The
Underachievers
CHAPTER
21
Tyler Transitioning
“And finally Mr. Lynch. This is quite an improvement and there are no pictures,” said my science teacher, Mr. Mitchell.
I looked at my science test. I actually got a B+! This was a hard test too. It’s not an A but my parents will like it way better than the C’s and D’s I was getting. Not to mention a few F’s. I have to admit it felt good to see a decent grade on my test. It’s funny how I actually thought I didn’t care about my grades and didn’t think they were important just a couple months ago. Now that I’m paying attention and doing my homework and getting back more and more papers and tests with decent grades I have to admit it feels freaking great.
At lunch Savannah told us that Mrs. Dunley wanted to meet with us after school on Thursday to go over plans for the art fair, which was only a couple weeks away now. The girls had a few more posters to put up too.
After school I worked on my leopard sketch. I was really proud of it. A few more finishing touches and it will be finished.
“Oh basketball head,” my sister Erin said.
“Yeah?” I said as I kept sketching.
When she didn’t answer I looked up. She was standing in my doorway smiling and holding out a new National Geographic magazine.
“Cool thanks,” I said.
“Come and get it,” she said.
“What?”
“You have to come and get it,” she said in a sing song way.
“Erin just put it on my bed.”
“No. You promised to play Sims with me and you didn’t. Come and get it or I’ll drop it in the toilet.”
“Erin! Erin get back here!”
I chased her down the stairs and into the living room. She belly flopped onto the couch hugging my magazine underneath her.
“Erin! You’re going to wrinkle or rip my magazine. Give it to me!”
“You have to play Sims with me!” She yelled, her voice muffled by the couch.
“I’m working on my art piece.”
She turned her head to the side. “You promised!”
I started tickling her and flipped her over onto her back. She made a pouty face as she continued to hug my magazine tight against her chest. I knew if I wanted my magazine back undamaged I better play with her for a bit.
“Fine, I will play for half an hour but that’s it.”
“Yay! You get your magazine when we’re done,” she said.
“You know you’re a pain in the butt,” I said.
“Yup. Here’s your controller.”
I ended up playing for about forty-five minutes. I grabbed my magazine and started up the stairs when my Mom called everyone to the kitchen for dinner. Thanks for nothing Erin.
Thursday we met with Mrs. Dunley after school. The raffle baskets were coming along great. Some classes were still waiting for more donations. When they are ready each class will wrap it with clear cellophane wrap and tie the top with ribbon. She asked the PTA for parent volunteers to help run the raffle.
Starting next week students can start bringing in their art pieces if they like. Mrs. Dunley asked the six of us to greet everyone at the gym doors the night of the art fair and pass out programs with the names of all those that entered and the art medium they chose. Since there wouldn’t be an art fair without the six of us. Or art classes added to the curriculum next year, she felt that we should be the official greeters. She asked that we dress nicely too. I can’t wait for June fifth. It is going to be a rockin’ night.
On our way out we stopped in front of our mural.
“We are responsible for bringing art into this school! How cool is that?” Said Savannah.
“I know right?” Said Zoey.
“That is so awesome,” I added.
“Who would have thought six underachievers who spent five Saturdays in detention would do something so cool for our school?” Said Savannah.
“We are middle school success stories,” said Sawyer.
“You know artists are easelly inspired,” said Ben.
“Ha ha!” Said Braeden.
“What are we going to do with you dude?” I said.
“You know I’m funny. Life would be boring without me around,” said Ben.
“You do keep things interesting,” said Sawyer.
“I like your silly sense of humor,” said Zoey.
“Thank you,” said Ben.
“I think someone here likes you,” Braeden said to Ben.
“I heard that!” Said Zoey. She gave Braeden a playful shove.
‘I call them as I see them,” Braeden said.
Zoey glared at him. He smiled back.
My Mom and Erin were waiting for me outside. We headed to an art store so I could get a nice border for my art piece. I talked my Mom into letting me get some more sketch pencils and a couple of artists kneadable erasers too.
Over the weekend I finished my sketch and mounted it on the border frame. It looked sick! I felt really proud of this art piece. I couldn’t wait to show it off.
Braeden came over to shoot hoops with me for a while too. He is actually improving a bit. I think I am starting to get the hang of skateboarding too. By that I mean I can go down the street without falling off. The guy has awesome taste in music. Never argue with him about who is the greatest drummer ever though. Braeden is convinced that John Bonham is the greatest drummer ever and he doesn’t want to hear any other opinions on the matter. I can respect that.
Sunday night I was walking home from a neighbor’s house when I witnessed a crushing new development. Some tall high school guy hopped out of a car in front of my friend Jackson’s house. Lauren got out on the passenger side. The guy walked around the car, embraced her and they started kissing. I felt my heart slide all the way down into my sock. I was crushed. My heart ached with every other step as I continued home, hands in pockets and head down. I know she was just a hopeful wish that may never come true. But that tall pimpled sleazebag just took my wish, tore it up in a million pieces and flushed it away. I’ve never even seen the guy before tonight but I wanted to punch him.
“Tyler’s home!” Yelled Erin when I walked through the front door. “Were going to have ice cream sundaes! Come on.”
“No thanks, I’m not hungry,” I said.
“But Dad said you’re a bottomless pit,” said Erin.
“I have to go get ready for school tomorrow. Thanks anyway.”
“More for me!” Erin said. Then she skipped off to the kitchen.
Too bad I had to disappoint her, jeez.
Monday went by way to slowly. I was still pretty crushed about Lauren. Plus most of my classes were doing a lot of review stuff which always slows down the clocks to half the speed. I wanted to just leave and skip school so bad. Then I overheard some girls bragging about their entries for the art fair. That reminded me to stay positive. I was doing better, I was excited about my art entry, and my chances of getting back on the basketball team next year were looking much better. Okay, I can get through a lousy Monday without bailing. After school McKenzie, one of the cheerleaders, said I looked like I needed a hug. She gave me a really nice hug and I felt much better.
On the bus, Jackson sat down next to me. How could I possibly tell him to get lost because I wasn’t up to seeing him right now? Especially since I couldn’t explain my secret super big crush on his sister and how she broke my heart last night without even knowing it. I can’t look at the kid and not think about his sister.
“Hey Ty, you have to come over today. I got this awesome new game…”
“Sorry Jackson, I can’t today.”
“Oh, okay. Maybe another time. You seem down or something,” said Jackson.
“Mondays, you know.”
“Yeah. Anyway, Dark Souls, you have to come over sometime and give it a try. It is so sick,” said Jackson.
He talked about the video game the entire bus ride home. I just nodded from time to time and added in a few ‘cools’. I was glad to get home.
I sat down to look through my latest National Geographic. The new food revolution. Interesting. The Gulf, aha digging for dinosaurs. There were definitely some outstanding photos in this issue as usual. I was ready to be inspired for my next art piece and a chance to use my new sketch pencils. I looked up at my leopard sketch. Yup, I was still proud of it.
When my Dad got home from work he shot some hoops with me. He told me he heard about this amazing basketball summer camp not too far away from us. You play on teams as well as working one on one with a professional player. It sounds really cool and I do need to work on my skills everyday so I’m ready to try out next year. My Dad said it’s pricey but he’ll be happy to send me since I have really shown improvement in school. Of course I had to promise to keep doing my best in school. Believe me, I will keep doing my best to go to this awesome camp which will improve my chances of getting back on the team next year. Man, if I get to play basketball again and take art classes next year, it is going to be the best year ever.
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