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Me or the Army
Does the world fascinate you? Imagination and curiosity help you discover your purpose in this world. At least that is what my mom tells me every other day. Well not exactly every other day, but she says it a lot. She believes that I am special and that my destiny is greater than anything or anyone on this Earth. What is that supposed to mean? Why does she talk to me in riddles? Of course she is my mom so she is supposed to say complimenting things to me. Those were considered compliments weren’t they?
I don’t understand why these words going through my head were so confusing and strange. I guess this is what I get for thinking too much. The nervous thought of going to a new school and living in a new, unfamiliar town might have something to do with that. My mom said this would be a good thing for me. “I have a feeling that this change will be good for all of us. Especially you, Emily, something deep down in my soul tells me that this move will bring you closer to finding your purpose in life. Oh just thinking about this makes me even more proud of you, my little girl, out to save the world.” Whoever thought that my own mother could be so dramatic? I am seventeen and she expects me to become this wonder woman. The fate of the world is in your hands. No pressure sweetheart. Don’t forget to be home for dinner. That’s how my older brother, Mark, would tease me when mom babbled about my future.
Mark is twenty-one, still living at home, and eating our entire food supply. He takes online courses at the college near this new town that I unfortunately call home. We moved here about a month ago during the summer break, and we are still unpacking. School starts today and I am not ready to face 3,000 pairs of eyes staring straight at the new girl. Me.
What should I wear? I have never cared for what people thought of how I dressed at my other school, but something about this place makes me wonder about their opinion. Moving from a colder climate to a warmer one should have an impact on me, but I prefer my turtlenecks to a tank top any day. But wearing a black turtleneck in 90 degree weather might draw even more attention to me. So I think I will settle for a comfortable gray shirt and blue jeans. That seems appropriate for the first day. Maybe by Thursday or Friday I can sneak in a long sleeve or sweatshirt. Anything familiar would be nice.
On my way out the door I grab my quick and simple breakfast, an apple and bottled water. Once I get into my car I turned the key and listened to it roar to life. My mother waves goodbye and wishes me luck as I put my car into reverse and backed into the street.
The high school wasn’t far from my house, maybe four or five minutes away. In the school parking lot I was wise to choose a spot away from the crowds. I took a deep breath and shut off my car. Sitting there for awhile I rehearsed my name, just in case someone asked me who I was. I didn’t want to forget it. Emily Tanner. Emily Tanner. Emily Tanner. I think I got it. Okay let’s check my make-up. Clothes are fine. My socks match. I think I might be having a heart attack. Breathe Emily, breathe. Fresh air, I need fresh air…
I opened my car door and stepped into the bright sunlight. I looked around to make sure no one noticed me getting here. I reached into the car to pull out my backpack and purse, checking my hair one more time in the mirror, before closing the door and pressing the lock button on my keys. Let’s get this nightmare over with.
I turned in the direction of the school, and by carefully placing one foot in front of the other, I managed to cross the parking lot without being spotted or questioned. At least I think no one noticed me. I didn’t pay attention to anyone because I was too busy watching my feet, making sure I don’t trip and make a fool of myself.
Once inside the building I figured there’s no turning back now, so I might as well take out my schedule and check in with the front office. Perhaps they can help me find my classes, that way I won’t have to ask any of the students. I dug around in my bag until found the sheet that had my 7 classes listed.
Emily Rose Tanner:
AP English III
It took me a few minutes to walk the halls before I understood where all my classes were located. The lady at the front desk in the office helped me with my search. She was a nice, short woman who I could tell was one of those women who loved helping people, which would explain her enthusiasm.
I walked into my first class and glanced around the room. The chairs were arranged in 5 rows and each row was quite far from each other. This was an excellent arrangement, because there weren’t any grouped together or even too close for conversation. I certainly hope that no one gets the urge to walk over to me in class. What if the teacher points out that I am new when she calls roll… Oh I need to find the teacher right away. Where is she at? Oh! There she is! By that long, brown desk that I assume is hers. She walked over to me, smiling.
“You must be Emily Tanners. My name is Judith Brown, but you can call me Mrs. Brown.” She smiled again. Her teeth, I noticed, were straight and they were extremely white. Lucky for me I have always had perfect teeth. “I imagine you are very nervous about coming to Carson High School. You shouldn’t be worried about fitting in with the students here. There is so much you can get involved in, academically.”
“I am still adjusting Mrs. Brown. I think it will be awhile before I sign up for any academic clubs or join the choir. If you know what I mean.” Mrs. Brown was easy to talk to, but she was way off base. I don’t want to be labeled as the geeky academic freak. I just want to be normal here at Carson.
“Oh my, you sing?”
“No, Mrs. Brown, it was just an example. I am still new and I don’t want to get involved right now. Could I ask a favor from you?” Now was my chance!
“It’s your first day and you are already asking me for favors.” She laughed. It was really high, and it hurt my ears. “Well my dear ask away. I am always ready to help a lady.” Was that supposed to be funny? I laughed a little just in case.