Hey, I'm back. Chapter six is finally here, at last. *does a drum roll on my desk* Okay, thats enough of that. XD Anyways, this chapter surrounds Tauriel's experience with Ava's school, and we might get to get a little insight on Tauriel's part.
Hope you all enjoy this, and chapter seven will be on its way. ^_^
The weekend passed by with no cause for alarm. Sunday was most uneventful. Ava spent most of midmorning finishing homework for two other classes. Ava tells me she hasn't decided what she wants to be yet, but she's sure she wants a career in literature. I think it's a great plan. She loves books more than anyone I know, granted, Ava is the only person I know, aside from Janie, but I know she loves literature, writing and creativity. She also wants to take an art class. Her art skills are just how I suspected: not professional, but not amateurish either. She's in that gap between the two.
We spent all of Sunday evening coming up with a solution. She obviously wants Janie to have me join her and Ava at their school. It's Monday morning, and there's very little time before Ava needs to leave for school. Breakfast is spent in moderate conversation. The family talks about their day to come. By the time Ava finishes eating, she goes up to her room to fetch her backpack. She takes out the earring box and takes my bone out. I look at her in anticipation. Ava studies it. She goes to her vanity. Opening the drawer, she takes out a long piece of black ribbon.
She ties the ribbon around my bone, then ties the other ends to her neck. The bone hangs over her chest. I see that it's a necklace. Clever idea.
"Ava!," calls Mrs. Morgan. "The bus will be here any minute!"
"Coming!," shouts Ava in response. She turns to me. "I hope this works." She hides the necklace in her shirt and walks out the door with her backpack. Surprisingly, I follow her. Let's just hope this does works.
We're out the door in minutes. I follow Ava down the street, where I see three more girls her age going. I don't see Janie anywhere.
"The bus stop's just up the the street," whispers Ava. She must not want those other girls to think she's talking to herself. I wouldn't want anyone to think I was talking to myself either.
I see groups of teenagers gathering toward the spot I think is the bus stop. It's at the edge of the street, or of the neighborhood. I can see others standing around, waiting. This must be it.
It's a good thing they can't see me, or they might have run for their lives. At the very least I'd have a better chance at being seen by another than I do at recovering my memories.
"Ava!," called a voice. We both turn around and see Janie running up to us. She's got a pink backpack and everything.
"Hey," says Ava, hugging her.
They sidle a little further away from the crowd, as to not be overheard.
"So?," she whispers.
Ava knows what she means, so she pulls out her makeshift necklace. Janie's eyes widen.
"Whoa." She's too exhilarated to say anything else. Aside from that I see a yellow bus pull in from the opposite direction. It's definitely time for school.
The crowd of students file into the bus and I go in with Ava and Janie. None of these kids can see or hear me. How will it look to have a ghost hovering in their school bus? Ava and Janie are seated three seats from the door to the right. On the left, there's two boys: one blonde and one redhead. The rest of the bus is filled to capacity. At least it's not too crowded.
The bus doesn't make any more stops, so this must be it. The driver is unaware of my presence as he drives along the road. Chatter fills the vehicle, voices talking on top of each other. Ava and Janie don't say much, but I guess they do talk when they don't stowaway a ghost. It's a good thing there's no one else sitting behind us. I guess these kids like their space, but it's not so bad. I like it this way.
Fifteen minutes later the school comes into view. A sign says Herndon High School in reddish brown letters. There are four more school buses lined up. Students file out of the bus. I just hope this goes over quickly.
"Ready?," whispers Janie. I don't think she's saying it to Ava.
"Yeah," says Ava, "unless you mean Tauriel."
"Of course I meant Tauriel," rasps Janie.
In ten minutes top, we're already getting off the bus. Those other four buses we're really in a hurry to leave. I follow Ava and Janie to the school. The school is three stories, brick, the flagpole stands to the right of the school, there are bike racks for those who bike to school. We go up the stone stairs to the building, I fly above the the students to get a better view, and to avoid all these crowds. Ava and Janie stroll through the corridors. White walls. White floors. The lockers are cobalt blue. I see a the display case with prizes, trophies won by students from years gone by. Now all that's left is follow Janie and Ava to their classes.
We go up the stairs to the second floor. We then go to the right, where we go to the other end of the hall, where there's a classroom door. Ava stands next to a locker. Janie's locker is across from hers, three spaces diagonally. Ava's locker has the number 255. Combination is 32, 16, 5. Opening it, I peer in, seeing that she's decorated it with band stickers as well as flowery stickers. She takes out some books from the bottom and leaves her English book inside. She must have English at a later time. The books she grabbed are for math and biology.
Five minutes pass and Ava has all her stuff for her first class. Janie has a different class, it would seem. She walks to the classroom across from the one we were at. Ava's math class is all the way to Ava's right. She files in and I float beside her. There are fifteen desks, a blackboard next to the door, the teacher's desk is in the front, as I expected. The wall where the blackboard's placed is the only thing that's blue while the rest of the room is white.
Ava sits in her desk. It's close the door, but it's two steps away from the first desk. She puts her biology book on the rack under the chair. She places her math book on the desk and opens it to the a certain page that's near the end. The school year's almost over, the proof's in the page she opens to.
The teacher, an older gentlemen, about fifty, decked in a grey suit with salt-and-pepper hair stands beside the blackboard, picking up a piece of white chalk.
"That's Mr. Johnson," whispers Ava, out of the corner of her mouth. I know that it was me at for me, so I don't have to look confused. I look around the class. A boy with light brown hair is seated behind Ava, and a girl with darker brown hair is seated next to her. What grabs me is her hair dye on the tips. It's a bright red. Examining the rest of the class, I see that no one else has the same dyed tips as this girl.
The bell rings and that means class has started. Mr. Johnson instructs the class to turn to page 445 (which is precisely where Ava opened her book to), and review the math lesson from last week. It's about to get long and drawling and I see no need to pay attention. I was never good at math, so I don't see why I should relearn something I've already forgotten.
The school day goes by faster than the days in the forest.
Apparently, Ava and Janie have two classes together. Biology and English. In those two classes they had the final for the biology class and the English final is not until Thursday. Third period was gym. The gymnasium is on the first floor in the west wing. Ava left the necklace in her gym locker for fear of dropping it, but luckily, I could get further. I skied over the entire gym, watching everything unfold. Ava, despite being a rather laid back girl, is quite agile. The coach had them do ten laps around the gym. I wondered why they didn't do this outside, it was a nice day. After the laps they had to do pull ups. Janie had a hard time doing even five of them. Ava had better luck. I admired her dedication to exercising. Not like I could say the same to Janie.
Lunch was after fourth period, which was art. Ava's favorite. The cafeteria served calzones with marinara sauce with a small salad on the side. Apparently, they let you get soda from the vending machines. Janie's favorite soda is root beer. God, what I wouldn't wish to be alive; all that food made me want to eat it.
Fifth period was chemistry with a blonde woman, who's just all about the chemistry. The students spent the class hour mixing chemicals, whose names I can't recall, to make a liquid that changes color. The teacher demonstrated by mixing the liquid. It changes from blue to purple. It was fascinating to me and to the class. All the things science can do with the right materials.
Sixth period is History. The teacher gave a fascinating lecture on Ghandi. I wondered what Janie's class is doing right now. I wish I knew what their schedules are. But it's good that they get good grades.
Seventh period is the final class. English. Ava has to turn in that homework she did over the weekend. I checked it over yesterday, all the answers seemed correct. I'm no teacher myself, but she should get at least an A or a B. Janie comes rushing in with her book in tow. She looks like she's trying to get here on time before the bell rings. She and Ava sit in the middle, their desks next to each other. Easy way to talk.
Their teacher, whose desk says Mr. Walters, is tall with a slight paunch. He's dressed in a red gingham button-up shirt, blue pants and black shoes. He looks like he's almost sixty, his hair's gray, and has so many lines underneath his eyes.
"Alright, class," he says, "today I'll be handing out with a practice test..."
He hands out the practice test. I see that the test requires long, definite answers. I thought it'd be multiple choice. Perhaps on the final there might be. Floating above the class, Ava's necklace acts as my tether. Just like with the other classes, I can get as far as the door to the windows in the back. I could check in on the other classes, but what if I can't get any further? Ava taking my bone is proof that I can maneuver to other locations.
I peek at the others' tests, curiously seeing what the might write down. This is the moment where I wish I could be seen by the others. At least they'd have a laugh.
Until the test is over, I glide over to the small bookcase and hover above it. I turn my attention to Mr. Walters. He's currently looking through his clipboard and some paperwork. His desk's decorated with a pencil cup, a miniature US flag, another pencil case with highlighters, a picture frame that I'd rather not look at. If it's a photo of a family member, I'd rather not see.
I look through the window on the door. I see a teacher walk by, a binder in hand. There's a wall clock hung above me. To my left there's a filing cabinet.
I turn my attention back to Mr. Walters. I can see that he's a studious gentlemen. I wonder how long he's been teaching here. He must be close to retirement, I deduce. Looking at him, I see a familiarity. I've never met him before, and yet, there's something about him I can't place. Then it happens. Suddenly something comes flooding in. Memories of Mr. Walters, though in a different light. My vision must be warping, because his hair turns black, and the wrinkles disappear. His brown eyes hold a different spark. He looks handsome, and that's when it clicks. I'm seeing myself—alive—walking up to his desk and handing him a paper. I wish I could see what was written on it. Maybe I could've figured out my real name. But the vision passes and Mr. Walters goes back to being the same old man as when I drifted in.
Whoa. That's never happened before. I grab at my head. I feel like a electric pulse ricocheted inside. This must be a clue. I wonder when the final bell's going to ring. Everyone's still taking the test. I wish I could tell Ava what I just saw. Don't lose control, don't lose control, don't lose control—
Something drops to the floor. I look up and see a knickknack fall off the other bookcase that's across the room, three inches away from the chalkboard. It's a paperweight. It grabbed everyone's attention. Ava's the most frightened of them all. One of the boys nearest the bookcase picks up the paperweight and puts it back on the shelf. Ava turns to me with a wounded expression. She must think I did it in on purpose. I'll have to tell her that once class is over.
After the test came an oral test on To Kill a Mockingbird. I think I remember reading that once. Maybe I read it when I went to school. It must've been my most favorite for me to remember. I watch the students with their copies of the book. Listening to each student give their take on the book, I'm starting to recollect a few passages. I remember Scout and how she reacted when someone insulted her father. Because when someone did, she punched back, literally. It doesn't surprise me; Scout is just being Scout.
Mr. Walters picks the students at random. He hasn't chosen Ava or Janie yet. There might not be time. I think the bell's about to ring soon. In the meantime, I'm thinking of what to say to Ava when she asks about that incident. But I hope she's ready to hear that I know Mr. Walters from long ago. I can't believe I have a lead to my identity.
Finally, the bell rings; school's over. Everyone files out with Mr. Walters reminding them about the upcoming final. Ava and Janie are the second to last to leave the classroom,and I drift along beside them.
"What was that all about?" Ava inquires. She means when I knocked over the paperweight.
"I didn't mean to." I say, and I really mean it; I didn't intend for that to happen.
"Explain," she says.
"What's up?," asks Janie.
They're going to their lockers. While they're rummaging for their belongings, I get the gall to explain what happened.
"You're not going to believe this," I say evenly, "but I think your teacher, Mr. Walters...I think I used to have his class a long time ago."
Ava stops collecting her books to turn to look at me. Janie is watching while packing her notebooks. I don't think she's paying that much attention to her things.
"Are you serious?," asks Ava. She turns to lock her locker and that tells me she has everything she needs.
Janie has finished getting her stuff and joins in on the conversation.
"What's she saying?," she chimes.
Thank goodness for the swarm of students milling about here and there or they'd think Ava and Janie were crazy if they heard their talk.
"Tauriel says," begins Ava, "that she might've had Mr. Walters as her English teacher years ago."
"No," she utters, eyes widening. "Really?"
"It would seem so."
Janie stares into space, eyes like two fried eggs. They begin walking down the corridor.
"So Tauriel went to our school?," asks Janie as she and Ava thump down the stairs.
"I guess," replies Ava. Once they reach the first floor they head for the exit to catch their bus. "But...we don't even know Tauriel's real name."
"That's the downside," says Janie. I don't blame them for not knowing. I wish I could remember.
"What else does she remember?"
Ava looks at me. "Tauriel?"
I wait until we're outside to answer. Something about being indoors makes me feel like I'm locked inside a cube.
"Well," I begin, "I had a...vision. It was of the past. I saw Mr. Walters...but he was younger with black hair. I think he might have been in his thirties in that vision." I pause for a moment. "I remember...seeing myself handing him a piece of paper. I think it might've been homework. That's all I can remember."
Ava and Janie reach their bus and climb in. They sit in the seats they sat at this morning. I hover above them, waiting for their input.
"Tauriel says she had a vision from her past," explains Ava, "that she saw Mr. Walters when he was younger, and she was handing him her homework or something."
Janie's eyes bulge again. She's definitely taken aback.
"What are we going to do?," she asks Ava. "Do you think Mr. Walters will remember if we ask him?"
"I don't know," says Ava, "it was such a long time ago. I don't know if he'll even remember."
Janie taps her fingers on her lap. "What about in a yearbook?," she suggests. "Mr. Walters's been teaching here since we can remember. There's got be a yearbook with him in it."
"If only we knew from what year," interjects Ava. That's another thing I overlooked. The year. What year was I in his class? I know that I might've been in the tenth grade, like Ava, but after...nothing comes to mind.
"We'll ask later," replies Janie.
"We can wait until school's out," reminds Ava. "Have the rest of the summer to investigate."
"I am so looking forward to this summer," squeals Janie. "Hey, do you think Tauriel can help us cheat on the finals?"
"Janie!" Ava's face becomes serious.
"Come on, what's the point about bringing a ghost to school if you can't have a little fun?" She's got on the look of a used car salesman trying to sell you a cheap car.
"Look, Janie," says Ava, but I stop her before she can even finished talking.
"No," I say, feeling my confident boost, "I think I want to do that."
Ava's eyes are the ones bulging now.
"I've been stuck in the forest for a long time, Ava." I tell her. "At least let me do this, so you two can pass."
"What did she say?," inquires Janie.
Ava is reluctant to answer. "She says she'll do it."
I know it goes against my better judgement, but this is the most fun I've had in years.
Well, didn't expect to see that. *scratches the back of my head* I wonder what else Tauriel might be able to remember. Let's hope we get to see that in the next chapter. Don't go away. ;)