She had convinced herself that any feelings she had for him during the first year of school was nothing but infatuation. She had believed that she had gotten over him well and fully. But today’s incidents had shaken her faith in herself and her conviction that she was over him. It had taken nothing but a few minutes of attention from him to work her up.
For the first time in many months, Sam felt her eyes welling up. She didn’t want to come out of that stall ever. She could see Allie’s feet outside the stall, walking from one end of the hall to the other.
Sam knew that she could stay in the stall for as long as she wanted, but it wouldn’t be fair on Allie. She knew that her friend would wait for as long as it took for her to come out. She also knew that Allie was looking forward to spending time with Nathan, her boyfriend, before her curfew time.
Sam wiped her eyes and took a deep breath. She had to put on a brave face. She might be weak when it came to Alex but she didn’t want anyone else to know that.
Sam opened the door of the booth and stepped out, giving Allie a small smile.
“Let’s go! I don’t want to be late...Mom must be waiting for me to get back home before she can leave for the restaurant.”
Sam walked forward. She could hear Allyson trying to start conversation. She turned around quickly, and faced her friend.
“I’m fine! If you think I’m going to spend more than 30 seconds of my time thinking about someone like him, you're mistaken. So quit asking me if I’m okay. “
Allie nodded with her arms raised. She brought her right hand to her face, pretended to zip and lock her mouth and toss the imaginary key away. She then gave Sam a salute with a solemn expression.
Sam couldn’t help laughing when she took in her expression. She punched her friend lightly on her arm and walked out along with her.
Just as she was about to step out of the main door, Sam heard her name being called out. She turned around in time to see her English teacher, Mrs. Jacobs walk up to her.
“Samantha....please don’t forget about the Drama Club meeting tomorrow. We have decided on the play we’re staging for Drama Club’s annual celebrations.”
“Sure, Mrs. Jacobs. I’ll be there. Which play did we finalize on?”
Sam asked with trepidation. Mrs. Jacobs was famous for choosing the overly dramatic plays most of the times.
“This time, we have decided to go with.....", Mrs. Jacobs paused theatrically....and then continued,
" Romeo and Juliet”...Mrs. Jacobs had her hands clasped together close to her chest, beaming, her excitement obvious. She looked like a child who had gotten her favorite toy for Christmas.
Sam sent up a silent prayer of thanks. She was glad it wasn’t another one of those dark and political tragedies. Mrs. Jacobs seemed to pick out. The last time, she had chosen Macbeth for the Drama Club’s annual play; there had been talks about trying to stage King Lear or Julius Ceasar this time.
Sam would know, of course. She was one of the early members of the Drama club, and had always volunteered to assist Mrs. Jacobs with writing the script and dialogues for the plays the Club staged.
She had resented her mom and gone on silent treatment for a week for having her enrolled into the club. But as her mom had predicted, it was her involvement with the club that had helped her get over her overly timid nature to some extent.
Of course, the club didn’t bestow her with the much needed presence of mind and assertiveness, but she would take whatever was on offer.
"We have a few new club members this time...That'll help when it comes to casting, dont you think, Sam?
Sam nodded in affirmation. She was just glad that she didnt have to go on stage again. The last time, they hadn’t had enough actors and she had been forced into doing the role of one of the three witches.
It was bad enough that she had forgotten her lines in the middle of the play, and had given the audience a good laugh at her expense. Thanks to her role, she had been stuck with the nickname “Witch of Scatterbrain-y-ille” for the rest of the term.
“We haven’t really decided on the roles yet...we’ll do that tomorrow in our meeting.”...Miss.Jacobs smiled at her. It was difficult not to like Mrs. Jacobs. It was occasionally felt that she was a little wooly-headed but she was a good teacher nevertheless.
Sam nodded, smiling at her. She tried to look excited but all she wanted was to get out of the school as soon as possible.
“See you tomorrow, you too Allie”, and with that Mrs. Jacobs was gone.
Allie looked from Sam to the retreating back of Mrs. Jacobs, sulking.
“Do I really need to come?”
“Well...you’re technically a member of the club, so yes....you’d be expected there”, Sam said in matter of fact way as she walked out of the main entrance of the school.
“Noooooo!”, Allie whined.
“It’s the first day of summer break...I don’t want to come! Can’t I skip just this one?”
“Well, if you’d rather help your mom at the shop, suit yourself. It was your idea to tag along with me so that you’d be able to hang out with Nathan under that pretext. “, Sam snapped.
“You’re mean!”, Allie exclaimed and stuck her tongue out at Sam.
Sam looked at her friend, laughing. She shook her head, smiling when Allie made a show of sulking and walked off. She could see Nathan waiting for her next to the school bus.
As Sam walked down the entrance staircase, she noticed Alex and his friends perched on the balustrade, chatting.