Somewhere I Belong

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Chapter 3: Trenton, North Carolina - September 13, 2001

“Miss Oliver, I think you are going to like our school a lot. We have a wonderful reading program; our own school newspaper and we are currently accepting people to join our yearbook committee. Are those things you think you’d like to join?” Principal Andrea Williams asked me as she walked up the hallway next to me. She was a shorter lady with broad hips and short grey hair. She was nice for the most part, a kind smile and pretty hazel eyes. I politely nodded.

“Yes, ma’am. I enjoy writing.”

“Oh, you do?!” she asked. “What do you like to write?”

“Stories. I like to make up stories and then act them out with my friends. I want to write a book when I’m older.”

“Well, I think you are going to love our programs here then.” She came to a stop outside of a classroom. The door was open and I could hear the voice of someone teaching. “You’re in Mrs. Reynold’s class this year. Like you, she’s new to our school this year too. Would you like me to introduce you to your classmates for you?” I glanced at her with a look of horror. It was bad enough I was in a new school. You wanted to embarrass me as much as humanly possible as well?

“No. I think I can do it myself. Thank you.” I replied. She nodded. Walking over, she knocked on the door. The sound of heels followed and a younger woman with blonde hair, brown eyes and a pretty face appeared. She smiled at Principal Williams and then me.

“Hello! You must be Abby, our new student. I’ve been expecting you.”

“Hi.” I answered back meekly. I hated meeting new people and I hated being the center of attention. I suddenly wished I was back in my old school, sitting with my friends there instead of here.

“Come on in! You can meet the rest of the class.” She waved at Mrs. Williams who turned and headed back up the hallway. I followed behind my new teacher as she walked into the room. It was a smaller size classroom than my old one, twenty desks and chairs lined up in it. Kids my age sat in them all except for one in the back corner. On the walls, there were pictures of different places in the world and a banner that read WELCOME TO THE FIFTH GRADE was hung on the back wall from a set of bunk beds. I was surprised to see them in here. There was also a couch in the corner, a reading area set up. All of the kids looked up as Mrs. Reynold’s and I stopped in the front of the room. Sweat began to form in my palms and on my forehead as I felt all their eyes on me.

“Class, we have a new student joining us today. Everyone, this is Abigail Green. I’d like you all to take some time during free time to introduce yourself and to make her feel welcome!” She said, smiling at the class. She turned her head towards me. “Abby, do you want to tell us a little about yourself?”

“Umm…I guess so. Everyone calls me Abby. I used to go to school in Eureka until my parents made me switch here. I like to read and write stories.” I said, feeling my face get hot. I knew it was red just from the way it burned.

“Great! Why don’t you take a seat in the back over there? We’re about to start our history lesson for the day.” She pointed at the open desk I had noticed earlier. I nodded, beelining for it to get away from the front of the room. Slipping into the chair, I shoved my backpack under it and found a notebook and pencil in the desk. I pulled it out and looked forward. Mrs. Reynolds was setting up a projector, pulling down a canvas screen. My classmates chatted as she set things up, her back to us. Bending over, I grabbed my backpack from under my seat. I unzipped it and yanked my large five subject spiral notebook from it. Quickly, I shoved the bag back and slid the bigger notebook under the new one.

The cover of my notebook was once white, that long gone after I got my hands on it. Doodles of the lands I wrote about were there along with the characters and creatures I invented in my head. In the middle, my name was written in fancy writing that had taken me almost an hour to do when Dad first gave this to me. It reminded me of the fancy way the first letter of some books was drawn. Inside of the A of Abby, I had drawn a fairy with perfect black wings. She was the main character in my story I was writing right now. She was an outlasted fairy who had no choice but to live among the shadow people in her world because her family disowned her because of her wings. I flipped open the cover and the full pages until I got to the first blank one. I skimmed the page before it, refreshing myself where I had left off. I started writing, continuing the story where I was before.

Mrs. Reynolds’ started teaching the class about Native American’s, a diagram of the different houses they used to live in on the projector in the middle of the room. She flicked the lights off, making it semi dark in the room. There was still enough light for me to see the words I was writing. I had always been able to write and listen while in class. It was something I had learned to do when I was younger. I could still recall the information being taught after the fact and yet still write the entire time about something else. So, while the rest of my class learned about tepees, I was writing about fairs, ogres and a lost princess.

I was so deeply enthralled by my writing, I never noticed the folded piece of paper flying towards me until it landed in the dead center of my notebook page. It came so suddenly that I jumped a little, startled by it. Scratchy handwriting was written on one side of the Chinese football. It was so messy I could barely make out the words OPEN ME. Glancing around, I looked to see who had thrown it at me. No one seemed to notice though. Tucking it into the opening of my desk, I pulled it open carefully, trying my best not to rip it. It unfolded easily, revealing more words inside. What are you writing? Was scribbled across the top of the page.

I looked around again, this time my eyes catching the boy sitting in the desk next to mine. He was very skinny and had short blonde hair that reminded me of peach fuzz almost. Large round glasses framed his eyes as they peeked at me from the crook of his elbow where he laid his head. On his lap, he rested his other hand. He signaled me with it to toss it back. I raised an eyebrow at him, unsure of what he wanted. Why did he care about what I was doing? It was none of his business. What’s it matter to you? I scribbled back to him before folding it open. Making sure the teacher wasn’t looking, I tossed it back at him. It landed by his foot. Stepping on it, he slid it closer to him so he could scoop it up. I turned back to my notebook, trying my best to ignore him. It didn’t work though when the paper landed back on my desk.

Is it your diary? he sloppily wrote back. I made a face at him before answering. No, it’s not my diary. I folded it back up and threw it towards him. It landed on his desk this time. I watched as he unfolded it under his desk as quietly as he could and then wrote under my answer. He gently folded it back up and flicked it towards me. I caught it before it hit the desk, afraid of the noise getting Mrs. Reynolds attention. What are you writing then? A story? I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye. His eyes were a light hazel color from what I could tell. They looked almost gray. Turning back to the paper, I thought for a second before answering. Yes. It’s a story. It landed back on his desk.

What’s it about?

A fairy.

You write girly stuff?

No. She’s a hero in my story.

But she’s a fairy. Fairies can’t be heroes. They help the hero out.

She’s a hero in my story.

Can I read it? The question threw me back for a minute. At my old school, my friends read my stories all the time or I would read them out loud to them at sleepovers. They were girls though. I had never had a boy as me to read one of my stories before. I never really had a friend that was a boy before. Why? I scribbled on the paper and threw it back to him. He wrote on it, folding it back up. As he went to toss it back, the sound of Mrs. Reynolds clearing her throat loudly. The boy and I both looked up. Her eyes were glued to him, her hand on her hip.

“Cory Forester, I can’t believe I need to tell you yet again that throwing those is not allowed in this classroom. Please take your things to the principal’s office.” She said, her nice demeanor vanishing. You could hear the annoyance in her voice as her eyes flashed to me. “Abby, was he bothering you?” I glanced from her to him as he picked up his book and paper. He gave me a pleading look.

“No. He’s not bothering me.” I replied, looking back at her. “I had a question about the work and he helped me figure it out. That’s all.”

“Alright. You can stay, Cory. But no more passing notes. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to ask.”

“Okay.” She eyed Cory again before going back to teaching. Another note landed on my desk a few minutes later.

Thank you.

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