Today’s post comes from Kris M., who moved seven times before graduating high school, attending four different high schools in the process. She ran across all kinds of people – mostly good. But some really bad one’s too.
* * *
I could smell the smoke from the Marlboro Light cigarettes hanging in the air. My chest immediately tightened.
That smell meant my locker-mate, Kelley, was nearby.
She didn’t like me. The school made her share a locker with me and it royally pissed her off.
I slowed my pace, hoping she would be gone by the time I got to the locker. I only had seven minutes between classes. So I couldn’t stall too long.
I could hear her Texas drawl as I turned the corner. “Ya’ll, let’s get a Coke.” she said to her friends. They were just about to walk away when they saw me.
They watched as I worked my way through the students.
I quickly realized something was not right. There were papers and books all over the floor, like a gust of wind had whipped through the hall and strewn stuff everywhere.
And then I realized it was my stuff.
She’d thrown my stuff out of our locker. I couldn’t believe it. Who does this? We are in 11th grade. Are you kidding me?
My notebook cover was torn off. Pages were crinkled. My book cover was ripped and dirty from footsteps. The thermos with my yogurt had rolled down the hall. Pencils were everywhere.
I was in shock.
I hated this place. First a roper spits a huge hunk of sloppy wet chewing tobacco on my foot. Then some crazy girl in my art class threatens to stab me because I got an A on a project and she got a C. Now I get kicked out of my locker. I’m pretty sure this school should be called Hell High.
No one picked up anything. They were all stepping over everything like it was supposed to be there.
Doesn’t anyone think it’s strange that there are books and notebooks all over the floor?
Is this how it’s going to be?
I looked up and saw Kelley laughing and snickering at me with her friends looking cool with her hands on her hips. Her beady brown eyes stared at me. I stared right back.
Why would the school do this to me? They had to know this wasn’t going to end well. I guess I was just a number to them, another new student in a huge school already busting at the seams.
They whispered and laughed as I scrambled to pick up my stuff.
I can’t report this to anyone. I’m afraid of what she and her friends might do. But I also can’t carry my books around all day either. I sat quickly thinking of what to do.
“Hey, you’re new, right?” a girl said, looking down at me. She was pretty with kind eyes, thick with mascara, and long curly blonde hair.
“Yeah, I just moved here from Connecticut.” I answered back.
“You can throw your stuff in my locker if you want.” she offered casually, shifting her weight, and pointing to her open locker.
“Are you sure?” I answered hesitantly.
“Yeah, she’s a bitch. Don’t worry about her. My name’s Tara. I think we’re in the same English class.” she said smiling.
“Thanks.” I said walking to her locker. “I’m Kris. I don’t know anyone. They just paired me with her.”
“Don’t worry about her. I’ve known her since Kindergarten. I’ll see you around.” she handed me a piece of paper with the combination scribbled on it and walked away.
She saved me that day. I don’t know why.
We never really became close friends. But for some reason she decided she would protect me from “the mean” girls, because they never bothered me again.
And she was one of “them”.
* * *
Kris M. – “The good news is we moved to Weston, Ct after this, where I had the most wonderful senior year. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m still close to a bunch of people and I only went to school there one year. So you never know.“