“Up and at ‘em, sunshine. You too, sad sack. Time to get up.”
Monday morning arrived without being asked. Edna was performing the morning ritual for Mondays and ruminating about her role in the warped world of single parenting.
Out loud for the boys to digest while they were grousing about having to get up.
“Your Grandma used to say, Man works from sun to sun but woman’s work is never done. Now get up or we’ll be later than usual.”
Sean dressed quickly and headed for the kitchen. Randy scrambled along behind. Two glasses of orange juice and a couple pieces of toast were waiting. Jumping in the Camaro, the mixed trio left Wellpinit half an hour earlier than usual. Edna had built in extra time for a stop at the high school.
As she pulled in to the parking lot school bussess were unloading. She took a visitor spot close to the entrance. Sean and Randy were all eyes and ears and a bit intimidated by the size and sound of things. Somewhat in avoidance mode, Sean nudged Randy and pointed across the road at the Sports Complex parking lot.
“It’s still there, Randy.” Sean muttered sotto voce.
“What’s still there?” Randy replied in kind, avoiding what they were there for.
“The dead guy’s Humvee.”
“Is that the one you and the cop found last week?”
“What are you two muttering about?”
Randy’s parallel response, “Just wondering if we’re goin to fit in here.”
Provoked Sean to venture, “Yeah. Like round pegs in square holes.”
Enrolling, registering and transferring records for the boys took all of about fifteen minutes. The Principal’s secretary called in the Freshman Counselor. The hustling hurried informal welcome took even less time. Edna needed to get to work.
“Look guys, my shift is over at 11:00 this evening. When schools out I want you to chill and hang at school or in the neighborhood. Meet me at the Hospital for the ride home. Understand?”
Sean and Randy weren’t exactly overwhelmed. But nudge, nudge, wink, wink, and they were rushed off to their first period class. Since their records had already been faxed, the first required class was 9th grade Math. It was being taught by a grim looking Ms. Wastradowski. And so, the different school thing began and went.
The boys made it through the rest of the day with very little help. In transit getting to class they came in contact with and were confronted by all the archetypical cliques and unorganized groups that can be found in most small-town high schools. They weren’t exactly an oddity but were definitely not part of the main stream. Subjected to improvised war hoops and sideways sneers, they were able to maintain and survive their first day more or less unscathed.
While going to their 6th period class Sean reminded Randy to meet him out on the track after class.