P.S. “The Misadventures of Melody T.” will be sort of a prequel to my debut novel, “Drama University”.
10th grade had to be better. It just had to. In addition to my social awkwardness, I’m about 5’7, which is slightly taller than the average 10th grade female. I hated that I had no, shape. Although skinny with all this unruly hair on my head, I tried to rock it my own way.
Mikey thinks I’m a lost cause. But what does he know? He’s always been a part of the “in” crew. He’s in all honors classes and have applied to all the top colleges he wants to attend.
Besides the fact that we have the same last name, you would never know he’s my brother. I’m a complete introvert, a nerd and frankly proud of it. I’ve never seen a good reason to run my mouth excessively, non-stop like say for example Jerica Jennings who was in my history class last year. She never, ever shuts up. However, because of my quiet nature I started getting labeled as, “stuck up”. It’s like being the observant one is a curse.
“The quiet, light-skinned girl with glasses,” Shannon said. “Nobody really remembers your name. They just be like, who’s the skinny, light skin girl you always hang with? I’m always like that’s my girl Melody T! I thought you knew.”
Shannon had a comical way of telling stories sometimes. Like most best friends we shared a bunch of inside jokes that no one knew about but us. We connect on a level that’s different from everyone it seems. It’s always been that way though.
Just as I exited the front door, the bus came whizzing past the usual place it stopped. Just as the bus driver braked, a giant puff of lovely, black diesel exhaust spewed from the school bus flooding the air. Racing up the block, gripping both the straps of my backpack on my shoulder, just then I inhaled. Just as I went to hold my breath, it hit my throat making me choke and cough instantaneously. I hopped on the semi-empty bus taking the first empty seat I spot.
Shannon and I met up last night, so we could catch up and see what we were wearing tomorrow. She was riding with Bree, her older sister to school. I had no idea how she had closed that deal, because just like Mikey older siblings were not trying to have deal with us younger ones. “I whined to my mom, about how much I hated taking the bus. So she’s basically making her take me to and from school for now,” Shannon shrugged.
“Your Breanna really think she’s somebody special, I said rolling my eyes. “I know right. She ain’t nobody that’s why I’m not riding no school bus. Sorry, Mel you’re on your own this year.”
Breanna and Shannon were almost total opposites, sort of like Mikey and I. Bree was the fast talking, fighting, short skirt, titties out, I have a different boyfriend every week type. Shannon was pretty much laid back like me but was outspoken like her sister just a bit of a toned down version. Bree and I never got along. She was a bitch, who hated me from day one. I often wondered if she harbored some sort of resentment from when Mikey and her dated briefly and he broke it off with her. I just tried to steer clear of her, period.
Laying across the bed,I watched while Shannon pulled several items out of her closet with the tags on them. “Any word on how Mecca been doin’,” I sputtered. “Nope. I talked to her like a few weeks after school let out, before y’all left for that trip but nothing recently.”
“Yeah, all she said was they had to move out, so she was going to live at her grandma’s,” I said.
“Man what happened I wonder?,” Shannon turned around for a second and paused from what she was doing. I shrugged my shoulders. We were just happy she could still go to our school for the time being.
Upon exiting the bus, I walked up the stairs, through the metal framed, heavy plexi-glass doors and stopped. I paused and took a step to right, looking around and see if anyone I knew was around. My efforts to look fresh for the first day of school a last minute, half-assed attempt. I had on a brand new white Nike shirt with a big navy blue swish sign on the front and navy blue basketball shorts to match. I didn’t like my scrawny legs. Thank goodness my mom let me get contacts over the summer. I was finally able to ditch those goofy-looking pop bottle glasses, with the turtle shell frames I had been wearing since 7th grade. I wondered if anyone would even notice. Things felt different without them though. In a good or bad way, I wasn’t sure yet.
Rolling my eyes, I proceeded in. With two quick glances, I scanned the large crowd that was formed in the front hall. I didn’t spot Shannon and Mecca anywhere.Walking a bit further I started slowly down the hall, walking around a small group that gathered down the hallway by the gym. Everyone displayed such a look of excitement. That “new” glow. A familiar feeling I was remembering from years past.
It was a fashion show of sorts. The oohs at the cute guys was a familiar sound. Some had bulked up over the summer or something as simple as a new haircut and outfit benefited them greatly. Walking past the gym, the familiar sound of squeaking shoes, screeching against the freshly buffed wood floor blasted through the gym doors.
Making my way up the hall, I turned to go to the band room. There I found Shannon standing with Brooklyn and Vicki right by the entrance. Shannon, Brooklyn, Vicki and I all used to be really close friends. In middle school, something changed with Brooklyn and Vicki. They started hanging out with some girls in our class who didn’t really get along with Shannon’s outgoing personality and my awkward silence.
I slowly approached the trio reluctantly giving a soft, “Hey”.
“When did you get here?” Shannon pulled her hands out of her jean shorts, reaching in for a sisterly hug.
“Bus, just got here a little bit ago. It took me awhile to get through the crowds in the halls.”
Standing to my right, I could feel Brooklyn’s eyes scanning me, from head to toe. Attempting to pretend that I didn’t notice the annoying stare she gave when I was around.
“I had those shoes last year, remember.” Brooklyn stood pointing casually at my new white Nike’s. Shooting me a look, she swayed her head around to Vicki, who gave a soft chuckle. I looked down at my shoes and then at her.
“They cute though. Simple, but cute,” Vicki replied shaking her head in reassurance. I still didn’t know why Shannon even associated with them. I rolled my eyes and shook my head trying to flee the situation when Shannon intervened rather quickly, rolling her eyes too.
“Ooooh, okay, anyways guess who we just saw though this morning?,” Shannon grabbed my arm, pulling me toward her then putting her arm around my neck. I looked at her bug-eyed expression and shook my head, “Who?”
I figured she was talking about one of the guys she was crushing on last year. This dude we called “Rell” or her ex she went with most of 8th grade and part of Freshman year named Jay.
She reviewed my face once more, then started shaking her head at me.
“Uh, you’re no fun, but I’ll tell you anyway,” she took a deep dramatic breath and paused.
With hand gestures that read, surprise like a gift I was opening. She exclaimed, waving both hands simultaneously.
“Oh my god, Dominic Davidson!”
I was thinking in my head, she couldn’t have been more dramatic about it. I felt my brow raise all on it’s own .Shannon looked even more bug-eyed than usual, now raising both of her perfectly drawn on eyebrows at me. All I could manage to let out was a low, “Mmmmm”. Brooklyn and Vicki just looked at each other. I couldn’t really tell what that was about.
I paused for a moment and tried to play it cool, shaking my head slightly to agree with Shannon’s excitement.
“He’s still cute, girl just taller”, Shannon shrugged. “You’ll probably see him around here today.”
“Yep, maybe,” I said. Just then Brooklyn and Vicki finally walked away and I felt like I could have a regular conversation with my best friend. “ So, what classes do you have after this semester? I know you told me, but I forgot already.”
Shannon dug into her fresh new purple backpack, then handed me a crumpled up piece of paper, I could barely read. We had enrollment for school only two weeks before, but knowing her she got it and threw it in the backseat of Bree’s car and left it until this morning when she realized she needed it.