|Normal Teenage Behavior
Author: M.L. Ross PM
Junior year begins for a group of friends dealing with growing up, as best as they can.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship - Chapters: 3 - Words: 3,112 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 08-25-12 - Published: 08-20-12 - id: 3052059
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The first day of school, Amanda Feldman forced herself out of bed to the music of Kate Nash. It fit her mood like nothing else would right now.
Amanda had dreaded this day for weeks now. Starting school was bad enough each year, and this year was the worst by far.
She was being stupid, she knew, but she couldn't help it. She had convinced herself that she was okay since the breakup, but the thought of facing Jamie at school every day filled her with a sense of dread that was even worse than the knowledge that she was officially halfway through high school.
Amanda sighed and pulled her blue beanie over her head. She needed to get her priorities straight.
Her mother was up early this morning, to send her off. She hadn't bothered to make breakfast though, because Amanda's morning meal only ever consisted of granola bars and black coffee. It was a not-so-healthy habit she had picked up from her father, but no one would have ever pointed out a resemblance between her and her father because that was a good way to lose a few teeth.
"Good morning, Amanda," her mother greeted her in a sing-song voice. "How does it feel to be a junior?"
Amanda shrugged. "I don't feel any different," she admitted. "Should I feel any different?"
Her mother hugged her and kissed the top of her head, ignoring the way her daughter stiffened at the touch. "I know you've been down lately, Manda. But this is going to be a good year. I promise you."
Being cradled by her mother, Amanda felt the tears she had been biting back all week start welling behind her eyes, but she shut them tight and returned her mother's embrace. She was going to be okay. She was not upset. This was going to be a good year, and it would start with a good first day.
That hope had faded by the time she pulled into the school parking lot though. She had to face reality as soon as she had arrived at school.
Instead of looking for any friends, Amanda ducked into the band room as soon as she could. She didn't want to risk running into Jamie, and anyone she wanted to talk to would either be in the band or debate room on the first day of school, bracing themselves for the beginning of yet another long year that consisted far too much of drama, and far too little of marching and debating.
As she had suspected, the band room had scattered groups of band kids sitting around on the floor and on the chairs. She immediately made a dash for the drum closet. Her fellow percussionists were sitting on the floor playing cards and talking.
She sat down between Cameron and Jalon, setting her backpack down behind her.
"You have no idea how glad I am to see you guys," she sighed when she sat down. "I am so not ready for summer to be over."
"No one is," Cameron said. "School really gets in the way of all the time I devote to being lazy."
In reality though, school hardly affected Cameron's laziness. He managed to find time in his schedule to put off responsibilities, no matter how full that schedule was with things he would either forget or choose not to do until the last second.
"No one feels bad for you, Cam," Jalon informed him. "The rest of us live in the real world where we can't get away with skating through our lives."
From anyone else, that would have made Cameron angry. From his friends, it was just honesty. He was a spoiled brat and all of his friends knew and acknowledged it.
"So, I heard from Roz that you and Jamie broke up," Cameron said to Amanda.
Kevin glared at Cameron from the other side of the circle they had made on the floor. "Wow, Cam. Way to have no fucking tact."
Amanda scowled. "It was a summer thing. It's over. We're not going to talk about it, ever again. Now what are we playing and can someone deal me in?"
Cody jumped in to break up the awkward moment. "We're sort of playing Uno. Kind of. Like, we didn't have Uno cards, but we found a bunch of half decks and put them together and came up with a direction for face cards, and are only matching by number and not colors."
Crafty, Amanda thought. "Okay. So can someone explain the directions of the face cards to me then?"
Jalon explained quickly and they played modified Uno for the twenty minutes before the first bell. It was fun, she had to admit. The percussion section was good at having fun together with very limited time and resources. It was a talent of theirs.
None of Amanda's friends were in her first hour – Lit – and, to make things worse, Carrie Truman was there, sitting across the room from her. What a wonderful way to start a morning.
Not sure if she could be trusted this morning to behave responsibly around her classmates, Amanda kept her headphones in and her hood up. She kept the volume down so that she could hear her teacher talking, but could also make out the music. She had switched from Kate Nash to the Magnetic Fields.
She felt like such an idiot for still being in such a funk. They had broken up a week ago. It had clearly just been a summer fling. Shit like this happened, and there was no point in dwelling on how painfully empty and tight her chest was. There was no point in dwelling on getting over a relationship that had been a secret to almost everyone from the start.
Still, how could she think of anything else? She felt like the kind of girl she had never wanted to know, but there was absolutely nothing that could be done about it.
She took her phone out under the table, glanced at it, and stuffed it back into her pocket when she realized that no one was trying to reach her.
The downside of a breakup: the first person you wanted to text when you were sad was the person who had made you this sad in the first place.