I didn't see any of the guys again until registration. Pulling up to the school building was always a dismal experience, but it was only heightened by the extra cars destroying what little grass there was and the bitter smell of false hope for a better year to come.
Tables in the cafeteria were separated into two groups, one for new students and freshman, and another for returning students to pick up their schedules. Unsurprisingly, given how late in the day I arrived, the room was packed with older kids who had left this to the very last minute.
I shoved gently through groups that seemed to be standing in the most inconvenient spots just to be in someone else's way and waited patiently in line for the counselor. She looked up at me, her eyes dull as if she just saw another blurred figure instead of a person and asked my name. I gave her the information she wanted and she shoved a sheet at me and just called out, "Next!"
I rolled my eyes at the treatment but worked my way back towards the courtyard for some quieter space to review whatever obligatory classes I had been shoved into. A few AP Classes, European History with Mr. Morris, a Japanese class with Dr. Green, and an Introductory Violin course with a Mr. Blackbourne...?
My eyes skimmed everything before they flashed back. Owen was to be teaching me violin... And Sean, Japanese... I rolled my eyes again and turned to see Victor waving to me from a side door. I walked over to him, tucking my folded schedule into my bag and moving towards him.
He smiled as I approached, his presence welcoming after the mind-bogglingly apathetic welcome I had received from school administration. "Hey Princess," he started, "How are you?"
I raised my eyebrow at the nickname, once again feeling my stomach fill with these new feelings of warmth but pushed it down, "Uh, I don't know. I knew Sean and Owen were going to be working here, but I didn't think I'd be in their classes."
Victor's eyebrows rose as I mentioned this, "Mr. B is teaching a class?"
"I'm marked to have him for an Introductory Violin class in Music Room B this year."
"Hmm." He put a hand on the small of my back and pushed me forward. "They've got an office here this year if you'd like to see it."
I stopped in my steps, taking notice of the tight feeling in my chest and flipping stomach and turned to Victor, plastering a smile on my face. "Can I run to the bathroom and meet you there? I promise I won't get lost on the way if that's what you're worried about..."
"Sure. It's in the admin hall before you get to the main office." I nodded and he seemed reluctant to leave me, but as I walked quickly towards the bathroom, I noticed that he started on his way.
I pushed open the door to the restrooms, thankful that it was empty for now and locked one of the first stall doors behind me, checking for toilet paper and relative cleanliness; the usual routine when using a public school bathroom.
I plunked down onto the seat, jeans still tightly covering my rear, and rubbed my face in my hands.
This always happened. Sometimes on registration day. Sometimes on the first day. Sometimes for no reason in the middle of the hallway next to a really nice guy. There was no way for me to keep the panic at bay in the moment and all I could do was sit here, compose myself, and breathe.
One more year. One more year in this city. In this house. In this school, and then I could go. Lulu and Sarah and I could move across the country and live in the middle of the woods in a nice cabin and they could run free whenever they wanted and I could block my father from my life and leave everyone here behind.
YOU ARE READING
Sang isn't a fifteen-year-old cowering at the hands of her stepmother. She's on her own. Eighteen and living in a house her father bribed her with alongside two faithful dogs, she's been paving her own way since the payout a year ago. When Marie di...