Californians and Coloradans (Part 1)

August 19, 2012
“Mom, you honestly can’t expect me to wear that,” I complained, eyeing the pink dress with ruffles she was holding up.

“What do you mean?” she asked, totally oblivious to the fact that the dress looked like something that Lady Gaga might wear.

I shook my head and said, “You know I hate pink.”

My mom sighed heavily and put the dress back in that bag full of clothes she had bought for me yesterday. She hadn’t taken me shopping with her and instead found it to be a good idea to buy these clothes herself, show them all to me, and return what I didn’t want.

“You should’ve just taken me with you yesterday,” I said, rifling through the remaining options. Pink, pink, and more pink.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she muttered, sitting down on the edge of my bed. “I want you to look great for your first day of school. I’m just so nervous for you.”

“Thanks for that boost of confidence, Mom,” I said with heavy sarcasm. She gave me an apologetic look and I plopped down next to her. “I’m just starting at a new school, not going to the Marines.”

She smiled slightly and nudged me playfully, then returned to her somber manner. “Do you think we did the right thing by moving here? It’s gonna be hard since they’re already a month into their school year… I know you loved it in California but I just couldn’t refuse this job offer and-”

“We’ve already been over this at least twenty times,” I said. “I’m glad you took the job, and I’m excited to be living in Colorado now. Everything is gonna be fine, Mom. Promise.”

When I left the house the next morning and drove myself to my new high school, I couldn’t help but feel a little queasy. I knew absolutely no one at this school, or even in this state, and I had no clue what to expect.

The student parking lot at Colorado Senior High was big and crowded. I felt like people were staring at me and staring at the California license plate on my car. Driving as quickly as I could, I searched for a spot and took the first empty one I found. I looked at the front doors of the school and tried to collect myself. Taking deep breaths, I slowly got out of my car and made my way inside.

My first period class was math and I was the first one in the room. I took a seat in the back row, a place where people couldn’t stare at the back of my head all period long. Sitting down in my seat, I began to gaze around the room and sort of zoned out. That’s why I jumped so badly when a tall bald man entered the room with a student in tow right behind him. The student was fairly tall and had curly dirty-blonde hair. He was wearing a shirt that said something about football and had a look of annoyance on his face.

“… completely ridiculous, Taylors,” the teacher was ranting. He turned on the boy once they were inside the science room and got close to his face, obviously really angry about something. “You failed to turn in four homework assignments last week alone. Do you realize how much trouble you could get in with the football coach? And then I’d be in trouble because he’d be pissed at me too.”

The boy was looking around the room, a bored look now on his face. He spotted me and raised his eyebrows. I looked down, not really sure what to do.

“Now, I’m gonna be the good guy here and give you one more shot,” the bald man said to the boy. “I’m gonna go get all the assignments for you, and you better have them done by the end of the week. And if you, by any chance, should fail to get them done, I’ll be telling your coach.” The man whipped around and finally saw me, his face turning to surprise. “Who are you?”

“Um, I’m a new student,” I stuttered. “I have this class first-”

“Oh, right,” he interrupted. “Sorry.” Then he turned to look at the boy. “Stay here, Taylors. I’ll be right back.” And with that he stormed out of the room down the hall. I suddenly became very busy with the zipper of my jacket, aware that the boy was staring at me.

“So you’re new, huh?” he said loudly. I nodded. “Well that was your first taste of how wonderful the school’s math department is.”

“Sounds like it was your fault your in trouble,” I said quietly.

He took a few steps closer. “Mr. Daniels,” he said through gritted teeth, pointing at the door where the man had left from, “hates me because he’s jealous. I’m the starting quarterback on the Varsity football team and I’m only a junior. I doubt Mr. Daniels can even run ten yards without stopping.”

“Or,” I contradicted, not liking this kid at all, “he’s angry because he knows you think you’re above everyone else and believe that you don’t need to do your homework.”

“And that’s right. I don’t need to do my da** homework. I’m gonna be in the NFL one day,” he said, puffing up his chest.”

“Did you know that less than one percent of high school football players actually become professionals?” I said, looking him full on in the eye now.

“Okay, ‘Dexter’”, he mocked. “What’s your name anyway?”

“I’m Allison,” I said, holding my chin up.

“Well, Allison,” he said, leaning over my desk and getting inches away from my face, “at least you’re not like any of the other girls around here.” He stuck out his hand, his face a little bit softer now. “I’m Tucker Taylors, varsity quarterback.”

“Yeah… I already got that last part, but thanks for adding it in.”

“Where are you from?” he asked, ignoring my comment.


“Oh,” he said, smirking. “You don’t look like the typical California girl stereotype.”

“And what’s that? Blonde, tan, slutty outfits?” I asked, my eyebrows arched.

He shrugged. “Pretty much.”

“Sorry to disappoint,” I snapped.

He put his hands up defensively. “Sorry, didn’t mean to offend.”

A few students began trickling into the classroom and Tucker stepped back from my desk. The bald teacher was at the door again, motioning for Tucker to follow him. As he turned to leave, Tucker looked back over his shoulder and called, “See you around, California.”

So I already have a nickname?

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