Lisa starts her first day at school...
Once I was in the bathroom, I yanked on my faded jeans and sweatshirt in a daze. For some reason, I had a terrible headache this morning. My head was throbbing and I couldn't seem to concentrate on anything but the pain I was in. Looking into the mirror, I noticed that I didn't look so hot either. My eyes were very dark and bloodshot and my face was ghostly pale. I looked like one of those red-headed vampires you see on television.
Figuring that eyeliner would only increase the "vampire look", I settled for some clear lip gloss and blush instead before trudging downstairs to the kitchen. As soon as I rounded the corner, I came face to face with a scene I hadn't seen in years. My parents were kissing and holding each other in the middle of the room, totally unaware of my presence. Usually I would've been happy to see my parents getting along so well together, but today, the sight only made me sad. It reminded me of the way that Joe used to hold me and the way his soft lips would gently brush against mine.
I couldn't hold back a little sniffle as I watched my parent's embrace. As soon as they heard me, they quickly broke apart and blushed, grinning sheepishly. But I was in much too bad of a mood to grin back. I felt like my head was going to explode and now I was missing Joe more thanks to my parents.
"What do you want for breakfast sweetie?" my mom asked as she opened our new wooden cabinets and peered over several boxes of cereal. The thought of food made my stomach churn. Right now, I couldn't eat. Making a face, I replied to my mom, "I can't eat right now. I have this terrible headache. Do you have some aspirin or something I can take?"
My mom turned at me with a concerned look, "You're not feeling well? Hm, that's not good..." She turned to another cabinet and sorted through about twenty bottles of pills before coming over to me and dropping three reddish colored pills into my palm. I stood up from my chair, poured myself a glass of water, and then swallowed the pills.
As soon as I was done, my mom glanced at the clock and gave me a nervous smile, saying, "Oh, look at the time! We'd best get you off to school. Come on." I trudged after my mom as she flung the door open and stepped outside. I shoved my feet into my black boots and flung my school bag over my shoulder before stepping outside into a nice warm, sunny day. It was a perfect contradiction for my stormy mood.
I climbed into the passenger seat of my mom's van and sat in a sulky silence on the whole ride to school. I didn't want to talk for two reasons. Firstly, I was pretty pissed off at my mom for making me go to some new strange school. And secondly, my brain didn't seem able to process anything except for the agonizing pulsing in my head.
Just when I thought I wouldn't be able to take the pain any longer, my mom parked in front of a huge building and exclaimed, "Here we are! Can I just drop you off right here? You can find the way the way to your first class, right? I'm kind of in a hurry because I don't want to be late for my first day of work you know."
Great. So I was going to have to survive my first day of school all alone now that my mom had abandoned me. I pasted a fake smile on my face and replied, "Yeah, you can drop me off here. I'll manage somehow. See you this afternoon." Deciding that procrastination wouldn't do me any good in this situation, I bravely popped the car door open, slid to the ground, and started the long walk up to the building that was going to be my new school.
The school was ginormous. It was probably seven times the size of my old little school back in Vermont. It was so big that it was almost scary. The huge doors to the school were propped open. It looked like the entrance to a dungeon. I was really tempted to turn around and try to run all the way back home.
But in reality, the school wasn't my biggest problem. My biggest problem was the students. Because even though I had been at this school for only three seconds, I could feel several pairs of eyes watching me. There were so many kids here that it was impossible to count them all. I felt self-conscious as their eyes roamed up and down my body, taking everything in.
I wanted to ask them what the hell they were looking at, but decided to take my mom's advice and try to make a good impression. So instead of cussing, I attempted to smile and wave politely at some of the students that looked my way. All that earned me was a few strange looks. Nobody talked to me until I was actually inside the building.
As soon as I had stepped inside, three tall girls stepped in front of me, blocking my path. The girls were all very beautiful and could've easily passed as supermodels. They had perfect bodies, hair, and skin. Plus they looked like they were dressed in all the latest fashions. They were the kind of girls you saw in magazines and in movies.
"You're one of the new kids, aren't you?" the tallest girl, who appeared to be the ringleader, asked me in a sharp voice. She was the prettiest of the bunch, a classic blue-eyed blonde. I took my time answering her. I was slightly confused by her question because she had said 'new kids' and not 'new kid'. Did that mean there were more than one new person here?
"Um, yeah, I'm new," I stuttered nervously, looking down at my boots. "Are there more new people here?" The brunette beauty standing next to the blonde laughed a high-pitched almost dreadful sounding laugh as she said, "Hell, yes! Two new guys and a new girl. And you must be the new girl. Good thing the guys are attractive since you don't seem to have an ounce of knowledge about style and beauty."
The three girls quickly dissolved into hysterics of giggles, making me feel really self-conscious and just plain bad. I wasn't sure if this was their idea of a joke or it they were just trying to be mean. So I decided to give my "being friendly" plan one more try as I said, "So what are your names?"
"I'm Ashley," the blonde said, nodding. "This is Brittany and Hilary, my two best friends. And you are?" But before I had a chance to answer, the sound of heels clicking against the tile floor sounded from behind me. I turned around to see a tall, thin woman with gray hair standing behind me.
"Ah, you must be...Lindsey?" the woman asked, scratching her head.
I shook my head and corrected her, "No, I'm Lisa."
"Oh right," the woman answered. "Lisa, Lindsey...they're all the same." I frowned. There was a big difference between the names Lisa and Lindsey. Hopefully this woman wasn't going to be one of my teachers because if she was, I was certainly in for a date with trouble! Nervously, I shifted from foot to foot and asked, "So...could you show me where my algebra class if perhaps?"
"Yes, yes, of course," the gray-haired woman nodded, grabbing my wrist tightly as she started clicking back down the hallways. "I'm Mrs. Wolf, the algebra teacher. I'll go ahead and bring you to the classroom today, but tomorrow I expect you to find your way to the classroom without help. Is that clear?"
I nodded, kind of distracted by the persisting headache. As we walked along, I couldn't help but hope that Mrs. Wolf would be an easy teacher. My brain wasn't in a state to process long, complicated algebraic equations right now." As we neared an open classroom door, I glanced back behind me to see what had happened to Ashley, Brittany, and Hilary. They were nowhere in sight. Must've disappeared as soon as Mrs. Wolf had appeared.
Mrs. Wolf towed me right into the classroom without hesitation and pointed to a seat in the back for me. Without looking at the students already sitting in the classroom, I quickly hurried over to the seat in the back and pulled out my algebra book from my school bag. As I pulled my book out, I could hear several people gossiping about the new kids. I even heard my name mentioned a few times. I was going to try to figure out what they were saying, when I felt a poke in my ribs.
I turned around to find that I was sitting right next to Ashley. She was staring at me with a bored expression. I raised an eyebrow at her, wondering what she wanted. She leaned across my desk and said, "So what do you think of the new guy? Don't you think he's cute? At least, I hope you do. If not, your taste in guys is even worse than your sense of fashion."
My eyes automatically narrowed at the thought of cute guys. I didn't want to look at cute guys or any guys for that matter. I just wanted to be back home sitting in my familiar algebra classroom with Joe sitting right next to me. So far, I didn't really like Ashley. Unfortunately, it seemed like she was one of the most popular girls in the school though so it would probably be best to try to make friends with her and at least not become her enemy.
So I pretended to look up from my desk to look at whatever guy Ashley was talking about. And even though I hadn't really looked at him at all, I agreed in what I hoped sounded like a truthful voice, "Yeah, I guess he's okay." Ashley rolled her eyes at me and gave me an incredulous look, "God, you have a lot to learn girl! Oh well, I can help you with that. But you should know that your taste in guys is terrible because that new kid is way better than just 'okay.' Speaking of which, do you have a boyfriend or something? Because if you don't, I have to tell you which guys are off limits for you here."
This was starting to get a little strange. So Ashely had a rule that I could only date certain guys or something? That was just really fucking crazy. But it didn't matter really since I didn't want anyone but Joe anyways. So I just went along with it and said, "Yeah, I had a boyfriend and no, I'm not interested in any guys here so you don't have to worry about me stealing the off limit guys or whatever." I noticed Brittany and Hilary relax besides Ashley at my words. Had they really been that worried about me stealing their boyfriends or something? It wasn't like I was all that pretty, smart, or attractive in my opinion.
"What do you mean by 'had' a boyfriend?" Brittany asked interestedly. Apparently the subject of boys had captivated her attention. Hilary chimed in, "Yeah, the way you said it made it sound like you broke up with him or something."
"No, I didn't break up with him," I told them truthfully. "We're just sorta taking a break since we won't be able to see each other for such a long time now that he lives in Vermont and I'm stuck here in New York. That doesn't mean we're not together or anything though. Joe means the world to me and I would never break up with him." My heart throbbed painfully at the thought of Joe. I longed for everything about him; his smile, his touch, his voice, just everything about him!
I was glad when Mrs. Wolf started the lesson since it forced Ashley to keep her quiet. It wasn't that I didn't like Ashley exactly, it was more the fact that I just wanted to be alone and deal with things by myself right now. The emotional pain of losing Joe was excruciating and the physical pain of my headache certainly wasn't helping at all!
Even though the lesson had started, most of the teenagers sitting in the back rows continued to whisper and gossip amongst themselves. What was even more surprising to me was the fact that Mrs. Wolf didn't seem to care. At my old school, chatter during a lesson would've been unacceptable. Things were way different at this new school and I had a lot to learn.
~ ~ ~ ~
By the end of the school day, I was exhausted, fed up, and very homesick. I had spent all day sitting in boring classes listening to kids gossip about one thing; the new kids. Apparently, we were the most interesting thing to talk about. Luckily, I hadn't heard anything said about me exactly. I had heard my name a few times, but that was it. Besides for that, all the yammering had been about the cute new guys who had joined the school.
I had followed Ashley's group about for most of the day. It wasn't exactly that I wanted to hang out with them, but trailing along behind them was a nice and easy way to find my classes. Ashley hadn't said much more to me the rest of the day. She seemed pretty obsessed about trying to hook up with one of the new guys.
So as soon as class had ended, I had shoved my books into my bag as fast as I could, filed away my lose papers, and then had run straight for the door. Just as I was about to exit the prison of the school and step outside to freedom, a looming figure stepped directly in front of me, blocking my path.
I slammed to a stop in front of the person to avoid a collision and then looked up suspiciously to see who had barred my path. A tall, blonde guy who looked like he was probably in eleventh grade was standing right in front of me, grinning down at me with perfect, pearly white teeth and ocean blue eyes.
Mainly because of my headache but also because I was in a hurry, I said rudely, "Um, excuse me. Do you need something?" The guy put a hand on my shoulder and said, "Whoa, slow down there, girl! Where are you going in such a hurry?" There was something I immediately didn't like about this guy. He gave me the creeps.
"I'm going home," I stated bluntly, giving him a meaningful look that told him to quit messing with me and get out of my way. Three boys stepped out from behind the first boy and peered over his shoulder to look me over. One of them sneered at me and said, "Oh, so the little baby has to run home to momma, huh?"
Face flushing, I narrowed my eyes and quickly edged my way around the blonde guy muttering under my breath, "Son of a bitch!" At my words the blonde guy turned around and watched me leave, saying, "Hey, wait a sec. Won't you at least tell me what your name is? I'm Jack."
Figuring I might as well tell him my name, I turned around for one last time and said curtly, "It's Lisa." Then I turned and strode towards my mom's van that was waiting out for me by the parking lot. I couldn't get away from this school, the arrogant girls, and the creepy guys fast enough. All I wanted to do was go home, collapse on my bed, and talk to Joe.