Stella was almost ready for her first day of high school. She had her backpack packed with her different notebooks (color coordinated for each class). She had completed her summer reading list for her AP American Literature Class weeks ago. The only thing left to do was pick out what she was going to wear. And that turned out to be a much more daunting task than getting through Infinite Jest. Finally, she found the perfect outfit.
Unfortunately nothing could have prepared Stella for how intimidating high school really is. Everything is so different than it had been in elementary school. The classrooms are bigger. The halls are more crowded. The textbooks are heavier. And the cafeteria is more cliquey.
Stella stood in awe of the whole spectacle that has become lunch period. Stella was a year older than Jenny and the rest of her other friends, and so they were all still in elementary school. Stella didn’t know a single person in that cafeteria. Holding her sack lunch Stella stood to the side trying to figure out where she belonged. This decision will set the tone for the rest of her high school career. Did she belong with the jocks? The nerds? The fashionistas? The popular Mean Girls?
“I never realized that picking where to sit at lunch would be so hard”, she thought.
Then she saw a girl sitting all alone in the corner. She had reddish brown hair, and wore a red flannel shirt. “She must be new, and doesn’t know anyone else either” Stella realized. “Time to make a new friend”.
“May I sit here?” Stella asked as she approached the table.
“Sure.” she girl responded. “I’m Ivy by the way.”
“Stella.” Stella opened her lunch bag and took out her PB&J sandwich with homemade grape jelly. Ivy’s lunch was autumn salad (not your typical school lunch).
As they ate their lunch Stella and Ivy got to know each other better. It turned out, that they have a lot in common. Stella and Sarah both love Indie music, The Walking Dead, and they both have a crush on Channing Tatum.
“I want to be a personal stylist when I grow up.” Ivy said in between bites. “My mom moved us here to Twinbrook from Bridgeport, but after high school I’m going to move back.”
“I want to be a pediatrician when I grow up.” Stella said. “Twinbrook has one of the best medical school programs in the country.”
Stella was happy that she took a chance and made a new friend, but Ivy quickly grew bored. She kept looking around the room, as if she wanted to be somewhere else. Anywhere else but here with Stella.
“Is everything okay?” Stella asked.
“huh,” Ivy replied while still looking off into the corner. “Oh, yeah. I’m just trying to find my brother.”
After scanning the room twice more, Ivy finally found him. She waved him over to the table. Stella couldn’t believe her eyes.
It was Brandon; the mysterious stranger who haunted Stella’s summer. The same Brandon that Stella danced with last night at Red Rendezvous. Here he was standing right in front of her.
“Brandon, this is my new friend Stella” Ivy made introductions, “Stella, this is my brother Brandon.”
“We’ve met.” Brandon told his sister, but didn’t take his eyes off of Stella.