Chapter 2: The First Morning
The Jelly Raffeting Games are consecutively held on the last Saturday of June and everyone uses the whole year to prepare for it. Anyone can participate in these games, even if they are not applying to Cardend High. I did, though. I wanted to make my family proud. I wanted to be well-educated. I wanted to be successful in the future. It was free tuition anyways, so why not take a stab at it.
“Breakfast ready!” my grandmother shouted as I came down the creaky, wooden stairs that never seemed to break every time I touched a step. My grandparents would always prepare my breakfast, as well as my sister’s. It was something that I looked forward to everyday, especially the weekdays where I would have a bit of joy in my heart before I entered a kingdom ruled by the meanest and most shallow people I come across.
“I’m coming Grandma!” I replied back as I walked towards the delicious crispy, red bacon and slimy-looking, sunny-side up eggs.
“See? I told you.” She was pointing her finger at the charm of my necklace that was shaped like a key. It read, ‘success’ vertically between the head and tip. It was always something she nettled me about every time I got ready for school. I finally sat my bottom on our white, kitchen swivel chair.
“You excited?” Grandma asked.
“A little.” I said apathetically.
“And why is that, cheng?” Cheng was a nickname she’d given to me when I was a little girl. She said I would always make a ‘ching’ sound at completely random moments, like a cash register every time a fresh dollar bill found its new home.
“I still have like, what? Three more years till I graduate? I just want to be in college already. A fresh new start. I want to meet new people, and just be a whole new me.”
“Well, what about your friends here? And you know that you can’t get to college without going through high school. It’ll go by quickly, I promise.”
The thought of going back-to-school made a big lump in my head. I think everyone agrees that the only part of going back-to-school is going back-to-school shopping. Am I right? The binders, the cute pencils, the notebooks. Now those are fun times.
But I was a little hesitant to go back to school. It’s another year when friendships change, people mingle, and high school relationships get back on track. Another year when rumors spread, classes loosen up, and the heavy load of academics dump on literally everyone. Yet it’s amazing how we all get through it. My whole batch and I just seem to dance around the tunnel of stress.
I went back upstairs to brush my teeth. As I spit out my last gulp of blue mouthwash, I stared at myself in the steamy, foggy mirror. I closed my eyes, thinking and picturing the upcoming school year that would eventually come to an end.
‘Don’t worry, LeAnne. Sophomore year will fly by in an instant. Just focus on your grades, your clubs, and sports. Don’t worry about your clothes, your hair. You’ve got this, you hear me? DON’T YOU WORRY.’
Bus #38 arrived right on time like last year. 6:43 AM. I glanced at the pale-skinned bus driver and said my good morning. He was also my bus driver last year. He told me good morning back in a deep, low, jolly voice. The first seat in the front of the bus was waiting for me, which was my usual seat. Lenny then stepped on the gas pedal, and our long, stretched vehicle was on its way to pick up more chumps of Cardend High.