Karina, the Math Wiz: Part Three
Math, which was usually Karina’s favorite subject, didn’t seem like much fun the next day. She usually would happily greet Mrs. Yimps and eagerly wait for the lesson to begin. Throughout the class, her paw would fly into the air and she’d answer almost all the questions Mrs. Yimps asked. Today, though, she wasn’t in the mood. Instead, Karina just quietly took notes and waited for the bell to ring. When it did, she eagerly rushed to history, her new favorite class.
“Hi, Em,” she said, taking a seat next to the Eyrie. Her new friend waved at her, and to Karina’s delight, seemed happy to see her.
“Hi. How was math?” Em asked casually, as if she asked Karina this every day.
“How did you know I came from math?” Karina asked.
“Duh. We’re friends now. I need to know everything about you I possibly can,” she replied. “Otherwise, we would really be strangers to each other. So, how was math?”
A little surprised that Em had taken the time to memorize her schedule, Karina shrugged. “Okay. Not as good as usual, though.” The Eyrie frowned at Karina and gave her a look that said “it’s alright to tell me.” Sighing, Karina tried to explain her feelings.
“I just wasn’t excited. I’m worried about the quiz. I’m tired. But I’m glad I’m here, with you, in history. It’s becoming my favorite class. Well, sorta.”
Emerald laughed. “Get rid of Mr. Gwindle and it would be. I hate that old Tonu. He’s so boring.”
“Well, actually, I don’t mind him. He’s one of my favorite teachers. He actually makes history pretty interesting, when you think about it.”
“I guess you’re right. He’s not that bad.”
Karina grinned. It felt great to be able to talk to Em. She was someone who understood what it was like to enjoy school. As much as the Mynci loved her sisters, they always thought she was a bit dorky for being such a math wiz and liking her teachers so much.
Mr. Gwindle began class that day as he always did, by going over homework. Karina pulled out hers, a three paragraph report on early culture in Meridell. She smiled, looking over at Em, but saw her friend with a troubled expression.
“What’s wrong, Em?” she asked, concerned.
“I can’t find my homework. I know I had it this morning when I got ready for school, but now it’s gone!” Karina’s friend nervously bit her lip as their teacher came around with his clipboard, checking off who had done their homework. “And Mr. Gwindle is going to get me! This is the third time this month I’ve left it at home!”
Karina felt bad for Em. When Karina was down and needed someone to talk to, Em had been there. Now, when Em was in trouble, there had to be something she could do. She thought quickly, for Mr. Gwindle was only a few students away.
“Here,” Karina said, regretfully handing Em the essay she had worked hard on. “Take mine. I’ve never left an assignment at home, so he won’t care. I don’t want you in trouble.” Em snatched the paper from Karina without even mumbling a thanks. Karina was a little annoyed by this, but figured it was simply because her friend was worried.
When Mr. Gwindle reached Em and Karina’s row, he smiled at Emerald. Happily he check her name off. “Glad you didn’t leave it at home this time,” he said with a wink. His smile disappeared when he reached Karina.
“Karina, where’s your assignment?”
Sadly, the Mynci whispered, “I left it at home. I’m so sorry, Mr. Gwindle. I will never let it happen again.” She hung her head in shame, and Mr. Gwindle sadly walked past.
“I have to say that I did expect more from you, my star student, and the math wiz entered in the Math-tath-alon. I know you must be putting effort into that competition, but don’t forget about your other classes. But I guess accidents do happen. I’ll let it slide this time, but don’t let it happen again.” Karina nodded.
She sighed sadly; that was the worst thing she had ever had to do. Lie to a teacher. At least it had been for a friend.
At lunch, Karina happily introduced Em to her siblings. However, when the Eyrie went to get a lunch from the cafeteria, her siblings told her their very strong opinions.
“I don’t like her. Not at all,” Snow Angel said, harshly. “Sorry, Karina, but she just seems too innocent. I think she’s hiding something.”
“I actually think our little sister is right. There’s something fishy about her,” Graphie added.
“And it’s not the fish pop she just bought for lunch,” mumbled Cutie.
They dropped the conversation as they saw the Eyrie returning. She waved and sat down next to Karina. “You guys are so lucky!”
Karina’s three siblings stared at each other, wondering why they were “so lucky?” Em started licking her fish pop and giggled.
“You get to have the best sister in the whole wide world of Neopia. I can’t tell you all that I’d do to be Karina’s sister.” The Mynci blushed, nudging her friend to stop. “Don’t be so modest! Oh, I’ll be right back. I forgot a napkin,” she said, getting up.
“That’s what I mean!” Snow Angel explained once Emerald was out of earshot. “No offense, but no one is really going to kiss the ground you walk on. She’s a complete fake.”
Karina eyed her sisters angrily. “You’re wrong. Why would she kiss up to me? What could she possibly wheedle out of me?”
“Well.” Graphie paused a moment. “Your smart-ness!” she said flatly. Her sister couldn’t help but laugh.
“How?” Karina said, giggling.
“Has she asked for help on any school work?”
“But what?” Cutie interrupted.
“But, I gave her my history homework. She left hers at home. But she didn’t ask me for it. I did it since she is my friend!”
Her siblings shook their head. “She’s taking advantage of you, sis. I’m telling you,” Snow Angel said, banging her fist on the cafeteria table and drawing attention to them.
“Just be quiet. She’s coming back.”
Again, the conversation ended as the Eyrie returned. “What’s with your sisters?” she asked Karina. “Why are they staring at me?”
“They’re just weird. Let’s go to a different table. One that isn’t weird.”
Cutie, Snow Angel, and Graphie watched in shock as Karina and Em left for a different lunch table.
“Christine! Karina is being stupid!”
“No I’m not!”
“Believe me, she is!”
“You’re the stupid ones!”
“Is that supposed to be an insult?”
“Yes, it was. How hard is it for you to figure that out.”
“Was that another insult?”
“Since when did you start saying duh?”
“I bet it’s since Em says duh!”
“I bet you’re right!”
“I bet you three all better leave Em out of this. She has nothing to do with it, and just because I have a friend, who likes me for I am and I like back, doesn’t mean you three have to be on my tail.”
“Actually, it does!”
“BE QUIET!” said Christine, who had finally decided to put an end to the argument. The four siblings, who had been at it with each other, reluctantly stopped bickering.
Christine eyed them all: Snow Angel, whose usually peaceful smile was gone and whose cheeks were a bright red; Graphie, who was sneering at Karina; Cutie, whose flaky, snowy body was getting bent out of shape; and finally, Karina, who seemed to be close to tears.
After she had gotten the four to sit down, she attempted to get to the bottom of what was going on. She ran her fingers through her soft, brown hair. “So, you four, what is bugging you?”
Instantly, she regretted saying this because all four pets started screaming and yelling again.
“Karina is acting weird!”
“No, I’m not!”
“And she’s lying!”
“And she’s being mean to us!”
“Order in the court!” Christine called, calming them down again. “I worded that wrong. KARINA, can you please tell me what is bugging you.”
“I would love to, Christine,” she began, glaring nastily and her siblings. “Cutie, Snow Angel, and Graphie hate my friend, Em. They think she’s lying to me. They also think I’m being weird and mean, but Christine, they’re the ones doing it! They’re being mean and weird!”
Christine nodded. “I see. Now, CUTIE, is this true?”
“Well, no,” she said, happy to get a chance to speak. “The real problem is that Karina has been acting weird. She’s just hanging out with that Em girl now. We think Em is trying to trick her, but she won’t listen.”
“Do you have any proof that Em is taking advantage of your sister?” Christine asked, staring down her pets.
Cutie’s arm shot in the air. Christine pointed at her and the Bruce stuck her tongue out. “Some,” she spat. “Karina gave Em her homework, because Em didn’t do it. So Karina got the blame. Christine, tell her to stop seeing that Eyrie!”
Graphie was about to open her mouth and add the conversation when Karina jumped up. “Thanks for supporting me,” she growled with distaste, running up to her room, nearly in tears.
To be continued...