“I think I know what I want to write my speech about!” Maria said as she then pulled out a piece of blank paper and started writing notes.

Aiden looked over to see what Maria was scribbling.

“Have the best speech that’ll make Silvia’s speech look like it was written by a kindergartener!” Maria wrote on the page and circled it several times.

“First step of a plan is to write it down!” Maria said to Aiden.

“And I suppose the second step is to wing it like you always do.” Aiden responded.

“No way Corporal, this is war, we need to plan the battle field. Scout for enemies and eliminate them until there is nothing left!” Maria responded to Aiden as if she was a General of a Military. “This is Operation Burst the Balloon!” Maria then laughed aloud, attracting the attention of everyone in the cafeteria.

“I’m a corporal? Since when?” Aiden thought to himself.

“Aiden, this is your queue to say ‘Aye Aye General’.” Maria looked down trying to get Aiden to say it.

“I’m not going to say that.” Aiden responded.

“Come on Aiden, don’t embarrass me.” Maria said, still standing on the table.

“You already had that filled.” Aiden responded.

Maria continued to look at Aiden until he felt guilty.

“Aye aye General.” Aiden said with a lack of enthusiasm.

Maria hopped off the table and the two of them left the cafeteria.

Silvia watched the two leave. “Was that just a declaration of war?” Silvia thought to herself.

“She’s weird, how’d she place so high on the finals again?” Joshua asked.

“I checked and it doesn’t seem like she cheated. It all seemed legitimate, despite her ‘expressive’ character.” Rebecca said to the prep students.

“I can’t believe that she knocked me off the top 5. I am ashamed.” Issac said with his head on the table being reminded of his one too many 95%’s on the finals.

“You’ll get back up there next year Issac. It’s not like a person like her could continue these high marks without burning herself out.” Silvia said. “But we don’t want Angeal to be legitimizing her position.”

“So what’s the plan?” Joshua asked.

“Step one: We separate the two from each other. And offer Maria some ‘power’, someone of her status would definitely take it at all cost, even if that means deserting her relatively new friend.” Silvia informed the group.

“Step two: Show Angeal how easily she is bought, leaving him to seek out a new friend group.” Silvia continued.

“And Step three: Offer him a place where he actually belongs. Then get rid of the ‘power’ that we gave Maria.” Silvia finished.

“What does she even like? Have any ‘power’ you could offer her?” Rebecca asked.

“We can just invite her to a sleepover, saying that we got off on the wrong foot. Then offer her to lead a performance during the pep rally, but to not invite Angeal to it.” Silvia said to Rebecca.

“How do you know if she will agree to that?” Rebecca asked.

“She’s an attention seeker, there is no way she wouldn’t want to be at the front leading the entire class, even if it means she has to take the position of the #1 student, which is her dear friend Angeal.” Silvia replied with a pretend sad face.

“Okay, I’ll follow along.” Rebecca said as the two continued to plan.

It was the last bell and Maria really needed to use the bathroom after drinking so much during lunch.

“May I go too.” Silvia asked. And the final bell teacher allowed her to leave.

Silvia waited for Maria to finish.

Maria was surprised to see Silvia just standing there.

“Oh, it’s you.” Maria said as she started washing her hands.

“I’m sorry Maria that we got off on the wrong foot.” Silvia said to Maria.

“Okay…” Maria said apprehensive.

“And to make up for it, how about we have a sleepover tomorrow night?” Silvia asked.

“A sleepover? On a tuesday? Maria asked suspiciously.

“Yes, I feel bad about not inviting you to plan with us, so Rebecca and I wanted to plan the rally with you over at my place.” Silvia said to Maria.

“Oh, really? This isn’t some sort of trick, because I can tell if it is.” Maria said to Silvia.

“It’s not a trick, honest. But it’s an all girls sleepover so no telling Angeal about it or he might get jealous.” Silvia said to Maria.

“Haha, Aiden? Get jealous? That is hilarious!” Maria laughed. “Sure, I’ll attend your ‘sleepover’, and I won’t tell ‘Angeal’ about it.” Maria winked and dried her hands off.

Maria continued to laugh as she returned to class.

Maria sat down next to Aiden.

“Hey Aiden, I just thought of a perfect plan!” Maria said, trying to whisper to him. “I think you should join them in the planning of the speeches. And on the day of the speech we will just switch their notes out. So you have to make sure it is complex, and very hard to remember.”

“You really want to embarrass them that badly?” Aiden asked.

“She’s trying to separate us, and no one comes between me and my best friend.” Maria said to Aiden.

“Sure, I’ll go along with it.” Aiden responded.

“On Wednesday they’ll probably come up to you saying that I betrayed your trust or something, and then that’s when you will act really hurt. So you will join their group and that’s when Operation Burst the Balloon will happen.” Maria said with a devilish smirk.

“You two talked about something in the bathroom?” Aiden asked Maria.

“Yeah, she invited me to her boring sleepover. I guess I can take one for the Team just to make her think her plan is working.” Maria said, acting as if she was making a great sacrifice.

The next day of school came.

“Today is Sports day!” Maria yelled out as she got up.

“Dress me up as a Basketball Player and you can be a Basketball!” Maria said to Aiden.

“Wow, why can’t we both just be Basketball players?” Aiden asked.

“Because then you’ll just look like everyone else who wears a Basketball uniform. We have to look like we put some thought into it.” Maria said to Aiden as she nodded her head.

“Did you though?” Aiden asked.

“I put more thought into it than I did in the Finals.” Maria laughed.

“You technically failed those.” Aiden responded.

“Details, details. Come on, create me a Basketball outfit!” Maria commanded Aiden.

Aiden created a Purple and Gold basketball Jersey and Shorts.

“Sweet, okay. I’m going to get ready!” Maria said, running into the bathroom.

Aiden then cleaned up the room.

Maria ran downstairs to eat breakfast.

“Oh where’d you get those?” Maria’s mom asked.

“I got them from a friend… oh yea. Mom, the number two student at school, invited me to a sleepover. Can I go? Her name is Silvia.” Maria said to her mom.

“Wow, I didn’t know you had such good friends. Is that why your grades have been improving so much? Sure you can go. Just give me her mom’s number so I know where you’ll be.” Maria’s mom said.

“Sweet!” Maria continued to eat.

“Yeah, but I bet that’s not the real reason your grades have been improving is it?” Allison said to Maria.

Maria stuck out her tongue.

Maria and Aiden arrived at school, Aiden was dressed as a basketball following Maria around.

“Look at them again, walking together as if they own the school.” Ashley said watching Maria and Aiden walk.

The girls were dressed as cheerleaders for ‘Sports Day’.

“I bet she was the one that made him look stupid.” Vanessa added.

“Let’s set up the paint cans right before Lunch, so that it falls on her while she eats.” Ashley said as the girls left the area.

Maria and Aiden traveled down to a food truck that served giant Burritos.

They returned with plenty of time to eat them. Aiden sat and watched Maria eat.

“Aiden, you are really missing out. This burrito is so good!” Maria said to Aiden with her mouth full.

“I’ll pass. The closest I will get to eating your food is fruit, the taste of dead carcasses and fat make me want to throw up.” Aiden responded.

Silvia came back over to their lunch table. She was dressed as a HorseBack Rider.

“Hey Maria, are you looking forward to that thing later tonight?” Silvia said, giving Maria a wink purposely trying to get Aiden to notice.

“Yeah, I told my mom about it and everything. We are going to have so much fun without so and so.” Maria said, pointing at Aiden.

“I’m glad we are on the same page, Maria.” Silvia gave a smile.

Ashley, Vanessa and Sarah looked over at the table where Maria and Aiden sat as they walked into the cafeteria. They had just finished scrubbing the paint off of their hands.

“Wait, why is Silvia sitting with them!” Ashley asked.

“Look at the paint! It’s about to fall!” Vanessa said, pointing at it tilting slowly.

The girls watched as the paint slowly started to tilt further.

“Do you have any sort of snack you prefer? My Cook will definitely prepare it for you.” Silvia said with a smile.

A drop of paint hit the table and Aiden looked up and noticed it.

It began to fall and Aiden shielded it from hitting Maria. The paint drenched Silvia in Paint.

She was shocked and humiliated.

Maria had her mouth wide open at what just happened. Silvia was furious.

“Who did this!” Silvia yelled out. She looked angrily around at everyone watching. Everyone was silent.

“I said who did this to me!” Silvia continued to yell trying to see who was suspicious. “One of you had better fess up or else I will search for you till I collapse!” Silvia yelled.

Ashley, Vanessa and Sarah slowly backed away out of the cafeteria.

Silvia stormed off to clean the paint off of her body.

“That happened. Did you set that up Aiden? That wasn’t part of the plan.” Maria asked him.

“It’s similar to the kind of plan that you would think of. So very likely it’s just someone in our class. Probably the group of girls that you asked me to drop Dog Drool on the first day we were together.” Aiden said to Maria.

“Right, it was probably them. They must be so jealous!” Maria said, hugging the Basketball shaped Aiden.

Rebecca ran to the bathroom to help clean Silvia up.

The rest of the 7th and 8th Graders in the cafeteria then turned their attention away from what had happened.

The Custodian came by.

“Sorry ‘bout this, kids, but could you two move to another table? I have to clean this mess up before it dries.” The Custodian said.

“Sure thing.” Maria got up from the table. Maria and Aiden went off to the gardens.

Rebecca was helping Silvia get the paint out of her hair.

“Who would do this to me!” Silvia said in the mirror furious at her outfit being ruined.

“Probably one of the lower scoring students, they must have been jealous of how brightly you shined.” Rebecca said to Silvia.

“Once I get my hands on them they are dead!” Silvia said, squeezing a towel that was soaked with paint. “Maria is now a secondary objective. I now have to humiliate those who did this to me.”

Rebecca continued to wipe down Silvia.

“Seems like they were trying to get paint of Angeal and Maria if you think about it. It was probably just a coincidence that you were at their table when it happened.” Rebecca suggested.

“That is right, someone was trying to target Angeal. If that were the case then it would have to be one of those boys in the 7th Grade Football team.” Silvia said.

“They probably were targeting Maria more?” Rebecca added.

“Target her? Why? The only one that she harmed was the people at our table for knocking Issac off the top 5.” Silvia said. “Though, she has been hogging Angeal from the rest of us, so maybe the list is larger than I thought.” Silvia said quietly.

“It’s almost time for my sleepover at Silvia’s house. I heard she lived in a mansion.” Maria said to Aiden as the two entered their 5th Bell.

“A mansion, that’s just a large house. You also live in a pretty big house too.” Aiden said to Maria.

“Yes, but she lives in a real Mansion with at least like 3 Bathrooms, and a walk-in closet.” Maria said, trying to describe what she imagined.

“Are you going to be working on your speech while over at her house?” Aiden asked.

“Why are you saying it like you aren’t going to be there?” Maria asked Aiden.

“I just figured since you said you had to keep it secret from me that you didn’t want me there.” Aiden responded.

“You are to gather intelligence, Corporal, during the sleepover. Look through her backpack to see what she has been preparing. Get deep into their minds so that when you do join their little group you can seem like the perfect friend.” Maria said to Aiden as a General.

“So what is your mission during the sleepover.?” Aiden asked.

“I am just going to have fun, because that’s how I can keep it covert.” Maria said.

“So are we spies or soldiers?” Aiden asked.

Maria just laughed without answering.

The time of the sleepover came.

Maria was dropped off by her mom at Silvia’s Home’s Courtyard.

“Welcome Miss Maria. The other girls are watching a movie in the living room. Allow me to take you to them.” The Butler said as he ushered Maria into the house.

“Oh wow, fancy. Thank you!” Maria said to the Butler. Aiden followed behind them while invisible.

Silvia was laying on the couch still with an angry expression on her face. They were watching an animated movie about a fish looking for their son.

Rebecca noticed Maria.

“Oh hey Maria!” Rebecca said with a smile.

“Hey I’m here.” Maria said, waving her hands.

“Miss Silvia, your guest has arrived.” The Butler addressed Silvia.

“Thank you Charles, I know.” Silvia responded. “Can you bring us some more popcorn and soda? Also like a stack of paper.” Silvia asked.

“Right away.” The Butler said before departing.

“This is nice! Is this what you do everyday Silvia?” Maria asked.

“No, I am usually in the study doing some reading, but today is a special occasion.” Silvia said to Maria.

Maria then sat down on the couch. “So what do we want to do first? Are we going to play a game or are we going to go directly into planning for the rally?” Maria asked.

“First, we are going to figure out who dropped all that paint on me.” Silvia said to Maria.

“Oh, okay.” Maria said with confusion as to why it was Silvia’s problem.

“Do you know anyone who could be targeting you, Maria?” Rebecca asked.

“That could literally be anyone.” Maria responded.

Aiden was in the study looking for Silvia’s backpack.

“This is honestly way too much space for a family of Humans.” Aiden said, looking around.

The butler came into the study. Aiden watched him attentively.

The butler went into the desk and pulled out a pile of paper. And a pencil case full of Pens, erasers and mechanical pencils.

“Guess I’m in the right place then.” Aiden thought as he continued the search.

The Butler left the room.

Aiden went into the desk and found Silvia’s Homework organized into files. He looked through them.

“She scored Perfect on all of her finals except 1, which she got a 99%. No wonder she was #2.” Aiden thought looking through.

He pulled out the first draft of Silvia’s speech.

“This is pretty well written, she’s definitely put a lot of thought into her school duties.” Aiden continued to look through.

“So who do you think it was, Maria?” Rebecca asked attentively.

Maria wrote the names of everyone she thought would hold resentment against her.

“If I assume that you two weren’t in on it, then that should be everyone.” Maria said, handing the list to Silvia.

“I would not humiliate myself in some plan to attack you.” Silvia said, looking over the list. 

“I can quickly eliminate Rachel and Heather off the list because if they saw the paint falling they would have jumped and taken it for me.” Silvia said, looking through the list.

“A lot of the boys on the list probably would have done the same, especially if it meant them getting a leg over Angeal for being my hero.” Silvia continued.

“By the way Maria, how are you and Angeal such good friends? You two seem inseparable.” Rebecca asked.

“He’s my best friend, so it makes sense why we are always together. You and Silvia are always together too.” Maria responded.

“Yes, but how did it happen, you two seem so different. It’s a strange pairing to say the least. He’s attractive, tall and smart and you are… well you.” Rebecca said to Maria with zero tact.

“Ouch, okay.” Maria said in response.

Silvia had shortened the list to 20 Students.

“So out of these, who do you think is most likely the schemers?” Silvia asked Maria.

“Well Angeal said it’s probably these 3.” Maria said, pointing at Ashley’s, Vanessa’s and Sarah’s name.

“The Glamour trio? Really?” Rebecca asked.

“That does make sense, especially if Angeal thinks so.” Silvia said, looking at their names.

“Well that solves that. I guess it’s time for us to focus on the rally right?” Maria said.

“Sure, we can focus on the Rally.” Silvia smirked.

“So what did you have in mind?” Maria asked.

“Before we all give our separate speeches you could perform a talent of yours, like singing or dancing, to get the crowd prepared.” Silvia said to Maria.

“But then I will be the main topic of our presentation if I do that, that’s not really fair.” Maria responded.

“Don’t worry about it. Since you are #5 it’s most likely everyone will ignore your speech, so this gives you a chance to wow the other students.” Silvia said to Maria.

“I guess, but me working on a show, and trying to give a speech is a bit much.” Maria responded.

“You don’t need to worry about your speech, just focus on the show, we will cover your slack.” Silvia said with a small laugh.

“Ah, as if I would fall for your trap.” Maria thought to herself. “I am so used to people faking being friendly to me by now I am almost a master at it.” Maria continued to think.

Maria was laughing to herself forgetting to actually reply to Silvia.

“Yeah, since we got that out of the way, how about we listen to some music?” Rebecca suggested it to the girls.

“Oh sure! What kind!?” Maria asked.

Rebecca brought out her MP3 player and connected it to the room’s speakers.

She played an orchestra performance.

“What is this?” Maria said not excited about the musical choice at all.

“This is Pierre Monteux, such an amazing ear for Music.” Rebecca said as she let the sound flow being enveloped by the music.

Silvia also was enjoying the sounds.

“This is not what I was expecting when you said music. It sort of sounds like background video game music.” Maria said.

“You must have an uncultured ear if you can’t recognize the difference between a video game soundtrack and a legendary orchestra.” Rebecca said.

“I am inclined to agree.” Silvia added.

“How are we supposed to have pillow fights to this song?” Maria asked.

“A pillow fight? Like where you smack each other in the face?” Silvia asked.

“Yes, exactly like that.” Maria laughed as she picked up a pillow. She threw the pillow at Rebecca and Rebecca ducked in fear but was still hit.

She fell on the ground and picked up the pillow to throw it at Maria.

Maria moved out of the way and it hit Silvia’s chest.

“Oh! I’m sorry Silvia!” Rebecca tried to say. Silvia picked up the Pillow and threw it at Rebecca.

Maria then threw a Pillow at Silvia knocking her to the ground.

“Okay, you asked for it!” Silvia grabbed a pillow to hit Maria with.

Aiden had finished looking over the information he gathered about Silvia. The Sleepover continued until the girls wore themselves out and fell asleep in the Living room.

The next morning came and Silvia’s chauffeur brought them all to school.

“That was fun Silvia!” Maria said as she went off to meet with Aiden who was waiting for her at the front doors.

Silvia was upset.

“Mission failed.” Silvia said to Rebecca.

“I mean, it wasn’t a total failure. Maria probably will still mess up on her speech if she focuses on preparing that fake performance.” Rebecca said.

“That wasn’t the point, we were supposed to get Angeal to our side, we didn’t even get information to use against her.” Silvia said as the both of them walked out of the car. “Oh well, let’s focus on getting the Glamour Trio back for what they did to me yesterday.” Silvia said, disgruntled.

“So Aiden, did you get any important information?” Maria asked.

“Nothing that we didn’t pretty much know already. She doesn’t have much about her other than school.” Aiden said.

“Boo, that figures. But I guess that makes your job easy.” Maria said.

“Yes, so I will join their little group during lunch and prepare your plan.” Aiden said to Maria.

“Sounds good Corporal!” Maria said to Aiden as they went to their first bell.

The Teachers began handing out Summer Reading Assignment and Summer Packages to complete over Break.

“Homework over the Summer, they are killing us!” Maria said, slumped in her chair.

“You weren’t going to do them anyway.” Aiden said, reading over the packages.

“I know, but it’s the idea of it.” Maria said, flipping the package over on her desk.

“Do you want me to write your speech for you?” Aiden asked Maria.

“No, like I said. I am going to wing it.” Maria responded. “Compared to what the others will do, I don’t even have to have a good speech.”

The other students were walking around wearing their favourite colours for ‘Colour Day’ of Spirit Week.

“Sucks we are missing this!” Maria said right as the 3rd Bell ended and they were heading to lunch.

“Did you want to change clothes?” Aiden asked Maria.

“Yes, I want to wear Green.” Maria said to Aiden as he created a simple shirt and pair of pants for her to switch into. “You also have to wear Green.” Maria pointed at Aiden.

“Sure, I’ll wear a Green Robe.” Aiden responded.

“No, a Green T-shirt and Pants. We have to match all the way!” Maria said to Aiden.

“But yesterday I was a basketball and you were a basketball player.” Aiden reminded Maria.

“Because that was funny. Today we have to match to seem like a unit Corporal.” Maria said. “Oh actually can you make us camouflage?” Maria asked.

“Camouflage is not a colour.” Aiden said to Maria.

“You know what I mean, like military colours that are dark green and stuff.” Maria added.

Aiden then changed the clothes to be Military Camouflage.

At LunchTime Aiden went to the Prep Students table.

“I heard that you all wanted me to plan a speech with you following the same themes.” Aiden said as he went to the table.

“Oh Angeal? We didn’t expect you to come so soon.” Silvia was surprised that Aiden came to them.

He looked over at Maria, and she gave him a thumbs up. Aiden then looked back at the Prep students.

“Found out that Maria was keeping me out of the loop of you guy’s sleepover, and there’s no telling how much more she is hiding. So I am preemptively looking for another social circle.” Aiden said to the group.

“That’s a smart move, she was just going to end up holding you back man.” Joshua said to Aiden.

“Yeah, if it weren’t for you she probably wouldn’t have even placed in the Top 50 haha.” Issac said laughing.

“So where are we planning to organize our speeches?” Aiden asked.

“We all can meet up in the school library.” Silvia suggested it to Rebecca and Joshua.

They nodded their heads.

“That’s fine for me.” Aiden responded. 

“So Angeal, where’d you used to go before you came here?” Joshua asked Aiden.

“I’ve actually always been at this school, it’s just I had to learn and receive all my assignments at home because of the risk of hospitalization.” Aiden told the group.

“Are you sick?” Silvia asked.

“No, I just grew tall early. Apparently it put me at risk, so I couldn’t risk going to school in-person.” Aiden told them.

“Yea, you are way taller than the rest of us. But when I hit puberty I bet I’ll be as tall as you.” Joshua said to Aiden.

“You wish, you’re going to stay your height your entire life!” Issac said joking with Joshua.

“This is boring.” Aiden thought to himself.

Maria and Aiden continued to be with each other during classes. But when school ended he had to depart her and head up to the library.

“They are all meeting in the library for coordination, so I will see you back at home soon.” Aiden said to Maria.

“No problem. Good Luck in Battle Soldier!” Maria said to Aiden as she went to go to her mom’s car.

In the Library.

“I am thinking we could start it off like the Gettysburg address, you know I can say something like ‘4 Score and 7 years ago some of our grandparents were born’… and I can keep going from there.” Joshua suggested.

“If you can make it work then I say go for it. Since you are the first one out of us that will be speaking first.” Silvia said to Joshua. “What do you think, Angeal?” Silvia asked.

“I think he should begin it by quoting a lesser known passage, maybe one by Alexander the Great, seeing that we are the Top students in the school and the Gettysburg address is a rather common way to begin a speech, especially for middle school.” Aiden said to the group.

“Alexander the Great? What would that sound like?” Joshua asked.

“Well it could go like: ‘I observe, students, that when we the Top 5 students lead our class to greater heights, that you become burned out and can no longer follow.’ then you can continue from there.” Aiden suggested.

“No wonder you were able to get one up on me Angeal.” Silvia is impressed with Aiden’s ability to pull a quote that is rarely heard.

Aiden helped Rebecca, Joshua and Silvia prepare their speeches. Each of them were motivating and flowed one into the other. Starting with Joshua, followed by Rebecca then to Silvia’s ending with himself.

“These are solid speeches.” Joshua said, looking at the package of notes in his hand.

“Just make sure you keep those notes on hand during the day of the speech. It’s crucial that you iterate the themes correctly.” Aiden said to Joshua as he was leaving.

Aiden too was preparing to leave. Silvia then stopped him.

“Hey Angeal, do you have a minute?” Silvia asked Aiden.

“Not really, I ought to go back home.” Aiden said as he continued to move forward.

“It’s just for a second.” Silvia said to Aiden.

“Sure, make it quick.” Aiden said to Silvia.

“Can you tutor me, like you tutor Maria? I want to learn what you know.” Silvia requested from Aiden.

“I probably could not tutor you the way I tutor Maria, those are completely different methods.” Aiden said as he continued to walk out of the library.

“Playing hard to get, I see. Maria must still have you around her finger then.” Silvia smiled with fire in her eyes.

Silvia then left the library with Rebecca.

Thursday passed with no major faults happening.

They all met up at the library again with Aiden adding more for them to incorporate in their speeches.

“Okay, tomorrow is the big day. Keep making note cards so that you can reference them during the rally tomorrow.” Aiden said to the group.

“This is going to be legendary.” Joshua said as he left quickly to return home.

Aiden also left the library.

“Are you not going to stop him?” Rebecca asked.

“No, when trying to catch a fish, sometimes you have to loosen the line.” Silvia said watching Aiden leave.

Aiden returned to Maria’s house. She was again playing Video Games.

Aiden tapped on her shoulder.

Maria quickly got up and returned to her room. Allison saw how quickly Maria’s attention changed and how she immediately went into her room.

“Interesting.” Allison thought to herself.

“Just one more day of school left! It’s Rep the School Wear Day tomorrow!” Maria said excitedly.

“Yes, it’s also the day of the Rally, do you have even a tiny bit of it prepared?” Aiden asked.

“Yeah, look.” Maria said, handing Aiden a notebook.

“Good Morning Student, I am Maria Li, and I placed higher than all of you not down here with me! Now worship me!” The notebook read.

“Well, at least it won’t be hard for you to remember.” Aiden remarked, handing Maria back the notebook.

“Yeah, it’ll definitely put all of them in their place.” Maria said, laughing. “So how is my plan going?” Maria asked Aiden.

“They have their speeches and when they step up to the podium I will change out their note cards.” Aiden said to Maria.

“Excellent! This is what they get for looking down at me so much.” Maria said with a devilish smile. “Let’s go to ‘Inside Outside’ to celebrate!” Maria said, pointing out her door.

She then ran downstairs to go outside.

“I’m going outside to the park for a quick second Mom!” Maria yelled out as she exited the door.

Allison watched Maria from the window and Maria ran behind a tree and the leaves suddenly scattered.

The day of the Rally had come.

Aiden and Maria were wearing the most popping of the school wear. Maria had Aiden wear the school’s mascot on his head which was an Eagle.

The students were sitting on the bleachers as the School’s band were playing their anthem.

The Football Team, Soccer Team, Track Team, Swim Team and Baseball Team all were lined up on the field. In the front was the podium with the 7th grade Teachers, the 8th grade teachers, the principal and the school Mascot.

The Principal gave his speech first welcoming the students to the final day of school. Congratulating them on making it through another year of Junior High and congratulating the 8th Graders into High School.

“Now I will hand this ceremony to the Students. These are the 7th Graders who placed in the top 5 on the Finals.” The Principal said as he sat down. He looked at Aiden and gave him a thumbs up.

Maria stepped up to the Podium. She adjusted the mic and cleared her throat.

The prep students started to smile. “She’s about to start singing.” They thought.

Maria opened her mouth and just started laughing.

The people behind her were surprised and the students in the bleachers were confused.

“Look at you all gazing upon my excellence! I, Maria Li have bested you all in both Intellectual and Physical Prowess! Now worship me and be-” Maria was saying before the principal stood up and removed her from the podium.

“Okay Miss Li that’s enough.” The Principal said, sitting her back down.

Joshua then stepped up to the Podium. He looked at his notes, then placed them on the podium. He cleared his throat and started speaking.

Aiden then changed the notes as Joshua was looking up at the other students.

“And this is why we…” Joshua looked down at his notes. “Why do we? Eat salmon from our… wait this isn’t right.” Joshua was scrabbling through his notes trying to find where he was.

“Ah, sorry classmates.” Joshua said, getting more nervous.

“What’s wrong?” Rebecca tried to mouth to Joshua but he was too flustered.

“Ah… four scores and 7 years ago…” Joshua started saying.

“Oh this is embarrassing.”  Maria said, preventing herself from laughing aloud.

“And that’s why, we must be strong…” Joshua said before returning back to his seat with Rebecca shaking her head passing him.

“With strength comes duty! And the duty we have to you as the Leading students of our class is to provide an example and…” Rebecca looked down at her cards and they’ve also changed.

“Oh no, that’s not correct…” She thought to herself. She paused and looked up at everyone staring at her.

She didn’t say anything. The entire student body just stared at her. It was so quiet that you could hear someone breaking wind.

Rebecca then left the podium without saying another word. She lowered her head in shame.

Silvia then stepped up to the podium. “The future is not written, so we must forge forward with all of our might to carve a future worth living.” Silvia looked down at her notes.

She gave a small smirk. And continued with her speech unfazed.

“What? Why isn’t she messing up?” Maria thought to herself.

“She must have memorized the entire thing. She doesn’t need the notecards.” Aiden said to Maria.

“She memorized your entire speech in one night?!” Maria asked Aiden.

“Guess she did.” Aiden watched Silvia continue her speech till the end.

Aiden then stepped up to give the ending.

“So we come together to ask ourselves, are we going to, upon our lead move forward into the future, or are we upon our doubters going to remain where we are! We will never quit, we will never fail. Congratulations Students we made it.” Aiden ended the speech strong as he sat back down.

The students in the bleachers cheered and stomped on the bleacher’s aluminum floors. 

“Settle down.” The Principal said, stepping back up to the podium. “It started out rough but in the end Silvia and Angeal really stuck the landing.” The Principal then continued on to introduce the 8th Graders.

Joshua had his face covered with his hands and Rebecca was still stunned and embarrassed she didn’t move an inch in her chair.

The Band played one more time and the students were released to start Summer Vacation.

“You did good out there Angeal, I look forward to seeing you next year. And whenever your parents want to talk with me again I would be glad to invite them.” The Principal said to Aiden.

“I’ll let them know when the time comes.” Aiden responded.

“Amazing as always Silvia, I look forward to seeing you next year too.” The Principal said to Silvia.

“I plan on being back on this stage to give the 8th Grade congratulations speech too. Next time I’ll be the final presenter.” Silvia said to the Principal.

“Always striving for the top, that’s excellent.” the principal said before going to Rebecca.

“Everyone messes up sometimes, don’t let it bring you down Rebecca.” The Principal said to her. She was still sitting perfectly still.

“There’s always next time Joshua.” The Principal patted Joshua’s shoulder as he was still as red as a tomato.

“Despite the odds you still manage to get up here. I am impressed, Miss Li. Maybe Angeal was the right motivator you needed. Though your speech left a lot to be desired.” The Principal said.

“Haha, wait till next year’s, I am going to give an even more powerful speech!” Maria said to the Principal.

“Can’t wait.” the Principal said getting off of the platform.

“Well I’ll see you next year Angeal.” Silvia said to Aiden.

“You will, but it’s not like you two are going to be friends.” Maria said, grabbing Aiden’s arm. “I know that you were trying to set me up to not have a speech prepared. Seems like your teammates messed up even worse.”

“You really plan on fighting this war against me Maria?” Silvia said to Maria.

“It already started, you don’t even know you lost the first battle.” Maria said, laughing at Maria.

“Hmph.” Silvia gave a small laugh then left.

“Summer just now started, let’s go someplace fun!” Maria said to Aiden.

“Sure, where do you have in mind?” Aiden asked.

“The largest amusement park in the country!” Maria said.

7th Grade ended without a hitch. The Student’s signed each other’s yearbooks and shirts and Maria and Aiden began their Summer extravaganza. 

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