High School build credit: Yuuangii: Japanese School. It has been edited slightly for my use.
Students passed each other in the hallways, often avoiding eye contact because they were too busy staring down at the phone in their hands because why interact with people, right? Locker doors smacked shut while friends and lovers mingled together in the hallways telling each other about what drama had hit the fan since the last time they spoke, about 45 minutes ago.
Sarah saw Derek talking with Stacy and Sarah asked Derek what that was about and Derek said that Stacy needed help with her Algebra test but really Derek just wanted to get laid. Derek always wants to get laid. That’s what Derek is all about. I mean his name even begins with D and so does Dick, so yeah. Those were the kinds of conversations overheard in the hallways of Valley High School.
It was the high school where San Myshuno’s rich and famous sent their kids. It wasn’t a boarding school, but it was definitely private. From the outside it looked less like a high school and more like a prison. At least that is what the students inside felt. The teachers, well, they were overpaid hacks who found solace in giving their students more work to do at home than in the classroom. Why learn while inside school?
One student needed no introduction. Richie Van Wallet (pronounced Van Wah-lay, like he’s French or something). Some dude with more money than God plus Joel Osteen. He could buy and sell a city with the money he had sitting in the cushions of his couch. He was old money, too. His great, great, great…. Something like that… grandfather helped build San Myshuno and their family owned a lot of real estate. The kind of real estate empire that would make Donald Trump blush through all that fake tanner.
No one liked Richie and the feeling was mutual. He didn’t need friends. He didn’t want friends. Money was his game. He talked to no one, dated no one, and had a butler come to school to hand deliver his lunch. There weren’t many kids at Valley High that even bothered to look in his direction.
Antonio and Diego marched into high school, kings at their primary school, peasants the moment they walked in the front door. No one cared. No one looked. Well, almost no one. For some reason, a very fast-moving Richie Van Wallet accidentally bumped into Diego while Diego was busy trying to put his bookbag in his new locker. The incident caused everyone in the hallway to stop moving. Richie had made human contact.
“My apologies,” Richie said with a nice baritone voice that chimed like a well-made bell. “I was in such a hurry to get to my class that I completely forgot that other people actually use this hallway.” Apologies probably weren’t his strong point. “Wait, you are new here.”
“Yeah,” Diego said. “First day.”
“I am Richard Van Wallet. Again, apologies for running into you…..” he hung onto the last oo indicating he was awaiting a name.
“Diego Alvarez,” he said.
“Alvarez? Selvadoradian?” Richie asked.
“Spanish. As in Spain. My grandparents came over from Spain before my father was born.” he said. “This is my brother, Antonio.”
“Oh, look at you. You’re twins! How cute! Double the awesome, right? So, anyway, Antonio, Diego…hmmm…” Richie began.
“Ethnic names. Very modern, very now,” Richie said. “Well, hopefully they won’t build a wall to keep your family out, though they really need to do something about illegals taking all our jobs.”
Diego raised an eyebrow as Antonio tried to keep himself from laughing. “Richie,” Diego said, “Spanish from Spain. Not Spanish from Mexico.”
“Right, right,” Richie said. “Yeah, we’re so backwards in the US, right? Thinking everything in Mexico is Spanish. It’s really, uh, Mexican. Hey, I have to jet. Classes and all. If you have 4th period lunch, you should join me. Ta ta!” And with that Richie was off and speeding down the hallway.
“What was that?” Antonio asked in disbelief.
“I have no idea,” Diego replied confused and somewhat amused.
As the two boys turned, it became quite apparent they were now the talk of Valley High School. On day one they had made an name for themselves. They became “Richie’s Friends.” A phrase no kid in Valley High School ever thought they would ever utter.
Did you see Richie talk to them? He’s a sophomore, they’re freshman. Like, doesn’t Richie know the rules? And what was up with them saying they’re from Spain. They sound like they’re from American because they’re speaking American. Don’t they speak Spanish in Mexico? So why are things in Mexico not Spanish then?
“We should get to class, Tony,” Diego said.
“Good idea, D,” Antonio replied.
Fourth period was exactly when Diego and Antonio had lunch. They made their way through the halls and found themselves a table to sit at and relax. The first day of high school had been boring, but interesting. Most of the classes were simply laying the groundwork for what was expected throughout the year and the subject matter.
“Anthony! David!” was heard being shouted across the cafeteria. Both boys turned and saw Richie walking over towards them.
“Should we tell him?” Antonio said.
“We already did, Anthony.” Diego said with a chuckle.
Richie came over and sat down across from the twins. “It’s Anthony and David, right? Or was it Andrew and Donald? I feel like that’s not right.”
“Antonio,” Antonio said. “Call me Tony.”
“Diego,” Diego said. “Call me Diego. Or D.”
“D? D? Like the letter? Oh, that’s really informal. I bet we’re good friends now, right?” Richie said with a smile. “And Tony? I thought you two were Mexican, not Italian.”
Antonio sighed, “Spanish. Spanish from Spain. Spaniards. Not Mexicans.”
“Oh, sorry, I’m just all kinds of out of sync today. Turns out the butler can’t come to bring me lunch so I had to buy something here. Never had the school food, is it any good?” Richie said.
Antonio pulled the sandwich from his bag while Diego did the same. “We wouldn’t know,” Antonio said.
As Richie fumbled with his phone some more, eyes not even looking towards the twins, Diego leaned into Antonio and whispered, “This guy is weird.”
“So, like, you’re probably wondering why I asked you to lunch,” Richie said. “My mother and father think I need to make friends and we hit it off so well in the hallway that we might as well be friends, right? And then we can hang out and do stuff like go to movies and concerts. That’s what friends do, right?”
“Well,” Antonio said, “Yeah.”
“Great, great,” Richie said. “I had no idea making friends was so easy.”
“Don’t you have any friends?” Diego asked.
“What? Me? No,” Richie said finally looking up from his phone. “I never had friends. I had people I hung out with, but those were always set up by my parents when I was younger. Playdates when I was a kid. Then arranged entertainments when I was a bit older. My parents always said to watch out for people because we’re rich and they might try to take advantage.”
Diego looked around the cafeteria and then back at Richie, “But everyone here is rich, Richie.”
“Hmm, good point,” Richie said. “I like you. You’re smart.”
“He’s a smartass, too,” Antonio said with a laugh.
“Shut up,” Diego said as his smacked his brother on the shoulder.
“So, what’s your deal, who’s your parents. I feel like I should know because my family knows everyone and I don’t remember an Albertson…, not.. that’s not right… Oh, Alvarez.” Richie said.
“Do you watch sports?” Antonio said.
“I do. I really love sports. I was watching the US Open. Golf is such a great sport. My father tells me I should learn how to golf. Is your father a golfer? Oh, that’s great! Maybe he can teach me a thing or two,” Richie said.
“No,” Diego said. “Soccer. My father plays soccer for San Myshuno FC. Well, he won’t after this year. He’s retiring.”
“That’s really cool. I feel like I should know who your father is. My uncle owns that team. But, we don’t really talk to that side of the family anymore.” Richie said. “Anyway, so we’re really getting to know each other.”
Diego took a bite of his sandwich and looked over at Richie. Then he looked at Antonio. With a quick tilt of his head, he tried to get Antonio to talk to Richie. Antonio was busy chowing down on his sandwich.
“Oh,” Antonio said after swallowing, “maybe you could come with us to a home game? We have really, really good seats.”
“I can’t,” Richie said. “My father said I can’t go to the stadium because of whatever happened. I think he tried to sleep with my mother.”
“Your father?” Diego asked.
“No, silly,” Richie said with a laugh, “My uncle. But…” he said thinking, “If I told him I made new friends and we were just gonna hang out at your place, he’d never know. He doesn’t watch television, so he’d never know I was there. So, yeah, sure!” Richie said.
“Great!” Antonio said.
“Yeah, I’ll get our dad to get an extra ticket.” Diego replied.
“Fabulous,” Richie said, “so, I think I should go now. Here’s my card,” he said reaching into a pocket and handed both Diego and Antonio his number on a business card, “hit me up with a text. Phone calls are so 2000. Time for class.” And with that Richie disappeared in a flash leaving Antonio and Diego behind.
“Tony,” Diego said, “that was the weirdest thing ever.”
“D,” Antonio said, “I have no idea what happened, but I think we’re all best friends now.”