A new school year. Seniors. Only one year left to go, until collage would be starting.. The thought made me shudder.
I nervously made my way into the classroom – I didn’t know anybody in English period 3. All morning I had asked my friends, anybody who might be in this class. There had been nobody – and now as I walked through the door the butterflies exploded through my stomach. I observed a few kids I knew last year, but nobody that I was more than acquaintances with.
“Hello.” A males voice said, and I found myself staring at a tall, skinny man with glasses. He must have been in his fifties or so – he looked like a younger version of my grandfather. Black glasses were perched on his nose, and he had just a few strands of hair on his head. So, this was the awful Mr. Jenalik everybody feared. “I will be your English teacher for you sophmore year.” He informed me, holding out his hand.
I took it and he shook it hard – just once up and down, squeezing it with all this might. “I – I’m Grace. Grace Hardamon. Nice to meet you.” I stuttered.
He nodded once and then stepped past me to greet the next student. Hurridly, I found a desk in the middle of the classroom, sat down, and immediately started organizing my notebooks. I laid out two sharp pencils, and a clean white eraser. Okay, normally I wasn’t this nerdy, but today I was scared. We weren’t new in High School anymore. The teachers would go harder – the homework would increase. I doodled in my notebook until Mr. Jenalik called for attention.
“I would like to welcome you all to my class. As you can see, I am your English teacher. I have been teaching for over thirty years now.” Damn, he was old! I looked around me at my new classmates. Sitting next to me was a cute guy; I knew his name was Harry. On my other side was a girl I didn’t know, she must have been new. Harry had straight black hair, not long but a little short. He had black eyes and Asian features – our boarding school was international in Switzerland.
So, anyways, to stop talking about the kid next to me, let me tell you about my life. My parents are the most loving parents in the world, and my father also works internationally. We’ve lived in Switzerland since I was about seven. Before that we lived in California, where I’m from, while my little brother was born. There wasn’t a really good high school for me when I turned fourteen, so my parents decided to send me to a boarding school two hours away. They also sent my little brother, who is two years younger than me, so we would have each other.
Every Friday night they drive up to get us, and every Sunday afternoon they drive us back. It’s important to have family time every week, in my mother’s opinion. Since I moved here two years ago, I love having my own life. Don’t get me wrong – my family is great – but doing whatever I want to do is wonderful. I’m allowed to date whom I want, stay up late, clean my room when I feel like it, and so on. I have one roommate, Hannah, but she’s hardly ever home. She’s also senior, loves to party, and usually falls asleep on the couch at her friends houses. I don’t really know her – honestly I’ve met her only a few times.
Mr. Jenalik continued his little welcome speech. “I am strict on due dates. Papers turned in at the wrong time will have significant points taken off.” Carefully opening my notebook, I took careful notes of what he was saying. “Essays are done about once a month, and you will have plenty of class time in order to complete it. So, I would now like you to turn to your classmate beside you, and tell them a little bit about yourself. I’d like our classroom atmosphere to be friendly and light.”
Seeing as the girl beside me had already turned to her friend, I had no choice but to turn to Harry first. “Hi.” He said, sounding a bit shy.
“Hi…” My response seemed awkward and we both blushed and looked down.
“I’m Harry… thought I think I already know you? Have I seen you around? This is my third year at Scottalaid, how about you?” Scottalaid was the name of our school – lame, I know. Everyone made fun of it, constantly, (Especially the poor people named Scott – are you getting laid tonight, Scott?), but somehow the principal refused to change it.
I laughed a bit. “Yeah, I’ve been at Scotts since the beginning of High School, too. It love the atmosphere… especially living alone, without my parents. Yeah, I know I’ve seen you around, too…but just briefly? I’m Grace, by the way.” I rattled out random stuff, not really caring what I was saying. His eyes were pretty… his looks were cute. I found myself seeing an opportunity.
“Grace… it’s nice to meet you officially. Yeah, I love the atmosphere too… the huge campus is so nice, you know? Perfect for long walks around the trees.”
“Oh my gosh, I know!” He was easy to talk to, once we found a good topic. “I usually run in the mornings… since I totally refuse to go to the gym! It’s such an embarrassment.” I laughed a little at memories of past experiences with my friends, trying to lift weights while senior boys lifted three times as much.
“Hey, I run every morning, too…maybe we could run together tomarrow morning? And the gym is just awful…it’s so competitive.” Harry winced; he didn’t seem like the strong type, seeing his small arms and tall but skinny body.
My heart warmed at the invitation. “Yeah, that would be great!” I told him, astonished that I got a date (could we call it that?) on the first day of Junior Year. “So…you’ll come by my dorm at six, or so?” I paused, and let him do the details.
“Yeah, that sounds good. Hey, my best friend usually jogs with me…do you mind if he comes along? I can tell him I’ve got other plans, if you want.”
I paused, my nice personality wouldn’t allow me to say no, but I had sort of hoped it would be just the two of us. No nerdy friends coming along, butting into conversations and not allowing us to get to know each other. “Sure…that sounds fine. I live in dorm eight, and I can just meet you at the bottom.” He smiled at me, and didn’t look away from my eyes. He was cute, really cute. I found that I couldn’t wait for our jog tomorrow morning.