It was a cool breezy day in Maxxim City. As they walked the carefully cultivated sidewalk, the overhanging trees were now denuded of leaves. But living in the southwest, it seldom got very cold and no measureable snowfall had come to the area in more than forty years. When they reached the corner of Acacia and Fourth, they found Christopher and Denise waiting in the usual spot, right at the corner of the Brown family lawn. Though Christopher lived two blocks down, on Cyprus, he often met Denise at her door and waited with her for Astrid and Toby.
“Ask Astrid,” Denise told Christopher.
“Ask me what?”
“Whether you like the school uniform,” said Christopher.
Students at Rachel Carson High School wore the school uniform. Boys wore a blue blazer with the school crest, white shirt, blue tartan tie, blue slacks, blue tartan socks, and black Oxfords. Girls wore the same blazer, tie, and white shirt, along with a tartan blue pleated skirt, tartan blue knee socks and black and white Oxfords. Girls had the option of wearing blue slacks, but few did. It was all pretty easy because the school gave each student four shirts and two of everything else at the beginning of each semester.
“What’s wrong with the uniform?” wondered Astrid. “It’s the same as last year.”
“Other schools don’t have uniforms,” said Denise.
“Other schools don’t have a lot of things we have,” said Christopher.
“Don’t rock the boat,” said Astrid. “I have a hard enough time picking out my clothes on the weekend. Don’t ruin the rest of the week for me.”
The four of them walked down the short, sloping block to Fifth Street and were all shocked to find the two Valeries by their front door. Valerie usually kept them waiting while making last minute touches to her hair. From the Diaz home it was a short walk to the Main Street Monorail Station. Waiting on the platform were dozens of other students, including Austin and Bud. The train slid into the station and they all climbed aboard.