She walked in the half empty classroom, consumed by her trepidation. Her dark hair covered her eyes so no one could see her; so no one could read her like an open book. No one bothered her, no one acknowledged her presence; she was just another student. She walked to the third row and back to the third seat, where she normally sat. The twenty pound backpack crashed to the floor and she slid into her seat. She burrowed her head in her arms and closed her eyes, just like she normally did when she didn't want to look like a lonely fool.
She listened to entering people gossip about how Abigail and Newton were going out, how Patrick was gay, and other things about people they didn't even know. To her, it was just a routine to hear these stories. More taps of heels and squeaks of wet shoes fresh from the walk out in the morning dew. They passed by her one by one, but one of the squeaking shoes stopped at her desk. She looked up and it was Christy looking at her with her big brown eyes.
"Hey! How are you?"
"Ugh, how do you think I feel? It's English….in the morning."
"Yeah I guess."
Dawn turned her attention to the clock above the door. The bell rang and the students took their places, Christy in the seat behind, as any other day. Mrs. Taylor ran into the room with a stack of papers. Her frizzy gray hair started to fall out of the bun, and her rectangular glasses were starting to slip off her nose. She dropped the stacks of paper on her desk and organized them into three different groups. She sighed and pushed her glasses up as she stared at the papers for a bit. She put her hand on her head and turned around to face the class.
"Umm…you three in the first row…umm…Kerry, Sam, and James…each take a stack and pass them out."
The three students obeyed and walked up to the front of the room and passed out the papers as Mrs. Taylor turned her back to the class and started to write on the whiteboard the objectives for the day.
Dawn looked back down at her desk and read the things that other students had written. There were conversations, songs, drawings, cheats, and complaints about school. Depending on how bored you were, it could be quite entertaining.
She pulled out her binder from her backpack and flipped to her English section. On a scrap piece of paper she sketched out a face. She pulled her hand away and looked at it. Something had come to her and her nose scrunched. She pulled out a red pen from her pocket and engraved over the face a dark line and wrote in all capitals "DEAD".
The teacher began talking about their current book, The Catcher in the Rye. It was the only book that Dawn had actually liked throughout the others that they were forced to read.
"So what happened in chapter nine and ten?" Mrs. Taylor asked the class. A few hands rose timidly, as well as Dawn's. It was another routine: The class would go over the chapters they were supposed to read the night before, and Dawn was always prepared for their discussions.
Everyday was like the day before; nothing new, everything old. She'd go to English, followed by Chemistry, AP United States History, Digital Art, Physical Education, Math, and then Spanish. And she was almost always prepared. But when she wasn't, she never took it too easily. Failure wasn't and still isn't acceptable; not by her standards, or rather anyone else's.