Ever since dad had left on deployment, mom hadn’t really been around. Abby had pretty much raised me all of my life, and quite honestly if I was put into her shoes I couldn't have handled it. The amount of stress she must have been under. Between battling school work and grades, caring for me, still trying to have a semi-social life, and focusing on soccer, I still to this day have no clue how she did it, but I definitely praise her for being the best sister one could ask for. She was the one true friend that I grew up with
Abby was the one who would sit and help with homework, braid my hair before school each day, and tuck me in bed, kissing me goodnight. My sister Abby and I were co close; I remember it as if freshman year was yesterday. I didn’t have many friends at school, but at least I could look up to her and have someone there for me.
Abby was now a junior at Jacksonville High, and it was my first year. It was so strange, leaving middle school for a huge school with hundreds of kids, I was so scared, but she talked me through it. She told me it would be alright, and as long as I stay away from certain groups of people, I will have no problems at all. She even gave me faith of friends, at the time at least…
I slide my fingertips across the freezing cold wall, outlining each stone as I walk. I have my hood pulled slightly over my face, and my hair pulled back into a tight ponytail; only the tips of my hair lay on my shoulder.
“Soo... here is room 102, your fifth period. English.”
“Thanks,” I gave a weak smile, “I appreciate the tour.” I hadn’t even realized the sarcasm in my voice until then. I gripped my books and pulled them to my chest. I looked towards the floor, not knowing what I was in search for.
“You’re welcome,” he turned to leave, “oh and Ms. Anderson, no hoods in the building,” The tall male figure threw me a slight laugh over his shoulder as he glanced back at me and continued on his way; his hands shoved into his leather jacket pockets.
I gave a small smile and entered the classroom, only to be the center of attention.
Great... Just great.
“Is this… English?” I was shocked that she was able to hear my faint voice.
“Yes it is, are you Grace Anderson?”
“Yes,” I tried giving a soft smile, but I probably just looked like an idiot.
“Oh, it’s nice to meet you Grace; you can take a seat in any seat open.”
I quickly scanned the desks looking for an empty space, to find only one in the far back. I hurried to this spot, and quickly sat down, hoping to lose everyone’s attention.
Eyes took turns staring me up and down, and glances were traded back and forth.
Was this high school?
If so, I was really going to miss middle school.
Minutes went by, but they felt like hours. Finally the bell rang and everyone scurried off in opposite directions as papers flew around the room during the jumbled mess. I stood up and pulled my sweatshirt down, as I slid my backpack onto my shoulders and picked up my belongings. I headed for the door but was stopped by a voice.
“Grace, is it?”
“Yes ma’am. It is.”
“What a lovely name, well Grace I am terribly sorry for the awkward stares you received.”
“No worries, I didn’t mind.”
The older woman sat at her desk, and now she glaced up at me to give me a warming smile.
“Have a good day, Grace.”
“Thank you, you too Mrs.…”
“Right,” I tried offering a smile and turned suddenly towards the door in slight embarrassment.
I stopped, but I did not look.
I could not see her, but I could tell she was smiling.
I opened the classroom door and branched off to my left. I hadn’t noticed the kid leaning on the lockers until I heard my name and spun around.
“It is kind of funny how we keep meeting like this, isn’t it?”
He walked towards me.
“Yeah… Kind of is.”
“I don’t think I mentioned it, but the name is Derek.”
“Nice to meet you Derek,” I hugged my books closer to my chest.
“C’mon, we have trig next.”
“You…You’re in my class?”
“Yeah,” he laughed. “What, you don’t think I’m smart enough?”
“No,” I quickly blurted. “I mean, I just didn’t know I had a class with you.”
His smile widened and he laughed once more.
“Let’s go before we are late. Don’t want to get in trouble your first day.”
“Right. Good idea,” I pushed my shoulder strap up a little further and followed behind.
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