Biology is the New Chemistry

A short story that my friend asked me to write. Just as she oddly required, it is a romance that includes the random elements of ice cream, a turtle, and a grape.


1. Can science prove why I hate science?

Please don't call on me. Please don't call on me.

"Mr. Rensworth?"


"Could you repeat the question, Miss Feany?"

"No, I'm afraid not. There is no repeating in life."

That was complete bull. If she just said the question again, then technically life would have repeated itself. Right? I think that made sense. But what didn't make sense was why I was taking this class. Biology was so useless. I'd never have to name the jobs of the mitochondria in real life, so why did I need to learn how? Why couldn't they bother teaching us something useful, like how to balance a check book, or get a job, or get a girlfriend? God, the school system was so corrupt.

An impatient tapping pulled me out of my revere. I looked at the slender, brunette girl who sat in the desk to my right. She tapped her pencil again, pointing with the eraser at something written in her notebook. I decided to take her word for it.

"Uh, what is bacteria?" I announced. The other kids snickered at my spot on mimicking of the Jeopardy game show. I figured if I was going to be wrong, I might as well make it funny. Go big or go home, right?

Miss Feany glared at me as she waited for the other kids to quiet down. She was a fairly unpleasant woman. She had sandy grey hair and a grumpy expression. She always wore plain shirts that she probably bought in bulk from Walmart and those long, old-fashioned skirts. It was that normal, tacky teacher uniform that seemed to be universal.

She pushed her glasses further up the bridge of her nose. To my surprise, and much to her chagrin, I'm sure, she grumbled, "Correct."

As Miss Feany read the next question aloud for some new poor sucker to answer, I turned to the girl next to me to thank her, but she was attentively taking notes on everything Miss Feany said. My words got caught in my mouth. I watched her pen glide effortlessly over her lined paper, marking it in neat, blue ink. Her dark hair fell off her shoulder and blocked my view of her face like a curtain, but I knew what she looked like. She had warm golden brown eyes and a soft, round face. Her name was Aria. Aria Rivera. We'd never talked much, but after three years of high school, we've had quite a few classes together. Being that our last names we're close to each other in the alphabet, I'd seen her around a lot. Even still, we weren't exactly friends. Not even acquaintances. That made it so much weirder that she bailed me out. I mean, don't get me wrong, I was grateful. But I didn't want to be indebted to anyone, especially considering it was only the middle of the second week of the second semester. It was our last semester of high school ever. I wasn't about to start making new friends. Not when I was so close to getting out of this hell.

Luckily, the rest of the class passed smoothly. Miss Feeny didn't ask me another question. Guess she figured I'd actually done the homework and knew what I was talking about. Or maybe she just didn't want to deal with me anymore. If that's the case, then joke's on her because she still has to make through half the year with me. I'd had her my sophomore year. It was so miserable that I'd bet you a hundred bucks that she prayed to God in thanksgiving when that year was over. She probably prayed that she'd never have to see my beautiful face again. Well, where's your God now, stupid hag? Man, I hate her. At least the feelings are mutual. I almost died when I saw I'd be in another one her classes. I almost failed the first time, so minds as well give it a second go, eh? My life just loves to screw me over. If it wasn't just a single semester class, I think I'd probably kill myself. The way I see it, all I have to do is survive these last few months, and then I'll be free. Of her. Of them. Of this whole damn place.

When the bell rang, I grabbed my books and rushed into the hall. Normally I tried to get away from Miss Feany's room as soon as I could, but today I hung back just outside her door. When Aria came out, I moved beside her and matched her pace. She was looking at her friend, who was walking beside her. Her friend was adamantly describing something and using her hands excessively, but she tapered off when she realized that I was there. Aria turned her head in my direction to see what had caught her friend's attention. The movement caused her long hair to swish, wafting the sweet scent of her perfume my way. The smell reminded me of a hundred fields filled with a million flowers. It was a bit overpowering.

"Hey," I so intelligently said. She furrowed her eyebrows.

"Um, hi," she responded skeptically.

"Um," I paused. I hadn't really thought this exchange through. To be honest, I was surprised I got this far. "My name's Derek," I tried to smile in a flirty kind of way.

She peered at me, baffled. "Yeah. I know. We've been going to school together for like four years." Well, crap. I'm so stupid. I mentally chastised myself.

Her friend looked back and forth between us expectantly. I wish I didn't have to do this in front of a crowd. Although it was only one person, one person was far too many. I hated people.

Our dizzyingly deep conversation had brought us to the stairwell. I opened the door and gestured her and her friend through. It gave me a moment to think of something to say next. I followed after them.

"Listen," I said, "I just wanted to thank you for saving my ass back there. That homework was so dumb. Nobody's got time for that shit." I chuckled in a way that I hoped appeared confident. Unfortunately, Aria did not seem amused. 

"I like biology," she coldly informed me, straightening her back. A moment passed as we walked down the flight of stairs in silence. Her posture relaxed and she turned back to me wearing a smirk on her lips.

"Maybe you would too if you ever tried," she said. "Next time, just do your own homework."

And flipping her hair, she disappeared through the doors onto the second floor. Her friend awkwardly glanced at me before brushing past me down the next flight of stairs.

Strike one, I thought, as I hurried to my locker. I figured I'd probably be late for my next period, but the funny thing was, I didn't really care.

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