Mr. Newton was probably the most unfriendly-looking man Jordyn had ever seen. He had short, tight grey curls, a pointy nose and seemingly permanent pursed lips. Behind his thin-rimmed glasses were a pair of beady eyes, which watched them like they were beneath him somehow. They especially locked on Jordyn as she nervously made her way to her seat.
She sat, then without speaking—she really didn’t have anyone to talk to in here anyway—and she pulled her notebook and Chemistry book out, ready to start this class off on a good foot. Not because she was into chemistry like that, but because, to be honest, she was afraid of her teacher.
He wore a white collared shirt, and the collar looked a little too tight, like it was choking him. Maybe that was why his face was a reddish tint and he looked extra pissed off. He even wore a red bow-tie, something Jordyn had never seen in real life. He looked a little silly, but Jordyn had a feeling he didn’t get teased to his face. Ever.
She looked around her room, seeing there were only seven others, all nerds, and geeks. There were a couple of them that were dressed preppy, but somehow, Jordyn knew they were nerds.
The bell rang, and Mr. Newton slammed the door shut, right in another guy’s face. He locked it, and turned to face the class. “I do not tolerate tardies.”
Jordyn actually heard someone gulp behind her. Well, no three-strikes-and-you’re-out in here.
“Good morning, students,” he finally said in a less-than-friendly tone. “Welcome to AP Chemistry. I don’t expect any shenanigans in this classroom. You all are advanced enough to be in this class, I suspect you’re mature enough not to act like the under-developed high schoolers you are. You all know the school rules, you know how everything here works. I won’t waste my time going over anything. We have a lot to learn this year, so take out your chemistry books and turn to page 1.”
The rest of Jordyn’s morning was fairly normal. Her second period class, English Lit, was great. The class reading list started with Slaughterhouse Five, which Jordyn had read back in ninth grade at Reed High School. Third period, Jordyn had gym. There she was issued her very own grey gym t-shirt with Cedarwood High School in big black letters on the front—yay—and was told to have fingertip length black shorts tomorrow. Unfortunately, though, Ashley and her friends were all in gym with her, and all Jordyn heard for an hour and a half was how hot Coach Peters was. Yuck! Her ears really tuned into the conversation when she heard Leah say, “Oh my gosh, have you seen the new receiver for the football team?”
“Yeah, Tyler, or something?” Shari asked. “He’s new in town, and super-hot.”
Oh, shoot me now. Jordyn thought as punky Blake Cormann sat next to her on the bleachers.
“Hey, California, what’s up,” he said with a grin. This was annoying. She looked at him with a smile. His eyes were sleepy, and he smelled strongly of weed.
“Hi,” she said, still trying to hear the conversation about her brother two bleachers down. But Ashley had whipped her head around to stare—what was with this girl?!—and Shari and Leah followed suite and turned around, too.
“Hi, Blake!” Ashley said, turning her attention to him.
“Yeah, hi Blake,” Shari and Leah copied. Jordyn was learning something about them already. Ashley was the queen of them, and they were her second in command. She would bet they probably did everything Ashley told them to, too.
“Hey, what’s up,” Blake said back. Then he turned his attention back to Jordyn. “Hey, uh, isn’t Ty Hamilton your brother.”
Jordyn nodded, keeping Ashley, Leah and Shari in her peripheral view to watch their responses. When their jaws dropped, Jordyn felt accomplished.
“That dude is cool as hell,” Blake laughed. “He’s a helluva receiver, too. What part of California did you say you came from?”
“San Diego. You’ve seen my brother play?”
Blake chuckled. “I’m on the football team.”
That was a surprise. And here Jordyn thought she had the cliques all figured out. Because Blake definitely didn’t strike her as the jock type. She wondered if the rest of the football team smoked weed between classes, too.
Jordyn heard a vibrating sound come from Blake. Quickly, he reached into his jeans pocket and pulled out a cell phone. He read a text message, then quickly texted back, shoving the phone back into his pocket. He flashed Jordyn a flirty smile, then stood up. “Gotta run. Catch you later.”
Jordyn watched as he hopped up and walked over to their coaches, said something, then waved as he walked out.
“How hot is that?” Leah asked. “He can just up and leave whenever he wants.”
“That’s because he’s a football player,” Ashley said, twirling a strand of dark hair around her finger. “Coaches love the guys who bring home the trophies. They can do whatever they want.”
Shari giggled. “They wouldn’t be able to if they knew where he was going right now.”
Ashley scoffed and jabbed her friend in the side with her elbow. “Uhm, hello, Shari. Shut up.” Then she looked back at Jordyn, her eyes narrowed. As if that wasn’t a kick in the gut. She might as well have blurted out, “Don’t say anything in front of the new girl,” because that was what she’d meant.
Jordyn just rolled her eyes and pulled out her cell phone. She wondered how Ty’s day was going. Mr. Popular was probably having an excellent day, covered in cheerleaders, and getting to leave class whenever he wanted.
But she texted him anyway.
Hey, how’s your first day going?
He texted back pretty quickly.
Pretty good.:) How about you? You find all your classes OK?
You made any friends?
She thought about Blake. She thought about Ashley and her friends, and instinctively her nose turned up into a cringe.
I think I kinda made one, she replied back.
LOL. Don’t worry, Jor. It’ll get better.
She slid her phone back into her pocket with a sigh. Yeah. Because how could it get worse than those three diva-wannabes staring at her.
Speaking of them…
“Excuse me,” Jordyn sighed. “What can I help you three with?”
Ashley’s jaw dropped and she made a face. Then she smirked, and turned around. Finally.
Jordyn rolled her eyes. "I mean, damn." With that comment, Ashley whipped back around, her teeth gritted and her eyes narrowed. Jordyn figured that she was supposed to be intimiated. She rolled her eyes again, then pulled her phone back out and played with it until Ashley finally faced forward again.
But she could hear them whispering about her.
Jordyn sighed. Wonderful. She'd made an enemy on the first day. What an accomplishment.