In 2006, I was given a fresh start. I had moved to a new city, new state, new home, new school. For the first time, I got to choose my classes, not the other way around. I finally got to be in classes I would have never thought I could like web design and choir.
“You’ll have to work hard to catch up.” The administrator told me because I’ve already missed half of the curriculum due to my spring arrival. I assured her that I will catch up.
Just like my previous school, my new school also ran at a block schedule so each class would be longer. That first day, I had no idea what to do. I was the new kid all over again. I had no clue where to sit in choir so I sat at the top row in the high soprano even though I had no idea I was a high soprano or what a soprano was. Meanwhile, in my other classes, I just handed my paper to the teacher and found an empty seat.
A week later, during my first period class, I was called to the office, usually that’s a bad sign. On the way there, I wondered what I’ve done wrong while my heart pounded with fear. As I walked through the door, a girl stood there. She smiled at me. I gave her a small smile back. She was very tall and Asian.
A few minutes later, the vice principal finally came out of her office and introduced us. Her name was Leslie and she was a junior and my mentor. She was to show me around, introduce me to people, help me make friends and all that. Personally, I preferred to be left alone but maybe it’d be good for me. Also I don’t think the vice principal would assign me a mentor if he hadn’t seen me eating alone.
That day, Leslie met me after my second period and together we made our way to the cafeteria. There’s not much choices to choose from, I’d noticed at this school. All the delicious foods only came in tiny servings like three nuggets or five tater-tots. I thought everything’s bigger in Texas but apparently not school lunches. So I just grabbed a box of salad and followed Leslie to a table on the other side of the cafeteria where everyone was sat tightly, their elbows bumping into each other as they ate.
I took a seat at the end of the table as she introduced me to everyone down the table. Unfortunately, I can barely remember names. Then questions began to fly. Where are you from? How long have you been in the U.S? Are you enjoying the school so far?
As soon as I answered those questions, we were out of talk. Even Leslie became drowned in her friends’ conversation while I just spent the remainder of the lunch playing with my croutons. Five minutes before the bell, I got up. “It was nice to meet you all.” Everyone’s attention was suddenly on me. “I have to head to class.”
“Do you want me to escort you?” Leslie asked.
“Oh no, I’m fine.” Leslie seemed disappointed.
“Well, see ya.” She said.
After several weeks of having lunch with Leslie, I became bored and slightly irritated of the loudness. I was not a fan of socializing nor will I ever be. So I had decided to go back to my old ways to sit by myself at the empty table at the other end of the cafeteria and it was there I met my friend, Jaime.