First Day

February 4, 2008
By Genevieve Lantto, Chanhassen, MN

I entered through the cafeteria doors with all the other students in a flood. Up the stairs and through another set of doors, I turned left to find my locker. Scanning the row of bright blue, I found number 475, my new locker.
Rummaging in my pocket, I found the post-it with my combo, turned the lock, and proceeded to empty my backpack. All the new notebooks, binders, folders, and pencils were shoved in, along with the backpack.

Glancing around for a clock, I realized I had plenty of time before class starts. I pulled my crumpled schedule out of my pocket, and saw Science at the top. Joy. I hate science. Scowling, I pulled a binder, folder, and notebook out of my locker, grabbed a pencil and pen from the mess on the bottom, and slammed the locker.

As I turned away, I saw a few kids look at me weird. Well, duh, I’m different. The black eye probably didn’t help either. New kids are always different from the crowd. And I was different from the crowd anyway.

Turning from their stares, I set off down the hall to find the science room. Glancing around, I saw there were three other locker colors: bright red, dull gray and dark blue. And I got stuck with the bright blue, of course. The fates hated me.

After minutes of wandering, I found room 173, 8th grade Science. Sighing, I braced myself, and entered the room. Inside, I was greeted by bright lights, large posters, and noise. Loud noise. Looking around, I saw all the other kids in groups. I was, of course, the only one excluded. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a girl pointing at me. She was blonde, with a bright pink Hollister t-shirt and a mini skirt. The type of person I didn’t get along with. Her friends were looking at me as well, and whispered amongst themselves. I watched them, faintly wondering what they were saying, but not all that interested.

The bell rang then, and all the students hurried to their seats, except me, of course. I turned as the teacher walked through the door. She was tall, slender, and had curly brown hair, the perfect image of a teacher, except for her face. It was angular and cruel looking. I tried to remember her name, but it escaped me. She smiled towards me.

“You must be Jessica Shurman. Why don’t you go sit by,” She glanced around, her voice sickly sweet. “Please sit by Amanda. Amanda, please raise your hand.” Looking, around and saw that Amanda was the blonde who had pointed earlier. She was near the center of the room. Great, just great. People would be staring at me all hour. Resisting the urge to groan, I walked over to Amanda, set my stuff down, and sat on the brown plastic chair. Amanda ignored me. I ignored her. The teacher, whose name I saw on the board as Ms.McKennen, spoke again.

“Jessica, why don’t you introduce yourself? Tell us about yourself?” I resisted the urge to glare and began.

“Uh, hi. I’m Jess, and, um, I’m from, uh, Washington, near Seattle.” I cleared my throat, and glanced up. Ms.McKennen smiled in a sickly way.

“What are your interests, Jessica?” Ugh, I hated this.

“I like reading and being with my friends.” I had more interests then that, but no one here needed to know them. Ms.McKennen gave up on my introduction, and began the lesson. It was cell anatomy, which I had covered at my old school already. Bored, I opened the book I had brought with. It was Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer. I had already read it a billion times, but it was still my favorite book. I wished this turned out like it did for Bella. If I had the fates on my side, and there were vampires here. Right, like that’s going to happen.

“Jessica?” My head shot up, dark hair flying. Ms. McKennen was looking at me, along with everyone else in the room. “Would you mind paying attention, instead of reading?” A few kids laughed. I slowly closed Twilight and set it aside. “Thank you.” She said cruelly. A few kids were still laughing.
Glancing around, I saw a girl in the corner. She shot me a look of sympathy. I smiled, a little. She seemed alright, but it was hard to tell on first impressions.

Looking at the clock, time seemed to slow. There was still 15 minutes of class left. Sigh. Glancing at Ms. McKennen, I could tell she was completely involved in her lecture. Opening my notebook, I flipped to the back, and doodled for the rest of the hour.

When the bell finally rang, I was out of my seat and out the door in seconds, following the girl I had smiled at before and a tall blond guy. They seemed deeply involved in their conversation.
I hurried to my locker, grabbed a new folder, notebook, and binder, kept my notebook from before to continue the sketches, and set off in search of Language Arts.

When I got there I noticed the two kids from before. They sat in the back with a guy who had shaggy light brown hair, and a girl with long, straight brown hair. They were whispering together, and everyone else seemed to avoid them. The bell rang, and the last few students ran in, but everyone continued talking. The teacher, Mrs. Greel, as the board proclaimed, seemed a lot nicer than Ms. McKennen. I walked over to her, and she looked up.

“Hi, I’m Jess.”

“Hello Jess, I’m Mrs. Greel.” She was smiling, but it seemed more real than Ms. McKennen’s. “Let me see if we have an empty seat.” Turning to the rest of the class, she raised her voice. “Please sit down. Everyone! Please sit!”
Slowly, everyone began drifting to desks next to their friends. Apparently there were no assigned seats here. There was only one empty seat. It was by the four kids in the back.
“Jess, why don’t you go sit in front of Peter.” I figured that was the blond one. I moved over there, and sat down. Only two made any motion to say hi: the brown-haired girl, and the girl from science smiled slightly. I grinned back, weakly, and turned to face Ms. Greel.
“Class, today we have a new student, Jess.” Everyone, once again, turned to face me. I ducked my head, and remained silent. A few seats away, I saw the girl from science. The nasty one, Amanda. She was gesturing to me, no, not me. She was motioning to the four kids behind me, and whispering to her little clique. I turned away to see Ms. Greel writing on the board.
“Today we will be starting Unit 6 in the vocabulary book. Please open them and get to work!” A few kids opened them, but most just ignored her. I didn’t have one, so I raised my hand. After a minute, Ms. Greel noticed me.
“Yes, Jess?” she asked.
“Um, I don’t have a vocab book.”
“Oh yes, give me a minute to find one.” I nodded. This could take a while. Opening my science notebook, I continued my sketch from before. It was slowly becoming a girl, no, an angel. She had long, black hair, shaded darkly, and a torn dress. Her wings were crumpled, and her hair flowing in the wind.
I could feel the brown haired girl watching me, but I kept drawing, ignoring her.
An eye formed, shaded in, and moved on. Shading the wing, it wasn’t white. It was dark, a fallen angel.
“Here’s your vocabulary book, Jess.” Ms. Greel was back. I nodded my thanks.
The board said to do exercises 1, 2, and 3 or 4. Upon glancing over the words, I saw I knew a lot of them. The brown haired girl had started working, and so did I now.

Ten minutes later, I tucked the vocab book into my folder, and pulled my note book back out, continuing my work.
“That’s really good.” I jumped. The brown haired girl was talking to me. The other three were watching with interest. I ignored them, and smiled a bit.
“Thanks.” I mumbled. She was viewing it with a critical eye.
“I think this eye needs to be moved down a bit, and you need to raise the arm.” Looking it over, I saw she was right. I quickly fixed it.
“Thanks, again.” She smiled.
“I never introduced myself. I’m Taylor, and this is Peter, Nick, and Jenna.” She pointed to each in turn. Nick ignored me, Peter nodded, and Jackie smiled. There was some underlying similarity and closeness between them, but I couldn’t grasp what it was. Maybe it was my imagination going crazy. Then again, maybe not.
“So, where did you move from?” Taylor was talking again.
“Oh, uh, Washington. Near Seattle.” Jenna seemed interested now. She must have missed it in Science.
“You were reading Twilight earlier, weren’t you?” Jenna’s voice was higher than I had expected. I nodded mutely. “So, is there actually a Forks?” Peter was listening now too. I think Nick was as well, but I wasn’t sure.
“Yes, there is a Forks Washington. I’ve been there.” Jenna and Taylor had big eyes.
“And…?” Taylor prompted. I smiled for real now.
“No, there aren’t any vampires. Or werewolves.” I added, seeing Jenna smile wryly. “And it really does rain all the time. I didn’t see the sun at all, when I was there.” Everyone was silent for a minute. I listened to the rest of the class chatter.
“What class do you have next?” Taylor asked. I pulled out my schedule.
“Let me see.” Jenna grabbed my schedule, seeing my confusion. “You have Gym today. So do we!” She was smiling.
Just then, the bell rang. I smiled while gathering up my things. As I left the classroom, surrounded by friends, I realized I had found my vampires.

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