Amber- Thanks... Sorry about the first paragraph here!
When I walk in, two other student are already there. One of them is Dom Howley, the cute, dreamy boy I know from math class. His strawberry blond hair and soft blue eyes make him the dream of all girls who know him.
The other one is a girl with two red-brown braids, buck teeth, a freckly face, and thick black glasses. She loudly introduces herself.
"Hi! I'm Beezus. I'm really excited for this class, trying to broaden my horizons, y'know? Who're you?"
"Mia," I mutter. Poor Beezus. She seems like a nice girl. She'd probably be quite popular if it wasn't for her looks.
We sit there, waiting in awkward silence, until Jonas walks in. Ugh. Jonas.
He runs a hand through his long black hair and nods at us.
"'Sup, dudes. Here to take this nerd class?"
I stare in shock. Dom rolls his eyes.
"JJ, you're taking it too!"
"Yeah, well that's because my dad says I have to. Maybe you have the same reason. But McStinefart here..."
Beezus flushes a deep red and mumbles under her breath "It's Stinehart." This can't be happening. I've always known that Jonas was a jerk. But this? No way. I won't stand for it.
"Hey Jonas. We all know you aren't mature enough to appreciate this art. It's no secret, you don't have to be ashamed. But turning on Beezus isn't going to help you."
He snarls at me. "Don't talk about maturity! You're the one who chickened out at the school play last year!"
I shrivel up. Maybe he's right. I remember that day clearly.
I was so proud of myself for getting a part. But then the day of the play came... and I panicked. I just didn't show up. The next day, I told everyone I had a cold, but they all saw through me. I'm such a baby.
"Hey guys what did I miss!" Scarlet bursts into the room, startling me out of my thoughts.
"Nothing. Mrs. Paley isn't even here yet," Dom answers. Scarlet snorts.
"Of course. They freak out if we're a minute late, but then they all show up way after class starts. Which was five minutes ago!" But of course, as soon as she stops talking, Mrs. Paley walks in.
"So sorry, all of you. I was helping Joline. I really shouldn't be so late, but she just moved here, you know, and she doesn't even speak the languge... I'm rambling here. Let's get started."
I smile. Mrs. Paley's nice. She puts down the stack of notebooks she was carrying and we each reach for one.
I choose a teal one, with swirly silver letters stating "The darkest nights produce the brightest stars." I like it.
"Today, we'll do some freelance. In our future classes, we'll cover style, rhythm, things like that. For now, I just want to see what you've got. Before we start writing, does anyone want to share why they chose poetry?" Dom shyly raises his hand. "I was in car crash last year... watched my brother go through the windshield, straight into a tree. He was only ten. Didn't make it."
I bite my lip.
"That's a very hard thing for a kid to go through. I hope poetry helps ease the pain. Anyone else?"
Nobody has anything to say, so we start writing.
Hmm. I pick up my pen, then put it down. What if I'm horrible at this? Everyone will hate what I write!
As if she read my thoughts, Mrs. Paley speaks up.
"All of your poems remain priveat, unless you want to read them aloud."
Now what should I write about... I think of Mom. An image of her grave, surrounded by willow trees, comes to mind. It's kind of hard to miss someone you never knew.
And dad? Well. Dad's a different story. I lean back in my chair and think about my father.
Then I pick up my pen and let it flow.