Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Rochy by Sarah Baila Lederman
I’m Rochy, a fourteen-year-old spider who is, surprisingly, so excited for school to start! This year, I am finally old enough to enroll in Arachnid Academy, the high school down the block where all of my sisters went. My best friend and next-door neighbor May is also going there. We applied a week ago, and our acceptance letters should be in the mail any day now.
Ding-dong! I run to open the door, and I see May standing there, hardly able to contain her excitement.
“I got my letter today! Go check your mail!” She shrieked. I ran to my mail web and was back in a flash, glossy pink envelope in hand. We sat down on my living room couch and opened them. May took out the green piece of paper inside declaring her acceptance to the school, and I followed suit.
“Hey, what’s this? There’s another piece of paper in here, and it’s yellow.” May exclaimed. I took mine and unfolded it.
“Oh, it’s a list of classes for us to choose from. Look, it says at the top of the page to circle the ones we want and mail this list back to them.” I responded.
“Great! We can make sure to circle the same ones, and then we’ll be together the whole day.” May said happily. The first four options were the choices of regulars or honors courses, and those were no-brainers. May and I knew that we could pick the same ones without even looking at each other. We went down the list: history of spiders, regular; math, honors; arachnid anatomy, regular; and English, honors. The next option was a selection of second languages to study.
“I’ve always wanted to learn Spider’s Spanish,” I said. “Do you?”
“Sure.” May responded, circling it. “The next thing on the list is an elective. Should we take AP Weaving or join the soccer team?”
“You know how much I love weaving, May.” I said. “Maybe with this course I could even become a professional weaver one day.”
“Oh.” May’s face fell. “I mean, I know how much you love weaving but I love soccer just as much, and I was really looking forward to playing it every day.” We looked at each other, knowing that we shared the same thought. Every program that we had ever joined we did together. If neither of us were to join the other’s class, it could be the first time in our lives that we were not to be in the same group. Would our friendship be able to withstand it?
“Well, we will miss each other,” May and I start to say at the same time. I stop, and she continues. “But I think that we should each follow our own dreams, and at least we’ll have all our other classes together.” I agree and halfheartedly trace my pencil around AP Weaving while she circles soccer.
“Hey, May,” I called when I saw her coming down the hall. “That was a really nice play.” May had just scored the winning goal against Arachnid Arts School, clinching the championship for her team.
“Thanks! I saw your sunset weaving hanging in the art room.” May said. “It’s stunning!” We smiled at each other. We did miss each other each day, but we enjoyed our electives. Weaving has been a lot of fun, and I love my teacher, Mrs. Minerva. May and I headed towards our next class. It was history, our least favorite. The material is so confusing. I had no idea that spiders had done so many things before we were born. May and I have been dreading the final since the beginning of the year, but at least this is something we’ll go through together.
“Rochy, what’s wrong?” Mrs. Minerva asked, noting the glum expression on my face. It is already May 9, just one week before the AP exams. Last night, my parents apologetically informed me that they would not be able to afford $100 for the test. I pretended everything was okay and that I didn’t care so much about it anyway, but today I broke down crying and told Mrs. Minerva everything. I explained that I really wanted to take the test this year because I wanted to take AP Weaving II next year. I didn’t notice May standing in the doorway listening until she spoke up.
“Rochy, do you just need a fast way to earn $100?” She asked. I nodded silently. “Mrs. Minerva, our soccer net broke and we will need to hire spiders to build a new one before the championship. Do you think maybe...?” She trailed off. Mrs. Minerva answered.
“That’s a wonderful idea!” She exclaimed. “Rochy, if I talk to the principal about this, would you like to spend next Sunday weaving a new soccer net?”
“Oh, of course I would!” I cried delightfully. “Thank you so much!” Mrs. Minerva walked to the principal’s office while May and I went home to begin studying together for the history final.
It is June 1, and I am incredibly nervous. I got a 5 on the AP test and watched May win the championship, but the history final is today, and I am just as confused as I was a month ago. May and I studied together all night last night, and I guess we’ll both just try our best. We take our seats and look up in surprise as the principal walks in.
“Kids, I have an unfortunate announcement to make.” He said. “Yesterday Mr. Jove, the history teacher, fell ill with turn-into-a-dictionary-itis and was, well... turned into a dictionary.” He paused. The class gave no reaction. We were wondering what was coming next.
“There will therefore be no one to grade your final. In light of these unexpected developments, the school has decided to cancel your test and give all of the students an automatic A+. Since this is the last final of the year, school is officially over for all of you.” He left the room. We sat speechless, but not for long, of course.
“Yay!” “Yes!” “Woo-hoo!” Shouts of joy filled the room as we rushed out to breathe in the sweet smell of summer. I found myself walking contentedly next to May. She turned to me and said. “Well Rochy, I guess our friendship can withstand one hour a day of separation.”
“Yeah, I never thought weaving and soccer could go together the way it did. Let’s do something to celebrate our surviving through this year.”
“ I know! There’s a sale on high heels at the mall. Let’s go!” And off we went.