Recycled Magic Spells

I walked into the gym for the pep rally and found a spot on the bleachers at the bottom left corner.  There are a lot of kids in here–and I don’t know one of them.  Oh wait, there’s Lisa.  Our neighbor introduced her to me over the summer.  She babysits for them and they thought it would be nice for me to know at least one person at school.  Nice of her to wave.  How obvious is it that I’m sitting here by myself listening to conversations all around me?

I’ve spent all day listening.  Homeroom was interesting.  Everyone bounding into the classroom excited to see who would be there, to catch up over summer.  It didn’t take long to figure out who the popular kids in the room were.  If the squeals and hugs hadn’t given it away, the gawking and fawning were impossible to miss.  And there was plenty of time piece it all together.  Time truly slows down when you’re the 14 year old new kid sitting in the middle of a room of your peers.  Is the teacher ever going to show up?  Will I finally get a chance to use my voice to at least say “here.”

But that was hours ago.  Since then I’ve wandered through halls trying to find classrooms on this sprawl of a campus.  My friends from home won’t ever believe that the hallways are outside.  Guess we don’t have to worry about the snow here.  I suffered through lunch trying not to seem so obviously alone.  There is no way I can come back and do this all again tomorrow.  Two thousand kids laughing and joking and rushing around, and I’m being carried by the current like a salmon that’s given up.

…to be continued

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