I’m in the final edit of Pages in the Wind. One of my favorite sections is the high school experience. Emily is the “new girl” and struggles through the clichés and isolation of starting school mid-year. This passage depicts her first day, and the dreaded “lunch time.”
The lunch bell rang, a welcome siren to escape the humdrum numerical facts and figures on the blackboard. As the lunch bell echoed in the hallway, the kids scurried out the door like tiny mice to a big chunk of cheese. I scoffed knowing that my cheese was positioned in a mousetrap. I already felt trapped remembering the high school cafeteria in New York with the kids running with their food trays to the long tables in search of their friends. I’ve been through this drill before, trying to find a place to sit without someone telling me that the seat is “saved” for one of their friends. I sighed knowing that I haven’t had time to find my “one friend.” There is always another person like me that needs a one-friend to sit with — one person to make you feel less awkward and divert you from the sad fact that you are in a sea of sharks and you can’t swim.
Emily’s struggles continue, helped along by an unexpected friend – a boy that is bullied by most of his classmates. I wonder how many people can relate to Emily – I would love to know.