~*~Welcome to Weaverville~*~
"Wait…" I say, not believing my ears. Are they seriously going to sit here and tell me that I have to transfer schools my second semester of my senior year? They are insane, nuts, psychotic…all of these things and so much more. I have graduation, I have prom (even though I was fully planning on skipping), I have senior skip day. I had so many things to look forward to and now I’m not even going to experience them? Well, I guess I am but it’s just going to be at a completely different school in a different state. I shake my head, my long and blonde hair falling around my bare shoulders, "You’re serious?"
My mom nods her head at me, tears burning fresh in her eyes. I know she feels bad, I know that there is no way in hell she is going to stay here for a whole semester while my dad goes to California because of his job. I know she won’t, but that still doesn’t keep me from thinking about how nice that would be.
She leans forward on the couch, grabbing my pale hand in hers and squeezing, "Look, Ellie, your father and I talked to your Aunt Kimmie…she said that you were more than welcome to live with her the rest of the year. Your father and I would never want to make you leave in the middle of your senior year."
I sigh, thoughts running rapidly throughout my head. There is the part of me that would love to stay here in the home that I’ve known forever. I would love to experience all of those experiences with my friend that I’d known forever. The rebellious teenager inside of me yells to agree to that, to agree to moving in with my crazy aunt, but then as I look on at my little brother who is sitting on the floor and watching Blue’s Clues and I know…I know that there is no way I can leave him, especially since I will be leaving for college in just a few months.
I have to spend time with him before I lose my chance. And then as much as I don’t want to admit it, I know that there is also no way I’d ever be able to leave my parents. My dad is a giant goofball who wears a chef hat every single time he cooks dinner and my mom, even though she is quiet, is one of the best advice givers on this planet. They are my family and even though I know that leaving Louisiana will be insanely hard for me, leaving my family will be even harder.
So I shake my head, not even allowing myself to think on it any further. I say, "No, that’s…I’ll come with you guys."
My mom smiles, a weird thing considering how her face has been sad ever since my dad told her this morning that his boss had called and decided to relocate all of us to Northern California—Weaverville to be exact. She told me that the drive there would take three days and that we’d be arriving just three days before school started thanks to the almost over winter break.
It is all coming at me so fast. I mean just this morning I woke up and thought that today would be just another day. I’d wake up and eat breakfast with my family before heading on over to Kyle’s house. But, apparently it’s not going to happen that way.
Kyle is my best friend. He is a year younger than me—my parents say we are such good friends because I am so immature—and is a bit on the chunky side. But he is the only person who doesn’t think I am a freak for playing video games and preferring my purple bike with a basket to a car. He doesn’t laugh at my comic book collection and I don’t laugh at his. So yeah, we just click.
And as I think about it, I know that I am going to miss him more than anything in this world. He is better than any girlfriend. He brings me cheese puffs when I am sad and will let me lay on his fluffy Avatar pillow when I want to cry. Whose pillow am I going to lie on now?
As tears start to escape my brown eyes, I sniffle and pull our Pug dog, Piggy, against me. I ruffle his ears and bring him against my chest, hoping that the laziest dog on the planet will bring me some much needed comfort. He licks at the bottom of my chin and I let out a sad smile, looking towards my parents, "The dog’s coming with us, right?"
"Kyle!" I squeal, throwing open his door and not trying to trip on any of his crap that always blankets his floor. He is where he is always found; lying on his bed, his feet dangling over the footboard, and his Xbox controller pointed at the TV hanging from his wall. He is so the same even though my life is taking a drastic turn.
He doesn’t even jump; how sad is that? He is so used to my coming in unannounced, throwing open his bedroom door and then tackling him on the bed. He does, though, pause the game and turn his head to face me. When he sees the tear marks on my pale cheeks, he knows that something is up. He sits up on the bed, patting the spot next to him.
I immediately take the spot, looking over towards him and trying to picture what my life will be like without him. It will suck, that much is for sure. He asks me worriedly, "What’s up?"
More tears starting to splash onto my cheeks, I tell him sadly, "We’re moving."
"What?" he asks me, his expression looking as if he doesn’t want to believe it. Oh, I don’t want to believe it either. "You’re moving where?"
I tell him, "Weaverville, California. I looked it up online. It’s 2,400 miles from here and it’s going to take us thirty-six hours to get there. How badly does this suck?"
He sighs, leaning his head against my shoulder. He says, "Almost as much as when I thought Harry Potter died."
I laugh, trying not to think about how much I’m going to miss his science fiction and game references. Ruffling his black hair with my fingers, I sigh and lean my cheek against the top of his head. We are both silent for a moment, the two of us trying to picture what life without the other would be like. Kyle will survive; I know he will, what with all of his little nerdy friends who love pretending they’re warriors. But me? He has been my only friend for so long now. How am I supposed to know how to make new ones?
He asks me, "When do you leave?"
I tell him solemnly, "We’re going to attempt and pack all of our stuff in the next two days. Then we leave."
He says, "Merry freaking Christmas, right?"
I snort a laugh again, feeling an aching inside of my chest. Days spent with Kyle are going to be the biggest thing that I miss; days just holing ourselves up in his room and playing video games. No one in California is going to be like that. They’re going to shop and get manicures and laugh at me for thinking that Cartoon Network is the best TV channel ever. I feel like crying all over again.
I can’t be here anymore; I can’t be around Kyle knowing that I’ll probably never see him again. I would love more than anything to have a long, meaningful goodbye with him but I guess that I’m just way too weak. So I rise to my feet and grab my bag that was thrown to the floor in my crazed rampage into the room. I lean forward and plant a kiss on his cheek, "I’ll text you, okay?"
He looks up towards me, his big and brown doe eyes finding mine. He asks me, "Do you want me to help you pack?"
I sniffle and shake my head, wiping underneath my eyes so that no more mascara stains coat my face. I say, "No…I just…I think being with you more will just hurt, you know?"
He stands up, wrapping his arms around me and letting me bury my head into his neck. Even though I just wiped my tears, new ones start pouring out of my eyes. Kyle has basically been my brother since fifth grade; how am I just supposed to leave him? He’s been my geeky rock for so long now. He’s shown me that it’s perfectly okay to be different in this town, not wanting to go hunting like the boys or go shopping like the girls. What if everyone is different in California? What if I’m not going to have anyone to show me that it’s okay to be me and I’ll just become like everyone else?
I spill all of this to Kyle, probably staining his Darth Vader T-shirt in the process. He pulls away from me and looks into my eyes once more. He says, "Look, you’re going to be fine, alright? You just be you. And if you change…well, I’m going to shove my light saber up your butt."
Knowing that instead of something perverted, he’s referring to his plastic light-up light saber that he got from Disney World one year, I giggle at the unintended innuendo, pulling him into a tight hug once more. Kyle has always been able to do that, to say something so utterly perverted but not even realize it. He is so naïve and has such a clean mind that I don’t know how I haven’t dirtied it up since I came into his life. I’m more innocent then I want to be, that much I’ll say, but let’s just say that my mind is so deep in the gutter that it’s probably with the mole people who I know live down there.
Kyle though, probably just thinks that I’m laughing at his threat. That’s what he always does.
This is going to be the hardest thing that I’ve ever done.
"Done, thank God," I exhale to myself, falling back on my bright orange comforter and lazily throwing my arm over my sweaty forehead. We arrived to Weaverville just this morning, about ten hours ago. And since I’d been in the car for way longer than I ever want to be in a car again, I wanted to do something that required movement. So, because I am the idiot that I am, I told my dad not to worry about setting up my room and I did it myself.
Even though it looks nice, better than it did back home, I wish that I would have just accepted his offer and supervised him. I’m not exactly one for physical labor—I’m always the last girl done with laps at P.E.—and so moving heavy furniture and pinning posters and making my huge bed…it exhausted me. And so now I’m contemplating falling asleep on my bed, fully clothed and with un-brushed teeth. Nasty? Yes. Appealing? Even more so.
I look out of the window facing the road; I realize that it’s not even all that dark outside. I don’t even know if the sun’s out yet. So even though I really just want to fall asleep right now, the prospect of waking up at five in the morning tomorrow sounds awful. Somehow or another I manage to pull myself off of my bed, my bare feet touching the wooden floor beneath me.
After tying my hair in a ponytail on top of my head so that the back of my neck will cool down, I start making my way down the old wooden stairs so that I can see how much my parents have accomplished downstairs. The stairs empty into the living room and as I let my eyes wander around, I notice that the only things that have been set up are the couch and the coffee table.
"Hey Ells, is your room done yet?" my dad asks as he opens the front door with one hand, carrying a big box that is labeled "Pillows" with a big, black sharpie. Hmm…for a second there I wondered if my dad had somehow gotten super human strength along with the new house. Guess not.
"Yeah," I say dramatically, "But I almost died in the process."
He laughs at my usual over-the-top attitude and asks me, "How?"
Walking across the wooden floor—apparently carpenters in Weaverville haven’t discovered carpet yet—I plop myself down on the couch which, even though we’ve had it forever, feels brand new in the new house. I prop my feet onto the coffee table and explain to him, "I was putting that thing on the bottom of the bed…"
He offers me the word, "Dust ruffle?"
I snap my fingers as the word clicks inside of my head, "Yeah! Well anyways…you have to lift the mattress underneath the normal mattress to put it on and my fingers aren’t that strong so both mattresses fell and broke my fingers."
"You hear that honey?" my dad says which lets me know that my mom has now entered the den, "Our daughter was almost killed today."
I look over the back of couch to face the two of them and I see that my mom is in the kitchen, sitting Peyton on the counter and holding him by the waist. She smiles to herself and says overdramatically to play along with my dad, "Well that’s just awful, Ellie! I’m so happy you survived!"
I narrow my eyes at the two of them, at the two people who I desperately want to hate for moving me across the country but I can’t, and say with false hurt, "Sarcasm isn’t nice."
The two of them both laugh at me, our joking making me feel more at home then I’ve felt all day. My parents have a way of making me feel totally okay, of making me feel like this move may not be so bad. I mean, worse things can happen, right? I could have an awful family. But I don’t. And even though the thought of starting the new school in just three days absolutely terrifies me, having my parents and little brother here with me helps with that just a little bit.
"Welcome to Weaverville High School, Ms. Everson," the lady behind the school office’s front desk says to me, a formal smile on her face that shows she’d rather do anything but be nice to me. Oh well, it’s kind of her job, the woman can deal with it.
I smile just as coldly at her before grabbing my schedule card from her wrinkled old hands and then pushing my way out of the warm, almost woodsy front office. I don’t know what is up with this town. Everything either looks like it was shipped here right out of the revolutionary war while some looks like a woodsman wearing flannel would live inside. I’m still not sure if I like it or not.
Looking at the crap load of papers the bitchy old lady gave me, I see that I have locker 9010 and that it’s located on the second floor. I just don’t know where on the second floor. And since the school is beyond huge, I just have a feeling it’ll take a while to find it. Oh well, I think to myself, I’d rather get lost by myself rather than have someone show me around and make awkward small-talk with me. I do have to say that having someone already put my class books in my locker is quite nice. Apparently the student council around here rocks.
Since I got to school early since I just knew I’d get lost, not many people are walking around and the few that are must be insane. Once I get the hang of this place I won’t be coming in until five minutes before the bell rings, just like I did back home.
It takes me about five minutes for me to just find the stairs, but from there it’s pretty easy. Luckily my locker is right in front of the stairs, something that I never would have imagined. Aren’t first days of school supposed to be awful? So far it hasn’t really been all that bad. Well, except for the whole bitchy lady downstairs. But if I had to deal with this many kids all the time I have a feeling I’d be the same way.
The third time I input my locker combination it swings open, making me want to do a little happy dance. Back home I had the same locker for three years and it still was hard for me to put in my combination. Apparently lockers and I aren’t great friends. What I see inside the locker, though, startles me.
On the exposed metal above the tops of the school books, a hot pink card that reads in girly script "Welcome to Weaverville!" is taped, something that I wouldn’t even expect the girl from Legally Blonde to do. But it’s there in all its cheery, feminine glory, making me wonder if whoever did this loves unicorns and flowers.
"You must be Ellie," a feminine voice says from behind me, making me jump about five feet into the air. I know that it’s sad considering Kyle and I always have horror movie marathons and we usually laugh at the wimps who we know will get scared, but people sneaking up on me has always freaked me out beyond belief.
So when I turn around and face the pristine looking blonde behind me, I’m not exactly in the best of spirits. I raise my eyebrows at the girl with the pink sweater, pearl necklace with matching earrings, and curly blonde hair, saying "Yes."
She smiles at me; a smile that looks like it’ll be on TV one day, trying to get as many votes as possible so that she can be the first woman president. She says, "I’m Harmony Truscott, student body president. It’s so great to meet you!"
For some reason, even though people like this usually annoy the hell out of me, she doesn’t. Instead of talking to me because she wants to have my vote when she gets older, she just seems like the type of person who really wants everyone to feel welcome here, someone who is being nice because she feels like it. I immediately know that it’s her who left the pink welcoming card.
"You too," I say, the annoyance immediately dripping clear from my voice. "Thanks for my locker," I say, tilting my head towards the vibrant pink card sitting inside.
She looks so proud of herself after I say this, as if she’s just helped me say no to drugs or something. She says, "Oh you’re so very welcome! It’s been so long since we’ve had a new student and since it’s a girl my age it’s even better."
Crap. Even though being a new student will always suck beyond reason, it’s going to be even worse because of the fact that I’m the first one in a long while. Maybe if there were a few others we’d bond and I won’t have to sit alone at lunch, but I guess that that’s not the case.
Apparently she notices the hesitance on my face and so she waves her hand in front of us, as if she’s telling me it’s no big deal. She says, "Oh, don’t worry. Everyone here is so nice! And you got here just in time…the big band showcase is coming up in a few months."
"Band showcase?" I ask her, visualizing a bunch of people with their shiny trumpets with clarinets and trumpets. Is that something really to get so excited about? But then again maybe school bands are a huge deal here.
She nods her peppy blonde head, "Yeah. It’s a huge deal here, the whole school comes. About six or seven house bands perform in the school auditorium one night and the winner gets recording time at the studio around here."
That actually does sound really cool. No one at my old school was ever in a band, everyone there just loved to fish and hunt and ride four-wheelers. So we never got any school stuff like band competitions. So I ask her, "Seriously? That sounds so cool."
She grins, obviously ecstatic that she’s made me like the school just a little bit more. She says, "It is! And I get to be the emcee this year, I’m so happy."
I’m about to say something when I sense someone walking along side of us, a huge gust of perfume sliding up my nostrils and making me want to gag. Then when someone says, "You’re always happy, Truscott, it’s kind of sickening," and Harmony’s face falls, I know that whoever this is has to be the school bitch, the person that everyone hates but no one has the balls to stand up to.
Harmony turns towards the girl who, at first glance, just looks like someone whose main goal in life is to make everyone around her feel inferior. First of all, she’s gorgeous. She has long dark brown hair and piercing green eyes along with a body that I’d kill for. And second of all she’s standing tall and handling herself like she knows what she wants and won’t stop until she gets it.
But luckily nothing overdramatic happens, seeing as how the girl has said everything she wants to and then walks past us, her black hair swinging as she makes her way down the more-crowded hallway. I roll my eyes at her, immediately hating everything that the girl stands for. Girls like that, girls who are just bitchy for no reason, just need to fall down a hole or something.
I turn towards Harmony who now looks to be just the slightest shade of green. See? Bitches like that can get the strongest girls to crumble into little balls with just one statement. I already hate her. I ask her, "Who was that?"
Harmony tears her eyes away from where the girl is now turning into the bathroom and looks at me, her eyes looking small and frightened. "That was Jazz Cartwright. She thinks she owns the school just because her parents are loaded and she’s dating Pete Winston, the guy who wins the band battle every year he enters."
I sigh, getting my first classes’ book and then shutting my locker door closed, "It feels like I just entered a movie or something."
Harmony giggles, every ounce of hurt that Jazz inflicted on her now gone. Knowing that I’ve made her feel better, well, it’s pretty awesome. She says, "Welcome to Weaverville."
I look down the hallway once more, down where Jazz has disappeared and a group of what look to be skateboarders are talking by their lockers and downing Monster energy drinks. Harmony may make me feel a hell of a lot better, but after the awful encounter with Jazz I feel like I’m going to need just a bit more help.