Chapter 2 - I Hate The Me Of Yesterday
Now, my memories were vague on how I spent my first day in high school the previous time.
Actually, scratch that. I had absolutely no memory at all of what happened the first time I went to school. How was I supposed to keep track of something that happened so long ago?
Luckily, the school seemed to predict that having a large number of recent middle-schoolers joining their school might have some students confused about what they were supposed to do. So their solution was to put up several flyers around the school giving instructions on where to go.
I took a quick look and found out I was supposed to go to a classroom, which was based on what our last name was, to pick up our class schedule.
Since my last name was Watson, I was grouped with everyone else with last names near the end of the alphabet. I groaned as I realized that my assigned classroom was on the opposite side of the school.
So yeah, I’m still getting used to this weird transition. But at least I’m not completely clueless anymore.
“Hey, Wren!” A voice suddenly called out to me. “Nice to see you again.”
I turned to look at who was speaking to me and stared at his face in confusion.
Shoot, what was his name again?
The guy just laughed. “C’mon, don’t be nervous. We’re finally in high school, you should be more excited.”
Looking up to his face, and it was at that moment that I realized I was a lot shorter now, it finally clicked in my mind who he was.
“Oh, yeah. I guess I was just getting used to things Dean.”
Dean was a friend of mine from middle school. Well, I say friend, but it’s more accurate to say lunch acquaintances who played card games together once in a while. I wasn’t particularly close to him, but we sat together at lunch with our mutual friends and had one or two classes together before in middle school.
So he wasn’t a stranger, but he definitely wasn’t somebody I would’ve remembered once I graduated from high school.
“Hmm, looks like you’re going to the Science buildings.” Dean was staring at the flyer taped to the wall. “But hey, I’m apparently going to the Maths buildings next door. How about we go together?”
“Sure,” I agreed. While I have forgotten most things, I vaguely recalled that Dean was a pretty nice guy. I wouldn’t mind too much if we walked together for a bit. “Lead the way.”
The two of us walked off and we talked to each other about what we did over our summer break. I, having no memory of what exactly I did during this time period, just told him what I did over my summer break from right before I went back to college, making sure to change the dates to match our current year.
“Still, it took me a while to recognize you. I don’t remember ever seeing you in those clothes.”
“What’s wrong with my clothes,” I asked him.
He gestured to my pants. “For one, I never saw you wear jeans in my life.”
My face scrunched up in confusion at his words. If I didn’t wear jeans, then what did I wear before now?
“And your shirt. It doesn’t have any weird logos on it, and actually looks pretty neat with that sweater.”
I looked down at what I was wearing, a nice unbuttoned cardigan over a white t-shirt. It was something I was used to wearing for the past year, but maybe it was strange for the me of this time to wear.
Actually, how was my fashion sense until now? I better look through my closet when I get home and see how bad it is.
“I guess I wanted to have a good high school debut.”
It’s not like I can tell him that my sense of fashion suddenly matured by about five years. Besides, I’m pretty sure that I’m still dressing normally for my age.
The two of us found ourselves before two buildings, and I realized this was where we were going to part.
Dean smiled. “Well, I guess I’ll see you at break.”
I paused at that.
Dean and I used to hang out during our breaks and lunches for the first few years of high school. But as time passed, I started to drift off from them due to various reasons. So I was sort of conflicted about whether or not I should take up his offer.
Then again, refusing would look weird. Maybe I’ll take a while to figure out my feelings.
We split ways, and I made my way to pick up my schedule.
The line was a bit long but was moving quickly. I found myself at the end and figured that it would only take about a minute for me to get my schedule.
A few seconds passed, and I felt somebody line up behind me. Taking a glance, I tilted my head in confusion.
The person behind me was a girl I knew by name and not much else. But since I knew her name, that caught my interest.
“Um, Maria.” I caught her attention, and she stared at me curiously. “This is the line for people with last names ‘u’ to ‘z’. You’re supposed to be at the English buildings.”
Maria Caldwell. I had her in my class a few times in the past, so I recognized her somewhat.
It took me a moment to realize that I might have made a mistake.
She blinked. “How did you know my name? Do I know you?”
I froze at that.
Coming up with an excuse, I replied back. “I saw you a couple of times around school and heard your name from a friend.”
By school, I meant my previous school. The excuse seemed reasonable since a lot of people knew each other names for similar reasons.
She seemed satisfied with the answer, and I sighed with relief. I wasn’t exactly sure if we were from the same middle school or not, and I was hoping that my excuse would make her forget my slip up.
She smiled at me. “Thanks for the help. I guess I should be going then.”
“Better hurry up,” I told her. “First period is going to start in a few minutes.”
“Okay.” She turned to leave but glanced back for a moment. “Bye then.”
“See ya,” I waved her off.
Did this happen the first time? I’m pretty sure I never talked to her this early before, but then again, I might have just forgotten meeting her.
But wow, how nostalgic. Seeing the people I recognized as their younger selves really dawned upon me that I was in the past. We were all freshmen, still untainted by the worries of adult life and grades and college submissions.
Maybe returning to the past wasn’t so bad after all. This actually might be a nice vacation for me.
“I hate me,” I mumbled into my desk. “ I hate myself sooooo much.”
The students around me were randomly picking a seat since we had no particular seating arrangement. A few of them were talking to their friends who they knew from their previous schools.
Meanwhile, I was having a mood in the corner while cursing my stupid past self in my head.
I had forgotten what classes I took in my first few years of high school. So once I got my schedule, I immediately cursed out loud, causing a few people to stare in shock at me.
Introduction to French.
I hated foreign language classes with a passion. I could never quite understand how to calibrate my mind to understand a completely new language.
Even worse, I knew that French would be absolutely useless to me for the next few years and most likely the rest of my life. Chinese or Spanish would have been more useful since quite a lot of my classmates spoke either language.
But I had to take freaking French. Why did I pick French the first time?!
Once I recalled that particular memory, I cursed even more.
Apparently, I picked French as my foreign languages class the first time because I heard that it was the language of love. Which I assumed at the time meant that a lot of girls would want to take that class. And naturally, my pubescent self wanted to be in a class full of cute girls.
Granted, my class does have quite a few beauties. But I wasn’t really in a mood to appreciate girls five years younger than me.
Knowing what I did now, I knew that the next two years were going to be torture for me. After all this time, my level of skill in the French language was limited to the two phrases Je m’appelle Wren and Où sont les toilettes[modern_footnote]Where is the restroom[/modern_footnote].
The second, I didn’t even learn from the class. I learned it from a French-themed café.
But I had one hour to suffer before this class was over, and luckily it was just to introduce the syllabus.
The teacher up front smiled and addressed the room. “Alright everyone, I want you all to take out your pencils and write down your names. I’ll pass you some construction paper, and I want you to make name cards so that I know what to call you for the rest of the year.”
I sighed and reached into my backpack to search for a pencil… and found nothing.
My eyes widened, and I wanted to slap myself. Because of the confusion of finding out that I returned to the past, I completely forgot to pack my school supplies.
Turning to my neighbor, I buried my embarrassment.
“Hey, sorry. Can you spare a pencil please?”
The girl, who I had no recollection of, glanced at me and slid a bright pink mechanical pencil over. I shrugged and accepted it because I didn’t mind the color pink and I was in no position to complain anyway.
“...no problem,” she mumbled.
I finished making my nametag and was about to pass it back to her.
She shook her head instead. “You can keep it. You might not be able to borrow from someone else later.”
I quirked my eyebrow at that. Usually, you didn’t give away mechanical pencils to others. At most, you gave them a regular pencil.
Still, I accepted her offer.
“Sure, that’ll help me last the day. I’ll find a way to return the favor later.”
She didn’t say anything, but I figured she was just the type of person who didn’t speak much.
But now, I got a cute pink mechanical pencil, and I still had five more classes after this. Hopefully, I haven't forgotten anything else important.