Second period came quickly or abysmally slow, depending on who you asked. Annie arrived in her next classroom, a small one on the third floor with questionably few windows and tan cinderblock walls. Said walls were covered in faded posters of maps, Buddhas, Celtic crosses and a wide variety of other religious symbols. The class was World Religion and the teacher, Mrs. McGraw, had put a seating chart on the front board that incoming students referenced as they walked in. Annie found her assigned seat in the middle-back of the classroom. Though she didn’t share this class with Tessa, the topic was one of her chosen electives she was most looking forward to. She was splaying out her books and folders on her desk when she heard a faint but distinct voice from one side of her.
“I heard he was expelled from his old school for sending a kid to the hospital. Knocked him into a coma,” the voice said.
“Yeah, well I heard he killed someone,” a friend replied.
Annie was concentrating so hard on eavesdropping that she only just noticed that the boy from earlier was sitting against the wall two rows over. His left arm was folded atop his desk, accentuating his round bicep that peaked out below the t-shirt sleeve, and his chin was resting on his hand. Between that and the dark brown bangs that shrouded his profile, Annie once again couldn’t make out any details of his face. Even so, his hunched posture exuded the desire not to be there.
The two kids’ comments from behind her bounced around in seriousness as Annie’s eyes stayed locked on the desk across the room.
“C’mon don’t you think he’d be in jail if he murdered somebody?”
“I dunno, people get away with it all the time! ‘Specially white kids like your lame ass.”
“Touché. Well, whatever the fuck happened, I’m staying far away.”
“Suppose you don’t got a death wish?”
“Nah,” then a chuckle. “I like my head where it’s at!”
Annie’s brain was racing with thoughts, contemplating the validity of the words she just heard, when there was a sudden loud rattle of the sound of a ruler being whacked on wood. “Good morning, class!” rang the overly-peppy yet hoarse voice of Mrs. McGraw. Class was starting, and Annie shook her head lightly to regain her focus. However, her mental blinders could only do so much to keep her from making periodic glances over at the far wall.