It was a cloudy day in Elkenville, on the first day of sixth grade. Anne dragged her mother by the arm, determined to get to her new school. They had moved to Elkinville from the city, just as last summer had begun. Anne didn't know why or where they were moving back then, but she had been upset. She hated the fact that moving would mean not seeing her friends anymore. Her parents had planned it to be closer to the family they’d left behind when they went for big city life, many years before they even thought about having a kid.
“Slow down, Annie, mommy is a bit tired…” Anne’s mother, Elena huffed, almost exhausted. She was forced to walk with Anne almost nine blocks in a rush. She didn’t trust the bus yet and she and her wife had a very long back and forth on whether it was better for her or Andrea to take the car before walking out the door that morning. Andrea had to get to work early and had insisted on letting Elena and Anne take the car and just riding the bus, but Elena didn’t hear of it. It was bound to take longer than by car. She knew she’d take forever at the school anyway since it would be the first day, it was best for Andrea to just drive.
On top of the fact that Elena was terrible at walking for even one block without her legs immediately getting tired, Anne practically ran her the entire way. Anne was excited about her new school, although she’d been reluctant to even move just months before. Anne might’ve hated the idea at first, but then she found out about all the animals that were around. Rabbits, deer, even foxes, things she’d hardly seen in her hometown, where the wildest animal you’d see was a bird.
Anne finally saw the school entrance becoming closer. As they made their way into the front, Elena was surprised to find Andrea standing next to the front office. She quickly walked over, with the last bits of her energy barely hanging on.
“What’re you...doing here?” She asked, in between her heavy breathing. Andrea scratched the back of her head, laughing nervously. “I uh...I realized I’ve never missed the first day of school with Anne so I decided to work the afternoon instead...surprise?” She smiled weakly. Elena stared at her, with an upset expression. “Why didn’t you let me know this...we could’ve driven here together!” She huffed. “I know, I’m sorry, hun, by the time I made it here, you two were already near the gates, so I decided to wait for you…” Andrea hugged her from behind, apologetically.
Anne tapped Andrea’s arm. “Momma, you can go now, I can go to class by myself!” She said before turning to go to her class. “Hold on there, roadrunner,” Andrea grabbed her by the bookbag lightly. “And where exactly, is your class?” She smirked. Anne blinked, then thought about it, realizing she had no idea and there were many hallways to go down. She pouted as her parents dragged her into the office to go get her class information.
A while later, Anne and her parents walked into her classroom. It was busy, bustling with new students meeting friends from the year before and parents asking tons of questions. Anne felt her tummy twist, her nervousness finally catching up to her. She turned around. “Oh, momma, I don’t feel so good,” She fake coughed. “Maybe we can come back tomorrow, I feel really sick!” Elena and Andrea looked at each other and laughed a bit. Anne hadn’t been this scared since her first day of Pre-K. Elena bent down.
“Annie, sweetie, I know you’re nervous but you’ll be fine,” Elena assured her, patting her head. “Remember when Augustus G. was the new kid last year? You were the first to get up and offer to be his friend. You have this...spark, this bubbliness that seems to cheer up those who are near you really easily. I’m sure you’ll do the same here.”
Anne smiled a little and turned back, feeling a bit more confident. A man approached them after spotting them entering. “Hello there, I’m Mr. Quinton.” He shook hands with Andrea and Elena and they talked for a bit before Mr. Quinton turned to Anne. “Now then, you must be Annette.” He smiled.
“Anne or Annie for short!” Anne noted. He corrected himself. “Well, Anne, welcome to sixth grade, your parents say you just moved so welcome to Elkinsville as well. You’re welcome to sit at any table you’d like but my nephew and a few of his friends are sitting at that table over there.” He pointed to a table where three kids sat. Anne gulped and slowly walked over to the table. She took one last look at her parents, Andrea smiling and Elena waving before she finally approached the table.
One of the kids turned around and looked at her, he kinda looked like the teacher, Anne assumed he was the nephew that Mr. Quinton mentioned. “Hello!” He greeted Anne. “I’m Eren.”