Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 4: 2000 Words

Kristina pulled out the dingy blue activities sheet that the homeroom teacher had handed to everyone on the first day of school. There were four pages worth of clubs she could join.

Ultimate Frisbee. She could meet guys. She was a good runner. But she didn’t know how to play and how embarrassing would it be to have everyone stare at her when she messed up.

Literary Magazine. She did love to write and people who read stories for fun couldn’t be so scary. But, did she want to get associated with that level of hipster nerdom her first week into school?

Debate Team. That got a no without a second thought.

For seventh and eighth grade, Kristina had attended a school that hardly made a blip in a local education magazine. Her graduation class consisted of eleven people, seven girls and four boys. With a slim ten percent chance, she had managed to become valedictorian.

The entire span of middle school, she had hardly spoken to her classmates. The three-minute speech she was forced to give was more than she had talked in the last two years. Watching the video back still made her cringe. All those eyes on her, listening so intently to her each word made her sick to her stomach. There was nothing she had to say that was important enough for people to stop and listen.

Amanda was writing on the board in Expo marker, reaching as tall as she could to squeeze in a few more suggestions. Her handwriting was perfect, filled with loops and swirls like it had been copied for a whimsical computer font.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the corner of the crimson red clipboard that had been shoved onto her desk. It was filled with names. As she was the last person left to sign it, there were slim pickings. If she had cared, the sparse blank spots would have shot bolts of dread and exhaustion through her body.

The striped senior boys had all signed up for news. The pair of snooty junior girls had picked arts. A series of names that she had to guess belonged to the prepster trio in the back of the room all went for opinions.

She had a decision to make. Either be the only person covering sports or sign up with the boys in news.

Her inner Seventeen magazine self told her to sign up with the boys. She was practically guaranteed to know their names and hang out with them in some capacity. Her mind wandered to after-school meetings where she and Todd, Brian and Mike would all huddle on a couch and iron out the week’s assignments. Slowly they’d welcome her into their bunch, her being that adorable little freshman who’s surprisingly cool and down to earth. She’d be invited to parties and meet all the cool kids.

Her flash forward began to make her blood pound. It was all too much. What if they thought she was lame? She might be sitting on the couch while they all laugh about their senior jokes while she sat there, fiddling with her cell phone.

She scribbled her name under Sports.


It was fate.

Now there was no commitment. No one was depending on her. She’d be that weird girl in the back who signed up for Sports and never came back. They’d just get someone else to do it.
A sense of peace wafted over her.

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