River Crest High, home of the fighting Lobos, I laugh to myself as Mrs. Price pulls me into a side hug. Her dark brown eyes peering over a pair of azure colored frames, as she looks out amongst her students and continues, “Thank you,” she says. A smile pulling at the sides of her lips, and with the gentle squeeze of her hand on my shoulder, as if to show her excitement, she continues. “We have a new student here with us today all the way from Austin, Texas. Her name is Kaycie Lane.”
In the back corner, a group of girls, probably the it group here, begin laughing and whispering amongst themselves. Their high fashioned clothes and accessories alike sported perfectly along beside their manicured nails and frosted tips. Mrs. Price is quick to shoot them a look, and in a matter of seconds they collect themselves and motion for her to proceed with her introduction. Oh, this is going to be fun; I smile sarcastically in my head and then shift my weight, again, causing Mrs. Price to unenviably disconnect from my side.
“You should all work diligently to make her feel at home here over the next few days. I expect a lot from my student especially since,” she pauses then. Her eyes immediately shifting back to the group of girls precariously watching from the back corner before finishing with, “deep down, I know you are all wonderful people.” I smile hearing the pronounced meaning behind her words deep down, and immediately know my first assumptions had been accurate; they must be the popular girls here at River Crest, or at least a part of them. “Kaycie, would you like to introduce yourself to the class?” Mrs. Price asks but, at the fact that she was now headed back to the sanctuary of her desk, it made her question more of a statement than an actual choice.
“Alright,” I say, and force myself to remember not to stare at the ground when I speak. The weaknesses you show within your first few minutes of meeting someone new, define who you are to them for the remainder of the time you know them. And I will be damned if I show any of them at all. “as Mrs. Price just said, my name is Kaycie.” I repeat, my eyes scanning the room, noticing the strange way in how it was laid out. Here the desks are taller, and more wide, to make room for two people to sit versus the regular desks, which seat only one. I wonder for a moment if the room had originally been meant for a Science class rather than English. As I do, I notice the group of girls in the back, and that not one of them would be bothered to pay attention. They obviously had something else on their mind, correction –someone else. I say to myself, as I follow their strategically zoned out expressions until I see him.
Sitting there lazily in his desk, a few rows over, he wore a black leather jacket with a dark gray shirt showing underneath, and dark denim jeans. His tawny colored hair was pulled up halfway in the back, his expression tense as, like the girls, he wouldn’t be bothered to pay attention. Although unlike them, his focus wasn’t on someone else but, rather his phone. Suddenly annoyed that he couldn’t offer to pay attention for the few minutes while I introduce myself, I roll my eyes, and turn to face the rest of the class.
Then begin, as usual, with my life story. About my dad and his job; what he does before adding a short piece involving my mom and how we help him. About all the places we’ve lived, and the few I hope to one day make it to. When I move to my conclusion with the bit about how my hobbies include reading and writing. You know the boring bit but, a necessity when describing who you are. Plus, with what my hobbies are, teacher really seemed to like it.
“That was very nice, Kaycie.” Mrs. Price announces aloud before motioning for me to take a seat. I pick up my book bag, and scan the room before I find only one seat available. One, which just so happens to be next to the guy who is still, too preoccupied on his phone, to even acknowledge my existence even after I take my seat. The smell of detergent soap and peppermint, filling the space around us like a welcome escape. Especially after having walked through cloud after cloud of Calvin Klein and various other candied perfumes just to get past the first few rows, my nostrils burning for a release by the time I finally made it to our desk. “You have obviously had to do that many times before.” Mrs. Price added. You think? I want to say but, instead I smile, and pull out my notebook from my bag.
For the rest of the class period, we took notes on William Shakespeare and how he wrote plays that applied to both the commoner and the Queen. The style he wrote in, and the tone of his all-time famous book, Romeo and Juliet to which the class had just begun to read. “Remember, you will need to have read chapters one through three by Friday.” Mrs. Price called out amidst the students still left inside the classroom, after the release bell for next period rang, and everyone got up to leave. “There will be a quiz!”
In the hall, I pulled out my class schedule, and looked around for clues as to how to get to my next class; Chemistry, with Mr. McGee. The hallways offered little towards an explanation as to which way I should try next, when out of nowhere, a voice rises above all the usual passing period chatter telling everyone to watch out! As if frozen in confusion, I turn my head in slow motion, my eyes peeling from the pink paper, which held my schedule, and watched from the sidelines, as the two hurling masses tumble down the hall in a fit of violent contortions.