Chapter 7: Recess Dreams
The group of them all start to ramble into the line-ups to go back into SummerFall, with conversations still bubbling along. Madison and Clara’s voices rise above the ranks, with verbal jabs back and forth slapping between them. Susan and Collette’s tones are more subdued, but walking right behind them Ilona could make out big words being exchanged. Cynthia pulls up silently and catches Ilona off guard.
“One word of warning, Madison will hunt you down if you don’t get the book started and finished soon. Her middle name is torture, and breaking a deal with her results in that. She starts with singing obscure eighties pop songs. After that, she gets mean.” Cynthia laughs at the end, almost as if to signal her humourous intentions to Ilona.
“I figured. Madison and I shook on it, so I can’t let her down.” Ilona hopes that reply sounds good. She is still so unused to talking to friends, she wants to keep things light so as to not offend.
General chatter amoungst them all continue, with Ilona trying her best just to listen and take in as much as possible. Bits and pieces of the other girls filter to her, with so much if it still incomprehensible. Trying to figure out what is some kind of pop culture trivia and what is chunks of their respective personalities proves difficult. By the time they reach the first classroom for the grade fives, Ilona says goodbye to Cynthia, Madison and Collette, who amble onto their homerooms next door. Madison’s parting move is to walk up to Ilona and ask her to “pull my finger.” The other girls roll their eyes and quickly apologize for Maddie’s craziness. Ilona just laughs at the antics.
In the classroom, her assigned seat is right nearby the door, the opposite side of the room from Susan and Clara. Throughout the afternoon, as the teacher drones on and on, Ilona could not concentrate. When classroom discussions are initiated, she notices Clara waving at her discretely. She smiles back, not wanting to risk being caught with a wave back. For what seemed like a million years later, recess hit.
As Ilona stands up, in a flash Clara and Susan are beside her.
“Don’t worry waving back. I do that because I tempt fate. Mr. Micheals hates me as much as he hated my brother years ago. I do what I do to fight the power.” Clara looks over at Mr. Micheals, who was doing busywork over in the corner. Ilona has never really liked him either, and is surprised to see how widespread this thought is.
“He is a turd.” Susan states flatly under her breath. Ilona is now doubly shocked, not so much by the sentiment, but by the language.
“Quick, lets waste no more daylight talking about him.” Clara says as she and Susan grabs Ilona’s arms and pulls her along out of the classroom.
Within a beat she is outside and in the brilliant sunshine gracing the all too short fifteen minute recess. The girls do not bring the books outside for these intervals, but instead all stand by the wall, engaging in various conversations and debates, both real and imagined. Ilona mostly is back from them a bit, all to not offend and to learn more. Occasionally someone would flip out a question to her, or make a random comment. During one slice, she finds out Madison has an older sister, the all wonderful Tracey, that all the girls, even Cynthia, are in awe of. Another bunch of information she realizes is the identity of Clara’s older brother, the also wonderful Joshua. Much to her surprise, the connection is suddenly made for Ilona. Tracey and Joshua are in high school together, and best friends.
That little fact seeps into her soul, like some kind of strange universal folklore, always present, but always hidden. Made up details start popping into her head of the biography of these two families, entwined forever by not one, but two sets of Best Friends Forever. For a second, an imaginary dinner scene plays out, with all the unknown family members being blurs in Ilona’s mind. They are all present, both Madison’s and Clara’s families, breaking bread together. A third family, Ilona and her parents, materialize like they were there all along.
When the bell rings to bring recess to a close, Ilona jolts out of her reverie. She glances around and wonders how long her trance has lasted. Catching a snippet of words passing around her, she could tell it has only been a scant few seconds of the dinner scene in her head.
“Just wait till you meet Trac, she is gonna love grinding your gears. I texted her all about you in class.” Madison exclaims while waving her smart phone.
“You text in class?” Ilona could not believe the blatant rule breaking some of her new friends are engaging in.
“When doesn’t she text in class?” Collette deadpans. “You know how many times I had to distract the teacher so she wouldn’t get caught?”
“Much appreciated, muchacho!” Madison slams a quick high five to Collette.
“Last year she was even worse.” Susan says to Ilona. “I am very surprised she never ended up in the Principals office.”
“I got me great luck!” Madison states.
“And bad grammar.” Susan shakes her head.
As they made their way back into the school and their classrooms, Ilona bids goodbye for the second time that day to Madison, Cynthia and Collette.
The remainder of school blurs by for the rest of the day. New friends, new words, new ideas, and new disobedience fills her brains.
The new Ilona is off to quite a start.
Song For This Chapter: Closer by Tegan and Sara.
The Passport To The Wall is Copyright 2013 to Paul Riches
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First serialization started on Friday, June 7th, 2013.