The
Underachievers
CHAPTER
8
Braeden Goes Berserk
I hopped off the bus. I really wanted to ride my skateboard to school but my parents agreed it was too icy. Whatever. I took a deep breath and blew it out causing condensation. My own little cloud. Yup, definitely cold. I walked toward the entryway. I was sort of excited about school today. I wanted to hear what my friends thought about our mural. It was sort of cool that some of my art was up for all to see. I was sure I would be seeing Principal Callahan today. I wonder how freaked out she’ll be. We were just going to have to convince her to let us keep the mural up. We need something colorful and fun in our school.
Someone slipped in front of me on a patch of ice. I grabbed his arm. “Walk much?” I asked.
“Shut up, dweeb!” Teased my friend Nate,
“Dude, I saved your life.”
“Fine, I’ll let you live then. Wanna skip Fletcher’s class and take a double lunch?” Nate asked.
“Sorry dude, Callahan’s watching me. Besides she’s going to lose it when she finds my artwork on the long wall in the entry.”
“Brah! What did you do?” Asked Nate. He playfully threw some punches at my arm.
“You’ll see,” I told him as we reached the front doors.
There were a lot of students in the entryway. We walked in. Something was wrong. I walked closer. No, no, no! My brain was slow to process what I was seeing, or rather not seeing.
“Which wall, brah? I don’t see anything?” Nate asked as he looked around.
A couple of people in the crowd brushed passed me. Someone bumped into me. I kept trying to process what was happening. I swallowed hard. The wall was painted white. Impossible. I was starting to sweat. I caught Savannah’s eye across the room. She was standing with some friends looking unhappy. I gestured to the wall and she just shrugged sadly then walked off with her friends. I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“You kids did a good job painting the wall,” said Callahan. “Now get to class and take that hat off.”
Callahan walked toward her office.
“Braeden, you in for double lunch?” Asked Joey. I shook my head, I think. “Did you ask him?”
“He can’t,” said Nate. “I’m in though. Braeden, dude you okay?”
“Catch you two later,” said Joey as he walked off.
The bell rang and the crowd thinned out. “I don’t get it.” I said.
“What?” Asked Nate.
“This wall, dude! We started making this whole big mural… It wasn’t done, but…”
“I guess someone painted over it. Maybe one of the janitors over the weekend,” said Nate.
“Ah! Dang it! What the.…” I grabbed Nate’s water bottle and chucked it at the wall as hard as I could.
“This school sucks!” I yelled.
“Whoa, you’re in trouble now dude,” Nate said pointing at the wall.
“Oh dude!” I said looking closer. The water was taking off some of the paint. I wiped it a bit with my hand. “Latex! It’s latex!” I said.
“So?” asked Nate.
“We can wash off the latex dude. See the color showing? Some brown and a little black here. We can wash it! Ha! Thank God.”
“What are talking about? We should go before the second bell,” said Nate.
“Never mind, I’ll explain later.” We hurried off to first period.
I sat down and pulled my notebook out of my bag. Man, I was so happy we used enamel paint for the mural. The latex was simply a thin sheet over it. I would try to talk to the others today. We would just have to get into the entryway after school, and wash off the latex. Then our mural should be in pretty good shape. It may need some touch ups but it should look pretty much how we left it Saturday. The janitor usually left around two thirty during the week. Callahan usually left around quarter after three unless she had meetings. I’d have to find out somehow. Some teachers or office people could stay as late as five. One of us would have to be a look out. As long as the janitor and Callahan were gone we should be able to get away with it. Then we will have our unofficial first unveiling tomorrow instead of today. I can’t believe Mr. Dan did this to us! What is his deal? I don’t know why he’d think he would get fired. So stupid.
“Braeden!” Yelled Mrs. Bryant. “Please take off your hat and pay attention.”
I hated taking off my hat. I took it off though since the teacher would keep glaring at me until I did.
At lunch I found Savannah. She helped me look around. We found Ben and Zoey. Maybe Tyler and Sawyer had second lunch. They were all really upset to find our hard work painted over. I told them what I discovered and they agreed to stay late if their parents were okay with it. We would all tell our parents there was an ‘ art club ‘ meeting to see if enough people were interested. Savannah had a friend that helped out in the office for an hour after lunch so she might be able to find out when Callahan is leaving today. Zoey had Tyler in her last class. We just needed to find Sawyer if possible.
“I say we all puke on the floor for Mr. Dan,” I said.
“Gross!! You are disgusting,” Savannah said.
“We are about to eat lunch dude,” Zoey added.
“How about a food fight?” Ben said. “That would be so awesome!”
“No, it wouldn’t. Besides Mr. Dan isn’t here today, look,” Savannah said and pointed at a janitor emptying lunch garbage.
“Coward. Well, see you all later,” I said.
I went over to join some of my friends.
After lunch I passed by the AV room. I suddenly stopped. Just a hunch, and I knew I was being very stereotypical, but I peeked in the door. There were four boys in there. Three of them wearing glasses. They were having lunch and watching some gaming video. I knew a lot of gaming kids hung out here and avoided the cafeteria.
“Sawyer?” I called. They all turned to look at me.
Sawyer said. ”Yeah?”
I motioned him over. He stepped out of the audio visual room. “How did you know I was here?” He asked.
“Total lucky guess. You saw the wall right?” I asked.
His face told me he had. I explained about the latex over the enamel paint. He smiled when he realized what I was getting at. He said he just had to text home. He was in.
Things were looking up. Now if teachers would just end school early for any dumb reason I’d be truly happy. I bumped open the door and walked into the monotonous world of science with professor dimwit.
“Well, so nice of you to join us, Mr. Coleman,” said Mr. Green. “Have a seat, we are working with partners today.”
I looked around. Brainy girl or boy that only speaks some English. Lucky me. I took a seat next to brainy girl. Maybe I won’t have to do anything.
When the day was finally over, I stopped at my locker and waited around the corner from our mural wall. Ben spotted me first. Then we saw Tyler talking to some cheerleaders. We waved him over. He said the cheerleaders had practice in the gym until four o’clock. So we decided we should get going as soon as Callahan left at 3:15.
“Guys, guys!” Savannah called as she ran over to us. “We are going to meet Sawyer and Zoey in the AV room.”
We all headed to the AV room. Sawyer and Zoey were already there. Savannah told us her friend said Callahan was leaving on time. No meetings. It was 3:05 now. We decided to head to the janitors room at 3: 15.
Zoey volunteered to make sure Callahan had left. When the coast was clear we went to the janitor’s room to fill some buckets with water and cleaning solvent, plus a big sponge for each of us. I grabbed the ladder too. We kept as quiet as possible. The girls put down the tarp and kept a look out.
We did a section of the upper wall. It was working like a charm as the water dripped down taking paint with it. When the upper wall was done we moved the ladder and all went to work. We were careful not to scrub too hard so we didn’t rub off any or much enamel paint. Ben grabbed some towels so we could dab the wall dry or at least make sure there weren’t drips. The dark colors looked good. We needed to touch up the blue. We emptied and put away the buckets and sponges. Zoey found a blow dryer and extension cord so we could make sure the enamel paints were dry. As soon as it felt dry the girls went over the lighter blue color. A couple women walked in with a little girl. We froze for a minute but they were just moms. Probably to pick up their daughters from cheerleading.
One of them even said, “What a wonderful job you kids are doing.”
“Our first positive feedback,” said Zoey quietly.
“Let’s hope not the last,” Savannah said.
When we were done painting the blue section we finished cleaning up. The mural looked like we left it Saturday. Now Principal Callahan would see it for sure. I’m sure her initial reaction won’t be good but hopefully students and teachers will like it and we can talk her into letting us keep it.
“Bye guys,” said Tyler. He started to walk toward the gym.
“Where are you going?” Asked Zoey.
“I’m getting a ride home with a cheerleader, I mean my neighbor,” Tyler said.
“I think he was blushing,” said Savannah.
The rest of us walked out front to wait for our parents to pick us up. My heart sank when I saw my brother pull up.
The passenger window went down. “Bye guys,” I said quickly before Liam could talk.
“Hey Braeden is that your girlfriend? What’s your name?” Liam asked.
“Savannah,” I heard behind me.
“You sure you want to date this loser?” Liam asked.
“Liam, leave her alone!” I growled as I hopped into the car, shut the door, and tried to roll up the window.
“Oh no! Child lock is on. Too bad,” Liam laughed.
We drove off as I slowly died in the passenger seat of my brother’s old Mustang.

Keep Reading

Chapter 9

Savannah Survives the Day

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