Her First Day
By Marta Davila-Lomas
I’m tired of stories about girls falling in love with others, so I wrote, inspired by the meaning of self-love, how I realized I love myself. I define self-love as the regard for one’s own wellbeing and happiness. I wanted to portray a snippet of the journey that I made.
Switching schools has never been easy for me. I remember crying on the last day of elementary school because I was leaving the friends that I had known since kindergarten. In eighth grade leaving felt even worse, I was separated from friends who had begun to feel like family. Looking back, I think I was being dramatic, but it was painful. Except now it was high school! I was excited because of, you know, John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles. I looked at my phone and realized that I was going to be late. I left my apartment, walked to the corner to catch the bus. Sitting in the first seat I could find, I looked at my shoes, which I had just gotten a week ago. They were blue and white high top sneakers. I had chosen to get these because they could go with anything and are trendy but not basic, but glancing at them I began to worry that everyone else would have them too. I laughed at myself, got my headphones and shuffled the playlist my best friend Natalie made for me the last time I saw her.
The song that played was Why Try, by Ariana Grande, which she claimed reminded her of me. It was one of those songs that makes you feel like you’re in a coming of age movie, riding in a car on a summer evening with your friend after just having broken up with your boyfriend even though you’re still in love with him. Honestly, I didn’t really know what that felt like because no one ever even thought of me like that for some reason. But no, I have a fresh start now, maybe I’ll finally experience what it feels to be in love because everyone always seems so happy in a relationship.
I looked up from my seat and saw I was at my stop and got up. I noticed two other girls also got off the bus and I wondered if they were going to my new school too. I walked towards the building when one of them came up to me, and asked if I was wearing the Jordan 1 obsidian’s. I turned down my music and said yes while getting a good look at her. She was wearing black leggings and white converse shoes, with a Brandy Melville crop top: in other words the most basic outfit ever. She even had the classic Fjallraven Kanken, however you say it, in yellow, and she had clear hazel eyes and a scrunchie in her brown hair. She began telling me about how excited she was to start high school as we walked with her friend up the stairs, and after what felt like a million years of her going on and on about her summer vacation, she asked me for my name. Without missing a beat I told her the nickname I had been called my whole life, Bella, but then I remembered I was going by my first name instead so I corrected myself and said Isabella and asked for her’s. She looked at me, smirking while saying Emma and then proceeded to tell me she knew someone who was “a total bitch to her,” named Isabella. I scrunch my eyebrows together, confused as to what that implied about me, then I looked down at my shoes as I replied oh, and said I had to get to my first class but it was nice to meet her. As I walked away I heard her say to her friend that I was just as bad as “Izzy” and that I didn’t know how to dress. Wow, that was harsh I thought to myself as I turned the corner and bumped into a girl holding an iced coffee, which somehow she managed to keep from spilling. I told her I was so sorry and that I hadn’t seen her to which she smiled and said it was fine because it wasn’t my fault. She asked me my name and complimented my makeup, to which I responded with Isabella. She told me her name is Ashley and that she had math in room 313 that happened to be the same class I was in.
She smelled like vanilla and had the same pink top that Natalie had gotten when we went shopping for back to school clothes. She smiled at me genuinely when I told her and we laughed together as we walked in the geometry class. I took a seat and settled down for the long day of ice-breakers that teachers insist on doing and the quizzical stares from girls and boys alike. I felt at home with Ashley, as if everything was going to be ok just like Natalie had said to me last night over the phone. I could imagine myself, Ashley, and Natalie becoming the best of friends, and that was worth more to me than the judgemental remarks I had gotten from Emma. All I wanted was to surround myself with kind compassionate people who would accept me for who I am…
Marta Davila-Lomas is a class of 2020 mentee based in Manhattan, NY.