Read High School 2 - Diversity - The Clash Online

Authors: Paul Swearingen

Tags: #relationships, #el dia de los muertos, #corvette, #day of the dead, #mexican american, #car chase, #hispanic, #mustang

High School 2 - Diversity - The Clash (13 page)

A thoughtful look came over her face. “In
fact, Bob is probably going to start dragging someone else off to
eat after I get through with him.”

Frank gave her a quizzical look in return
but shook his head. The warning bell sounded, and he tossed his
napkin on the plate and slipped the photo back into his

“Sorry, Carla. I didn’t mean to turn lunch
into a cultural affair. See you tonight.”

“You bet. And … maybe you can tell me more.
If you have time.”

For the first time, Frank smiled. “I think
that can be arranged.”

Suddenly, a tangled vision of a green dress
and a young man in a tux arose in Carla’s mind, and she blurted,
“Will you take me to the dance?” Realizing what she had asked, she
closed her eyes and waited for the negative response sure to

“Wait. That’s my line, Carla.”

“Um … sorry … but …” She opened her eyes.
Frank’s eyes were actually sparkling, and he was grinning.

“Carla. Would you like to go to the dance
with me?”

“Oh. Well. Let me check my calendar …”

Frank’s face fell.

“Just kidding, you goof. Of course I’ll go
to the dance with you. Thanks for asking. But there’s a catch.”

Frank pushed away his tray and leaned his
head on his hands. “Whatever you say.”

“Double date. It’s gotta be on an old-school
double date. I’m not supposed to get into cars alone any more.
Pop’s orders.”

He frowned. “Oh, yeah? And just who did you
have in mind?”

Carla made a face at him. “You’ll see. I’ll
let you know. Okay?”


The bell sounded, and Frank picked up their
trays, stacking Carla’s on top of his, and they turned to take them
to the conveyor belt. Miranda and three other girls were standing
behind them; she had a shocked look on her face as she looked first
at Frank and then at Sandra.

“Why, Miranda. How sweet of you to drop by.
Frank and I were just wondering who would come along to help us
clean our table. Right, Frank?”

Frank didn’t say anything, so Carla circled
her arm slowly around Frank’s waist and looked up at him. “Why,
look. Frank already took care of it. Thanks anyway. Okay?”

Miranda stared at the two of them and then
abruptly turned her back on them and motioned to the two other
girls. “Come along, now. We’re done here.” She stalked towards the
outside door. One of the girls glanced at Carla and rolled her
eyes, and Carla tried not to smirk. The girl stopped, looked
towards the retreating backs of the other two girls, looked again
at Carla and shook her head and abruptly peeled away, her head
still shaking.

“Wow. Two to go, huh?” Carla removed her
arm, regretfully, and watched the girl disappear across the

Frank looked down at her and smiled. “I
think I’m going to need to ask you a few questions some time

“No, I think my Pop may have a few questions
for you first. All right?”

He sighed. “Yep. That’s the way it goes with
us Mexican families. That first meeting with the parents …”

They walked to the conveyor belt; Frank
dropped off the trays, and then they walked towards the outside
door. She glanced at the restroom door. “Oh … sorry. I need to stop
by the little girls’ room. I’ll see you later, okay?”

He laughed and shook his head. “You’re
something else. See you after school.” He waved at her and
disappeared through the door.

There was one more thing she had to do. She
watched him walk towards the main building, imagining him for sure
in powder blue tux, white ruffles, herself in a pale yellow dress,
and turned back to the cafeteria and almost ran into Coach

“Oops. Watch it there, young lady. Wouldn’t
want our star tutor to hurt herself.”

““Um … nope. I guess T. J. talked to you

“Well, word gets around, and believe me, the
basketball coach will be kissing your foot if he catches you.”

“I think I’ll pass on that experience.” A
fleeting vision of someone else kissing her on the lips passed
through her mind, and she shook her head. Concentrate, Carla. You
can do it.

“If you say so, but I’m sure he’ll at least
want to thank you for taking the time to work with T. J. I know he
can be a pill, but …”

She waved her hand in dismissal. “All taken
care, of, Coach. I just told him to be in the library every
morning, at seven-ten sharp. No problemo.”

“All right. I thank you, the team thanks
you, and I would hope that T. J. would thank you.”

“Right. Oh … Coach?” She fumbled in her
purse and pulled out a pack of cigarettes that she’d snitched from
the carton that her father kept at the back of a kitchen cabinet
drawer. “Here. I … found these. Figured you’d take care of

The coach took the pack, crushed them in one
hand, and dropped them onto Carla’s tray. “That should do it, don’t
you think?”

Carla stared at the smashed pack. “Nice
move, Coach. Nasty things. Bad for my … er, the voice. Ya

He laughed and turned to leave. “Sure,
Carla. Any time. Maybe you’ll be able to make the track team next
spring now.”

Carla arched an eyebrow. “Now, that’s crazy
talk, Coach.”

He laughed and walked away, and Carla eyed
the pack again and shook her head. Two tables away Sandra waved.
. I’ve been looking for you.”

With one quick move, Carla picked up the
crumpled pack and bounced it off Sandra. “Hey,
, I’ve
been looking for YOU! How do you feel about double dates?”



The saga at Niotaka High continues in
High School Yearbook – The Drama


From Chapter One:

Cherié stretched and yawned, adding a little
yelp at the end of the stretch. Mrs. Benton raised her chalk from
the green chalkboard, turned, and put one hand on her hip but kept
the piece of chalk at the ready. She glared over her half-moon
eyeglasses at Cherié, who widened her eyes and cocked her head as
if to say, “Gee, lady, I have no clue what you want from me,” and
then at Terri, who grimaced and shook her head. Ms. Benton glared
at the entire class, rolled her eyes in temporary defeat, and
turned to finish writing the day’s assignment on the board in a
flowing script that reminded Cherié of her first-grade teacher’s
handwriting. Score one for Cherié on the first day of her last year
of high school, she thought.

Ah, first grade. She actually remembered
learning something in that class and maybe even through most of the
rest of her grade school classes, except fifth grade, when they’d
suffered through three teachers and finally the principal to finish
out the year. That year had been a lost cause for sure, but this
one was going to be the best.

She settled back into her seat and mentally
reviewed her hair, clothes and makeup. Perfect. She’d made some
careful choices before leaving the house: just a light touch of
blush to accent her tan; a sleeved yellow top that hid the bruise
on her shoulder, accentuated her curves, but didn’t make her look
like a slut; jean shorts that were faded but not ragged;
slightly-scuffed yellow flip-flops; black polish on her toenails;
her light-brown hair pulled back into a ponytail.

The door opened, and Cherié watched a rather
small, frightened-looking proctor walk in and hand Mrs. Benton a
slip of paper. Mrs. Benton nodded, and the proctor scampered out
the door and silently closed it behind her.

“Miss Chase? Seems as if the principal would
like to have a word with you.” She held out the call slip away from
her as if it were a slice of overripe limburger cheese, and Cherié
stood, stretched a little for effect, and took the slip.

“I’ll be back … soon,” Cherié tossed over
her shoulder as she exited, and she could feel her pony tail
wagging like a finger waving “no-no” at a baby. What now …? she
thought, and she checked the call slip to make sure that the
principal really wanted to see her.

* * *


Want to read more? Download the free
sample from
High School Yearbook – The Drama


Paul Swearingen is the author of the “High
School” series, all available from, plus other young
adult fiction. If you were one of his students during his 34+ years
of teaching in secondary schools, you might just find echoes of
yourself and your friends and enemies in one of his books.

Other books

The Tides by Melanie Tem
Honest Betrayal by Girard, Dara
The Ladybug Jinx by Tonya Kappes
Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
Fraser's Voices by Jack Hastie
The World Shuffler by Keith Laumer
Starkissed by Lanette Curington
Thwarted Queen by Cynthia Sally Haggard