The only thing more intimidating than starting a new high school in the middle of junior year, is starting at a new high school in the middle of junior year in a high school that has an entire student body of only 163 students. Literally, Rosalynn Foster walked into her homeroom class and met every single member of her class year, all thirty-nine of them. Lynn crossed to the teacher’s desk, blushing red as she realized that every set of eyes in the room were on her, and handed the teacher the slip of paper that the office secretary had given her.
“Rosalynn Angel Foster,” the teacher read aloud.
“Yes, sir.” Lynn’s voice sounded much stronger than she felt.
“I’m Mr. Andrews, the junior class advisor. Congratulations, you have just rounded up the junior class to a whopping forty students. Care to say a few words to introduce yourself?”
Lynn really wanted to say “No, thank you” and sit down, but instead, she turned to face the class and smiled the way her mother had always taught her.
The best thing to do when you are scared, is to act brave, Lynnie. Then you can fool yourself into being brave. If you act it, you can be it.
“Hello, I’m Lynn. I just moved into town, obviously. My dad and I moved into the blue house at the end of Third Street. I’m assuming in a town this small, everyone knows that. My high school before this had two thousand three hundred students, so this is actually a bit of an adjustment for me.” Lynn turned back to Mr. Andrews, and half grinned. “That’s really all I’ve got.”
“Very good. Welcome, Lynn. Take a seat.”
The twenty-minute class passed in the blink of an eye. Lynn spent the whole time scribbling down notes about the events coming up in the school. She had a lot of getting caught up to do if she wanted to do any resume building in this town. But then the bell rang, and there was a flurry of motion throughout the room. Lynn was surprised that so few people could make so much movement.
“Hi. Lynn, you said?” A girl bounced up to Lynn’s desk before she could even start to get all her books in her bag. With blonde corkscrew curls and bright blue eyes, this girl was extremely beautiful, and Lynn automatically was put slightly on her guard. At home, this girl would have been a high-ranking cheerleader, who wouldn’t have a moment of time to spare for the geeky new girl. But then again, she was the new kid. Maybe this girl’s job was to be the welcome wagon.
“Yes. Hello.” Lynn finally said, slipping her notebooks away, and swinging her bag up over her shoulders.
“Well, Hi. I’m Elliott Charin. You can call me Ellie, though. Welcome to Lowesville. I’ve lived here for as long as I’ve been alive, so if you have any questions, I am sure that I can answer easily for you.” She grinned.
“Thanks, Ellie.” Lynn made her way out of the classroom, and Ellie continued to follow her, so Lynn sort of laughed to herself, “Let me guess. You have questions for me?”
“If you don’t mind. It’s literally been years since someone has moved into town, and I’m extremely nosey,” Elli smiled.
Lynn took a steeling breath, just in case. “Fire away.”
“Why’d you move to Lowesville? No one has ever heard of Lowesville.”
“My mother grew up here. She always wanted to move back here when she had kids, but my dad was stubborn. When Mom died, Dad decided we were moving back.”
“So when did your mom die?” Elli covered her mouth quickly with her hand, “I’m sorry, that was rude, wasn’t it?”
“No,” Lynn lied easily as if the thought of her mom didn’t still hurt deep in her chest. “It’s a logical question. Cancer.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.” Elli moved her hand away from her mouth to show Lynn a frown.
“Thanks.” Lynn hoped this would be the end of it, as most people made their excuses when Lynn mentioned her recently deceased mother, but Elli was not that kind of person, apparently. She made the turn down the hall at Lynn’s side.
“Math next,” Elli smiled, “This way.”
Lynn followed—wondering what kind of conversation she’d just gotten herself into.