Beep. Beep. Beep!
I groan into my pillow as I find my phone beside my bed to turn off that stupid alarm. I’m really looking forward to the day where I have 12 P.M classes. I decided rather quickly that I could sleep for a solid 3 minutes more, so that’s exactly what I do. I hit snooze and lay back down and a soft sigh.
Once again my stupid alarm goes off, and I wake up and drag myself out of bed. I walk over to the dresser in my room and throw on my uniform. I go to an all-girls private school, so every day I wore a grey kilt with either a white or blue button-down shirt. I had no reason to impress anyone, so I never did my makeup and usually just threw my curly hair into a pony-tail. Most people thought that attending an all-girls school was not as great as co-ed, but I somewhat thought differently.
I wasn’t pressured to look a certain way, and because of this, I could wake up fifteen minutes before having to leave. I grabbed my book bag, put on black flats, and walked downstairs. No one else was usually up by this time, so I grabbed my jacket and walked out to my car. I hated the cold. I always promised myself I would eventually move down south.
The drive from my school was relatively short; only 45 minutes. When I got there, I was immediately greeted by some of my friends. “Did you hear there are new girls from Russia here?” Lexci says as we walk to our lockers.
“They just moved here? Why did they transfer now- it’s December?”
Lexci just shrugs, and Violet speaks up. “I don’t know, but they seem nice enough. Like I can only imagine how hard it must be for them. Their English is really good, though!”
I smile at Violet’s kindness and open my locker for my books before telling both my friends goodbye and going to my first class.
“Hey Elsa,” my teacher greets me. “Hello, Ms. Stamers, how are you?”
Ms. Stamers smiles brightly as she erases the whiteboard. “I’m well!”
I sit in my usual spot and take out my homework before class started. And this is how the rest of the day went: I had classes, got my homework out, and did as told. As I was walking back to my locker, I overheard a conversation with a teacher and a student.
“I’m not sure if you are aware of our English-Only policy, but you may not speak your native language during the school day.”
I could not see who she was speaking to, but I always found that policy very dumb. For students who lived on campus, they were only allowed to speak their native language after 5 P.M and, to me, I felt like we were attempting to assimilate them into American society forcibly. I understood that they needed a rule during class time, but I didn’t see the value of the rule after school.
“Yes, I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
I felt awful for the girl, so as soon as the teacher let her go, I walked to her side. Shit, I’m really bad at this whole making-friends-thing. What do I say that is not awkward?
“Hey, I’m Elsa. I think that rule is pretty dumb-”
“Look, I don’t need a pity fest, please,” she snapped at me. I quickly shut up and averted my eyes.
“I didn’t mean to come off that way, I promise. Are you one of the girls from Russia?”
She nods. “I’m Wilhelmina. My friend and I just moved here. I have to say, your town sucks!”
I couldn’t help but laugh and nod. We lived in a small town where the hotspot was a little ice-cream shop down the road. Wilhelmina stops and looks at me for a second.
“I was mean to you. Why are you so nice to me still?”
“Because I don’t know what you’re going through and I do not intend to make your day worse.”
Wilhelmina smiles for the first time. Suddenly another girl greets us and tugs on Wilhelmina’s arm. She says something in Russian that I cannot understand.
“Who are you?” The other girl asks me. Goddamn, what did I do to piss them off already?
“Elsa. You guys seem not interested in me,” I laugh awkwardly, “So I’ll see you around. I do hope your days here get better.”
Well, maybe I didn’t. Perhaps I hoped one of them fell down and broke their face and had to get their face surgically fixed into a smile forever, but I wouldn’t tell them that.