| I took the week off from work for it is the first week of school. It is five o’clock in the morning and I cannot fall back to sleep. I get out of bed and rub my charcoal gray eyes. I pick out a pair of black pair of jeans and a black t-shirt for an outfit for today. I hope in the hot shower and then I dress. I then quietly go down to the kitchen and I brew a pot of coffee. I take my mug of coffee out to the patio and I sit at the picnic table. Mr. Hunter, my neighbor, is sipping his own cup of coffee and we greet each other.
Mr. Hunter, who is in his late sixties, says, “Is today the big first day of school?”
I reply, “Yup. I’m a little nervous.”
Mr. Hunter says, “You’ll be fine Max. How is Tom doing?”
I reply, “Good I suppose. He is still sleeping.”
Mr. Hunter asks, “Is he looking forward to today?”
I laugh, “Of course he is. Tom loves school.”
Mr. Hunter says, “He’s a smart boy.”
I agree, “That he is but it mostly is book smarts. With the whole street smarts he is a little lost.”
Mr. Hunter says, “You’re the one with the street smarts Max. You are an EMT so of course you would be stronger in that
I reply, “True.”
Mr. Hunter says, “You said you were nervous but are you excited at all?”
I nod my head, “Yes I am excited. I am hoping I can meet some friends my own age but if not at least I have my EMT friends to rely on.”
Mr. Hunter says, “You’ll meet friends. You and Tom are great people.”
I laugh, “Thanks for your confidence Mr. Hunter.”
Mr. Hunter’s phone rings, “It’s my daughter. Good luck today.”
I thank Mr. Hunter as he enters his condo. It is six o’clock in the morning and I am thinking I have to wake Tom up but he emerges from the condo as I start to stand up. I sit back down as my brother sits beside me sipping his coffee. Tom looks like a zombie from some horror movie. Tom’s hair is sticking up every which way and I laugh as I run my fingers through his thick hair. Tom asks me what and I tell him he looks like a funky zombie. Tom spits his coffee everywhere as he laughs.
Tom says, “A funky zombie?”
I laugh, “I know, I know. I come out with the most off the wall things at times.”
Tom laughs, “Yes you do.”
I smile, “Someone has to keep you on your toes.”
Tom confesses, “I’m a little nervous for today.”
I admit, “So am I.”
Tom asks, “We’re gonna be okay, right?”
I reply, “We’re gonna be fine. This is gonna be a great day. We’ll meet new people and get on a little better schedule.”
Tom says, “I wish I did what you did.”
I ask, “What did I do?”
Tom says, “Take the week off of work for the first week of school. This week is gonna wear me out.”
I admit, “I warned you.”
Tom says, “I know you did. I thought I would be fine but now I regret it.”
I say, “Don’t regret it. Your boss would have understood.”
Tom says, “He would have, wouldn’t he?”
I reply, “He would.”
Tom says, “It’s six fifteen. I got to go shower and get ready for school.”
Tom disappears into the condo. I follow him inside and I get another cup of coffee and I turn on the television to the news channel. Finally Tom is ready to go and I turn off the television and I make sure the patio door is locked. We then leave the condo and I drive us to Brant High School. When we arrive at the school we park the car and I turn off the engine. We climb out of the car and just stand there for a few minutes. This is so hard for we do not know anybody yet. It is difficult starting a new school no matter what grade you are in.
Tom and I are finally ready and we enter the school with a group of other students. Then we wish each other good luck and we go our separate ways. I find my homeroom class with ease and I choose a seat in the middle of the room. There are several other students in the room all talking to each other about their awesome summer vacations. I smile for nobody has had a more awesome summer than Tom and I. Tom and my situation is very unusual and we spent our days off exploring our new surroundings.
The bell rings for the start of class and the room fills with people who are dressed to impress. I could really careless about dressing in expensive clothing. The black jeans and t-shirt that I am wearing now is great with me but I did not realize it would be a fashion show here at school. The last guy through the door of the class is a handsome guy and he pauses to look around the room. This handsome guy spots the empty seat beside me and he ambles towards it. The attractive guy sits next to me and he smiles at me. What he fails to notice is that every girl in this room has noticed him.
The gorgeous guy says, “I’m Ben Shiloh.”
I reply, “I’m Max Mason.”
Ben says, “I’m new here at Brant High School.”
I smile, “So am I.”
Ben replies, “Cool.”
The teacher takes command of the room by taking attendance. As soon as attendance is over he introduces Ben and I to the class. Ben gets a decent welcome and I barely get a murmur. I shrug for I do want to make friends here but if I do not at least I have my EMT and medic friends. The teacher hands out locks for the lockers with combinations attached to them. The teacher then lets us go early so we can choose our lockers. I choose locker one thirteen for thirteen is my favorite number. Ben chooses the locker next to mine, locker one twelve, and he strikes up another conversation with me.
Ben asks, “What’s your next class?”
I reply, “English twelve with Mr. Larson.”
Ben says, “So do I.”
I ask, “What other classes do you have?”
Ben hands me his schedule and I compare it to mine, “We have all the same classes.”
Ben says, “At least I will have one friend in every class. You want to do lunch together too?”
I reply, “That would be awesome.”
Just as Ben and I were going to start to walk to class a young woman walks up to us. This girl places a flirty hand on
Ben’s muscular arm. She introduces herself as Sarah Knight and Ben looks at her blankly. Sarah wants to know if Ben wants to hang out with her and her so called friends. I heard a few girls talking about this Sarah Knight before homeroom began. Sarah is one of the popular girls and one of the most vicious girls in school. Sarah is about five feet six inches and athletic. Sarah has light brown hair and bright blue eyes. I do not compare to this girl and I am afraid I am going to lose Ben’s friendship to her.
Ben replies, “I don’t think so.”
Sarah says, “We are the most popular people here at Brant High School.”
Ben says, “So?”
Sarah asks, “Are you high or something?”
Ben says, “I would rather hang with Max here than you and your idiotic friends. Being popular does not interest me.”
Sarah glares at me, “Where you from?”
I reply, “Doesn’t matter where I am from. All that matters is I now live here in Brant.”
Sarah says, “No need to be rude.”
I say, “What do you want Sarah?”
Sarah says, “To talk to Ben alone now scurry away.”
I smile, “I don’t think so. I don’t scurry anywhere, I am no coward, but you might.”
Sarah raises her voice a little, “Leave.”
Ben says, “I don’t hang with people that are rude to my friends or me. As far as I am concerned you are the most popular loser in this school. Now if you don’t mind, Max and I are going to class.”
Sarah still raises her voice, “Of course I mind and you will be mine. That little slut will show her true bitchy colors.”
Ben ignores her and he takes me by the hand and he leads me away as Sarah joins her friends and they start laughing. I am furious. I do not like to be made fun of. Ben says to just ignore her and she will fizzle out. What Ben says sounds logical but it is hard not to let her get under my skin. Ben and I reach our English class and come to find out Sarah is in the class as well. Oh freaking joy. My gut screams that she, Sarah, is nothing but a bitch and I am not to trust her.
Ben and I sit side by side and Sarah sits in front of Ben. Sarah is attempting to start up a conversation with Ben and he is doing his best to ignore her but she gets to him. Ben looks directly at Sarah and says she is the rudest thing possible and she needs to figure out how to shut her mouth. Sarah looks shocked that somebody would actually speak to her that way. Ben is not happy with her and he looks away from her and back at me and says, ‘as I was saying …’. Sarah then yells bastard and this startles the teacher. He, Mr. Larson, sends Sarah to the principal’s office. Sarah is not off to a good start today I think to myself. Sarah stands up, glares over at me and hisses ‘bitch’, then she leaves the room.