I'm sitting in stocking feet on the schools stage. Around me are a good number of other cast and crew members, next to me is a girl I know from classes, she's ignoring me and so is pretty much everyone else. Looking around I see a few people who i recognize from my elementary school and shrink a little further back. That school was never fun for me and was somewhat of a personal hell and now I worried that that would carry on into this production. Taking a deep breath I focused my attention on looking for people who I might be able to make friends with, and just getting a general idea of who i was going to have to be careful not to cross. There were a few people who caught my eye, first were girls who were ignoring me to look cool but I'd known since childhood, my best friend being fashionably late as usual but the rest being there all in their usual giggly mood, i waved to them but they were too busy singing some vulgar song to notice (probably the reason i wasn't sitting with them in the first place). One girl sitting with them scared me a lot, the thought of being in the darkened wings of the stage with the person who had dreamed of killing me and had bullied me for eight years previously and beaten me up daily for the past two was not something I looked forward to especially. Shivering at the thought I moved my eyes to a second group on the right, there was nobody I knew there, though one girl was familiar to me because she'd stood out in the halls due to the fact that she always wore a tie make of plastic pearls and had crazy blond hair. I laughed a little at the way she was acting, very much extroverted and slightly insane. The girl next to her seemed a little intimidated by her I thought to myself. Continuing to search through the groups several more people caught my eye, they included a boy that had been on my bus before he graduated, a brother and sister who had been in a spilt class two years ago (neither had the slightest liking for me) , and one girl who I'd become fascinated by the first few weeks of the year because her hair was straighter than i would have ever thought possible. I bit my lip remembering how that little fascination had scared me so much, even though it lasted such a short time and had been over a month ago, it had scared me. I remembered panicking thinking 'oh my gawd what if i'm like...gay' but then I'd laughed and brushed it off, and the girl became nothing but part of the crowd of people who I saw daily. Once again, I had to shake off the memory in order to move on with my careful observance of the company I now belonged to. I spotted a girl who my eyes had missed because she was sitting farther back than most, like me, with a group sitting forward and blocking her from view until they joined the circle. The moment I saw her it was amazed that I hadn't noticed her before because she stood out so much, she seemed so different. She wore a yellow uniform shirt (which I had never seen before because they had stopped making them for our school years ago so nearly everybody wore either blue or white) and most noticeable of all, a toy zebra that doubled as a backpack. I watched her for a moment as she made notes in a large binder with almost nothing in it. I wondered what it was for but then our director (who was also my favorite teacher) called us all to attention again and gave an opening statement of sorts. After this she introduced the two assistant stage managers (who looked surprisingly uninterested seeing as it was the first rehearsal) and then the girl who I'd been observing a few moments ago, she was the stage manager, which I guess explained the binder. Waving a cheery hello, she told us her name was Ella.
She started to take attendance and I could hear that she was a little nervous, mispronouncing a few names. During this tedious roll call i learned the names of a few more people, the girl who I had noticed in the halls was named Elizabeth (or liz for short) and it turned out that she had a sister named Alice, also, there was a guy with a beard who in all honesty scared me a lot (at the beginning of grade nine nobody is quite used to guys having facial hair) was named David. When the stage manager came to my name she hesitated for a moment , so short that it was almost impossible to notice and looked up at me which I was amazed at because she seemed to almost know who I was. I felt a moment of fear as our eyes met and we said hello because she was the stage manager and something told me that this was not the person I wanted to cross. She gave a small smile and went back to finishing the rest of the attendance, and as she read the rest of the names, I wondered what this production would bring.