It was raining on my first day of school. Heavy sheets were falling from the sky, making it a much longer drive to my tiny little middle school then it needed to be. My mom was grinding her teeth, trying her damndest not to scream out in frustration as we made our way through the now blinding rain. I was going to be late for school, and my mom was going to be late to work.
"You could always just take me home." Mom huffed, her fiery eyes glaring at me through the rearview mirror.
"Sorry, not the time." She looked back towards the road, her hand hovering over the horn as a car cut her off at an intersection.
"Where the hell did this guy learn how to drive!?" She snarled, balling her fist and pounding the horn. I flinched as the sound blared through our tiny Toyota. It was like the sound was amplified in the rainy backroads. The car honked back, but was soon lost in the rain. Mom rolled her eyes and slowly made her way to my new school.
When we pulled up to the parking lot, I let out a breath I didn't even realize I was holding. It was slow and deep, and I could feel anxiety building up in my stomach. New school, new year… new me? Mom turned back to look at me, trying her hardest to give me a hopeful smile, but there was too much frustration on her sharp features to make her look anything other than extremely pissed off.
"Go on baby, and have a great day." She reached back and handed me five dollars in ones, and cupped my chubby face in her hands. "I love you, call me if you need me."
I slipped out of the car and opened my cherry red umbrella. Even though I was mostly covered from the rain, my legs and the bottom of my skirt still managed to get soaking wet. I picked up the pace and nearly ran into the small building. I only glanced back once at my mom speeding away in the foggy grey distance. I felt my anxiety rise again, and swallowed the lump that was now forming in my throat.
The hallways were cramped, and musky because of the rain. Students were chattering happily with their friends, not yet realizing there was an outsider among them. I held her head down, making my way to the front office so that I could get myself properly checked in.
I pushed open the faded wooden door to the office, and approached the elderly woman that sat behind the reception desk. She was typing away at a large, outdated computer. She was a frail looking thing, with pale, almost translucent skin, and large watery grey eyes. She was leaned in close to the computer, and didn't seem to realize I was standing in front of her. I stayed quiet for a moment, hoping she would look up and notice me, but she never did.
"Um, excuse me…" I cleared my throat, and she finally looked up at me. Her brows furrowed for just a moment, then her expression turned to one of surprise.
"You must be Elaine Kirkland."
"Yes ma'am" She gave me a small smile, and went back to typing on the computer.
"You know… it's not often we get new students… Where are you moving from dear?" I could hear the large white printer from behind the desk whirl to life and begin to print out some papers.
"Oh, um, New York City." The air conditioning that was blasting in the room made goosebumps rise on my skin. Washington was so much colder than New York this time of the year. I tucked some of my hair behind my ear, a small blush appearing on my cheeks as the older woman looked me up and down with curious eyes.
"A city girl eh? Well this is pretty far away from New York." I fought the urge to roll my eyes, Of course Forks Washington was far away from New York. The receptionist handed me my schedule and pointed to the class at the top of the paper.
"Well, the class at the top of the paper is your homeroom. You will report there each morning and at the end of the school day." She talked me through my schedule, offering to send someone to show me around the school. I declined her offer; the schools in New York were much bigger than this run down old building.
When she was done, I slipped from the office and began to make my way down the halls. Everything seemed so… muted. The brick walls were painted off white and the posters that hung from them were beige and a dingy yellow. There were a few stray pieces of trash on the ground, and there were hardly any people still lingering around. The other kids looked at me as I made my way to my homeroom, their eyes following me as I traveled through the maze of lockers.
I ignored them and entered my homeroom. The chattering of the other students seemed to stop as they looked up at me with curiosity. I was the new girl, the outsider… Other. Pale, colorless, nondescript faces stared at me, and there were a few chuckles throughout the crowd. I felt my fingers wrap around the bottom of my skirt, feeling the string that had come loose from the hem.
"Ah, Miss Kirkland… How about you come to the front of the class and introduce yourself?" The teacher was a young man and he seemed jittery, nervous. He smiled at me, gesturing at the front of the class and motioned for me to come forth.
I walked up and cleared my throat. There were so many people staring at me, their eyes wide and curious. I bit down on my lower lip, almost to the point of drawing blood.
"My name is Ellie, I just moved here." I glanced over at the teacher. He was sitting at his desk, leaned back in his brown leather chair. He scratched his beard and cleared his throat.
"Anything else you'd like to share?"
"No" I didn't mean to blurt it out like that. The class was silent save for a few awkward chuckles. The teacher, who still had neglected to introduce himself, frowned and cleared his throat again, clapping his hands together.
"Well, uh, why don't you take a seat Ellie." There were a couple of empty seats in the front of the classroom, so I sat at the desk closest to the door. I could feel the other kids looking at my back the entire time, but I just stared at the door as the teacher droned on and on.
All of my classes were the same. Me, having to introduce myself over and over again, the other kids just looking at me with they stupid, empty, curious faces, and then me sitting by the door waiting to leave. I hated every second of it, and I couldn't wait to go home. I silently prayed four separate times to whatever God could hear me to make the clock move faster, but time just slipped on until 3pm.
When the final bell finally rang, I moved as fast as I could towards the classroom door. As my hand touched the handle, I felt someone touch my shoulder. I jumped at the contact, twisting my head to look at the person who had touched me. There were two girls. One was tall and thin, pale, with thin blond hair that was poorly curled. The other was shorter, with wide set brown eyes and a gap tooth. The other kids brushed past the three of us at the doorway, and soon it was just the three of us at the door and a few kids talking to the teacher.
"My name is Marie, and this is Ashley." The girl with the gap tooth smiled as she began to twirl her dark hair on the tip of her index finger. "And you're Elaine right?"
"No, it's Ellie. Only my parents call me Elaine." I frowned as the two girls chuckled.
"Okay, Ellie… You're new here, so we wanna show you around." The blonde reached out to grab my arm, but I jerked away.
"No thanks, my sister is waiting for me." I guess the two of them had never been rejected before, because the blonde girl got a funny look on her face and the other girl's jaw dropped in surprise. I ignored them; I wasn't in the business of making friends, and I didn't intend on staying at this school for very long. I was going to head back to New York the first chance that I got.
I walked out of the door and made my way towards the entrance of the building. I was supposed to head back to the reception desk and tell the front office lady how my first day was and everything, but I didn't feel like it. I slipped out of the front doors, blending in with the crowd of laughing students and made my way to the pick up lot.
It wasn't raining anymore, but the fog was so thick that it looked like the beginnings of a horror movie. I could hardly see my older sister in the pick up lane, but she honked her horn and rolled down the passenger side window.
"Ellie!" I slipped into the car and slammed the door. Letting out a small huff, I placed my face in my hands and groaned loudly.
Emi's face dropped as she drove forward in the pick up lane. Her amber colored eyes clouded ever so slightly and I saw her lips purse.
"That bad?" I shrugged my shoulders.
"Uh, I don't know about you, but people just kept staring at me like I had three heads or something." I leaned my head on the cool window and closed my eyes. Emi was silent as she made her way back to our new house. Mom had said the move was only temporary, something that would only last as long as it took her to finish up her project and get promoted in her company. However, with the new house, new finishings, new car… It felt pretty permanent.
Emi didn't pry. That was something I always really appreciated about her. She was probably the best sister any girl could ask for. She was smart, kind, and supportive… She was my best friend, and I trusted her more than anyone in the entire world. Emi just smiled at me, a real smile, the type where your lips curl and your eyes shine. She smiled at me and held my hand.
"We should bake a cake today. One to celebrate getting through our first day of our new schools." She got out of the car and I followed suit. Our new house was cute, I had to give my mom credit for that. It was a small blue one story home with a large wrap around porch. Despite being tiny for house standards, it was much bigger than our apartment back in Manhattan.
"Sure, if you wanna." I kicked off my black mary janes and pulled my dark curls from out of its large bun. Tossing my bookbag on the cream colored couch, I followed Emi into the kitchen and opened up the cabinets. Everything was so much different. Back in our apartment, everything was perfectly in its place all the time; it almost felt as though no one even lived there. My father was the main reason for that. He was organized to a fault. Now, there were a few dishes in the sink, my umbrella dripping wet by the back door, and there was a more… lively feel.
Strange considering how dead the town felt.
"Chocolate?" I nodded my head and began to pull out the coco powder and flour from out of the cabinet.
"So how was your day?" Emi pulled out the mixer and set it on the counter. She tucked some of her short black hair behind her ear and cleared her throat.
"Oh, well… It was alright. Nothing interesting, I just kinda blended in." I barked out a laugh and began to measure out the dry ingredients for the cake.
"I doubt that. People were staring at me all damn day!" I threw up my hands, some flour getting on my shirt. "And I'm boring to look at."
"You're not boring to look at." Emi grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl on the countertop and bit into it.
"Agree to disagree I guess. All I'm saying is, there is no way you just blended in." Emi rolled her eyes and hopped onto the counter.
By the time my mom came home from work, I had just finished icing the cake. Emi wasn't much of a baker; she was really there for moral support. Mom had brought us home some pizza, but didn't sit down to eat dinner. She seemed agitated, paying attention to her phone and taking several curt calls before going into her room and locking the door. I looked towards Emi for some sort of conformation, but she shook her head. That could have only meant one thing.
Mom was fighting with our dad again.
That was the whole reason we were here.
I wouldn't have said we were the happiest family in the world; me, mom, dad and Emi, but we were together, and I thought content. That notion was thrown out the window however, when mom announced a month and half ago that Emi and I were moving with her to Washington, and dad was staying in New York.
I was stunned and confused. I knew mom and dad had been arguing, but it seemed like such little things. A name there, and short comment here, but at the end of the night they kissed us goodnight and went to bed together. It was so sudden; we were sitting together at our kitchen table, having dinner when mom announced we were moving. She told us it was only for a few months, a year tops, but there was so much tension in the air. I kept waiting for my dad to say something, for them to argue a little than kiss and make up… But they didn't.
Dad didn't really say anything at all… and we left.
Maybe that's why I hated it here so much. I wanted to be home, with our dad, and mom, in the too small room Emi and I shared, down the street from my goody-two shoes cousin Penelope, and above the bakery that was my dad's whole world. Instead, I was in a cold, foggy, boring, small town.
Emi and I had our own rooms, which was really strange to me. I had shared a room with her my whole life, and suddenly I had a whole space to myself. The first few nights we were here, I found myself sneaking into Emi's room and sleeping on the floor. It was hard to fall asleep alone; everything was so quiet here. The only sounds I could hear outside was nature: owls and wolves howling in the distance. It made me nervous, and I guess it made Emi nervous too, because she never complained when she tripped over me in the morning.
But I guess I got used to the silence… and I also really wanted to sleep on a bed again.
As I headed off to bed that night, I heard my mom cussing on the phone. It was quiet, but I could hear her conversation through the walls.
"I don't give a damn about the money, I'm more upset about the fact that you fucking lied to me." Pause.
"What do you mean_" Pause
"Well I don't need you, and I haven't asked you for shit." Pause
"Oh, go to hell_" Pause.
"Then FUCKING stay there!" Mom was done with the conversation. I heard her slam her bedroom door, and in the next moment there was a knock on mine.
"Come in." My mom cracked open the door and peeked her head in.
"Hey baby, I'm sorry I wasn't able to make dinner." She walked in, still dressed in her black pants-suit from work. Mom was a professional woman, so it was odd to hear her lose her cool so badly. She was tall, dark, and absolutely gorgeous; dad used to describe her as being an African Goddess, with her smooth ebony skin and expressive amber eyes. She towered over my dad, her at a staggering 6'2 him only 5' 8; still, he loved it when she wore her heels and walked around like the independent business woman she was.
"That's fine. Thanks for bringing dinner home." She sat down at the end of my bed and reached out to cup my face, but I pulled away. She sighed and put her hands in her lap.
"You could hear me on the phone… Couldn't you?" I nodded, some of my curls flying in my face.
"I'm so sorry. I-I know this is difficult_"
"I don't really wanna talk about this right now." She nodded her head.
"Okay… Okay." I pulled up my thick blue comforter up to my chin and watched my mom. I could see her thinking, planning her next action very carefully. She pursed her lips and sighed very slowly."How was school?"
"Boring, uneventful, drab…" I fell back onto my mess of pillows, sinking in between my large octopus plush and purple decorative pillows. My mom chuckled and patted me on the stomach.
"I find it hard to believe nothing happened. You're a magnet for trouble." I pulled my comforter further up so that it was touching my chin.
"No, I only find trouble when I look for trouble. You told me to be on my best behavior, and look… No trouble." She chuckled again before standing up and kissing me on the forehead.
"I hope it stays that way." She brushed away some of my loose curls and stroked my cheek with her thumb. "Goodnight baby. I'll see you in the morning."
"Goodnight mom." She flicked out my lights and cracked my door. I turned over to my side and looked at the moonlight that was shining through my window. The fog had finally cleared and the full moon was large and bright in the night sky. I sighed and closed my eyes, nearly falling asleep instantly.
Maybe borning was good.
*I hope you enjoy the first chapter of my new story. It has a little bit of a slow set-up, but when it gets going, it gets going. Thank you for reading, and please comment!*