“Welcome to your first real day of senior year,” Miss Sander speaks loudly. She is leaning against her desk, and has both hands locked around the edge. It is the second English class of the year, and the new guy is nowhere to be seen. Maybe he was mistaken yesterday, and is in one of the other classes. The thought of it makes my stomach drop slightly with disappointment. “This year I expect a lot of hard work from all of you, but I will of course not run you dry - as you all know, there needs to be room for improvement and creativity.” Miss Sander continues.
The fact that Miss Sander believes in us as individuals makes me like her more. I sit straight in my chair and and listen as she goes on.
“What we are going to focus on the next couple weeks, is a book that we did not get a chance to work with before the summer. Anyone who has a guess?”
Juliane Summers’ hand shoots up in the air.
“Summers?” Miss Sander nods towards Juliane.
“The Great Gatsby.”
“Very well, I am impressed that you remember.”
Juliane smiles proudly, and then turns her attention back to the notebook in front of her. She is writing down something, or maybe she is drawing. Juliane is almost everything that you would find in a young adult novel, except from one thing: she gets terrifyingly good grades. In books you can not be beautiful, popular and smart - it is just too much. I secretly wish that it was like that in real life. That you could only be two of those things. Smart and pretty does not sound all too bad. Popular and pretty, no, I want to go to college. Popular and smart, no thank you either. Not for me. I am sure that there would be less jealousy roaming the high school halls if it was like that.
“I will need two strong students to help me carry the books,” Miss Sander’s eyes scan over us.
Foul-mouthed Marcus Cooper stands up, “I will be in your favour.” He bows a little and a light laughter fills the room. Marcus might not always be the brightest, but always manages to make give you a good laugh. I have always thought he was nice, not outstandingly kind, but nice.
“I volunteer as tribute,” Another guy speaks up. I glance over my shoulder and there Jake Russell stands in his plaid shirt, loose jeans and with messy hair.
“How nice of two.” Miss Sander smiles, but does not get a chance to say anything else, before there is a knock on the door. In walks the new guy, Harry Styles. I am not comfortable using his name yet. It does not roll of my tongue with ease.
“Good morning mr. Styles,” Miss Sander’s smile fades a little, “I was wondering when you would make an appearance.”
Harry looks directly at her, “I was busy.”
Busy? How can one be busy on a school morning? The only things I am busy with on school mornings are getting dressed, getting here on time and then paying attention in class.
“Take a seat.” Miss Sander ignores his tone, and points at an empty school bench one row in front of me. Harry looks around the room, his glance ending on me. I shift a little, hoping he will not notice. His eyes run down my body, taking in my outfit. I close my left hand and dig my nails into the palm of my hand. I am not sure what he thinks, but when his eyes finally reach my face, his lips pull up in an amused smile.
Harry takes a seat and his back is now turned to me. I relax a little and sink heavily down in my chair.