Tuesday, July 9, 2013

THE HOTNESS: A Modern Teen Pride and Prejudice (chapter seven: Debate class)

Chapter Seven
Debate class

    “Yada yada yada,” Darcy whispered as study hall became English class elective  - debate club. Only Me (I had permission to sit in on the class during my study hall to collect Mackenzie’s notes), Paige, Darcy, Shiloh, Ryan and Rys stayed in their places. We were reading on our cell phones as we waited for the combined English-debate class. Actually, Paige was writing notes and Ryan and Shiloh were smiling at each other – again.
     Darcy sighed under his breath and rudely stretched his legs. Paige flicked her dark hair off her face and rolled it into a bun. Darcy put his feet on the window sill close by his desk until the teacher entered the room and he quickly removed them. He didn’t realize he’d have both homeroom and an elective with the annoying Paige.
    Their debate teacher, a scholastic looking woman named Mrs Tartt who’d taught at Sunrise forever and was married to another teacher, arrived with her folder pages falling all over the floor. Rys and Shiloh helpfully offered to pick up the papers. Darcy just sat stony silent and chewed the end of a pencil.
    “Weirdo,” Rys whispered under his breath as he moved back to sit beside Paige. Paige’s lack of response was evidence of her agreement.
    The junior and senior classes were studying Shakespeare in English this semester but on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays some of the students elected debate class instead.
      “Before we start on topics, we need to establish who is going to be captain of  debate team this semester since our last captain just went on to Harvard.”
      Mrs Tartt was clearly thrilled as she glanced at the former senior whose photo made up the previous year’s winning team.
     “I have only one applicant’s name put forward. So, Paige Bennet is elected if the captaincy goes unopposed.”
       Mrs Tartt looked around the room. Such a lack of competition wasn’t good for anybody, Mrs Tartt reasoned.
      Someone groaned. The class looked relatively disinterested. Only Paige and a couple of seniors (and me) took debate club at all seriously.
      Ryan knew it would be good for his friend to become involved in this class. He knew, when Darcy spoke, it was without prejudice and his usual uncaring persona because he’d witnessed this phenomenon before when they’d been at boarding school together. Darcy spoke, people listened. He had the makings of a great speaker. After all, he had ambition. Before he ran his own cattle station, he planned to finish law school.
    Ryan knew this and with barely a moment’s hesitation, he raised his hand and said, “Darcy Donovan is running for captain too.”
    Darcy and Paige both looked horrified.  
    “Ah… (he looked at his schedule because he’d barely bothered to read his nondescript teacher’s name prior to this) don’t you have to have already been a member of the team for six months?”
   “Ah, no,” Mrs Tartt replied, “It doesn’t say anything about those requirements here – only that the captain must be a junior or a senior at Sunrise High School – so, that’s you and I’ll write your name here… Ah, let’s see, Darcy Donovan – yes, now it’s so wonderful to see all my students engaged in appropriate activities for the semester…”
    Mrs Tartt went on to list every student and their ‘activities’ with a special smile for the delightful Shiloh and her charming new companion, Ryan. Mrs Tartt then wished all of her students were as easy going as those two. She knew you shouldn’t play favorites but after all these years, it was hard not to warm to some students more than others. The new boy, Darcy, reminded Mrs Tartt so much of another boy she’d taught years ago – Mark Knightly. Only Mark’s personality was far less... dark.  The  cloud forming on Darcy Donovan’s face belied his (admitted) handsomeness.  It had to be said, there was something about his arrogant smile which Mrs Tartt felt mildly disapproving of.
    And Paige Bennet? She’d heard all about her from the guidance counselor at her previous school. Paige certainly had some lessons to learn also. Well, that was what school was for. Yes, the competition would be good for both of them.