They headed into the small math room, which was filled with mostly the same people who had just come from the homeroom class. Lynn almost wondered why the students didn’t just stay put and the teachers moved around them.
Elli plopped down in an empty chair and made sweeping gestures to the desk next to her to invite Lynn to sit down.
Lynn took a deep breath and sat down. She knew all eyes were going to be on her all day, but to be honest, she hadn’t been expecting to have to deal with quite so much social interaction on the first day.
“So, you moved into a house that has been empty for as long as I can remember,” Elli pressed on, leaning across the gap between the two desks.
“It was my grandparents’ house. My mother never sold it because she always planned to move back. My parents have always owned it. They considered renting it out, but it’s not like people are beating down the door to move into Lowesville, are they?”
If Elli heard the insult to her small town, she ignored it. “What does your dad plan on doing here?”
“Living, I guess?” Lynn asked, an eye raised.
Elli laughed, a breathy high laugh. “No, silly. What does you dad plan to do, like, for work?”
“Oh. He’s a writer, has been since I was little. He publishes in enough magazines to keep food on the table.” Lynn didn’t feel the need to divulge that her father also had inherited an obscene amount from his own parents and if he wanted he could spend the rest of his life in indulgent idleness and still have quite an inheritance to leave for Lynn.
“Very cool.” Elli smiled and kept watching Lynn.
Lynn pulled her notebook carefully out of her bag, aware that Elli’s eyes were still on her. When she had the notebook out, and pen in hand, she smiled carefully at Elli. “Is there something else I can help you with?”
Elli seemed to realize she was staring then. She blushed red all the way up to the roots of her hair. She scrambled for her own notebooks, and once they were set up on her desk too, she smiled at Lynn once more. “Well, if I didn’t say it before, I’m here if you need anything else. Tour of the town or a rundown of who is who. Not to say I know everything, but I certainly know a lot.”
“Thanks, Elli.” Lynn realized that she was probably being too internally harsh to Elli. She’d offered to help. She probably wasn’t out to torture Lynn for the rest of their high school careers. Lynn could use a friend to handle things in the next year or so that she was stuck in the small town.
But, as Lynn turned to say something, the teacher called the class to order, and Elli put a finger to her lip for quiet, nodding her head back up at the teacher, who looked very much like a no-nonsense older man.
She’d have to remember to be nicer later.