Overlooked

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T w o

“So, how was first period?” Katarina asks the second I sit down beside her.

It’s second period now, math to be exact, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.

“It was… eventful.” I say quietly, placing my bag onto the carpet floor beside my feet, already used to the routine.

“Oh? Do tell.” Kat smiles.

“Well, while trying to eliminate the need to stand up and say three things about myself in front of everyone, I actually caused my going first. After that, I split and took a small tour of the hallways while bumping into some rude guy. Following the lovely tour, I was then given a warning since it is the first day, so luckily Mr. Baldwin didn’t give me a detention for being absent during most of the class period.” I explain, sarcasm evident in each word that I spoke.

This is the most I’ve said all day, and I’ve got to say, I’m quite exhausted.

“As in Alec Baldwin?” Kat raises an intrigued eyebrow at me.

“Thank you.” I sigh, happy that I wasn’t the only one who thought it.

“You weren’t kidding, that is a pretty eventful first period. Hopefully this class is even better!” She smirks, giving me an encouraging pat on the shoulder.

“Oh, I wouldn’t doubt it!” I smile sarcastically as the teacher enters the front of the room.

Of course, Kat and I are happily sitting in the very back row.

“Hello, welcome to the wonders of math. This semester we will focus on reviewing algebra, as well as focus on word problems and we’ll be introducing some newer formulas that you may not be familiar with. If you’re still with me next semester, we switch to trig.” The older woman announces to the classroom.

Oh joy.

“My name is Mrs. Pope, but you can call me Mrs. P, or Pope, should it tickle your fancies.” She says dryly, causing a few of the other students to chuckle. “I don’t care where you sit, or who you sit with, just so long as it doesn’t disrupt my class. If it does, don’t be surprised if you come into class the next day to find assigned seating. You guys aren’t first graders anymore, I should expect you to follow the rules as given.”

I glance over at Kat, who only gives me a sly smirk. That shouldn’t be a problem for us, the two of us actually pay attention in class, well usually.

I wouldn’t exactly call us nerds, but we definitely enjoy not getting detentions.

As the class period drags on, Kat and I finish up our pre-test just before the bell rings.

“Please leave your tests on my desk, finished or not! This isn’t worth a grade, I’d just like to see where you are and what we need to focus on!” Mrs. Pope shouts as the rest of us spring from her classroom.

“That was too easy.” Kat says once we’re out in the hallway.

“Agreed. I thought we learned that stuff in ninth grade?”

“Apparently she needed to be sure we actually did.” Kat shrugs just as we make it to her locker, which is closest to our second period.

“Well, I need to go to my locker. I’ve got English next.” I smile, actually happy about it. English is one of the subjects that I excel at, given that I have hopes of becoming a writer someday.

“Have fun! I’ll see you after lunch in computer science!” She shouts as I rush away in order to make it to my next class on time, after visiting my locker.

I wave over my shoulder as I rush off, making it to my locker in record time. I exchange my new math textbook for a notebook, and slam my locker shut to hurry on to my next destination.

English, Ms. Faith, room 416.

This time, a young girl holds the door open for me, yet she doesn’t say a word. When she turns to walk inside, she meets what appears to be a friend near the front of the room. Both of them take their seats, leaving me to stand alone.

I should’ve thanked her for holding the door, but the words never made an appearance.

I glance near the back of the room, frowning at the lack of available desks. Seems I’m not as early as I thought I would be.

There are a few open chairs near the center of the room, my least favorite place to be. Regardless, I walk over and slowly sit down at the empty desk, trying my absolute hardest to go unnoticed.

“Hi!” An eager girl says to my right.

I glance at her, my stomach twisting in nerves. “Hi.”

“My name’s Brianna. You?” She smiles brightly.

“Tinsley.”

“Wow, nice name. Have you always gone to this school? You don’t look familiar.”

I’ve only gone to school with you every year since kindergarten.

“I’m new actually, go bumble bees!” I smile sarcastically, though the poor girl couldn’t tell a difference.

Brianna chuckles with a nod, “Go bumble bees!”

Giving me a great deal of happiness, Brianna turns to her right and strikes up conversation with someone else. The fake smile drops from my face as I turn back to face the front, slightly slouching in my plastic chair.

I’d give anything to be shot in the face, right now.

The second my eyes adjust, I realize I’m staring directly into the eyes of a familiar boy.

He smirks at me, probably having been witness to my previous encounter, before turning around to face the front of the room just as the bell rings, signaling the start of the period.

I can’t quite confirm it, but I’m pretty certain that is the same boy I almost rammed into during my first period school tour.

Lovely.

When Ms. Faith introduces herself, I actually listen to what she has to say. She’s an older woman, probably in her late fifties, but her voice is kind and she’s very petite.

I absolutely love English. It’s what I would love to major in, whenever I ship myself away to college next fall. My mom agrees that I have a knack for it, though she has no idea the actual number of hours I’ve poured into my writing. I’ve attempted to write a novel, but I’ve barely written a first chapter. Every time I get close to thinking that I’ve got something good, doubt swarms through me and I end up erasing everything that I’ve written.

I’ve been working on the same chapter for months.

It’s a romance novel, though I’ll never be used in the same sentence as Nicholas Sparks anytime soon.

“Now that you’ve been given your first assignment, get to it!” Ms. Faith smiles happily as she takes her seat at her desk.

My eyes widen in horror. I missed what the first assignment is!

I debate on raising my hand, but then everyone will look at me and I’ll be known as the girl who doesn’t pay attention in class. I could ask Brianna, but then she might try to have another riveting conversation with me about how she has no idea who I am.

I panic and glance around the room. Maybe she wrote the assignment on the white board, or maybe someone else doesn’t know, and will ask so that I don’t have to.

Fear erupts in the pit of my stomach as I see every student with their head down, engrossed in their English textbooks. I take my textbook and open it up, trying my best to lean over to see what page everyone is on. Brianna notices me, and gives me an odd look.

I immediately face the front and slouch in my chair again.

I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing. Kill me, please.

Curse you, social anxiety. Curse all of it.

Suddenly, my ears perk up as the boy in front of me turns around to whisper, “Page 5, read the short story and write five paragraphs using the compare/contrast method.”

Has he been watching me all this time? My heart temporarily stops beating. I probably just made myself look like a complete idiot.

“Thank you.” I nod once, turning a few pages over in order to land on page 5 of the textbook in front of me. I quickly avert my eyes from his contagious smile, as I begin reading the short story.

I can feel the boys eyes linger for a few seconds, before he eventually turns back around.

I want to ask what his name is, but I already know I’ll never do it.

It only takes me a grand total of twenty minutes to read the short story about the wonders of space, and write out the five paragraphs using the compare and contrast method. Space vs. Earth. I didn’t really enjoy the reading material, or the assignment, but I managed to add a sixth paragraph at the end for good measure.

I spend the remainder of the forty minutes staring off into space. Ha, references anyone?

I’m pretty sure class is almost over when I feel a tap on my arm.

“Are you finished?” The boy from earlier asks me, glancing down at my neatly written paper.

I nod as he gently takes it from my desk, passing it to the front. The person sitting behind me must’ve given up on gaining my attention, because I turn around to find his desk already empty.

He raises an eyebrow at me, and I sheepishly smile before quickly turning back around.

I’m immediately met by a familiar pair of brown eyes.

“Do you stare often?” I suddenly blurt, surprised at myself for the outburst. I’m never one to speak my mind, usually.

“Only when I’ve got something good to stare at.” He replies smoothly, sending me one final smile before the bell rings.

Clever. Well, see ya.” I say while abruptly standing up and grabbing my bag. I toss my bag over my left shoulder and hold my new English textbook in my arms as I quickly exit the classroom.

Dear God, I’m such a moron.

In the midst of my semi-panic attack, I don’t even realize that I make it to the large cafeteria in less than three minutes. I walk inside and gape at the long line already started near the front. If I want to eat anything at all, I should probably hurry.

I step into line, a few other students already rushing to stand behind me and so on. I take a few deep breaths to calm my nerves as I wait patiently.

Kat, where’d you go? I miss you so… seems like it’s been forever, since you’ve been gone.

“Hey, move up!” Someone shouts from behind me. My eyes widen as I realize there’s nobody directly in front of me anymore.

I quickly walk ahead as my cheeks flush a crimson color. Way to go, Einstein.

After I grab a simple turkey sandwich and a small bag of chips, I walk out of the line and glance toward the many circular tables lining the entire cafeteria. Each table has someone sitting at it, usually with a group of friends. There are a few empty tables, but do I really want to sit alone?

I softly bite my lip as I debate on where to sit, when suddenly I hear my name.

“Tinsley!”

My stomach drops when I glance in the direction of the familiar voice, and see Brianna waving me over to her table. Her completely full table. There isn’t even a seat for me, what is this girl thinking? I’m going to stand?

I suppose that might be better than eating alone.

I walk over toward her table, a small smile on my face. “Hi.”

“Hey, I just wanted to ask, did you get the homework assignment from English class? I must’ve missed it.”

Of course, why on earth would I think that she would want me to sit with her and her friends?

“Uh, sure. Ms. Faith said to read both of the short stories on pages 6 and 7, and then write five paragraphs for each using the compare/contrast method. Basically the same assignment as the one we did in class.” I shrug lamely.

“Alright, thanks!”

She gives me a short wave, before turning to greet her many friends, silently letting me know that my assistance and appearance is no longer required. I frown as I turn and walk away, slowly making it over to one of the far and completely empty tables near the other side of the cafeteria.

I hesitantly sit down, placing my bag on top of the table next to my food tray. My right leg nervously bounces underneath the wooden table as I slowly begin to eat. I take small bites, keeping my napkin close in case I need to wipe my mouth.

I finish my sandwich and bag of chips early, leaving me ten whole minutes to sit here alone before I get to see Kat.

This is going to be a very long and lonely year if I have to continue to each lunch alone every day.

Just as the thought leaves my head, I hear the chair from across the table screech against the tile floor below. My eyes snap up to greet the boy from English class, and from my first period tour of the hallways.

“You again.” I find myself saying.

“Me again.” He nods, setting his food tray onto the table, wasting no time to begin stuffing his face full of pepperoni pizza.

“Uh, is there a reason you’re sitting here?” I ask dryly, not meaning for my tone to sound so off-putting.

“Is there a reason you don’t want me to sit here, Tinsley?” He raises one eyebrow, causing my eyes to widen.

“How do you know my name?” I ask stupidly.

“I have no single idea, other than the fact that I sit right in front of you in English.” He shrugs sarcastically, seeming shocked as well, though I know he’s only teasing me.

My curious eyes narrow at his rudeness. “Don’t be so sardonic.”

“Don’t be so coy.” He retorts, taking his last bite of pizza.

I huff in annoyance just as the bell rings signaling the end of lunch. The spawn of Satan abruptly stands, sliding his bag over his right shoulder. “See you around, Tinsley.”

Before has the chance to disappear from my view, I shout, “Wait, I don’t even know your name!”

He glances behind to look at me, a slight smile on his face, “Some people call me Sawyer!”


With that, he disappears into the sea of students, leaving me star struck and slightly annoyed.

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