Max knew about pajama day, okay? He’d seen the flyers, (who makes flyers for pajama day anyway?) heard the announcement, and heard it from every teacher he had for about a week. He knew.
But to be perfectly honest, Max didn’t even own any classic pajamas, he always slept in a t-shirt and basketball shorts. Plus, his cool skater aesthetic would be absolutely demolished if he showed up to school in his jammies. No one other than the sixth grader’s is gonna dress up anyway, right?
Wrong. Max was very wrong. When he got to school, Max was surprised to see literally everyone in the building in some form of pajamas. Mr. Garcia, Johnny’s group, the band kids were all decked out in sleepwear. Even Collin had traded out his sweater vest for a onesie.
Even stranger was that no one would look at him. He passed a person, and they’d duck their head and turn away. Max figured someone (Johnny) had put a target on his head for the morning and anyone sane was avoiding getting caught in the crossfire, but when Max entered the clubroom, tossing down his backpack, Isaac gave him a sympathetic look, before avoiding eye contact and leaving the room without so much as a hello. It stung a little, but Max had a theory that pajama day was actually code for ‘mess with the new kid day’ so Max did his best to ignore the cold shoulder he was getting from everybody, but it was a little difficult to keep his cool when he was raising his hand to go to the bathroom, only for the teacher to pointedly ignore him.
The most acknowledgment he got that day was on Max way out of the building after an activity club meeting of being invisible, Cody gave him a sympathetic pat on the shoulder and a grimace, but that was the extent of the interaction he got for the day. Usually, all Max wanted was for people to stop being so invasive all day, but he didn’t really want any and all talking to cease.
Max went straight to his room and played every video game he owned in a slightly miffed silence until dinner.
The next day, it seemed Max’s invisibility was over, and he was immediately stopped by Johnny.
“Listen, man, I’m already gonna be late-”
“Listen up punk,” Johnny said in a borderline frantic whisper, causing Max to actually pay attention to what the bully was saying. “Yer new, so they might go easy on’ya, but just know, that took guts. Whatever happens t’ya, nerd, pulling that stunt took guts.”
Max went to his homeroom expecting things to be as normals as they usually were, which is to say, mildly chaotic and migraine-inducing, but a few minutes into class, the Vice Principal’s voice crackled to life over the PA system.
“Maxwell Puckett to the main office immediately.” Max glanced around the room, everyone shifting uncomfortably and looking at him with sympathetic smiles. Even Mr. Garcia grimaced as he left the room, and for tenge second time in two days, Max was even more weirded out than normal.
Max walked slowly to the principal’s office, wanting to prolong his unknown fate for as long as he could. But eventually, he made it to the door.
“Do you know why you are here, Puckett?” The vice principal asked as Max was led to a large door with the words “Principal’s Office” printed in bronze.
“Why are any of us here?” Max asked, internally cursing his big mouth. “Asking the deep questions.”
“Do not take a tone with me, wormdog.” The VP said before pushing open the door and nudging Max inside, the room suspiciously vacant of the actual principal. “You are aware that yesterday was pajama day?”
Jesus Christ. Of course, Max getting called into the principal’s office was about pajama day. For a moment Max thought he’d been called in for something serious, like bus jumping, or the time he climbed the building so he didn’t end up late, but no, no, it was because he didn’t wear pajamas to school.
“I'm pretty aware, yeah.”
“Then why, Mr. Puckett, did you wear your normal clothing?”
“I felt like that outfit was pretty nice, to be honest.” Max replied before adding, “I wasn’t aware pajama day was mandatory.”
“I don’t know what cesspool of a village school you came from-“
“Vice principal!” A voice interrupted. Max totally didn’t jump, or scream, but he did glance down to see the Principal shuffling into the room.
“You gave me full reign on pajama day affairs, principal.”
“I understand- but Mr. Puckett is a new student! Surely we can excuse him for one mistake!”
“Would it make you feel better if I said I’ve slept in that outfit? Because I have.” Max said, only to be ignored by the two school authorities.
“The sanctity of-“
“With all due respect!”
“Uhhh…” Max made to stand up, only for the vice principal to glare and hiss at him. “I hate that this is my life. I don’t even own any pajamas.”
“Of course you don’t dear, young Maxwell was doing his best!” The principal said, leading Max to the door: “he has already missed so much valuable learning time.”
“If this offense is repeated, there will be punishment!” The vice principal shrieked as the door closed.
“Hurry along to class, honey, and next time, maybe buy some pajamas.” The principal said.
“Um- okay. Thanks?” Max said and jogged back to class. When Max opened the door, every face in the room was trained on him, some worried, some cringing, and some both.
“Oh my god, he’s alive!” Someone in the back of the room shouted before a hundred questions per person were called Max’s way.
Throughout the rest of the day, Max was met with awe at the fact that he was still breathing and had all of his limbs. Stephen asked if he could take hair to analyze.
“Okay, what gives?” Max asked Izzy, Ed, and Isaac in the clubroom. “Yesterday, I’m invisible, today, I’m getting accosted by everyone in the flipping school.”
“You skipped pajama day.” Ed shrugged. “You lived through skipping pajama day.”
“What does that even mean?”
“Dude, the vice principal loves pajama day more than she loves manning detention,” Isaac said, kicking his feet up. “You skip it you die.”
“Is there a reason for her tyrannical view on otherwise normal, fun school activities?”
“Nope. She’s just… Like That.” Isabel said, standing up and grabbing her backpack.
“We headin’?” Ed asked, grabbing his own bag.
“Yup, see ya dweebs.”
“Later!” Ed called as he and Izzy left the room.
“I’m still not sold on the whole Pajama day thing,” Max told Isaac.
“I’m not either, to be honest, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna risk getting my soul sucked out by the vice principal.” Isaac shrugged. “I better go home too, I’ll see you tomorrow, Max.”
“Yeah, see ya.”
Max was still reeling from the change of having everyone ignore him the day before only to be the center of attention the next. Neither was exactly pleasant, to be completely honest, and Max didn’t know how quickly the hype was going to die down.
Max did know he was definitely going to buy some pajamas to wear for next time, though.