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“Remember to use this bus ride as an advantage to study. You’ve got final exams coming up.” Andrea says.
I resist the urge to roll my eyes, I know she wouldn’t like it if I did. “Mom, this is supposed to be like a break from that. Plus, I’m sure I won’t be able to concentrate on the bus anyways.”
“Well, if you can’t concentrate on the bus, you make time at the hotel to study, you hear me?”
I nod. I don’t want to do that, but I also don’t want to fail the exams and have her read me the riot act afterward.
She turns and gets into the car without hugging me or saying goodbye. After she drives away, I roll my eyes and climb onto the bus. Thanks to Andrea’s lecture, everyone’s already found their seats. Lorelai and Courtney were sitting next to each other, with Blake and Avery sitting together right in front of them, and there are no open seats behind them.
You’d think the student council would save a seat for their president.
“Sit down!” The bus driver shouts, making me jump.
“Sorry,” I murmur and tell myself that I was going to sit in the first seat I found empty.
Unfortunately for me, that seat just so happens to be right behind Logan Clark and his buddy Adam Ross.
Logan and I used to be best friends, way back from when we were about two-years-old all the way to the third-grade. Once we were in third-grade, he suddenly hated me – started hanging out with Adam Ross and Lucas Kavinsky and no longer had room for me. I didn’t mind, though. I didn’t need a friend who’d throw sand at me during recess for literally no reason – and besides, I found that I made much better company than the other kids would’ve offered me. And now at fourteen and nearing the end of eighth grade, I had officially decided he was my enemy. Plus, there was that whole picture incident from seventh-grade, but that’s a story for another day.
I sigh heavily and take my seat behind Logan and Adam, sprawling my bag out next to me, and pull my math book out.
I have to ace this test.
Al Capone Does My Shirts is super interesting and I’m right at the scene where Moose’s family is going to find out if his sister got accepted into that special school, but unfortunately, for me, it also means that I'm not exactly looking where I was going.
I’m walking just fine, already headed towards my seat in the back. Then, I feel my foot collide with Bryce Vander Waal’s leg. My book goes flying, my bags go flying, my glasses go flying, I go flying. I land on the nasty bus-floor and everyone bursts out laughing, thinking this was absolutely hilarious.
The only two not laughing are Molly Pearson and Allison Gardner, but I can see Allison trying to hold her laughter back. Although, for all I know, Allison is trying not to crack-up over something completely random.
My face burns as I start to pick myself and my stuff up from the floor. Great. My book landed in gum. At least my glasses didn’t break.
“Watch out there, Midnight,” Bryce hisses at me.
My face burns hotter at that comment and I just keep my head down walking straight to the back.
It’s no wonder that Bryce was Coach Vander Waal’s son. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I think.
The bus is really crowded. I usually hate the bus rides on field trips, and this was no exception. No one sat next to me – not a shocker there – and I’m happy about that. That means I don’t have to interact with anyone for the three-hour bus trip.
I do my best to tune it out, though. I concentrate on the stuff outside my window and whisper quietly to myself. I used to flat-out talk out-loud to myself in public places like this, but my parents told me to stop that. They asked how someone like me who doesn’t like being the center of attention would want to draw it to myself like that. I shrugged because I didn’t know why either.
My therapist said that it was okay if it helped to calm down, I should just try to do it in a low voice.
I want to listen to music, but I know if I did, I’d bust out singing Sincerely Me and I don’t want to do that.
I check my phone. Two-and-a-half hours to go until we arrive in L.A. This is going to be a long trip.