Shifting orbits (part 1)
I boarded the bus on the first day of school with a weird sense of anticipation. Even after nine years as the class dork, I couldn't quite squelch a fizzy little hope that this year would be different.
Maybe this year Jimmy Franklin would finally notice I existed. I was fifteen now and marginally less awkward than I'd been last year as a freshman. Maybe I'd do something wild and daring, like, oh, run for treasurer of the French Club. I might even get elected, since last year they'd had to arm-twist someone into doing it.
The familiar sour-stale schoolbus smell--like old french fries that had been baking in the Indiana sun all summer, with maybe a whiff of vomit--took some of the fizz out of my mood. It was the smell of a dozen past humiliations. Still, I clung to what I hoped was a confident half-smile as I headed for an empty seat two-thirds of the way back.
"Wow, Marsha, nice blouse."
It was Trina Squ...