James, a tall, slender sophomore in his soccer uniform scans his online study guide. His feet rest on the metal book rack of the desk in front of him, his back leaned against the blue plastic chair.
"Alright children, five more minutes to study before we take our vocab quiz!" Mr. Greco, the teacher, announces.
Sitting next to him, Marco, a shorter boy with braces and scruffy black hair, leans in and asks, "Hey, hey James, what's an onomatopoeia?"
James tilts his head over, flipping his hair to move the bangs from his bowl cut away from his face, and realizes that Marco's computer is turned to a League of Legends livestream, "Dude, did you forget to do your study guide-"
"Hey, fuck you man! I was...I was busy, you know?" Marco slams into the back of his chair.
Taking pity on him, James whispers, "Onomatopoeia is when a word is used to represent a sound, just like how you just slammed into your chair. Word sounds like the action."
Marco sighs, "Man...how the hell do you learn this stuff?"
"Because I do my goddamn work...also, because I watch Batman with my dad," he explains.
Marco stands up straight, pulling down his oversized blue sweatshirt, "Batman? What does Batman have to do with English?"
"You know, the old Adam West Batman TV show? It's my dad's favorite show...anyway, whenever someone gets punched, there's this like...big sound, and an onomatopoeia pops onscreen. I don't know how to explain it…"
Marco raises an eyebrow, "The Adam West show? Dude, how old is your dad?"
James shrugs, "...mid...sixties…"
"Woah, your dad's old! My dad's only thirty-five!" he gawks, surprised.
"What? My parents just...married late. They wanted to focus on their careers when they were young, I doubt they even thought about having me until way down the line," James reasons, tapping his right foot, stretching the rubber in his soccer cleat.
Marco laughs, "'When they were young'? You mean like, in the '50s? Ha!"
"Well, with how young your parents had you, they must have been friggin...teenaged parents!" James counters.
"They were not teenaged parents! I least I don't got dinosaurs for parents!" Marco snaps with a competitive anger.
James scrunches his lips, and leans further back into his chair, "You know, sometimes I do wish I had younger parents. They don't understand new stuff like the internet, or smartphones...hell, I love my parents, but sometimes they can be...kind of...homophobic."
"Yeah, my parents are kind of homophobic too," Marco confesses, "like, if my dad wears a shirt that's too tight, my mom'll be like: that shirt's so gay."
He turns to Marco, "Ha, and I thought I had the old parents."
Marco shakes his head, "No, I think it has to do with when they grew up. You look at those old action movies and it's all straight white guys with bigass guns."
"Dude...that's action movies now," James points out.
"True, true. But they were like...a bigger deal back then. I don't know, I guess it sort of just, reflects the times," Marco shrugs.
"Alright class, devices away, let's start our quiz!" Mr. Greco calls out.
James slams his laptop down, "Goddammit Marco, now I didn't study! You were distracting me!"
Marco replies with a wheezing laughter, and after a few moments, James joins in. They both laugh until the teacher turns around toward them, and they straighten up, giving innocent looks as James coughs.