Chapter 1: First Day of Public School
THE PINK SUNSHADE CASCADED ALL THE WAY TO HER ROOM AS THE EARLY MORNING GREETED HER IN THAT HOUR. Serena who was in the crib, sleeping peacefully still, was shined by a ray of light upon her adorned face. It was the day when Lena prepared for her first day in public school, looking as if she was too busy organizing her books rather than her looks. Despite that she never wore makeup in all her life, she still looked rather beautiful in her girlish countenance of hers.
“Bye, dad.” She kissed her dad a farewell before she left.
“Goodbye, Lena. Stay safe alright.” he called, then he continued to read the daily newspaper.
And so, she went out the door.
Lena Foster was dreamily looking around the school campus after she was dropped off by the bus. Her outfit suited her complexion where the freshly golden day dwell everywhere high and below, not lasting Ever-long. Completely new to this, she was in haze. The raucous crowd flooded all around the school building and it wasn’t entirely her favorite area. Since there was never a time when she was a wild creature. Let alone, never mingled with people her age.
“Hello there, you must be new here,” greeted the teacher politely by the time Lena walked into her new assigned classroom.
Troubling to see clearly, the teacher put her glasses on to examine her new pupil’s face.
“What’s your name?”
“Nice to meet you, Lena. I’m Mrs. Clyde by the way. I do apologize if there aren’t any available chairs in here. If it might mind you.”
“Oh, I don’t mind.” Lena smiled.
Just when the teacher excused herself and left the classroom for a while, the class became in rapid noise. While she was observing still, she caught ever so many students whispering into each other’s ears, throwing a few looks, and exchanging a handful of notes to one another. But finally, when the little scene came to an end, the teacher came in again and proceeded the lecture she left off. It was this when one of the students among them stood up voluntarily and offered her a seat.
“No, no,” she shook her head. “I’d rather not.”
“I suggest you do.” He looked up to Lena. For a moment, his silvery eyes twinkled when he gazed at her in such an abrupt time.
“I-I know you,” acknowledged Lena in a whisper, familiar by the face she knew before. “You’re-”
“Ah, you have a gentleman here in your class, Lena!” interrupted Mrs. Clyde, bright as day.
“That’s very nice of you, Mr. Allan.”
2 hours before...
Lena found herself sitting on the bench under the new sun after she brushed past by a few blocks nearby her house. She was waiting for the bus to arrive, and so far, her boredom got the better of her. All she could do at this point was to read. Humming along as she was pulling out her bag to open the zipper, it was only a fraction of a second when an old woman came across the street in her dishevelled clothes. Her back was hunched, and it seemed that the octogenarian being was using her walking stick to support her.
Without any hesitation, which she never would have in this situation, Lena carefully dashed her way to help the old lady.
“Thank you, dear. May God bless you, child!” the old woman saved up for her a hearty smile.
“It was nothing,” Lena gently grabbed the old lady’s arm in order to help her sit. “Are you waiting for something?”
“I am waiting for my grandson to pick me up. It’ll be soon.” answered the old lady, tapping her walking stick for several times.
“Well, if there is anything you need, I’ll be right here.” said Lena, for all she loved to do was to help others.
Presently, when she was going to sit on the bench, a car honked and stopped by.
“Ah, there he is.” the old lady clasped her hands in delight.
“Morning, Gran.” greeted the boy as he went out of his car to hug his grandmother.
“Morning, James.” She returned the warm hug.
“Meet my new friend I made,” and the old lady excitedly pointed at Lena, who was about to sit on the bench a while ago. Lena gave a nod to the boy who was not much older than her age.
“Just recently she guided me across the road.”
“I see, and you are?” he approached Lena this time for a handshake.
“Lena,” she answered, briefly.
“I’m James Allan. You can call me Jame if you want,” He winked, playfully.
“Whatever suits you.”
Lena bashfully smiled since its always her natural response. “I normally call people by their first names. It’s nice to meet you though.”
“Nice to meet you too.” and his eyes twinkled while he grinned.
“Nice to see you again, Lena.” James stood up and offered her his seat.
“Thank you.” Lena gladly took the offer. Quite astonished to meet the exact same person she was acquaintance with back in the street. After all, he enrolled in the same school as hers.
Just when the bell rang, students in her grade level bustled out from their classrooms with each individual walking their way out in a hurry when class ended. Lena, however, stopped short in the hallway door for everyone to be gone. She was still standing, wondering if the guy she met today would bump into her again. She was expecting him to appear anytime soon, but he was nowhere near her sight the longer she waited.
I think he only did it because he felt bad for me.
But evidently, she was wrong.
“Hey there!” came a familiar voice behind her presence.
Startled, she turned and looked, wondering who it might’ve been until they met their gaze. “I was just looking for you,” she caught herself embarrassed when she found herself staring at his silvery eyes.
“I didn’t know you’re from this school.”
“Newcomer, eh?” James grinned and made a hospitable gesture as he lifted his arms in the air.
“Well, in that case, welcome to Norland High. I shall be your tour guide for the day. Sounds good?”
“Of course.” Lena couldn’t help but lift a smile at this offer.
In that case, the two slowly walked by the halls together while James was giving a tour guide for Lena. He gave a few trails of explanations about the historical background of Norland High in chronological order. He might’ve added a good deal of praising about the school, but it lit up his character which was something Lena admired when she noticed.
Not long after, he focused his attention towards her the moment he finished the talking.
“You’re in the right place, Lena. Because no other school will ever beat this entire building. This is the very place where a lot of the kids in town enrolled,” he put in.
“Including me.” He grinned as his hands were placed on his hips.
“For sure you won’t be disappointed.”
“I hope you’re right,” Lena paused from where she stood.
“It’s a new experience here. I don’t know if I will be able to fit in.” Lena said as the thought troubled her for some reason.
James nudged her side. “Aw, don’t be like that. I have a few friends if you wanna’ meet them. Besides, I think they’ll like you unless you are not here for trouble. I highly doubt you would, though.”
“Why are you so sure?” Lena tossed him a look.
James began to sigh and answered, “I don’t ever recall encountering seeing anyone as helpful towards my grandmother as you did this morning. Making a good impression on the first meeting is not something I see every day, you know.”
“Everyone would have done it.”
“Lena,” now this time he looked at her straight in the eye, “It may not sound anything special to you, but I reckon it is for gran and when I see my grandmother smile, it doesn’t happen often unless something good happened to her.” and his silvery eyes stunned her for a moment.
“You saw us then?” Lena figured, raising her brow.
“Yeah, I did.” He nodded nonchalantly. Lena wanted to ask how he’d done it when he finished off and said,
“My point is, when something happens until it means so much to her, it is something I won’t forget.” and indeed he never did.