*: First Person (Graham)
***: Third Person
I walked down the hallway, clutching my books and binders. I noticed Terry out of the corner of my eye. Maybe he’ll leave me alone this time, I thought to myself. I knew Terry wasn’t going to just pass me by. If he did, he would most likely be intoxicated. Terry Openheimer was the school’s star basketball player. He had short blond hair. In contrast, I had dark brown hair. Terry was walking with two of his teammates, eyes dead set on me. I kept looking forward and quickened my pace.
I had a biology test this period, and I was fairly close to the classroom. All I had to do was make it in the room in time. Come on, I urged. Just about thirty more feet.
Pain shot through my back as I was violently slammed into my locker. “Hey there, little nerd,” Terry teased. His hand came down and slapped all of my books out of my hands. His friends laughed it up as they clattered to the floor. I bent over to pick them up, but my stomach was met with Terry’s knee. All of the air was knocked out of me by the blow and I fell to the floor. I heard two female voices join in on the laughter.
I looked up to see Melanie Thayer and Jessie Liu. Melanie was a pretty girl with long blond hair and light brown eyes. She was Terry’s girlfriend. “Give him what he deserves, honey!” she exclaimed as if this were a game. It probably is to them. Then I felt Terry’s foot come down on my leg with a great amount of power.
Jessie laughed harder than anyone else. She had dark black hair and dark brown eyes. She was Melanie’s best friend and they were nearly inseparable. “Nerd,” Jessie snorted. “I don’t even know why you bother coming to school. Everyone hates you.” The painful words rang out in my head like a bell sounding. Suddenly, Melanie, Jessie, Terry, and his two friends all ran away. I looked in the opposite direction and was relieved to see Principal Edwards approaching.
“You okay, Graham?” he asked, his blue eyes conveying concern. I nodded and began picking up my things, ignoring the pain in my gut, spine, and my leg.
“I’m calling their parents,” Principal Edwards said. I shook my head.
“Please don’t,” I begged.
“It’ll just make things worse.”
“Okay, Graham. I’ll still be looking out for you, though.” Principal Edwards was really nice and knew that it was hard for me to fit in. If I didn’t want him to do anything, he wouldn’t. He had been through the same thing when he was my age. I had gathered all of my belongings and was heading back to class when Principal Edwards jogged up to me.
“One more thing,” he stated. “Just think about the trip to Paris that’s coming up. That’ll cheer you up. And during the trip, I’ll have a teacher look out for you, okay?” I nodded once more and he patted me on the back.
He checked his watch. “Get to class, you only have two minutes.” The principal walked away and I jogged to the biology room. I made it inside just a minute before the bell rang. It was a test on temperate deciduous forest biomes. An essay about animals and how they benefit from the biome concluded it. I finished it in fifteen minutes and everyone groaned in envy as I turned it in.
I sat back down and began reading a book as I waited for the bell to ring. Our teacher, Mrs. Fowler, never made us do anything the rest of the period on days we had tests. When the bell eventually rang, I headed for the exit and accidentally bumped into Rob West. He was African American with black hair and dark brown eyes. He was a little bit taller than most kids but was a solid guy, not lanky like his twin brother, Ron. Rob and I used to be friends from third grade to seventh grade. In eighth grade, we stopped hanging out. He said hanging with me made him look bad and hurt his “image”. He was captain of the dive team and was the best diver in the west coast.
“Sorry,” I muttered, backing up so he could get through.
“Its fine,” he said before he walked through the doorway. I followed and headed to my next class. The rest of the day was a blur. Nothing else important really happened that day. I just followed Principal Edward’s advice and thought about the junior trip to Paris. I thought about the Eiffel Tower, something I had always wanted to see in person. The very thought made me excited.
When I got home that day, I talked about it with my parents.
“I’m very happy for you,” Mom said. She wasa herpetologist, and she really wanted me to take photos of bugs in the area. "I hope you have fun. Oh yeah, please try to get some great pictures for me."
“Might as well start preparing,” Dad added. He was the complete opposite of a procrastinator. He quadruple-checked everythingBut he was really obsessive, though. I guess being a pharmacist did that to you. You put one pill in the wrong bottle and someone could die.
“I can’t wait!” I exclaimed. “It’s only three weeks away.”
Three weeks later…
I was at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport with half of my school’s juniors. We all got out passports checked, went through the security, and went through all of the necessary procedures. Then we got our luggage back and went through the terminal. We all waited for a while then boarded the jet bridge and got onto the plane. I took a window seat somewhere near the middle of the plane and put my stuff up. Another girl sat next to me. I thought her name was Macy. She had short black hair in a ponytail and glasses that sat atop her nose. From what I had seen, she was picked on a lot, too. Just not as much as me.
Across the aisle sat Rob and Ron. Suddenly, the pilot’s voice came on. “Thank you for flying with us today, Frost High School. Just call me Fred. I hope you enjoy this smooth flight to Paris, France, The City of Love. Be sure to look out the window for an occasional nice view.” The stewardess walked into the cabin and showed up how to buckle our seatbelts and what to do in case if an emergency. Eventually the plane took off and we were in the sky.
I decided against reading the book I brought along with me and I talked to Macy a bit, something I had never done before. “So, Graham,” she began. “Are you excited for the trip?” I smiled.
“You don’t know the half of it.”
“Oh, I think I do. I have always wanted to go to Paris.” We had a nice conversation for about an hour. Up ahead of us, Terry and Melanie sat together, being an openly… affectionate couple. Jessie sat across from them with her boyfriend, Carl Blue. He was a couple inches shorter than me and had black hair with a couple of gray streaks. He had gray, stone cold eyes. His parents had been through a divorce and even I noticed he had been a bit hotheaded lately.
I had been reading my book for a few hours now. I hadn’t been keeping track. I could read a book twenty-four hours straight if I wanted. I was reading a spy series and I was currently on book eight. I had finished number seven a half an hour ago. Right as the main character had been briefed for another mission, the plane shuddered violently. Everyone stopped whatever they were doing. I looked behind me and Mr. Twain, the school’s counselor shrugged.
“It’s probably just turbulence,” he assured me. I wasn’t so sure. I had been on planes before. I noticed Macy’s face turning green. She hurried out of her seat and ran into the bathroom. The plane shook once more, along with a loud curse that came from the cockpit. Rob and I stood up simultaneously.
“Fred?” Rob called to the pilot.
“You okay in there?” I asked.
“Sit down,” Mr. Twain demanded us both. With that, the plane quaked once more releasing and earsplitting metallic groan. I then heard a flush from the bathroom. Macy emerged, a confused and scared look on her face. She made her way over to me.
“What’s going on?” she asked. Instead of answering, I bent over and peered out of my window. I could clearly see the propeller, and to my horror, it was on fire. Then the plane violently jerked and I was pressed against the window. I felt two bodies against me and heard a scream from Macy and a groan from Rob.
The loud creak came once more and a piece of the wall in the back disappeared. All of the air began rushing out along with a loud howling noise, pulling the three of us. And the next thing I knew, the three of us were being pulled out of the plane through the large gaping hole. I uselessly grabbed at the back of my seat. I was freefalling in open air about two seconds later. I knew I was falling, but I didn’t know what was up or down. I just knew I was falling. And that Macy and Rob were there with me.
CHAPTERLY QUESTION: I know it's a bit early to tell, but which characters are you guys liking so far and which ones are you disliking? What do you guys think will happen next?