As far as Max was concerned, lunch arrived not a moment too soon. The harsh buzz of the bell saved Max from his turn at reading out loud to the class. He’d been paying more attention to the leaves falling outside than the droning of his classmates so when Ms. Emilie called on him to read next he panicked. Then the bell rang and he didn’t have to admit he didn’t know what paragraph they were on. Ms. Emilie frowned, but didn’t stop him as he collected his notebooks and hurried into the hallway.
Once in the lunchroom, he headed to the far table where Billie was already sitting with Mason. Another of their misfit group. Mason had been relegated to the ‘weird’ table for being the first kid everyone knew to have divorced parents. By now, other kids were in the same boat, but too late for Mason to be among the popular kids. Not that he had any desire to sit with them. He often said that being cool meant you had to care about what you did and said and this way they could have way more fun. Although it did mean always being picked last for gym teams. Max was happy to be basically ignored by the rest of the school. Two friends were all he needed.
Lunch was the first time Max got to see Mason during the day. He was in all the advanced level classes. But three of them had made a permanent lab partnership despite the two-students-per-group rule since there was an uneven number of kids in class. Science was actually one of Max’s favorite classes. It was cool learning about what made clouds form and stuff. It was also conveniently just after lunch, his other favorite subject.
Today they were going to dissect worms. Everyone in sixth grade was talking about it. Those who had already had science in the morning were tight-lipped so speculation was rampant. They would just nod sagely and smile as if they knew something you didn’t. Mason was sure it was going to be the most epic class ever.
Miss Kohl spent ten minutes going over the rules and what they would be doing and what they would be looking for before she would let them even open the box of supplies that sat enticingly at each table. But eventually she gave them the go ahead and everyone started talking at once.
“Miss Kohl?” Susan raised her hand, calling over the chatter. “I’m a vegetarian, can I be excused from this?”
The class giggled at Susan’s prim tone. She was always trying to get out of doing labs, but Miss Kohl was not amused. “If you don’t want to do the dissection, you can be a note taker.” She then proceeded to repeat the starting instruction over the increasingly noisy class.
Mason pulled the box to him and opened it up, taking each item out and laying it on the table. Tiny scissors, pins, some weird blue plastic tool, a flat metal pan, and of course the worm. He laid the last item down carefully.
“I’ll be the note taker,” Billie said, grabbing the worksheet and a pencil.
“You don’t want to dissect?” Max was surprised. Billie wasn’t normally squeamish.
She shook her head. “Nah, I figured you two would enjoy it more, plus last time Mason took notes we got docked because of his handwriting.”
“Dissection or Instructions?” Max asked Mason and he reached for the metal tray just as Miss Kohl neared their desk. She was still giving instructions attempting to be just loud enough to be heard over the noise of the class.
“Remember to read the worksheet out loud fully before starting on step one. Max?” She said, interrupting herself. Max looked up. “Don’t you have your counseling appointment now?”
Although she was speaking quieter, Max saw the kids at the nearby table turn to look. He flushed, realizing that the entire class was probably looking at him and wondering why Miss Kohl had stopped giving instructions.
“I uh…” He had forgotten in the excitement of dissection that he was supposed to go to Mr. Patrick’s office after lunch.
“Go on then,” she said and smiled.
Max wanted to sink into the ground and disappear. Instead, he walked back to his desk and collected his books. He could feel the entire class watching him, probably wondering why he was leaving. He didn’t dare look behind him as he headed for the hall.
The sound of the classroom door opening was the loudest thing he’d ever heard. Heart pounding, he hurried down the halls trying to get as far away from the class as he could. Max hated that he had to leave class to go see Mr. Patrick. Mr. Patrick’s room smelled funny and tiny. He felt trapped. But worse was how Mr. Patrick would look at him, with that superior smile on his face, and ask how his day was going.
His day was ruined now. Ruined by having to go to a stupid meeting and talk about things he didn’t want to talk about. But Mr. Patrick never wanted to hear that. He wanted Max to fill out stupid worksheets about what he was worried about and reflect on his worries. The worksheets were childish and made him feel like he was in elementary school again.
Max twisted the lock on his locker and stuffed his science books inside. Why did he have to miss out on what would probably be the best day of science class all year? For this? To sit in a musty smelling room with the windows all shut when it was such a wonderful day outside? He slammed his locker door shut.
He turned down the hall, rubbing his burning eyes. Just great, now he was going to go to Mr. Patrick’s office and look like he’d been crying. No telling what the counselor would decide that meant. But probably that he needed more counseling. Probably for the rest of his life. Fuck that.
Max was fed up with everything. With school, with Mr. Pancakes who asked him how he was doing, with the students who looked at him and whispered behind his back, with Miss Kohl reminding him of his stupid appointment. He was fed up with being worried all the time about his mum, seeing her get better and then worse again. Having to tiptoe around the house and seeing his mom cry. He was fed up with the doctors who were clearly lying cuz mum had been fine before she started going to the hospital.
And most of all he was fed up with these stupid counseling sessions with stupid Mr. Patrick.
Max didn’t stop at Mr. Patrick’s office door, just beyond them the school doors beckoned. They were closed, but he could see the sunshine through the tiny windows. He pushed the doors open half expecting alarms to go off or something. Instead he spilled out of the dark school halls into eye-watering sunshine.
A breeze pushed leaves across his path. They skipped down the sidewalk with a dry tumble. It was like a different world and for the first time all day, Max felt the weight begin to lift from his heart. Tthe doors clanged shut behind him and he jumped. Someone had to have heard that. They would come and see and find him and he would be taken back inside. Max didn’t hesitate he wasn’t ready to go back inside back to all that stupid and especially not back to Mr. Patrick. Not now.
He ran down the school steps and turned left, racing down the sidewalk and away from it all. He ran not knowing exactly where he was going until he suddenly did. The Hidden Glade. It wasn’t really hidden since everyone knew about it, but surely he could hide there just for a little while.
- Miss Kohl is one of MunterBacon’s many #boredomcuties on the gallery. I tweaked her to be a bit more teachery. (Check out his awesome simlit.)
- Height Slider to get a variety of child heights from Simmy the Sim
- Sakura HS build created by me, reassembled. (No cc on gallery but I added some here)
- MadHox on Mod the Sims
- MaxHox’s Coordinated Clean Slate Tiles
- Around the Sims 4
- Slob’s Life Open Book
- School – Blackboard
- Challenge details: CitizenErased14’s Ambrosia Challenge