French Uno is Called Une

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French Uno is meant to be taken seriously.

I'm fortunate enough to be a teacher's pet. Technically, I'm not, however my class is filled to the brim with disrespectful heathens, therefore I'm trapped within the braced-up, purple banded jaws of the looming teacher's pet. As the teacher's pet, I'm awarded the luxury of doing whatever I want with no complaints from Madame Roller (who is Québecois, not Francophone, which is a bit irritating at times).

I sit down at a square of desks pushed together for the sake of the game, my closest friends already sitting at each desk. Kadasia beckons me over with wild hand gestures, Gillian aiding by rapidly tapping the empty desk before someone undesirable took the seat. Alicia, the calm one who I remark as Jesus Christ sometimes, looks at me with desperate eyes, eyes that fall back and forth from the desk to me. Smiling, I sit down and my friends relax. We chat idly for the next ten minutes about the tests coming up in our next classes, boys, and how frustrating it is that our hour lunch was taken away. Our school had nine fights in two days the week before, so Wolverine Time was stripped from us until after Spring Break. That was a recipe for disaster considering how my class acts and how Ms. Roller has no idea how to control the bad seeds.

Ms. Roller shouts (Alicia and I swear that all people from New Jersey shout in order to piece together a proper conversation) the directions for the game. It's like Uno, only that there are multiple more shades of blue that can be mistaken for purple and green. And in order to get rid of our cards, we have to piece together the irregular verb given with a phrase in the subjunctif. Nothing I'm awful at, mind you. I've always been great at French, so the rules of the game were nothing to me.

It was the fact that I was grouped together with my friends that made this game difficult. "Fuck me up the ass!" Alicia, my sober companion, shakes her head at me with a tiny smile as Gillian throws down her card into the stack. I have probably a dozen or more so cards while Kadasia has even more than that. Alicia has five and Gillian is stuck with two.

"Oh!" Gillian shouts, a grin on her face while her pink-dyed hair falls into her mouth. She has to spit out before reciting the sentence she came up with. "Il faut que je pussy me devoir!" Pussy became the nickname for puisse, the subjuntive for pouvoir. How it became that way, only God (or Alicia) can tell. Gillian, with one card down, exclaims, "UNE!"

"Motherfucker!" Kadasia screams, going through her deck due to her being next in our circle of desks. She gasps and slams down a 'draw two' card. "Il faut que nous puissons ses travaille!"

Alicia, the quiet one (bless her), puts down a 'draw two' almost instantly, not even bothering to say a sentence due to her face inflating with red and her vocal cords tangled with silenced laughter.

I quickly transverse my deck, praying for a 'draw two.' I find one, and it's blue. Or purple. Or green. Whatever it is, I slam into onto the deck hard enough that my fingers ache with a sharp pain. "HA!" I yell, "DRAW SIX BITCH."

"I quit." Gillian groans before taking her cards and throwing them into Kadasia's face. At this point Alicia looks akin to a middle aged smoker suffering from a stroke. I'm in a similar state, only my pigment did well hiding the blotchy redness in my face. I'm surprised that Ms. Roller wasn't paying us and our comically profane language any attention, but it's most likely because we are the squad of geeky teacher's pets that get As on every assignment, receive honor roll every marking period and show up to school in clothes that don't smell like weed.

Trying to get my act together, I take out my phone and text my friend on Skype. He missed the bus that day so he had the day off from school. Our texts back and forth during the time were a little dry and I was worried about the route we were taking with our relationship due to my overzealous anxiety towards my friendships. So I asked, "can I call you?" He responds with, "sure."

"Oh my God, are you on the phone?" Kadasia is practically in tears and I cover my mouth as a failing attempt to stifle my laughter.

"W-Wait," Gillian wheezes, a grin on her face, "give me the phone." I hand her the phone without question and my table erupts in loud, unsullied laughter as Gillian croaks out in between giggles, "she can't call right now, young man! Stop harassing my daughter! Use condoms, too!" I later learn that he hangs up out of sheer confusion and slight irritation, but I don't mind. Gillian and I collapsed on the table, teary eyed. My stomach convulses with cramps from laughing so hard.

Some cards topple off of the table on my end and Alicia is too handicapped to pick them up, so I do her the serve despite being drunk with snickers. Standing up shakily from my seat, I take one step then another. I forgot that my jacket, which I carry around everywhere because I don't have a locker, was on the floor. I end up stepping on the sleeve then tumble to the ground when it slides out from under me.

More laughter. Even I can't stop even though my knee hurts from falling. Gillian still has my phone in her hand; she can't resist taking pictures of everyone. Alicia's tomato face. Kadasia sobs from laughter. My greeting with the hard, cement floor.

The pictures are mostly blurry considering how Gillian wasn't focused enough to take better ones, but it doesn't matter. All it takes now is flashing them one photo of the group selfie I took of them for all of us to explode in laughter due to the creepy smile Kadasia sported. Needless to say, we still have a horrible understanding of the subjunctive.

©SelfTitled, 2017