I located our car parked at the parking lot with my mum behind the wheel. I walked towards it as if the demons of hell were after me. I didn’t notice Chime at the front seat until I had settled down.
“What’s the matter Bella?” she asked with a look of concern on her face. “You look as if you were spooked by something.”
“Good afternoon mum.” I greeted before turning to my sister.
“There’s nothing wrong.” I answered. “Just the usual first day in school hazard.”
“Hey baby, how was school today?” my mum asked
“Fine.” I mumbled. “Except for the fact that I stumbled my way through the day as is customary of me.”
“Ohh, you and your notorious shyness!” Chime exclaimed waving her hand in dismissal. Ignoring me, she launched into the tirade of how great her day was.
Knowing that my little sis could go on and on if allowed, I wisely tuned her out and went back to thinking about this predicament I found myself in. I wondered for the umpteenth time what could have captured Chris’ attention in me. Could it be a dare? Is he playing a kind of prank that I’m not aware of? Am I the brunt of a joke? These are the questions that whirled through my mind as I wondered what I was going to do about the situation. I was both excited and anxious about what tomorrow will bring.
The next day was better….and worse.
It was better because I knew what to expect of my day. Cherie came to sit by me in English and we walked together to the next class, with Derin shooting daggers at us with her eyes. I was not used to getting this much attention from girls not to mention boys but I guess this school is proving to be different. People didn’t look at me quite as much as they did yesterday; I guess the novelty wore off. I sat with a big group at lunch that included Cherie, Derin and some other guys from class.
It was worse because Mr Garba, the arithmetic teacher, called on me when my hand was not raised and I had the wrong answer. It was miserable because I had to play volleyball, and the one time I didn’t cringe out of the way of the ball, I hit my teammate in the head with it. It was worse because Chris didn’t seem to pay any attention to me today.
All morning, I had been waiting anxiously for him to take notice of me as he did the previous day but it was like he was oblivious of my presence. It was as if I didn’t exist to him. I couldn’t sleep last night for the excitement of the possibilities today could bring; only to find my excitement had been for nothing. The disappointment was crushing.
All through the day, I tried to convince myself I was glad it was this way. That it was all for the best. I told myself that I was glad to have my new friends. At least this school is proving to be different in that I made friends easily enough. I repeatedly told myself that. By the end of the day, I had succeeded in convincing myself that I’m better off without him. He made it easy on me by avoiding me.
When the school was finally done, I packed my bags and headed to the parking lot. It was crowded now with fleeing students, those who are eager to get to their various destinations. I couldn’t blame them, I was glad to be leaving the premises myself.
“Bella” my mum called as I entered the car. “Would you like to go to an eatery or something? I already asked your sister if she would like that and she suggested Mr Biggs. Then later, we can go sightseeing, just drive around and take in the town. Is it something you want to do today, or do you have other plans?”
“Ok mum,” I said enthusiastically. “Let’s go. I have nothing better to do anyway.”
We went to Mr Biggs, ordered some snacks to go and we drove round, getting acquitted with the new environment. As we went along, I purposely stared out the window to discourage any conversation from my sister or mum. I listened with half an ear as Chime talked about her day in school and all the friends she made – I was not interested in her colossal ability to make friends quickly.
Incidentally, none of them asked my opinion. They were content to leave me to myself.
Three hours later, after driving round and shopping for some groceries at the supermarket, we headed home.
On getting home, I went to my room to work on my arithmetic homework and thereafter went for dinner. My parents were still by the TV when I kissed them both goodnight and went back to my room.
That night it was fairly quiet around the house and I was able to get a bit of sleep.