The First Day - Rey

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"Now don't forget, the teachers are your friends." Hank, the social worker, says from the driver's seat of the brown, 1980's sedan. There wasn't much enthusiasm in his voice. "If you need help with anything at all don't hesitate to ask them about it. Seriously."

"But try not to rely too much on your teachers," Unkar said from the passenger's seat with a hint of a calloused undertone, "That's seen as 'uncool' around here." They turned in their seats to look at me. It was almost laughable, the physical differences between the two men.

Hank was a dull-looking, older man, whose only interesting feature was a bushy moustache rivalling that of Hasbro's Monopoly mascott. He wore circular glasses, a worn brown suit, and tucked what was left of his dark hair under an old top hat. Unkar was, well, downright ugly with his large beer-belly, shiny bald head, and uneven stubble over his layered, wrinkly chin. He was dressed in the same stained, off-white tank top and dirty old sweatpants that he had been wearing the last week. Despite their physical differences, I know from experience that their interests are almost always shady, and almost always common.

"Don't worry about being cool, just be yourself." Hank said, "And remember: the easiest way to make friends is to just introduce yourself." While useful, the advice they give lacks sincerity. Even without years of experience with the two men, it isn't difficult to detect ulterior motives; Unkar viewing me as his personal paycheque, and Hank doing his best to do the bare minimum. It also wouldn't take a genius to notice Unkar's obvious displeasure with the idea of me finishing my education at a real school, which only added to the mountainous proof that Hank does not care about me, and Unkar cares even less.

"Do you have any questions?" Hank asks. I shake my head. "Good. If you do think of any feel free to call me." We both knew I wouldn't. "Or better yet, ask your father." A smug smile formed on Unkar's thin, greasy lips.

Unkar Plutt was not and never had been my father. He'd kept guardianship over me my whole life, sure, but he had never displayed any fatherly qualities and eventually I came to terms with the fact that he never would. Of course, Unkar, deriving great pleasure from my displeasure; especially in situations where I am unable to defend myself; loves it when anyone reffers to him as my father in my presence.

Knowing better than to correct Hank now, I give one last nod, quickly thank him for the one and only ride I would recieve from him all year, and exit the vehicle. They speed off without a second glance, and, breathing a sigh of relief, I turn to face the bustling public high school.

A buzz of student chatter fills the air as students mill about the front lawn, exiting cars and busses alike, smoking, talking, laughing, and making their way into the school. I take this moment to revel in my small accomplishment.

This is what I'd been pushing for, and now I had it. My first day at a real school. I take my first steps onto the grounds and head for the front door.


For most kids going to this school, their very first day took place thirtteen years before, in kindergarten, at the age of four or five. I, on the otherhand, have been homeschooled by Unkar my entire life which makes my first day the first day of senior year, at the ripe old age of seventeen. Though Cheryl the librarian and I did most of the teaching, Unkar supplied me with basic knowledge, a few used textbooks, and a library card. With the help of Hank, he managed to give me the bare minimum while still being able to legally keep me, and the government-issued cheques that came with me, along with free labour at the greasy diner he owns. Nevertheless, I used whatever time I could spare to read, or study, or practise some sort of subject. Researching was a great distraction and I grew to love learning. However, there is only so much a child can do for themself, so it didn't take long for me to begin inquiring about school. Unkar wasn't impressed.

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