Lifesaving 101, Chapter One
I thought I had a study hall fourth period. I walked into the room with my books, and sat down next to a guy who I recognized from my first and second period classes. Glad to see a familiar face, I looked around to see if I recognized anyone else. But there was nobody else who was familiar, and it was a very small class for a study hall. The bell rang, and the door opened, revealing a teacher whose no-nonsense air was shattered only by his sparkling brown eyes and the earphone dangling out of his pocket.
The teacher walked up to the board, grabbed the chalk, and in an elegant scrawl, wrote "Lifesaving 101".
"Welcome," he said. "My name is Mr. Warren. I'm your teacher. All of you will learn the art of saving a life during the duration of your time in this class. Now, all of you have files, but before I pass those out, any questions?"
I raised my hand. "Isn't this supposed to be study hall?"
"That, my dear Miss Stillwall, would depend on your opinion of fate." He turned to the rest of the class. "Anyone else? No? Alright then. I'll be passing out your files, feel free to look through them..."
I was suddenly aware of two things. One, this was most certainly not study hall. And two, my opinion of fate was about to be radically changed.
After a bit, Mr. Warren reached my desk. "Miss Stillwall, I've heard about your potential. If it's not too much trouble, you'll be getting one of our more difficult cases." He whispered, placing a manila folder on my desk with a wink.
Potential? What potential? I was an average student with an average life. The only unaverage thing about me was my stunning lack of friends. But I flipped through the folder anyway. There wasn't much information, just a name, a grade, a photograph, and a list of interests. My "case" was a guy named Colin Moss, in my grade. He looked familiar, so I must have had a class with him. He was interested in some of the things I was, music, television shows, even the same favorite color. I wrote it off as an odd coincidence, and looked up towards the board, where Mr. Warren was waiting.
"First things first. This is a challenging class. Only the best and brightest were allowed in. Secondly, nobody here knows what they're doing all the time. If you know anybody who does, tell me so they can teach the class. But most importantly of all, never give up. Do you understand? This is important. If you give up, you fail the class. And if you fail this class, you have to live with that for the rest of your life. No pressure, or anything."
I decided I didn't want to fail this class.
"Alright. So lesson number one. Get to know the person. You can't properly save someone's life if you don't know them well. Actually, I suppose you could, but for the sake of the textbook, get to know them."
Textbook? I looked under my desk and found a sturdy, hardcover book sitting there. I was positive it hadn't been there before. I picked it up, and flipped through it.
"Ah, Miss Stillwall, if you could refrain from skipping ahead. That's one of the other rules I forgot to mention. Skip ahead, and you're practically on your way to failing the class." I quickly shut the book.
He looked at the clock. "We're almost out of time. Shortened schedule, you know, because of the assembly. Your homework assignment is to at least talk to your person. If possible, start to become friends with them. It's ten points! And I'll know if you're making things up."
I sighed. This was going to be one long year.
I didn't want to test my fate, so I set out to find Colin Moss. He wasn't in my fifth period class, but he was, however, in my sixth period lunch. Right in front of me in the lunch line, actually.
"Hey," I said, trying to appear nonchalant and not at all nervous. "I'm Amelia Stillwall."
Still nothing. Well, this was going wonderfully.
"I think we have third period together."
Colin was quiet for a bit, but finally he spoke. "Second, actually."
"So, um, I don't really have anywhere to sit...is it alright if I sit with you? Y'know, because I don't really want to be that one kid who sits on her own, but if you don't want me to, that's fine to, I mean..." Clearly, I was excellent at talking to people.
"Yeah," he said, rescuing me from my own awkwardness. "Yeah, that's fine."
We continued through the line in silence. If this was the potential Mr. Warren was talking about, he was clearly mistaken. This Colin kid probably hated me. But I couldn't give up. For whatever reason, Colin needed my help. So I followed him over to a table, where we sat.
"So, you're Colin, right?"
He nodded. "We have Morris's class together."
"What did you think of her class?"
"It seemed pretty interesting. She's a pretty funny teacher, at least, that's my impression."
"Yeah, she did seem pretty cool. What's the rest of your schedule like?" I hoped that didn't sound as weird as I thought it did.
He took out his schedule, and we compared. We had the last three periods together. More time to get to know this kid. He seemed pretty nice, so I didn't mind. Distant, but nice.
The lunch bell rang, and we walked to our lockers together. As our lockers were on opposite ends of the hall, we said goodbye at the stairs. When I got to my locker, I had to remind myself not to get overly attached to this Colin Moss guy. This was just for school, so I wouldn't suffer whatever consequences there were from failing the class. I bit my lip. I wouldn't get attached to Colin Moss.
I refused to make the mistake of getting attached to anyone again.