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First Day of School
Angelina briskly climbed up the steps to the all too familiar double doors of Rudolph High, her heart pounding. She shook her long, brown hair out of her bright blue eyes. A book bag hanging off of one of her shoulders, she tried to remember what her mom had said this morning. Don’t worry, you’ll do great. Her mother’s words were comforting. She clutched her notebook to her chest and avoided the curious glances of nearby students milling around her. A cool August breeze tugged at the hem of her knee-length plaid skirt.
Reaching the top of the stairs, she pulled open a door and stepped inside. It was the first day of school. Although first days of school were always nerve racking, Angelina thought this one might be the scariest yet. She started down the hall and turned to the right. In front of her was the administrative office. She took a deep breath, righted her jacket and pushed open the door.
The secretary looked up and peered at her through her glasses, recognition dawning. “Oh, Angelina! I didn’t think I’d see you again. How was your summer?” The older woman’s face was lit up as she talked in animated tones.
“My summer was fine, Mrs. Becker. How was yours?” Angelina replied, steadying her voice.
“Oh, well, it was good. Alfred took me to the lake house in Florida and the beach was just wonderful.” Mrs. Becker seemed lost in memories of the soft Florida sand by the faraway look in her eyes.
Angelina said brightly, “Well, I’d love to chat with you later, Mrs. Becker, but class starts in 30 minutes so I need to talk to Mr. Edwards.”
“Oh, of course, dear. He’s in his private office. As usual,” she gave Angelina a weary smile and pointed down a narrow hall.
Angelina started down the hall and stopped at a white door with a plaque reading ‘Principal’. She swung it open to find Mr. Edwards on the phone.
“Yes. Of course! She’s a lifesaver. Huh? You don’t say? Well, he knew it was coming,” Mr. Edwards talked into the phone, “Oh. I told you. Uh… Hold on just a second. I’m going to have to call you back.” To Angelina, he said, “Hello, Angelina, it’s very nice to see you. Coffee? Or, wait a second, you don’t drink coffee!” He pointed to the ancient coffee maker on a table next to his desk and chuckled.
“Uh, no thank you. I actually came to talk to you about my schedule,” Angelina retrieved a folded green piece of paper from her book bag and unfolded it. “So it says here that my first class is in room 215, is that correct?”
Mr. Edwards typed something into his computer before clarifying, “Yes.” He cleared his throat. “That is correct.”
Angelina’s eyes scanned down the green sheet, “And then room 307?”
“Yes. And after that is lunch and then there’s an assembly today in the auditorium and after that is room 212,” Mr. Edwards read.
“Ok, thanks, just checking. I’ll see you later then.” Angelina gave an appreciative smile and then walked out of the room.
With a wave to Mrs. Becker, she also exited the administration office into the hall.
The hall was a mad zone filled with people rushing to classes and talking with friends. A group of girls to her right talked excitedly about events that had happened in the summer and gossiped about couples who had broken up.
“I cannot believe that Trace dumped Rachel! I mean he didn’t deserve her in the first place! He is such a—”
Angelina moved on, checking room numbers for 215. 200,205,210,215. Here it is. She hesitated before opening the door to the empty classroom. At least, she’d thought it was empty. She walked into the room to find that it surprisingly wasn’t.
“Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you, there,” a quite attractive young man with brown hair and intense green eyes, probably in his mid 20’s, said.
“It’s okay. I’m Angelina Reynolds. And you are?” Angelina extended her hand and waited for a response.
“My name’s Troy Manson. I teach science. I’m guessing this is your first class?”
“Yeah, first period Senior English,” she looked around at the wide windows and posters hanging around the room displaying different types of adjectives and verbs, etc.
“I like this room. It has a nice view of the field,” Troy gazed out of the windows to the school field that was now sprinkled with little patches of wildflowers. “I was actually in here to use the printer, though,” he continued and held up a small stack of papers that Angelina hadn’t noticed he was holding before.
“You don’t have one in your classroom?” she asked him.
“I do, but it’s currently on the fritz,” he explained.
“Oh. School starts in 10 minutes,” she observed after glancing at the clock.
“Right, I’m going to go back to my room now. Bye, Angelina, have a good first day of school,” Troy patted her shoulder encouragingly before leaving.
“Ok, I will, thanks,” she nodded and sat down at a desk after the door shut behind him. Why are the cute ones always teachers? She asked herself. WHY?
Angelina watched the door as students started filtering in and sitting around her. This is my fifth year here. Why am I still here? She reflected as the classroom filled.
The bell rang and the class started darting glances around the room, searching for any signs of the teacher. Angelina also looked around the room. She opened her notebook and started reading something, her eyes flitting about the page rapidly.
She finally closed it, gathered her things and stood up, walking towards the front of the room. Thirty heads swiveled toward her, watching her every move. Setting her book bag and notebook on a chair, Angelina picked up a dry-erase marker and started writing on the whiteboard, ‘My name is Ms. Reynolds. Welcome to Senior English!’