“Tom, is it done?” Mike worried.
“Around 90%! Come on, just a bit more time,” I answered him as I turned around and saw a threat coming, “actually, we might not make it on time…”
The loud slow heart-thumping footstep was easily recognizable by the two of us. It was Mr. Joe, one of the most unfavorable teachers in our school, who was also a kiss-up type of teacher that only staff kids love. He walked towards us as he pulled his dirty hand off of his pack of Doritos, pushed the two of us apart from each other, and got his nasty hands on our laptop. He looked at our laptop with fury in his eyes, “What do you kids think you were doing?”
We stood there speechless and leaned our backs onto the wall as Mr. Joe pulled out the USB stick from my laptop, and held it in front of both of our faces. He then started off his great speech with a punch of common knowledge thrown at us, “Do you see this? This is a USB.“
Yeah, we know. Everyone knows.
Mr. Joe continued with his wise words, “A USB can store lots of files in it, depends on its capacity. We use a USB for educational purposes, such as storing school works, writings, etc.”
“Aren’t games educational?” Mike literally said the most brilliant thing that was levels beyond Mr. Joe’s intelligence, making him look dumbfounded at the same time. At a moment, I thought that Mike’s wise words could change Mr. Joe’s mind for the first time in the history of humanity.
But Mr. Joe still had the audacity to deny and said, “No.” He paused for a second and continued to spit fire on us, “Of course not, Mr. Mike. And you two, this is unacceptable. Let me explain it to you. You were abusing our school’s internet, slowing down the internet experience of everyone else around the school. You violated our internet policies, thus if repeats, you both shall be banned from our school’s internet. Do you understand?”
“Now, get out!”
Right when lunch time ended, we walked out of the bathroom holding a laptop, a charger and a USB with shaky legs and a chill to the bone, so traumatic that it still left a scar on me until this day. I looked at Mike’s pale face and I could definitely tell that we were walking on the same shoes. After all, we were just middle school newcomers, and we better behave well or get expelled!
I could feel the ruthlessness from Mr. Joe, similarly to those agents in action movies who killed everyone off one by one in the crime scene feasibly like a piece of cake without any feelings for them. My dad explained that they had no other choices but to do it because it was a part of the mission that they were assigned to, but I didn’t think that way. And at our school right now, Mr. Joe is probably the least empathetic teacher. He taught us about how we should walk in other people’s shoes before we could start judging, but he did the complete opposite of that. Out of every hair dryers in our school, Mr. Joe was, undoubtedly, the worst one. If a usual hair dryer requires around 110 volts to 240 volts, Mr. Joe would need at least 500 volts of energy that can only be empowered by his uncontrollable anger. I would like to see Mr. Joe tasting his own hairdryer treatment someday.
“Hey, do you think we should keep doing this?” Mike seemed to be skeptical.
I put my hand on his shoulder and told him, “We just got started. Mr. Joe told us to forfeit and retreat doesn’t mean that we should follow his orders. He isn’t our dictator, and he ain’t changing our dream. We have our own dreams. We have our own passions. Screw Math, science and all of those school stuff. . . Do you see more successful people who were high school dropouts or 4.0 kids?”
“Well, I don’t know,” Mike sighed, “Maybe you are right. We’ll get that game by all cost. I won’t give up. No, we won’t give up. We are a team, and if we work together as united and determinative as possible, nothing can stop us, even that dictator.”
After hearing those words from Mike, I was flattered!
After we got home after school, we chatted with each other on the internet and came up with a scrupulous plan with great determination to accomplish our greatest dreams. We, ineptly, couldn’t get a high GPA like normal human beings at our school, thus seek for a greater purpose than that. We wanted to get that game, the hottest game on the market right now even though it was already released 3 years ago, so badly, but our slow wifi condition at home doesn’t support our great intention! The school’s wifi is the only wifi hotspot fast enough to finish download that game in one day.
Every day, we went on Youtube and watch the gameplay of the beautiful graphics and complex gaming mechanics of that game. We were so close to finishing downloading it, and there is no way we’re going back. We were going to get that game, even if we had to pirate it. It might come with a great cost, but will be lucrative at the end of the day.
We started our next day with great confidence in our plan. It was so well-composed that I didn’t feel hesitant at all! There is no way anything could mess up. Elmer-gluing ourselves to the plan is imperative. A luminous and glorious future of splendor opens up for us, without a doubt.
During our third block, Mike and I got separated into different classes. I got MUN, and Mike got Art. We took this as an advantage for us and pulled our most smartass tricks out from the shelf. After all, we had to stay in contact with our group chat.
“How’s our school’s wifi today?” Mike typed to me.
“Pretty good,” I replied, “so far, the installation is half done already.”
Mr. Lantern, my Coding teacher, who is a very strict teacher with eagle eyes, snapped his fingers all of a sudden during his great speech that no one cared about, and called me up in front of the whole class, “Mr. Tom, come here.”
I walked to his table with nervousness, and he continued, “Close that tab. I never want to see it, ever again. Understood?”
“Why is our internet so slow today?” Cuba wondered.
“I don’t know.” Kara shrugged. “Somebody downloading game?
I was caught off guard right there. Mr. Lantern may not be the worst hair dryer in the school, but it is really hard to sneak anything from him. The only one who could ever be able to sneak anything from him is Cuba, every teacher's’ pet, ever. His eagle eyes are what made Mr. Lantern the second most unfavorable teacher in our school despite the “good” reputation written on his records. According to the records and articles about him that I found on the internet, in his previous school that he taught before he came to teach at our school, he caught six cases of high school students importing drugs and selling them to other high schoolers and middle schoolers, which shocked me!
Myths about him are everywhere around the school! The first story came from an eighth grader who rumored, “When Mr. Lantern was young, he lost his vision due to a tornado attack that lifted him up in the air, filled his eyes with dust and sand causing his blindness, and luckily, landed him on the water. One day, he accidentally walked into a village of formidable magical prowess unknown to the outside world. In there, he met a witch who had an affair with him, and in return, granted him with a superior vision to normal humans.”
Another eighth grader that I heard from stated that he was the descendant of the infamous blind Bulgarian mystic and clairvoyant Baba Vanga who predicted 9/11, ISIS and the tsunami that occurred in 2004! That day, I did additional researches about Baba Vanga and found out that she also lost her vision due to a tornado that lifted her up and filled her eyes with dust and sand! An eccentric coincidence between these two stories?
“Hello,” Mike texted me, “did you get busted by Eagle Eyes?”
I quickly control-tabbed to the chats page and replied to him at supersonic speed, “Yeah, but everything still goes according to plan. Don’t worry”
“Oh, here he is.”
Hearing that loud slow heart-thumping footstep, the mood of the class changed right away. The ones who were playing around went right into a serious-study mode. Staff kids went into a hardcore-study mode. Mr. Lantern abruptly stopped joking around with his pet Cuba and went straight to grading our works. As you can see, even Mr. Lantern is afraid of Mr. Joe. That was why Mr. Lantern was only at the number 2 spot for the most unfavorable teacher in our school.
“Mr. Mike, come to see me. . .”
“Um, there must be a mistake, but Mr. Mike isn’t our class right now,” Mr. Lantern looked frightened.
“What?” Mr. Joe groaned.
“He is in the Art class, I believe.”
“On my computer, it says that Mr. Mike’s laptop is connected to the router of this room, and just finished downloading 35 gigabytes and ongoing.”
“Well, there might be a mistake. You should check out the art class.”
“Well, only Mr. Tom is here…”
Mr. Joe left our room without a word.
Mr. Joe walked into the Art Classroom with a volcano erupting, pointed his finger at Mike and told him, “Mr. Mike, come with me with your laptop.”
Mike walked to him with no fear, bringing with him his laptop, and showed Mr. Joe is laptop full of tabs and pages of unfinished homework.
“Let me see your. . . downloads page.”
I opened up to him my downloads page, and there was nothing in it, leaving Mr. Joe with shock. He didn’t believe his eyes.
“I told you, there was nothing.” Mike was left in joy.
Mr. Joe then took my laptop and checked on it. “It can’t be. . .”
With anger, he just left the Art classroom, which made everyone in the classroom turn back to their good mood. Mike saw him mumbling in worry, “Is this deja vu? Is this deja vu??”
He opened up the laptop with a headache, rechecking his wifi program. IT said, “40 gigabytes downloaded.” He then yelled out in front of everybody in Mike’s class, “Who’s downloading the game?”
Everybody in Mike’s class kept their mouth shut. With anger and fury, he left Mike’s class slamming the door
“Mission accomplished.” Mike texted me.
Seems like our plan worked.
“Yeah Mike, after this class, I’ll give you back your laptop and you’ll give me back your laptop.” I texted him back.
After the class finished, we walked back to our homeroom with joy and tears. Our dream had come true. We hugged each other, crying. The installation was finished, and the game ran smoother and the visuals were more superb than ever. I’ve never felt such feeling as this. All my life, I was very deprived. I was always mentioned as being a failure and a problem for society. Never have I ever done anything greater in my life. After all, this was Mike’s last year at our school before he moved to a boarding school in Oregon. Well, he would have left happy. For the first time in my life, I liked to be me.