When well-planned Monday meets spontaneous Friday…
By Mary Innerst
We’ve all known a Monday. No matter where or when you went to school, she was there. She was the girl bounding into the classroom at 7:54, without fail, every morning, giggling and babbling on about what she had done the night before in her just-barely-high-enough-to-be-annoying voice. She radiated a seemingly supernatural kind of energy, the kind of energy that, at any other time may have been exhilarating, but at 7:54 made us all squint our eyes and press our foreheads to our desks, hoping to heaven she would just shut up. Monday was the girl who would raise her hand two minutes before the bell with a “didn’t we have homework due today?”
Monday was the girl whose clothes never quite matched the event she was attending but never seemed to notice or, in fact, care. Like that time she wore blindingly white New Balance sneakers under her prom dress. We all admired her for her confidence and surprisingly adept moves on the dance floor, if not for her taste in footwear.
No one could decide if Monday was pretty or not. She had a shocking sort of beauty about her, although I can’t say she was shockingly beautiful. She was a lightning bolt striking a tree kind of beautiful, the kind of beautiful that makes you feel afraid yet undoubtedly in awe. Her eyes were blue. Or green, depending on what she was wearing. The potential beauty of her eyes was overshadowed (or should I say under shadowed?) by her mouth. Behind the thin lips lurked the largest teeth any of us had ever seen. Her look was topped off by a great mop of copper wire curls; pretty, if a little wild. Although we had doubts about her beauty, Monday certainly never did. She thought she knew she was beautiful, and took every opportunity to flirt with everyone, and yet never got around to dating anyone. I suppose she just liked to hear herself talk, and did so with anyone who had a functional ear.
We all knew run-ins with Monday were inevitable. We’d dread the moment she would blow into the classroom, and she did so every day, without fail. Monday never missed a class. Or a presentation. Or the opportunity to disruptively blow her nose during an exam. Between classes, she would seek out someone to talk to, like a flat-toothed lioness on the prowl. She would home in on one unfortunate schoolmate, trapping them beside their locker or the water fountain, and the verbal deluge would commence. Conversations with Monday seemed to last forever, but once the bell had rung and you watched that curly head bob away, a strange sense of accomplishment lingered with you throughout the rest of the day. Hell, the rest of the week.
Throughout the years, we learned to accept our Monday, for her flaws as well as her occasional charms. Then, one memorable day, Monday met Friday.
It was first period, two minutes before the bell. As was her custom, Monday confidently raised her hand, unaware of the intense glares from the rest of us. She was going to mention a certain test planned for tomorrow that we were convinced our teacher had forgotten about. Her mouth opened but she was only able to let out a squeak before the door slammed open, interrupting her.
It was then that Friday sauntered into the room. The girls’ eyes bugged out of their heads and the guys sat up a bit straighter as he grinned at the teacher, then looked around the room expectantly, like he needed the attention of everyone present before he spoke.
“Hey, sorry I’m late. They just transferred me in here.” He flopped down into the nearest available chair, flipping a dark shock of hair off his forehead. His knee began to bounce like he was listening to a secret song that only he was allowed to hear. An audible sigh was heard from all the girls, that is, except Monday. She stared for a moment, her lips pursed so tightly they almost disappeared completely. She was no doubt trying to decide whether to attempt to flirt with Friday or scold him for interrupting her. Instead she turned to Wednesday, her best friend. Wednesday was not quite as loud as Monday, but just as annoying. They put their heads together and whispered briefly before Monday raised her hand again. The bell screamed out before she could speak, and she huffed indignantly as everyone filed swiftly into the hallway. I felt sorry for the poor victim she would target for a little chat that day. They would undoubtedly get an earful.
As the rest of us packed up and left, Friday stayed where he was, obviously nonplussed by Monday’s disapproval. He sat with his head bent close to his phone, probably texting Saturday or Sunday. They were his best friends, his “homies.” They were chronically truant, usually only managing to show up when a party or dance was taking place. Friday was a bit different, though. Sure, he liked to party, but he didn’t seem opposed to sitting down and taking an algebra test, either.
I took a step into the hallway, but quickly retreated back into the classroom when I saw Monday striding in my general direction with an intent look on her face. Luckily, she sped past the doorway I was cowering in and found a group of girls in the hallway. I wandered by the huddle, getting as close as I could to hear without looking suspicious. This task was easy, since Monday’s voice traveled with little effort on her part.
“Who was that?” Monday stood in the center, arms crossed in front of her.
“That’s Friday, you didn’t know? I’ve never been in a class with him before.”
“I’ve heard he’s way smart.”
“And cute. He’s the perfect package.”
“And apparently he’s got the perfect package, if you know what I mean.” Monday didn’t seem impressed by the remark, even though the rest of the circle erupted into snorts and giggles.
Chemistry was our next class. It was usually a quieter part of the day, unless an experiment exploded. We each worked on our labs, and unless you were in Monday’s lab group, the only way to tell if she was there was by the keening sound of her almost-whisper. But on this particular day, everyone knew Monday was in Chemistry class, mostly because Friday was there, too.
Monday made a special effort to ask as many intelligent questions as she could, the majority of which were intercepted and answered by Friday in some smart-ass (but somehow charming) way.
“Are you finished? I’m trying to learn here,” Monday huffed, grasping a beaker dangerously tight in one hand.
“Yeah, sure I’m done. All the good element jokes Argon, anyway.” He grinned and leaned back in his chair, winking at Monday as the class burst into laughter again.
“C’mon, Monday, he’s just giving you a hard time. Loosen up.” Someone yelled from the back.
“I don’t care, and I will not!” Her voice was getting dangerously close to supersonic. I remember thinking it might be nice if it got all the way there. She could talk, and the rest of us could keep our sanity.
But, I digress. Eventually, Monday gave up. She stormed out of the class, struggling to untangle her safety goggles from her hair.
“I’ll make up the worksheet tomorrow!” she managed to yell back into the room at the teacher. I couldn’t help but notice the way Friday’s eyes followed her out of the room. He left shortly after, making up some excuse about taking a pee. Class continued and eventually I was sent from the classroom to deliver the attendance sheet to the office.
As I walked down the quiet hallways, I thought I heard a squeaking. I quickly realized it was Monday’s voice. I followed the sound around corner after corner, headed toward the first floor bathroom, baffled at how far her voice traveled with no other noise to buffer it. As I came closer, I could hear a lower voice responding. Friday. I peeked around the corner and caught a glimpse of Monday’s bright pink band t-shirt. I really shouldn’t have watched, but my curiosity got the best of me. I held as still as I could, ready to duck out of sight at a moment’s notice. Friday stood in front of Monday, a half smile, half smirk on his face.
“Look, I’m sorry if I offended you, but what they say is true. You need to loosen up, Monday.”
“For your information, I’m great at loosening up. You should have seen me at prom last year.”
“I did hear that your dancing skills are impressive. They’re one of the reasons I’m looking forward to the dances this year.”
“Thank you. I watched videos and practiced for weeks beforehand.” Monday’s ski-slope nose tilted toward the sky as she bragged.
Friday let out a short laugh. “See? That’s exactly what I mean. Can’t you just be spontaneous? Take a few risks for once?”
“Can’t you take your education seriously for once?” she retorted.
“I got a B on the last Math test.”
“And I got an A+!”
They stared at each other intently for a moment, Friday’s eyebrows furrowing, Monday’s almost leaping off her forehead. They lowered a bit, like she suddenly realized something, and she reached out a hand, hesitantly grabbing the front of Friday’s shirt. Then, before I could register what was happening, Friday took her by the shoulders and kissed her straight on the mouth.
Friday kissed Monday on the mouth.
If that wasn’t strange enough, what came next was completely unprecedented. Monday was silent. Absolutely, utterly, air-sucked-out-of-the-room silent. Friday eventually pulled away and she just stared at him, fist still clenching his collar, mouth absolutely motionless, save the sliding hints of a grin beginning to cross her teeth. It was so quiet that I was afraid to breathe. It was so quiet that I heard the janitor whistling on the floor above us and the commercial refrigerators in the cafeteria humming. Friday finally muttered something, for once seeming less than confident.
“Do you wanna be spontaneous with me at Homecoming?”
Mary Innerst has too many interests and not nearly enough time. She resides in Denver, Colorado and has been previously published in “Progenitor Art” and “Literary Journal.” She has also had the privilege of serving as Editor for the 54th issue of the “Progenitor” this year. When time allows, she also enjoys photography, reading (obviously), hiking, Netflix, and cuddling with her schnoodle, Denny.