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03; Something Terrible

Staring at herself in the mirror, El almost didn't recognize herself. She wore brand new clothes she'd just taken the price tag off this morning. The fashion had definitely changed but apparently leather jackets were back in style from the 80's.

Hers was a dark navy blue color that her mother thought would look great on her. She wasn't wrong but it didn't look great, it looked better.

The weekend had come and gone quicker than any days she'd ever experienced. Days in the institution dragged but here it almost seemed to speed up. It was last night after an awkward dinner that she was told she'd be attending the local high school.

Apparently the law says she has to go unless she drops out. That was her plan until her mother nearly had a heart attack when she'd told her about it.

Education wasn't exactly a priority in Eichen House. Going back to school after missing out nine years was not going to be any walk in the park.

"Eleanor, hurry up. You'll be late!"

Again came the dreaded name. El corrected her mother every time asking her to call her by her nickname but it was like everything she said was going in one ear and out the other.
Naturally she just gave up trying but it still annoyed her.

"Have fun in hell, sis." Paul teased taking his turn in the bathroom now that Joseph was finished using it.

She rolled her eyes. She'd been through hell. Having to go to school for eight hours with a bunch of hormonal teenagers was not even close.

"Oh, don't you look nice." El's mother gushed as she saw her daughter come down the stairs wearing the outfit she'd laid out for her.

El smiled and found that it was less forced. It was getting easier every time she had to do it.

As they drove to the school, her mother made it a fact to keep up the conversation, reminding her much of Miranda. El was one for silence but her best friend wouldn't have that. Her replies were mostly shrugs, a few 'mhm's, and a lot of okay's.

You would think her mom would have noticed the lack interest in having a conversation but she just kept on talking. She talked the entire way up until they were pulling up to the front of the school building. Perfect timing, El felt as though her ears were going to explode.

"My little girl's off to high school."

Internally El was groaning and rolling her eyes. The time to be sad over her daughter starting high school had long passed.

El opened the door but was pulled back into the car by her mother. "Hold on, I wanted to give you this."

Her mother held out a thin, rectangle shaped box in her hand. Slowly, El picked up the cold item, examining it in her hands. The first thing she noticed was the apple icon on the back of it.

"It's a phone, honey. I'll need a way to get a hold of you." her mother said after a moment obviously sensing her confusion.

With a quirked eyebrow, El snorted. "Wow, I always thought my first phone would be Paul's old flip phone."

"You're a little too old for hand-me-downs I'd think."

El breathed a laugh before putting the small phone into her back pocket. "Thanks, mom, I'll see you later."

She shut the door beginning to walk towards the school. She hadn't gotten very far when her mother very loudly called out to her. "Bye, sweetie!"

El cringed keeping her head low as people gave her mother strange looks. I guess that was the first step in being an average high schooler, being embarrassed by your mother on your first day.

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