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from A Test of Loyalty by Laurie Stewart

Part 8

I couldn’t believe it. He’d stolen all my papers. How was I supposed to finish registration if he took off with all my…. Oh no, I realized that I could be losing marks big time if I couldn’t get those papers replaced.
I had pretty much figured out what classes I wanted and so headed back to the office to see if I could register without the forms. I was starting to panic, what if they insisted I hand in the originals? Why did that rude, smug, little jerk have to steal my papers? Just being mean, I decided.
I went to the front desk and the same bored receptionist. She didn’t even look at me. She just pointed at the same pile as my transfer had gone into.
“Excuse me; I need you to register me right away.” She finally looked up.
“Why? I need my schedule; I can’t afford to miss classes. I need to keep my marks up if I’m going to get a scholarship to university.”
“What makes you think you’ll get a scholarship?” She actually snorted at me!
I proudly raised my chin and said in my best ‘I’m way too good for you’ voice; “Well, I’m already on the McGill University early acceptance list. All I have to do is keep my GPA above 3.9. And it’s 3.97 now, assuming this school doesn’t totally ruin it.”
She gaped at me for a second then dug for my transcript in the untidy pile in her inbox. Papers scattered everywhere without her seeming to notice.
I started to tell her I’d lost it, but then she found it, I guess Faraj had turned it in. I felt kind of sorry for bad-mouthing him, even if he didn’t know what I’d been thinking. Just as well, I didn’t think that losing my papers would’ve proved my point about being too smart for this school.
The receptionist called the principal out of his office. I was starting to think that my mouth had finally gotten me into trouble, but I really needed someone to realize that I was special. I didn’t belong here, I was too intelligent, too classy, too… everything.
They gave me my schedule and a late pass and sent me to Civics class. I could hear them whispering and was dying to know what they were saying, but I had to get to Civics.
I was really happy to see both Faraj and Ash were in my class. Though I was a bit worried about his figuring out what I’d been thinking. I wouldn’t tell him, of course, but I’d say thanks later for taking my stuff to the office. I carefully chose a chair in front of him, so that he wasn’t in my line of sight.
The teacher was grossly fat, but seemed nice enough. I just wished she didn’t have such a little girl voice. It grated on my ears. It was like having a balloon Lisa Simpson teach the class.
The afternoon was just like most hot, hazy afternoons in Ottawa. Air quality alerts, smog warnings, and a feeling like there was no oxygen at ground level. Except that instead of trying to avoid the heat in a nice, air-conditioned home, I was dealing with a combination of stuffy air and even stuffier teachers. They all seemed to play by the same rulebook. Make the least amount of effort possible, look really put out if someone asked a question, and make it seem as if it were our fault we got nothing out of it. If they had even seen what teachers were like at Montessori, they would have put away their chalk and died of embarrassment. I breezed through the classes with only one concern. Ash wasn’t in mat...

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