Standing in the kitchen wearing Lucia Prep’s uniform, Lucy felt ridiculous. A short gray pleated skirt, short-sleeved white button-up, black-and-green tie, Oxfords, and gray kneesocks was currently the outfit she was wearing, and she hated it a little bit. The skirt (despite the bike shorts underneath it) reached to the middle of her upper thighs, and the knee socks were just weird.
“Come along, Jasica.” Andrea said, her lips curling in amusement.
“Jase, please! If I have to put up with a stupid name, then I at least deserve a fucking nickname.” The girl practically growled.
“You’re going to have to get a grip on your language, Jase. Remember, you actually have to act like the age you currently are. Child genius? Fine. Foul-mouthed thirteen-year-old? No. Watch it, Ms Cherry Chapstick.”
“Agh. I can’t do this. Seriously. I was a nerd when I was actually in middle school, I can’t imagine what I’ll be like now. Oh, Christ. For all intents and purposes, I am a young girl. I don’t- I can’t believe this.” Lucy seemed to be an inch away from a complete breakdown, so Andrea was quick to interfere.
“Look, let’s just get today over with. We can worry about everything tomorrow. For now, just eat your porridge and we can get a move on.” She said.
“Fine.” Lucy grumbled.
— — — — —
“Okay, keep in mind that we’ve arranged for Irene Columbus to be your “buddy” - the girl who’s supposed to show you around Lucia.” Andrea whispered.
“Yeah, I know.” Lucy rolled her eyes.
“Just checking.” She raised her voice. “Have a nice day at school, sweetie!” The woman shot her an over-the-top smile.
“Bye, Mom!” ‘Jase’ said, making sure to slam the car door as she got out.
— — — — —
The teen made her way up the steps to the daunting Lucia Prep, feeling as out-of-place as she possibly could. Finding the front desk, she made a beeline for it.
“Um, hi. I’m Jase? Jase Strict? I’m new here. Is there a schedule or anything?” She said, stumbling over her words in her nervousness.
“Oh, right. You’re the new girl. Here you go.” The receptionist handed over a color-coded piece of paper. “Ms Columbus will show you to your next class.”
Only then did ‘Jase’ notice the pretty Persian girl standing awkwardly next to the front desk.
“Hi!” The girl said. “I’m Irene. You’re Jasica, right?”
“Um.” She stumbled. “I’d rather be called Jase, if you don’t mind.”
“Of course not! Okay, so we’ve got Ms Andrews for English first. She’s Room 281.” Irene made to move towards the stairwell, but stopped when she noticed that Lucy was stuck in place. “Come on! We can’t be late.”
Lucy quickly forced her feet to move, following Irene into the depths of Lucia Prep.