Chapter 09: New Beginnings
Chapter 09: New Beginnings
Max is left in a daze for a few more seconds, but suddenly snaps alert and examines his surroundings. "You're back!" Elmyra gives him a bone crushing hug, truly happy to have him back to normal.
"Back from where? Let me go!" Max manages to struggle out of her vice-grip with noticeable difficulty. He pauses as if trying to sense the presence that is no longer with him and seems relieved to have seemingly gotten over what I assume he must think of as random paranoia. "I'm going home." With that announcement spoken, he exits the gym, leaving us girls as the only current inhabitants of the indoor sports court, which is currently set up with a tennis net in the middle, albeit it is also equipped with basketball hoops on each end.
"Care to explain what this is about and why she's here?" The pink rabbit points at me, clearly not happy to see me.
"Aw, let's give her a chance; she doesn't seem to be so bad!" Elmyra suggests.
This prompts me to ask the question that's been in my mind for some time. "Why do you hate me so much anyway? What did I ever do to you?"
"You were hugging Buster," the pink rabbit accuses.
"Actually, he was hugging me and what does it matter anyway? He's my cousin, he was just being nice!" I argue in return, which leaves all the girls in shock.
"Your cousin..." the pink rabbit faintly voices.
Then the purple skunk tries to put all the pieces together clearly. "You and Buster hugged because you're family and Max was acting all flirty with you because he was possessed by a confused raccoon who had been tricked."
"Then all of this wasn't you trying to steal someone else's boyfriend." The pink rabbit realized. "Wow, and we were all so mean to you. I even ignored all of Buster's calls and text messages this entire time." Embarrassed, the pink rabbit further explained, "I'm Babs, Buster's girlfriend, or I was until I assumed he was cheating on me and started ignoring him and being mean to his family. I'm really sorry, I wouldn't blame you if you tell Buster about everything when he comes back."
I consider the possibility of revealing the whole truth to Buster to get back at Babs, but ultimately decide against it. Babs does seem to be sorry for what she did and if I tell on her and make them argue, I'll be causing trouble for Buster too. I really don't want to get caught in the middle of a family versus relationship drama right out of an episode of Thirteen-Something. "I won't tell him." Just as I speak my empty stomach growls and I shift uncomfortably, "I um... skipped lunch..."
"Then let me buy you a treat!" Babs offers, followed by the agreements and apologies of the other girls.
We exchange official introductions, though I already knew some of their names as I had overheard them. Babs Bunny, no relation, is the pink rabbit and Buster's girlfriend. The blond duck is Shirley the Loon, a psychic. The pink canary is Sweetie Bird and the purple skunk is Fifi La Fume.
Elmyra, the red haired human girl happily exclaims, "I'm so glad we're all friends!" And traps us in a bone crushing group hug, Buster was right, she is dangerously friendly.
xoxox xox xoxox
Wednesday came and Buster and the basketball team returned. He believed that Babs had lost her cell phone, which she located just that morning and was glad she wasn't purposely ignoring him. He was also happy that I had already become friends with the girls, he never knew of the events that transpired in his absence.
As for Max, his mood seems to have improved after his personal space stopped being invaded by someone else's soul. This meaning he doesn't yell at people unless they provoke him in some way, such as crossing his path in the hallways which are there for everyone to transit anyway. In such cases he has a snide remark to throw out, but seems to have developed an unconscious fear of anvils, so waiving one around is enough to make him conveniently remember he had somewhere else he needed to be. As for his fox lackey, if the boss doesn't feel like picking a fight, then he won't pick a fight either. Overall, Max is tolerable once you learn how to deal with him, but definitely not someone I would get a crush on, though I do think Max and Elmyra are cute together.
The week kept passing by as I adapted to Acme Looneyversity, now with the support of my new friends. A new student enrolled on Thursday, but I wasn't paying attention to the introduction, secretly reading a magazine with an article about Johnny Pew.
When Friday rolled by, it was time for my tests to see if I could stay in my current grade. I wasn't the only one taking the tests; the other transfer student was taking them too. We were the only two students in the near empty classroom as Professor Pussycat handed us our papers. I feel kind of sorry for the other student who barely got time to settle in when they decided they might as well have him take the test on the same day as me. Either way, I was too focused on the peril at hand to notice him much.
When the test is finally over, the other student and I hand in our papers full of multiple choice bubbles. Mr. Pussycat runs the papers through the corrector machine which reveals that, albeit neither of us got particularly shining scores, we both passed. "Congratulations to you both!" Mr. Pussycat commends, spitting with his accent as he talks.
Thankful that it's over, we both head out of the classroom. It is the after school hour and we had to stay in for this. "That's a relief," I comment letting out a breath.
"Yeah, I'm glad it's over," the other student agrees and I realize that he's a raccoon. Why does he look familiar? I remember seeing his paper when the teacher inserted it in the machine; the name on it was Conrad Raccoon, but I was more focused on the uncertainty of my own test paper being scored next and didn't think too much of it.
"Bani!" I hear a familiar voice and see Buster, Babs, Shirley, Plucky and Fifi walking towards me down the hall and lift my hand to wave at them.
As I look back at Conrad for a moment he bids me goodbye for the day. "Your friends are here, I guess I'll see you around."
"Yeah, see you," as he leaves the realization hits me now that my brain is no longer plagued by the stress of the test. He looks just like the ghost that came out of Max, except for the part about not being a ghost.
"Hey Bani, you look like you saw a ghost!" Buster jokes, not knowing how right he is.
I laugh and pretend like nothing's going on, even if the girls follow the raccoon boy with their eyes and give me knowing looks. "It's just a post-test reaction, but I passed!"
We go off to celebrate at the local ice-cream shop and have a good time. The weekend is officially here and I know I'll have fun. Then when Monday comes, I might run into that mysterious new transfer student, Conrad, and find out if he is who I think he is. Perhaps, maybe, possibly...
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Tiny Toons. Conrad Raccoon is also an original character.