Penny For Your Thoughts

June 13, 2010
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My breath came in ragged gasps. I felt like i was suffocating, like no matter how much air i sucked into my lungs, it wasn't enough. It would never be enough.

Panic flooded my brain. Fear paralyzed me. Adrenaline sped my heart beat until the sound of it hammering away was the only sound I could hear.

I tried to focus my eyes on the non-threatening building in front of me. I sighed frustrated and scared. this whole situation sucked.

The bell rang and as i had never been late before, I wiped my sweaty palms on my ugly purple school jumper and with little determination walked into school.

I hadn't been here in fourteen months. Three due to summer vacations and the rest because i had been on another continent.

Exchange student. it was what i was,but not anymore. i was just like everyone else and I hated it. My dress felt stupid and i longed for the comfort my converse would have given me.

I shook my head, as if the simple act of shaking it could expel all of these negative feelings. It was futile, but it did help marginally.

I was being stupid, I knew. Hadn't i just spent a year, on my own in another country going to school, making friends and learning another language? Why should today be any harder than that first day back in that school when i could hardly even converse with the students even if i wanted or needed to?

Mentally disturbed would accurately describe my metal status at this time. i hurried along reading the names on the lockers. They seemed to be in alphabetical order.

I breathed out a sigh of relief when i saw my name Finn, Penelope. I shoved my bag in and took out only a pad and my pencil case.

following the other students, I realized that most were familiar, yet unknown to me. They were memories, faces and people who I had long since forgotten. They were irrelevant to me and now it felt as if my very existence relied on them.

We crossed the school grounds to the school hall, most likely for a 'welcome back' assembly. My classmates were laughing catching up on things they had missed over the summer. I on the other hand remained silent, mourning my own depressing situation.

we entered the old hall and i took my seat towards the back. There seemed to be a delay in the proceedings as the noise of talking increased and there seemed to be no indications that we were about to start.

My mind wandered back to my friends, all of them so far away. I felt alone. This environment was now as alien as the other school had been when i first arrived. The school and the people had not changed. i had and we were no longer a good fit.

My parents had said to give it time when they dropped me off outside the school minutes earlier. They had repeated this phrase over and over during the past ten days.

They seemed to believe that by simply saying it it would make it true or at least make me feel better than I did. Instead it angered me and saddened me even more.

I was brought back to reality faster than a Japanese bullet train by a tap on my shoulder. i jumped surprised and turned to find the offender.

I was confronted by a boy i had never seen before. His hair was red, almost orange, his eyes held a warmth in their amber glow. The it suddenly occured to me that i was starring at him.

"yes?" I croaked out, my throat dry. I scrutinized his facial expressions, tying to ascertain whether or not he was going to insult me, make a stupid joke or say something remotely intelligent.

He smiled and I prepared myself to be insulted. " I was just wondering if you were new, I don't remember you from last year. I wuldn't forget a face like yours."

It was sweet and cliche and despite myself, i smiled back at him. To my embarrassment, i felt my cheeks flush.

"My name in Penelope, but everyone calls me Penny," I said, my tone slightly higher than usual, " I was on student exchange last year."

He nodded and irrationally I was actually afraid that he would turn away from me, his curiosity satisfied. But he didn't.

"My name is Jack, it's really good to meet you Penny," his voice was deep and velvety.

My smile broadened and suddenly right now, this country, this school, this old school hall felt like the place where I was meant to be.

My last adventure was over. I was different, for the better. Now it was time to start my next adventure. And i was going to close my eyes and jump in with both feet, just like last time. You've got to risk it, to get the biscuit.

"So, Jack, what classes are you taking?"

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This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

givemetherapy said...
Jun. 16, 2010 at 10:51 pm

dude, this is so good.

the intensity in the beginning really drew me in, and i loved the end.

heaps_of_mel replied...
Jun. 17, 2010 at 8:28 am
Thank you SO much! My english teacher taught me to start like that and really capture the readers imagination....Can't wait to read your stuff!!
gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Very sweet article, nice and hopeful, and very understandable.  Great job.  Keep writing!

Btw, will you check out and comment on my stuff?

heaps_of_mel replied...
Jun. 17, 2010 at 8:31 am

ad one of your stories and it was awesome!

I'm glad you got the fact it's like how things can happen and it doesn't have to be like a twilight love stry...but wh knows? jack just might turn out to be a vamp! nah lol jks


Thank you again fr reading and commenting!

gymbabe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 17, 2010 at 9:41 am
You too! 
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