We had this down to an art now. My Dad and I had transformed moving to a ballet. We had moved so many times it wasn’t even funny. It was partially because my dad had become restless since my mother’s death. It was partially because my father had become embarrassed of me since my mother’s death. Mom understood me. Dad doesn’t really like to be around me. So every half year or so, we move.
I didn’t even unpack my things anymore. I lived out of boxes, so that when Dad announced that it was time to go again, I would be ready within the day. I never really understood the reasoning. I mean, where ever Dad went he still had to take me with him, but I just followed along anyway.
So, when we moved into Evansville, I figured it would be the same basic thing. We’d be there for a couple of months, and then Dad would drag us off again. So, as I headed into Evansville Public High, I fully expected to be completely ignored for a few weeks, then teased for a few weeks, and then packed up and moved out. It was a routine I had gotten used to.
When I came into the courtyard, I automatically scanned the crowd to see what kind of school I was dealing with. It was pretty much a school filled with stereotypes. Cheerleaders were hanging on the arms of the boys in letter jackets. There were kids with bulky instruments wearing matching awkward jackets. I scanned the courtyard once more until I found a bench that seemed to be unclaimed by any of the clichés, and sat down to read. After I had been sitting there a few moment, I was interrupted by a pair of shoes appear right in my line of vision under my book, and stayed there. I looked up and saw a girl with blonde curly hair standing right in front of, and maybe a little too close to me.
“Hi?” I asked.
“You’re Rosalynn Angel, Right? We’ve been waiting for a week now for you to show up. You’re a lot prettier than I thought you would be. Isn’t she a lot prettier than you thought she would be, Gia?”
I watched as the girl invading my personal space was yanked back. Behind her was a shorter girl with dark black hair and purple highlights, gripping the blonde girl tightly by the upper arm. “I’m sorry; you’ll have to excuse Fred. We don’t let her out a lot.”
“What do you mean? I come to school every day…oh…this is one of those things where I am embarrassing you again, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, it is.” The taller girl slumped down a bit a frowned. The other girl rolled her eyes just slightly. “Just chill, okay. Let’ try and approach this like normal people, shall we?” The shorter girl turned back towards me and smiled. “Hi, I’m Gia. This is my friend, Fred. You just moved into that blue house on Pear Street, right?”
“You’re Rosalynn Angel, Right?” Fred prompted. Gia pulled on Fred’s arm again, and she looked back to her feet.
“Call me Rose.” I replied out of instinct. If I’d been a little quicker on my feet, I would have said something like, “Don’t call me anything” or “To you, I’m No one” or something that someone could have considered clever. I pushed past both of the girls, and tried to make my way to class, early or not. They’d rattled me a little. No one ever called me Rosalynn, and no one had used my middle name since my mother died. I had no idea how these girls knew my full name. Was it some kind of welcoming committee? If so, why would they use both my given names and not my last name. I was my mother’s Angel, and I wasn’t going by that name anymore. Not at all.
I tried to forget about it, and my mother. I found my way to my first class and gave my teacher the note explaining who I was, and sank into a seat in the back row. Unfortunately, Gia strolled in only a few minutes after me.
“Great.” I muttered. I tried to sink further into my chair, but it was no good. Gia walked quickly to the seat right next to mine.
“Listen. I know Fred is an idiot, Rose, but you have to excuse her. She is a freak, similar to the way I am a freak, but not the same. Also similar to the way you are a freak, but again not the same. However, we aren’t going to force you to be our friends…but if you need us or just want to talk to us, we’re here for you.” Gia whispered so quickly and so quietly that I allowed myself a second to be impressed, but after my second was over, the teacher had already stood up and began to talk.
Let’s face it, Sarah, That girl is a freak. Something has to be done about her.
I sank even farther in my chair, my father’s words echoing in my head. How in the world had she already been pegged for the Freak clique already? It didn’t really matter though. Gia might have thought that she and Fred were freaks, but she didn’t even know the half of it. I was going to make sure to steer clear of both Fred and Gia. That way I wouldn’t have to see the looks of shock or disgust on the faces of the “Freaks” of this school.
“Miss Foster?” I snapped my head up to look at my teacher. “Could you do this example for the class?” I felt like an idiot. I’d been too enough new schools to know that a lot of teachers like the single out the new kid on the first day, to make sure they were up to speed, but I hadn’t been paying attention to a word she had said. I couldn’t even completely remember what class it was that I was in. Out of the bottom of my view, I could see my pencil beginning to glow a faint pink. Snatching it off the table and hiding it in my lap, I looked my teacher in the eye.
“No, uh, I don’t think we covered this back at my old school.”
“Let’s try to pay attention then, shall we?” I nodded, and could see my notebook cover starting to glow pink as well, so I flipped it open and started writing notes to try and distract myself.
I couldn’t help it. I had to glance over at Gia. She still had her eyes on the teacher, but I couldn’t miss the slight upturn at the corners of her mouth.
She saw it. I knew that was that. She would tell Fred what she thought she saw, and then Fred would open her big mouth and tell everyone. Even if no one believed her (It was a crazy story after all) It would only be a matter of time until it got back to my father, and then we would pack up everything and move again, probably to a bigger city this time. One day. That was a new record, even with me.