Bram, Dorian, and I followed the herd of
students into Kennedy High’s main building. The three of us received a few
stares. New kids dressed all in black, wearing shades. Three Grims in a public
high school. We obviously stuck out.
Bram took a folded piece of paper from
the pocket of his hoodie. The paper contained Doyle's instructions of what we
were supposed to do once we arrived. "We need to go to the front office to
get our schedules."
As we entered the building, I had a
queasy feeling in my stomach. I willed my knees not to shake.
Groups of kids huddled in different
areas, carrying on conversations. Two loud girls walked behind us. "Oh my
God, when he did that, I just died," one said.
Dorian turned around. "Who? Who
I grabbed his arm and turned him back
around. "It's just an expression."
Fluorescent lights reflected off the
gray tile. Beige walls decorated with colorful posters surrounded us. Glass
cases filled with plaques and trophies lined the school's entryway. The words
that came to mind were noisy and shiny—the hallway was too much of both those
things. The strangeness of the place made me homesick immediately.
We entered the front office. It smelled
. . . different. That was the only way to explain the odor. It just wasn't a
smell I'd encountered before. I identified the smell as coffee mixed with
something else. The three of us stood at the front counter as adults and kids
milled around the busy office.
A lady in red-rimmed glasses came over
to us. "May I help you?"
"Yes," Bram answered.
"We're the Griswalds. It's our first day." Doyle thought it would be
best if we didn't use our real last names—Grim.
"Oh, yes. First, I'm going to have
to ask that you remove your hoods and sunglasses while inside the building.
It's school policy," the woman told us. We did as she said while she went
to a computer at the end of the counter. "I'll print out your schedules
and then Morgan, our new student liaison, will show you around."
As we waited for our schedules to emerge
from the ancient-looking printer, a girl who I assumed to be Morgan arrived.
She was way too cheerful for this time of morning. She wore all pink—a pink
pleated skirt and a pink polo under a pink sweater vest. Her blond curls were
pulled into a side ponytail.
"Welcome to Kennedy High!"
We stared at her.
I think Dorian finally muttered a
"Here we go," said the woman,
whose name we learned was Mrs. Clark. "There's also a map of the school.
Here are locks for your lockers." She handed us the locks, wrapped with a
sheet of paper. "The combinations are on the page. Just choose an empty
one and put your lock on it."
I took my lock, schedule, and map from
her. I was classified as a sophomore, which apparently meant I was in my second
year of high school. Bram was a senior and Dorian was a freshman. I had
Homeroom, Language Arts, Biology, American History, Spanish, Algebra I, and
Physical Education. I suddenly wished I had paid better attention to our
studies the past few days.
"All right, I'll show you all to
your first classes," Morgan practically yelled as she led us from the
Bram folded his schedule and shoved it
into the pocket of his jeans. "You can show these two around. I'm sure I
can follow a map," he told Morgan. "I'll see you guys after school.
I watched him walk away, leaving us in
Morgan's clutches. Dorian and I looked at each other.
"Okay, let me see your
schedule," Morgan demanded, snatching Dorian's schedule from his hand.
"Your homeroom class is right down the hall. I'll take him, and then I'll
take you to your class."
I nodded. Morgan sounded like my mother.
As we walked Dorian to his class, my eyes scanned the hallway for Keira and
Josh. Where were they? Surely they would have to go to the office also to claim
Morgan pointed to the classroom as if
she was showing off a new house. "Here you are. Now meet me in front of