7) First Day of School

7) First Day of School

A Chapter by Kelly M.

Little crystal raindrops pattered on the rooftop.  A droplet seeped through the cracks in the ceiling and landed on April's cheek.  April couldn't stand the freezing, dampness in the room any longer.  She retreated from the itchy straw bed and grabbed a thick blanket from her drawers.  She wrapped it around her shivering arms to keep warm, but even that didn't help.  She paced back and forth and peered out the foggy window.  It was pitch black out, but April knew that the face of dawn would soon break over the horizon, and, when it did, her life was going to be a whole lot different.
She finally lay back in bed and shut her heavy eyelids.  Thoughts of Drew and Jenny filled her mind.  What were they doing this very moment? she wondered.  April knew it was a silly question to ask herself.  They were likely to be in bed having a good nights sleep which is what she herself was supposed to be getting.  But she couldn't help but keep wondering.  Was Drew missing her?  Was he often thinking of her?  Was he awake this very moment wondering the same thoughts?  She sighed a deep, sorrowful sigh.  She would never know.  Oh, how long would she have to wait until their letters would start arriving?  How long could she bear not knowing what was going on in her past home?  What was happening?  How she wished to know.  
Finally, sleep overcame her and she drifted off into a deep slumber.  She probably would have slept long into the afternoon if her mother hadn't woken her.
"April, finally, you woke up," her mother said with a sigh.  She was sitting on the side of the bed with a pillow held securely in her hands.  She had, apparently, tried everything to make her stir.
"I'm sorry, Mama," she apologized, easing herself up in bed.  "I didn't know it was so late."
"Well, it's not exactly late.  The sun is barely up, but you better hurry to eat breakfast and get a change of clothes.  It's at least two miles to get to the schoolhouse.  Oh, and don't bother about your lunch.  I've packed it already."
"Oh, thanks.  I was planning on doing that."
"It was no bother," her mother answered with a cheery smile.  She gave April's leg a pat and hurried on, "Now, you best hurry so you won't be late."
April nodded and, reluctantly, reached her bare feet over the side of the bed and rested them on the cold floor.  Silently, she prayed, asking God to help her through this day she had dreaded.  
Then she scurried about the dim room to find some warm, clean clothes.  Once she had slipped into them, she quickly brushed out her thick, unruly hair.  It was in a million knots after the dreadful night of pacing and tossing.  It took her quite a while to get her hair back to its smooth, shiny look.
Then she hurriedly ate her small breakfast of grits.  It seemed like that was all they had eaten lately.  And even though April absolutely disliked the bland taste, she soon got used to it.
After she had eaten, April carefully wrapped her warm, hand knit shawl about her.  It was one of her most cherished possessions since her grandmother had made it with her own hands.  
She remembered standing there on that cold, foggy morning with her mother and father.  Her grandmother had held her close before saying a last good-bye.  And before they had headed off in their new Model T to North Carolina, her grandmother had wrapped the same shawl about her.  She had worked day and night to make it just so that April would be warm.  How thoughtful she had been.  
She still hadn't forgotten what her grandmother had told her before they had headed off.  She had said, "Take this shawl so you may stay warm.  And, then, whenever you have it with you, you shall remember me.  I'll miss you, darling.  Be a good girl and listen to your mother and father.  And never forget.  Never forget that the Lord is with you wherever you go.  You shall be safe going to this new place.  He will be with you.  Remember that."  Then she had disappeared along with her other childhood friends.  A silent tear trickled down April's cheek as she thought of it.  
"April."  Her mother softly brought her out of her reverie.  
"Yes?"  April's head jerked up when she heard her mother's voice.
"It's time to go," she answered, an encouraging smile planted on her face.  By the fearful look in April's eyes, her mother couldn't help her chuckle.  
"You'll do fine.  I know you will.  You are a smart girl.  Students would be pleased to have you in their classroom."
April's shoulders lifted at her mother's words and the fear in her eyes left her.  
"I just hope they like me," April whispered softly.
"They will," she promised.  "They will."
April smiled and gave her mother a quick hug and kiss on the cheek before hurrying out the door.  She was a few steps down the uneven road, when she turned around and gave her mother a last, little wave.  Her mother stood at the door watching her until she disappeared beyond the towering buildings.
April looked about the busy street before quickly passing.  Her mother had said that she had to walk a mile towards the big bell in front of her and then turn left.  From there, she would have to walk another mile along the train tracks.  Then she had to turn right and walk through the cemetery.  Her mother said that she couldn't miss the small, stone schoolhouse.  She did hope she would be able to find her way back.  Then another happy thought came to her.  If some of the older girls lived near her, she could walk home with them.  April thought that sounded like a great plan and she told herself she must find some nice girls her age.
The sound of the piercing blow from the trains' whistle brought April out of her thoughts.  She quickly ran off the side of the tracks before it whizzed by her. 
"Well," April said emphatically, "you'd think they'd watch where they were going."  
April giggled at her little outburst.  She realized then that she was the one who should have been watching where she was going.  
She patted her hair, hoping it was all in place, and then quickly straightened out her wrinkled skirts.  When she realized that morning was coming on much more quickly then she had realized, she picked up her skirts and ran as fast as she could.  She was afraid she'd be terribly late.  Her mother had always told her that first impressions were very important.  Her first impression would be standing awkwardly in front of the whole class with a wrinkled skirt, tousled hair and flushed cheeks.  How embarrassing that would be!  
She halted suddenly.  Her eyes confronted the cemetery with shock and pity.  It was so unkept.  Dust polluted the air and roots gnarled there arms around the tombstones.  Tentatively, she walked through it, wondering who could have no compassion on the people that lay there.  Who could be so heartless as to leave this place in ruins? she thought.  It needed to be cared for.  Didn't anyone mind why it was so-- so lifeless?  She shook her head in disbelief and walked on.  But she couldn't get her mind off the poor cemetery.  She lifted off the burden by promising to go over there and clean it up whenever she had the spare time in the future.
She stopped again.  This time because of fear.  There, in front of her, stood the schoolhouse her mother had explained.  It looked a little run-down, but it stood tall and firm.  She took a deep breath and, squaring her shoulders, she wandered silently in.  No one realized she was there.  She stood at the back of the little room, her eyes glancing about.  To her dismay, she only saw younger children.  Then her face brightened when, to the front of the room, she saw four girls that looked her age.  She hoped that they wouldn't mind sitting with her.  Where was she supposed to sit?  She didn't know.  She glanced towards the teacher's way and unexpectedly caught his eye.  He smiled warmly.  She blushed a bright crimson, realizing he had been watching her.  She was sure that her mother had distinctly said the teacher was to be a woman.  And she certainly wasn't expecting a young male teacher either.  Why, he was probably only a few years older than she was!
"Hello," he greeted.  All the curious eyes of the children glanced to the back where April stood in embarrassment.  She didn't know if she should reply with a cordial hello of her own or stay quiet.  She decided to just give him a small nod of her head.
"And you are?" he probed.
April found her tongue and answered with a shaky reply.  "April.  April Thompson, sir.  I just moved here."
His face showed his interest, but, instead of voicing his curious thoughts, he merely nodded with a smile of encouragement.  This was when April noticed how very handsome he was, indeed.  He was tall with broad shoulders and a deep cleft in his chin.  His hair was dark and wavy, and his eyes a deep blue.  As deep as the sea.  April had never seen such eyes.  She felt shy and almost awkward with him smiling down on her with that look in his eyes that made April's heart skip beats.  All she could do was smile back, and hope that the ground would soon swallow her up.
"Call me, Will," he said pleasantly.  "Sir just seems too formal."
April forgot her shyness and laughed, nodding in agreement.  Then she realized that the curious young eyes were still all watching her.  She blushed slightly.
"Um, where should I take my seat?" she asked.
And to her delight, he quickly ushered her beside the other older girls where she eased herself down on the wooden seat.  She realized, then, just how much her back ached from running most of the way.  
She turned slightly to the other girls.  They all diverted their eyes from her gaze and flipped their little, blonde heads.  They giggled and started chatting with each other, and April looked away.  She dropped her eyes to her hands and realized that she was shaking.  She tried to compose herself, but it was pointless.  Her whole body shook like an earthquake.
"Now, class, let's begin," the teacher said, clapping his hands so that their eyes would follow his to the front and not be distracted from others.
April didn't remember any more of that school day.  All she remembered was the feeling of rejection while returning home.  She had been ignored, everyone acting as though she had been nonexistent.  She had so hoped to make friends.  Of course, the teacher seemed very cordial and gentlemanly, but she was hoping fervently to make some friends with the girls her age.  She wondered if she could ever fit in with the rest.  She wondered if, to them, she would always be the "other girl" or the "outsider."  She lifted a silent prayer up to Jesus, asking him to help her and that, maybe-- someday she could possibly make a friend?  With all her heart, she hoped and prayed so.       


© 2012 Kelly M.


Author's Note

Kelly M.
*Sorry this chapter is rather long. I hope I wasn't boring you throughout it.*

There's most likely a few spelling and grammar errors, and I'm sorry if there are, but I kind of wanted to hurry to get this posted.

*What do you think about the new character? You'll find out about Will in upcoming chapters. :)

My Review

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Reviews

not too long and not boring. i said i would keep my thoughts to myself... well my thoughts were and now more than ever are that i see a bit of confusion coming on for April. i also see the cemetary possibly becoming a place of solitude for April a place where she can just stop and think. i like this chapter alot.

Posted 8 Years Ago


You have a knack for introducing new characters. Grandma and Will seem like really nice people. I do hope Will consoles poor April's fear of school. And I hope she makes some good new friends. Oh... I'm getting so caught up with this! Just proof to show how great a story-teller you are, Kelly! Another wonderful chapter with pure delightfulness. Great job :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


I'M SO SORRY I HAVEN'T BEEN REVIEWING. I have mentally kicked myself many times. But now I'm going to awesomely review both books and hopefully make you happy! :D This was an excellent chapter. As I said before, good stuff! Will is an interesting new character, I'm excited to see how this pans out!

Posted 9 Years Ago


A great chapter. It doesnt matter where you are in the world, what decade you live in - starting a new school is never fun and sometimes it doesnt get any better. I like the little cemetary she is going to make her pet project - creepy some would say, but I like it... reading on :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


First of all, I want to start off by saying the length of this chapter was GREAT. When I write books on here, I purposely try to make them as long as possible, because in real life, the chapters most people put on here aren't anywhere near the length of a chapter in a regular book, so great job with that!

ps- I know I've already reviewed this chapter, but I wanted to take the time to read it over. :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


But this school wasn't the same familiar, - take out ame or familiar.
she lay-she laid
sleep which is what she herself was supposed to be getting. -night's...which is what she should be getting.
She so wished to know. -she wished to know.
of slept - have slept
challenges that awaited - waited
should of -have
staritened'-straightened.
gnarled there arms -their
her?-here.
Hm, i think the teacher likes her, which would be kinda weird. if non eof the girls talked to her she should have toalked to them to be a friend, you have to soe yourself friendlyt.

Posted 9 Years Ago


I read all of the previous chapters and so far this book is excellent! I've loved every chapter and I'm anxious to read more when you post it. Let me know when you do please!

This story has a great flow to it and also a great plot. I'm excited to see where things go between Drew and April :)

Excellent job so far and looking forward to more!

~Erinne

Posted 9 Years Ago


I agree with Kjanelle123, I love how this book is soft and gentle, but it moves along nicely :) Great chapter, and I like Will, he intrests me... I can't wait to read the next chapter!!!

Posted 9 Years Ago


Another great chapter!:)
I love the way you write this book. It's very soft, and gentle, yet has a great plot, and the story is moving along great. You're doing an excellent job. I'll definitley be reading more!:)

Posted 9 Years Ago



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Added on April 1, 2011
Last Updated on January 14, 2012
Tags: train, raindrops, school, handsome, love, peace, prayer, religious, friends, slumber, wish, hope, knots, cherished, loving, sweet, kind, cordial, gentle


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Kelly M.
Kelly M.

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