"Amy," Dad yelled from upstairs, "you better hurry up. You're going to be late!"
"Calm down, dad," I yelled back. "Geez, you're becoming Mom."
"I heard that."
I sighed. Three years we had been living without Mom, and it wasn't the easiest thing to do. She had disappeared somewhere out in Nevada and we haven't heard from her since.
To get my mind off of it, I put my salmon headband on behind my ears and grabbed my shoes, quickly organizing my quills as I headed up from the basement.
Dad was sitting at the table sipping his coffee. His red quills were splattered with oil from working on the car. We had the same turquoise green eyes, and I was a lighter shade of his color. But that didn't mean we usually wouldn't get along.
He looked at me as I sat down and started putting on my shoes. "Two more days, kiddo."
"Yea, I know, and then I'll be done for three months." I met his gaze. "Dad, is it okay if I go with Kris and Rouge to the mall today?"
"Sure, why not? Just don't stay out too late."
"I'm gonna probably be back by six."
Someone honked a horn outside the house. "That's Kris. C'ya, Dad."
Both of us stood up at the same time. He kissed my forehead. "I love you."
"I love you, too." It didn't feel so true, but I said it out of habit. I ran out of the kitchen and opened the front door.
Kris is also a hedgehog, kind of like me. Her quills were a yellow blonde, not quite dirty blonde, but close, and stuck in pigtails. She wore a black tank top and skinny jeans with black boots.
I was so jealous of her convertible Camaro. It looked pure silver with the black tires clashing against it.
"Hey," she said when she saw me. "You okay? You look tired."
"Didn't get enough sleep, I guess." I hadn't been able to get enough for the past week. There was no big reason for it, but it was really bothering me.
"Hop in or Robotnik will give us detention again!" She smiled when she said that, trying to cheer me up. I sat down in the passenger seat.
"That was kind of unnecessary," I said.
"I'm trying to cheer you up, girl," she replied. "Oh, did you ask your dad?"
"Sweet!" She turned on the car and drove down the street. "We're gonna start by heading to the arcade and hang out there for a while, and then probably hit a movie. Rouge said she had a surprise planned. She didn't hint at me what it is. After that"
"Don't spoil everything for me!" I was definitely smiling now.
She shrugged. "At least I got you to smile."
We pulled into the school parking lot a few minutes later, which was almost packed. "There's an open one right there," I said, pointing at the open space nearest to the school. She headed for it, but not before a sleek black motorcycle zoomed past us and took it.
The driver took off her helmet and immediately I got annoyed. It was Sally Acorn, the spoiled chipmunk who really hated us. She had moved here last year from New York for being a bad girlI was getting sick and tired of her complaining that she had to leave her boyfriend. As if anyone would want to date that brat.
"You snooze, you lose, hogs," she yelled at us.
Kris smirked like she didn't care, and backed up, taking another close parking space.
"I swear, if she ever thinks I'll appreciate her, tough luck," I mumbled.
"Just ignore her," Kris guessed. "It won't get any better anytime soon." She unbuckled and grabbed her backpack while I grabbed mine. We had homeroom together, which was nice, but our teacher waslet's saynowhere anything like a teacher.
Robotnik isn't exactly teacher of the year. He has this huge mustache and always wore blue lens glasses while he had goggles on his head. His fashion sense wasn't that good, either. He had this red jacket with spandex pants that attached to his boots.
We walked into the school, where everyone was talking and acting crazy. It was always like this at the end of the school year. I had to dodge tons of people to just get to my locker.
"Hey, girls," Shadow spotted us from across the hall. Guess why he's called Shadow: Black, red eyes, red streaks on his quills and arms.
"Hi, Shadow," Kris said, blushing. They both quickly kissed, which gave me a twinge of jealousy. "How was your night?"
"If you can call having to stay up studying until midnight good, then that was my night."
"Oh, man, I'm sorry."
"Nah, last test of the year, it's gonna be worth it."
Sally walked right by us and shoved me. "Oops, sorry." She looked at Shadow and put on her innocent face. "Oh, hey, babe."
Shadow rolled his eyes. "It isn't going to happen, Sally." As if to prove his point, he put an arm around Kris. Kris snuggled up against him.
"Ugh, why do you hang out with these hogs?"
"Hey, these 'hogs' have been the nicest girls I've ever met. If you don't like it, you can skedaddle."
Her smile returned. "Man, you sound so much like"
"your boyfriend," I interrupted. "Yea, we get it."
She turned to me, no longer smiling. "Watch it. Be glad I'm in a good mood today, or I would've gotten you pummeled as soon as I parked."
"Why don't you go annoy someone else?"
She was about to say something else when Scourge came into the hall. "Lay off her, Sally."
Scourge is a green hedgehog with these wickedly scary scars on his chest and stomach and electric blue eyes. He always wore a black flamed jacket with sunglasses. He was the only hedgehog who had said that he liked me, butokay he is hothe wasn't the nicest guy around.
Sally just stood there, unsure of what to do. I turned back to my locker and opened it.
"Why are you?"
"Let's just say I'm doing her a favor," Scourge said, closer now. I saw Sally run off, blushing redder than my dress. Scourge came over to me and tried playing with my hair, but I smacked his hand away.
"You didn't have to do that," I said.
"And see a pretty girl like you break into tears?"
I was saved by the bell to get to class. "Look, thanks, but let me figure out my own problems from now on, please?" I didn't wait for his answer, and I ran for Robotnik's room with Kris and Shadow following behind me.
We made it into our seats just before the tardy bell rang. Robotnik came into the room and passed out our morning activity: a survey for who we thought was most like the descriptions. I put Kris next to most optimistic, Shadow next to coolest personality and me next to most klutzy.
"Alright, settle down," Robotnik said over the noise. Once everything was silent, he went on. "I know you're all excited for the end of the year, but remember"
"Hey, you ever considered working out?" Manic, another classmate called out from the back. Everyone laughed.
Robotnik didn't even flinch. "Manic, I can still issue detention."
Manic almost said something else, but his twin sister, Sonia, gave him a "shut up" look before he got into more trouble.
"As I was saying" he was interrupted by the bell to go to first period. We all got up, grabbed our things and ran out of the room.
"See you after school," Kris whispered.
"Later." I watched her and Shadow walk hand in hand to their next class before I walked the other way. Sally moved by me and pulled my quills. I ignored the pain and straightened them again. What was with that lady? Why did she hate me so much?
I saw Rouge grabbing her things from her locker. "Hey," I said, stopping by her. "Kris said you had something planned?"
She smiled. "Did she tell you it was a surprise?"
"You'll love it."
"Can't you give me a hint?"
"No. But I will at the arcade." She closed her locker. "Better hurry. We'll talk after school." Her bat wings started flapping and she flew over the crowd to her next class.