Chapter no 9 – ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌The Grand Tour‌


Jack Will, Julian, Charlotte, and I went down a big hallway to some wide stairs. No one said a word as we walked up to the third floor.

When we got to the top of the stairs, we went down a little hallway full of lots of doors. Julian opened the door marked 301.

“This is our homeroom,” he said, standing in front of the half- opened door. “We have Ms. Petosa. They say she’s okay, at least for homeroom. I heard she’s really strict if you get her for math, though.”

“That’s not true,” said Charlotte. “My sister had her last year and said she’s totally nice.”

“Not what I heard,” answered Julian, “but whatever.” He closed the door and continued walking down the hallway.

“This is the science lab,” he said when he got to the next door. And just like he did two seconds ago, he stood in front of the half-opened door and started talking. He didn’t look at me once while he talked, which was okay because I wasn’t looking at him, either. “You won’t know who you have for science until the first day of school, but you want to get Mr. Haller. He used to be in the lower school. He would play this giant tuba in class.”

“It was a baritone horn,” said Charlotte.

“It was a tuba!” answered Julian, closing the door.

“Dude, let him go inside so he can check it out,” Jack Will told him, pushing past Julian and opening the door.

“Go inside if you want,” Julian said. It was the first time he looked at me.

I shrugged and walked over to the door. Julian moved out of the way quickly, like he was afraid I might accidentally touch him as I passed by him.

“Nothing much to see,” Julian said, walking in after me. He started pointing to a bunch of stuff around the room. “That’s the incubator. That big black thing is the chalkboard. These are the desks. These are chairs. Those are the Bunsen burners. This is a gross science poster. This is chalk. This is the eraser.”

“I’m sure he knows what an eraser is,” Charlotte said, sounding a little like Via.

“How would I know what he knows?” Julian answered. “Mr.

Tushman said he’s never been to a school before.”

“You know what an eraser is, right?” Charlotte asked me.

I admit I was feeling so nervous that I didn’t know what to say or do except look at the floor.

“Hey, can you talk?” asked Jack Will.

“Yeah.” I nodded. I still really hadn’t looked at any of them yet, not directly.

“You know what an eraser is, right?” asked Jack Will. “Of course!” I mumbled.

“I told you there was nothing to see in here,” said Julian, shrugging. “I have a question …,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady. “Um.

What exactly is homeroom? Is that like a subject?”

“No, that’s just your group,” explained Charlotte, ignoring Julian’s smirk. “It’s like where you go when you get to school in the morning and your homeroom teacher takes attendance and stuff like that. In a way, it’s your main class even though it’s not really a class. I mean, it’s a class, but—”

“I think he gets it, Charlotte,” said Jack Will. “Do you get it?” Charlotte asked me.

“Yeah.” I nodded at her.

“Okay, let’s get out of here,” said Jack Will, walking away.

“Wait, Jack, we’re supposed to be answering questions,” said Charlotte.

Jack Will rolled his eyes a little as he turned around. “Do you have any more questions?” he asked.

“Um, no,” I answered. “Oh, well, actually, yes. Is your name Jack or Jack Will?”

“Jack is my first name. Will is my last name.”

“Oh, because Mr. Tushman introduced you as Jack Will, so I thought …”

“Ha! You thought his name was Jackwill!” laughed Julian.

“Yeah, some people call me by my first and last name,” Jack said, shrugging. “I don’t know why. Anyway, can we go now?”

“Let’s go to the performance space next,” said Charlotte, leading the way out of the science room. “It’s very cool. You’ll like it, August.”

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