Today is Tuesday, June 16th, the first day of school after spring break. When I wake up, I get ready with my daily routine and check the list of items I need to bring to school. I unzip my bag.
"Check, Check, Check, Check- they'll give that to me- Check.. Oh!" I say. I walk over to a box and open it. I pull out a fantasy, adventure book, called Treasure Thieves: Reunion. I'm on the second book. This is one of the few series that has a strong female protagonist. Her name is Valorie and she strives to bring others to justice and pull the good out of people. I can relate to her the most because she has brown hair like me. I smile and put it in my backpack.
After I eat breakfast with my family, I wait under a tree that is at the end of the street. I think I am early since there isn't anyone here. When the bus arrives, I get on and there is a girl with blonde, double buns, and bangs, sitting in the middle of the bus. She looks really tired and is looking out the window. I sit down in the three-seater that is across from her two-seater. Oddly enough, the windows are foggy and the sky is gray. This isn't the spring-summer weather that I expected.
After a couple more stops, the bus is now half full. Some boys are in the back laughing and talking. Some people are eating. I could tell due to the chopping and smacking that comes from the seat in front of me.
The school is very large. On the outside, it looks very small and compact, and it would make sense to be small for this town. When I reach my locker, I unload my backpack. I put a small sock-monkey in the corner of the top shelf. I put some sticker packets and pencils next to it. When I hang up my jacket, I close the locker to reveal a smiling guy staring at me. The guy is slightly taller than me and skinny. His dirty blonde hair is trimmed on both sides of his head. He has eyes that are a mix of hazel, yellow, blue, and green. Freckles are scattered on his face. He is wearing jeans, a grey shirt and a maroon cardigan with a bandana around his neck.
The loud bang and his smiling, face made my heart jump.
"Jesus!" I whisper under my breath.
"Oh sorry, I didn't mean to give you a fright!" the guy says. He is no longer smiling and is concerned about my well being. Strange.
"I'm fine," I say, "I didn't think anyone here would give me such a . . . warm welcoming--A welcoming at all, actually." The guy chuckles. He takes no offense.
"The students here either don't care or just are afraid," the guy says. Afraid? What are they afraid of? Maybe bullies.
"Anywho, My name's Ken Tallendr. You're new here right?" says Ken.
"Yeah, I'm Kaitlyn Ornelas. . ." Though I don't like telling strangers my name, it is best that I should at least be friends with someone here. As he is talking to me about the school, I notice that his bandana-neck-tie-thing has inched down a bit. There are two red puncture marks on the side of his neck. He adjusts it and I look at him.
"Would you like me to show you around the school?" Ken asks. I nod and take my printed schedule out of my pocket, just in case.
He explains the school's activities and things you should know about the school, like that at certain times of the day, girls claim the bathrooms for their own. I note down where my classrooms were as he talks. He tells me that most of the popular girls are friendly, but that I should stay away from the jocks for most of the year. The punk and goth kids have their guard up around new people, but after awhile they are welcoming. He says that his best friend is in one of those two groups. Or maybe both.
Turns out that the principal excused me and Ken from our classes for the day so that I can get to know the school. Seems like the principal is a nice guy. During lunch, Ken invites me over to his table. It isn't packed, I have a few people sitting there. We are having some small talk when a guy comes over to the table and sits down next to me. This is the friend that Ken was talking about. I can tell by his My Chemical Romance t-shirt, his pierced ears, his black hair, short on the sides and weird bangs, his cuffed jeans, and a black hoodie tied around his waist.
"Hi," he says to me and Ken. Ken looks annoyed and he keeps his lips sealed shut. I want to say hi back, but, Ken and his friend are staring at each other as if they are talking with their eyes. The friend opens his mouth to say something,
"I-" he begins, but Ken interrupts.
"So." Ken unfolds his arms and adjusts his scarf thing.
"Kaitlyn," Ken says to me, finally looking at me, "this is my friend, Simon." I look at him and force a friendly smile,
"Hey." Simon looks at me and smiles. It was one of those smiles where your teeth don't show.
"Hi," says Simon, he seems on edge. Surprisingly he seems familiar, Ken too. I haven't been in this town before, Dad never wanted to visit here until we had to move because of his job. So, it's strange that people already feel familiar to me. I am worried, Ken seems mad at Simon.
"Don't worry honey, everything's fine between us. Near the end of spring break, we just got into an argument." Ken reassures me, smiling. He adjusts his scarf again. I look at Simon and he has a slight smile. He pushes his bangs out of his eyes and looks away. Something is fishy but it is better to let it slide for now.
"So, Kaitlyn, where did you move from?" asks Ken.
"I used to live in New Jersey, my father used to live here, but he moved away when he was 11. We live in his old house, the one by the woods. I think it's on Cooper Road, but I'm not sure."
"Oh! It's the old-colorful-victorian style house right?" says Ken. Simon looks up at Ken and then looks at me. He seems confused and shocked. As if he remembers something. Ken smiles and narrows his eyes while looking at Simon. Ken gives him a mischievous, troubling, and teasing look. Simon looks down and covers his mouth, partially with his fist.
"Oh shit," he whispers under his breath. There it is. The proof I need to suspect something. Something struck me. I put the pieces together. Simon was outside my house on Sunday. Why the hell was he outside my house? And that's the day Simon and Ken had a fight.
I start coughing, a wave of nausea hits me. I stand up and leave my stuff on the table.
"Sorry-Gotta run to the bathroom," I say as I leave them. I look back on my way near the exit. Simon and Ken are arguing. Simon turns to laughing guys at the table behind ours and starts yelling at them.
I don't know why I'm so nauseous. I never get nauseous. . . Well, I shouldn't be so concerned about that. But-Why the hell was Simon outside my house on Sunday? That's creepy, but that doesn't seem like something he would do. I don't think he lurks around houses or stalks people. He's not that type of guy. Ken knew that he went there though. He knew that Simon went to my house. And those weird marks on his neck. Maybe they got into a fight and Simon stabbed him with a two pointed fork. This school is weird-This town is weird.
I exit the bathroom stall and wash my hands. I wash out my mouth with the water and wipe my mouth with a damp paper towel. I leave the bathroom and enter the cafeteria again. Simon and Ken aren't arguing anymore but they look like they are having a serious conversation. The guys who were laughing are silent, some are mumbling to each other. I guess Simon shut them up. So many questions circled my mind as I walked. Who were the guys Simon was yelling at? Why? What was going on between Ken and Simon? When would the answers come and how will I get them?