Zee plopped herself on top of the black table where she sat in the Science classroom, placing her feet on her chair. The tables, which each seated two, were arranged to make six or seven square sets of two tables and four students. Gabriella practically skipped into the classroom and bounced into her chair next to Zee’s, as usual.
“Why do you always sit on the desk?” She asked, as she did at least once every week.
“‘Cause I like it better.” Zee replied simply, looking at the board to see if there was a before the bell activity for her to look like she was working on.
Gabriella gave her a skeptical sort of look, and dutifully took out her notebook to write the four stages of mitosis like the good student she was, even though there was still two minutes before the bell rang. Zee observed her surroundings. The countertops that lined the room were cluttered with tanks of fish and preying mantises, notebooks, half-finished projects, and slightly withered plants. Students trailed in, clumping together in groups to chat about undoubtedly mind-numbing topics. At the sight of one student Zee’s eyes narrowed. She was a skinny, pale girl with hair the color of dark Cookie Monster. Freckles were smattered across her pale face, and the obnoxious sound of her voice echoed through the room. Zee’s glares were intense enough to turn one to stone. She would have growled, but a different voice cut her off before she could get there.
“Whoa, what’d she do to you?” Jacob was standing beside Zee. She hadn’t noticed him come up to her.
“Nothing,” Zee said ominously, eyes still shooting legos into the immediate path of the blue-haired girl.
“Then why do you look like you’re trying to burn a hole into her head?” Came his response. He probably thought he was being clever, and Zee laughed, not breaking her glaring.
“‘Burn a hole in her head’? That’s what you came up with?”
“You’re avoiding the question,” Jacob pointed out.
“Fine, because I hate her, okay?” Was the defensive reply.
“Why?” His nosiness wore on Zee’s nerves, she didn’t want to talk about it.
“I just do.” She said. Jacob obviously knew that there was another reason, and looked as if he wanted to say something, but Gabriella chose the perfect time to tune in, with a (startlingly brilliant) query.
“Who’re we talking about?” she asked, and Jacob laughed.
“Greta,” Zee said, her voice dripping with contempt.
“‘Kay, and why do you look like you’re trying to burn a hole in her head?” Jacob and Zee shared a look before bursting into laughter, much to Gabriella’s dismay.
“What? It’s a valid question!”
“Uh huh,” is all Zee said, resulting in Gabriella looked hopelessly confused.
“Don’t worry, she won’t tell me either.” Jacob told her. They both turned to Zee, like they were expecting a real answer. Like that was going to happen. Zee opened her mouth as if to say something (probably lie), but she was cut off by the bell signalling the beginning of class. She smirked at Jacob and Gabriella and hopped off the table and into her chair as the teacher called for order and class began.