Chapter 3

Hi everyone! This post really doesn’t need much of an introduction! Here’s the third chapter of my story! I hope you enjoy it!

Chapter 3

Breathless from running (and hopping up the stairs two at a time), I check my watch, and, seeing that I have four minutes to get to class, I run to my locker. After quickly grabbing what I need for the day, I rush to my first period class and slide into my seat just as the bell rings. Whew! That was close.

My history teacher is talking about today’s lesson, and I know I’m supposed to be following along in the textbook, but I can’t help it, my mind starts to wander. I’m thinking about any old thing that pops into my head when an interruption startles me back into reality.

Mrs. Billen is talking to the principal, who is holding the door open for someone. When I see the principal, Mr. Cole, I sit up straighter, but immediately slump back down again when I notice who he’s holding the door open for.

Arghh! Emily’s already living with us! Does she really need to be in my history class too? Of course, as soon as she introduces Emily to the class as a new student, Mrs. Billen directs her to a seat near mine, and then ASKS ME TO SHOW EMILY AROUND TODAY. I sigh and slump down a little further. It’s going to be a long day.

As soon as the bell rings to signal the beginning of break, I stumble into the hallway, being shoved along by the flood of junior high students eager to escape the stifling classroom. I can barely make out Emily in the crowd, up ahead of me, so I start shoving my way through. I guess I am supposed to show her around. It’s only when I get closer to her that I hear people starting to notice. “Who’s the new girl?”

Here are all the numbers for you: My junior high is small. It has only about 150 students total, and a little less than a third of those are sixth graders. That means there are only about 50 sixth graders in the whole school. So whenever there’s a new student, which isn’t very often, it’s fairly big news among us sixth graders.

I try my best to ignore the stares and whispers that are pointed Emily’s direction, especially the many comments about her (my) cute jacket. When I catch up, I greet her, “Hey.”

No response. I glance at her. Only then does she acknowledge me with a quick dip of her head.

For the whole day until the dismissal bell, Emily barely glances my way, even though I’m supposed to be “showing her around.” I manage to keep up with her as she strides through the hallway from class to class. Somehow, she ends up in almost all of the same classes as me. The only classes I have that she’s not in are P.E. and art.

In order for me to make it through the day, I have to keep replaying my exchange with my art teacher this morning. She’s by far my youngest, coolest, prettiest teacher. She’s also my favorite teacher, if you didn’t already come to that conclusion.

In art, she must have noticed my glum expression, because while all of the other kids were working on their projects, she came over to me.

Speaking quietly, she asked me what was wrong. And though I didn’t want to say anything, it all came tumbling out. She had sat looking thoughtful for a few seconds afterward. Then she looked at me and spoke only a few sentences. “People are not always what they seem at first, or even second, glance. Emily might just surprise you.”

It seemed highly unlikely, but I was willing to hope. After that, Ms. Cherry (that was her first name, not her last, and she insisted we call her it) had smiled at me and promptly moved on, which I was grateful for. I wasn’t sure if I could spend another second of my day talking about or to Emily. Ms. Cherry helped me with my art project, an unusual abstract piece, for the rest of class.

At the end of the day, I hurry across the hallway back to my locker, eager to go home and, even though she lived with me, spend some time away from Emily. But instead of getting my books from my locker, I got sidetracked. Why? Because standing in front of my locker is my near-nemesis. Peyton and her wannabe group of “friends” (more like followers) are blocking the way to my locker.

Peyton (I call her Miss Prissy Peyton Popular, but not to her face) is the most well-known girl, if not in the whole school, then definitely in the sixth grade. Her mother used to be a famous actor/model, and her father was just plain rich. He had inherited some money from some person in their family tree a while ago. I’ve heard it all before. Multiple times. Yawn.

Peyton and her friends are murmuring about something when I show up. They stop as soon as they see me, but I caught some of it as I was walking over.

“Her hair is really cute.”

“And that jacket. Sheesh.”

“Where do you think she got it?”

Of course. They were talking about Emily. I roll my eyes. Middle school students are so predictable.

I paste a smile on, but I’m careful not to let my guard down. Peyton and I aren’t exactly the best of friends.

Peyton smiles a syrupy fake smile that makes me sick to my stomach. She puts one tanned arm around me. “I saw you were sitting with Emily at lunch today. How do you know her?”

This is just getting weirder by the second. I step away from Peyton, but she continues to smile at me. “She’s sort of…um,” How do I explain this? I fake a cough, stalling for time. “Well, she’s sort of staying with us for a while.”

Peyton’s smile gets even wider and more syrupy and fake, if that’s even physically possible. “So, Ciara. What can you tell me about Emily?”

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