“We’re here,” her mom said, sounding cheery. “Nervous?”
Cassandra blew out a puff air that she had sucked in as her mom drove them into the school parking lot. “A little.” She didn’t want her mom to give her one of her pep-talks in her mimicked Mini-Mouse voice. They were so annoying, making her feel like she was five all over again.
“Well, I was too on my first day of high school.” She patted her daughter’s left thigh. “But you should be alright. I said a few prayers for you this morning.” She withdrew her hand from her daughter and placed it on the automatic shift between them, slowing the speed of the car. After, she braked few feet from where Ronald sat and put it into park.
“Thanks, mom.” Cassandra glanced out the windshield. Ronald sat all by himself on a bench while a group of boys and one girl sat around a picnic bench in front of a steel building with giant double red doors. Guess the kids aren’t all that friendly. Poor Ronnie. She curled her fingers around the lever on the passenger door, lifted, and pushed it open.
Ronald rose from the bench and waved.
“Hi, Ronnie,” her mom hollered from her window, and to Cassandra she said, “I’ll be here at three-thirty to pick you both up.”
Cassandra slid out of her seat and got to her feet hurriedly as though to avoid the anticipated motivational speech. Her book bag smacked at her side. “Ow!” The thing felt heavy and awkward. She and it had something in common. She hoped that her outfit didn’t make her look too big.
The kids at the bench glanced her way for thirty seconds, said something to each other, and then let out a round of laughs.
“Let me take that.” Ronnie raced toward her and slid the book bag from her shoulder.
“No problem. I’m glad you finally got here.”
Cassandra’s mom beeped her horn and backed out of the drive. She honked and waved one last time before she slowly drove the car to a stop sign.
Both teens, side by side, waved and waited for her mom's car to pull into traffic.
“So are the kids nice?” Cassandra wanted to know before she walked up to them. They certainly didn’t appear to be a gracious welcoming committee. None of them were rushing to introduce themselves. They had went back to whatever it was they doing before they looked at her and busted out laughing.
Ronald shrugged. “Don’t know. I was waiting for you to come.”
“We might as well get this over with.” She walked ahead of him dreading the initial introduction.
Her BFF followed in her wake.
When she reached the picnic table, she extended her hand toward the girl sitting on the edge of a wooden bench. “Hi, I’m Sassie… and this is Ronnie.”
Ronald nodded, giving her small smile. “Nice to meet you.”
Light blue eyes peered out of a mop of blonde curls. Her lips curled into a soft smile. She placed her hand gently into Cassandra’s and then pulled it back. “I’m, Leanne Ray, the principle’s daughter.” A strong Georgian drawl oozed all over her words. The girl flashed a gaze from the top of Cassandra’s head, then to her midriff all the way to her shoes. After, she snapped her head in Ronald's direction. "Likewise."
The boys at the table guffawed.
“You two look a little stiff.” Leanne reached for the top button of her blouse and un-did it, and loosened two more. It was enough to show what small amount of cleavage she had.
Cassandra gasped. Ronald said nothing.
The four young men at the table punched each other’s shoulders, and snickered.
“Look,” the girl said, standing while hiking her skirt above her knees. “How about a game to break in the newbies?” After, she stepped onto the bench and made her way to the middle of the picnic table. “What color are my panties?”
Cassandra and Ronald glanced around the premises, both hoping a teacher or some other adult would come.
Each of the four teens craned their heads upward. Their mouths fell open as they gawked up her skirt.
“You see,” Leanne said, turning her attention to Cassandra. “I may be the principal’s daughter. But I’m no prude. Are you?” And to Ronald, she said, “Well...aren't you going to look? What? Are you gay or something?"