September 7th 2038
All the students were gathered in the schoolyard near the main entrance of the school, some were standing near the lower steps but the majority of the teenagers were sitting on the higher steps of the outdoor amphitheatre. While the new students who felt a little lost in this new environment were staying on the side, often alone but sometimes joining with old friends. The old students were all chatting with enthusiasm about their holidays, laughing at each other or pushing themselves playfully without worrying the least bit about the disapproving looks the teacher were shooting at them.
Maximilian was sitting in the middle of the large stone steps on the right side. Just besides him sat Simon, his friend since his second year of high school when became really close during the heated final of the internal badminton tournament. Simon topped almost every one with his meter ninety-one, he had short red-brown hair and was dressed in a black suit jacket on top of a white shirt and a pair of worn jeans. This was his usual clothing as he liked to look both formal and casual, or both at the same time, and managed to do it with a certain style, at least to Maximilian’s eyes. This granted him a certain popularity with the girls since his early years of secondary school. As they were in their second year of high school and sixth year in the school they had sat down immediately after arriving without any hesitation, being used to the welcoming ceremony and to their whereabouts. Almost all the other second year had done the same thing as it wasn’t their first year at Hawkland Highschool.
Simon was talking about the movie he had seen the day before on TV, an old one, a classic, but that was a great movie none the less.
“…but, you know, the scene at the bank is really amazing ! It really is one of the best bank robbery I’ve ever seen in a movie! Especially the moment where he says ‘No, no, no, no. I kill the bus driver…’, that was just epic !” Said Simon with such enthusiasm he was almost shouting.
“I must concur my friend.” Answered Maximilian. “I really loved that movie.” The young man was about to add that it was his favorite scene but he stopped when he saw the headmaster walking out of the building and towards the teachers.
The headmasters eternal welcoming speech and the students’ distribution was about to begin? A tall man with impressive shoulders and a booming voice asked for silence and immediately all the students stopped talking. A few newcomers were a bit slow to understand, talking for a few more seconds before realizing everything was silent. The meaningful look the man shot them added to his impressive features sufficed to shut them up without a single protest. The man who had requested silence was Mr. Anderson, the biology teacher, and though he wasn’t violent at all his impressive muscles, his commanding attitude and his full proof calm was respected by everyone, students and teachers alike. Rare were the rebels that dared defy his authority and they usually learned it the hard way for he was an expert in the arts of intellectual punishments. The teacher, satisfied with the newly acquired calm, stepped aside leaving the spotlight to the headmaster.
“Wake me up when he’s finished…” Whispered Simon to his friend as he closed his eyes, a mocking smile spread on his lips. Maximilian smiled too and nodded. Headmaster Christopher Sullivan’s speech was apparently different each year but it always said the same things, over and over again. And its length is inhuman… Thought the young man, smiling to himself. Since the year of Maximilian’s arrival at the school the young man ha heard it so many times that he could easily take Sullivan’s place and no one would notice the difference. Simon didn’t last long without talking and started explaining the many great scenes in the Batman movie that had played on TV the previous night. The dark-haired teen took this resurrection with pleasure and they discussed the last movies they had seen and the ones they were expecting the most while the headmaster talked. He finished his speech by explaining that the number of new students had risen yet again this year and that everyone should do his best to kindly welcome them to Hawkland and he concluded by reminding them the school’s motto.
“This year we hope from all of you civility, constancy and rigor in your studies. If you apply these three simple principles we will be able to help go very far, perhaps farther than you think!” The man paused, giving time to his words to sink in and then continued. “I wish you an excellent year and now leave to my colleagues the pleasant task of dividing your year in the different classes. May success follow your steps!” He concluded with a smile letting the five teachers taking his place. The three men and two women walked towards the microphone and a little balding man with a grey tweed jacket took spoke first.
“Good, umm… First hello to all of you, welcome to the newcomers and welcome back to the others. My name is Mr. Chad for those who do not know me, I teach history, geography and economical sciences and I will be the class teacher of group A.” Announced the man whose baldness was inversely proportional to his size. Baldness that seems to visibly spread on his head because of all that grey hair, thought Maximilian with a chuckle.
“I will call by their names the students that will be part of my class this year, as I do this would ou please come down and join me. We will then go to our main classroom.” He took out a pair of old half-moon glasses from his front jacket pocket and started to read the list. “Andrews, Thomas…” A slender young man stood up from the left side of the steps and walked to the teacher placing himself behind the old man against the wall, his bag dangling from his shoulders. “Arius, Samuel…” The man continued. “Baron, Stephanie… Del Ambre, Ludovic…” As he recited their names students came to grow the A group behind the history teacher, some comfortably leaning against the wall, others stiffly standing on the sides.
Maximilian rapidly lost track when Simon started to talk to him about what he had done during the last week of holidays. The teenager preferred to give up on the list and decided to answer his friend who, he knew very well, wouldn’t stop talking if he still had air in his lungs and a tongue in his mouth. Mr. Chadon finished not long after that and passed the microphone to a young blonde woman before leaving the amphitheatre, his students right behind him, and leading the way to the second years’ building.
The young teacher that took the history professor’s place was tall and in her early twenties. Mrs. Blumme was a math teacher and was loved by all her students, her popularity was partially because of her young age and her graceful appearance but it was mostly due to her competence in mathematics and her great teacher skills. Her outer appearance, she was tall and had medium length blonde hair that she let fall free, was indeed hiding a very capable and highly intelligent woman. She had indeed obtained her diploma at the age of sixteen, she had become a fully fledged teacher a mere three years after that and had started teaching at Hawkland Highschool the following year at the age of twenty. Most of the teachers and the students had then thought that she wouldn’t be able to take the pressure and that she wouldn’t last three months. But to their complete astonishment she did pass through the first months perfectly fine and even better, she managed to “tame” the hot heads in her classes.
She was highly respected by her colleagues and all, girls as much as boys, prayed to be in her class. Those who were called out exulted and those who weren’t chosen started to sulk. Once she was finished she let the next teacher take over and call his students and she went towards her class, followed closely by her students who were chatting happily. Next came the biology teacher, followed by the smile of all those who found themselves to be in his class. James Anderson was one of the most interesting teachers Maximilian had ever had, he always knew exactly what he was talking about and how to make it interesting to his students. Under his bear-like appearance was hidden a monster of knowledge and a standup comedian due to his booming voice and his unfailing sense of humor. His explanations were always clear, easily understandable and interesting, at least as long as his audience was interested of course. As he finished calling out the students and walked away towards the second years’ building a second woman took his place.
She was smaller than her colleague , brunette with long hair falling down almost to her hips and brushed in a neat Indian braid falling on the right side of her back. She didn’t appear much older than her blonde colleague but she was already in her mid thirties. People often compared the two of them because they were equally respected by everyone but not for the same reasons. While Lois Blumme was liked for her warmth and good spirit the brown-haired English teacher was very strict. Even if she didn’t seem so she was in fact very easy to talk to and friendly but she did not tolerate any misdemeanor during her classes and she demanded regular work and involvement. Any negligence was severely punished. Despite all that the students often came to like these English lessons because of her simple yet interesting way of presenting their mother tongue to them.
“Good morning to you all !” She exclaimed. “I am Mrs. Blois, the English teacher of the second and third years and also the teacher in charge of group D. I would kindly ask you to join me down here when I call your name.” Simon and Maximilian, who hadn’t yet been chosen continued to talk, now speaking about books they had read over the years and comparing their favorites.
“Mr. Veyras, would you please be quiet while I am calling out the D group’s students ? You are starting your year wonderfully already…” She interrupted the young red-haired man, which had the effect of making all the remaining students burst to laughter. Hilarity spread even more when Simon stood up, believing he had been called out. When he had sat down again after a round of applause Jane Blois started calling out her students, a small smile barely visible on her lips. The young man whose cheeks were on fire from embarrassment turned towards his friend again.
“Well, at least we know she is as strict as ever…” He whispered which made Maximilian laugh silently.
“Yeah, like each year as you may recall. But still, you have to admit you saw that coming, you’re always so discreet when you talk to me…” The dark-haired teenager had difficulty not laughing in front of his friend’s “overly shocked face”.
“Me ? Not discreet ? No way, I am as stealthy as… a ninja ! I am stealth. !” They both tried to retain their laughter, broad smiles plastered on their faces. “Yeah I know…” Reckoned Simon. “I was up for it… But who cares ?” And with that he started talking again while Maximilian only half listened to him as he tried to see if he was called out or not.
“Yeah, so true…” He said absent mindedly as his friend paused. The brown-haired woman was at the B’s, if he was going to be called out it would be soon so he focused his attention on her. he didn’t want his name being called out while he wasn’t listening and what’s more while it was Mrs. Blois talking.
“Boltès, Pierrick… Bundale, Lily… Chatterton, Marina…” Ok, not my turn then !
“You know, I’ve been thinking about reading the novel that inspired these Saw movies I talked to you about earlier, it seems really interesting!” Added Simon as the English teacher was still calling her students and checking if they were indeed there.
“Ciennda, Maya…” She called out. A young woman with raven hair stood up from the far left corner and started coming down the steps. The red-haired followed her as he continued to talk and as she slowly descended towards the teacher and went to stand besides the other students, leaning on the wall. She was quite tall, about a meter seventy-five, with a light tan and wore a simple dark blue jacket and a black skirt. Cute, he thought, he hadn’t seen her before so she must have been new. As he turned back to his friend he noticed that Maximilian had also been following her while she was walking and that he lingered a few seconds too long. This slightly surprised Simon, it wasn’t often that Maximilian looked at a girl more than necessary. As his friend finally turned away he quickly looked at her again, she had short and very dark hair, her face was round and her nose was thin. Simon had to admit she was really pretty but what surprised him was that she had seemed to catch Maximilian’s eye. She wasn’t the only new girl nor the only pretty one in the school. The dark-haired teenager’s best friend vowed to investigate this matter in detail later, right now he had a golden occasion to tease his friend.
“And then a pink elephant comes in on a pair of roller skates, he breaks through and indestructible wall with his mighty leek and frees the red truck from the terrible Shrimp the Great!” He said casually, waiting for his friend to realize what he had been saying with a huge smug smile on his face.
“Wait- what?!” Suddenly asked his friend. “What- Where did the shrimp come from all of a sudden?” Asked Maximilian who seemed to still not catch his friend’s joke. Faced with a lack of response from his friend he looked at him.
“Where did the shrimp come from? And what-” He stopped in his tracks, seeing Simon’s large smile plastered on his face and slowly understanding what he had done. The red-haired was making fun of him. “Hahaha! Very funny…” he said sarcastically as he crossed his arms and took on a sulking face. Simon was laughing so much that it took him a full minute to calm down and talk again.
“Sorry but I couldn’t resist, you were sooo fascinated after all…”
“What? No I wasn’t! I was just looking at her and- Whatever!” The dark haired teen surrendered seeing his friend starting to crack up again as he was struggling to explain himself. “Okay, maybe I was a bit too focused… But I thought it was someone I recognized, that’s all…”
“Oh really?” Asked Simon overdoing the non-convinced. “Well, I must admit she is quite pretty…”
“Tss, what are you trying to make me say here?” Asked Maximilian as he saw his friend’s smile hinting a bit of Machiavellianism.
“Oh nothing… nothing at all…” He defended himself trying to seem as innocent, but Maximilian hit him on lightly the shoulder. “Ouch! hey that hurts!”
“Yeah and I’m the King of England!”
“Uh, no, I seriously doubt that you know…” Simon contradicted him as ironic as he could. He seemed like he was about to add something but decided against it and settled himself for a simple “Anyways…”, his way of saying the conversation was over. For the moment at least…
“Ah should be our turn now!” He exclaimed shortly after that as he saw Mrs. Blois entering the building with her students and the last teacher present taking her place behind the microphone. Johann Brevski was the physics teacher, he was in his late forties and as his named indicated he had Romanian origins. He was easily recognizable from all the other teachers by his unusual accent and his way to roll the r’s. He had grown up in Romania and has decided to move to the United States after getting his physics engineering diploma but had been forced to take a teacher’s formation to find a job. He knew extremely well what he was teaching his students, a bit too well to the taste of some as he had a bit of difficulties to share this knowledge with his students. Indeed his explanations were always very detailed but not always clear and easily understandable. And because of that he sometimes had to explain notions fin four of five different ways for his students to understand. He had a small beard and graying hair on the sides.
“Very well, hello to all of you!” He began, slightly rolling his r’s, a small happy smile spreading on his face. “As you are the last students I must suppose that all of you belong to my group, the E group, and that you are indeed here. But since I prefer to be careful I will still call you out and I ask you to come down next to me once I have. This way I will check both that you are here and who you say you are and also if anybody has forgotten to get up or been forgotten. Though I hope it is not the case it has sadly already happened in the past…” This made everyone smile. He called each one of the remaining students and soon everyone was standing beside him and no one was left on the steps of the now empty amphitheatre.
Maximilian was called fifth, having Bell as a family name, and Simon followed a few moments later as Veyras was his last name. The young red-haired man was used to be at the end of the lists but this time three people were still remaining after he had been called. When he was finished the bearded teacher put back his list in his worn leather bag and motioned to his students to follow him.
“I am happy to have everything in order this year, it’s quite problematic when someone remains behind when I’m finished.” Some of the new student looked at him, not sure how to react to this quite odd man. “So,” he continued as he walked in front of the group. “I am Mr. Brevski and this year I shall be your physics and chemistry teacher. If you would follow me, I will show you which of these will be our room until the summer holidays.”
As they walked up the stairs Simon caught up to Maximilian and tapped him on the shoulder.
“This year is okay don’t you think? We’re not too bad with the teachers.”
“Yeah, it’s better that last year at least…” Agreed the teenager, recalling the long hours of Physics and P.E. with more than tyrannical teachers. “I would have liked to be in Anderson’s class though, he’s really cool.”
“You’d trade your best friend for Schwarzy? I feel really hurt you know!” Sulked Simon. But the only answer he received from the dark haired teenager was his tongue sticking out at him.