9th Grade, Girls, Grace…or Jordan
“I’m coming!” I called back as I hit the save button. I grabbed my backpack and rolled out the door.
“Charlly,” Megan said as I scarfed down some bacon.
“Yeah?” I asked with my mouth full.
“Is today pajama day at school?” Megan asked.
“Why you ask?” I said as I stuff pancakes into my mouth.
“Because you’re still wearing your pjs,” Megan said.
I looked down and realized I was still in my asteroid pajamas.
“AGH!” I screamed. I had forgotten to change out of my pajamas.
“Charlly, honey,” Mrs. Matthews said as she picked up my plate, “I love you dearly, but I refuse to let you go to school in pjs.”
I rolled down the hall at a dangerous speed and pulled some jeans and a shirt out of the closet. I groaned as I tried to lift my leg up to put my jeans on. I’ve always been terrible at dressing in my wheelchair. I usually dress on my bed, but I have no time for transfers today.
“I’m ready!” I called as I rolled out of my room.
“Why are you wearing my SHIRT!?” Noel screamed.
“And why are you wearing my jeans?” Natalie said almost in a laugh.
I stared down at myself. Instead of pajamas, I was wearing one of Noel’s maternity shirts and a pair of Natalie’s jeans. The shirt is huge on me and considering, I’m almost six feet tall, Natalie’s jeans look like shorts on me.
“Just change your shirt,” Natalie said as she rolled out the door. “You don’t have time to do your pants.”
Noel stared at me. She looked like she wanted to freak out.
“Noel, honey, I’m sure Charlly didn’t mean to put on your shirt,” Mrs. Matthews said.
“I’m really sorry, Noel,” I hollered as I raced down the hall. I changed into one of my own shirts and rolled out the door.
“What happened to you?” Regina laughed.
I looked at myself and realized I was wearing one of my huge Christmas sweaters.
“At least I’m not the only one who’s going to have a new look this year,” Regina laughed. I took a good look at her. Her hair was now rather short and all blonde.
“You cut your hair!” I shouted.
“Correction, I went to a saloon and a professional cut my hair,” Regina squealed.
“I hadn’t realized your hair had grown out that much,” Natalie said.
“I’m glad it finally did,” Regina said. “Auburn is not my color.”
“And neither is blonde,” Nelson said. “You should try black.”
Regina hit him.
“Oh! I almost forgot! You won’t believe who I saw walking into the saloon as I was leaving,” Regina said.
Natalie looked around. Everyone but Leo and Virginia were at the B&B bus stop.
“Virginia?” Natalie asked.
“Nope,” Regina said.
“Jaci?” Natalie guessed.
“Nope,” Regina said. “You got one more guess.”
“Um, Jessie-Maria?” Natalie asked.
“Good guess, but no,” Regina said. “It was Leo!”
“Maybe he’s finally getting those bangs he grew out cut,” Darcy said. “He was starting was to look like a girl.”
“Maybe he wants to look nice for a special someone,” Regina said. She pointed at me. “But she obviously doesn’t want to look good for him.”
I rolled my eyes as the bus pulled up.
For some reason my heart started beating real fast. Whether it was because I was wearing a sweater and short like jeans or because I was afraid of going on the bus looking this ridiculous I don’t remember.
“Come on, girly. We’re burning daylight,” The bus driver said at the top of the ramp. I quickly rolled up the ramp.
“Charlly?” Leo asked looking at me.
“LEO?” I asked. “What happened to your head.”
“Sit down!” The bus driver shouted at Leo. Leo sat down next to me.
“How do you like my new look?” Leo asked. I just stared at him with my mouth open. His hair was cut in a totally different way oh and it was also BLONDE!
“Don’t let a fly fly in,” Leo said closing my mouth. He looked nervous.
“Hey ya’ll…,” Virginia said as she bored the bus. Her mouth fell open when she saw Leo.
“What did I tell you about dying your hair?” Virginia asked Leo as she sat next to Natalie.
“You told me it was an incredibly stupid idea,” Leo said running his hands through his hair. “I beg to differ.”
“You better go down to the store and beg for another box of hair dye,” Virginia said.
“I went to the saloon and got my hair cut and dyed,” Leo said.
“Your mom let you do that?” Virginia asked.
“Um, no,” Leo said. His face clouded at the mention of his mom. “But my dad was cool with it.”
“Because he’s bald!” Virginia said.
“By choice,” Leo said quickly. “He shaved his head for cancer awareness.”
“That’s sweet,” I said. Virginia looked at me. She opened her mouth but then she remembered her vow.
“Leo, we both know its all her fault that you’ve just made the stupidest decision of your life,” Virginia said. “Look at Regina! She cut her hair so that it could be back to her original color.”
“No, actually, I think the stupidest decision of my life was sending you to that mushy Valentine,” Leo said. “And Regina looked silly as a red head. I look awesome as a blonde.”
The look on Virginia’s face said it all. She was boiling.
“That was a little harsh,” I whispered in his ear. He took my hand and squeezed it.
I wanted to scream for some reason. From the looks of it, Virginia did too.
The bus pulled up to Drury High School and my heart dropped to the pit of my stomach. It wasn’t until that moment did I realize I had just gone from home schooled to high school. To me it felt like the most scary thing in the world.
Natalie and I were the last ones off the bus. Darcy and Leo were waiting for us at the door.
“Can you believe it?” Darcy asked as he opened the door for us. “We’re in high school!”
Natalie let out a squeal. I gave a nervous smile.
“I hope we have some of the same classes,” Natalie said as we got in line to get our schedules.
“Me too,” was all I could manage to get out.
“You nervous?” Natalie asked.
“Yup,” I nodded. Natalie laughed.
“Me too,” Natalie said. “I feel like having a panic attack.”
“Well, you’re doing an excellent job of hiding it,” I said.
Natalie smiled and laughed.
“Ok, lets see,” Natalie said as she opened up her schedule. “My period A is foreign langue with Mr. Ethan Peterson.”
“So is mine,” Virginia squealed as she looked at her schedule.
“My period A is science with Mrs. Kathy Davis,” I sighed.
“I have science with Mrs. Kathy Davis,” Leo said. “We could be lab partners.”
“Well at least we all have to same homeroom,” Natalie said.
“My period B is English with Mrs. Molly MacDonald ,” Darcy said.
“Me too,” Natalie smiled.
“My period B is Math with Ms. Jamie Cole,” I said.
Virginia looked like she wanted to scream.
“You too?” I asked her.
“I can’t believe I have Math with Mrs. Jamie Cole!” Virginia shouted at Natalie. Natalie tried not to roll her eyes, but she failed.
“I have Math with Mrs. Jamie Cole too,” Leo spoke up.
“My period C is Music and Fine Arts with Mrs. Lee Robin,” Natalie said.
“Lee Robin isn’t a teachers name,” Leo said. Natalie chuckled.
“I have Mrs. Lee Robin too!” Virginia squealed.
“My period C is Social Studies with Mr. Christian Piper,” I said. “Now how’s that for not a teachers name?” Leo smiled.
“I have Mr. Piper too,” Darcy said.
“I’ve got first lunch,” Leo said. “Anybody else got that?”
“I’ve got second lunch,” Natalie said.
“So do I,” I shrugged.
“I do also,” Darcy said.
“Virginia?” Leo asked.
“I’ve got first lunch too,” Virginia said. “But if you think I’m going to sit next to you then you do only use ten percent of your brain.”
“While ya’ll have lunch, I have Period D Science with Mr. Bob Landon,” Natalie said.
“So do I,” Darcy smiled.
“I have Period D English with Ms. Marianne Solari,” I sighed.
“I have Period E English with Mrs. Kathrin Benson,” Leo said. “Please tell me someone is taking that class.”
“I’m not,” Virginia said. “My Period E is Social Studies with Mr. Patrick Jude.”
“Charlly?” Leo asked.
“I just said I have English with Ms. Marianne Solari!” I shouted.
“So what’s your Period F?” Leo asked.
“Foreign langue with Ms. Lauren Star,” I said.
“I have her class too,” Leo smiled.
“I can’t believe we don’t have any classes together,” I said to Natalie as I read her schedule.
“We’re all in the same homeroom,” Natalie said.
“From 8:45 to 8:53,” I said. “That’s not even ten minutes!”
“Well we have lunch together,” Natalie said.
“I forgot about–” I started.
I wasn’t given a chance to finish. The bell gave its warning rang.
“Wait! Does anybody have Period A Music and Fine Arts with Mrs. Alyssa Capricorn?” Darcy asked.
“Nope!” Natalie said as she rolled to her foreign language class. “See you in homeroom, English, Science, and Lunch!”
“Leo?” Darcy asked hopefully.
“Nope,” Leo said as he took the handle bars of my wheelchair. “I’ve got science with Charlly.”
“Great,” Darcy grumbled as he walked towards his class. “I’ve got my least favorite class with nobody.”
“Maybe there will be some cute girls,” I winked,
“Not on his life!” Natalie sorta kinda shouted.
“So what does the rest of your day look like?” Leo asked. “I wasn’t really listening. I was freaking out that I’m being forced to take music.”
“I’ve got Period A Science with Mrs. Kathy Davis, Homeroom, Period B Math with Ms. Jamie Cole, Period C Social Studies with Mr. Christian Piper, Period D English with Ms. Marianne Solari, 2nd Lunch, Period E Music and Fine Arts with Mr. Chad Rain, and Period F Foreign Language with Ms. Lauren Star,” I said.
“So I get to start my day with you and end it. I also get Math and Social Studies,” Leo said. “Not a bad day line-up.”
I wanted to smack him on the back, but I settled for the hands.
“Hey!” Leo laughed. “It was a complement!”
Leo finished rolling me into science.
“So where would you like to sit?” Leo asked. “I usually sit in the back.”
“Then I’ll sit in the front,” I said.
“Then I’ll sit in the front with you,” Leo said. He removed one of the chairs from the desk and rolled me into it.
“Perfect fit,” Leo said as he plopped down next to me.
“You better not pass any notes to me,” I said.
“That’s a promise I can’t keep,” Leo winked.
“Then don’t get me in trouble during the process,” I said. Leo smiled.
“I won’t. I promise,” Leo smiled.
Then one of the strangest sights I have ever seen came into the classroom.
A girl, with black hair, came into the classroom riding on a boy’s back.
“Period A Science with Mrs. Kathy Davis,” The boy said, letting the girl off. The girl got off with a squeal and stood next to Piggy-Back Boy. She was very pale and at least a good three inches taller than him.
“Thanks, Chris,” The girl smiled.
“Your welcome, Grace,” The boy, who I guessed was Chris, said.
I was able to get a better look at the boy now that he wasn’t hunched over. He was a little bit below average male height. He had brown hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a plaid shirt and jeans.
“Hi!” The girl said. She held out her hand to me.
“Hi,” I said shaking it.
“I’m Jordan Miller,” The girl said. “Welcome to Drury High and the Berkshires!”
I stared at the girl. Hadn’t Chris just called her Grace like two seconds ago?
“And you are?” Jordan asked.
“I’m Charlotte Lily King, but you can just call me Charlly,” I said.
“Oooo! I like that!” Jordan shouted. “Now, do you spell that like C-H-A-R-L-I-E or C-H-A-R-L-E-E or C-H-A-R-L-L-E, or C-H-A-R-L-L-I-E-L-Y?”
“Um, actually none of the above,” I said. “Its spelled C-H-A-R-L-L-Y.”
“Now that just doesn’t make any sense,” Jordan huffed. “Oh, hi, Leo.”
“Hey, um…, Maggie?”
“I feel like being a Jordan today,” Jordan said.
“Ok, then, hi, Jordan,” Leo said.
“It was nice to meet you, Charlly spelled C-H-A-R-L-L-Y,” Jordan said. “Do you have One or Two Lunch?”
“Huh?” I asked.
“Do you have One or Two Lunch?” Jordan repeated.
“I have Second Lunch,” I said confused.
“So do I!” Jordan shouted. “I’ll seek you out then! Godspeed!”
Jordan sat right next to me. Chris sat next to Jordan. I looked at him. He burst out laughing.
“What is so funny, Chris?” Jordan asked.
“If you had the slightest clue,” Chris smiled. Jordan just stared at him confused.
Mrs. Kathy Davis walked into the room and slammed the door.
“Good morning, class,” Mrs. Davis said. “I’m Mrs. Kathy Davis and I am stuck with you for the rest of the school year.” Mrs. Davis hastily wrote her name on the dry erase board.
“To make my–and your life easier. Please remember where you have sat down and sit there tomorrow and the rest of the school year,” Mrs. Davis said. “I will make a chart sheet and anyone who does not sit where they are sitting today, tomorrow or any other time in the school year I will give them detention.”
Everyone spoke to each other with their eyes. This was going to be a long year.