136 days before

It was only a week until school started back at the Creek, and I was thrilled. My room was filled with piles of clothing, which were intermingled with stacks of books. I stood in the middle of it all, randomly tossing as many books as possible into my trunk. I know summer is supposed to the time of year that every teenage girl likes most, but it just didn't contain the elegance that the other seasons held for me. I had always enjoyed going back to school. When I was little, I would stay up all night before the first day of school, too thrilled to go to sleep, fueled by the smell of newly sharpened pencils and the feel of crisp paper. But I was a teenager now, and I wasn't supposed to show my excitement for that kind of stuff, so I instead occupied myself with throwing the books into my trunk with as much force as I could.

Plunk.

Plunk.

Plunk.