CHAPTER 8 - Lynn
My alarm went off at 6:45 AM. I contemplated getting up, since I actually felt mildly rested, but ended up pressing snooze so I could sleep for another 15 minutes. When my alarm went off at 7 AM, I decided to sit in bed with my eyes open for another five. Finally, at 7:05, I started getting ready for what would be my last year of high school. Even though I only had 35 minutes to get ready, I wasn’t worried. In those five minutes, I had actually been productive without moving at all: I had mentally chosen my outfit and recalled where each piece of clothing was so that when I eventually got out of bed, I could head straight into the shower. I decided to wear my light green sweater and my blue jeans, but I wasn’t so sure about my brown wedge boots. It was a small debate whether or not to wear my boots, since they’d give me another two inches to my 5’9” height. Coming off as too intimidating to the freshmen on the first day and unintentionally scaring them was one reason not to, but I ultimately decide to wear them anyway. My hair didn’t take that long because I had straightened it the night before, so all I had to do was take it out of the bun, and pop in a couple of bobby pins. I put the lunch my dad had made into my backpack, grabbed my car keys, and headed out. It was a little less than a ten-minute drive to school, which then left me another ten minutes to drop my violin off in the orchestra room, so I wouldn’t have to lug it around all day, meet up with Cassie, Rae, and Belinay for a bit, and then swing by my locker before class.
I parked my car about two blocks from the school since all the parking spaces nearby were filled. After dropping off my violin, I took the long way to get to our designated meeting place. The detour took me past Caleb’s locker. I met Caleb Ronan in 10th-grade history. We were assigned the seats next to each other, and as a result, I’d say we became friends, or at the very least, good acquaintances. In 11th grade, he had the same history class again, so I chose the seat diagonal from him: I didn’t choose the one right next to him because I didn’t want to seem too forward. As I approached Caleb’s locker, I saw that he was there, but since it was never my intention to stop and talk, but rather observe from afar, I continued to meet up with the others. Afterward, I swung by my locker, which I loved because it was broken in a very convenient way: it didn’t relock immediately after closing as long as I didn’t move the dial, so I could literally just stop and go at my locker. Perfect for days when I was rushing in the morning, which was practically every morning.
My first period was my food and nutrition class with Ms. Trasport. She was really nice, except for somewhat clueless with technology. It wasn’t that big of an issue, since a chunk of the class would be just cooking. In the second period, I had Government with Ms. Atwood. I walked in and I was the first person in the class, so I picked a seat in the middle of the back row. I liked sitting in the back because then I could see the entire class. I’m reading the board when I hear other people walk in. To my surprise, when I set my gaze on the door, I make eye contact with Caleb. I felt like I hadn’t seen him in forever, and I quickly observed his medium length brown hair, light brown eyes, glasses, and of course, his six-foot self. He shoots me a smile, which I return, and walks towards me. I broke eye contact immediately after the gesture: looking into someone’s eyes is not my favorite.
“Hi, Lynn!” Caleb sat down on the desk diagonally from mine.
“Helloo,” I say kind of sing-songy.
“I see you picked a seat near the bookcase again.” He peered at something behind me. I turn my head to where he was looking and realize I am, in fact, sitting in front of the bookcase for the third year straight. The two years prior, I sat in front of the bookcase in history, which made me become the unofficial book distributor, a job I didn't necessarily mind since I was efficient and kept the books organized.
“Oh, I guess I have,” I say with a bit of a laugh.
“How was your summer?”
“It was good. How was yours?”
“It was nice.”
“Cool.”, I say with a smile. And soon after that, Ms. Atwood started class. I blame myself for the awkward lack of depth in the conversation. I had predicted that once I went back to school and interacted with him, I would unintentionally make things awkward since acknowledging to myself that I liked him.
When class ended, I said bye to Caleb on the way out and went to my locker. It was a break, so I went to the library to check out a book and decided I’d head to my third period early. I’m the TA for Mrs. Stinebaugh’s freshman history class which Rae, Cassie, Belinay all had. Mrs. Stinebaugh was known for being one of the stricter teachers, but I decided to TA for her since she was my freshman history teacher, and she taught well. During class, I saw Belinay subtly trying to get my attention. She leaned over to try to tell me something but apparently wasn’t subtle enough.
“BELINAY EVERDEEN! There will be no talking during a lecture now or at any time of the year! I will not repeat myself if you miss a detail nor will I entertain a lack of focus! I hope I am making that clear to everyone in this room! Consider that a warning Ms. Everdeen.”
I shot Belinay a sympathetic look and I felt really bad because 1. She got yelled at on the first day, 2. I was the one she was trying to talk to, and 3. I didn’t get in trouble. Fourth period: I had AP English with Mr. Renaud. Both my sister and cousin had had him before and he seemed cool.
At lunch, I met up with Belinay, Cassie, and Rae. Rae talked about how her day went so far and Belinay talked about how she apparently crashed into the Keith kid getting off the bus, and that she has some classes with him (so much for “No biggie, it’s not like you’ll ever see him again.”). I didn’t have anything interesting to say really, but I realized Cassie was unusually quiet. After a bit of pushing from Rae and me, she started to say something but then this random kid, with the darkest hair I have ever seen, comes over and asks for Cassie’s number, which she freely, but somewhat nervously, gives.
“Thanks! See you around!” says the jet black-haired kid.
I watch him as he walks away and asks “Cassie…”, and then I look her dead in the eye. “Who was that?”
“No one! He’s just someone I met in class!” Cassie responds quickly, which seemed über suspicious. Belinay senses she’s not telling us something and points out that she’s rapidly tapping her foot, which she always does when she has excess nervous energy. She admits he’s someone she met on the bus and then she starts going on and on and on about their interactions. It’s a complete circle as I look at Rae, who looks at Belinay, who looks back to me, and then back to Rae, who then nods at me, and I nod at Belinay, who then nods to Rae. Rae then throws out the questions we telepathically created together in our heads.
“So, he’s just someone you met?” says Rae folding her arms, “Or is something else going on here?”
“And why exactly were you smiling when you were talking about him?” Belinay asked with a smirk. “You don’t have to do that.”
Cassie looks all hesitant to which the other three of us respond with a synchronous nod. So I just straight up ask her if she likes him, to which she replies, “As a friend”. But when I ask if she likes him as more than a friend she seems a bit shocked so I drop the subject and realize we have five minutes till class and I rush everybody to head off to 5th period.
My fifth period was Honors Spanish and on my way, I saw Caleb again. He gave me a friendly wave so I waved back. Since we were in the predominantly foreign language building, I presumed he was going to his German class. Spanish was awesome. Although the name on my schedule said “Estrada, C” as the teacher, the teacher said she’d rather us call her Profe Camila (her first name), instead of going by the traditional last name. She was a younger teacher but seemed to know what she was doing. She was so nice and enthusiastic, so I was really excited for the rest of the year with her. My 6th period was AP Calculus with Mr. Devit. Towards the end of class, I got a slip from the office that said “Lynn Barlowe: please report to the health office at your earliest convenience.” Since he was done explaining for the day, Mr. Devit let me go five minutes before class ended. Apparently, Geraldine, Belinay’s childhood enemy, had smacked Belinay in the face during a game in PE, causing her mouth to start bleeding because of her newly placed braces. My last period was the orchestra, which I really enjoyed. Mr. Lavergne was a great teacher, and he had a unique sense of humor.
When I got home, I ate a snack, watched some TV, and then took a nap. But I woke back up again after a few minutes because I actually had homework for my two AP classes. Before I went to bed, I thought about Caleb. I thought about how concerned I’d been when he missed the last month and a half of school last year and I didn’t know why (though I later found out he was on the independent study) and how the intensity of my concern led me to realize I liked him as more than a friend. I thought about how he was my first crush. I thought about how I may have liked him a bit in 10th grade, but brushed it off when I found he had a girlfriend (who he’s not with anymore). I thought about how I used to think that my heart was impenetrable. That those types of feelings could never creep in without me knowing. That no one would ever be able to make me lower my guards unintentionally for longer than a second. But that after two years of sitting next to the same guy in history class, I realized I had been wrong. Quite wrong.