A New Kind of Beginning Part 2

As I walk into the school, I notice the silence of the empty hallways. Confused as to where I’m supposed to be, I walk along the long narrow hallway in hope of finding someone or something to tell me where the office was. Walking along the hall, I become interested in the colorful, spirited school posters. Every poster includes a picture of this creature I think is lion (I’m not sure) , which I am guessing is the school mascot. They seem to take pride in the creature as if it’s apart of the family. The multitude of colors put me at ease as I continue the hunt.

Walking further into the school, I hear footsteps approaching and jump at the opportunity to seek help. Approaching the stranger, who seems to be a teacher, I open my mouth to speak but instead of hearing my voice, the words I hear are not mine.

“Where should you be? You realize first period began over ten minutes ago, right?”

Hearing the anger in the lady’s voice, I freeze. “I was trying to find the office,” I say, afraid to say more.

“Trying to find the office? You should already know where the office is,” The lady scowls.

“I- I- I’m n- new,” I say, now avoiding eye contact.

There’s an awkward silence and I’m almost sure she’s going to yell at me again, but as I look up I see her features have softened and a light smile has replaced her scowl. “I’m sorry, sweetie, I thought you were an old student here. What’s your name?”

“Marquesa, Marquesa Abandonata,” I answered, waiting to be yelled at again.

Silence filled the hall as she digested my name into her mind. I waited to see what type of fan (if she is) she would be. Every time I met a fan of my father’s they always seemed to fit into one of three categories. There’s the normal fans that just want to meet him or his autograph, the slightly odd fans  that carried one of his books everywhere they went, even if they wasn’t reading it, and then there was the psychotic- obsessive fans who would want to touch me because I’m his daughter.

“Follow me,” She said as she began to walk in the direction I came. “Abandonato. You wouldn’t happen to be related to the author who wrote Past Truths, would you?” She asked peeking at me from the corner of her eye.

Here it goes. “He’s my father,” I responded prepared to be annoyed.

“Wow, that’s impressive. I’ve read a few of his books. He’s quite famous. So what do you want to be famous for?”

I felt a beaming smile spread across my face. The last time someone, other than my father, asked me what I wanted to be, was in Kindergarten. Little did she know, this stranger just made my “life”.

Just as I opened my mouth to respond, a man with a round belly and big smile walked over to us.

“You must be Marquesa Abandonato. Welcome to our school, little lady. I’m Mr. Mills, your new principal,” He said holding his hand out for me to shake.

“Nice to meet you Mr. Mills,” I replied, shaking the man’s hand with a slight smile.

I watched as he turned from me to the lady next to me and smiled. “I can take it from here, Mrs. Mills.”

I looked from him to her and realized the two must have been married. Now that I thought about it, they are a pretty cute couple.

“Right this way, Ms. Abandonato,” He said as he began walking further into the office.

I did as I was told, following him into the first room down the hall. In the room, which I noticed was his office, there were multiple pictures in frames hanging on the walls and sitting on shelves. He gestured for me to sit in one of the two chairs sitting in front of a big mirror- topped cherry oak desk, which was also covered in pictures.

As I took a seat, I observed each and every photo. Some were Motivation pictures, some were of people with big smiles on their faces. There was a board leaning against the wall behind his desk that caught my eye. This board, like the walls and his desk, were covered in photos but of different young girls.

As I took a seat, I observed each and every photo. Some were Motivation pictures; some were of people with big smiles on their faces. There was a board leaning against the wall behind his desk that caught my eye. This board, like the walls and his desk, were covered in photos but of different young girls. These girls each looked close to my age. There was something about the photos that put me on an edge.

I looked back at Mr. Mills to find his eyes on me, companied by a crooked smile. I could feel beads of sweat developing on my neck. I managed to put on a tiny smile, hoping I didn’t look as afraid as I felt. I wanted so badly to ask about the photos, that now seemed tattooed on the inside of my brain, but I was scared of the answer.

I guess he noticed my eyes trained on the board because he turned and looked at it too.

“I see you’ve noticed my photos. Those are photos of former students I taught before I became a principal.”

Something about the explanation seemed rehearsed but I nodded anyway. Although it made sense, I couldn’t shake the images from head. The fact that they were only of females didn’t sit well with me either. Despite myself, I tried to put the thoughts out of my mind and focus.

He launched into this set rules, classes, and opportunities Balwyn High provided, while handing many papers and packets. As soon as two bells rang over the intercom he escorted me to my second period class.

The rest of the day was a blur as I rushed from class to class, trying to keep up with the other students. It often became confusing; the fact that it was so obvious I was the new girl in the crowd didn’t help. By the end I was exhausted and glad to be going home, but the thought of returning sent a fresh bundle chills through my body.

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