Something New... by Evangelia Glezou (ΕυαγγελίαΓλέζου)
Taking my sunglasses out of my backpack, I slipped them on and blinked, finally able to see clearly! The sun was too bright and the heat already too much, even though June had not yet ended!
Today is the first day of summer school and like the good kid I am, as customary(nowadays) for a Greek student just before her senior year in senior high school, I decided to go and prepare for the year to come! Wiping a few drops of sweat from my forehead with the back side of my hand, I crossed the street and climbed the stairs to the old mall, in which the school-assisting institute was in! A few more flights of stairs and I was there!
I've already been attending classes there for the past two years, but this year, judging by the pending PanHellenic exams, more students were bound to join! Walking through the threshold I smiled at all the familiar faces of my professors and classmates and joined them in a classroom! From my seat I could see two new students waiting on the lobby and looking at us in a shy manner! They must have never attended an assisting-school before! One was a dark-skinned boy with black curly hair and the other a girl with strawberry blonde hair and strangely colored eyes. The way the sun shone through the window, I couldn't tell whether they were green or grey! For some strange reason I was completely entranced by her, completely ignoring my fellow classmates!
"Hey! Ingrid! You there?" said Max waving a hand in front of my face amused!
"What? Yeah, I'm here! What can I do you for?" I answered snapping out of my daze and slapped his hand away! I looked into his brown eyes with raised eyebrows and waited for his question.
"Nothing! Just caught you staring and thought I'd mess with you! That's all" he said smirking at me and then laying back on his chair, pushing his hair back to give it shape.
I sighed and turned towards professor James, who had just entered the room, but not before sneaking a look at the new girl, still in the lobby!
"Okay my incredibly annoying , yet entertaining and adorable, students! Welcome, to the beginning of a very important school year for you, seeing as it is your last! I will for this year, as well, teach you the awesome subject of physics that you SO adore and bow down to, 'cause like I already said, it's awesome!" exclaimed Prof. James clasping his hands together! Rubbing his puffy beard, that made great contrast with his balding scalp, he added "We have a couple of new students joining your happy bunch this year! Iris, Macon! Will you come in already? We don't bite!"
My head snapped towards the door as the two newcomers entered the classroom and settled on their, till then, empty seats around the large table. Since this is an assisting-school, we don't have multiple desks, for no more than five students are allowed in each class. Rather, we have a really large one.
"Go ahead, introduce yourselves" our professor said, trying to encourage the boy and the girl.
The girl attempted to go first, but seeing that, the boy next to her, took over instead.
"I'm Macon! A senior... Obviously! I'm interested in economics", said Macon awkwardly and rubbed the back of his head with his palm just the same.
"I'm Iris. I am interested in physics. Can't wait to be working with you this year" said Iris and then quickly looked down shyly, biting her lip.
For some reason I couldn't help but stare at her! She was absolutely gorgeous! Trying, strangely or not, to catch her eye, I noticed that they now looked grey under the dim light of the room. Suddenly, she looked up at me, locking her gaze with mine! Her face was completely unreadable and, for me, that was a first! In the past, I've always been able to perfectly read people, whether that was through body language or the general vibe they radiated. However, somehow, I couldn't get anything from Iris.
"My lovely idiots, where are your manners? Just because I know you, doesn't mean those two do" the man standing near the board blurted out and gave us expecting looks. His sudden remark woke me up, from whatever state I was in, and I quickly averted my eyes.
"Yo, I'm Max! I'm interested in gymnastics and busy myself with MMA. Nice to meet ya" said Max excitedly and slapped Macon on the back.
"Eh, hi, I'm Mariah. I'm not sure about what to study in university yet, but I tend towards economics", said another old classmate of mine, her hazel eyes shining under the light that crept through the window. She waved at Iris and then looked at me, reminding me that it was my turn.
Clearing my throat, I turned my head to the newcomers and said "I'm Ingrid, I'm interested in graphic arts. Nice to make your acquaintance".
"Hey! Pretty girl inside the house, I would look outside if I were you!" I shouted at my best friend's house/store barely able to keep my excitement at bay.
Soon a tall girl with dirty blonde hair, a few shades lighter than mine, and hazel eyes came running out. I stumbled back as she hugged me hard, laughing, I wrapped my hands around her waist just as tightly, slowly taking in her familiar scent.
"You finally came!" she exclaimed and started pulling me towards her house.
"Of course! I come every year, you know that Amy" I said smiling at her gave her a quick peck on the cheek.
"Well, sorry for inconveniencing you with having to waste 5 hours of your time to come to our humble island every year, then" said Amy jokingly and returned the kiss. "God, I missed you"
"How was summer school? Was it as bad as people claim it is?" she asked me jumping on her bed and patting the space next to her, for me to sit down on.
"It was... ok. You could even say interesting?" I answered shrugging.
"Interesting? How so? Met someone?" she teased and reached across the bed to grab her laptop.
"Nah! Are you kidding? You know I haven't shown any interest in another man since Mark" I remarked and punched her arm. "Just made a new friend... kind of! She mostly talks with Max, my old classmate from school and assisting-school?"
"The tall, muscular one you had a crush on a couple years ago, right?" she said supposedly indifferently, motioning with her hand somewhere over us, pointing out Max's height.
"Amy! Shut up!" I said embarrassed and punched her again. "Yeah, him! The first couple of weeks I hadn't really gotten to talk her but for the last three, seeing as I hanged out with Max after class, and she joined us, I got to do so. She seems nice" I said and for a weird and unknown reason I blushed.
"Oh look at you! You made a new friend" she replied pinching my cheek.
"I went through five weeks of summer school just to come here and have you tease me?" I pretended to complain, after rolling my eyes at her.
"Hey, you got the whole of August to relax. Enjoy it"
"Well, not like I have a choice with you here, do I?" It was my turn to tease her.
"Guess you don't" she laughed and bumped her shoulder against mine.
Wow, the summer sun really does lighten my hair color! I thought looking at my dirty blonde hair in the mirror. Meeting my reflection's eyes one last time, I exited the bathroom and headed towards the living room!
"Oh hey!" I greeted Amy as she entered my summer home. Sorry, my rented summer house.
"Hey little girl" she chirped and approached me, smiling and looking into my dark brown eyes.
"Ready if you are" I said and gave her a quick hug.
"So, you haven't met Lana before, have you?" she asked me wrapping an arm around my waist.
"Ah, no! But I met Jane last year, I think..." I paused for a moment confused and put an arm around Amy's shoulder. "You know what? It doesn't matter, does it?"
"Haha, I guess not! Excited for your first bonfire on the beach?" she asked a hint of actual interest in her voice.
"Mm, why? Afraid that I'm going to do something I don't like! Don't worry, you know that as long as you are there I can't not have fun" I answered and bumped my hip against hers.
Looking at the ground, a small smile decorated her face. After walking some distance she let me go to run towards Lena, a girl about my height with light brown hair and green eyes.
"Lena, this is Ingrid! Ingrid, you've met her boyfriend Derek before, right?" Amy asked, pointing at a familiar face.
"Hey, nice to meet you! Derek, still have a hole in your chest?" I asked him casually after greeting his girlfriend.
"Yeah, still make an over excessive amount of dirty jokes?" he replied, playing along with my joke.
"Oh, sorry, no" I answered pretending to be sorry when I clearly was not, messing with him. He rolled his eyes at me and let a laugh escape his lips.
"So, will Jane meet us there?" I asked looking at Amy, eyebrows raised.
"Hm? Yeah! She's working at the lounge bar now" she responded and headed to the main street that would lead to the beach.
I watched as Amy and Lena tried to light the fire, laughing at their desperate and hopeless attempts.
"Girls, please! This is a job for a man" said Derek putting down the logs he was carrying. Smirking he took some wild weeds and placed them under the logs already in the little sand pit. He lit them and after blowing a bit on them, they lit up. The fire spread to the wood, after a little while and soon we had a proper bonfire going on.
Derek looked at the girls, a smug look plastered on his face. They in turn stuck their tongues out to him and laughing, tackled him, falling together on the ground.
"You guys are hopeless" I laughed at them and sat on them. "I have to say, you three make for a very comfortable pillow" I teased and squealed when they dragged me down to the ground, as well. Laughing, I tried to stand up, only to be pushed down, again. "For crying at loud! Will you let me up? I want to grab my guitar"
Wrestling with all of their arms, I finally managed to stand up. I wiped the sweat off my forehead and headed to the cooler we had left somewhere close.
"Anyone wants a drink?" I asked them, still amused, showing them my Gordon's Space.
"Grab me a beer, will ya?" shouted Derek from under the girls who were still teasing him. Getting one out, I threw it at him. Lena grabbed it instead and ran. Literally run! She opened it and started drinking while simultaneously being chased by her boyfriend.
"Amy, you?" I asked my best friend as she approached me breathless.
"Sure! Beer me" she answered and placed the beer on her forehead, right after I handed it over.
Letting a little laugh escape my lips, I sat down on the sand and grabbed my guitar. Soon after I started playing, the happy couple, that had been running for a while, joined us. We sang a few songs, including Amy's favorite for that summer, "Hey there Delilah". At some point, Jane came to the beach, too, with a list of songs we could play, but which I did not know. After, negotiating with her, for what felt like forever, we finally reached an agreement. Thus, the night passed, and came the next.
"Never have I ever... peed my pants in high school" said Lena, looking at Derek with eyebrows raised. He and Jena drunk a sip from their beers and looked at anything but us, finding the roof of my veranda suddenly interesting.
"Wow" I remarked, barely holding back a laugh. "My turn"
"Sorry, but no! It's my turn" exclaimed Amy and stuck her tongue out at me, when I pretended to be offended. "Hmm, never have I ever, done something with someone of the opposite sex"
I stared at her, wide-eyed, as she took a sip herself, along with Jena.
"You know Amy, you are supposed to say something that will make others drink, not you" said Jena sarcastically. "Ok, my turn"
"Wait!" I said in a confused tone. "Amy, you've had romantic relations with a girl... and have not TOLD ME, YET?"
"Ah... sorry?" she said shrugging apologetically and smiled awkwardly.
You'd think that one would mind same-sex... anything, but I grew up watching Friends, sex and the city and the such, so I didn't think it weird or disgusting, as some sure like to point out! Giving her playful death stares, I asked genuinely curious "How was it?"
"Hm, you see..." Amy started replying, but got cut off by Jena. "Wait, aren't you surprised I've experimented?" she interrupted pretending to be hurt emotionally.
"Sorry?" I answered imitating Amy's previous apology.
The dirty-blonde haired girl gave me a little push, to tease me, and went on with her explanation.
"It was nice. Different, yet not really. I mean, there are some obvious ones! Other than that, though, I quite enjoyed it"
I nodded, slowly, surprised, though finding it, rather interesting.
After that she went on, about the subject in more detail. However, my mind was not really in that conversation, for I was thinking of how it would be if I tried what my best friend had, wouldn't be the first time it crossed my mind. In addition, for some peculiar reason, Iris popped into my head. Why would I think of her now? I swiftly waved it off as nothing important and did my best to focus on my friends and the game we had partly quit playing.
"So... Am I going to see you next year?" asked Amy hesitantly, her hazel eyes staring at the ceiling above her. She sat up and gave me an expectant look.
"I sure hope so" I joked but felt bad when she didn't laugh. "Yeah, you will. I'll do my best to come next year. And you never know, maybe this time, I'll get to see you in Athens"
"Maybe... I'll come by in September. Only for a couple of days, though. Then I'll go to Patra" she answered, a defeated look decorating her face.
"Come on! We can always meet at the center of Athens. You don't have to swing by my home or anything. Don't know about September, but I do expect to see you after your Proficiency examination in May" I said and looked at her with puppy dog eyes and pouting.
A horse laugh escaped her still asleep vocal cords. The ship I would board was leaving early and as I do every year, I woke her up to say see ya. I walked up to her bed and leaned down to give her a quick hug. Just before I let go, Amy squeezed me tightly one last time and pulled away first.
"Sorry, for waking you up early every year" I said pretending to feel bad.
"You don't mean that. Admit it! The sadist in you enjoys it" she teased and I couldn't help but smile, my dimple appearing at the corners of my mouth.
"See you next year? Hopefully in May?" I asked and raised my eyebrows in question.
"We'll see. Have a safe trip" she replied and after a moment's pause added "See you"
The rest of August passed by in a flash! I finished the homework assigned by the assisting school, that's starting back up in about a week. That would be the first of September by the way. Fun, right? I was kind of ready for my senior year to begin, anxious even. I don't know why, but I mostly felt anxious about seeing Iris again. Over the course of August she had strangely crossed my mind quite a few times.
I shook my head trying to shake the thought of her from my head and stuffed my notes in my messenger bag.
The week passed even more swiftly than the whole of summer had and soon, I was in front of the assisting school's entrance. I walked in and got comfortable on one of the armchairs in the lobby. Not a minute after I sat down, Macon entered and I couldn't help but feel a hint of disappointment, when he did. The door opened again, my head flying towards it, I found a pair of grey-ish eyes trained on me. I heard myself swallow hard, my mouth suddenly dry and then looked away. I could hear my heart pound fast and could feel cold sweat running down my cheek.
I sneaked a look towards Iris and she was looking away, her eyes staring intently somewhere to the side. Is this blush on her cheeks? It was her turn to sneak a look at me, her face still directed to the side. I felt my face warm up and turned it towards the ground, the floor below me suddenly interesting.
"Hello, kids! How was your summer? Go on ahead and enter the classroom, I'm just going make a few copies and be right there" I heard a chirpy female voice say and realized that Professor Xena had entered the lobby.
I rushed towards the class, dropping on my chair with a loud thump, my gaze trained on the desk. I heard the shuffling of feet and the screech of chairs as my classmates, early or late, settled on their seats. A couple of minutes passed and as my heart quieted down and my head began to clear, only one thing was sure, a question I should have asked myself before... Do I have feelings for this girl?