It’s my first day at a new school. It is almost the second semester but my parents decided to move us halfway across the country. I am not excited to go a new school. I have to leave my best friends behind, and most importantly I have to leave my girlfriend behind. She is the most important person in my life, and that might be what you hear from every teenager, but I’m different. I loved my girlfriend, but we both decided that the long distance relationship thing wasn’t going to work, so we broke up. Another thing to hate about moving away. Anyway, I am at school now. I have my schedule in hand, my backpack on my shoulders. Mom offered to drive me to school, but I declined her offer. I wanted to take the bus, so I didn’t have to talk to my mom about “my feelings”. By the way, my mom is a psychiatrist, so whenever she assumes I have a problem, she tries to get me to talk about my feelings.
I’m walking into school, feeling awkward because I don’t know anybody. I thought the “new kid” was like everyone’s prized possession, like a trophy that everyone wants, but only a few people get. My classes are all honors because apparently, I am smart. I am in my first class: AP Statistics. My teacher puts me in a group with a Chinese dude and two girls. As I am about to sit down, I notice the girl sitting across from me, frantically is trying to finish her homework. Maybe it’s AP Statistics homework? But the funny thing is that she is also listening to music. Haha. When they say the pledge of allegiance, she is finishing the sentence that she is writing, so that she can also get up, but she doesn’t finish in time. Then she says,
“Whew! I’m done”. She notices me sitting there and asks me, “Who are you?”
I reply,”I’m the new kid”. She nods her head and tucks her hair back. She puts away her homework that she frantically finished and takes out a binder with flowers all over it. The teacher, Mrs. Nienhaus, I think, starts the class by introducing me. She says, “Shreya, will you help out our new classmate? This is his first day, and he has almost all of the same classes as you, so maybe you could walk with him to classes?”
Shreya looks at me, then at the teacher. She quickly replies, “Sure, why not?” in a raspy voice that could only mean that she has a cold. The class goes by, and Shreya teaches me what they have been working on in class, and before I know it class is over.
The bell rings and Shreya walks me to our next class: AP Government. Coincidentally, I sit right next to Shreya in AP Government as well. The teacher doesn’t introduce me to the entire class, thankfully, and gets right on with the lesson. I don’t have a hard time catching up because I already covered this unit in my old school. I watch Shreya turn in the homework that she had been frantically trying to finish. As the teacher goes over the lesson, I watch Shreya and see that she is trying to write down everything she can in as less time as she can. I shake my head, smiling. She turns to look at me and whispers, “What are you laughing at?”
I shake my head again. Then we go to a class called Gold Block. It sounded intriguing, but it was just another way of saying study hall. I didn’t have anything to work on, so I sat there, thinking about Shreya. She is different than all the girls’. She isn’t the stereotypical teenage girl. She tries to be organized but isn’t. She comes to school no matter what. She always smiles.
In my third block class, Creative Writing (a break from AP classes), it seems as if we do nothing. For the first 15 minutes, we are free writing to the prompt on the board. After this long dread of 15 minutes, the teacher, not even going to try to say his name, asks for volunteers. Shreya volunteers and she gets picked. She coughs double the time that she reads, but as I listen to her voice, I realize that I like it and I don’t know why. Shreya is different.
The day goes by and my last class, Spanish, seems like a drag. Shreya sits in the front row in Spanish class, as I sit in the back. The teacher asks for volunteers to put answers on the board. Even if I had the answers, I wouldn’t volunteer to put them on the board, but of course Shreya volunteers. She not only volunteers to put the answers to the homework on the board, she volunteers to do everything. She volunteers to read the paragraph of some story, in Spanish.
As much as I ignore the teacher, I think about Shreya. She is so weird, but who isn’t? This girl is abnormal though, but I like it. She even tries to speak in a language that she barely knows. After the final bell rings, I walk up to Shreya and say, “Hey! So do you want to be friends? I mean we are in pretty much all of the same classes, so it would be strange not to be.”
She thinks about it for a minute, looking confused. My heart is racing, as I don’t know what she is going to say. She finally replies, “Sure, give me your phone.” Confused, I pull out my phone and reluctantly hand it to her. “Type in your passcode.” I do and hand the phone back to her. She does something and gives my phone back to me. “There, now you have my number and I have yours. Text me. I have to go now, so see you later.” She walks away, and watch her go.
Later that afternoon, when I reach home my mom starts bombarding me with questions. “How was the first day of school, honeybunch? What did you do today? Did you make any new friends? Were the kids nice to you?”
In the same peppy tone, I reply, “School was perfect! I made 1 friend! I learned absolutely nothing!” My mom c***ed her head at me. “Is that what you wanted to hear?” She smiled and shuffled my hair. I shook my head and frowned. I hate anyone touching my hair. It is so annoying. Later that night, as I sat down to do “homework”, I debated with myself whether or not I should text Shreya or not. Should I wait a few days to text her? Should I text her right now? What will she think if I text her right now? What will she think if I don’t text her right now? My paranoia is coming back. I eventually decide to text her. She instantly replies. We talk for awhile. I like this. I really like this.
The next morning, I don’t see Shreya in my first class. I have 8 classes. Four classes on A-Days and four classes on B-days. I am in AP Lang, another AP class to worry about. The teacher, I don’t even know her name, is super cheery and annoying. She made me introduce myself, and she really reminds me of my mom. Great. I am super bummed that Shreya is not in my class. I really wanted her to be here because I wanted to talk to her. She is also not in my second block class. Great. I’m stuck in Business Essentials without her. This class isn’t that boring, but it would be better if Shreya was here. Finally, it’s time for lunch. You can clearly imagine what lunchtime is like for the new kid.
I look around hoping someone would invite me to sit with them. Someone is. A girl with short black hair waves her hand motioning for me to come join her. I don’t have to guess who it is. It is Shreya. Surprisingly she is sitting by herself. I slowly walk over to her. She motions for me to sit down across from her. I smile and sit down. I start to take a bite out of the disgusting smelly burger that sat in front of me. Shreya stops me and pushes my tray away. She offers me some food from her own lunch. I try to deny, but she won’t budge.
“Why do you care so much?” I ask her.
She replies, “I have noticed you looking at me. I have a feeling.”
My cheeks turn red in embarrassment. I reply, “I just got here. I had to leave my ex-girlfriend behind. I thought that she was the one for me. I thought she was my forever girl. And this is was my heart talking, but coming here and meeting you made me realize that she wasn’t my forever girl. You are.”
She blushes and replies, “Is this you asking me out or is this you trying to make a joke out of me because it wouldn’t be the first time someone has tried.” I quickly shake my head no.
“No, I would never try to betray you. I really like you. And no, I am not asking you out. I am telling you.”
“You do realize that girls’ like to be asked, not told right?” She laughs.
“But you aren’t like most girls. You are different.” I reply.
A few days later I take Shreya out on our first date. I don’t try to make everything perfect. I let things run smoothly. We have a fun time and Shreya officially becomes my girlfriend. The next time my mom asks me about my feelings, I won’t have to lie to her or have to stretch the truth. I can actually tell her that I am happy and mean it.