This was stupid.
This wasn’t just stupid. It was illogical.
What were mom and dad thinking?
A kid like me coming to a school like this. Did they have a brain in their head? Or was it just empty space for rent?
Walking into the massive building, I couldn’t help but wonder why it looked more like a factory than a school. Probably because it was meant to mass produce oddly well-educated zombies than encourage an equal and fair learning field for different minded individuals. Then again, there weren’t many schools left like that nowadays anyway.
The school was an old fashioned red brick school, though it was an oh-so-new-and-fashionable five stories high. You’d think it was the capitol building, what with all the steps it had leading up to the revolving glass doors. From there, you had to find your way by following the signs to your room. My first class was algebra, room 117.
After algebra was earth science at room 402, and after that was gym in the basement. Gym is a worthwhile class, even for someone as physically inept like me. There’s nothing quite like seeing girls in tight short shorts and t-shirts with the Saint Francis’ colors, blue and red. Watching them run around the gym, doing pushups, it’s a bit of a thrill ride for a guy like me.
Two words that don’t belong together: religious education. And that happens to be my class after gym. Not that I know nothing about religion, mind you. I know everything by heart when it comes to saying things to piss Christians off.
Five sixty nine is the classroom of Hell. The door even had a crucifix on it. Now I knew how those Goth kids felt. It was bad enough to deal with Christians at home, but Christians at school? Why were his parents so cruel as to send him to such a place?
I took a seat near the back. It was one of those rickety desks with things carved into it, like obscene language and a Jesus fish. No way did I want to be near the front or middle of the room, lest the teacher think I actually gave a crap about what he’d have to say. Well, he’s going to get a piece of my mind, he is. He doesn’t even know the whole story of Genesis, he deserves to be corrected. If he’s too stupid to understand something as basic as that, that’s his own fault.
My first assumption was negated when SHE came into the room. She was a young nun with a smiling face and a bible in one hand. Well, she’d be pretty hot if she wasn’t a nun and stuck wearing a habit. Around her neck she wore a rosary that appeared to be made of out pearl. She took a seat at her desk and began skimming her bible.
When the bell rang for class to start, she got out of her seat. “Class,” she began with a gesture towards me. “Let’s welcome Oliver, another student in the grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The class welcomed me all at once.
“Heh… thanks for the welcome, but I don’t believe in God.” A universal gasp came from the lot of believers. Well, almost universal. One girl just watched me. She was peculiar looking, but I couldn’t get a good look at her because the sheeple had my attention.
“Oh Lord,” the nun began to pray. “Please deliver this child from the grasp of Satan into Your loving, welcoming arms, and protect his innocence –” Innocence? She’s kidding, right? With all the porn I’ve watched? With all the visits to 4chan I’ve had? She has to be kidding. Me! Innocent! Hah! “— and keep his soul away from the morning star…”
“Hey. The morning star is Venus, not Satan.”
“Woe, he speaks of Pagan Gods now, the demons this child must have following him! Class, please join me in praying for Mister Brown.”
Everyone in the classroom lowered their heads, except for that strange girl. But it was alright she didn’t lower her head. I didn’t want any whackos praying for me. By the looks of her, she was a whacko of some kind, but not the same as a Christian whacko. She had windswept blonde hair that cascaded down her back to her shoulders, contrasting beautifully against her dark skin along with her eyes. I’ve never seen eyes such a pristine blue before. She was wearing khaki cargo pants, the kind with pockets all over the place. She was also wearing some shirt, but her rack was too distracting for me to care to notice it, other than the fact it was white.
I glanced up and our eyes met. She grinned and waved hello at me, ignoring the fact the class was in prayer.
“That’s it,” I announced. “This atheist is out of here.” And I got up, and headed out of the room.
But that strange girl followed me out, too. She followed me, in fact, until I came to a stop and confronted her. “Not a Christian?” I asked.
“Not a Christian,” she responded smoothly with a smile.
“But you are a whacko,” I said a little testily.
“If by whacko you mean somebody who believes in something with all their heart and feels it to be true for them, then yes. I am quite the whacko. There’s none more whacky than I.” She paused for a moment, and questioned me, “Do you have a problem with people who have faith in things besides science?”
With a sigh, I confessed, “Yes. You’re all stupid.”
“You’re pretty stupid too to have such a narrow point of view. My name is Waridi Mchawi. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Oliver Twist.”
“It’s Oliver Brown, not Oliver Twist!” Besides, that nick name was reserved for my parents to call me only. And I didn’t even like them using it. “And what’s with that name? Why does it end in ee?”
“It’s Kenyan. My father is from Kenya and I wanted my name to reflect that. It’s my special way to honor his passing.”
“So it’s not your real name, then. What’s your real name?”
“It is too my real name. Legally, it’s my name. Accept it or not, it’s the only name I’m going to give you.”
This girl wasn’t only sexy, but she was tricky. This was something I could truly appreciate. I glanced at her, and caught sight of the necklace she was wearing. “Are you some sort of Pagan?” We headed into the stairways.
“I’m a Shamanka, actually.” She fiddled with her necklace. It was bleached plant fiber with some sort of tooth with a hole drilled in it. Waridi seemed to notice where I was staring, and commented, “Shark’s tooth. My spirit guide is named Papa, she’s a shark.”
“It’s strange for a female anything to be named Papa.”
“Are you making fun of Swahili?” She bristled a bit in anger. I could see her gaze becoming suddenly harsh, and I didn’t feel quite as safe anymore.
“No…” I began slowly. “It just sounds strange to me. I’m stupid. Ignore me.”
She nodded. “Alright. I’ll do just that and ignore you. By the way, where are you heading?”
I paused for a moment. She had a point. Where WAS I heading. Even I wasn’t quite so sure of that. “Uh…” I paused. “I’m going… somewhere?”
“Why not come to my club?” She suggested with a smile. “I’m actually a junior, but I have to retake religious studies 101 because I refused to go to church.”
“What’s your club about? Shamanism?” I snorted and asked with a laugh, “Do we get to smoke ayahuasca?”
“First of all, it’s not about Shamanism. Second of all, you don’t smoke ayahuasca, you drink it. Third of all, it’s a computer club. If you’re going to be a jerk wad and skip out because you’d rather try pissing off everyone who attempts to be nice to you, that’s fine with me.”
She walked past me and headed down the stairs. She looked back at me and said, “We’re at the computer lab on the fourth floor if you’re interested. If not, whatever, our club is probably too good for you anyway.”