The Kacheek Club: An Anniversary Adventure: Part Three
"As this week's petpet caretaker, I ask that you remain honest and only tell the utmost truth," said Xana as she paced back and forth in front of Sarina with her paws clasped behind her back. "Remember, anything you say can and will be-" She was cut off by the sound of footsteps coming down the hallway.
"Wow, I guess a lot of people like to eat their lunch up here than in the cafeteria, huh?" Sarina didn't seem the slightest bit worried that more witnesses were coming to the scene of the crime.
Xana looked at her in disbelief. "Sarina, why aren't you nervous? I mean, I just caught you red-handed!"
"My paws are only red when I eat Cherry Shaved Ice," Sarina objected nonchalantly.
Suddenly, Gwen and Bridgette entered the classroom.
"What are you guys doing up here?" Gwen looked at Xana and Sarina curiously as she unzipped the Air Faerie Backpack that was hanging from the back of her chair.
"Uh, we were just-" began Xana, but Sarina interrupted her.
"I was in the middle of explaining to Xana why I've decided to take Pollie home with me," said Sarina without a trace of doubt or guilt.
Bridgette stepped into the conversation. "We're allowed to take the class petpet home with us?"
Xana cleared her throat, trying to take charge of the discussion. "As it clearly states in paragraph three of the classroom handbook, all class petpets are supposed to remain in the classroom. No student, under any circumstances unless stated otherwise, is allowed to take the petpet home with them."
"I wasn't planning to keep Pollie forever," insisted Sarina, wringing her paws nervously. "I was thinking of returning Pollie to the classroom after a week or so... maybe even a month if nobody noticed that the petpet was gone by then."
Gwen rolled her eyes. "Sarina, of course everyone is gonna notice that Pollie's gone. She's the class petpet, after all!"
Sarina sighed. "Yeah, but it's just that I've always wanted my very own petpet to take care of."
"Oooh, here's an idea." Bridgette walked over to her desk and sat down. "How about you just ask your parents to buy you your own petpet like any other normal pet would?"
"I did ask them, but my parents said that they didn't think I could take on the responsibility of a petpet," replied Sarina. "They also mentioned something about my short-term attention span problem."
"Wow, I wonder where they would get that from," Xana said sarcastically.
Sarina smiled at Xana, obviously not catching on to the Disco Kacheek's sarcasm. "I appreciate the support, Xana, but let's face it. My parents are never going to get me my own petpet, which is why I need to take home Pollie and take good care of her. Then I'll finally be able to prove to my parents that I really can be trusted with a petpet."
"I get what you're saying, Sarina, but I don't think this is a good idea." Gwen paused as she, Bridgette, Xana, and Sarina heard Ms. Julie's voice echo from the end of the hallway.
"Class, once we reach the classroom, please take out your grammar books along with a fresh piece of paper and a pencil."
"Yikes, they're coming!" Bridgette looked at Sarina urgently. "You should put Pollie back in her cage before it's too late!"
Right after the words flew from Bridgette's lips, Ms. Julie entered the room and flicked on the lights. The rest of the class followed her into the room and ambled over to their desks to pull out their grammar books.
"Don't worry, guys, Ms. Julie won't suspect a thing," whispered Sarina as she pulled a pencil out from her Waffle Pencil Case.
"She'd better not," Gwen whispered back fiercely. "Otherwise it's the end of the road for all of us."
"Yeah, Gwen's got a point. Xana, Gwen, and I might get in trouble just for being present at the time of your little theft," put in Bridgette. "And landing in detention on my first day of school won't be doing any favors for my Neoschool records."
Instead of jumping into the conversation as usual, Xana remained quiet and nervously chewed her Snowglobe Pencil.
"Alright, let's begin with a simple review of sentence structure." Ms. Julie leaned against the side of her desk as she spoke. "Can anyone tell me what a verb is?"
"See?" Sarina glanced over at Gwen, Bridgette, and Xana. "I told you that she wouldn't notice."
"For Fyora's sake, where did Pollie go?" Ms. Julie raised her eyebrows at the sight of the empty glass petpet cage.
One by one, each student in the classroom swiveled around in their desks to take a look at Pollie's desolate habitat.
"Looks like you spoke too soon, Sarina," Bridgette muttered.
"Uh-oh." Xana groaned and covered her face with her paws.
"This is so not good." Gwen was shaking her head back and forth slowly.
"Xana, I remember that you were the one in charge this week of feeding Pollie." Ms. Julie walked over to Xana's desk and stared at the Kacheek disapprovingly. "Do you know what happened to Pollie?"
"I-I don't know. Really!" Xana stared at Gwen, Bridgette, and Sarina, silently beckoning them with wide eyes to back her up.
"She's telling the truth, Ms. Julie," Gwen spoke up. "We don't know what happened to Pollie."
"Well, we might know just a smidge of what took place," mumbled Bridgette, looking down at her paws.
"What was that, Bridgette?" Ms. Julie turned to face Bridgette.
"Huh? Oh, nothing."
Ms. Julie leaned in closer to the girls and began to speak to them in a low whisper. "Girls, I know for a fact that it was one or more of you four who is to explain for Pollie's absence right now. If one of you girls doesn't come clean, there will unfortunately be some serious consequences."
"Wait a minute!" Gwen stuck her paw in the air. "How do you know it was us?"
"Because we were the only four pets up here during lunch," Xana answered for Ms. Julie. She buried her face in her paws and said, "Ugh, I knew I shouldn't have gone up here. Why didn't I just stay downstairs and eat my lunch in peace?"
"But still, you can't prove or know it was us. It could have been the janitor." Bridgette shrugged her shoulders.
"The janitor doesn't come to clean up until after school," Ms. Julie retorted.
"Oh. Well, it was just a suggestion." Bridgette sighed and bit her lip. "Wow, things really aren't looking good for us right now, are they?"
"Indeed they aren't." Ms. Julie eyed each Kacheek individually before continuing. "I'm sorry to say this, but until one of you girls confesses to me the truth, all four of you are to be retained inside this classroom during recess."
Sarina gasped. "Forever?" she squeaked.
"If that's how long it will take for the truth to come out, then yes." Ms. Julie spun around and stalked over to her desk.
"B-but this isn't fair!" wailed Gwen.
"I'm afraid that this is the end of our discussion." Ms. Julie picked up her teacher's copy of the grammar book and spoke in a cheerful tone, "Alright, class. Now that we've gotten the petpet issue taken care of, please turn to page sixty in your grammar books."
Sarina opened her grammar book and turned to the proper page before noticing the Jhudora-esque glowers that Gwen, Bridgette, and Xana were shooting at her.
"What?" she whispered, her eyes glistening with innocence.
"You, Xana, and Bridgette are all coming over to my house after school," explained Gwen urgently. "We're going to discuss ways of how to get out of this mess."
"But I have clarinet lessons after school!" Xana objected, frowning slightly.
Gwen looked at the Disco Kacheek straight in the eyes. "Listen, this meeting is the opposite of optional. There is no way I'm gonna be doomed to a lifetime of no recess."
Xana rolled her eyes and said reluctantly, "Fine, I'll go."
"Are you two coming?" Gwen turned to face Bridgette and Sarina.
Bridgette and Sarina exchanged glances before saying in unison, "We're in!"
Bridgette admired all of the qualities of Gwen's bedroom as she surveyed the room. Every piece of furniture inside the modestly-sized bedroom was in varying shades of pink and purple. Cushy Pink Faellie Bean Bags were arranged in a semi-circle around a Fyora Inspired Bookcase that looked as if the books it held had never even been touched before, while the crisp pink lace curtains draped over the windows presented a dainty feel to the setting. All in all, Gwen's bedroom was a chamber of girliness; something that the messy blue prints of the school that littered the Pink Uni Rug immediately discredited.
"Oooh, look at this!" Sarina excitedly leaned over Gwen's desk to turn on the Ultranova Lamp. In doing so, she accidentally sent a Purple Slorg Pencil Holder flying to the floor.
"Sorry, Gwen." Sarina immediately dashed over and stood next to Bridgette and Xana.
Gwen began pacing back and forth in front of the three Kacheeks. "After some serious thought, I've come to realize what we have to do now. I don't know if there was ever a choice, really." She paused, trying to build up the moment of apprehension. "We're gonna have to sneak into the classroom tonight and get Pollie back into her cage," she announced solemnly.
Bridgette, Xana, and Sarina gasped.
To be continued...