(out with the old)

What is new:

1. red and gray lockers

2. classes that only last a semester

3. class by class attendance

4. people

5. the realization of how easy it is to skip class (see point 3)

6. you (see point 4).


i) In September I know two people at my high school.

One is in the adjoining gym class and she is so skinny I am jealous, but her skinny is the gangly kind where you can't find any clothes that fit, and when they do they hang. She weighs forty pounds less than me, and I have hips where she has bones.

The other I've known since kindergarten and I'm not particularly interested in him. Knowing him for so long takes the fun out of it. It may also have to do with the fact that he is my best friend's ex-boyfriend, but that is just an afterthought.

My classes are an hour and a half long, and I almost fall asleep in my science AP class several times. I think it has something to do with the way he teaches, notes on the Smartboard as he drones on, comical in his teaching but I can't force it into my head and I jot down the notes while he explains, and so I never really pay attention.

I end up failing the final exam by one percent. (Something my mother will never know.)

ii) I also find the smoke pit, where all those badass kids go during lunch or periods that they can't be bothered to go to. They obviously smoke there, and the smell of cigarettes hangs heavy in the air.

Some of them skateboard, and when I cut through the back parking lot where the smoke pit is situated, I am terrified of being run over.

I don't smoke during the school day because I'd rather not be grouped into the same category as the other people who haunt the pit. They are the ones who intimidate people, holler in the hallways and get into brawls that take place blocks away from the school so nobody gets suspended.

At school, I like to think that I'm the best kid I could ever be.

iii) There's a boy in my art class I'm somewhat interested in. He's small and a little skinny, but still taller than me. He has long hair and brown eyes and long eyelashes and tanned skin, and he reminds me of caramel.

I daydream about him a few times, and then he gets a buzzcut. His head is probably three-quarters the size of mine without all his hair.

Obviously, I'm not interested anymore.

iv) By the end of the first term I have a few more friends, vague and still in the awkward phase where you get to know a person and see if you really want to be friends with them.

I watch YouTube videos about high school, seeing how other people see high school and realizing that I'm not in the same circles that YouTube celebrities are. They all tell me that high school is land of fakeness and girls that would backstab you for whatever reason. There's a relatively small amount of fakeness in my group of friends, who are all probably too nice for their own good.

By the end of third term I'll know differently.

v) In art class there are only two girls who draw better than I can. At first the wheels of my strange mind set them as rivals, and as weeks pass I relax so completely around them that I forget I ever thought about them like that at all.

I grow closer to one than I do the other, and soon we're sitting at the same table in the cafeteria, going to the mall, telling each other secrets like teenage girls are supposed to.

I meet the boy who likes her in December. He's skinny like my caramel boy, with hair that looks high-maintenance and decked in skinny jeans and a sweater and nice shoes. They talk shyly, sometimes excited and sometimes coy, and I smile when they can't see and work on my art project.

After we somehow get onto the topic of McDonald's, then chocolate milkshakes; and he wants one so he drags us both to the bus and we are suddenly in McDonald's. He's afraid of spiders and bugs like I am, and she tells us that she used to microwave grasshoppers in her friend's house when she was little. It's the most interesting thing I've learned in a while.

vi) My first time skipping is my science AP class, which is probably the only class I should never skip. I get to school late because it's winter in Calgary, and winter in Calgary is deadly because every time it snows, someone has to get into an accident on the highway and it clogs up the entire road for hours.

My friend comes up to me and asks, oh-so-subtly ("Hey, I have an English presentation on Romeo and Juliet and I really don't want to do it, so skip with me.") if I want to skip class with him. And naturally my logic flies out the window and I forget that I'm in AP and we're learning a week's worth of bio in this one 90-minute period, and I say okay.

We sit in the library and talk about everything from how frustrating girls are to stupid things like the first time we met when our two friends were dating. I fall a little for him that day, and a few weeks later he gets a steady girlfriend.

I forget him because I only fell a little, and I'm lucky I didn't fall anymore than I did.

vii) My horizons expand and so does my group of friends. During winter break we go ice skating in the downtown rink, except I can't skate and cling to the other girls with clammy hands. I just about wipe out a few times but I think it's okay for my first time.

We go out to McDonald's (because McDonald's is a recurring setting and everyone loves McDonald's and its fattening food) and I feel like we're a family, sitting around a single four-person table with two people extra, and we share large fries and chicken nuggets and my root beer. We laugh and gossip and make fun of the only boy who hasn't gone home yet and we take pictures, and I am happy.

((apparently fictionpress, at least on my laptop, is now missing linebreaks & giving me two lines of editting space :( anyways, shitty piece of something here that may or may not get somewhere. my main priority is catching up with today, and that's pretty much it.))