Chapter 3

Chapter 3

The steps below my feet creaked with each pace I took as I treaded down the stairs in my first-day-of-school attire; a long sleeve, blue shirt with a sweetheart neckline, and a crisp, new pair of blue jeans, all courtesy of Colleen, who insisted on me having brand new clothes and supplies for school. But across my shoulder hung my old book bag, which I had to convince Colleen that I would rather have instead of a new book bag. I just liked my old school book bag more than I could a new one. It was simple, just a dark purple backpack, with no fancy designs or frills. But that was just the way I liked it.

But to compromise the loss of not getting to buy me a new book bag, inside my old one was a million and one new school notebooks, folders and pencils that Colleen had thrown in.

When I reached the bottom of the staircase, I sauntered into the kitchen, where Colleen left me a plate of Luke warm eggs, and a pitcher of orange juice sitting on the marble counter top. Colleen had already left for work, so I would have the house to myself for the rest of the day when I got back, which was okay for me. It would give me time to work on the homework I was sure I would be given, and to reflect on the miserable day I was destined to have.

It was October, which of course, was the middle of the first quarter, so I wouldn’t be too far behind the class, but enough to have to catch up. And despite what Colleen had told me about the school, how “great” it was, and how much I would “enjoy” it, I wasn’t the least bit excited about it. I was more resentful than anything, wishing I could just be homeschooled. I was perfectly down with the idea of teaching myself.

What I most resented about going, was having to make contact with people. Hopefully it would be like all the other first days I had experienced which consisted of me being alone the entire day, and that being the end of it. If it ended up like that, I wouldn’t mind.

But, this being a very small town, much smaller than Chicago, I was destined to have many introductions. And for that I had to mentally prepare myself, running through the possible conversation in my head, rehearsing what I would say and how I would say it. I was never good at talking to people. I could never seem to get the right words out of my mouth at the right time. I guessed if I would have to be stereotyped, then I would definitely be a Loner. The only thing I was good at.

I didn’t want to be late on my first day, so I left the house thirty minutes early, at the slight chance that I might get lost on the way there. Colleen wrote down the directions, which were simple enough for even me to understand, but you never knew what would happen, especially with me.

And it was a good thing that I did leave thirty minutes early, because Colleen lives more far away from the high school than I thought. In fact, I was positive arrived a little bit late.

I quickly found a parking space in the back of the parking lot, next to a black motorcycle with a matching full-faced helmet balancing on the seat, and scurried inside a large square building, covered in ivy and kudzu. If it hadn’t been for the sign outside the school declaring “Cutler High School”, I think I would have passed it thinking it was a condemned building.

As the old saying goes, “you can’t judge a book by its cover”, in this case, it was indeed true. The outside of the school building may have looked condemned, but inside it was welcoming. I was greeted by a blast of warm air and a long, broad hallway with shiny concrete floors with a colorful tile design on them when I entered the thick, wooden doors. It wasn’t as fancy as my school in Chicago, but it was quite impressive compared to its exterior.

I spotted a door that had a brass plaque nailed to it, labeled “Student Affairs Office”. I wasn’t sure wether this was the right office or not, but I pushed the door open and walked inside anyways.

It was a small room, with a large desk in the middle, and several shelves and a couple other desks scattered around.

I walked over to the one in the middle. A short woman, with her bleached blonde hair tied up in a bun sat behind the desk, her face buried in a large, hard cover book.

She looked up at me and smiled.

“Hi, can I help you?” Her voice sounded too high pitched for her looks.

“Yeah, um, I’m-“

“The new student,” she finished for me. “right, of course.”

I nodded.

She set her book down onto the counter and pulled out a drawer full of files, handing me a thin yellow folder. She went through the papers inside, telling me the class schedule, going over the map of the school, classroom rules and giving me a form to get each of my teachers to sign.

By the time she had finished with her speech on how important my education was to the school, and how pleased the school was to have me, she sent me on my way, telling me that it would be wise to get to my classes a little early.

When I got back out into the hallway, more people had showed up, and it was more crowded. I attempted to push my way through, following my map to my first class, which was English.

I turned into a classroom, filled with students who crowded around each other’s table, laughing and chattering on about random things loudly. A man with sandy blonde hair swept back and gelled stylishly, and a robust looking build, stood in front of the teacher’s desk, looking down and flipping through a bunch of papers.

Assuming he was the teacher, I approached him slowly, felling my shyness kick in. I got out the slip he was supposed to sign, and I opened my mouth to speak, when he looked over at me and smiled.

“Well hello there. Can I help you?”

“I’m Juliet Bailey, the—“

“The new student. Right. Right.” He stood up straight and smiled, revealing perfectly straight teeth and laugh lines. He raised one eyebrow, and stared me down for a few seconds. I looked away uncomfortably.

“I was told that you need to sign this.” I said, still looking away, but handing the form to him.

“Of course.” He said, grabbing a pen from his desk and scribbling his name quickly on one of the empty columns. He handed the paper back to me. “You can take that empty desk back there.” He motioned towards a single empty desk next to the window.

Feeling the eyes of every person in the room on me, I walked quickly to the desk, their gazes following me. I looked around at everyone uncomfortably, and slid down in the seat shyly.

The teacher introduced himself as Mr. Warner and then introduced me to the entire class, having me stand up and say my name. I was sure I was as red as a tomato by the time I sat down.

As soon as the class officially started, Mr. Warner began a topic on the book The Three Musketeers, and the musketeers’ cunning bravery. I had read it last year from a summer reading list, so I was able to keep up pretty good.

As soon as he’d finished, the class was dismissed by a loud, old fashioned bell that chimed piercingly loud throughout the school. Everyone stood up and began packing their things in the bags for the next class.

I stood up, sticking the notebook I had taken out for notes into my backpack, and checking my list for my next class. I had Social Studies next. Great.

I threw my backpack over my shoulder and followed everyone out of the room, turning down the hallway and making my way towards the Social Studies classroom, when suddenly a voice rang in front of me.

“Hi.” said a deep, male voice.

I lifted my head from my map to look at the person who had just spoken. It was a guy, who was much taller than me, with caramel colored eyes and buzzed blonde hair.

“Oh, uh, hi.” I replied, caught by surprise.

“I heard you’re the new student. I’m Blake.” He said, offering his hand in a polite shake.

“Juliet.” I replied, shaking his hand and quickly letting go. It was cold as ice.

“Juliet?”

“Bailey.” I added.

“Nice to meet you, Juliet Bailey.” He said smiling. “May I escort you to your next class?”

I looked down the hallway. I could see the door to the Social Studies classroom from here. It wasn’t going to be a very long walk, so I accepted, nodding my head.

“So where are you from, Juliet?” Blake asked as we began walking.

“Chicago.” I replied, glancing around uncomfortably. Everyone was staring at us. Perfect, I thought, annoyed.

“Oh, I see. That is a very long way from Maine.” He said. “Have you lived here long?”

“About a month now.” I replied. “I just moved here.”

“I didn’t think I recognized you. I usually know everyone that lives here. You know how small towns are. Everyone knows everyone.” He said, sounding interested, though I wasn’t sure if it was genuine. “How do you like it here? It is very beautiful, is it not?”

I cleared my throat, nervously. “I like it.” I said simply. “But I miss Chicago.”

“Chicago is a great city, indeed.” He said.

“You’ve been there?”

“Yes. I lived there for quite some time.” He said matter-of-factly.

“Oh.” I said, surprised.

“Here we are.” He said, turning towards the classroom. “It was very nice escorting you, Juliet.” He expressed, smirking and turning back down the hallway.

I watched him walk away, confusedly. How had he known this was my next class? I wondered. I was still shocked that I had even gotten an acquainted with someone my first day, but I didn’t expect it to be like that. And how proper he was, was strange. He spoke as though he was from back in the 1800’s.

I blankly walked into the classroom, confusion smothered all over my face as I approached the teacher with my slip. She introduced herself to me as Mrs. Flynn, and told me to take a seat in the back. I chose an empty desk closest to the back of the classroom.

Still feeling the stares of everyone on me, I got out a notebook and a freshly sharpened pencil, and grabbed my backpack from the floor. As I reached into my backpack to stuff my map inside, my pencil slid straight off the desk and onto the floor. It kept rolling, until it was stopped by a single hand, which I watched grab it and hold it out to me.

I trailed my gaze down the arm and up to the face of my pencils rescuer. It was the familiar, jet black-haired guy I had met on the beach, sitting in the desk right next to mine.

“Nicholas.” I mouthed in shock as I stared into his eyes. He continued to stare straight back, not moving, but holding my eyes by his hypnotizing gaze.

“Your pencil?” He said, musically, leaning up and handing me the long, yellow stick. That was all that I could see; a stick. Because nothing else in the room seemed to make sense as I held his face with my eyes.

I clumsily reached for it as I continued to stare at him, realizing I was now gaping. I looked away, embarrassedly, and grabbed it out of his hand.

“Thanks.” I muttered.

He persisted on gaping at me. I could feel his eyes burn into my skin as they watched me intently. I looked away, though he didn’t. I tried to ignore it as the class had begun.

Throughout Mrs. Flynn’s seminar, I tried my hardest to keep my eyes occupied, by drawing stupid little doodles all over the cover of my notebook, but even that didn’t work. Occasionally, I would peek through the drape of my curly hair at him, and of course, he was still watching me.

I had never wanted to leave a room as much as I did now. His gaze was not only distracting, but scary. I was beginning to get a little frightened by how he looked at me; it was almost as if he had a bone to pick with me or something.

Finally, after each minute had passed by like it was an hour, the same old fashioned bell rang, discharging the class. I quickly got up, stuffed my books into my bag, including my rescued pencil, and scurried out of the room, hoping that I wasn’t being followed.

I looked behind me, consciously, but no one was lurking behind me suspiciously.

In relief, I turned my head forward and started walking again, until I bumped into something strong and solid. I bounced off of it and landed on the floor painfully. My heart stammered as I looked up at the body I had run into.

Who other than Nicholas?

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—“ I started.

He leaned down, ignoring my apology and grabbing the books that had flown out of my back pack, and offered a hand to help me up.

I looked up at him hesitantly. I wasn’t sure if I should grab it or not. I glanced at his face, then back at his hand. With delayed speed, still uncertain if I should, I grabbed his hand. He pulled me back up to my feet, effortlessly, then handed me my books.

“Thanks.” I muttered.

“You’re welcome.” He mumbled, then turned around and walked back down the hallway.






























The End

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