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Sleepiness washed over me during the first subject of the day, Chemistry.

I was really happy I finally finished and polished it and submit it before the time for deadline.

Last night was really stressful. I have to make another kind of comic that flashed in my mind. Sort of inspiration from the first story written by J. Young, the person who writes stories for the school paper.

I thought it was good but the problem is, I can’t think of how to draw the scenes, and I have to tiptoe all the way down the hall and pour me a mug of coffee (I need to be more alert).

My family went to bed twenty minutes past ten, and none of them wants to see light from underneath their bedroom doors, so I just use my penlight to go anywhere around the house.

I have to make a round of walking to and fro, sipping coffee, thrice. It was already cold but I have a hunch that hot water has nothing to do with the coffee’s amount of caffeine in it.

I finished at one thirty, but my head still wasn’t out of energy, so I have to wait for twenty minutes until my brain calms down.

I woke up earlier as usual (five thirty instead of six o’clock) to do my usual morning activities, except for cleaning my bag out, which I usually do before I go to sleep, which you can draw a conclusion from.

A quarter before seven, I was already there. No one, but the janitors, has arrived yet, making me the first student to come.

I rushed to the Veritas office. The door isn’t locked; I thought it was until when I opened it at the first attempt.

I went inside and I have to admit: our studio might be full of handsome stuff, but this one, even though it’s simple, is very neat.

It was some kind of Bob Marley-themed, except that the colors were lighter: pink walls and carpet, mint green ceiling and floor tiles, and dirty white tables, complete with lights that looks like those things people use for their Christmas trees, except that all the little shining stuff are white and circular. The only things that ruined it are two black computers perching on two tables at the wall parallel to the door.

I looked around the room and saw the editor-in-chief’s table. I fished out my comic and a Sorry letter and put it underneath the stapler resting on it.

I walked as quietly as possible and took a peep outside if there’s someone coming. I was relieved that no one has still arrived.

I went to the laboratory, and twenty minutes later, I heard the door swing widely open and found Ire and Mara walking to their respective places, sounding really happy.

It might be because of the party last night at Lindsay’s place, but I don’t care. I have to tell you that even though I’m more comfortable hanging out with girls, I couldn’t stand being in the crowd full of them (See the crisis?).

How did I know there were rarely any boys at the party? Because in the next minutes, I overheard them talking about what happened to girls and caught some phrases.

Hey, what were they talking about Lindsay—and did you see the look on Brenda’s face when Julie—I never thought that the popular girls are so much fun—and not too snobbish as Gwen.

I think it would’ve gone forever until people start pouring in. Their conversation was cut when the half-Chinese half-Japanese guy named Chiyo Zheng took his chair next to Mara, where Ire was sitting.

I never thought what my classmates feel about listening in class and sleeping during the entire hour, until I felt dizzy and couldn’t think that the words from Ms. Harley’s mouth made any sense.

I pinched myself, rub my eyes and slapped my face, but none of them worked.

I just simply have wait for the time to be completely up so that I could stay at the art studio and take a quick nap.

After a lifetime, the bell finally rang. Just as I planned, I started to walk all the way to the studio.

//Note: Members are allowed to. Our moderator seems like a sort of rule-breaker (Students are not allowed to sleep in any places in the campus. Getting permission from your teacher won’t work either) but (thank heavens) he didn’t get caught He’s a cool guy, mind you. As long as you have done all your duties, he’ll let you do anything inside the Studio.//

Half-way to my hang-out place, someone held his—her, rather—arm out and I bumped onto her. I looked up and saw Ire with Mara and Rose behind her.

“You you want to hang out with us?” She asked.

“Sorry, but not now,” I said, almost warily.

To be honest, I started wanting to spend more time being pressured by deadlines that to hang out with them for more than an hour. I’m tired of them talking about girly stuff and all (See that? Another sign that I’m complaining like a girl and all I complain are girly stuff).

And believe me, if I will be with them, all they’ll just talk about is last night’s party, and they will throw me questions like: It was fun last night! Why didn’t you come?—Why did you distance away so suddenly?—Why didn’t you go to the party?

Yeah, right. As if I’m going to enjoy there. Honestly, I’d rather read Twilight in dim light rather than to be in a crowd (any kinds: all girls, all guys, mixed, and others). I would’ve said 50 Shades of Grey but if I did, I’d rather has the crowd.

“Why?”

“I need a place where I can steal a little time to sleep,” I said honestly.

“You know it’s against the rules,” Mara said. It’s already starting to get annoying.

“It’s really important for a person who stayed up all night,” I explained.

“It’s your fault you didn’t get any sleep then,” she told me.

It was like a slap against the face, but I didn’t let that in. Instead of telling the truth that it was because I forgot the deadline of the project all because of them, I gave them something that might pass as a defense for the truth.

“Look. The thing I did last is VERY important. It’s a matter of life and between me. Try not being able to think any more things to draw in and the deadline is in less than twenty-four hours. I tell you, it’s really important.”

“More important than your friends?” Rose asked.

This is why I hate girls’ behavior. They find excuses so that guys won’t be able to get out of their clutches.

“So are you telling me I must go follow my friends and neglect things that might make other people disappointed in you when they hoped that you’ll succeed?”

“So that thing is important but you won’t tell it to us,” Mara said, narrowing her eyes.

“I told you yesterday, it’s a secret!”

“How can we know that it’s a secret?” Ire said, with a hint of challenge in her voice.

“Ask Mr. Wickes if you like. I’m sure he won’t tell you, too.”

“You’re just making that up. You’re using a teacher to get away from us.”

“I promise to the heavens I’m not using him,” I said exasperatedly, drowsiness draining out of me. Right. Really good to start the day. I’ve been craving to sleep more but it was all gone.

“Go on then. I suppose you don’t want to be friends with us anymore,” Rose said.

She’s becoming one of my least favorite persons in the campus now, acting like she already knows me.

“Let me ask and tell you,” I said fiercely. “School but you’ll lose your friends but finish the school year without any failing grade and gain new friends? Or friends but you’ll have failures on your grades and have to start the year all over again? Me? Studies first. I won’t care if you’ll remove me from your little ‘group’. I won’t have any problems with you three fighting over something occasionally. I’d rather study during blackout and lose my eyesight than hang out with you. You’re becoming like the popular girls here. I’ve noticed that instead of opening a notebook, you turn your attention to your phones and call people and share some gossip with them. You’re becoming one of the bad influences here. Again: lose friends but graduate? Or hang out with friends and spend an extra year in high school? Think about it.”

As I moved to the Studio, I noticed they look dumbfounded. I wish they would understand what I mean: we have to be away from each other sometimes to be able to study properly.

As I came nearer, I heard voices again, but this time, it didn’t come to an end.

I knocked three times, and went in.

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