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Just A Small Town Girl
Jill knew her months of summer bliss would soon be over, but she was never quite as aware of the circumstances of the season change until she awoke to a beeping alarm clock. She pushed snooze about five times and then opened her curtains to begin a new day. This wasn’t like any other morning, she was not going to milk the cows or read under the oak tree. She wasn’t going to play in the corn fields with her younger brother, or eat lunch with the horses. Instead she was going someplace different and interesting, where life changing experiences happen, good and bad.
“Hun, the school bus is here. You don’t want to be late for your very first day of school!” Jill’s mother yelled from across the farmhouse.
“Coming,” she said in a nervous, yet excited tone.
She ran down the steps as fast as her feet could carry her. She quickly gave her mom a kiss, grabbed her Hello Kitty lunch box and went out the door. She was aware Hello Kitty was not so cute for a freshman in high school, but she collected Hello Kitty items since her Grandma gave her a cute set of pencils with Hello Kitty on them. To her it was a cute and unique hobby.
She walked toward the giant yellow school bus, when it hit her. She was going to school for the first time. She was always home schooled, and she only went to a daycare once. Most of her friends were the animals on the farm, and she never really had any major interaction with children her age, accept when she was seven and her mother signed her up for a daddy daughter dance. That ended in a disaster anyway. Everything kept flying into her mind. Her memories were racing through her head, as if she were seeing the light and about to die or something. She figured it was major to find friends and fit in. She looked down at her simple Easy Sprit shoes and held on to the pockets of her fresh jean overalls, and walked on the school bus. The bus was filled with tired looking faces.
“Excuse me, is this seat taken,” Jill asked.
“Yes, okay,” the fashionable snooty girl said, while giggling with her friends.
Jill walked past. Her large, overfilled bright yellow backpack bumping each person a she walked by. She wondered if she had over packed, but she knew she needed to be prepared. You know what the Boy Scouts say “always be prepared.”
Her blonde curls bounced as she walked toward the back, she could hear people talking about how she was the “clueless new girl.” She figured they were just unhappy people. She heard a voice. It was a boy in the back.
“You can sit here, the seats free,” he smiled.
“Thanks,” Jill said.
As she sat she realized he was possibly one of the unpopular kids, but that is what she liked about him suddenly. She had a feeling of relief, someone like her. She figured she has seen him somewhere. He looked like he was from one of the farms. He was tall, with brown hair and blue eyes. He wore beat up jeans, a simple tee-shirt and a hat.
“Hey, I’m James,” he said with a friendly grin, as he held out his hand.
“Hi, I’m Jill. It is nice to meet you,” She shook his hand and looked away.
There a dreadful and awkward silence. She was very quiet, but she loved the company.
“So I think I have seen you around Somewhere.”
“Oh, well I think we live around the same area,” she said, knowing that they did. “That’s right, I think we do. Do you live on the Anderson farm?”
“Yes that is right, I am Jill Anderson, the youngest farm owner in the family,” she smiled.
She liked how nice he was towards her, but her nerves were way to vulnerable to make small talk. As he continued to speak, she continued to day dream about her upcoming day at school. The bus finally pulled up to the intimidating school. This was the only Georgia high school in over forty miles. It was called Lee County High, and it was no place like home. It was very large compared to the barn she used to learn in. She loved how she had the opportunity to meet new people, but was nervous about her classes to make any friends. Little did she know she had already made a friend.
“Jill, wait, wait,” a voice in the distance called. She turned around to find James holding her sweater she had taken off on the bus.
“Oh, thanks, I am so forgetful,” She laughed.
“That’s fine, I live with five women, so I know the ropes you weave;” he joked. She didn’t quit understand exactly what he was trying to say with the joke, but she laughed anyway.
“Here I will make your load lighter,”
He took one of her many bags. “You sure are prepared,” he smiled.
“Yeah, well you know what the boy scouts say, always be prepared.” She realized that was a stupid thing to say, but they both laughed anyway.
He was a very nice guy and she began to wonder if she had already made a friend. She smiled and let herself calm down.
“Thanks for carrying my bag, this is my class,” she said reaching out her arms for her things.
“Your welcome, it is just nice to meet someone that isn’t completely stuck up on popularity,” he said.
She didn’t understand what he meant. On the way into the school, everyone went out of their way to say hello to him. He was popular, despite her earlier accusation. “Isn’t it kind of like the pot calling the kettle black,” she thought.
Amused with what he was going to say, she spoke.
“What do you mean?” “Everyone seems nice.” She pondered the fact that her possible new friend might be a hypocrite.
“Well, even though this is a small school, it is very well known for the good teachers. So many kids move here for this school. Some say it is better than the prestigious private school people go to in Illinois.” He explained. “The good thing about you is you are yourself, and are not like any other girl I have met.” He smiled and walked away.
Her cheeks suddenly appeared pink. She felt bad about her other accusations, yet still decided to keep them in the back of her mind. After their discussion, she thought about his kind blue eyes all day. This got her through all of the sarcasm from the girls who had arrived from California.
“Get out of my way, loser,” an angry voice said from behind her. Then a group of girls all in pink, with Gucci heels walked by and pushed her. Her eyes began to tear up, as she wondered why they would do this. The rest of her day consisted of thoughts of homework and a few tears.
It was finally three o’ clock and time to get out of school. Then suddenly he appeared, she had never been so happy to see someone in her entire life.
“James, I am so glad to see you, I know what you were saying,” her emotions overcame her, and she hugged him. He was the only one nice to her, and she really appreciated it. She realized how lucky she was.
He smiled and hugged her back, “Hard day.”
“You have no idea,” she laughed.
They both laughed and began to talk about everything.
“So what is with the girls in pink, and heels, and the wonderful outfit coordination,” she joked.
He suddenly became serious. “Why?” He asked.
“Well, they pushed me into a locker today, and called me a loser, for no apparent reason.”
“Are you okay? I can believe they did this to you,” he was almost enraged.
“Do you know them or something?”
“Yeah, the leader of the group is my x-girlfriend, and she is sabotaging your school career because you talked to me.
“Well, I don’t understand, we are just friends,” she said.
“Yeah, but she doesn’t see it that way” Anger struck him.
“I am sorry, if you don’t want me to talk to you anymore, I won’t,” she frowned.
“No, of course I want you to talk to me, it is her I am mad at. How could anyone be mean to you, when you are so nice?” He grabbed her arm and hugged her.
She wondered why he did this. He backed away and said “I have never met anyone like you,” he smiled and got on the bus.
“After you,” he smiled.
She smiled as she slid into the bus seat.
The next morning Jill woke up like every other morning and went to school. She put on her overalls and ran towards the bus, cutting the time close every morning.
“Hey,” he said with his big, goofy smile.
“Hey,” she said, she began to realize this wasn’t like any other morning
He was acting sort of different, and he was looking over at her every two seconds.
He began “I kind of um,” he paused and then was interrupted by his x.
“Well, if it isn’t for little miss goodie two shoes, and her dorky overalls, and my x that I know wishes he would have never broken up with me,” she smirked.
She began to get to close to Jill, making her very uncomfortable. Suddenly, his nerves overcame him and he popped up out of his chair. He was sick of all her bullying, and finally stood up to her after over four months of abuse.
“Actually, Jasmine I couldn’t be happier I broke up with your stuck up a**, we will be back together when hell freezes over.”
“By the way Jill is a great person, and twice the person you will ever be, she is smart, sweet, and isn’t afraid to be herself so screw you! Don’t talk to Jill again, or else…you don’t want to know,” he yelled.
She ran to the back of the bus, throwing a fit as she walked past.
Jill just sat there and smiled, no one had ever stood up for her like that before.
She was surprised that such a nice person could yell at someone so much.
“Thank you,” she finally said.
“Your welcome,” he said and smiled at her.
She looked away but he didn’t. She wondered if they possibly had more than just a friendship.
There was a silence on the bus all of a sudden, as if everyone was aware that the most popular girl in school had just been “owned,” as someone in high school might say. The eye contact was kept for several sweet moments as they laughed and talked.
Jill walked into the all of a sudden cold hallway a few days later, after the big spat between James and the scariest girl alive. Jill noticed that people were staring at her today, even more than usual. As she would walk by a popular group, they would all laugh. She just figured it was like any other day where they were laughing at something else and she was being paranoid, or they were just laughing at her jumper again. The atmosphere was different though, it was not normal for everyone to be looking at her. It is like everyone knew something about her. The air suddenly grew colder, and the boys looked at her as if the draft had lifted her jumper or something. “Do I have something on my face, or on my shirt, or is my hair sticking up?” she thought.
Then as she turned around the corner, the reason suddenly appeared to her. Her locker was open and trashed, and the girls had written nasty comments on wrinkled up pieces of paper and threw them in dirt. She ran to her locker and murmured, “Why would someone do this to me.” Just then jasmine and her clique appeared, walking down the hall way as if they were goddesses.
“Now she’s talking to herself, opps I think we drove her crazy girls.” They all giggled, gave her a dirty look, and walked by.
Tears appeared in Jill’s eyes, she wondered if they thought she was trying to sabotage their high school carrier. All she wanted to do was be accepted. She never hurt anyone. Jill was beautiful, even though she wore overalls. Jasmine knew that James likes down to earth, nice and sweet girls..
Jill, speechless and numb picked up her filthy, dirt covered books and went to class. During Spanish class, James kept trying to get her attention. She just sat there, trying to keep from crying from the humiliation she just had faced in front of everyone in the hall. He finally came over.
“Thanks for sticking up for me, the other day,” she said in a dull tone.
“It was necessary, you are my friend and I have been meaning to tell you something…” he said, suddenly being interrupted by the teacher.
“Sit down James, silencio!” she yelled. He smiled and went back to his seat.
The bell rang and they walked out together. Just as they were walking, Jasmine and her friends walked by with a teacher. She was escorting them to the office.
Jasmine whispered, “thanks for getting me expelled, loser,” in Jill’s ear.
James and Jill just kept walking, looked at each other and laughed.
“Oh look at me I am so popular,” he said imitating Jasmine.
Jill nudged him with a smile on her face.
Jill and James walked into the school together; the sun was beaming slightly in their eyes.
“At least it is Friday, and we can have the weekend to wipe the Jasmine germs of us,” she said smiling.
“Hey, I’ll meet you outside after school by the flag pole, lets get their early so we can get good bus seats,” he said.
“Sure,” she smiled.
After school she arrived at the flag pole early, the flag pole they always go to until the bus comes. He wasn’t there. She knew this was weird because he is always promptly on time, organized, and he always keeps his word. She began to worry.
“Are you getting on, miss,” the bus driver asked.
“No thanks Ms. Judy…I” she continued, “I have to wait for my friend.”
He was never late for the bus. Her breath was heavy from running into the building. After reaching the top floor, she decided to go to his sixth hour, and see if he had to stay after for a test or assignment.
She walked into a catastrophic, most unpredictable event ever. She thought she knew James, she thought he possibly liked her, she thought he was not just another “popular” kid. There before her eyes were Jasmine’s lips on his.
James eyes glanced over to see the sight of Jill. James pushed Jasmine away after she abruptly kissed him.
“What were you doing, why would I ever want to be with you?”
“Jill, wait,” he began running after her.
He grabbed her arm.
“How could you. You not only kissed your x, but you betrayed your best friend. I guess I was wrong about you,” she said, pulling away and running down the steps. He stood there as frozen, as an ice cycle.
She ran, fast. She ran down the hallway, down the side walk, to her gravel road and a few more miles to her house, without taking a breath. She ran inside, and went straight to her room. Her mother sensed that something was wrong.
“Jill are you okay, honey?” he mother expressed concern. There Jill laid on the bed, with her face flat on the pillow, like she decided she had seen enough of the world.
“I just don’t understand, it’s just school hasn’t been the best lately. Sometimes I wish I could just forget everything, and stay on the farm like I used to,” Jill cried.
“I know school hasn’t been going well, but sooner or later things will get better.” her mother showed concern.
“Everything has been so unexpected and I don’t know how I feel.”
“Well, sometimes the most unexpected things in life can lead to something great in the future. They make you a stronger person. You may be confused right now, but listen to your heart and stay yourself, and you will find your way,” her mother smiled and left the room.
Jill laid there to think. Her mom always made her feel better about situations. She made hard decisions easier by opening your mind to all different solutions. She spoke only the truth.
Everything came clear to Jill, and she ran to James house, which was only a few farm houses and three barns way. She knocked on his door.
“Hey,” she said with a warm, forgiving smile.
“Hey, wanna come in,” he asked.
“Sure, thanks,” she said awkwardly trying to open the screen door they had been talking through. He started to laugh, and then she did.
“I know you wouldn’t do anything to hurt me,” she explained.
“We are not right for each other, we are two different people, who need to find there way first. Maybe in the future we can meet again, and who knows’, but not right now.... you belong, where you belong. I am not saying we can’t be friends. I would love to be your friend, but you are very popular. I just don’t believe I belong in the group you do. We both need to part our own ways, and after graduation in the future when we are both secure with who we are, we can know each other again. You are a good person, and I believe you will stay that way. We need to find our different paths.”
“Wait, I love you.”
“You don’t love me. You like the idea of me.”
She turned and left, leaving him with only tears in his eyes.
She thought that possibly they would meet again, and if they did, it was meant to be.