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“What happened to you yesterday?” Jamie asked Kyane in first period Biology. Both he and Desmond sat huddled around Kyane’s desk. She rested her head on the cold faux-wood desktop. “We thought you were attacked by the rap-“ Desmond winked his eyes to stop him, “the rapist, or whoever attacked the couple.” Desmond nodded. They had to speak low, the class could get rowdy, but if anyone overheard their special extra credit, they knew it would mean some annoying arguments.
“No,” Kyane said. “I’m just grounded for life for like no reason,” she said. “That’s the only reason I’m here so early, or on time or whatever.” She massaged her palm. She felt her nails dig into the skin. “I guess I’m gonna have to retake this class.” On the drive to school her parents told her she had to debrief both boys she saved to see how much they remembered, and if she could make them think it was a strange dream or something.
“And you won’t get Mr. Ayer, you’ll be stuck with Mrs. Granger or Ms. Carter, both are older than the earth itself,” Jamie said.
“Not helping dude,” Desmond said. He extended his hand and rubbed Kyane’s back. “Look, I’m apart of a lot of teams. And I think we are a team now, right? We’ll just tell Mr. Ayer we want to write our one page together, and give him what we found then, so you’re in the clear. I mean, it’s not your fault you were grounded. Right?”
“Right,” Kyane said. “Can you stop that, I’m about to fall asleep.”
“Sorry,” Desmond jerked his hand away. Kyane sat up as the bell rang and Mr. Ayer entered the classroom. He turned to see Jamie and Desmond in the wrong seats. “We can talk after baseball practice later,” Desmond said.
“Okay,” Kyane whispered.
Kyane heard Jamie whisper: “I’m part of a team.” A small smile etched its way onto his face.
The three went up to Mr. Ayer after class. He was checking off the class attendance on the computer. Kyane saw the red cross symbol on Jamie’s name. Kyane looked back at him and figured that would be why he needed the extra credit. But she couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t in the AP or Honors class. “Mr. Ayer,” Kyane said.
He turned in his chair to look at them. “What’s up, guys?”
“Look, I’ll be straight up,” Kyane said. Mr. Ayer nodded. “We need an extra day.”
“Okay,” Mr. Ayer said. “Why? What happened?”
“Kyane said-,” Jamie began.
“I said that what we found was so strange and weird that we need more time to figure it all out and write our paper for you.” She placed his hand on Mr. Ayer’s shoulder. His shirt was soft. “I’m sure you want the best possible paper from us to give us that extra credit. Am I right?”
Mr. Ayer looked at Desmond. Desmond’s eyes were planted on Kyane. He was trying not to hide his shock at her needless lie. “Okay,” Mr. Ayer said. “Sounds reasonable. Tomorrow at the latest it is then!”
“Thanks, Mr. Ayer, you da best,” Kyane said.
“Yeah, yeah, thanks, now go get to class,” He waved his hand at the door.
The three strode out of the room. Kyane saw the burning questions the two had for why she lied for no reason. She turned to the corner and stopped at the lockers. “What?” she asked the two. “Why do you have those faces?”
“No reason,” Desmond said to end the conversation and just go.
“That’s a lie.” Kyane grabbed his arm. She couldn’t get her fingers around his bicep.
“You… you… you lied,” Jamie said. “For n…”
“No reason.” Desmond jumped to it. “You lied for no reason.”
“No,” Kyane said. “I lied because I don’t think if I said I was grounded he would have let us write it together like we wanted. So, we need to do this right.”
“Extra time you need,” Desmond said. “We both were there. We both…” he trailed off. The late bell rang. “We’re still meeting to go over this. Meet at the practice field in the back.” He looked at Kyane. “You can see how good I am.” Desmond ran off.