It was the first day of high school, the start of something. The start of new memories, dating, good friends, and tons of work. What could be better? Except it wasn’t going to be the High School Musical experience right? There was no chance of that.
Just sitting there thinking about that ‘new life’ made chills run down my spine. It was so nerve-wracking to think that I would have to spend all those nights preparing for exams and doing countless sheets of homework for Math. Dear God.
I mean, what wasn’t there to worry about? Living in the deepest part of the South. Oh, work wasn’t the only thing I had to worry about, honey. What about the popular clique judging me and giving me those awkward sideways glances. Boys, bullies, racism, school rules, maps….
Sure, high school had its pros and cons. I guess that shouldn’t have outweighed the fact that it would all be over in four years.
Looked like the bus was here. Oh yeah. I was going to be riding the damn bus all year. The school boards didn’t even have the courtesy to change those tin cans once in a while.
I quickly shoveled my breakfast down my throat and grabbed my bag as I ran out of the house to catch the bus.
“Hey, Ms. Nudge, good morning to ya!” I said.
“Good morning, dear.”
I took a seat in row 3B and put in my earbuds. I had to have something to listen to or I would die of nausea.
We went through three stops around the area and then headed for the local high school. McCaster Bay Regional High School in Georgia. The beginning of the journey.
As I stepped off the bus, I met with my best friends Stephanie and Opal. I had known them since kindergarten and wouldn’t be anywhere without them. Of course I had some other acquaintances, but I saw none of them as we walked towards the entrance of the school.
As we approached the front doors, I saw a figure that I concluded was the principal, ushering students in with a big smile.
Suddenly, a feeling of panic washed over me. Oh no, I forgot where to go! Even though I had been here several times and during orientation, it seemed like this school was a city inside another city. The only thing missing in this place was cars. It felt like it would be impossible to get to my first class. Which was Spanish, by the way. I felt a little more sick by the time I got inside, but luckily I was able to find a way with the help of the council members dressed in green shirts, which I figured was one of the school colours.
Taking a deep, steady breath, I stepped into my class after seeing my friends off to theirs and was happily greeted by a loud “HOLA!” from the Spanish professor.
“Hola,” I replied meekly. I wasn’t very confident in the foreign language situation, even when I spoke a different language myself: Hindi. I wasn’t all Indian; my father married my Indian mother so I spoke both English and Hindi pretty well. And our family wasn’t very religious either, so I guess I wouldn’t count myself as religious.
I quickly chose a seat in the middle of the classroom and sat down, leaning over to grab my stuff. We didn’t have lockers yet.
“Ay, muy bonita...”
Who the hell said that?? Oh man, it was the first day, and I already got comments like that? I wasn’t even wearing anything like that. Honestly do people always have to find something wrong? The only thing I was wearing was a blue camisole that fell loosely around my khaki shorts.
I flipped my head around to a guy who had caramel-colored skin, gelled back hair, and dark brown eyes. He was wearing a black short-sleeved shirt and tan shorts. I guess he was hot, but not that hot.
“Um, hi,” I responded. I felt my face getting hot as I spoke.
He just smiled back, flashing his pearly whites back at me with a wink. My stomach began to churn.
“Hola y bienvenidos mi classe,” the professor said to the class. He told us our expectations, the curriculum, and what we needed for this class.
“Today we have an icebreaker so that all of us can get to know each other better to communicate more effectively.”
Shit. I hated these things. They were nothing more than ways for us to embarrass ourselves. It always rattled my nerves going up to people and asking questions like “Um, excuse me, where were you born?” I mean, what the heck? Who even cares anymore?
A student began to pass pieces of paper around with several boxes to fill, which I figured was the icebreaker. I took mine and examined it carefully. There were short statements in each box that would tell something about a person. You had to go around the room and search for a person who fit the statement. Perfect. Thank God these weren’t in Spanish. All I had to do was go around the room and show a person the piece of paper and have them sign whatever box it is that they wanted. I filled out the ‘second language’ box, of course.
I turned to see the same guy.
“Do you want to sign my sheet?”
He signed the football fan box, huh. It said, Enriqué. Hmmm, with a heart..