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CHAPTER 02

My eyes shifted back and forth in a rather guilty manner as I looked around the bus. As I did, I suddenly came up with a new idea.

I stopped time once again and then slowly, cautiously stood up on my seat. I realized that the seat had become like cement, just like the cyclist earlier. It wasn't saying much though – that cheap plastic-covered seat was like granite even without the time stop.

I pushed the head of the kid sitting next to me, finding it unable to budge not even the slightest inch. I hummed thoughtfully before placing a foot on his head, striking a goofy pose atop him with my other foot on the seat. I laughed and grinned in amusement as I looked down at the frozen students, who were oblivious to what was going on.

"Awesome," I quietly remarked before dropping down and calmly sitting on the hard seat, which became just slightly more cushioned again when time started. I couldn't help but happily smirk as all the noise around me resumed, feeling as though the possibilities with this power were already becoming more and more diverse.

We finally reached our destination which was, of course, school. I decided to be sneaky and froze time just after we stopped. I grabbed my backpack, hopped over my seating partner, and then walked to the front of the bus, where I resumed time around the bus door. I opened it myself and walked off the bus, closing it behind me.

I wasn't concerned with anyone on the bus realizing I had vanished into thin air. I knew everyone would be too preoccupied or half-asleep to even notice. I then slung my backpack over my shoulders and headed into the motionless world and onto the school grounds.

In just the first morning I was already starting to master this unreal ability, which seemed only bound by my imagination. I looked around in awe of the quiet and stillness all around me. It went completely against the norm of the early morning school rush: loud, bustling, and frenzied.

I found a large group of students and walked into the midst of them before resuming time. Suddenly, I was within the hustle and bustle of the morning droves and fell into the rhythm of my usual morning routine.

I headed for the cafeteria, got my usual breakfast there, and sat down in my usual seating place, off in my little world. Having some quiet time away from the insanity of high school was a saving grace for me. That damned bus was always late getting to school and so, I decided to take the incentive to use my new power to my advantage and stop time while I ate. There weren't many kids around, and certainly, none of them would have noticed how fast I ate.

Amongst the incredible silence, I was able to take my time to finish my food with plenty of time before the bell rang. I resumed time and got to my feet, tossing my disposable tray in the trash before heading outside. I had some extra time to kill, so I went to go chat with my usual group of friends for a bit. They were surprised to see me swing by so early and couldn't help but take a jab at me, considering how late I usually was with finishing my breakfast. I couldn't help but smirk slyly as I let them poke fun at me.

Not long after, the bell to start school rang. My friends and I went our separate ways as I joined the throng of students that began to file into the buildings for their first-period class. The sounds of shuffling feet and conversations were unrepentant. I was always so bothered by how crowded the halls were and, being shorter than some, it was tough for me to see ahead beyond whoever was in front of me. It was also especially underwhelming to be downwind from some of the larger, smellier guys that seemed to be allergic to soap.

It was an 'odd day,' which meant that I was going to my first, third, and fifth periods for double the regular amount of class time. After making it out of the confining hallways, I was uncharacteristically happy to finally make it to my first class: World History.

The class was expectedly quite dull. We did more of the same work and more of the same reading from our textbooks—I wasn't too interested in it. I was a bit tired as well. I'd stayed up late on the computer, which was the norm for me. So, with the help of my useful new powers, I took myself a little time-stopped nap. The lack of noise helped me doze off as well. I was impressed with myself to be able to control my power even though I was asleep.

With a power nap out of the way, I was able to make it through the rest of the class with a decent amount of interest. I carried myself through my work, but not without thinking often upon my newfound ability. I decided to amuse myself at points by blinking time on and off to watch the rest of the class move in slow motion.

At one point, the teacher got up to go help a student with a question she had. I froze time once he left his desk and headed for it. I took a brief look around the desk before touching the crowd of pens in their little holder. I pulled my hand back in surprise when they suddenly became mobile again. It was then that I realized it was possible for me to will specific things to become as mobile as I was in this crazy, time-stopped world. It seemed like what I did with those birds, only reversed.

I snickered as I quickly placed all of his pens into the desk drawer. I then went back to my seat, resumed time, and kept an eye on him until he went back to his desk. He sat down and blindly reached for a pen, only to realize there were none. The stunned look on his face was priceless.

Pretty soon the bell rang, ending class. It was time to move on to my favorite class: Biology. I say it was my favorite not because of the class itself–which was unmercifully boring–but because of the gorgeous student body that made up the class.

I managed to get out into the hallway before it got flooded with a tsunami of teenagers. Up the stairs and down the hall I went for my next classroom. I took my seat which was near the back of the room while the others in my class began to file in and talk amongst each other. I sighed and gazed adoringly at the slew of wonderfully pretty girls I had for classmates.

One by one, more of my classmates trickled in. Amongst those that I heavily admired, was one lovely girl who made a gloriously late-as-usual entrance just before the bell rang. Her name was Jennifer. And though each one of the girls in the class didn't necessarily know me very well, Jennifer was the one who really couldn't stand me.

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