A New Life

May 21, 2008
By Andrea Penza, Manitowoc, WI

Starting a new life wasn’t trouble-free. New school, new friends, a different house, everything seems different. But the hardest part about moving away was the death of my parents. Soon after my 16th birthday, my parents went out to dinner, and I was home alone. I had received a phone call from the hospital saying that my parents were severely injured in a car accident. Quickly I rushed to the hospital and sat by their bedsides. The next day they were gone, and I was on an airplane to Arkansas.

It was too much to take in. I couldn’t believe that they were dead. I just couldn’t believe that I would have to live with my aunt and uncle in Arkansas hundreds, and hundreds of miles away from any friends and Wisconsin, my home.

It has been a month since the pitiful day of my parent’s death. It was the end of summer which meant I would have to go to school again, “Erin, time to go to school.” Sarah yelled from down the stairs

“Okay, I’ll be down in a minute.”

I quickly finished straightening my hair and ran downstairs where my aunt Sarah was already ready to bring me to school.

“Ready?” she asked

“I suppose,” I muttered, not really ready for going back to school.

I climbed into the passenger side of the car and turned on the radio to my favorite station.

“Honey, I know that you are worried about starting a new school, and make new friends but everything will be okay.”

“I know… but I’m still nervous.”

The rest of the car ride was silent. Sarah pulled over to my new school.

“Well, this is it. I’ll pick you up after school,” she said smiling.

I got out of the car and waved her goodbye. I turned around; there it was my new school that I would be going to for the next three years. It was immense compared to my old school. It was three floors and made of brick with lots of windows. Most of which were open because it was hot outside. ‘Ring’ the bell went off. Time to get to class I said to myself.

After probing for almost 10 minutes, I finally found my locker. Quickly I shoved all my books in my locker and tried to find my first class. Math; I walked into the class room.

“Take a seat,” said Mr. Jack the teacher, pointing to a chair right next this girl with medium length blonde hair and green eyes. She looked pretty nice to me.

“Hi, my names Marissa,” the girl said.

“Hi, I’m Erin...”

“Where are you from?” she asked.

“Wisconsin, I just moved here this summer.”

“Okay, everyone open your books to page 21,”Mr.Jack announced.
There was a rustle of papers, and he started teaching. Surprisingly the class was rather quite, back at my old school everyone would be talking as the teacher was trying to teach.

RING, the bell rang for us to go to our next class. “Hey Erin, wait up!” called Marissa.

“Oh hey,” I smiled.

“Do you have B lunch?” she asked.

“Yeah, why?” I asked curiously.

“Oh I just wanted to know if you wanted to sit by me at lunch,”

“I would like that.” I said just as a couple other girls called for her.

“Alright see you then!” she waved goodbye.

“Bye” I said but she was already gone.
I walked in to my 2nd hour class and sat down in an empty desk I saw Marissa again but this time with another girl.

“Hey Erin!” she said and quickly sat in the desk next to me. Her friend sat right behind her.

“Hey Marissa.” I said and looked at the girl behind her.

“Hey, I’m Kate,” said the pale tall girl, she flipped her long black hair and stared at me with her piercing ice blue eyes.

“I’m Erin,” I said nervously. I didn’t like the way she looked at me, but I had to turn around because the teacher was approaching my desk.

“Hello, you must be Erin.” She said shaking my hand.

“That would be me,” I replied. She told me that if I didn’t get anything I should just ask and we could work on it later. The second bell ran and class began.

My next few classes were fine but I didn’t really make any new friends. I entered the lunch room looking for Marissa. There she was. I walked swiftly towards her table.

“Hey, you can sit here.” Marissa said pointing to the chair next to her.

Kate walked up to the table and I could see a look of jealousy in her eyes I could tell that I was sitting in the seat that she normally sat in.

“So Erin, I was wondering if you wanted to go to a party with us, make some friends cause your new and all..” Marissa asked

“Oh sure I would like that.”

“Good I’ll come by your house around 7:00 okay?”

“Okay,” I said excitedly

Finally the end of the day. I walked out the doors and to my aunt’s car. It was silent on the way home after we got home I sat in the kitchen where my uncle was reading a news paper and my aunt was cooking.

“How was your day?” my aunt asked.
“My day was fine. I made a couple of friends too” I replied.

“That’s good, anything exciting happen?” she asked.
“No not really only I was invited to a party tonight, can I go?”
“I wouldn’t see why not, James, you think Erin can go to a party tonight?”
“Maybe, as long as there’s no drinking or anything…”Uncle James said in his husky voice.
“There won’t be any drinking, I promise!” I pleaded, “Please!”
“Fine, I suppose so. When will you be home?” Uncle asked.
“I was actually hoping to sleep over at Marissa’s house with Kate and their friend Cindy…”
“But we don’t even know these girls. Are your sure their parents will be okay with it?” Aunty asked.
“Oh they are really nice …and her mom already said yes, plus its Friday there’s no school tomorrow.” I lied. They were really nice but her parents were out of town and so were Kate’s and the party was going to be Kate’s house.
“Then I guess so…”

“Great you’re the best!” I said running to my aunt and gave her a big hug then continuing to my uncle giving him a hug. “I better go get ready then! They are picking me up at 7:00”

Yes, I said to myself, my aunt and uncle pretty much let me do anything with out much question after my parents died; they just wanted me to be happy.

I ran up the stairs, excited this was my first party ever. I went digging in my drawers trying to find the cutest outfit I owned “Oh this is cute,” I said to myself laying a Jean skirt and a cute Abercrombie shirt on my bed. I put on my outfit and started straightening my hair. As I was finishing applying my makeup my aunt called from downstairs.

“Your friends are here!” she called from down stairs

“Okay one sec!” I quickly finished my makeup and ran downstairs and out the door.

“Bye Sarah, see you tomorrow!” I slammed the door shut and ran out to the car.
I opened the car door and this time there were three girls, Marissa, Kate, and some other girl.

“Hey Erin you ready to party?!” exclaimed Marissa. “Oh yeah and this is Cindy,” she said nodding toward the tall brunette girl driving the car, she had brown eyes and was very tan.

“Hi,” Cindy said glancing back at me through the rearview mirror.

“Hey,” I replied.

It only took about 5 minutes to get to her house there were already a few people at her door when we got there. I noticed Kate had not said a word since I joined them. In about an hour the whole house was full of people. There were beer cans all over the place, the music was blaring, and everyone was going crazy. I didn’t feel comfortable there Kate and Marissa ditched me and I was standing with Cindy who I noticed was a lot different from the other girls she was really smart. I could tell she wasn’t enjoying it either.

“Wow, isn’t this fun?” Cindy asked sarcastically.
“Yeah, real fun.”
We walked out on the dance floor trying to find Marissa and Kate so we could head to Marissa’s house.

“Marissa, Kate!” Cindy tried to yell over the noise.

“HEY come dance with us!” she sounded like she was drunk and Kate ran to the bathroom.

Cindy grabbed Marissa’s arm and we followed Kate into the bathroom. She was bent over the toilet puking.

“That is so gross!" Marissa exclaimed.

“Okay lets go, “Cindy said holding back Kate’s hair as she was still leaning over the toilet.

We left the party and there were people stumbling trying to get home. It was dark outside, and a near 50 degrees, fairly cold for Arkansas. Marissa, Kate and Cindy were cold, but I was used to cool weather from living in Wisconsin. We all got into the car and Cindy started it. It was silent Marissa and Kate were practically asleep leaning up against each other. Cindy and I were in the front, Cindy driving. I just stared out the window; this night hasn’t gone quite as I planned.

All of a sudden out of my window I saw bright lights and the honking of a horn. Marissa and Kate awoke suddenly and started screaming as Cindy swerved the car to try to get away from the on coming car. To late the two cars crashed and everything went quiet I could hear nothing; I saw a blur, than nothing at all.

I awoke in a hospital bed. My aunt and uncle at my side, it reminded me of the time I was watching over my parents and I knew how they must have felt seeing me injured laying in the bed. I knew I was lucky that I had survived the crash and knew my parents weren’t so lucky.

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