Impressions – Hallie Zenga-Josephson

I walked through the unfamiliar double doors of the old brick building. I bumped into a few kids running around throwing paper airplanes as I tried to make my way through all the loud teens talking or frantically scribbling down their homework. I finally got to the main office. Remembering the map of the school I studied last night, I took two lefts, one right and arrived. hesitantly I shuffled through the glass door and spoke quietly.

“Hello, My name is Logan Ryan. This is my first day and I was wondering if you had my schedule?”

The receptionist shuffled through the file cabinet as she responded, “Uh yes. Your file is right here with your schedule in it. Oh, it says you have switched schools five times in the last five years.”

“Yes, I have,” I whispered bashfully.

“Do you mind me asking why?”

Here it goes again, I almost had the same explanation memorized, “Well my dad works in the army and he has to keep relocating so I always have to  move with him.”

“It’s just you that has to move with him?” She leaned in closer.

Now I could tell this woman liked to gossip, “Yes, he is divorced and I have no siblings, but um shouldn’t I be getting to my class?” I said just as the bell rang.

“Oh yes! I’m sorry!” She frantically responded, “Here is your schedule, the first number in the room number is the floor and I have assigned someone in your first period class to show you around today at the beginning of first period. Her name is Alexis Waters. Do you know her?”

“No, um never heard of her,” I replied.

“Ok, well she’s expecting you, I will call her down right after the morning announcements. Why don’t you sit right there and she will be down in a few minutes.”

“Ok, I’m going to run to the bathroom, where is it?”

“Straight down the hall to your right.”

I walked the empty hall and made my way to the bathroom. I opened the door hoping for it to be empty. Luckily no one was there. I stared at my reflection. My blond straight hair fell down to my elbows. My blue green eyes, my freckles. I hoped they could all disappear. I hoped I could disappear. My hands started shaking. I needed to make a good first impression on her. I needed friends at this school. Alexis Waters, the name sounded friendly. I splashed some water on my face and hoped the cold water would clear my mind. I took a deep breath and walked back to the office. I traveled with my head down so I didn’t even notice her and instead almost walked straight into her.

“Hi!” She said, “I’m Alexis Waters, but my friends call me Lex. I’ll be showing you around!.”

Hi, I’m Logan Ryan!” I prayed she would be actually nice.

“Ok well let’s go. We will start on the first floor.”

All throughout the tour all I could think about was how different she was from all the other friends I had at my other schools. Whenever we passed by someone, she always knew them and waved.

“Oh, hey, Katie! Love your shirt, is it new?” she shouted to a girl walking by.

“Yeah, thanks Lex,” she smiled.

I had always wanted to be popular like Lex and have a bunch of friends, but every school was the same thing. I would get a lame tour guide, I wouldn’t have anywhere to sit at lunch so I would end up sitting with people that sat alone. I always tried to get in with popular girls and do what they do, but their group was always so big and I always got so nervous and said the wrong thing. This time it would be different, I would finally get what I wanted.

“Well that’s the end of the tour,” she said right as the bell rang.

“Thanks. See you tomorrow!”

“Wait, do you want to sit with me and my friends at lunch?”

My heart jumped but I tried not to sound too excited. “Yeah, that would be great, thanks!”

I made my way to my 2nd period beaming. This was finally happening!

*******

I walked into the crowded lunchroom and looked around to see if I could see Lex and her friends. I saw them sitting in the best spot in the lunchroom, in the corner, with a window on each wall. I walked over, my hands shaking and waved to Lex when she looked up. She scooted over on the bench to make room for me. I sat down and looked around to see what people were eating for lunch. Most people were drinking green smoothies. They looked disgusting.

¨Hi, I’m Logan, this is my first day.¨

I heard various Heys and Hellos from her friends. They were all so pretty with their long straight hair and perfectly done makeup.

Lex asked, “Do you have anything for lunch, Logan? I wish Jess had known you would be here for lunch even when I told her,¨ she glared at Jessica, “Or she would have gotten you one.” She turned to smile at me

¨No, I don’t have anything, but it’s fine,” I lied.

“Britt is done with her smoothie and can give you the rest of hers,” she gave Britt a look.

Britt sighed but gave me a fake smile, “Sure, I’m full.” She handed over the gross looking smoothie and I tried a sip. It was worse than I thought it would be.
Lex started the conversation about what they were doing after school, “Let’s do something fun, like go to the mall!” I stifled a groan, I hated the mall. Everyone at the table perked up and started talking about how they loved the mall.

“Brooke, you drive. You have the biggest car.”

“Um, I think my brother has the car today.”

“Well, you can make it work,” she told Brooke, “Logan, you love the mall right?”

I hesitated, “I… um yeah, I love the mall.” ugh I hated saying that, but I everyone else seemed to. I wanted to make new friends. “Also, Brooke, if you can’t drive, I can probably drive us, my dad is never home and we have two cars.”

“Oh my gosh, really!” shrieked Lex, “Should we all come over to your house and you can drive us from there? I’d love to see your house! What’s your address!”

“Uh, yeah sure, come over at 3:30?”

*******

Later that afternoon I walked into my big, empty house and headed over to the counter to grab the dog food.

“Oliver! Come here boy! Are you hungry?” I shouted to my energetic Boston Terrier. He ran over and started jumping on me while I poured his food in the bowl. I walked up to my room and flopped down on my bed and grabbed my phone from my pocket. I had one unread message from Liz.


From: Liz

Hey Logan! How was ur first day??!! Did u make any friends? U haven’t missed anything back home, just me falling down the stairs today… it was sooooo embarrassing. Tell me everything that happened with u!!


From: Logan

Hey Liz!!!! I miss u sooooooo much too! Classic u falling down the stairs… 🙂 It’s been good, I met some nice girls so far and we ate lunch together. They invited me to go to the mall so im driving them there in 40 mins


From: Liz

That’s good that u met friends, but dont u hate the mall?? Also doesn’t anyone else have a car? You’re the new girl. Why do they make you drive?


From: Logan

I mean yeah but they r really cool and it may be fun!! And no one else seemed to have one. They said they wanted to see my house as well.


From: Liz

I cant stop u from going but just be careful that they r rlly nice and not just using you for your car or house. I’ve heard about girls like these, they will just use the new girl with a car and a house with a pool.


From: Logan

You don’t know what you are talking about. It’s fine, they are nice to me. I have to go get ready, ttyl.


I turned shut my phone, put it back in my pocket and walked over to my mirror. These girls are perfectly nice. I stared at my outfit, a pink flowery top and jean shorts. I contemplated changing outfits for the mall, but I loved the outfit I had on. I had picked it out a week ago. I grabbed a wristlet with money and went downstairs to get a snack before the girls came over in a half an hour.

I was greeted by my hyper pup when got downstairs and walked over to the kitchen cabinet. I grabbed a bowl of dry Honey Nut Cheerios and sat down at my kitchen table. I looked outside to my beautiful green backyard. I looked out to the pool and our little flower garden. I am so lucky to have a house with a pool. Since I started the school year late, it was almost summer time and I couldn’t wait to have a pool party. I would invite Lex and all of her friends.

My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of my door bell ringing. I put my bowl in the sink and ran over to the door. I opened the door to six smiling girls.

“Hey Logan! Can we come in?” Lex asked.

“Sure, come in,” I said.

“So, Logan, this is Brooke,” she pointed to a tan girl with dirty blond braids, “This is Addison,” a tall girl with a lot of makeup, “Emily, but we call her Em,” a shorter girl with long brunette hair, “Jade,” the tallest girl with jet black hair in a bun, “And last but not least, Britt,” a pretty girl with ocean blue eyes.

“Awesome! I’m Logan. Weren’t there more of you at lunchtime?” I wondered.

“Yeah, but we don’t really like them, they just sit with us.” Wow. these girls are harsh.

“Well, can we see the house?” Britt asked.

“Oh yeah, sure. So we are standing in the hallway to the kitchen, to the right is the living room and the left is the mudroom,” I showed them to each room, “Here is the dining room, and the last room on this floor, the kitchen.”

“Woah, this is so big!” Em exclaimed. The others nodded in agreement.

I had never really thought of my house as THAT big, but the kitchen was the biggest room in the house with the island, big windows, a small attached room for the kitchen table and french doors that led to the patio.

“You’re so lucky! And I’ve only seen one floor!” And they haven’t seen the pool yet. We made our way to back the mudroom to go up the stairs when they saw Oliver.

“Logan, you didn’t tell me you had a dog!” Lex said and knelt down to pet him.

“I guess it never came up.” We walked up to the second floor and I showed them to the empty bedrooms occupied by boxed and finally to my room.

“Wow, Logan, I love your room!” Brooke told me.

“Thanks!” My room was my favorite room in the house. It had cool alcoves and big windows that look out to the pool.

“You have a POOL!!” Jade shouted. Some other girls gasped.

“Ok, Logan, we are having an end of year pool party here!” Lex says excitedly, “No one else has a pool!”

My dad would kill me if I had a pool party with a ton of people and made a mess. “Um sure, I guess?” I need these girls to like me.

“Should we get going to the mall?” I wondered.

“You’re not changing?” Lex asked me.

I like my outfit. “Oh yeah, I forgot.”

Em started looking in my closet and pulled out a new shirt and skirt for me. “Here you go, this is cute.”
“Ok, I’ll meet you downstairs,” I looked at the outfit. I hated that shirt and tried to hide it in the back of my closet. I put it on anyway, grabbed my keys and headed downstairs.

“Ok! Let’s go.” I led them out to the white Range Rover.

“I love your car! You’re so lucky you have one! You have to drive us everywhere,” said Brooke. I nodded. It costs so much for gas. We all piled into the car and drove over to the mall.

We walked into the big mall and Lex immediately started walking towards Sephora. I had hoped it wasn’t really Sephora and they were walking to Yankee Candle next door. As we got closer my strides got shorter as I realized the store we were going in. No no no, not Sephora. I didn’t mind a small amount of makeup, like mascara and blush, but the people who worked there wore ten pounds of makeup. They always try to push you to spend $500 for three things that did the same thing.

We finally got to the dreaded store. The girls were looking around, smiling and tried on every product. I just stayed near the mascara for ten minutes. Finally Addison came over to the mascara aisle with a ton of makeup in her hand.

“Logan, you haven’t picked out anything?!”

“No, I’m not into make up that much,” I whispered.

“I am going to find you the best products, I know them all!” she proceeded to pull me around store and pick out everything from an eyeshadow palette to contour brushes.

Then her eyes lit up, “OMG! You should get a makeover from one of the technicians. They will use all the products you are going to buy. I’ll set one up right now,” she squealed.

“I don’t know Addison. I don’t think I need a makeover.” I hoped all the spots would be full. She wasn’t even listening to what I was saying and had already started talking to a technician.

“Great! There is one coming off her break right now! She will be with you soon. I can’t wait!” She sat down in a chair next to mine. Just to my luck the lady came right over to my chair. Addison and she talked about what makeover I was getting and she got right to work. She began opening up all my products before I could even stop her and started putting stuff on my face. Addison obviously wanted me to get a makeover so I just went with it.

When the woman was done I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked the same, just more like the girls I was hanging out with. Addison squealed, she was excited with the result. We thanked the woman and she pulled me over to everyone else. They all complimented my look and I hesitantly walked over to the cash register. I put all my things up on the counter while she scanned them.

“That will be $130.44, cash or credit?”

“Um, credit,” I pulled out my dad’s credit card. Hopefully he won’t mind. I doubted the words as I said them.

We walked around to the various stores that they wanted to go to. I refused to buy anything. The makeup I got was as much as buying all my back to school clothes. When we finally finished and I drove them all home I noticed that they all had moderately big houses, and Lex had the biggest, but none were as big as mine.

I walked into my house expecting it to be empty, but I heard some shuffling of paper and realized my dad was home.

“Dad? Hi! Why are you home?” I started sweating.

“I’m sick. Why did you spend $130 today at Sephora? Did my card get hacked?”

My stomach dropped. “Uh, I made some new friends today, we went to the mall. We bought some makeup.”

“$130 worth? I know I don’t know much about that category but that is too much for me to be spending for you. I am going to have to have you pay for it, or at least half,” his voice raised.

“But, Dad!” I pleaded.

“No buts! Logan, this is a waste of money that I am not willing to invest in. I expect the money by this weekend,” he said sternly.

“FINE! Ugh, this is so annoying,” I muttered.

“Don’t back talk me! Keep it up and I’ll ground you! I was going to, but I gave you a break for it being your first day of school.”

“Fine.” My stomach felt queasy. I hated getting in arguments. I wanted to tell him the truth why I bought the makeup. I didn’t even want the makeup in the first place; I just wanted to be popular.

I walked up to my room and fell on my bed. My phone buzzed in my back pocket. I grabbed it out and checked my messages. I was put in a group chat with Lex and all of her friends.


From: Lex

Hey guyssss. Fun mall trip! So I was thinking, we should have an end of the year pool party!!! We have about 2 weeks to plan it so I think we have more than enough time. What do u think Logan??!!!


From: Jade

OMG YES!!! Plzzzzz Logan!!


From: Logan

Ill see but probs? Sounds fun.


From: Brooke

Ok we r planning at lunch tomorrow. This is happening.


From: Britt

YAY


From: Em

I havent been this excited for summer in soooo long.


From: Addison

SAMEEEE


Well, that settles it. Guess I’m having a pool party behind my dad’s back.

*******

I walked into the starting-to-get-familiar double doors and I saw Lex and her friends over by some lockers, talking.

“Hey, guys, what’s up?”

“So we were thinking, what if we had a pool party at your house next Friday? It’s the last day of school.”

“It will be so awesome!” Jade piped in.

“I’ll think about it, but it can’t be a big thing.”

“Yeah, yeah, super small. Just us and a few friends,” Lex said.

Dad will be so mad if he finds out. I don’t know if I can risk it. “Ok, sure!” I smiled. My stomach started turning; I knew this was the wrong decision.

“Cool! We will make a group chat with everyone that we are inviting,” Lex said just as the bell rang.

*******

I was greeted by my cheerful Boston Terrier as I walked into the house. Lucky Dad wasn’t home so I didn’t have to talk to him about my day. I was bad at hiding the truth. My phone started buzzing right as I was pouring food for Oliver.

From: Lex

Hey everyone! We r having a last day of school pool party at Logans house from 5:30 to whenever people leave. Spread the word and bring food and drinks!

Oh no. This was supposed to be a small party. Before  I could text Lex separately to tell her it should be small all the texts started pouring in. There must have been 30 people already that I didn’t know in the group chat.

From: Unknown Number

OMG sounds like fun thanks Lex! See u then.

From: Unknown Number

Cool! My brother has an ID so I could bring some drinks.

From: Logan

Guys plz no alcohol and lets keep it small!

I hoped that would help the situation. I put my phone down on the table and tried to forget about it.

“Hey Logan, I’m not feeling well again.”

“Aww, Dad what happened?” I ran over to him.

“Just a bad cold, but I need to rest.”

“I’ll let you be, I need to go do some homework anyway.” I walked up to my room, grabbed my binders and got to work. Thirty minutes later I heard Dad yelling.

“Logan, come down here!” He doesn’t sound happy. I couldn’t think about anything bad I had done today. I remembered to feed the dog, lock the door and I am doing homework.

“Yes, Dad?” I tried to sound my sweetest as I turned the corner to the kitchen. I found him with my phone in his hand, and all the texts that poured in on my home screen.

“What is this I hear about a pool party at our house…with alcohol?” He crossed his arms.

“Um, uh…” I couldn’t lie; it was obvious that that was the truth. “It was my friend’s idea, it was supposed to be a small thing. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you right when you got home.”

“Tell me? You should have asked me!”

“I’m sorry, Dad, I’ll cancel the party right now.”

“Not only that, but you’re grounded for sneaking around behind my back!”

“Grounded? For how long?” I whined.

“Until you leave for sleepaway in August.”

“August? That’s a whole month! And I can’t even use my phone at camp!”

“That’s the point. No talking or hanging out with those girls until then either. They are bad influences. First the makeup, then this. I will give you your phone back only to tell everyone it is canceled.”

I knew I couldn’t argue with him. “Fine.”

I walked up to my room and fell onto my bed. I couldn’t concentrate on my Romeo and Juliet character development worksheet. I checked the group message. What am I going to say.


From: Logan

Hey Liz, you were right. Im sorry I didnt listen to u. Those girls arent good for me. My dad once told me that you need to be what you want to be and not what others want you to be. I should start living by that motto.

I miss you.


From: Liz

Hey Logan! Miss u. That sucks. Im not going to say I told u so but I told u so. If they dont understand then thats their problem. Life is more than being liked and impressing people. Dont worry about what people think of you. I am ur best friend and I like u for u. Not if you wear the same makeup I do or have a nice house. Next time you move the only thing you need to worry about is who u want to be and not what others want u to be.


From: Logan

Thx Liz, I needed that. I think I know what Im going to do.


 

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