KAITLYN LOHR - SHORT-STORIES
Kaitlyn Lohr is a young poet who’s grown up in Eastern Pennsylvania.
She enjoys writing short/flash fiction about her past experiences and things that interest her.
She spends most of my time horseback riding or with her beloved dog Biscuit.
FIRST DAY BACK
I wake up as I do every morning until I see what day it is on my phone. The day my parents died exactly one year ago. And it’s the first day of my 8th grade year. This day could not possibly be worse. I have spent the last year in Europe at a fancy private school to escape my friends and my life. But, me and my uncle decided it was time to face reality. So I get ready for school and go downstairs for my usual breakfast and then head out the door for the bus. I hop on the bus and am surprised that I don’t recognize anyone. I guess the bus route changed while I was gone.
When I finally get to school after a forty-five-minute bus ride, I have to go to the office for my schedule. My uncle didn’t register me for school till last week so there was no time to mail my schedule. When I get in there, there is a line for other new students waiting to get their schedules or to get their schedules changed. I can’t believe people already have complaints about their schedules but I guess that’s just how things roll. I finally get my schedule and I already know the school so I don’t need the map the lady keeps insisting I take but I take it anyways to please her.
I get to fifth period class and still don’t recognize anyone. I guess this year I don’t have any classes with any of my old friends. I just hope I can find someone to sit with during lunch next period. I guess if that happens I can just eat in the library or in a bathroom stall like new kids do in the movies. I really hope that doesn’t happen. Right as I’m thinking this day could not possibly get any worse my old best friend walks in the room. When I say old best friend I mean all of elementary school we were close then middle school happened and he did anything he could do to torture me and put me down. I have never needed a friend more in my life than this very moment. I look next to me at the empty seat and just internally scream at God saying to please not let that idiot sit next to me. But, of course I don’t have that kind of luck. And he sat down smiling at me the whole time. He tried talking to me about my parents and where I’ve been this past year and kept picking at my wounds but I just simply ignored him. I was trying to be the bigger, wiser person like my father taught me to be. You have to be the better man in business just like in real life.
I just go to my next class after lunch and luckily the teacher doesn’t have a class so I eat there. Me and the teacher had a long conversation about school and I even told him about Europe and what it’s been like for my uncle to take over being my legal guardian. I could tell I was going to like him, that he’d probably be my favorite teacher all year. He just knew how to talk and he knew all the right questions to ask when talking about my parents. He didn’t get all awkward and tip toe around the subject. He knew what questions were appropriate and to not go too far like the kids in my last class did. And, we had the same name even though mine is short for Theodore while his is just Todd. Even when this class did start, if anyone was bugging me he’d shut them up. I feel like this teacher was my only friend I had made during the school day. It was kind of nice.
Last period rolled around and finally I was about to go home. It was a study hall and since I was still pretty tired from traveling back from Europe I decided to take a quick nap. I put on my headphone and put my head down and fell asleep within minutes.
I wake up and the room is pitch black and so it outside the windows. I’m still waking up so at first I’m really confused till I realize where I am. I’m still at school and no one is around. I think to myself how I could have slept through the loud screeching bell but then I realized that my music was probably too loud to hear the bell, but still someone should have woken me up. I take of my now silent headphones, only to see my phone is dead. I pack up my stuff and slide out of my chair. I walk over to the classroom phone but it’s off and then I remember how to school is trying to be more conservative by turning off the power during non-school hours. I walk over to the door and jiggle the handle only to find out that it’s locked. I start breathing more heavily and look for any other possible exit of the room. I run over to the windows and open them and look out. I am on the top floor of my school and jumping would most likely kill me. I start screaming out the window for help but it’s no use, there’s no other buildings around here within a mile radius of this place. I start hyperventilating and sit down on the floor with my back against the wall, trying to come up with any way to get out of here. I go over to the door and start banging on it hoping a janitor will hear me. I look at the clock on the wall and see it’s only 6pm. Which, means that there should be a janitor somewhere in this building. The thing is, I just got to hope that someone will hear my banging.
I bang on the door for what feels like hours but has only been thirty minutes. I hear footsteps and so I start hitting the door harder until a little old man appears in the doorway opening the door from the other side. He looks very shocked to see me here and instead of explaining it all I just ask to borrow his phone to call my parents. Except, my parents won’t answer their phones. Because, they’re gone. So, I think of who else I could call. But, my uncle is in Tokyo for the next two weeks. I guess I could call my driver but would he hear the house phone ringing from outdoors. I ask the little old man if he can drive and when he says yes, I ask if he’d mind giving me a ride home. He smiles and agrees to drive me home. I walk with him out of the school and to his red Mercedes-Benz. I compliment his taste in cars and so, the whole way home all we talk about is cars.
I finally get home at 7:15 pm and go straight upstairs and to bed. I usually don’t write in a journal but after my parents died my uncle forced me to go to therapy and the therapist gave me this journal to write my heart out into. So I open it for the first time and write down about this day, my first day back to school. Because, this day was the strangest day of my life and I don’t think I could make this up. I plan on showing it to my uncle when he gets back home from Tokyo. I wonder if this will help me get back to school in Europe. I guess I’ll have to wait and see. But, I guess one good thing did come out of this experience. It will be a great story to maybe tell my kids someday.
I wake up from another dream about Tony, I don’t get how my mind always wonders to him when I fall asleep. Don’t people usually dream about rainbows and unicorns or something, why are my dreams always about a guy who will never be a reality. Not that unicorns will ever be a reality but still. I’m an only child band geek who has a crush on the most liked guy in school. Usually in books and movies the quarterback that the girl likes it actually obnoxious and a total idiot, but Tony is up for valedictorian and he’s actually a good person. Yesterday I saw him tutoring after school some middle schoolers at the local library. If that isn’t the cutest thing I’ve ever seen I don’t know what is.
I stop thinking about his beautiful, brown eyes long enough to realize I’m late for school. I rush like every morning this happens and get ready in a total of six minutes, probably my all-time new record. I drive me and my little brother to school so of course I expect him up and ready to go, maybe even yelling at me for being late but no. I find him in his bed sound asleep with a note on his door telling me to just leave him be and that he doesn’t need school. So, I do just that and let him be so that after school my parents can just yell at him for me, I’m too tired for this.
I get to school and walk into my Astronomy class right as the late bell rings, but of course I’m Mr. Merkle’s favorite so he lets me slide in with a smile. I look up at the board to see what’s happening and I see he’s changed our partners again for the fourth time this semester. I have a few band friends in this class so I’m not worried until I see my name next to…Tony. My heart immediately starts pumped at a thousand beats per minute. Then I hear my name being called and it’s Toni waving me towards the table we’re now sharing. I someone how start moving my feet towards the desk and sit down next to him. Luckily, before we could even say a word to each other Mr. Merkle starts explaining todays assignment. Something about finding the angles of something or another. I wasn’t really listening and instead focusing on the calm sound of Tony’s breathing, in and out. As if not freaking out like me at all. Of course, he wouldn’t be because it’s not like he’s had a crush on me since the third grade.
The class actually goes by pretty quick, he started a conversation and it hasn’t stopped. We keep getting in trouble for talking though, but he doesn’t stop talking to me about his family and football. He keeps asking about me and band but I just tell him nothing new and insist for him to go on. Eventually we decide to do the assignment at hand and he every so often makes jokes and accidentally taps my leg with his foot or brushes his arm against mine. I’m doing everything I can to not let my mind go there, to think that he’s flirting with me, but would that be so crazy. I mean, doesn’t he have a girlfriend. I shouldn’t think about this I should be thinking about the assignment, except he’s already done it. So then he goes back to what I think to be flirting with me. I try not to make it so obvious that I like him, but I cannot help it. So I laugh and giggle like a little school girl, flirting back and nudging his shoulder like they do in movies and books.
When I’m really happy and thinking he likes me too, I see his phone light up with a text from Margaret with a heart next to it. And my whole world just crumbles and I’m filled with embarrassment that I would mistake him being nice with flirting and how I probably totally creeped him out by giggling him so much. I turn my head around and just close my eyes to contemplate about what just happened. To figure out where I went wrong and what signals I misread, but I cannot think of anything that he did that would be wrong or cheating. He was just being nice and I mistaked it because of my craziness for him. So when the bell finally rings after us being dead silence for ten minutes while he texted back Margaret I ran out as quick as I could to my next class, just hoping Mr. Merkle would switch partners again tomorrow.
DEAR OLD FRIEND,
I was the one who ruined it between us. But, you should’ve forgiven me. I have said sorry so many time I’m starting to think you never wanted me in your life. But I have new people, amazing people who make me excited for new adventures wherever they might take place. So instead of apologizing to you anymore, I’m thanking you for letting me go.