Author: Sega Parks

Chapter 3
Paramount High School

           "Well, here goes nothing." Savannah sighed.

With her purple backpack slung over her shoulders, her hair done in neat curls, she stepped outside of her house. A cool rush of wind slapped her across the face, causing her to stagger backwards in response. Dazedly, she walked up the sidewalk and saw a bunch of teenagers standing near the bus stop on the other side of the street. Glad to see she wouldn't be the only one waiting for the bus, she approached the group of kids and stood next to two Asian girls who were in a deep discussion about which classes they were taking.

"I heard Mr. Simpson is a tough journalism teacher," the taller Asian said, "You sure you want to take that class?"

"Le, it's already been done." her friend said, "I'm taking Journalism no matter what."

Le sighed. "I know, Wendy, but my sister said she had Mr. Simpson and she dropped out of his class within a month."

"Trust me, Le," Wendy said, "I'll survive."

Le, the taller Asian, brushed a strand of dark hair out of her face and reached into her pocket to grab her iPhone.

"Everyone's got an iPhone." Savannah muttered under her breath.

Being the strict, overruling dictator her mother was, she refused to buy Savannah an iPhone because she didn't want to waste money on the "less important things".

Like buying a brand new Coach bag was any more important?

Wendy had heard Savannah.

 "Welcome to the club. It's like everyone here has an iPhone but us. Paramount is practically ridden with people talking on expensive phones."

"Hey, don't be mad because my parents are much cooler than yours." Le said, texting an unknown person.

"Shut up," Wendy said playfully. "The only reason you even gotten that phone was because you went on a huge tirade about it."

"Well, it worked." Le said triumphantly.

She then turned to Savannah. "Do it and I'll guarantee you it'll work."

Savannah smiled. She knew better than to try that with her parents. The last time she attempted an act-bratty-and-you'll-get-your-way move, she lost every single privileged she had. From her computer to her bed, she learned to never beg to get something she knew she was never going to have.

"I have journalism, too." Savannah said to the girls.

"Oh, really." Wendy said.

It was more of a statement than a question.

"Yes,"  Savannah explained. "I love writing."

"Hey, me too!"

"Good luck to you both." Le said ironically, straightening out her blue blouse. "You're gonna need it"

Just then, Bus Seventy-Four, pulled up in front of them. The double doors opened, making a  loud squeaking noise. Savannah was the first one to step inside the bus. An elderly man who looked to be in his late-sixties or early-seventies smiled at her. She smiled back. Savannah always liked old people. There was always something about them that made her feel good. Probably because she associated them with her grandparents who gave her unconditional love each and every day. 

She stood in between the two rows of seats and scanned them. An overweight girl with purple highlighted hair, sat in the last seat, popping her gum nosily while the two brunette girls in front of her made fun of her.

A guy in the middle seat leaned his head against the window with Spin magazine lying on top of his head. He was fast asleep. Savannah felt like taking a nap on the bus herself.

She walked to the third seat and was about to sit down when Le spoke to her. 

"Hey, you could sit with us if you want." she said, settling in the very first seat with her friend, Wendy.

"Oh, thanks." Savannah said.

She was flattered by the girls asking her to sit with them, but she always got nervous around people she didn't know. She hoped she wouldn't make a fool of herself.

Due to them being thin and tiny, she was able to squeeze in next to them. Just as she sat down, the bus driver started the engine and drove off.

"I love your outfit." Wendy complimented her.

"Me too!" Le added. "It's uber-chic."

"Thank you!" Savannah said brightly.

She looked down at her outfit and thought it was cute indeed. Maybe there was hope for this place after all. She may even make more friends than she did when she was still living in Graysville.

Let's hope so.

"What middle school did you attend?" Le asked, finger-combing her chin-length bob.

"Oh, I went to Silver Lake Middle School." Savannah answered.

"Where's that at?" asked Wendy.

"In Graysville, Indiana."

"Oh, never heard of it."

"You wouldn't have." Savannah replied. "It's a small town."

"Oh, yeah." Le said. "It's probably off the map."

Savannah had to laugh at that one.

"What do you think of Paramount?" Le continued to interrogate.

"It's okay, I guess." Savannah said, not necessarily telling a lie.

She did think the town was nice and all, but it was far from being Graysville.

"I understand." Wendy said knowingly. "I moved from Thailand when I was eight. It was hard for me to adjust."

"But you left so early in life." Savannah said. "I lived in Graysville practically forever. Moving at fourteen years old put me in a state of shock."

"That's true." Wendy said sympathetically. "But Paramount isn't that bad. You'll still hate it, but it's not that bad."

Savannah laughed. "I remembered some boy telling me the same thing during the freshman orientation."

"It's really fun, though." Le encouraged. "There's more extracurricular classes to choose from and the education is excellent."

"That's the only thing I'm looking forward, too." Savannah said, "The classes will be more challenging and it will look good on my transcript."

"That's the spirit!" Le said cheerily.

Savannah smiled. She had already met two people that seemed nice. However, she still didn't think it was enough to make her want to change mind about moving back to Graysville. They were nice and all, but Graysville was more for her. She belonged there after all. She even looked like she was from Graysville.

Twenty minutes later, the bus arrived in front of the school parking lot. From Savannah's view, she could see the enormous building sitting back in front of the tall trees which led into the wooded area. The red brick building didn't nearly impress Savannah as it did before when she went to the Freshman Orientation last Friday. Still, she thought the school looked beautiful. However, looking at it made her feel like crying because it just made her think about not spending her high school year with Eileen and Phoebe.

Obsessing over Graysville is not healthy.

The ride had been pretty decent. Mainly because the bus driver never made any jerky movements or turns, which her last bus driver always did. She hated her old bus driver. It always made her sick to her stomach whenever the woman would make those sudden turns. 

At least on this bus, there were an interesting group of kids. One couple, named Bryce and Sawyer, were a trip. Sawyer, a blemish-faced, dirty-blond haired senior always talked about unfortunate events that happened over her summer in that dry voice she had. Her boyfriend, Bryce, just sat there agreeing, claiming that all girls besides her were bitches. Their African American gay friend, Robbie, always made obscene jokes about sex and violence, causing the whole bus, including Savannah, to laugh. Savannah was the kind to laugh at warped jokes.

Finally coming to a complete halt, the double doors opened and everyone immediately poured out of the bus. 

"See you, later!" Le and Wendy said to Savannah as they were getting off of the bus.

Savannah waved at both of them.

She walked up the cobbled stone pathway that led to the school's entrance, observing her new classmates. She saw clusters of girls screaming and hugging each other as they met up with their friends, exchanging stories about their summer adventures. Some of the girls had bizarre taste in style. One girl with red hair had on a multicolored tank top with pink hot pants and pink knee-high boots underneath. She looked like she was dressed as a girl going to a Halloween party as a person from the nineteen-seventies in that get up.

Laughing silently, she continued walking until she reached the freshman door. Ahead of her, a boy held opened the door for her, smiling.

"Thank you," she said, shyly, hurrying inside.

The inside of the building was bright and lively. Educational posters were plastered across the ivory painted walls, students were leaning against the blue and white lockers as they chattered excitedly about their summer vacations, and the chestnut flooring squeaked as students were marching to their classes with friends.

Savannah looked down at her pink schedule sheet and saw that her locker was on the second floor.

Sighing, she stuffed the paper into her left pocket and searched for the staircase leading up to the second floor. One of the staircases stood next to the hallway that led into the upperclassmen building.

A girl with strawberry blond hair, wearing a Bob Marley t-shirt and skinny jeans, came down the stairs and stopped her.

"Hey," the girl said, smiling friendlily, "Do you know where room 202 is?"

Savannah looked taken aback, because she certainly didn't know where the class was either. She had only been in the school for ten minutes.

How was she suppose to know?

"Oh, sorry," Savannah said bashfully, hoping the girl wouldn't get mad for her not knowing. "I don't know where the room is, either. Sorry."

"That's ok." the girl said nicely. "Thanks anyway."

"No problem." Savannah said, walking up the steps.

She smiled. The girl must have thought she was an upperclassmen. People always mistook her for being older. Probably because she was above the average height and looked mature for her age. Savannah was sometimes flattered by it.

On Floor 2, Savannah saw that it looked no different than the first floor. The only difference was the students. A group of them were huddle around a corner where the three water fountains stood, chattering discreetly as if they had a secret they wanted no one else to find out about.

Searching for her locker, she accidentally bumped into a bunch of students, receiving curious stares from them.

"Sorry," she muttered apologetically.

Embarrassed, she speed walked away from them, continuing trying to find her locker.

Finally, relieved to have finally found it, she tried her locker combination, which did not open on her first try. Frustrated, she tried again with no such luck.

"Crap." she groaned.

Seven tries later, she had finally gotten her locker open. Cheering silently, she stuffed her backpack into her locker, and slammed the door shut, turning the lock.

Relieved, she was finally ready to move on to her next task.

Finding Room 224.

It had taken Savannah nearly ten minutes to find the classroom. Becoming agitated, she asked a gray haired woman for directions.

She showed Savannah to a door with a big plaque on top of it that read 224. Savannah thanked the woman and put her hand on the doorknob. Taking a deep breath, she opened the door and entered inside. The room was brightly lit and the walls were painted forest green, adding a cheerful environment to the room. Stacks of books lied on top of a long wooden table standing right next to the half stacked bookshelf and a Shakespeare poster that read, "Even The Greatest Writers Have Writer's Block", was plastered on the white storage cabinet.

She saw that several students were already in their seats minding their own business.

A few of them looked up from what they were doing and stared at her. Gulping, she walked over to a woman sitting at a desk in front of the chalkboard. She was an attractive woman and she had on a red polka-dotted dress. Her dark hair was pulled up into a bun, making her look even more elegant. The plaque in front of her read "Ms. Livingston".

"Hi," Savannah said shyly. "I'm Savannah Ripley. Am I supposed to be going to Journalism right now or do I just wait in here."

Ms. Livingston grinned strangely at her. Savannah wasn't sure if it was because she was African American or just the fact that Ms. Livingston just smiles weirdly.

"Yes," the teacher said, "Since this is only homeroom, you can go ahead and go to your first period class. The classes will be cut shorter since it's the first day of school. Since you have certain classes every other day, you will be having all of them today, just so you and the other students can get used to your new schedule."

"Ok," Savannah said. "Thank you very much."

"You're welcome." Ms. Livingston said. "Oh, wait!"

She pulled out a blue sheet of paper from a huge stack of papers and handed it to Savannah.

"This is your other schedule for the second semester. I almost forgot."

"Ok," Savannah said, smiling.

"Enjoy your first day of school." Ms. Livingston said.

"Thanks!" Savannah called.

She walked out of the classroom and sighed with relief. At least she gets to have Journalism for first period. She enjoyed writing and it excited her that Journalism would be her first class of the day. She was planning on being either an author or journalist for her career and she felt that Journalism 1 will prepare her for it.  Looking down at her schedule, she silently read off the classes she had.

There were two types of school days she had. One day was called "Blue Day" and the other one was called "White Day". On Blue Days she had Journalism along with AP Literature, Media Arts, and Study Hall. On White Days she had Biology, Media Arts, World History, and gym. At least having Journalism first thing in the morning on Blue Days gave her something to look forward to whenever those days came.

Walking down the stairs, she caught sight of an attractive, athletically built boy smiling as he was talking to another guy. Something that caught Savannah off-guard. She wasn't sure rather he was upperclassmen or not. He looked older than he really was.

He couldn't possibly be a freshman. Maybe a sophomore but definitely not freshman.

Her stomach did a somersault and she smiled involuntarily.  Too bad when she reached down the steps, she didn't realize a column was standing right in front of her. Just when she was about to get a better look at the boy, she suddenly ran smacked dab into the column, nearly falling on the floor.

Regaining her balance, she looked up and saw that no one had paid attention to her blunder.

"I am so glad nobody noticed that." she said to herself, relieved to see that no one was laughing.

However, she had a blistering headache from that crash. Rubbing her temples, she walked to her class, embarrassed that she had hurt herself trying to see a cute guy.

First day at a new school and already she was making a fool of herself.

Like no one has ever done that before?



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