I wish to express my appreciation to my husband, Craig, for encouraging me to take on this venture. Thank you Dru, Arthur, Sage, and Cora; you inspire me on a daily basis. I dedicate this book to those people who touch our lives and then move on, but leave us with memories, life lessons, and love.
First -Day Jitters
The first thing that struck me as odd that first day at Turnville School was crossing the campus in the morning among much younger children. I had gotten used to being on a junior high school campus, so to have first and second graders passing me in the hallway felt weird. Plus it made me feel so much younger. Any independence that I thought I’d found was snatched away from me. I wouldn’t be shuffling between six classes anymore either; there were only two eighth-grade classes at Turnville School.
I found my classroom and glanced around the room as I entered. A few kids were seated and chatting with each other. I walked up the second aisle toward an empty desk. My eyes gravitated to a boy in the fourth seat. He looked younger than the other kids in the class—shorter, with a small frame, a thin face, and pasty white skin. It crossed my mind that perhaps he was ill or something.
As I passed the boy, I looked directly into his eyes. They were a soft, warm green. His disheveled hair was a deep brown. He returned my stare with a look of disbelief. As I plopped myself into the seat behind him, I felt embarrassed for having stared so impolitely. He swiveled completely around in his seat, throwing his arm over the back of his chair in an easy manner. With a relaxed smile he said, “Hi.”