"Well, this is our school," Payton looked over at Grace as they stood outside the school, waiting for the bell to ring - the first ring of the whole school season. Some of the students dreaded it - knowing that summer was over and school, homework, and classes would become a part of their lives once again. However, some of the students were excited for the homework and books to take over - students such as Grace, who loved learning and doing work.
"It's a nice school," Grace nodded.
"I guess," Payton made a disgusted face over the thought of the two words 'school' and 'nice' in the same sentence or even thought for that matter.
"You must like school at least a bit," Grace told her. "If you don't, how do you make it through the school year?"
Payton shrugged, "It takes a lot - but the thing that really helps me get through is the calendar - I can count down the days until the weekend or at least a break!"
Grace laughed quietly.
"She's serious," Lanie told Grace, "She has a whole calendar dedicated to counting down the days until breaks or weekends!"
Lanie was excited for school, somewhat like Grace, even if she was nervous about showing her somewhat new glasses off to middle school. She'd had the glasses for nearly two years, but only recently had she been told that she had to wear them all the time - not just select times when she was reading or needed to see something closer.
"Hey!" Meg - Lanie and Payton's best friend from school, walked up to them.
"Meggie!" Payton and Lanie cried in unision and the girls began to laugh.
"I missed you this summer!" Meg hugged the two girls.
Grace stood off to the side - Meg seemed to ignore her.
"I went to a concert last week and I got some great pictures back stage! Anyway, you want to go see something cool? I have a surprise for you! Come on let's go!"
"What is it?" Payton asked.
"I got us awesome decorations for our lockers!"
"Locker buddies!" Lanie cried and the girls began to follow Meg, as Grace hung back awkwardly.
"Lanie?" Grace tapped her on the shoulder before she walked away completely. She felt really awkward - she was the third wheel, the odd one out of the group. In fact, she questioned whether she was even in the group - Meg had acted as though she was under some sort of invisibility cloak, when in reality, Grace had been standing right there and Meg had to have seen her too.
"Oh, yeah Grace?" Lanie asked, as though she had forgotten all about Grace being there and all about being Grace's school partner.
"Um, how will I know where to go?"
"There should be a schedule in your student planner along with a map - it should all be in the bundle we picked up on the school orientation day last week."
"Oh, um, well, uh...okay," Grace nodded.
"Alright, well, I'm going to go off and look at the new locker stuff with Payton and Meg - maybe we can talk at lunch or in class or something. Talk later," Lanie waved and ran off, almost as though she was glad to get away.
Grace shyly hung her head and walked off to her first class just as the bell began to ring.
Grace entered through door of her classroom. There were already a ton of students buzzing around, talking, catching up, and getting supplies opened up and ready at the last minute. No one even noticed Grace enter.
She took a seat at her desk - the only open desk in the back of the room against the wall. She was a little disappointed that she didn't get to have the pick of all of the desks, but she couldn't worry for too long - class was about to begin.
After a few hours of changing classes and going through the first morning uneventfully, the bell rang signaling the start of the 45 minute lunch break.
"Oh great. I've been dreading this all day. How am I going to carry on conversations with multiple people? Suppose I accidently forget a word in English - after all, I know it, but didn't speak it too much in France." Grace began to worry - well, she had been really worrying all morning, so she didn't exactly "begin to worry."
Grace walked off to lunch alone as groups of chattering students ran along, still acting as though she wasn't there. Grace's first day of school wasn't really going great at all.
"Lanie," Grace ran up to Lanie; grateful to see a familiar face once again.
"Oh, hi Grace," Lanie smiled, "How has your day been?"
"Okay," Grace shrugged.
"Great," Lanie replied just as Meg and a few other girls came up.
"Come on Lanie - we got your lunch for you," Meg held up a tray containg a peanut butter sandwich, fruit cup, and a flavored sports drink.
"See ya around," Lanie quickly looked at Grace and smiled before running off; gone as quickly as she had been there.
Grace felt strange standing in the cafeteria all alone, so she decided to venture out into the back field on campus to find a bench to sit on.
She found a bench in a secluded courtyard where she was all alone. She opened up her bag and hesitated before pulling out her science book. She wasn't that hungry - her appetite had been taken away. She just wanted a friend or someone nice to meet on the first day.
Just as she began to read, she heard a voice behind her, "May I sit here?"
Grace turned to see a girl about her age. The girl seemed to be foreign, from her accent and the way she spoke.
"Um, sure, I don't mind," Grace suddenly became shy - just like she always did. Grace didn't particularly like that quality about herself, but she was working on helping it.
The girl took out her sketchbook - really just a cheap notebook - and began to draw a very elaborate flower picture. She looked over to see if Grace was watching, but she was turned the other way reading her science book.
Just then, Grace snuck a peek at the drawing and at the girl.
Grace summoned up her courage to speak. This girl could potentially be her friend. "That is a very nice drawing - I wish I could draw like that. I've never been good at drawing flowers."
"I could teach you," the girl offered, before adding, "I am glad you like my drawing. My name is Maria Josefina.:
"My name is Ella Grace Elizabeth - or just Grace," Grace smiled warmly.
The girls worked on drawing flowers together and Grace became very good at drawing by the end of the ten minute session.
"Thank you for being interested in my work," Josefina said shyly. "Not many have noticed me. I am new here."
"I am new here too. I moved here last January from France - Paris, France."
"I moved here from South America," Josefina got a sad look in her eyes. "I had to leave my mother - the opportunity to come here was too good and there was only enough money to send two people. My mother will come next year."
"I'm sorry," Grace nodded, "But I know how you feel about not having your mother with you. The reason I moved here is because of my mother - she is sick and the specialty hospital was here in America. After she recovers, we may move back to France."
Josefina and Grace were silent for a moment.
"I suppose I'll eat lunch," Grace sighed. "Have you had lunch yet?"
"No - my father couldn't afford to give me much and the school only gives me a small peanut butter sandwich."
"Here, have some of my lunch," Grace began to get out her lunch sack.
She brought out her lunch sack and peered inside at all the delicious treats her dad had packed her.
"Let's see, I have a PB&J sandwich, a turkey jerky strip, a can of peaches, carrot sticks, tomato slices, a smoothie, a hunk of cheese, and a cupcake."
"Wow - that is a lot of food."
"Here - have the turkey jerky, the cheese, and the cupcake," Grace began to bring the food out of the sack. "I'll take the sandwich, peaches, and smoothie - and we can split the carrot sticks and tomato slices. I couldn't eat all of this by myself. Let's share."
"Thank you, Ella Grace," Josefina smiled. "This is very nice."
The girls chatted as they ate.
They laughed as they ate.
And they became friends.
The first day of school that had started out roughly, had changed for the better all because of Grace's new friend.
Hope you liked the story! Any good first day of school stories out there?