School wasn’t something Andrew always enjoyed. Sometimes he didn’t see the point of his last year. It wasn’t like they were learning anything new, he reasoned. But he was required by law to finish his 18th year.
The one good thing was it was the only opportunity to see all his friends at once. There was only one school for the whole town so most of his friends lived on the other side of town. It was a large sprawling structure built in the shape of an H.The elementary school kids had one end and the older kids had the other end. In the center was a the auditorium and offices.
Andrew entered the building from his side and proceeded to his locker in the main secondary school hallway. A few of his friends said hi to him along the way. He never considered himself to be popular, but he was not a social pariah either. Once he opened his locker – this year he was lucky and got a locker that opened easily – he unpacked his bag, taking care to leave the newspaper column hidden inside.
Once he had for his first couple of classes, Andrew closed his locker. Eileen was standing right next to it. “Hey there stranger! Missed ya yesterday.”
“Eileen! Almighty, you scared me… I uh, was busy all day yesterday.”
Eileen fell in step with Andrew as they moved down the hallway. “How was your weekend?”
“Good… it was good. Finally managed to hang with my dad. We watched the game together. He’s been so busy at work –“
“Who won?” Andrew didn’t know why she was so interested in the game. He knew that she didn’t watch any of them.
“Uh, the Tsunamis, but everyone knew they were gonna win. Not very exciting to watch.”
“Oh.” They had reached Andrew’s class room. “Well… uh see ya around.”
“Yeah see ya.” Eileen darted down the hall and was soon indistinguishable from the steady stream of students going up and down the hall. Andrew went inside his homeroom and sat down near the back in the first row.
Homeroom was only ten minutes long but everyone, including those in their last year like Andrew, were required to go. The teachers took attendance for the day and they read the school’s announcements.This was the only period that the whole school from the 6th years to the 18th years shared.
Once homeroom was over, Andrew and the rest of his homeroom journeyed out into the hallway again and headed to their respective first classes. Andrew’s first class of the day was philosophy, a class that usually sparked rousing debates even at eight ten in the morning. Philosophy was one of the few other reasons Andrew didn’t mind going to school his last year. They were going through a term of what the Mr. Lopez called “bio-ethics.” Each day brought new surprises for the class.
The bell rang, signifying that class had begun. Everyone quieted down for Mr. Lopez’s opening speech. “One of our Government’s jobs is to provide for the care and well-being of all its citizens. So they have enacted several laws and enforce them heavily, all with our well-being in mind.” Mr. Lopez lifted the moveable part of the blackboard revealing the topic on the bottom part. The class collectively inhaled as he read, “Girls as young as sixteen should be allowed to keep and care for their child/ren if they do get pregnant.” He turned to face the class. “Do you agree or disagree?”