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Grace sat in the graveyard, leaning against a tall tombstone. Twilight was falling and she was supposed to be meeting one of her friends for a sleep-over. Disappointedly Grace wrote down a few lines to the poem she was working on. After a quick self debate on if she should actually show up. She decided that she did not want to be stuck in the graveyard after dark. When standing up her foot gave a tingling similar to being asleep. Annie would be so upset that she was late. It couldn’t be helped Grace thought idly.

“Oh my gosh! You are so totally late!” Annie yelled upon Grace’s arrival at her house, “I thought you weren’t even going to bother to show up!”

“Annie, calm down!” Grace said when she stopped for breath.

But Annie did not calm down. Instead she continued to talk. About life, her weekend and the school they were attending in a few years. Even through the chatter Annie led Grace into her home. In the kitchen Annie’s mother, Elizabeth, was making dinner. Elizabeth gave a half wave and a smile. The playroom revealed Lonnie, Annie’s little sister, happily playing with building blocks.

***

When Monday rolled around Grace was feeling fine. But, by fifth period she was ready for Friday again. A paper appeared on her desk

You look unbelievably bored.

Grinning, Grace wrote he reply. You hit the nail on the head. Now she was at a loss. Who was both close enough and willing to pass notes with her? Surveying the room she noticed the blond head of her other friend, Harriet. Harriet was sitting only one seat diagonal from Grace’s own.

Those notes made the class pass quicker. “Hey,” Harriet said after class, “you know that singing talent show or whatever going on?”

“Yes,” Grace replied, becoming nervous.

“I think you should try out.”

“No way. I’m not that good. It’d be a complete and utter disaster.”

“Go!” Annie chanted, popping up behind the two other girls. “You need more confidence in yourself. It’d help. Go try out at the very least.”

“See!” Harriet said triumphantly, “Just try out. If you don’t get called in to try out after you’ve signed up then I’ll personally give you five bucks.”

“I don’t know…” Grace complained, “Give me until next class is over to decide.”

“Deal!” Annie shouted.

A passing boy cringed.

“Annie! Now she’s going to convince herself not to go,” Harriet scolded.

“No, I’ll sit next to her and keep bringing it up. There’s no way around it,” Annie contradicted.

“Fine, I expect a ‘yes’ by the end of the day. Don’t let me down,”

“No problem, Harry,”

“Hey!”

“Break it up!” Grace interjected to keep her friends from making a huge chick-fight. “She’s going to badger me all class. Isn’t that enough? Besides, that five dollars is pretty tempting.”

“Hurry Grace! We’re about to be late!” Annie squealed excitedly.

“Coming, coming,” Grace moaned, “I hate chemistry.”

“But it takes almost nothing to pass. Let’s go.”

 

“Bye Harriet,”

“Later Grace.”

All through Chemistry Annie chattered on about signing up and singing and how much more guys liked it. She didn’t stop for anything more that a few seconds when the teacher gave her a threatening glance.

“Annie, stop,” Grace groaned, “I have no idea what’s going on!”

“Simple, look. This chemical bonds with this one,” Annie explained, pointing to two different chemicals on the Periodic Table, “Because they have similar properties. That makes this,” she pointed to the worksheet now, “combine with that and it’s now radioactive, so, it’s bad.”

“One more question. Why?”

“Because they bond instead of loosing or gaining electrons.”

“I still don’t get the whole ‘why’ factor.”

“I just told you”

“But why do they do that?”

“Because some big, famous scientist said so”

“Hmph”

***

“So, signing up?” Harriet asked as soon as Grace and Annie were out of class.

“I don’t know…” Grace said, trying to put off a solid answer.

“Wrong answer!” Annie screeched grabbing Grace’s arm. She pulled her friend to the office.



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