A stern voice – a voice laden with expectation, relief, and a little disdain – calls me back to reality. The headmistress.
How’d she get up here so fast, I wonder.
“Your parents are here.”
“Mr. Awesome. Can we cut it for once with the sarcasm?”
“No I literally just watched them get out of the car.”
“Uh huh. I’ll be downstairs to see you off,” she says and walks out.
“Why do you give them such a hard time,” comes from the corner where my roommate lives.
Max is everything I’m not. He wakes up with perfectly coiffed jet black hair, is popular with… well, everyone, and his grades aren’t half bad to boot. He’s dressed in jeans, t-shirt, jeans, and a leather jacket his dad wore when he was younger. This kid is like every 13 year old girls dream. He is also my only friend. I think that happens to be because I live with him.
If you are thinking that maybe I should be cool by association then you’d have to take a closer look at me. I have carrot orange hair that sings to the sun. I have Cabbage Patch Doll style freckles painted on my face and my skin tone is that of paste. If I don’t wear sunscreen year round I turn the color of freshly boiled lobster in 15 minutes flat. I’m the next best thing to an albino. If that weren’t bad enough I’m also at least 3 inches taller than the next tallest kid in my class year. In our class photo I stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb; they stuck me on the left side, nearest to the teacher, in the second row down (I kept getting cut out of the photo when I sat in the top row) and even then my head still rested in line with those in the third row.
“Why shouldn’t I,” I said, “It isn’t like they make my situation any more livable. I resent the hell out of them.”
“I just think if you made their lives a little easier then maybe they would be more inclined to help.”
“You don’t get it Max, I mean look at you. You’ve never had a hard day in your life.”
“Maybe I don’t know Simon but you surely aren’t making it better.”
Okay. So my name isn’t Mr. Awesome. But what am I supposed to do with a name like Simon. It’s a poindexter name. And why shouldn’t I be able to pick my name, my GPA is perfection.
Max and I work in silence to ensure that our trunks are packed though Max’s parents aren’t here yet. An attendant shows up asking after my trunk so that it can be brought down to my parent’s car. These people only exist when we are leaving and arriving at school. What do they do for the 363 – 364 if it’s a leap year – days of the year? I have half a mind to ask but instead, remembering Max’s lecture, when asked if my trunk is ready I just say, “Yes.”