Monday, September 7, Labor Day, 10 p.m., the loft
Another school year. I know I should be excited. I know I should be thrilled at the prospect of seeing my friends again after having been on foreign soil for the past two months.
And I am. I am excited. I’m excited to see Tina and Shameeka and Ling Su and even—I can’t believe I’m saying this—Boris.
It’s just…well, it’s going to be so DIFFERENT this year, with no Michael to pick up on the way to school and sit with at lunch and have drop by before Algebra—ACK! No Algebra this year, either! Geometry! Oh, God. Well, I’ll just think about that one later. Although Mr. Gianini (FRANK. MUST REMEMBER TO CALL HIM FRANK.) says people who do badly in Algebra always do really well in Geometry. Please, please let that be true.
And okay, it’s not like Michael and I ever used to make out in front of my locker or anything, what with his lack of enthusiasm about PDA and my bodyguard and all.
But at least—because there was always a chance I could run into Michael in the hallway at any moment—I had something to look forward to at school.
And now, because Michael has graduated, there’s nothing to look forward to. Nothing.
Except for the weekends.
But how much time is Michael even going to have to spend with me on weekends? Because he’s in college now, and he has so much homework already there’s no way we can see each other on weeknights—not that, between princess obligations and my OWN homework, that was ever going to happen anyway. But still. It’s like—
God, what is WRONG with my mother? Rocky was just crying there for, like, FIFTEEN MINUTES while she did absolutely NOTHING. I went out into the living room and there she was with Mr. G, just sitting there watching Law and Order, and I was all, “Hello, your son is calling you,” and Mom, without even looking up from the TV, was like, “He’s just fussing. He’ll settle down and go to sleep in a minute.”
What kind of maternal compassion is THAT? Lilly can call me a baby-licker all she wants, but is it really any wonder I’m as maladjusted as I am if this is an example of how my mother treated me as a baby?
So then I went into Rocky’s bright yellow room and sang one of his favorite songs—“Behind Every Good Woman” by Tracy Bonham—and he calmed right down.
But did anyone thank me? No! I walked out of his room and my mom actually looked at me (only because there was a commercial) and went, very sarcastically, “Thanks, Mia. We’re trying to get him to understand that when we put him down for the night, he’s supposed to go to sleep. Now he’s going to think all he has to do is cry and someone is going to come in there and sing a song to him. I just got him over that while you were in Genovia this summer, and now we’re going to have to start all over again.”
Well, EXCUSE ME! I may be a baby-licker, but is it really such a crime to have a little compassion for my only sibling? JEESH!
Let’s see, where was I?
Oh, yeah. School. Without Michael.
Seriously, what is even the point? I mean, yeah, I know we’re supposed to be going to school to learn stuff and all of that. But learning stuff was so much more fun when there was a chance of spotting Michael by the water fountain or whatever. And now I fully have nothing like that to look forward to until Saturday and Sunday. I’m not saying that life without Michael isn’t worth living, or whatever. But I will say that when he’s around—or even when there’s just a chance that he MIGHT be around—EVERYTHING is a lot more interesting.
The only bright spot in what appears to be a school year otherwise completely devoid of them is English. Because it looks as if our teacher, Ms. Martinez, might actually be enthusiastic about the subject. At least if this note she sent around to all of us last month is any indication:
A letter to all members of Ms. Martinez’s tenth grade English class:
I hope you don’t mind receiving a note from me before the new school year even starts, but as the newest teacher on the AEHS staff, I just wanted to introduce myself, as well as get to know all of you.
My name is Karen Martinez, and I graduated with a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Yale this spring. My hobbies include Rollerblading, tae bo, visiting the many wonderful sights of New York City, and reading (of course!) literary classics such as Pride and Prejudice.
I hope to get to know each and every one of you this year, and to aid me in doing so, I’m asking each of my students to come to our first class period prepared with a short biography as well as an expository writing sample (no longer than 500 words) on what you learned during your summer vacation. As you know, life’s lessons don’t stop during the summer months just because school is not in session!
I’m sorry to be assigning homework before classes even begin, but I assure you that this will aid me in helping you to become the best writer you can be!
Thanks very much, and enjoy the rest of your summer!
Clearly Ms. Martinez is extremely dedicated to her job. It’s about time AEHS finally got some teachers who actually care about their students—Mr. G excepted, of course.
Frank, I mean.
I am especially excited because Ms. Martinez is the new advisor to the school paper, on which I am a staff member. I really feel, judging by how much Ms. Martinez and I have in common—I really liked Pride and Prejudice, especially the version with Colin Firth—and I tried rollerblading once—that I’m going to benefit greatly from her teachings. I mean, being an aspiring author and all, it’s very important that my talent is appropriately molded, and I already feel confident that Ms. Martinez is going to be the Mr. Miyagi to my Karate Kid—writing-wise. Not, you know, karate-wise.