By the time I was your age I’d give anything to fall in love truly
was all I could think,
that’s when I met your mother
the girl of my dreams,
the most beautiful woman that I’d ever seen.
She said “boy can I tell you a wonderful thing?
I can’t help but notice you staring at me,
I know I shouldn’t say this, but I really believe,
I can tell by your eyes that you’re in love with me.”
-Terrible Things, Mayday parade
“Oh, um, hi, uh…” Marie shuttered, still recovering from being run into.
“I’m sorry, I thought…never mind.” He stumbled, obviously embarrassed. She saw his face now and was stunned. He was beautiful. Not in a feminine way, just attractive. She quickly looked away, afraid she might get caught staring. “Hi, my name is Derek. We live up the road. I haven’t see you around here are you new?”
“Yeah, actually we just moved from San Francisco.” She mumbled nervously. It was then that she noticed him looking at her almost like he was trying to solve some sort of riddle. As if on cue, their eyes met and she felt entranced. For what felt like an hour they locked eyes conversed silently. Still not quite sure of what was happening, she realized felt safe and completely at ease.
“Um I gotta…go, bye.” He muttered, waving, as he sped through one of the doors. She felt like an idiot. Great! It’s the first day and she already looked stupid! She wandered down the hall looking for the office. Thankfully, she saw a friendly looking, short lady, briskly walking down the hall. Hoping for a good start, she timidly approached the woman.
“Excuse me,” Marie asked, feeling self conscious. “Um…” She couldn’t help but be distracted by this woman’s enormous curly blond hair. She looked like she had walked right out of a county movie. She wondered if the lady would have an accent.
“Um can you tell me where the office is?”
“Oh sure, Darlin!” She drawled happily in a thick southern accent. ‘Ah-ha‘ she thought, slightly amused and proud of her detective skills. “It’s right down that hall, and there to the left.”
“Oh, ok, thanks.” she beamed.
“No problem pumkin!”
She gazed down the long-hall way as she slowly made her way to the office. She felt at home here; she had grown up in Sacramento always feeling like an outsider. She was hoping for a fresh start. No one knew her here, which was good, that meant a clean slate. This town seemed small, hopefully she’d fit in. She only had a few friends from her enormous school down town. She missed them, but was excited for the opportunity.
“Hello?” She said too quietly, poking her head in the office door. Looking around she saw a small room that was dimly lit with lamps and had a large empty front desk stretching across the room. She heard some rustling and cleared her throat. “Hello?” She called louder.
“Oh, hello dear,” Said a small old woman with glasses, who popped up from the desk. “I’ve been expecting you. Your mother called in. I have something for you to sign here, here you go.” She handed her the paper and started typing god knows what on the computer.
“Ok.” Marie said as she put down her stuff. “Uh, my mom called?” ‘Thanks mom,’ she thought sarcastically, ‘way to make friends with the office lady to keep tabs on me.’
“Bout five minutes ago, just so I could get a head start on printing out some stuff. Ok,” she smiled kindly, beginning to hand Marie a stack of papers, “this is your schedule, this is the lunch menu, and this is a pass to your first hour.”
“Ok thanks…um do you guys have maps of the school?” The office woman swiveled around and began digging in a tall pile of papers and eventually handed her a map. “Thank you.” Marie said while walking out of the room.
Her first hour was only a couple doors down. She stood outside gathering her courage and listening to the din coming from the class. She walked in straight to the teacher, ignoring the vacant faces that didn’t seem to see her at all. She stood waiting for the teachers attention for a few minutes. Apprehensively Marie stepped forward.
“Hi, um, I’m new, where do you want me to sit?” She asked confidently, she maybe be a little wobbly when it comes to dealing with her peers, but when it came to teachers she knew how to handle things. Honestly she liked them better, but maybe it was because they we required to be nice and polite.
“Oh you must be Marie Nichols, I’m Mr. King. Very nice to meet you.” He said, as he exuberantly shook her hand. “There is an empty seat right back there.”
“Thanks.” She answered, while walking to her seat. The aisles were tight and she had to tip toe just the slightest bit to get through, she wondered if anyone noticed. She sat down, looking around ever so slightly. She got out her pencil and her copy of A Separate Piece and began reading while the teacher took attendance.
The teacher, she couldn’t for the life of her remember his name, had been talking for about forty minutes when Marie’s attention was taken to someone tapping on her shoulder. She turned around to see a very pretty girl with large deep brown eyes and beautiful thick hair the color of dark chocolate smiling at her.
“Hello! What’s your name?” She asked in a singsong voice.
A little surprised someone was talking to her she replied, “Uh, Marie.”
“Cool name, I like it, it fits. So where’d you move from?” She asked with an inviting smile. She leaned closer like she was actually interested.
“San Francisco, I grew up there. ”
“That’s so cool, I bet you were popular at your school, you’re super pretty!” Ha! Marie almost laughed in the girls face, that was the funniest joke she’d heard all week. She wasn’t quite sure if she was being serious or not.
“Um no, actually. Not really.” She answered.
“Really? They must have been jealous. So where do you live?”
“Oh, um we moved in the house on Ridgewood Dr. over by the junior high.”
“That’s awesome, that house is super nice. We should hang out sometime, hey do you want to have lunch with me and some friends?”
“Ok,” Marie answered uneasily. She’d never encountered anyone so welcoming. “Um, what did you say your name was?”
“I didn’t. Its Tess, Tess Hale.”
He stared at her, dumbstruck. She was breath taking, and comfortable at the same time. There was something familiar about her, he felt like he knew her, but was sure they’d never met. He looked deep into her eyes and couldn’t say what color they were. They were laced with dark blue and got lighter green going in, until they faded to a caramel brown.
“Um I gotta…go, bye.” He said as he waved and ran inside, already nervous. He walked up to his first hour bracing himself for a lecture.
He tried to sneak past his Spanish teacher, who was loudly writing on the chalk board. Nearly to his desk, he ran into an empty seat making it impossible to remain unseen.
“Hola, Senor Hale.” growled the irritated teacher sharply.
“Tu es tarte, Si? Donde estabas?” She barked.
“Um…en el bano..?” Derek lied, praying to what ever god there was that she would leave him unpunished. “Perdon, por favor, it wont happen again.” Hoping to win her over with his charm.
“Ah, ah! En Espanol Senor Hale and I’ll let you off the hook on our first day back.”
“Uh…um. Lo…no se…tengo…lugar…um, uh…como se dice ag-”
“Close enough Senor Hale.” Derek thanked her and turned around in his seat.
“Uh!” He said to a medium built boy with brown hair and a goofy personality, who sat behind him, “why does she care?”
“Why would I know?” he answered snidely, “You shoulda been on time dumb ass. You of all people know she’ll bust your balls.” He was right, not that Derek would admit it.
“Shut up Josh, she should just put me as late for the rest of the year. It would make life easier for both of us.”
“So can I come over this weekend or not?”
“Ya, I guess, only if you stop hitting on Tess. It’s disgusting. I’m seriously not letting you come back if you keep it up. She’s with Dylan anyways, he’d beat you within an inch of your life if he found out. You know, not that I’d try to stop him.”
“Pshhh… I do not like Tess! I don’t know where you could have gotten that crazy idea. Loon.” He said sarcastically.
“You don’t know where I could have gotten that idea? Maybe its because you openly stare at her when she walks by, or the creepy glazed over look on your face you get when she’s in the room. Ya, don’t deny it either, I’ve seen your math grade. And don’t let me forget.” He said in a mocking tone. “Oh Tess, can I get you some water? I can do your math homework if you don’t want to. Hey Tess do you want my manhood, ‘cause you can have it.” switching back to his normal voice, yet still teasing his friend. “What’s left of it anyways.”
“Ok! Ok dude so if I leave Tess alone we can hangout? That’s fine! I can so do that!” Josh said lazily.
“Oh, and god, please no pick up lines.”
“Hey I don’t know why your so worried. I’ll behave.” he said raising his hands slightly in defense.
“Yeah, yeah. Ok now I have to pay attention to Espanol, I’m practically failing this class.”
He turned around and looked down at his paper, scribbled with words he didn’t understand. His mind wandered as he stared at his desk. He thought of the girl he ran into. His first impression of her was her obvious beauty. But his second was that she must not know about it. There was something about her that he couldn’t place.
Later, walking down the hall, he thought he saw her turning the corner. He raced ahead, trying to think of an excuse to talk to her, but when he got there she was gone. He sniffed the air hoping for a scent, but couldn’t pick up anything distinguishing. He couldn’t really tell, but he swore there was a slight hint of cinnamon.
RIIIING. The bell sang, as the halls of Beacon Falls filled with students changing classes. Marie walked out of her first hour thinking today might not be as bad as she thought it would be. She looked around, confused, wondering how to get to her next class. She nervously looked at Tess.
“Could you tell me where…B24 is? I cant find it on this map.”
“Oh ya, defiantly. This is…down that hall and it should be the first door.”
“Thanks,” she answered, “See you.” Marie began walking away thinking about her best friend back home. She missed her so badly. But she knew that with someone like Tess, rebuilding a life here wouldn’t be so bad.
As she rounded the corner she thought about her dad back in Sacramento. She remembered fishing with him and having so much fun just sitting there waiting for the fish to bite. She remembered lazy Sundays watching baseball, tucked in the crook of his arm. She even remembered the scary stories he would tell her and her sister late at night. She missed him so much, sometimes she wondered if he missed her too…
She stepped in the class and asked the teacher where to sit. Not really in the room at all, she walked to her seat and began to daydream.
She loved to people watch, although it did feel weird doing it alone, she sat and saw faces she hoped to get to know. There was a rather tall slim girl with a rough face that walked by, and another with a round nose. She tried to be discrete as a group of jocks walked by the class.
She was actually kind of shallow when it came to her boys. Her perfect boy would be tall and good looking of course. She like abs enough but her favorite were arms. Who ever was hers needed to be able to pick her up, and how ever badly she wished it wasn’t so, she weighed a lot. But she was sure of one thing, she wasn’t settling.
That was something her mother had driven into her. She could hear her now, “Marie, don’t ever go out with someone you wouldn’t want to marry because before you know it you’re in love and there is no way out.” Her mother had fallen in love with her dad at a young age, and before she had he slightest idea of what she had done, she was home from collage with a ring and a baby. She would tell Marie she could feel her life slipping away from her as the years flew by.
She put her head down and looked out the wall of windows onto the campus. It was pretty here, she loved the way the school was nestled in with the trees surrounding the building. It was an over cast day with light drizzling, her favorite kind of weather. She felt safe under the blanket of clouds, and the light crisp air made her energetic, ready for anything.