Let me say this first; I didn’t like her. She seemed way too cheerful and just too happy to be real. It seemed like she was faking it but, I guess you could say I did the same thing. So she walked in, with her bright, fiery-red, waist-length hair and her freckles like paint splatters, and all the other guys went wide-eyed. She was in short, denim shorts, and a layered blue tank-top. She was thin, in an athletic sort of way, and as she walked the guys’ gazes followed her.
My teacher announced to the class her name, her reasons for coming, and all that other new-kid stuff, but I wasn’t listening. I was too busy shifting uncomfortably close to the window, away from the only previously empty seat in the classroom. The seat next to mine. Which, she pulled out after the announcements and plopped herself into, turning to me with a wide, white smile.
“Hi! You already know my name is Dawn, so what’s yours?” she asked me.
“Oh, cool. Well, I am so excited for this class. This is what got me through my day today! I love art so much,” she gushed.
Weird. Art was the class that got me through the day too. She continued to talk to me until Ms. Hines decided it was time to tell us our new assignment.
“Okay! So, today we’ll be starting clay sculpting! Some of you might think that’s boring, but I don’t want to hear it. You can complain outside of this classroom. So what, you ask, will you be sculpting? Well, I want you to think for a minute. Seriously think about this; what are you scared of? Now, I don’t want to hear about bugs or the bogey-man. I want your real fears. And then I want you to start sculpting. It doesn’t have to be your fear, but it has to represent it. Like,” she continued talking but I wasn’t listening. By this point I was enveloped in my echoing thoughts. The door was closed. The windows weren’t even cracked. There were people all around me. Oh God, right then I started shaking so hard and breathing so fast, right in the middle of class. I swear I almost fainted. Until I felt a warm pressure on my hand.
I looked down at my fingers, now entwined with somebody else’s. My gaze followed the long arm up to the strappy -clad shoulder. Then over the freckly face, and into the twilight blue eyes of Dawn Peirce. There were dew-shaped droplets of water collected on her eyelids. Those eyes were so wide and scared that I thought maybe she’d read my mind. Maybe my fear had swept into her. Then, as the drone of the teacher faded and the rest of the class shuffled off to get their materials, her face flushed almost as red as her hair, and she pulled her hand out of mine.
I got up and retrieved my clay, wondering how I would represent my fear without making it obvious enough that somebody could guess what it was. But as I started to work the clay, my eyes couldn’t stay away from hers for long. I looked over again, and saw her brush her stained fingers across her eyes, as if the dew drops on her eyelashes were tears.
What was this girl’s fear?