“You don’t belong here. The kids are mean. You are a wimp.”
You don’t belong here. The kids are mean. You are a wimp.
Those were the first thoughts that stuck in the back of my head as I stepped through the doors of Blowwhite Middle School for my first day of seventh grade. I felt excluded as almost 90% of the kids ran to one another, saying, “I missed you so much, Evelyn!” or “Samantha!!! What homeroom teacher did you get? I got Lilyberg!” Or, my least favorite, “I can’t believe there are new kids in school!”
I felt as if everybody in the school had been there already and had a million friends already, while I was left to rot. I looked at my schedule as I revealed it from my pocket.
“Mrs. Jimveds in Room 509,” I noted, pushing that to the back of my head. I pulled my backpack straps onto my shoulder and walked down the hall. I noticed that all of the rooms had a three in the hundreds’ place. I knew I was two floors up. I saw kids flooding into a door, and I kneeled over to investigate. I saw that it was a staircase, so I pushed my way politely into the crowd and thundered up a flight of stairs, then opened the door. I looked at the number in the hundreds’ place.
“Whoops,” I murmured as I looked at the nearest door: 414. I turned to go back to the staircase. Clunk, gukk, clink went everyone’s feet. I ran up the twisting tower of stairs, and I reached the fifth floor. I opened the door and ran into the hallway.
Hmm, I thought, this is 503, now 505, 507… Okay, there’s 509.
It turns out it was 508, but the lettering must have worn off a bit because the teacher said, “I already have all my students… except Hannah Morrens. What’s your name, honey?”
“Mia,” I told her. “Mia Lee.”
She said, “You’re next door with Mrs. Jimveds.”
She sent one of her students to help me next door. I said, “Thank you,” and then the student returned to his classroom.
As I opened the door to my new classroom, all of my classmates were already there. Mrs. Jimveds said to me, “You must be Mia!”
I looked at my feet and said, “Hi.”
She said, “Go sit next to Maddie there. See?”
The girl who I think was Maddie waved. So, I sat at the only empty desk next to her.
“Hi! I’m Mia! What’s your name?” I asked her, faking some enthusiasm in my voice as I shakily sat down and unpacked my bag.
“I’m Maddie Widdows,” the girl said. “I’m new.”
“Same!” I said a bit too loudly. People stared at us with confusion as I blushed and turned the color of the red on the YouTube logo. But I returned halfway back to my normal color when Mrs. Jimveds took attendance.
“Beatrice Adams and Chris Liberty?”
Some boy in the back of the room made a kissy sound. I bet he was thinking, Beatrice and Chris, sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G! But when Layla Menmor sent him a dirty look, he shut up.
Mark Ravenson said, “What’s first, Madam?” Most of the boys cracked up.
I was like, “You guys need to grow up!!!” Thankfully, Mrs. Jimveds started class then.
“As most of you know, I’m Mrs. Jimveds, but you can call me Lola. That’s my first name. Now, Beatrice and Chris will be passing out math books.”
Another boy — Kale Veggy — made the kissy sound again. And he actually said, “Beatrice and Chris, sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!”
Chris and Beatrice shot him a dirty look as they passed out math books.
“And please complete pages one and two,” Lola added. So, when I got mine I filled them out. “Nice job,” Lola exclaimed when she passed my desk. Just then, the bell for second period rang. I got my stuff and checked my schedule. Mr. Peters in Room 414.
That was the room I had seen on the 4th floor when I’d walked by in the morning. So, I gathered my stuff, thanked Lola, and hurried to Mr. Peters’ class. He checked me in when I approached the room. Apparently, only four other students were in class with me: Maddie Widdows, Areque Manelipo, Rosie Daniels, and Damien Ronaldson. I snatched a seat next to Rosie and Maddie, and Mr. Peters began the lesson.
“I’m Donald Peters,” he said, “and welcome to music.”
Mr. Peters taught us to play a simple song on the piano before a brrring made us all jump. I thanked Mr. Peters and raced out of the room. I dug around in my pocket for my schedule. It… was empty. Where was my schedule? I retraced my steps to the classroom, where my schedule rested on the floor. I picked it up and studied it. Mrs. Jimveds, Mr. Peters… Elizabeth Ronald Rowling. In room…? It had been colored over with black marker.
Oh no…! I thought, racing out into the hallways. The late bell had already rung, but kids were still streaming past. I peeked at one boy’s schedule. His homeroom was Elizabeth R. in Room 687. Okay. I raced up two flights of stairs and found the number 682, 683, 684, 685, 686… 687 — okay. I went into the room. Elizabeth greeted me.
“Hi, you’re… Crystal?”
I shook my head, “No.”
I shook my head again.
“Yes,” I told her. “Mia Lee.”
After Elizabeth’s class, I had four other classes, then, my lunch period, art, and science — my last period. It had been a tiring and stressful day, but only one day out of two-hundred days of school. So I knew there was much more to come —
But I was finally able to tell myself that I belonged.