So, here’s a little taste of what I’ve been working on for the past bit. It’s a really small section of what might be the 1st or 2nd chapter (not sure yet – this is how much of a draft it is). Anyway, for those of you who want to know, now you know. Peace, Love, Awkward. Oh, and I have not yet mastered proper writing formula i.e. when to start a new line for speech, etc. xo!
I step into the gym and it’s bustling. Girls, girls and more girls in uniform running their fingers along papers taped to the white walls. They are excited, giddy, and full of energy. Unfortunately for me, all I feel is an overwhelming pang of fear sweeping over me. I’ve never done well with new situations. I start to feel nauseous, get cold sweats, and my voice turns into a whisper. When I first walked into the school, the girl with braces and black zigzag tights directed me here but neglected to tell me how this all works. God, help me. Now I actually have to open my mouth and ask someone. Just the thought of having to speak to someone I don’t know makes me nervous. Why does it appear that everyone in this room knows what they’re doing?
“Do you need any help?” Startled, I turn to look at the wired-hair teacher, her eyes looking at me from over her glasses. “No, I think I’m fine. Thanks.” “Well, you let me know if you need anything.” Stress and defeat weigh heavily on my shoulder. You might be wondering why I didn’t say anything, why I didn’t ask for help. It doesn’t make any sense. You’re totally right – it doesn’t make any sense! I’m awkward; plain and simple. When possible, I kibosh conversation involving people I don’t know and then stew in whatever misery that follows. In this case, it means being completely confused and uncomfortable. I hate that I’m like this but I can’t wallow in that sorrow. I’ve got to figure out what’s going on.
Moving into the gym, I notice the tarp we are walking on. I assume that’s what’s giving off that musky salt smell. No one wants new shoes scuffing up the freshly polished wooden floors especially that weasel-faced janitor standing by the blue garbage bin. His eyes darting around making sure we are all keeping things unsoiled and in order
Squeezing through the dense room of girls makes us look like packed sardines. The girls in the room fascinate me. We are all around the same age but some of them look like they’re 25. Tonnes have makeup on, their hair looks like it took them hours to do this morning, some have their kilts rolled at the waist so that they’re hiked up to above mid-thigh, and others have painful looking stiletto heels on. I look down at myself and my kilt just grazes above the knee, my hand-me-down white buttoned blouse is two sizes too big, my brown loafers are dowdy and old man-like, and remembering what I looked like in the mirror this morning – my braces and frizzy hair, I could pass for at least 12. The memo brigade has disappointed me again and forgot to send me that crucial ‘first day of school’ message. Not that that would have really made a difference – who am I kidding?
“Girls, please stand with your appropriate homeroom teacher,” crackle the speakers speckled around the gym. Looking left, then right, then in front of me, I decide to move diagonally towards a corner. Corners are a good place to hide, to go unnoticed. I sneak by a few loud girls “Oh, my God-ing” mixed with “I looooove your new shoes!” and other such squeals. They seem to already know each other. Checking the list of names I notice mine’s not there. “Excuse me, but you’re obviously a minor niner and you wouldn’t be on that list? Yours is over in that area.” Her stretched out finger directs me to the stage at the end of the gym. Obviously a minor niner? Jesus. Do I stand out that terribly?
Walking closer to the stage, I see Stacey Clinton waving at me. “Over here dummy!” Finally, my first sense of relief, someone I actually recognize from elementary school. “Isn’t this exciting?!” she screeches at me. I’ve always hated when she speaks at that interval like she wants everyone to hear her. But, then again, I could never understand that as I’d rather avoid all attention. “Sure, yeah, this is cool. I guess.” “OMG, we’re in high school, Bennie!” Before I can push myself to respond with a more thrilled tone, someone taps on a microphone and says “Welcome, ladies!”