How will marielle break the spell?
One Long Day
CHAPTER
1
The Worst Day EVER
“Wake up, wake up!” my Mom called from the doorway of my bedroom.
I groaned and rolled over. I was not looking forward to today.
“Come on, it’s your first day of school,” my Mom tried as she gently shook me.
“That’s all the more reason to stay in bed,” I mumbled.
“Oh, don’t worry about it. You’ll be fine. Now come on.”
I finally pulled myself out of bed, as arriving late to school would be even worse than having less of it. I would have to enter the classroom with everybody staring at me, and it just wouldn’t do if my plan was to stay invisible.
After breakfast, I dragged myself out the door, and slowly walked to the bus stop. I kept my head down as I climbed the steps on the bus, making my way to the farthest corner I could get to before taking a seat.
So far, so good, I thought as I pulled out a book.
Those thoughts ended as the kids from the next stop boarded the bus.
I didn’t notice them until I felt eyes on me. I cautiously looked up from my book to see a group of rough looking boys staring down at me.
“What do you think you’re doing sitting in Gunner’s seat?” one of the boys asked. He wore a hoody and jeans that complimented his messy blond hair. I didn’t get how he was surviving in this cold weather without a coat.
“I, uh, d-didn’t know that this s-s-seat belonged to anybody,” I stammered.
“Oh yeah? Everybody knows that this seat belongs to Gunner!”
“I-I-I can move...” I trailed off.
“Of course you can move! Do you think we were going to let you stay here?” he answered giving me a shove.
As I made my way to another spot, one of them called after me, “This isn’t the last time we’ll be seeing each other! And you won’t be getting away so easily next time...”
As the bus pulled up in front of the school, my stomach lurched a second time that day. (The first being the incident with Gunner and his friends.)
The place was huge! Kids were running all over the place, clumping together in large groups, chatting with everybody as if they were perfectly comfortable in these surroundings-which I suppose, they probably were.
In my hometown, I had gone to school with less than two hundred people—kindergarten to grade nine. Here I was overwhelmed. I could already feel tears welling up in my eyes. I roughly wiped them away, and made my way to the building.
My family had moved because my Dad had finally gotten rid of the job that he disliked and had found a better one here, that both suited his interests and made more money. I didn’t care about jobs and money right now. We were just fine before.
Throughout the day, nightmare after nightmare happened.
I had been shown around the school the weekend before, so I thought I had a good idea of my bearings. I found my locker soon enough, and recognized it by the pink lock I had placed there when I took the tour. However, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t remember my combination! The bell rang, leaving me alone in the empty hallways struggling to remember. As I heard the second bell go off, I gave up and therefore was forced to carry my big winter jacket and boots, my heavy backpack, and my multiple plastic bags (being my first day of school, I had everything with me) to all of my classes. Now I was late to first class.
Before I move on, I should also mention that I moved during the middle of the year, so I was arriving here in the new years, after Christmas break. Translation: No one else was new; everybody knew one another by now and was used to the teachers, classes, schedules, etc.; and nobody needed to carry their whole locker with them to each class.
At least I know where it is, I thought. History...yep, I’d passed by a door labeled with that.
I strode in confidently and sat down. However, I hadn’t been looking at the right day in my schedule. I didn’t realize until someone nudged me and said, “You should check your schedule again...” Only then did I notice everybody staring at me, wondering who this random ninth grader was, sitting in their eleventh grade class.
I skittered out, red faced, and checked my schedule again. I was supposed to be in English! History was sixth period! (I wasn’t even in the right History class.)
There were three classes in the morning, English, Science, and Gym. I couldn’t find my English class, so I spent the rest of the period wandering the halls. Fortunately, that gave me a chance to find my next class, Science.
I scooted in, as soon as the bell rang, sitting at a table by myself.
“Welcome back, everybody!” the teacher exclaimed as we settled down. “We’ll continue working on the models we started before the holidays, as soon as I take attendance.”
She proceeded to do that, calling everybody’s name but mine. As the class scattered into groups to continue their projects, and the teacher sat down to do her own work, I wondered if I was in the right class this time. As I sat there, alone, being completely ignored by everyone, I began to doubt it.
I am an extremely shy person, so I just sat there, hoping someone would notice me and give me something to do; explain the project to me; give me papers to hand out; anything. But nobody did. I had said I wanted to be invisible, but I didn’t want to be completely ignored!
I doodled in my agenda until the end of the period, watching the minutes tick by. It seemed like eternity to me.
Finally the bell rang. Relieved, I put away my agenda, and picked up all of my bags. While walking out the door, the teacher called me over.
“Hey you! Come here,” she called.
“Me?”
“Yes you! Who else?” she asked.
I walked over, my legs suddenly becoming jelly. Whatever she had to say, it wasn’t going to be good.
“What were you doing the whole period?” she asked.
“I...wasn’t really doing anything,” I answered.
“You mean to say you wasted one of my periods?”
“Uh...”
She didn’t let me finish. “I’m expecting you to have the whole project finished by Wednesday. Good bye.”
“What exactly is the project?” I ventured to ask.
“You don’t even know what the project is?!” She looked genuinely shocked.
“I just arrived today...” I tried to explain. She would have none of it.
“Get it from someone else then! One of your chitchattery friends can tell you all about it.”
“But...”
“Out! Stop wasting my time!”
Science was not going to be a class I enjoyed.
With the little time I had left, I searched for the gym. Just before the bell rang, I spotted a sign: Change rooms——>
I followed the arrow to the change room where I discarded my bags. I had no time to change into my gym clothes, so I dashed into the gym to join the rest of the class.
There was no one there. Oh no! Were there multiple gyms?! Or was everyone outside?
The bell hadn’t rung just yet, so I left my bags and ran to the hallway.
I could see the office from where I stood, so I worked up the courage to ask for help.
“Why aren’t you in your class my dear?” The lady in the office asked. She was a bit plump and wore a flowery Hawaiian shirt.
“I was wondering which gym the grade nine class is supposed to be in right now.” I responded. “I’m new so I don’t really know my way around just yet.”
“Where’s your schedule dear?”
“Uh, I left it in the change rooms. It says I should be in gym right now.”
“Could you get it for me?”
I raced off, soon returning with the crumpled paper.
“Hmm...you should be in gym B1-4.”
I looked at her blankly.
“Matilda! Would you mind showing—what’s your name dear?”
“Marielle.”
“Harry Smell to gym B1-4.”
As Matilda escorted me out of the room, I heard her say to herself, “What’s this world coming to, with all of these strange names? Harry Smell? The poor girl.”
I finished gym class with a big bruise on my face (from some kid hitting me with a basketball-he didn’t even say sorry!) and sweaty, gross clothes.
When lunch came around, I noticed that I had forgotten mine at home somehow. I had no money for the cafeteria (besides, I didn’t know how a cafeteria worked, having never used one before) and didn’t know anybody to ask to borrow money from or anything.
I had no friends to spend my break with, so I decided to go outside. I had apparently forgotten it was winter, and was greeted with a lot of frozen wind and snow.
Instead I wandered the halls, looking for my next class. I left my bags in a corner of the cafeteria so that I wouldn’t have to tote them around with me everywhere. All I brought was my schedule, pencil case and math books.
I still didn’t know how the room numbers worked, and what was used to signify different floors, so I got myself pretty lost, and therefore was absolutely bewildered when I bumped into Gunner and his gang.
“Oh, hello! Come to see us again have you? We’d forgotten all about you until we found this,” one guy said holding up my backpack.
“Give it back!” I yelled.
“What do you mean back?” another asked. “We didn’t take it from you. It was on the floor.”
“Yah, he’s got a point there,” one sneered. (I recognized him as the one who’d approached me on the bus.)
There were four guys in total. I still didn’t know which was Gunner and who the leader was, but I guess that just meant I hadn’t gotten too mixed up with them yet-though twice on the first day seemed like plenty to me.
“Eww, what’s that disgusting smell?” the last one piped up. This one had a buzz cut, and was wearing a hoody and a pair of gray pants. The others responded to this by plugging their noses and pretending to gag.
I was stuck between asking where my other bags were, and keeping it to myself in case they hadn’t noticed them. I didn’t want to direct their attention the wrong way.
I settled on asking. I had to know.
“Oooooohhhhhhh. Thoooooooose,” one guy said nodding to his buddies.
“You mean they weren’t garbage bags?” another asked sarcastically.
“They looked like garbage bags,” a third chimed in.
“Yeah. We’re so sorry. We were just doing our job as students at this school and cleaning up the vicinities. We threw those away.” He checked his watch. “And it looks like the janitor has already changed the garbages. I’m so sorry.”
The others expressed their sympathies, and then walked away laughing. With my bag.
Just to make sure, I ran back to the cafeteria to check for them. At least I tried to run to the cafeteria. However, not knowing where anything was, and not knowing where I was, my attempt failed.
Just when I thought I couldn’t get anymore lost, bewildered, or confused, the bell rang.
My first thought: “Oh no...”
My second: “At least I still have the stuff I need for next class.”
My third thought: “Like that’ll help at all. I don’t know where my class is and I don’t know where I am.”
Once the halls emptied, I was able to find my math class more easily than before. I stumbled in only a few minutes after the second bell.
When I pushed open the door, I sort of wished I hadn’t, but it was too late. Everybody looked up from their silent work and stared at me. I inched my way into the room and shut the door behind me, searching desperately for an empty desk. There! I spotted one. I made my way over and sat down. Everyone continued to stare and whisper. Fine. I would just get to work. Everything was written on the board.
Lesson# 56: Equations with Parenthesis.
I opened up my textbook and workbook. Then I realized it. My pencil case was missing. I had probably dropped it on my way here or outside of the classroom or something.
I really didn’t know what to do and my palms were so sweaty you could grease a pan with them-not that that would be very sanitary.
I had to bite my lip to keep from crying, and I was shaking so hard, the whole classroom was probably vibrating.
I decided to ask the teacher if I could look for it since I couldn’t do anything without it. I stood up and made my way to the teacher’s desk, where she was bent over some papers, intently writing something on them. So intently that she was probably the only one who hadn’t noticed my entry.
“Excuse me,” I whispered. She didn’t look up.”Excuse me,” I said a little louder.
Finally I tapped her arm.
“Hmm?” she asked. Then she looked up. “Who are you?” she looked as if she knew, but didn’t couldn’t quite place it, like when you recognize someone in the street but don’t know where from.
Then it clicked. “You’re the new girl right?”
I nodded.
“When did you get here?”
“Just, um, a minute ago.”
“Why so late?”
“I, uh, got lost.”
“Hmm.” She then looked back down at her papers and continued writing.
Now what was I supposed to do? Get her attention again or sit back down?
I chose the latter.
I read through the lesson alone, and tried to answer the questions in my head. I resorted to a stick of chap-stick I had in my pocket as a pencil.
Finally the period came to an end.
“This lesson will be for homework for all those who haven’t finished it. I’m also going to hand out a worksheet for you all to do for tomorrow,” the teacher told us before dismissing us.
Two more classes to go, I thought.
As I left the classroom, I heard people snickering about me.
“Did you see that? She was writing with chap stick!”
That reminded me to look for my missing pencil case. While everybody made their way to History, I searched up and down the stairs and through all the halls I thought I had been through.
I finally found it ten minutes into class. I had seen where everybody went, so I fortunately knew where to go. As I opened the door, everybody turned my way, like last time, except this time they were all laughing.
“There she is again!” they called to each other.
I couldn’t stop the tears from welling up in my eyes. I didn’t understand why people had to be so mean.
I shuffled across the room, plopping myself in a chair. I dropped my books on the desk, but through my teary eyes I couldn’t see clearly and put them down too near the edge. Because of this, my textbook and pencil case toppled onto the floor, causing everybody to laugh again.
My pencils were all over the floor, the pages of my Math book were bent and torn and everyone was laughing, laughing, laughing...
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