It’s 5:45 in the morning on the first day of fall. The windows are open and my favorite candle is flickering. HELLO, favorite time of day/year to write. All the ingredients were there, and this story started pouring out. I thought I’d share the first two chapters here to see if this is fun for anyone to read. If it’s awkward, I’ll just write it as a keepsake for us and stick to sharing recipes and decor type stuff on the blog. Maybe it will make you laugh, or start believing in regular life love stories. I apologize for any grammatical errors, this is straight from my journal. If nothing else, it will help you get to know us better. It’s an epic love saga, drenched in steamy drama. You’ve been warned.
The car door slammed behind me. Startled from my gaze of the sprawling campus and little backpacks scurrying in every direction, I jumped and glanced back at the car. My Dad was leaning over, grinning and giving me a hearty two thumbs up from the window. He rolled it down and hollered at me, “Go get ‘em peanut! You’re going to love it here!” I forced a quick smile and gave him two thumbs up, hoping no one would see.
Late August in Southern California doesn’t make for the most forgiving temperatures. I could feel sweat on my forehead forming and it wasn’t even seven o’clock yet. My thick, messy blonde curls of hair, arguably my best feature, felt all-together like an involuntary winter hat. Not helping anything, my white cotton dress with thick lace embroidery stood out like the pope at a party. The population appeared to be a mess of dark wash jeans and t-shirts from all the cool brands. I hadn’t gotten the memo. Pretty sure my mom had made my dress. Perfect, the whole look just screamed “home-schooler”. I sighed, hugged my oversized binder wand walked through the giant blue gates, silently praying I’d make one friend. Just one.
“A-26. Don’t forget A-26.” My first period class was the one I was genuinely excited for, Interior Design with Mrs Nikzad. In fact, it was the ringer in my parent’s winning presentation to end my homeschool career. The High School. THE because it was THE only one in our little town. Selling features to this place included Interior Design, and sports. Sports, for me, meant swimming. I grew up in the water. Salt, chlorine or otherwise. Years of all my extra time spent training and competing had proved that by sophomore year of high school, I was on track for a hefty division one scholarship. My parents and I were both a bit starry eyed at the whole deal, especially at fifteen and a half. On top of that, there was an unshakeable feeling we all shared that something important, something big, was out there for me and I might just miss it if I didn’t try the whole real high school experience. We were all pretty certain it was swimming.
I was standing near a group of friends I knew from swim, waiting for the first bell to ring when someone tapped me on the shoulder. Confused, I turned around.
“You’re Madi, Madi Lanz.”
“I know who you are. Uh, I mean, I’m Kyle, Hi.”
He was a tall, lanky kid with a big gray backpack, Volcom t-shirt and royal blue baseball hat on backwards. I recognized his face from somewhere but couldn’t remember from where. On first impression, he definitely didn’t appear to have spent much time at the beach or the pool that summer.
“My friend Chris told me we have Interior Design together. First period with Mrs. Nikzad?”
“Hi! Nice to meet you. Yeah, I have first period with Mrs. Nikzad!” I tried to over-enthusiastically hide any silent evaluating I had been doing of the whole situtation.
“Great. We should get going then. I’ll walk you there. The bell’s about to ring and it’s good to be early on the first day to pick out the best desk.”
I didn’t care much about picking out the “best desk” whatever that meant, but I didn’t want to be rude. He turned confidently waiting for me to join him. As he turned, I was distracted by how packed his backpack was for the first day.
I hustled to keep up with him, “Were we supposed to bring all our books to the first day of school?” I asked anxiously.
“Nope, I just liked to be prepared.” He grinned, seemingly pleased with himself. The pace didn’t waver. I had to remind myself we hadn’t actually missed the bell.
Not surprisingly, the classroom door to room A-26 was locked when we got there. He glanced at his watch and said, “Cute dress.”
Before I could reply, the classroom door swung open and a dark haired, fashionable woman with a thick accent from somewhere I’d surely never been, welcomed us with a big smile and directions about selecting a desk and something about “the person you share your desk with will be your parter all semester.”
By now a few other students were trickling in. I recognized a girl from elementary school and considered re-introducing myself as I watched Kyle in my peripheral vision furiously scouting all the desks and their prospective views of the whiteboard. He selected the one closest to the front and waved at me. He didn’t seem to even consider that I may not join him as he unloaded his binder and notebooks and arranged them with precision on the desk. He really did seem nice and… driven. What more could you ask for in a desk mate? I smiled back and made my way to the front of the class. We sat together as the teacher explained the grading procedures and all the different topics we’d be covering throughout the semester. I don’t know if it was her musical accent or the silent tension of the whole dress comment, but I stopped listening and instead quietly considered if this Kyle person maybe had an eye for women’s clothing. He did seem serious about this interior design class, after all.
The backwards hat and farmers tan on his arm begged to differ.