Apr 29 2003
Here’s a new thing — anytime that I am going to write a story or something that is not a “normal” entry the title will be prefaced with “Jas Writes:”. . . I had been thinking of signing up another d-x account called jaswrites, but for now I think I’d rather keep all my stuff in one place.
This is something I wrote tonight just because I was thinking about high school.
Sometimes she wonders what will happen next. She’s always believed that if she can’t imagine a thing happening, then it won’t actually happen. If she can’t imagine something that her mother tells her is inevitable — like turning 40, or going to a new school, or having a child as horrible as she was — than the likelihood is that she will actually die before any of those things take place. She’s only 16 and doesn’t want to die, but she doesn’t want to go to a new school either. Nevertheless, here she is, registering for school on a sticky day in summertime.
She hates this town. She hates her parents for taking her here, and she hates her job as a girl-of-all-work at a farm. Her “all work” includes running errands, entering field journals into a computer, and driving three-quarter ton pickup trucks to other farm towns to retrieve large boxes of anhydrous ammonia, which she is technically not supposed to handle, because it’s a dangerous chemical and she hasn’t been properly trained. But she doesn’t care. Chemical running is her favorite part of this job because she gets to drive big trucks.
But right now she is not picking up chemicals and enduring the leering gazes of the chemical sellers. She is standing in a much larger school than she is used to and forging her mother’s signature on registration forms, because her mom couldn’t leave work.
She knows that school here will be no fun. She plans on remaining blissfully anonymous, which she figures should be easy to do in such a large school. She reassures herself that she only has two years to go before she can escape her heartless parents and this stupid town and go back home to the small community where she was raised and where she knows everyone and everyone knows her.
It doesn’t occur to her that only two years ago, when she was a freshman, she hated high school in her idyllic hometown. She was much abused as a freshman, falling instantly afoul of one of the notorious “tough” girls and her group of “tough” friends. Freshman year was mostly spent going home in tears because a group of mean girls had called her a whore again. She didn’t understand why they were calling her a whore. She was still a virgin and had never competed with these girls for any boy. She had never even spoken to the ringleader, a muscular looking girl who had apparently taken an instant dislike to her. All she could do was keep her head down and blush furiously when the girls taunted her. She knew that she could not fight, and these girls would not hesitate to knock her down if she gave them the slightest provocation. So she endured it, and luckily the next year the ringleader got pregnant and dropped out, and one of the other mean girls moved away. She wasn’t taunted anymore after that, and settled down to be a happy sophomore.
She finishes forging her mother’s signature on the last form, picks up her class schedule, and wanders around her soon-to-be high school. It’s clean and large. She finds all of her classrooms easily, and thanks any deities that might be listening that she doesn’t have to endure Physical Education on top of a new school. She still hates this place and her parents, but she is comforted in the knowledge that she will probably be dead before the term begins, because there is absolutely no way that she will be sitting in an American History class at 8:00 AM on August 28.
Strangely enough, August 28 comes and she is not dead yet. She exits the car and slowly walks up to the school, turning to shoot her mother one last resentful look. She trudges into American History and steels herself for the inevitable. Sure enough — as soon as the locals hear a new name, they all turn and stare. She doesn’t look at any of them because she hates them all. She sits and endures, and finally the class is over and she is off to her next embarrassing roll-call in Chemistry.
The Chemistry lab has large tables instead of desks, and each table seats three students. She sits on the end seat, and soon is joined by two other girls — the brunette carelessly flops into the seat next to her, turns to her, smiles and says “Hey, you want to smell my shirt? It smells really good — like my boyfriend’s cologne.”
Sometimes she wonders what will happen next.