TITLE: Everything But the Flying Monkeys
I'm still ticked off at Mom so I shut the car door a little harder than I should and stomp away. I know she's probably waving, giving me an encouraging look, or (God forbid) a thumbs up for my first day, but I don't look back or even throw a wave her direction. Like I said. I'm not done being mad.
When I'm about halfway to the front door, I hear her drive off. At least she had the decency to keep her hands off the horn.
Off to one side of the sidewalk is a grassy patch with a couple of scrawny saplings. Their leaves are a yellowish green. Back home, fall isn't even in full bloom and I already miss the Witch Hazel's purples, the Sugar Maple's scarlets and the impossible golds of the Mountain Ash.
I'm definitely not in Maine anymore.
The office is just inside the door. I tell the lady behind the desk who I am. "Welcome to Emerald High!" she says.
I scrounge up some cheerfulness. "Thanks." There's no point in making things worse, I suppose. Plus, good first impressions and all that. The lady pushes a button on her phone and motions for me to sit. I take a deep breath and try to ignore the knot of nerves in my stomach. There's a guy signing in and giving the lady some spiel about having an early orthodontist appointment. But he's just late. Not registering three weeks behind schedule like I am.