The street where my high school stands is already crowded with vehicles streaming in to drop off students. Fortunately, I can avoid the deep traffic because I only live four blocks away, not to mention I can get in my morning walk.
I'm not nervous as I step in; I'm actually unsure of how I feel. I am cold, for one thing. The arrival of Fall is bringing bursts of cold wind, indicative of the long winter ahead.
I almost stop midstep, seeing that there is a line formed from where I stand and to the actual entrance of the school. A freshman, whom I can identify by his short stature and nervous glances, is ahead of me.
"Imaneeeeee!" I hear someone screech my name. I can't mistaken this voice. It has a clear ring to it, a beautiful tingle.
"Anum!" I turn my head to see one of my best friends walking towards me. She is looking fabulous, as always. Her hair is sitting in loose waves around her shoulders, and she is wearing a magenta floral dress with skinny jeans. The Prada designer frames gives her an intelligent, studious appearance.
"Love your new glasses!" I comment immediately. "And the outfit it gorg!"
She smiles, appreciative but modest. "You're looking quite fab yourself. But Iman, I cannot believe they're going to be checking every single one of us."
"Checking us?" I ask, confused. Apparently, I was waiting in line to be checked by the school security.
"Yes, and we only have a half hour before Homeroom," she pointed out, checking her watch.
"Why are they checking us? Don't we already have those metal detectors?" I ask.
The line is moving and we step ahead, closer to the doors. "Yes, but they want to check our bags too. It's all because of those school shootings."
"Right," I agree. Although, who would plan a school shooting on the first day of school? That seems unlikely. But, hey, if a grade school kid can kill his teacher, I guess any form of violence is possible.
It's finally our turn to get checked. I get the Hispanic security officer with the short hair while Anum gets the Caucasian officer. It's tedious, but we are done in a matter of minutes.
Before the stairwell, there is the same mural that greets me every time. I know that in a couple days, the smiling painted faces and yellow colored sunshine will not alleviate my tired mood in the least.
But now, at least, I am feeling happy. I am a junior, having moved up in the category of upperclassmen, which attributes to gaining respect--a little less than seniors obviously--and of course, the right to occasionally look down on the younger ones.
I sit with the same three other students in Homeroom as I have been for the past two years. We are a pretty diverse group:
Eric, the Vietnamese super-intelligent manga-loving boy.
Amy, the Irish girl with really long beautiful hair and an obsession with Seventeen magazine.
Natasha, the Nigerian sudoku-lover who occasionally sings to us.
Add in my crazy Homeroom teacher, who thinks of mathematics as his second child, and we have a pretty fun time. At least I can relax a little before heading off to classes.
I guess I'm quite content with my schedule. First period is Spanish III, which is better than having P.E. first thing in the morning like last year. You can't do much in fifty minutes of class if all the teacher is going to do is go over the syllabus and lecture us to not plagiarize and cheat. And, really, which teacher in his right mind would make us take a mini math ACT practice test on the first day of Trignometry class? Oh, right, my Homeroom teacher obviously, who decided I was having too much fun in Homeroom.
But, I can't complain. As nerdy as it sounds, I can't deny that I like learning and going to school. Sure, if you subtract everything besides the actual learning--namely, high school drama, cliques, peer pressure, gossip, and so on--then maybe high school wouldn't be such a drag.
That, of course is not the case.
I have to welcome everything, drama included.
"Iman, did you take a look at Asad? I think he grew another four inches and God, he looks even more hot!!"
I purse my lips as Laila meticulously describes Asad's physical features. Not that this is the first time we talked about him, and it most likely won't be the last either.
Welcome to high school, I silently tell a freshman who is bent over under the weight of a heavy backpack.
Let's hope things don't get too off hand,
American Muslim Girl