Can these two worlds make it or will they collide?
| I know what it is like to be afraid. Now, don't get me wrong. I love working with my foster parents, Kat and Fred, on the ranch. But, when I go to Lone High School, I can feel the stares on my back, the whispers about my parents being dead.
It hurts to have people look at you like you are some kind of zoo. I have been moved from one ranch to the next. Until I was at least 13, which is where Kat and Fred come in. I met them at the foster house and they looked at me wearing a too big blue sundress and cowboy boots covered in mud. My long, thick wavy brunette hair in a braid and my big amber eyes.
"She belongs with us, Fred," Kat said for the first time after meeting me. Fred smiled at me and his brown eyes crinkled in the corners. His faced tanned and full of freckles. His sun-bleached hair under a baseball cap and Kat's flaming red hair in a bun and her brown eyes shining. I smiled back and that is when I found a family that loved me for me.
Kat and Fred lost their two boys to an airplane crash 5 years ago when I was eleven. So, when I entered their home, they still had pictures and everything. But after being there for 3 years on the ranch helping Fred with feeding the animals and cleaning stalls, helping Kat with cooking and cleaning, there became pictures of me and my foster parents which went right up next to my dead foster brothers' pictures.
School is my hell. While home with Kat and Fred are my heaven. So, when I'm wearing jeans, boots, and muddy sweatshirts, I get stares. My best friend, Brooke, says it is because of my uniqueness. I laugh and tell her that she would only see that. No one else in school would.
But things got weird. Really weird. I was sitting in my Advanced Math class doing my work off the board and in the middle of class is when Mr.Parr introduced Andru Kindly. He entered the class with a smile and wearing cowboy boots. His baseball cap couldn't cover his sparkling ice blue eyes and his hair a dark, chocolate brown. I suddenly became very self-conscious of my muddy cowboy boots and my thick hair in a messy bun. Which is very abnormal for me.
But, one look at him changed my whole life.
Angels don't exist in my opinion. If they did, my mom wouldn't be on her deathbed. My Aunt Penn, mom, and I wouldn't have moved all the way here from Utah to Colorado. Now, I'm going to Lone High School while Penn works at the 24/7 Diner downtown and my mom is at the hospital fighting lung cancer. Since I could remember, my mom has been smoking. She told me when I was about nine, which is when I had the guts to ask her, why she smoked, is that since my dad left she had to find an outlet for that pain.
Now I understand what she meant. Penn dropped me off at the school after my goodbyes with my mom at the hospital. I walked in and headed for the office. A nice old lady with glasses smiled, "you must be Andru Kindly. Follow me." She hands me my schedule and leads me to my first period, Advanced Math.
She knocks on the door of the classroom and a tall middle-aged man opens the door and smiles. "Welcome, Andru." I shake hands with the man.
"Good morning. Um, what is your name?" I ask the man. He grins.
"Tim Parr. Mr.Parr I prefer." I nod my head and adjust my backpack on my shoulders. He clears his throat and the woman leaves. "Follow me, Andru." He leads me into the classroom and everyone turns to stare, except one girl. Her dark, dark brown hair is in a messy bun and her hot pink sweatshirt is covered in mud and so is her boots. Her jeans are snug and when she turns to see what everyone else is looking at, her big, sparkling light amber eyes widen as she focuses on me. I smile. She shyly smiles back.
"Kindly?" Mr.Parr snaps. I turn my head in his direction and he points to a chair in the back next to the window and next to the girl. I nod and walk to my seat. I set my bag down next to my feet as I sit down. I look over at the girl as Mr.Parr starts pointing and talking about some math equation on the board and how to solve it.
I take off my hat and rake my hand through my hair. The girl focuses on me, "you're Andru right?" I nod. "I'm Elizabeth Wonder. Liz for short." She holds her hand out and I take it, her hand is soft but callused. Hmmm, interesting.
I lean closer to her, "What is a girl like you sitting all alone and covered in mud?" Her cheeks redden and I chuckle, "I'm just curious."
"Oh," her eyes widen even more and then slowly close as she lets out a breath. She opens her eyes. "Well, I help my dad with our ranch so when I was feeding the livestock I nearly fell all the way into the mud and didn't have time to change." I raise my eyebrows.
"So, you are that kind of girl?" She glares.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that you are hardworking and have two left feet." She smiles and laughs. Her laugh is like ocean waves, no judgment and calming.
"You could say that. But, watch out. Everyone in this school except for my best friend, Brooke, thinks that I'm weird and needs sympathy." She says the last word with disgust.
"What do mean sympathy?" Then before she could answer the bell rings.
Mr.Parr stands in front of the door before any of us could leave, "remember pg 25 in your textbooks for homework." Then he moves. I sling my backpack onto my shoulders.
I grab Liz's shoulder, "what is your next class?" She pulls out a schedule and hands it to me. We have the same exact classes together clear through until 7th period, which she has Team sports and I have a free period. I hand her back her schedule, "then lead me to our next class." She laughs and shakes her head. We walk out shoulder to shoulder, arm to arm.
After meeting her, I didn't realize that I finally found true happiness.
After Biology and Advanced Physics, Lunch finally came. Andru followed me to the cafeteria asking me questions like, "what can I get for lunch?" and, "can I sit with you?" After getting our lunch we went to the table Brooke is sitting at. She raised her large blue eyes up at me from her Health homework and smiled. Then she laid eyes on Andru, she looked at me and back at Andru as if to say, who the hell is he? I sat down next to her and Andru sat on my other side.
"Hi, I'm Andru Kindly." He held his hand out across me towards Brooke. Brooke pushed her curly, dirty-blonde hair out of her face and smiled.
She took his hand. "Brooke Rau. Nice to meet you." They shook hands and Andru pulled his hand away and started on his lunch. Brooke turned back to her homework.
"What no food for the skinny girl today?" I ask jokingly. Brooke rolls her eyes at me and puts her things her bag and takes out a lunch box.
"I was finishing my work. I care about my grades in this school." I laugh.
"So do I." Andru almost chokes on his food while laughing at mine and Brooke's joke. Brooke opens her lunch and takes out a granola bar, sandwich, and a Cola. "Aha! I knew it. You will never last on a diet." Brooke shows me the Cola. In small letters above Cola read, Diet. "Oh." Brooke nods and takes a bite out of the granola bar.
"So," Brooke stops chewing and swallows her bite of the granola bar, "Andru?" Andru looks up.
"Yes, skinny girl?" I giggle. Brooke raises her eyebrows.
"What are you doing here?"
"I'm going to school here."
"Duh. I mean why are you here?"
"Don't even say it. Stop being a smartass and answer the damn question." Brooke snaps playfully.
Andru leans over towards my ear, "Is your friend always this feisty?" I nod and leans away. "Well, Brooke," He stops to give Brooke a look as he pushes his tray away from him. "I moved here with my Aunt Penn and my mom who needed better hospital care and we found it here. Since my dad has been out of the picture for quite some time, Aunt Penn helps me and mom out. That is why I'm here. Otherwise, I would still be in Utah working on a Physics project." Brooke looks teary-eyed. I clear my throat.
Andru shrugs. "I love my mom, but she did it to herself smoking ever since dad left."
"Lung cancer?" I whisper. Andru nods. Before I could comfort Brooke who was wiping her eyes with the sleeve of her sweater the bell rang for mine and Andru's 4th hour, Modern History with Mr.Jump. We gather our things and I hug Brooke goodbye, "I'll call you after school." She nods and walks off to Ceramics. Andru walks quickly to fall into step with me.
"I didn't mean for things to get weird." He mumbles.
"I know. We asked for it."
He turns and grins at me, "We have Art, can we talk there?"
"I didn't get to hear your story on why people have sympathy for you. Also, I would like to know why everyone was staring at us during lunch." I groan.
"Because they are not used to seeing new kids hang out with the pity party."
"That is what people call me and Brooke here."
"Oh," we stop and enter the Art room. I head straight for my desk with Andru alongside me. We set our bags down sit on the stools. "Well," he folds her hands on the desk and looks at me while our art teacher, Ms.Meader, hands out our portfolios. "I wouldn't call you that."
"What would you call me?" I raise my eyebrows.
He smiles and leans close to my ear, "Beautiful, smart, hard-working, and best of all an angel in cowboy boots." My heart soared.