Status: Hajimemashite!

Maintaining Sharon

O ye gods!

Isn't it funny how on our first day back from winter break, you have a huge flurry of emotions that you don't even know how to begin dealing with? Such as the hope that Ms. Spielman accepts the BS you pulled to finish the English homework last night, and the excitement to see Elisa for the first time in a month because she went to Canada for her figure skating competition, and the relief to finally get the heck away from your sister, or the nervousness because Mitchell asked you out before break started and you've been ignoring him ever since (and he sits next to in first period... hopefully Mr. Vang plans on changing the seating chart).

Nope, not really funny at all. Fuck you, O ye cruel gods.

I get to school everyday by public transport. Here in Lodi, California, that's short for "I take the pot-and-nicotine-smelling city bus everyday along with a bunch of people on welfare and hobos who somehow rigged the system and are getting free rides."

Why? Because my parents will only drive once to our school, and Betty wakes up at 6:45 every morning, fifteen minutes before school starts. I don't know how she's not late every morning, but at any rate, I got sick of almost having a heart attack worrying about my own attendance.

So this morning, as any other, I woke up at 5:30, got ready for school, walked to the bus stop munching on a bagel, transferred buses at the mid-town transit center, and eventually wound up at school at 6:40 sharp.

Whereupon, I came face to face with Mitchell Carpenter, the very person I did not want to see today.

Like the clever, think-on-my-feet person I am, I instantly froze.

"Hey, Sharon!" I wish I could say he said with a radiant smile, golden hair capturing the golden rays of the rising sun, but that would be a completely unbelievable lie.

"Err... hi, Carpenter," I stammered, opting to call my short, greasy-haired, acne-ridden pubescent classmate with a hopeful grin but condescending glare by his last name.

"So, how was your break?"

"It was okay. Pretty busy, actually. Kept having to go to my parents' friends' parties," I lied.

"Yeah? That's cool. I was pretty busy, too," he nodded, not that I asked.

"Oh? What with?" I replied, hopefully not sounding sarcastic.

"My cousins and I went gaming."

"Oh... sounds... like... fun, I guess," I smiled, obviously unimpressed.

"Well, it was different than what I usually do. We went over to Vacaville and --"

At that precise moment, the gods finally cut me some slack.

"Oh. My. GAWWWWWWWWWWSH!!!! Sharon!!!" came a squeal from down the hallway.

I didn't even have to turn around to guess who it was. But I did anyway.

"Elisa!!!" I cheered back. We proceeded to jog towards each other Baywatch-style, cracking up before finally locking in a bear hug where we attempted to break each other's ribs.

"All right, all right," Elisa cried, "I give! Jeez, I was gone for a month and you can't even cut me some slack?"

"Hmph! You've just gotten weaker," I joked, beginning to guide her towards our locker farther down the hallway (and conveniently leaving Mitchell hanging).

"Well, I wouldn't be surprised! My mom had me on a diet the entire friggin' time! I felt like I was going to die after going candy-less for three days!" she whined.

I dug in my bag. "Speaking of which..." I muttered, presenting her with a box of Twizzlers.

She stared at my hand before locking eyes with me. "I love you." she whispered with joking passion.

"Just promise not to tell your Mom," I laughed as I tossed the box over to her.

As we dumped most of our stuff in our shared locker, she told me all about her trip in Canada. Apparently, she placed fourth in the competition (which I already knew, thank you Facebook) and at the celebration party some girl from New Jersey was being a total bitch to her, but then Bitch's brother ("I don't remember her name so let's just keep calling her Bitch") lectured her and sent her back to the hotel.

"Oooohh, I see. The brother you say?" I grinned, nudging her with my elbow.

Elisa smiled maliciously. "Ohhh yes, the brother."

I gasped. "Really? Details, please!"

"Name's Dan."



"Of course."

"Black hair."


"Blue eyes."



"It's not like you're dating him."

"Also a figure skater."

"So he's sexy."

"Her assistant coach."

"Really sexy. And responsible."



"I got a picture with him."

"No way."



"I got his number."

I stopped dead in my tracks towards first period. "No way." I gasped in disbelief.

If Elisa weren't my best friend, I would have punched that gloating smile right off her face.

"Yes way."

"Show me!!!"

She flipped out her phone, whenceupon her eyes widened as she muttered, "Shit."


"Two minutes til the bell rings."


"See you at Lunch!" she cried and she fumbled her way through the crowded hallways (which we didn't notice earlier, for some reason?) and I made mine to AP US History.

" 'Morning, Mr. Vang!" I greeted upon opening the door.

" 'Morning! Winter break mess up your sleeping schedule? You're cutting it close this morning, pretty rare for you," he roared. (Mr. Vang is deaf in his left ear, so he tends to speak really loudly).

"No, I just lost track of time catching up with Elisa."

"Oh, so she's back? That's great, it was getting pretty quiet in second period without her. Those kids probably had to study because she wasn't there to answer my questions in class for them!"

I laughed and started to make my way to my empty seat before noticing Mitchell sitting right next to it, like always. Thank God he hadn't noticed I entered the room.

"Hey, Mr. Vang, we changing seats for the New Year?"

He looked up to me from some papers on his desk, and laughed at my pleading face.

"Yeah, sure, why not."

O ye gods, I take back what I said earlier. Bless thee!
♠ ♠ ♠
Whew, that was a long chapter!
Okay, so the way Sharon treats Mitchell does make her sound like a bit of a bitch, but hopefully when more details are released, you'll forgive her!
Just to explain why it's not weird why Sharon calls Mitchell by his last name: most of his friends do. This is a phenomenon that I once noticed with an ex-classmate. His first name was hard to pronounce (clearly not the case for Mitchell) so we all called him "Weaver". Mitchell kinda reminds me of Weaver, so I thought I'd throw in that detail.