- 5 Avenida del Abrazo, Santa Monica, Peninsular State, Confederal Republic of the Cagayan
October 13th, 2018
t was the first day of the last year of their major secondary. To them, everything had been building up to this final stretch. Their plans, aspirations, so forth, were now within their reach, as all they needed to do was finish the year, then they could go to college and take the course they wanted.
However, for Emilio, the problem was that he did not know what he wanted. He did not have any plans for the future, nor did he think much about it before today. He’d taken the Science & Technology strand out of impulse rather than any sense of aspiration, and seemed to be in an endless grapple with both the overload and the professors who assumed that the students knew everything, of which there were few exceptions.
He asked himself why he didn’t just switch to the business strand before remembering it had more math, and a familiar voice greeted him in the hallway.
“Oi, Mión!” Carmela called out. She ran towards him before almost slipping–she didn’t see the wet floor sign, but she caught hold of a window sill in time.
“Cristo, Mela! How’s it been?”
“I’ve been fine! So, you spy the sections yet?”
“No, what’s up?”
“We’re still section mates, though there’s lotsa newblood, transfers I think.”
“Well, this’ll be interesting. What happened to our people?”
“Plato dropped out, a lot switched gears, Calla transferred to a technical.”
“Damn. At least I have their numbers.”
And they started on their walk to their classroom. On the way, a teacher called out to them by their last names. “Benitez, Carandañg!”
“Your uniforms are untidy. Your hair looks crass. You do not have looks befitting a student of this school. This will be an infraction.”
“What do you mean infraction, there’s no rule about–”
“Again, but speak more properly,” Miraflor said with a smirk, seeming to relish in how her authority allowed her to cut people off. Carmela felt the urge to argue her case further, but she also knew it was a worthless undertaking.
So she sighed. “Never mind, we’ll take the infraction,” and Miraflor wrote their names down on what seemed to be a lesson plan notebook before letting them go. So they continued on their way.
“Speak more properly,” Emilio imitated her words in a mocking manner amidst Carmela’s nose exhale. “Damn egotist. I don’t even know what I did.”
“Whatever, it’s year 3 anyway, we’ll be done soon. Speaking of which, what are you gonna take?”
“For college, silly.”
“I don’t know yet.”
“Seriously? But we’re gonna go to college right after, you don’t have a plan at all?”
“None current. Unless you count wanting to be an astronaut when I was a baby.” Carmela chuckled again. “Anyway, where are you going?”
“San Luis, probably, they have a biology course.”
“Wanna be a doctor or something?”
“Kinda, are vets doctors?”
“Kinda, I guess.”
Emilio thought for a moment. He didn’t have a plan of his own, so he decided to tag along with her there. That would be his plan for now.
“I think I’ll go with you there.”
“Would be a waste to take S&T if I didn’t use it, just hope they don’t have as much math. I’m sick of it, I see the numbers when I close my eyes.”
“What’re you following me there for, are you my dog or something?”
“Not opposed to that.”
“I am, woof.”
They laughed as they arrived at their classroom, and Emilio opened the door, feeling cold air flow past him. ‘At least we have the AC units now,’ he thought as he and Carmela looked for a seat.