There’s a bit of interesting backstory about my school. First of all it is built upon the remnants of an old airport. It is so big so it houses three other school buildings in it as well. There’s the elementary school which takes in the kids from kindergarten to third grade. Then there’s the intermediate for grades 4-5. Then you have the middle school, for grades 6-8 and finally we have the high school.
The schools themselves have been updated to fit a new standard of education. There have been increased security measures so things like school shootings or bombings are subjects that stay in the past. We have these special devices plastered on every entryway of the buildings. They’re like a little keypad and each student has an ID card that they must scan to the pad. The pad also has some sort of sensor inside of it that can detect weapons on a person’s body or bag or pretty much anything.
Each of the classrooms has one as well and as far as it may seem, we haven’t had any report of any serious issues with that kind of thing. Well, in New York. I stretch my arms out and yawn as I see the sun beginning to rise in the sky, tinting the sky to a nice purplish color. The emerging sunlight coaxes the snow on the ground as if it were ready to say “Hey! I’m getting ready to come out, you be sure to be as white as you can so you can reflect as much of me off onto these silly human’s eyes!”
I smile at the thought and chuckle a little bit. I instinctively look to my wrist and see that it is only about a quarter to seven. That means I have a few minutes to get my things together for class. School now starts at seven as opposed to eight here apparently, that’s one important detail I should have mentioned. It’s one change I could’ve gone without, to be honest, but I’ve gotten used to it somewhat.
I shake my head and begin walking towards the school. Reaching the front door, I look up at the brick building. The physical infrastructure of the building is said to be the same as when it was built about sixty years ago. The technology inside and outside of course is fitted to fit modern day recovery. I look towards the keypad to my right just beside the new glass doors. I heard these doors were stronger than plexiglas, some sort of glass substitute called Leolucite.
I touch the screen with my finger and three options pop up on the screen in little boxes, “STUDENT,” “FACULTY,” and “VISITOR.” I press the box for students and the prompt for my student ID pops up.
I fish out my wallet and flash my ID in front of the screen. The process takes a few seconds then I hear a few beeps and boops and I believe that to be the scan for any weapons. Then a satisfactory ding sounds off and the doors slide open.
I let out a breath of relief because I’d nearly forgotten about the time of release. The school’s electricity is shut off completely once five pm hits and doesn’t turn on until about six thirty the next day. That means the keypads become disengaged and don’t open the doors until they begin responding again. This helps in more than one way. One, to save on energy and two, to prevent anybody sneaking into the school and possibly causing damage during after-hours.
I walk inside and take a deep breath. The ceiling rises up high above me and the hallway branches out into an angled “V” shape. The gymnasium lies right in front of me with the main office on my left. I follow the hallway down the bend to reach another large rectangular shaped hallway. The doorway into the auditorium is on my left once passing the main office and two hallways extend out to the right to classrooms. There’s a third hallway to the music and band rooms just past the auditorium doors and straight ahead is the exit to the student parking lot.
I take a right down the first hallway and make it to my locker, number 318. Lockers have their own sort of security systems in place. When you’re first entering one of the new school buildings you’re assigned a locker for the whole four years that you’re there. Mine’s always been number 318. The reason for this is because at the beginning when they assign the lockers they assign scanners that open only to the student they are assigned to until they graduate.
They use these scanners in ways left completely up to the students. You can either pick to have it scan your eye, or even a finger print or two. I simply choose to do the eye scan since it is much faster. The only complication we’ve had with this system was last year. We had this kid named Carl Bates who was being treated for some kind of cancer. It was really kind of devastating, but the medicine he was taking actually got rid of his fingerprints. It was called Xelo-something-or-other.
Xeloda, that’s what it was called. I remember it made his skin peel like he had a sunburn and it wiped his prints clean, so much so they couldn’t re-grow. He moved last year, I think it was because his dad died or something. He really had his shit deal of cards. Anyway, his prints couldn’t be read on his locker, so the locker started sounding off all sorts of alarms and our District Officer was actually dispatched to our school. His name was Ace Harde and apparently he’s a detective for Avery’s police force as well.
He had sort of long brown hair that reached his shoulders, kind of making him look younger than he actually was. His whole persona seemed to fit that bill, also. He had this really sharp jaw line that ended in a smirk, but he seemed to be the kind of person laughing at you, rather than with you.
It took us about an hour of explaining, even from the principal, Mr. Thaddeus Herondale, that Carl wasn’t some criminal hell-bent on sneaking into his own locker. He was actually charged with larceny and conspiracy for violence before we even fully explained the situation. When that ordeal was over we managed to get him to replace Carl’s lock with an eye scanner and then things seemed to move on from there.
Well, until a few weeks later and he just stopped coming to school. I then heard that he moved to North Carolina or something like that. Pushing the thoughts aside, I step up to my locker and I pull my head closely to the small pad on the outside. The little gadget beeps to life and then uses a green light to scan my eye quickly. The little screen goes green and I hear the tumblers shift behind the locker.
I open it and grab my books and shove them under my arm. I hear some chatter in the halls behind me and I notice that more people have started filling the halls. I walk out of the hallway and turn the corner. I reach the stairwell to the second floor and open the doorway into it. I’m looking back as I shut the door behind me and feel myself colliding with another person who must’ve been coming down the stairs. I start to turn my head around and then I’m face to face with a girl. I look down to see a few of her books are on the ground and some of mine are too, but I’m focused on something entirely different. The girl I ran into…she has long blonde hair that extends past her shoulders. It waves slowly and I bring my eyes up and see that same familiar face, those same dark blue eyes.
She’s the girl from my dream. She’s Sarah. I shake my head and bend down to pick up my books, forcing my head to stay low. “Oh! I’m so sorry! I wasn’t watching where I was looking and I’m so sorry!” I hear her call out. She bends down and I can smell the faint aroma of strawberries bounce off of her hair and I close my eyes for a second.
“I-It’s fine.” I say, picking up the rest of my books. I stand back up and look away and I can tell my face is red, but the only thing on my mind is my dream.
“Are you sure? I think you-” She begins, but I’m making my way up the stairs before I can hear what she says. Why is she here?! I’m absolutely sure I’ve never seen her before that dream and how in all the name of anything does she end up here of all places?
I’m walking out of the doorway into the second floor hallway and I can feel the blood slowly draining away from my face. I walk down the right side of the white-tiled hallway and stop at the third door on the right. Mr. Conte’s room. Mr. Benjamin Conte is my Chemistry teacher. He’s the youngest teacher in the entire school, only about twenty-two. He’s rather short and his bleach blonde hair is kept short. There’s enough of him there to matter. He’s a pretty cool guy if you ask me.
I reach in my pocket once more for my student ID and then I press it to the pad. The screen goes green and sounds of approval. The lock disengages and I throw open the door. Inside I see that Mr. Conte is sitting at his desk, typing away at his computer. “Hello John, right on time as usual,” he says, without even looking up from the monitor.
“What’s the plan for today?” I ask, setting my books down.
“You’ll see,” he says and resumes typing.