I started the Fiction Friday series last week. We’ll see how long I can keep it going. I already have ideas for the next several posts, and I’m hoping that in the future I will have more time to spend on these entries. I want to hone my skills and not feel like I’m rushing to get a post out. But I do think the deadline will be helpful in forcing me to keep writing.
I was aiming for a longer story this week, and I have a great idea for one, but I didn’t get to it this week. Life got in the way. Here’s a short but sweet little tale.
Lunch finally! Jessica is very much been looking forward to sitting alone and reading her book while she eats her lunch. It has been an exhausting morning. Starting a new school is difficult. The unknown location, the endless introducing herself to new people, the trying to project a positive aura, so the other students won’t judge her as harshly.
She woke up 2 hours early this morning and deliberated in front of her closet for 35 minutes before selecting the perfect outfit. She worked for 40 minutes on her makeup and hair. That process alone was taxing. Then she had to face the bus ride as a new high school junior in a sea of long time friends. It seemed to Jessica that no one ever left this town. How is she supposed to break in when everyone has known each other since kindergarten?
Some teenagers might fear the lunchroom in a new school. They might hide out in the library or eat their lunch in the bathroom. Jessica doesn’t mind. She has her favorite book to keep her company. Her beloved “friends” who she’s known since middle school will let her escape for half an hour. She needs the quiet of reading to recharge before facing her afternoon classes.
She makes her way through the lunch line, selecting a granola bar, an apple, and a carton of milk, all things she can eat or drink with only one hand. She finds an empty table in the corner of the lunch room, and she sits down. She pulls out her book, opens up to her favorite part, and begins reading.
Not two minutes later, someone approaches her table. Jessica groans inwardly. Why do people always assume that a person sitting alone and reading wants company? She’s isn’t reading out of boredom or loneliness. She actually wants to be alone with her book. But she’s trying to make a good impression, right?
She looks up kindly and smiles. Before she can even say anything, the boy says, “Don’t worry. We don’t have to talk. I just wondered if I can sit with you. I have my laptop, so we can be introverts together.”
Jessica’s smile widens. “Sure,” she says.
The boy sits down, pulls out his laptop, and begins working. They don’t even exchange names.