It's All New
A/N Even though nobody seems interested in this story, I decided to go ahead and fix some things I thought needed fixing. Also I decided to divide this into chapters. So, if anybody reads this, could you leave a review? It would be nice to hear what people think of this... But please! Let the criticism be constructive!
"So, I'll see you tomorrow?" I asked my friend, Jessa, a nervous smile spread across my face.
"Yeah, I'll see you later, Arianna." Jessa waved and went out McGinty's front door.
Jessa Wissmann; she is my best friend. She's a month and one day older than me, being that her birthday is May 2nd. We've known each other since were both in third grade.
Tomorrow was the first day of the new school semester and we were going into junior high. We were nervous; well, at least I was. Jessa is very outgoing and even I find it hard to tell whether she's nervous about something or not.
Once Jessa had gone, I walked slowly into the office. Daddy was sitting at his desk, doing some paper work. He looked up when he heard me come in and he flashed me a smile.
"Is Jessa gone already?" He asked me, setting his pen down and leaning back in his chair.
"Yeah," I replied, nodding, "She had to go home and eat supper."
"Speaking of which," Daddy slid some papers and bills into a drawer, "How would you like to go out for pizza tonight?"
"Really?" I asked him, surprised at his offer, "The Paper doesn't have anything for you?"
"No, Arianna," He answered me, "There is absolutely nothing in the Paper that needs my attention."
"Great!" I exclaimed with delight as I jumped up from my seat on the couch, "I'm going upstairs for a minute and I'll be right back."
I could hear him laughing quietly to himself, as I took the stairs two steps at a time. Once I had reached the loft, I changed my shirt and re-fixed my hair. Then, grabbing my blue jacket from the coat rack, I ran back down the stairs.
"All ready?" Daddy asked me, when I reached the office once again.
"I'm ready." I confirmed.
"Okay, then," He said, "Let's go."
We left McGinty's and started to walk down the sidewalk. It was a bit cool outside and I was glad that I had brought my jacket. I noticed that daddy, too, was wearing his jacket.
As we walked, he whipped the Paper from his back pocket, glanced at it, and then put it back. He smiled at me and I smiled back. I was very happy for this opportunity to spend time with my father, when he was free of the duties that come from receiving tomorrow's news. If only I had known that this would be the last occasion for quite some time.
When we reached the pizza parlor, daddy and I chose a table in the corner, near the window.
"Hmm," Daddy read off the menu, "How about anchovies, Arianna?"
I wrinkled my nose in disgust and went back to my menu. Daddy asks me about anchovies every time we get pizza and every time I tell him, 'no'. We ended up getting our usual pizza. One with "everything on it, but hold the anchovies, please".
As we ate, I informed daddy of how nervous I was about attending junior high the next day. How I wasn't quite sure if I was ready.
"You'll do fine, Arianna," He encouraged me; "It'll won't be that different from middle school. You'll see."
"I hope your right." I still had my doubts.
"Of course, I'm right," Daddy replied, swallowing a mouthful of pizza, "I went to junior high, too, you know."
I grinned and then took a bite of pizza. Maybe, he was right.
"Wake up, Arianna," I heard daddy calling, "Its time for school."
I groaned and pulled the pillow over my head.
"Come on, you don't want to be late on your first day of junior high, do you?" Daddy asked me.
That did it. My eyes shot open and I was out of the bed within five seconds. I started pulling clothes from my dresser drawers.
I could hear daddy laughing softly at my speediness of getting out of bed. He was sitting at the table with a cup of coffee, while reading the Paper. "Don't forget to make your bed, Arianna." He told me.
"I won't, daddy." I promised him, hurrying into the bathroom.
I took a quick shower and put on one of my new school outfits. I fixed my hair, brushed my teeth, and then emerged from the bathroom.
I poured myself a bowl of cereal and hurriedly finished it off. I sat my bowl in the sink, then rushed off to make by bed.
"Busy day today, daddy?" I asked him, shaking out my quilt.
"Not really," He replied, taking a sip of coffee, "I've got a school bus crash on Maple Street, some guy is going to fall into Lake Michigan, and an attorney is going to be hit by a train when her car comes to a standstill on the tracks. Besides that, I'm free."
"Wait," I said, dropping my pillow on my bed, "did you say, 'Maple Street'? What bus number is that?"
"Ah, let's see…" He scanned the article, "That'd be bus #16."
"That's my bus!" I almost shouted.
"What?" Daddy exclaimed.
"Yeah," I confirmed, "That's the bus I've got to get on in fifteen minutes."
"I don't think so." Daddy said, standing up.
"What?" I asked him.
"You are not riding the bus to school, Arianna." Daddy stated firmly, "I don't want you on that bus today. I'll drive you. Get your backpack and let's go."
Obediently, I grabbed my purple and black backpack from underneath my bed and followed daddy out the door and down the stairs.
"Good morning, Gary, Arianna," Marissa greeted us as we rushed into the bar, "You two seem in quite a hurry today."
"We are," Daddy told her, grabbing the keys to the van, "I'll tell you all about it later."
As we started to hurry out the front door, Marissa called out to me. "Arianna," She called out, "Don't forget your jacket or your lunch!"
Throwing my backpack into daddy's arms, I ran upstairs and grabbed my blue jacket from its place on the coat rack. After snatching up the brown paper bag that contained my lunch, I ran back down stairs.
"Thanks, Marissa." I gave her a quick hug.
"Good luck!" She called out.
I ran out the front door and climbed into the back seat of the van. Daddy had stashed my pack in the front seat, so I put my lunch and jacket up there, also.
"What are you going to do about the bus, daddy?" I asked him curiously, as he stopped at a traffic light.
"The same thing I did thirteen years ago and the same thing I usually do at times like these." Daddy told me.
"It's a long story," He said, moving the van once again, "Remind me to tell you about it some night."
I nodded. I most certainly would remind him and he knew it. I've always enjoyed listening to different stories daddy tells about some of his saves. Of course, he doesn't make himself out to be a hero when he tells them. He never does.
Daddy was heading for Maple Street. The accident was going to happen in less then ten minutes. As we drove, daddy started mumbling something about, "stupid bus drivers who talk when they're supposed to be driving".
When we finally got there, daddy jumped out of the car. What was he going to do? I jumped out of the car and went to stand beside him at the stop sign.
Then I saw it; the bus. It was coming down Maple Street and sure enough, the bus driver was looking back; talking to someone. Reaching into his pocket, daddy pulled out a green tennis ball. Then he hurled it at the window of the bus.
The bus driver looked ahead with a start when the ball hit the windshield, saw the car he was about to run into, and slammed on the brakes. That's when I realized that I had been holding my breath. I let out a sigh of relief as daddy checked the Paper. The story was gone.
"Alright," Daddy said, stuffing the Paper inside his coat, "Let's get going, Arianna. We don't want you to be late."
By the time we had reached the school, I had managed to get even more butterflies in my stomach. I unbuckled my seatbelt and took hold of my jacket, backpack, and lunch.
"You ready?" Daddy asked me.
"Yeah, I guess so." I gave him a nervous smile.
"It'll all turn out fine, honey," He reassured me with a hug, "Trust me."
"Thanks, daddy," I grinned, "Can I ride the bus home?"
"Yes," He said, glancing at the Paper, "You may ride the bus home, Arianna."
When I got out of the car, I saw Jessa standing off to the side of the mob of kids. I waved good bye to my father and ran over to meet her.
"Hey, Arianna," She greeted me, "You weren't on the bus this morning."
"I know," I replied, "Daddy wanted to drive me. He was coming this way anyway." Jessa doesn't know about the Paper.
"Yeah, well, you missed something exciting. Mr. Fente was about to run into someone when Bang! a tennis ball hits the windshield. Mr. Fente saw the other car and both were saved. It was pretty neat."
I nodded silently, as we started up the steps to the school.
"Which way is our lockers?" I asked Jessa.
"I think they're this way." She replied, sounding very sure of herself.
Sure enough, they were. I stashed my lunch and jacket inside my locker then headed for my first class.
"Well, how's it going, Jessa?" I asked my friend at lunch time as I took a sandwich out of my lunch bag.
"Pretty well," She replied, "You?"
"Okay, I guess." I said, still unsure of what the rest of the day might bring.
"What class do you have next?" She asked me, "I've got Art."
"Lucky you," I told her, "I've got to go to Mr. Scholze's math class."
"Yuck." She wrinkled her nose.
"Yeah, I know," I agreed, "I hate math."
"No," She said, "Yuck. I think I must have got the sandwich meant for my brother."
"Which one?" I asked her. Jessa has three brothers and two sisters.
"Chris," She replied, "He loves Peanut Butter & Banana."
"So do I. Here, I've got Ham and Cheese," I held out my sandwich, "I'll trade you."
"Are you sure?" She asked me.
"Positive." I stated, "Take the sandwich, Jessa."
"Thanks." Jessa said as we traded sandwiches.
"No problem." I told her.
Actually, I don't quite like Peanut Butter & Banana as much as Ham & Cheese, but I figured I'd trade her anyway.
"They're putting up the list." Jessa pointed to two men hanging up a sheet of paper on a bulletin board.
"The List" is the list of all the different extra activities that you can try out for. I had been planning on soccer, since I've played that since I was six.
"What are you going to choose?" I asked Jessa.
"I thought that we could both choose baseball this year, Arianna." She suggested.
"Baseball?" I asked her, stunned, "I've never played baseball, Jessa. I don't know anything about baseball!"
"There's nothing to it," She made it sound so simple; "I'll get my brothers to help me teach you."
"I don't know…" I was still unsure.
"Your dad used to play baseball didn't he?" She asked me.
"Good," She said, cleaning up her lunch, "I bet he can help you out, too. Come on; let's go see when the try-outs are."
She led me over to the list and we, among other kids, read the dates and times.
"Try-outs are Friday at 4:15 PM." She read out loud, "Good, that'll give us all week to practice."
"I still don't know, Jessa. I'll have to think about it." I told her.
"You do that," She approved, "Hey, do you think your dad would mind if I came by after school? We could do our homework together."
"No, he won't mind," I informed her, "You can get off the bus at my place."
"Come on, Hobson," The bus driver pulled to a stop, "This is your stop."
I stood up and Jessa follow me off the bus. I was glad to get off it. It made me a little nervous with Mr. Fente driving the bus. After all, he nearly crashed earlier that morning.
Jessa trailed behind me, as I opened the heavy McGinty's door and walked inside. I saw Marissa sitting at the bar and I walked over to her.
"Hi, Marissa," We greeted her.
"Hey, Arianna, Jessa," She smiled, "How was the first day of junior high?"
"Pretty good," I replied, "Uh, Marissa, do you know where daddy is?"
"I do believe he's in the office, finally signing some papers I've been harassing him about all week." Marissa informed me.
"Thanks, Marissa," I thanked her, "I'll see you later, okay?"
Jessa and I walked into the office, and like Marissa had said, my father was hard at work, signing papers.
"Hi, daddy," I said.
"Arianna," He stood up and gave me a hug, "How was it?"
"Not bad," I replied, "Daddy, do you mind if Jessa and I do our homework together?"
"Not at all," He said, heading towards the door, "Just make sure you're doing your homework. I don't want to find you two in here playing and talking."
"Yes, sir," I replied, solemnly, "No playing."
"Yes, sir, Mr. Hobson," Jessa saluted, "We won't let you down, sir."
"Alright, then, I'll see you two later." He left the office, closing the door behind him.
I sat down at daddy's desk and Jessa took Marissa's. I pulled out my least favorite kind of homework; math. Jessa pulled out her favorite; history.
"Why don't you do your favorite subject first, Arianna?" She asked me, "You know, for as long as I've known you, you always do your favorite subjects last. Why?"
"Because," I told her, "Because if I do my least favorite first, like math, then I get it out of the way sooner."
"There are some things I will never understand about you, Arianna Hobson," Jessa shook her head in amazement, "For instance; you gave Butch Sterling a nickel he needed for lunch last year, you like salsa on your scrambled eggs, and you trade a Ham & Cheese sandwich for a PBB – I know you don't like banana on your sandwiches all that much."
I grinned, "You don't like salsa on your eggs?"
"What's wrong with giving somebody a nickel for lunch? You still remember that?" I asked, sharpening my pencil. I had forgotten about the entire thing.
"Nothing's wrong with it," She assured me, "But you gave it to Butch Sterling and he didn't even ask for it. He was the school bully!"
"I couldn't let him go without lunch, could I?" I reasoned.
"Like I said before," She shook her head again in disbelief, "There are some things that I will never understand about you."
I groaned and started to tackle my math homework. I hate math. I always have. Jessa hates it, too and it always comes last on her homework list.
We had been working silently for about fifteen minutes when Jessa brought up another subject. "I love baseball." She said plainly.
"What?" I asked her looking up from my papers.
"Baseball;" She stated, twirling her pencil around her finger, "I like it."
"Good for you," I clapped sarcastically, "What are you trying to get at?"
"Will you please play baseball this year, Arianna? Please?" She begged me.
"I said I would think about it." I reminded her.
"That's not good enough," She pouted, "I want you to say, 'yes'."
Suddenly, daddy poked head in the room. "Hey, I said no talking." He reminded us.
"Sorry." I apologized.
"Mr. Hobson?" Jessa asked.
"Do you need something, Jessa?" He asked my friend, kindly, stepping into the room.
"Um, sort of," She said, "Mr. Hobson, can you convince Arianna to play baseball this year?" She asked slyly.
"I don't know…" He replied, his mud-green eyes twinkling with mischief, "Arianna's hard headed and stubborn. It might take quite a bit of convincing."
I groaned. Now, they were both against me.