Standing Up To Life Book 2 Chapter 24 Pt 1Part II
“Tiffany, it’s time to wake up,” I felt my Dad nudge me gently.
I started a bit before realizing what was going on. I’d just been having a really bad nightmare, even as I was waking up I was forgetting it, but I was sure I had been getting beat to a bloody pulp about the time Dad woke me up. I somehow managed to keep from crying as I went and jumped in the shower.
I washed my hair and showered as quickly as I could - I was planning on spending every spare moment on my appearance this morning. I tried not to tremble as I put my earrings in my ears that morning - it wouldn’t do to have to stop my ears from bleeding in addition to getting myself ready! I felt like I was going to start shaking at any moment if I let myself.
I had thought about wearing a skirt or a dress today, but Amy and Mom both thought it would be better if I wore shorts and a t-shirt like most of the other girls would be wearing. I ended up wearing a striped light blue t-shirt that had shorter sleeves than anything I’d ever worn as a guy. It also covered my stomach, but just barely so, it was a new style that was coming in. I’d heard about it for the first time when we’d been at cheer camp. I then put on a pair of shorts that didn’t even come halfway down to my knees.
I put on a pair of white tennis shoes I had and a pair of blue socks that matched my shirt. I spent the better part of an hour perfecting my hair that morning - I know if I did it right it would help keep people from recognizing me a little bit longer. I knew it was inevitable… but if I could get through half a day without them figuring it out it would be nice.
I ate a quick breakfast of cereal before hearing Amy’s Mom honk outside. She’s offered to take Amy and I to school this year, at least for a bit, the other night. Mom and I had thought it was a great idea - if I didn’t ride the bus I would have one less opportunity for something to go wrong.
I grabbed my purple backpack (which just had my trapper keeper in it) and my saxophone, before I ran outside locking the door behind me. I got into the back seat next to Amy and sat quietly. She put her hand on my shoulder, “You’ll be fine Tiffany,” she reassured me.
“Tiffany, your hair looks very nice today,” her Mom told me.
“Thanks,” I said. I couldn’t even bring myself to smile at her compliment. I was terrified.
When we pulled up at the drop off point at our school, Amy and I got out while waving goodbye to her Mom. We hd purposely timed it so that we got there just a few moments before the bell rang. I had just enough time to take my saxophone into the band hall with Amy before we heard the bell and went to our first class, social studies with Mr. Randolph.
As we took a seat in the classroom in desks next to each other, I looked around to see who else was in the class. I was glad to see that Ashley and Lindsey were in the same class. Kyle walked in a couple of minutes late and sat down on the other side of me.
“Some of you I know, some of you I don’t know, so I’m going to go ahead and call everyone’s names. Please say here if you are here,” Mr. Randolph told us.
He read through the list of names, when he got to mine he asked “Tiffany?”
“Here,” I was grateful he remembered our arrangement to just call my first name - not my last. The hour passed with me introducing myself to a couple of the kids in there that had known me before - but none of the recognized me. After that class I went to science class, grateful to see that Amy, Nikki, Ashley, Lindsey, Jennifer, Kyle and David were all in that class.
Mr. Grainger seemed to be a neat teacher that also remembered to not use my last name when he called attendance. Of course, half of this class knew who I was, but everyone was friendly. I found myself making friends with several other kids that I never really had a chance to get to know before. All of us were hyper and giggly at first, but as the day went on and we heard more and more of the rules over and over again we grew kind of restless.
In choir I discovered there were only fifteen of us in the class. Apparently most of the other kids had quit rather than have to deal with Mrs, Schultz again. Amy and Lindsey were the only two that I really knew since we were in the advanced group that was made up more of eighth graders than seventh graders. Amy introduced me to the cheerleading captain, Kristina, who was also in that class. When she told her that I had gone to the same cheer camp with her this summer she seemed very jealous of it.
“Wait a second! You’re the one that got to get tossed by the college guys?” she asked.
“Yeah, it was fun and terrifying all at the same time,” I answered with a giggle.
“I can only imagine. Amy said you were sent a good fifteen feet in the air above those guys.”
“I don’t know if it was quite that far, but I certainly glad they caught me!”
The three of us began talking with Lindsey about different cheerleading stuff up until our new choir teacher, Mrs. Beecher, began talking. She introduced herself, went over the same boring expectations, but then became one of the first teachers to actually do something that day when she at least ran us through some vocal warm ups. She actually had some fun ones that we hadn’t done before.
Amy, Lindsey, and I were all in the same Algebra class with David, Kyle Ashley, and Nikki. I could really see that the vice principal had played a lot with the schedules. I had many of the same classes with everyone that knew already. There were a couple of others from the trip in this class too.
Mr. Martin was the most boring of all of the teachers so far. He even had the nerve to give us a test on the first day back! I used to think of him as a nice teacher… I guess he still was, but come on! A test on the first day?!?
After that we walked as a group down to the cafeteria to eat lunch. Amy introduced me to a bunch of the eighth grade cheerleaders that were at lunch and asked to sit with us. I was really amazed that they would be willing to let an outsider sit with them. Kristina was one of the eighth graders that joined us and I found myself really enjoying the conversation I was having with them.
After lunch I went to my home ec class, where Amy was the only one in there that I knew. “Amy are you alright with having basically every class with me?” I asked her quietly in the hallway before going in. Mrs. Henry had changed her schedule so that she had everything but band with me now.
“Of course Tiff. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“I don’t know, I just keep expecting you to get tired of hanging out with me…” I told her.
“Stop worrying Tiff,” she told me.
Home ec was going to be a different class. I was certain of that. Mrs. Holt discussed how we were going to be learning about cooking, sewing, finances, and child care this year. Child care? That part was not something I really wanted to look forward to. I’d heard that they made you carry around these little dolls everywhere you went for a weekend. They would cry incredibly frequently and you were lucky if you could get sleep at night. Not to mention they kept track of whether or not you changed them and fed them, and for all of that you got a grade.
At least the rest of it sounded useful though… I also noticed that there were a lot of ‘unintelligent’ kids in this class. I would say half of the students were in a gang of some sort - ‘maybe we should have taken a different class,’ I thought to myself.
It was another class that took place without incident though, and I began to feel more confident that I might be able to make it through the day without having anything go wrong. Sixth hour came quickly and I found myself in one of the most ideal classes for English. Right off the bat I discovered that Ms. Damien was a really neat teacher. She was a huge improvement over Mr. Tamera, who I’d had last year, just in the fact she spoke English.