Musings on a First Day



High school was the bane of my existence. I knew it was necessary to "turn me into an educated and productive member of society", but I felt I was beyond that at this point and I was just doing my time. I knew things that were important like how the government worked and who the secretary of state was; I knew a lot about great works of literature and so I got all the references people made to them (more so than most adults probably).

When it came right down to it, I enjoyed school at times because I loved learning, but I was ready for more. I was ready for college. My teachers seemed to understand and would give me compassionate glances and try to encourage me to go the extra mile on assignments or they spent time after school discussing things with me. I enjoyed these times even if they made my fellow classmates think I was a major suck-up.

Today would be different though. Today was my first day at Forks High School. None of the teachers here knew my abilities so I wouldn't be getting the extra stimuli I was used to. If the teachers had taken the time to look at the file transferred from Phoenix, all they would see was that I was in AP courses and had A's. It didn't mention how little work I had to do to keep that up or how I was still bored. At least, I'm pretty sure that sort of thing isn't in a school file.

My mom had just remarried this past June and had spent most of the rest of the summer miserable while my step dad traveled with his minor league baseball team. Usually summers were awesome for my mom and me. Since she was a teacher, she had the summer off too and we would spend lots of time together reading through books from the public library while soaking up the sun at the pool. This summer, not even the sun could cheer her up very much though. That's when I decided that it would be better if I let her travel more with my stepdad; which means I'm here to spend the school year with my dad. I rationalized it had been a while since I had spent time with him anyway, and it would only be a year (or two) at the most. Then I'd get to go start my life in college. I really couldn't wait.

So here I was this rainy morning (because Forks has a lot of rainy mornings), in front of my closet trying to figure out what kind of impression I want to give on my first day. I figure I might as well go for comfort since I'm not too concerned with impressing anyone, so I pick my favorite t-shirt out of my drawer and a pair of perfectly worn jeans. I love this shirt because it's blue (my favorite color) and it has a picture of Shakespeare on it. It's from a student festival I participated in at a local theatre in Phoenix. I played Kate from "Taming of the Shrew" and helped with our limited costuming. It was one of the highlights of my high school career so far and meant good memories. I pulled the sides of my hair back in a barrette at the back of my head, brushed my teeth, slipped on a pair of blue flip-flops, and headed out the door.

After an uneventful drive, I pulled into the school parking lot in my beat up Chevy (which I absolutely adore) and took a deep breath before opening the door and hopping down. As I walked toward the building, I started smiling to myself when I thought about my dad's reaction when I told him how much I loved my truck.

"It's perfect, Dad. It has a nostalgic quality to it. It's got so much more character than a generic sedan."

"Um.. sure Bells. I'm glad you don't hate it. If it's nostalgic and character and all…. I guess that's good. Hmm … I just figured it was better than walkin…"

Dad didn't really get things like that. He saw things in black and white, good or bad, lawful or unlawful. Symbolism wasn't exactly beyond him, he just didn't see a use for it. Did I mention he's the chief of police?

I headed to the room where the rest of the juniors where gathered to be given our schedules and be lectured about expectations for a good school year.

This school is actually small enough to have us all in the same room. Wow.

I hear the bell ring and so it begins.


I think the expression "another day, another dollar" would apply to my attitude if I actually got paid to go to high school. I was putting my time in. There were things I enjoyed about it sure, but mostly I was going through the motions. My sister, Alice, was excited to get back, although she wouldn't tell me why. Her ability to sense the future was really annoying sometimes. All she would tell me was that something good was going to happen today. That could mean anything. It could mean that they were having hamburgers in the cafeteria for all I knew.

I climbed out of my silver Volvo in the school parking lot and started walking toward the building. I noticed a girl I had never seen before walking from the other side of the lot. She had a slight smile on her face and I immediately wondered what had caused it. I knew everyone around here so well that I usually knew exactly what they were thinking, but I had no idea what was going on behind the new girl's intelligent, sparkling eyes.

Oh whoa, did I just call her eyes sparkling?! Man, maybe my brother Emmett is right and I need to stop reading so much and watch a little more ESPN with him.

Suddenly, I realize that I'm still standing in the parking lot and the first bell has already rung. I better get my butt in gear and find which room they have the juniors in to get my schedule.

My mind wandered again to the new girl as I followed the signs to the music room. Maybe Alice was right and something good will happen today.