I waited for my friends outside of Winxlow High School. The brisk morning air blew past softly, like a caress. I spotted Beatriz, her hair bouncing around as she bolted toward me. Her caramel skin stood out against her vivid blue dress. I wonder how she runs in heels.
"Kathryn!" Beatriz panted, finally getting to me. "Did you do the Algebra homework?"
"Uh, yeah," I said. I swung my backpack around and searched for my Algebra homework. I pulled out the white paper and handed it to a still panting Beatriz.
"Thank you!" she said. I only smiled. I was never one to talk and, out of my four friends, Beatriz talked the most. One thing I could never get my head around was that she decided to hang out with me instead of others. When we met, I had no friends. Beatriz finished copying my homework. "Here you go."
"I like the outfit," I said, taking my paper. Beatriz wore a blue dress that had lacing on the top portion. The back of the dress had more fabric than the front of the dress and had thin straps. She wore a simple gold chain around her throat and matching earrings.
"Thanks," she said, blushing the tiniest bit. Her eyes veered behind me. "Hey guys!" I turned to see Dominic, Kyle, and Clare- my other friends. I waved to them.
"Hello," Kyle said, standing in front of me. I gave him a wave and a smile. "Someone is feeling especially anti-social today."
"Shut up," I said, shoving him slightly. There was a long beep coming from inside the school and it could only mean one thing; today we are being tested for TMS.
TMS is short for Tussesmortamsanguies, which is a mouthful. And, it's currently spreading fast. It started in Southern France and spread to Britain, Russia, and the U.S. But, just in case it gets to Canada, we are tested every two months.
It's honestly a pain. You have to get your blood sampled, then your saliva, then they have to cut into your hand for a tissue sample. And it takes the entire school day. That means an entire day doing practically nothing.
"Do you think anyone will show positive this time?" Clare asked as we sat down in line. Her long blonde hair fell into her eyes as she took her place.
"I hope not," Beatriz said. "I heard it's highly contagious."
"Can't put your faith in rumors," I said, looking around. Everyone was talking, making it hard to hear almost anything.
"Maybe someone is infected," Kyle whispered. I only heard him because I was directly next to him.
"They would show signs of it. You know, violently coughing, maybe some stumbling. We know the symptoms," I said.
"Yes, but people are tricky."
I was one of the last people to go. Just my luck to have a last name that is so close to the end of the alphabet. When I was called, I walked the white hallway to the double doors of the infirmary. Inside was someone, obviously in pain, getting their tissue sample. I looked away and sat down for my blood sample.
"Name," the nurse said. She had ruby lips and dark hair. She wore a green dress that clung to her body and gloves that had the stench of latex.
"Kathryn Wolfe. K-A-T-H-R-Y-N W-O-L-F-E," I replied. She jotted down my name and held up a scanner, the light red.
"Please put your wrist under the scanner." I outstretched my arm, placing my wrist under the red light, turning it green. They do that to make sure you are a citizen of your country, for your birth date, and to make sure you're who you say you are. The nurse walked away and came back with a empty syringe. She took my arm and sterilized the space under my elbow crease. She then preceded to stick the needle in my arm and draw blood. I winced as the point broke skin. She pulled the syringe out of my arm.
I then walked over to the saliva station. A male nurse asked me to do the same things as the previous nurse. He then gave me a small cup.
"Please spit into the cup," he said, keeping his voice monotone. I welled up my saliva and spit it into the cup. The nurse took the cup and I strolled to the last station. Before I could sit down, a high pitched beep went off. No one thought anything of it. I sat down and waited for the doctor to come. I told him the same thing I told the nurses and he got his machine.
It was white- much like everything else- and slim. It had a hole big enough for my hand, but inside the hole were razors. The doctor pressed some keys and gestured for me to put my hand in. I obeyed. The doctor then pressed what no doubt was the start button and there was a whirring. The razors pierced my skin and I cringed.
It was over as soon as it started. I pulled my hand back and the doctor wrapped my hand in gauze. I went to go sit by the doors to await my results.
The last few people walked in and sat on the floor on the far side of the doors. The nurses and doctor were working faster now, trying to get the entire thing over with. My head started to throb. I rubbed my temples, hoping it would go away, but then my hands started to get weak.
This time, someone acknowledged the beep. The nurse who took my blood must have gotten annoyed with it, so she went to go shut it off. When she got to the computer, she placed a hand over her mouth.
"Doctor!" she yelled, urgency in her voice. "We have a positive." Her voice was grave and she had paled. The doctor shut off the machine that was taking one kid's tissue sample and rushed over to the computer.
"Kathryn Wofe," he said, his voice dead serious. "You are infected."