I stood in front of my full body mirror, smoothing out my black skirt and sky blue 'You wish you were me' t-shirt for the millionth time. I knew it may not have been the best t-shirt to wear on the first day of High school, but I wanted to make an impression. I had knee-high white socks, with two blue bands around the top on my feet and I slipped into my black converse too. I thought I looked pretty good for the first time of ever getting out of my pajamas for going to school.
"Mel!" Ryan called out. I grabbed my silver messenger bag from my bed and threw it over my shoulder. I ran down the stairs and my step-father was waiting for me by the door. "Go say goodbye to your mother." He said, not looking up from his phone. I rolled my eyes, dropping my bag to the floor and ran back up the stairs with a groan. He made me run down to run back up, what was the point in that?
"Mom?" I pushed open her bedroom door and walked in. She was curled up in bed, snuggling up to Destiny. Destiny often slept with mom and Ryan because she had now grown a fear of the dark and not even her night light could help her sleep.
I took a seat on the bed by Destiny and shook my little sisters arm. She stirred a bit in her sleep, turning over to face me, but she was still in the land of dream.
"Destiny." I whispered in my sing-song voice. "Wakey-wakey, baby girl."
"Mel?" She whispered back, yawning and rubbing her eyes.
"Did you have a good sleep?" I asked, stroking her hair. She nodded her head and sat up in bed. Destiny gave me a funny look, glancing me up and down.
"Where you going?" She asked in her cute four-year-old voice.
"I'm going to school." I told her, smiling down at my little sister.
"You go to school in your snugglies." Snugglies is what she calls pajamas. I swear, four-year-olds have their own dictionary with words that no one else knows and have to decipher to understand what they're saying. Luckily for me, I can usually get what the twins say.
"Not anymore, baby, I'm going to a real school, where I have to wear clothes." I kissed her on the head and then I kissed mom on the head. I didn't want to wake mom up, she needed all the sleep she could get. Destiny wrapped her skinny arms around my neck.
"I miss you, Mel." She mumbled into my hair.
"I'll miss you, too." I giggled, giving her a gentle squeeze. I gave Destiny another kiss in the head and left her to go back to sleep with mom. I closed the bedroom door and ran back down the stairs, picking my bag back up off the floor and turning to Ryan again. "Can we go now?" I moaned. It was my first day, I didn't want to be late on my first day, that would not give off a good impression.
"Yeah, okay." He sighed, placing his cell back in his pocket. He looked up at me and his mouth fell open slightly. "Don't you think you'd better put on something a little less...revealing?" Revealing? Really? I was wearing a skirt which was considerably long, it was about two inches above my knees!
"NO!" I shouted at him. "I am going to be late because of you and no guys are gonna be looking at my legs anyway!" I pushed my way past him and walked to the car, completely angered. Ryan could really be too protective sometimes. It was annoying. I can understand how fathers just want to look out for their little girls, but I'm not a little girl anymore.
"Well, looks like my little girl is happy about her first day of High school." He joked, getting into the car. Of course, he still thought of me as a little girl.
"Ryan, just drive the damn car to the school." I said, clenching my teeth together. I could hear him laughing at me. He really liked to test my patience and had liked to test my patience for the whole four years we'd known each other. You would have thought he'd learnt not to piss me off by then, but he hadn't. It was still his favorite thing to during the day. "So, what are you doing today?" I asked, trying change the subject off me. And trust me; I wasn't very good at doing that.
"Just going to read a script with Steven Spielberg." Ryan shrugged it off as if it was no big deal he was doing a script reading with one of Hollywood's biggest directors. "Nothing too fancy, just a new award winner he wants to put me in." I giggled at him. After he liked to piss me off, he also liked to get me back into a good mood. It was like a little cycle we went through together; he pissed me off, I'd get angry, he'd cheer me up, I'd laugh at him. Then the whole thing would start again whenever we saw each other next.
I didn't want Mel to hate me. I only wanted to protect her from guys that undress her with their eyes. Trust me, I used to be one of those guys. I know exactly how they work. I didn't want Mel to be their new victim, and if she was, they'd have me to answer to. I didn't like her boyfriend, let alone any other guy.
I glanced over to my daughter, she was looking rather nervous about going to High school. I couldn't grasp the fact that she was going to High school. First off, who in their right mind would choose to go to High school? Second of all, I can't believe she's actually old enough to go to High school. It was things like that which made me realize just how much of her life I'd missed out on. All the kids were growing up so fast, Destiny and Kyle were four, not long and they'd both be going to Kindergarten. They were all growing up too fast.
"We're here!" Mel beamed excitedly as I pulled up to the school gates. A few of the other students stopped and stared at the car, presumably at me and Mel. I drove round the back and parked up. I had to take Mel to the Principal before she could officially start her day. "Come on!" She called to me, walking off to the office. I rolled my eyes and followed her inside the large school building. This is where my baby was going to go to school, I thought to myself. I really didn't want her to go.
Ryan and I walked straight into the principal's office and we took our respected seats opposite him. There was silence for a little while as the principal searched through a few papers, looking for something.
"Ah, here it is." He pulled out a white sheet with a table on it.
He handed it over to me and I instantly saw it was covered in different words. "That is your schedule, Melissa. It tells you where you have to be and when for each period." I nodded my head, trying to understand it. He then thrust a smaller piece of paper into my hand. "That is your locker and the combination." Locker 939, combo. 39-59-19-79-99. That didn't seem too hard to remember, just a bunch of nines. "Well, Melissa, I think that's everything. I'll leave you to say your goodbyes to your father and then I'll show you where to go." The Principle stood up and left the room. I was so tempted to shout out 'he's not my father!' but I restrained myself. That wouldn't be a good impression on my first day.
"Well, I guess this is it. This is where I lose my baby girl." Ryan his hand up to my cheek and I gave him the weirdest look I could. He was a freak sometimes and it could usually scare me when he was acting freakish.
"Yeah, okay, whatever..." I mumbled, trying not to make eye contact. Ryan tried to pull me in for a hug, but I pushed him away. "Someone could be watching!" I whisper-hissed at him.
"Okay, Miss My-dad-is-so-uncool." He joked, rolling his eyes and laughing. "I'll pick you up outside at three."
"Yeah, whatever." I said, standing up and heading for the door.
"I don't even get a goodbye."
"See ya!" I called behind me as I opened the door. The principal was standing outside, admiring a painting on the wall. "Sir?" He turned to me and smile.
"I'll see you later, Mel." Ryan said, walking past me and kissing me on my head. My eyes widened and I looked around to check if anyone was looking, luckily the corridor was empty. Ryan and the principal nodded to each other and my step-father disappeared down the corridor and back into the parking lot.
"Shall we?" The Principle held his arm out down the corridor and I smiled at him. The two of us walked in the opposite direction to Ryan, down a very long corridor that never seemed to end. We passed endless classrooms and lockers, and with each passing second the butterflies in my stomach grew more restless.
Finally we stopped as we reached the end of the corridor and I could see a pair of double doors and a sign that said Cafeteria above them. At least the locker was close to where the food was kept, that could come in handy. I could be front of the queues probably and then get the best food before all that's left is the burnt parts.
"This is your locker." I turned to face the lockers and 939 was at the top. I pulled out the small sheet of paper and unlocked my locker with the combo. "I'll leave you to it then." The principal smiled. "If you ever need anything, you know where my office is." I smiled kindly at him and he walked back down the corridor. No, I did not know where his office was. But instead of speaking out, I turned back to my locker. It was a decent size. There was mirror, that the previous owner must have left, on the door, a shelf with a few textbooks on and small compartment to store my messenger bag in.
As if out of nowhere, a loud bell sounded off and I covered my ears. It was extremely loud and it hurt. Then I looked up and saw the bell was right above my locker. So that's why no one wanted that locker, it was the noisiest place in the school.
The corridor sprang to life. Students started rushing inside, none noticing me standing there. I just blended in to the crowd. It felt weird to blend in, I never had before. But, I liked the feeling of not being recognized.
I spun back to face my locker and pulled out my schedule. There was a place above the door for me to stick it in place, so I did. I still had no idea how to read it, but I was trying.
"Hey, you must be the new girl." A cheery voice sounded off behind my locker. I peered behind the door and saw a girl, roughly about my age, standing there. She had black hair, dangling down just past her shoulders in loose waves, and bright mocha eyes. She was wearing a plain green t-shirt and jeans with flip-flops on her feet. "I'm Tori Cortez, it's short for Victoria, but I like Tori best." She held out her hand and I shook it, smiling at the girl.
"I'm Mel Ross." I introduced myself.
"Oh, I know who you are, everyone does. But we were told to treat you like a normal student, like hell that will happen. You are, like, the most famous girl I know...Well, I actually don't know anyone famous, but I guess I know you now, so, yeah, you are, like, the most famous person I know." I nodded my head, smiling, but that girl was talking so fast.
"Riiight." I turned back to my locker.
"Do you need someone to show you around?" The girl asked, but before I could reply she was at it again. "I think it would be best if someone showed you around because being new is hard. I mean, I'm not new here, I started at the beginning of the year, but I used to move Middle school's all the time and it was always hard being the new kid, so I thought I'd be friendly and offer to show you around, so, do you?"
"Yeah, that would be good. Thanks." I replied, trying to decode my schedule again.
"No need to thank me, I like meeting new people and making friends. Do you wanna be my friend?" Tori didn't even give me enough time to answer again. "I mean, you don't have to be my friend, you could always go hang around with Stephanie, she's the Queen Bee around here, but I doubt she'd be a good friend. She's more of the back-stabbing kind and no one wants a friend like that. Anyway, she would only use you, but I won't. To me you're just another girl in the school because, well, you are. But everyone else will treat you li-" I slapped my hand over Tori's mouth.
"I don't want to sound rude or mean or anything because you are a really nice girl, but do you ever shut up?" I said I wasn't trying to be mean. And I wasn't, she just was getting a bit annoying.
"Sorry about that. I do ramble on a bit sometimes. My dad says I get it from my mom, her and my auntie Erin talk a lot and I guess it's just a habit I've picked up on. And I'm doing it again, most of the time I don't even realize I'm doing it and I know some people get annoyed by it. If I'm ever annoying just tell me to shut up, I won't mind, honestly. So, what class have you got first period?" Tori looked over my shoulder at my schedule and traced her finger across one of the lines. "Wicked! You have English with Mrs. David. She's my teacher, too. She's really nice and helpful, she's also the guidance counselor, so you can go talk to her with any sort of problem you have. I mean anything! This guy, Nathan, he went to see her because he had itchy feet. Who goes to see a guidance counselor about itchy feet? Anyway, she gave him a note to give to his parents and they took him to the doctor, turns out he had some sort of disease that causes you scratch your feet!"
"Can we go to first period, please?" I asked, hoping she would shut up.
"Sure, it's this way." And Tori led me back down the never ending corridor.