The three girls stared at each other.
“So, why are we here?” asked Maren.
“I’m curious,” said Emily. “Gina, what were you hiding behind your math book?”
“Just a drawing.”
“What kind of drawing?” asked Maren.
“I just sketch stuff to fill my time,” said Gina. She held up her sketchbook. “Actually, I was sketching you.”
“That’s really good,” said Maren. “You even caught the reflection off my glasses!”
Emily leaned forward for a closer look.
Maren reached into her desk and held up a camera. “Can I take a picture of it?”
“Whaaat?” said Gina.
“I like taking pictures. And- -“
“You like writing about stuff,” said Emily. “You’re always writing in your blue notebook.”
Maren smiled and shifted her glasses with her palm. “I’m kind of surprised you noticed. You’re usually busy drawing lots of squares and triangles on cardboard.”
“They’re game boards,” said Emily. “I try to think up games and stuff when I have extra time.”
“Wait a minute,” said Maren. “Is that what’s going on here? We all have extra time?”
The three girls laughed.
“That’s why I write in my journal,” said Maren. “Well, that…and because there is so much dead time in class.”
“That’s exactly what I call it!” said Emily.
“Yeah,” said Gina, as she turned to a fresh page in her sketchbook. “Mr. Gray is so busy trying to get most of the class to just sit down, I’m always stuck trying to fill the time!”
“Yep, it’s been driving me crazy!” said Maren. “I’m bored to death waiting for something new to happen.”
“So I started making something new happen myself,” said Gina. “That’s why I brought my sketchbook.”
The three grew quiet.
“So what are we going to do about it?” asked Emily.
“Keep doing what we’re doing?” said Maren.
“But don’t you think it’ll be more fun if we try to do more than what we’re doing?” asked Gina.
The girls’ eyes brightened and they stood up together.
“So one of us will have to ask Mr. Gray if we can form our own group,” said Emily.
“What’s a fair way to decide?”
“I have blue, white, and pink index cards,” said Emily. “I’ll put one of each into this bag—she whipped out a plastic shopping bag—“and whoever pulls the white card has to ask Mr. Gray.”
The other two girls shrugged. “Sounds good to me,” said Maren.
Emily smiled. “Okay, let’s do it!”
A minute later, the cards decided. It would be Gina.
“I’m the new kid,” she said, as she straightened her ponytail. “Will Mr. Gray even listen to me?”
“He may miss most of what goes on in the classroom, but he seems pretty fair,” said Maren.
The recess bell rang.
“Quick, we need to get outside NOW!” said Emily. “If we’re caught in here, we’ll never even get a chance to ask him.”
The girls hurried out the door, scattered onto the playground, and circled back to join the class lineup.