I was so glad that Chemistry Lab was over. I'd come out of class with Grace and her friends and even though Grace had been amazing to me so far, I was waiting for it end because these things, they don't last. She was just trying to be nice because I was the new girl. But if friends you've known all your life don't stick by you, why would a complete stranger?
"What do you have now?" She said, turning to look at me.
"English lit, you?" I asked, staring at my schedule.
"Calculus. Will you be able to find your class?" She asked.
"Yeah, don't worry about me. Thanks for everything." I said, smiling.
"Don't mention it. I'll see you at lunch?" She asked.
"Yeah." I said, as she walked from me.
And once again I was alone. I looked around me and there were more people than I could count, people pushing past me to go wherever they needed to be. I'd become so sick of being this person, the person who just couldn't be happy. I knew that I should just take Grace being nice to me as just that, someone being nice to me but I had to overthink because I guess every time I decided to try and go with the flow of things, I'd always remember back, to all my friends leaving me. I just started believing I was the kind of person people just left because it got too much, because I moped, because I wasn't fun. I used to be fun but when Mike and I got together, he became my life. I stopped hanging out with friends I'd known since I could speak, my grades started falling but none of it mattered to me as long as I had him. And then in a flash, I didn't have him. All I had was the idea and memory of who he used to be and who he'd become.
I found my way to english and took a seat toward the back. This class was taught my Mr.Smith and he too asked about any new students and I gave him the very same description of myself I planned on giving for the rest of the day.
We were doing to kill a mockingbird and he was one of the few teachers who really had a passion for what they taught.
"Rachel? Why don't you start reading?" He said.
I was lost but hearing my name woke me up the way someone wakes up when you throw cold water on them. My heart began racing, I looked around and then at him.
"Sure." I said.
I began to read and he was very impressed with how I read. Somehow even though I hadn't been discriminated against, I understood the sentiment of what the writer was trying to say. The truth is, the scars of being bullied by someone who was once your whole world, don't go away too easily. So I read with all the feels in my heart, somehow trying to give the kind of voice to the characters that I hadn't been able to give to myself.
Honestly, as nervous as I was, reading somehow felt liberating. The kind of validation that comes from someone who doesn't need to validate you is something else.
I was walking out of class, when Mr. Smith stopped me.
"Rachel? Could you stay back a minute?" he asked.
"Sure." I said.
"I loved the way you read. The theatre club of the school is holding auditions after school tomorrow, I think you should try out." He said giving me a pamphlet.
"Um.." I said.
"Just think about it." He said.
I walked out of the class and just stared at the pamphlet for a minute or two. I could barely speak to anyone, let alone perform but I guess speaking as someone else, being able to escape my life for a little while won't be the worst thing . As I debated with myself about what to do, the bell for lunch rang. I took out my map and just trying to figure out where the cafeteria was.
It took me what felt like an hour to find the cafeteria but once I'd found it, I went and got my food. I stood at one end of the cafeteria, looking for a place to sit when my eyes fell on Grace who was calling me over to her table. She was sitting there with her two other blonde friends whose names I'd forgotten. I awkwardly walked over to their table, trying to contemplate whether or not I was imposing.
"Hey!" Grace said.
"Hi." I said sitting down
"How's your day going?" She asked.
"Alright I guess, how's yours going?" I asked. I didn't know if I should bring up the theatre audition or not.
"Really good." She said.
I decided to talk to her about the audition because despite hating letting people in, I had no option, she was my only friend here, if I could call her that. She would be able to give me the best advice. So when her friends left, I said," Hey can I ask you something?
"Sure." She said.
"I had to read in english class and my teacher, Mr. Smith? He liked how I read and told me I should audition for the theatre club, do you think I should?" I asked.
"Sure, I mean if you want to I think it'd be great. I'm auditioning too. You know what? You should audition, it'll be fun." She said.
"Okay, I think I will." I said smiling a little.
Auditions made me nervous, like I might get a heart attack nervous. But the truth was no one knew me here, I was as good as invisible, so what did I have to lose?