September 9, 2014

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Silverleaf Academy.

My fifteenth birthday.

And colliding into Colby Haynes the first thing in the morning.

Yes, today was a day of firsts. I knew it the moment I pushed my hair back my ear in the car and found that one of my silver earrings was gone. Maybe fell off somewhere 'cause I definitely remember wearing both while waking up. The right one's backing had always been loose and it did fall off my ear occasionally but I always found it back one way or the other, never going anywhere without both of them longer than twelve hours, ever since sixth grade from my twelfth birthday. Gift from grandma.


So, for the big news.  I remember when Silverleaf was a distant dream I didn't really think could be granted; it was far, it was elite, and there were two options linked with it. Scholarship, or home tutoring. Personally, I couldn't pick. There is a feeling of security studying at home with Dad nearby. A sense of quiet and focus that I couldn't possibly have anywhere else. But there is also lack of trouble, which it seems I am totally attracted to, that I couldn't have at home, no matter how much I loved to be a shut-in. And if the glossy leaflets of that one academy I couldn't possibly be a part of didn't already impress me with the school spirit glistening off pictures of their lacrosse and soccer teams, all sweaty and handsome boys, which did not go unnoticed by me, also their winning in every other inter-school annual math and science competitions and their highly publicized participation in art festivals, I was convinced there had to be a way I got out. Out as in, away from where I used to live, maybe moving twice provoked me to dislike home. All I wanted was to get a chance to keep moving. And maybe  getting admission was too far fetched, even for a dream, but for once, miracles happened. Even if Dad didn't get a very convenient transfer at the exact moment of need, I could've convinced him to let me go to Silverleaf. Because unbelievably, I got a full scholarship.

 My high school is just as grand as it looks in the pictures

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 My high school is just as grand as it looks in the pictures. It is in the older part of the city, which is awesome and means a long car ride everyday. Well, 20 minutes is long enough for me, it fits in at least 4-5 songs if the radio's on a roll, which it was on today. There is a parking lot twice the size of that of the local supermarket back in South Bend. Money sparkles like colloidal particles in a beam of light in the atmosphere here. One does not see it immediately in the form of notes, but in the SUVs parked side by side, platinum hair sported by girls seemingly my age, the old, classic architecture that completes the lines of the school building against the sky. 

It seems like an era by itself, maybe I am exaggerating having referred to the school website so many times, but I found proof in the way seniors walk together, in almost matching movements. I found proof in the similarity of their mannerism and speaking, though it does not entirely make them unapproachable, it is certainly a level apart from the language I used to hear, and it could almost be a refreshing change, had it not been so glaringly unfamiliar. Silverleaf is a living, breathing creation, not just a building gathering a bunch of students, and I realized it by just taking in the view from the car window. 

"All right, sweetheart?" Dad asked smirking, as if challenging me to disprove the fact that I was nervous, as predicted, discussed and denied vehemently by me yesterday. I just grinned at him. I was worried if I said anything he might catch me out on it and get anxious about how I was dealing with all the changes occuring in our lives, which he wouldn't show, as he is Dad.

I was expecting to be intimidated. I was also expecting to push all hesitations aside with a 'noncommittal shrug'.

I was even expecting to get over both aforementioned consecutive reactions within first five minutes of entrance and hopefully find a soul as deserted as mine to go over and talk to and make myself feel less awkward.

What I was not expecting was a very familiar light brown haired guy fall head first on top of me as I stumbled and toppled over, right by the main gate,(where else?) before even stepping one foot inside the campus.

His face was a mixture of revulsion and shock and embarrassment, much unlike the polished, seemingly unfazed look he used to sport in elementary

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His face was a mixture of revulsion and shock and embarrassment, much unlike the polished, seemingly unfazed look he used to sport in elementary. "Rhea," he curtly acknowledged, even in his moment of rare clumsiness, turning the questioning tone into that of polite disinterest. "Colby," I replied, trying to ignore a group of his mates sniggering at us and also the quick blush at already having claimed the klutz award before officially starting the year.

The teachers are not that intimidating. The physics sir seemed very kind. He is the one that takes roll call. Roll call is just the same as my previous schools, where there is a lot of chattering despite the teacher repeatedly banging on the desk to maintain silence. All are rather nice actually, except the one we got for algebra. Cranky, old and loud.

Lunch was boring. It is in one of the innermost halls. One look at the tables, and you see exactly how cliquey the area is. A guy asked my name and stayed for a while, then went away to some other table.

That's how Boston starts for me.

I know that high school is only a part of it, not the entire life I am going to live here.....but today seemed different, Vanessa. It seemed like I was back to being the tortoise. It seemed funny then, didn't it, to nickname ourselves as random animals while signing off thirty worded first-time emails over the long summers? It doesn't now, anymore. It feels like I slipped inside a real tortoiseshell again.

My shell.

Ha, I miss her don't I. Bitch didn't even send a text this month, forget emails.

I have to remind Dad to buy cereal and fruit or there will be no breakfast tomorrow.

R.

PS: Calls came from mum, grandma, my cousins, Aunt Claire, Davis and Lila asking what were the plans of the day. I didn't have much to tell them except "Let's see". The last time I was excited over a birthday was the time I turned ten and that was when Davis got me a handmade calendar, a picture of us together for every month, and Lila and her mother made me a pie. I do hope Dad remembers to check Facebook before he comes home, I don't want him to feel very guilty when I remind him.


*Images used are not mine.*














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