“Emma?” My little sister shook me on my shoulders. “It’s time to get up!”
“Ugh.” I groaned. “Humph. C’mon Olive, just a few more minutes?”
“Mom says to get up now.”
“Okay, fine! I’ll be up in a minute!” I said. My sister ran out of my room. She is seven, but she acts like a three-year-old.
I sighed. I am definitely not a morning person.
Today is my first day of school. Well, of seventh grade. I’ve already done a year of middle school, so I know what to expect.
Well, sort of.
I have new teachers and harder subjects. I have a best friend, but she is still on vacation. Her name is Tamera, and she got special permission from the principal to take an extra week off. She doesn’t have the best grades in the school, but she is super sweet. The principal really likes her.
I'm actually a straight-A’s student. Since today is the first day of school, it’s important to make a good impression on my teachers.
Today, I’m going to wear a new shirt and jean shorts. Not too fancy. I get dressed and go downstairs. My sister is already at the table, eating her bagel.
“Morning, mom!” I said, while sitting down.
“Hi, Emma! What do ya want for lunch?”
“Oh, maybe a sandwich?” I ask. It’s our tradition for my mom to make my first day of school lunches. Every other day, I have to make it. Well, for my sister, she has to help my mom make it.
“Sure, honey. I’ll make it right now. Here’s your bagel!” My mom said, handing the bagel to me.
“Thanks, mom.” I said.
I eat my bagel, while reading my book. I’m reading Percy Jackson. It’s a really good series! I mean, the author takes old greek myths, adds in some modern stuff, and spins a really good story!
I finish my bagel. I have to walk to school, so I had to get going. I grab my lunch from my mom.
“Bye, mom! Love you!” I said, walking out the door.
“Bye, Emma! Love you too!” She calls out to me.
I smile, and walk to school.
When I get to school, I’m early. I really like being early. It helps in making a good impression. I start walking to my room, when I get distracted by something going on in the principal's office. I turn around and walk towards there.
I hear the principal, Mr. Hirena, talking to a student. He is just opening the door to his office. I can’t quite hear what he’s saying. He turns around just as I turn the corner to his office.
“Ahh, Emma! I’ve been looking forward to seeing you!” He exclaimed.
“Hello, Mr. Hirena! Nice to see you, too!”
“Thanks! Oh, now that you're here, I have a favor to ask you.”
“Oh, of course!” I said.
“Now, we have a new student here, and I was wondering if you could show her around here!”
“Sure!” I respond.
He turned around and called someone out from his office. He walked out, with a girl right behind him.
“So, Emma; this is Natalie.” He said, gesturing to the girl.
No, no, no.
It isn’t her, is it?
I quickly peek at the girl behind him.
I look at her expression on her face, to see if she recognized me.
Yeah. She definitely knows me.
“H𑁋hi.” I stuttered.
“Oh!” Natalie exclaimed, clearly surprised to see me. “I mean, hi.”
“Well, Natalie.” Mr. Hirena said. “Emma will be showing you around today! Now, Natalie has moved to a lot of different states, Emma, so Natalie can tell you all about it.”
Now, in my mind I wanted to yell at Natalie. But, of course, being in front of the principal and all, I kept my composure.
“Oh, well, sure!” Natalie said.
“I’ll leave you to it! I got some work to do.”
“Okay, Mr. Hirena!” I said, trying to sound enthusiastic, though I was quite the opposite.
Mr. Hirena went back into his office, and I was left with my sworn enemy.
“So...hi!” I said to Natalie, pretending not to know her. “How are you doing?”
“Uhh, good.” She answered, raising an eyebrow at me.
“I can show you the classrooms.” I offered. “What’s in your schedule?”
Natalie opens her backpack and gets her paper out. She hands it to me.
“Thanks.” I said.
I looked at it. “Oh, we have most of the same classes.” I remarked. “I mean, it’s cool!”
Yeah. It really was Natalie. She says everything with the smallest interest possible.
“Where did you just move from?” I asked, trying to make conversation.
“Oh, cool! Did you get snow there?” I inquired.
Wow. She definitely didn’t want to talk to me. So, I just looked at her schedule to show her where some of her classes are.
“Well, our first class is homeroom.” I said. “Our teacher is Ms. Humdell, and you do not want to get on the wrong side of her. She’s nice, but still.”
“Our math teacher, Ms. Melvia is strict.” I warned. “ So, don’t do anything wrong, and don’t raise your hand to a problem you don’t know, and you’ll be fine!”
“As for the rest of the classes, you should be good.” I assured her. “They aren’t that bad.”
About now was the time kids started coming in. It was ten minutes before classes started, so I led Natalie back to our homeroom. I told her I needed to use the bathroom. I walked back out in the hallway, to get to the bathroom.
I was four at the time. I had lived in Georgia, where it was hot and humid. I went to a preschool with a bunch of other little kids. I was a rambunctious child back then, so I had gotten in a lot of trouble. It wasn’t my fault, though. I didn’t do all those things.
It was all Natalie.
She had moved here a few weeks before the school started. Before her, I had a lot of friends. But, she changed everything.
Natalie was the one who stole all of those crayons, who planted them in my backpack that when I opened it the crayons all spilled out. She was the one who kept on messing up everybody's cubby, who left mine perfectly organized so that the teacher would immediately point to me.
She was the one in charge of all of the girls. Natalie wouldn’t let any of them be friends with me anymore.
I didn’t know why she hated me so much.
Later that year, I moved to Los Angeles, where I live now. I hadn’t seen her since preschool, so I assumed I wouldn’t run into her again. But of course, I was wrong. It was pure luck that she came to this school.
I walked out of the bathroom. I went to all my classrooms, did all my work, not really talking to Natalie. But then, it was lunchtime. I knew that the principal might be watching, so I asked her to sit with me at lunchtime. She answered, “Sure.”
We sat at our table in total silence. Finally, I couldn’t stand it.
“So, how come you have to move around a lot?” I asked.
That question caught her totally by surprise.
“O𑁋oh! Well, my dad works in the army.”
“Cool!” I exclaimed.
“Well, it’s cool for a while. Then, it gets boring.”
She took a deep breath. “That’s why I was so mean to you, back in Georgia. I moved around so much, I never got to make any friends. And, you were so popular, and the other girls loved you. I got jealous. I wanted to see you in trouble. But, I’m different now. I am truly sorry.”
Her long burst left me momentarily stunned.
“Yeah. I’m really sorry.”
“I𑁋it’s okay. I forgive you.” I whispered.
“Thank you. Are we friends?” Natalie asked.