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"Wake up, Emma!" a voice cried from somewhere downstairs, interrupting the wonderful and pleasant dream I was in the middle of. I had been dreaming that we were back home in California, back where all my friends were, back where I truly belonged. I stirred in my bed, not wanting to get up. Footsteps began to make their way up the stairs, and then the same obnoxious footfalls came striding across my bedroom floor. Suddenly, bright, piercing sunlight appeared out of nowhere and rushed inside my dark room, causing me to jerk awake.
"Wake up, Em. It's your first day of school today; you don't want to be late!"
With that final blow, my mother exited the room, shutting the door behind her. I stretched, still half asleep, and yawned. Her words were barely starting to sink in as I sat up in my bed, and looked around my surroundings. My new room, painted a soft, yellow hue, came into focus. Every inch of my walls were practically covered with posters of my favorite bands, drawings, and photos. The first week of our arrival here in Manhattan had been dedicated to taking my time in succeeding to make this room seem like my old bedroom in California, to get the feel of our real home back. I sighed heavily and looked over to my clock, indicating that it was well past seven-thirty. How great was that? Now, I only had at least twenty minutes or so to get ready, and I usually took a long time just to get myself together in the morning. I am not a morning person, and at the moment, everything was going twice as bad because it was my first day of school here.
"First day of school. Wow," I mumbled to myself, lacking enthusiasm. I was feeling the total opposite of eager, happy, maybe even excited of the prospect of making new friends, going to a different school, even if in the city of New York.
I swung my legs over the side of the bed and stood up straight. I silently fumed inside as I walked into the bathroom that was connected to my room, a plus I should have been thrilled about but was too moody to bother in excitement, and turned on the shower. After stripping away my green pajamas and undergarments away, I instantly jumped in. Icy, cold water hit my skin like bullets, making me jump just a little in alarm. The second surprise of the day, and I was still not cheered. Nevertheless, I left it the way it was so it would help me wake up and be fully alert. If it were nice and warm, a little in the middle of hot and cold the way I liked it, I would have wasted a bunch of time anyways, time which I surely needed. So cutting it short, after being in there for about ten minutes, I turned the water off and stepped out to dry myself with a nice, soft towel. Slipping on my bathrobe, I turned to the sink to begin brushing my teeth. I looked up at the mirror once I finished and glared at the face in the mirror whose green eyes were staring right back at me underneath narrowed brown eyebrows. Running my fingers through my long and damp brown hair in an attempt to untangle any possible knots, I couldn't help but to smile just to add some light to my current predicament. My sheepish smile turned into a frown when my dimple showed. Closely examining my face, I felt glad that I wasn't suffering from any major form of a breakout at the moment. Funny how I was worrying about these things now...on the morning of my very first day at a totally brand new school. I sighed at the thought of school. No matter how hard I tried, it wasn't going to stop from happening.
Once done in picking out fresh new undergarments, I was stuck with the dilemma of choosing what to wear. I walked over to my closet and opened the door, sighing heavily as I eyed the rack filled with many different clothes. I knew that here, it was going to be tough. I'm not really into giving a care for what I wear, but since today was a day to be filled with many new things and other firsts that came with a move, I was going to have to be extra careful in my often misguided choosing. I was hoping to maybe reinvent myself here in this place where no one knew me or knew about all the stupid, embarrassing things that had went on in my past. I wanted to start over and maybe even cast a better impression on my peers. This was why I spent another twenty minutes just deciding what shirt to pick out. Half the time I'd spent consisted of running to my full-length mirror with something possibly worthy and the other running back to my closet, tossing dreadful clothes this way and that.
"Hurry up Emma! You'll be late for school!" I heard mom yell from downstairs, bringing me back to earth. Seeing how I was running out of time and options, I grabbed the first pair of jeans I saw and forced my way into them. They were dark skinny pants that were sort of faded so I assumed I always wore them. They'd have to do for now. Lying atop the pile of wrinkled clothes I created on top of my bed, a green tee caught my eye so I reached for that. The shirt was one I had gotten last summer with the words "GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK" on the front. Tying the neon purple laces of my gray Converse as quickly as I could, I then went back inside the bathroom to blow-dry my hair. My hair is naturally curly or wavy, depending on what I do to it, and since I didn't have much time, I went for just drying it. There would be another day for straightening it, I assured myself as I pinned my bangs to the side with a black bobby pin. I gave myself a final glance before walking out. Not bad. Or at least good enough to not get picked on, I suppose. The first impression thing was definitely on the line, but at this point, I didn't really care anymore. I grabbed my needed essentials-backpack, sweater, and iPod before walking out to the hallway and shutting the door softly behind me.
"Good morning," Fred said when I entered the kitchen. I gave him a small smile and grabbed a piece of toast off a plate sitting on the kitchen table. Fred was my stepfather, one of the primary reasons why were here, but not enough for me to resent him as much as I hated this move.
"There. I'm ready. Go ahead and take me to my misery now," I told mom who was meanwhile drying dishes and storing them away in their proper places.
"Bye, honey," she told Fred when she completed the task, and gave him a kiss. I pretended to gag because to me, being in the same room when your parents share a kiss is sort of gross and awkward. She looked at me and rolled her eyes while I merely smiled.
"Bye, Fred!" I called out, waving as I followed mom out to the car parked in the driveway. I got inside the passenger seat and then we began to drive off to my new school in silence, which happened to be a private school, yet another reason to hate this place. Why couldn't I just go to a normal public school like I had done when we lived in Los Angeles?
"So are you excited?" asked mom, her eyes carefully focused on the traffic.
"Not really," I said, staring out the window. I was far from excited but my feelings weren't worth mentioning because they wouldn't be considered. Parents don't understand. I didn't want to "make new friends" or "get used to it" like they always said.
We didn't say anything else until we arrived at the school about ten minutes later. We lived close so there was no need to get involved in traffic jams this morning. Mom pulled up at the parking lot in front of the school building and I glanced at it. Something else caught my attention though, something that didn't seem right and peculiar in every sense. A lot of people were crowding around something, but the tightly packed circle was so thick I wasn't able to see through and decipher their center of attention. There were girls who were doing a great deal of screaming, crying, and going crazy. Shrieks of "I Love You!” were coming from everywhere. Camera flashes were going on and off, mesmerizing me as I watched the horde of people. Moments later, I tore my eyes away from them and turned back to mom.
I waved with a big smile, and then I opened the door and hopped out onto the blacktop. Inside the car, I saw mom shake her head, as if repressing a smile. She rolled down the window and said, "We probably won't be home by the time you get out; Fred has his conference, and I'm going to be finishing up some work so I'll probably be home around seven, all right?"
I nodded impatiently, conscious that some girls were starting to stare at me from the sidewalk because mom was being extra loud to make sure I'd hear her over the noise caused by the crowd.
"Okay, then. Bye mom. I can go walking; it's not too far, just two blocks."
"Remember to get your schedule." she reminded, seeming oblivious to what was going on.
I sighed heavily. "I know can you just go now? You're kind of embarrassing me," I said, glancing around and immediately cringing when I saw a couple of girls were whispering as they watched me.
Mom just smiled and said, "Fine. Bye, take care! Have a good time at school, honey!"
I waved good bye with a pained expression, and she laughed as she rolled the window back up and drove away.
I sighed before turning around. Here goes nothing. I walked towards the school building, holding my head up high as I passed the snickering girls. When I reached the inside of the campus, I began to look around for the administration office. Once I spotted it, I went inside to ask for my schedule. The entire wall behind made of glass, giving vista of the inside. To my left, there was a row of chairs, a glass cabinet on the corner of the room filled with trophies and awards, along with some of the acknowledgments framed on the wall, and a potted plant. In front of me where a couple of more chairs set up along the yellow wall and there was a hallway that led to somewhere more, but a long counter that was cluttered with wire baskets filled with papers and other stacks of brochures and fliers prevented any more view of it. It was to my right, and behind it, I saw a lady sitting at a wooden, brown desk.
"Um, I'm new here, and I need my schedule," I announced to the lady sitting there after I ventured further inside the office.
"Name?" she asked, without bothering to look up.
I stated my full name loud and clearly; I didn't need any confusion on the first day. As if my name wasn't horrid enough. "Emilia Brown."
The secretary, I assumed, stood up after a few more clacks of her keyboard and then went around her desk to the counter. She began to rifling through some stacks of papers and finally extracted a form from one of the piles.
"Here you go," she said, handing it to me.
"Thanks," I said, remembering to smile. The form included a list of supplies that might be needed, a map of the school campus which the secretary pointed out the buildings that belonged to the ninth grade. She also wished me good luck when she was done, which I hoped would be true. I took my schedule after thanking her again and exited the building, reading down the list of my schedule. First period started at 8:20 AM after the bell rang at 8:15. I wondered what Chelsea, my best friend, was doing right now. Probably barely getting out of bed, considering the impossible time-zone difference. Instantly I began feeling horrible. Thinking of Chelsea wasn't helping. It was just making me feel a little lonely. Okay, maybe a lot of lonely. I missed my best friend, and I would give anything just to have her here with me.
Meanwhile, as I walked, lost in my miserable thoughts, I managed to crash into someone coming in the opposite direction that I was heading.
"Whoa!" I cried out as I stumbled. The person that had smashed into me fell across me, and my awful coordination caused us both to collide onto the ground. I felt my cheeks burning red with humiliation. What a great way to start the first day of a new school.