“Today was my first day of middle school, and if you’re poor, living in the projects, that means it’s the worst day ever. My mom didn’t understand that I, Sophie, plus ‘poor’ and ‘middle school’ equalled ‘bad.'”
Chapter 1: Day #1
I was so not ready for this. Hi, I’m Sophie. Today was my first day of middle school, and if you’re poor, living in the projects, that means it’s the worst day ever. My mom didn’t understand that I, Sophie, plus “poor” and “middle school” equalled “bad.” So here I was, almost literally swimming in a pool of my own sweat.
The bus finally came after what felt like forever. I picked a careful spot in the back. Don’t want to make the first mistake on the bus!!!
I was now at the front of the school. Hashtag so nervous! I closed my eyes and went into the school. I almost immediately felt like I made the wrong choice. I looked down and quickly went to my class. I got a seat in the back, so l wouldn’t get noticed that much.
“Hello, class!” said the teacher. “I’m Ms. Tom. I will be your homeroom teacher. Now, here are your locker numbers that you will be using.”
Everyone went to the lockers. I also went, but I kept my head down. I was walking to my locker and somehow tripped over my own foot. I could hear everyone laughing. I was pretty much the biggest dork in school already. I hurried up and went to my locker.
Then, I ran straight for the bathroom. I took a deep breath to cool down. By the time I got out, the bell had already rung. I had science for second period. I walked down the hall to the science classrooms. I felt pretty happy that it was a few rooms away, cause if it wasn’t, I would have exploded.
Science class was pretty boring. If you want me to show you how boring it was, then here’s exactly what the teacher said, “Blah, blah, science, blah, blah, archaeologists, blah, blah, dinosaurs, blah, blah, listen, blah, blah, pay attention.”
See what I mean? I was pretty excited that science was over, because art class was next. I love to color, and I want to be an artist when I grow up. When it comes to art, I listen to everything the teacher says. Today, we were trying to paint self-portraits of ourselves. I pretty much had the best one. After art class, I was pretty bummed that it was over.
Then, after art, we had lunchtime and recess. And now, here’s another part where I had to be careful where I went, because I could make the second biggest mistake of my life. During lunchtime, I tried to stick to sitting where everyone truly likes art. Tried to stick to my own kind. But as soon as I tried to sit down at the table, other people came crashing down, and I had to sit somewhere else. But then, something caught my eye. I saw three girls who looked like princesses, and they had so much makeup on for some reason. Then, I found someone sitting next to me.
She said, “Hey, I’m Carol. Those girls over there, the one in the front is named Missy, the one on the left is named Brianna, the one on the right is Mia. They’re already basically the most popular girls in school. And Missy’s parents are basically the richest people in the world.”
“Oh,” I said. As soon as Missy saw me, she immediately came over to talk to me.
“What are you wearing?” she said. “You look like a homeless person who lives in the woods.”
I could not believe she was talking smack about me in front of my face. I was about to say something, but I kept my mouth shut. Missy walked away.
I said, “I immediately hate her, especially the way she walks. She waddles away with her high heels and her diamonds. I especially hate the way that people run after her, admiring her hair and stuff.”
“Right? She is so annoying.”
“Yeah, she’s awful.”
Instead of worrying about Missy, I had to worry about where I was gonna sit for lunch. I found an empty table, so I went straight to it. Carol sat with me too. After lunch and recess, I went straight to writing class. It was so boring, again with the “blah, blah, blah.” I couldn’t wait till school was over.
After that, we had sports. Sports was pretty much the worst thing at school, besides lunch. We played dodgeball, and I can’t tell you how much I hate dodgeball. For some magical reason, I always got hit with the ball. It hurt really bad because we played with bowling balls. Anyway, this was how much it hurt, and this was how much I hate sports. And the warm up was the worst: We had to do fifteen pushups and run a lap five times, and that was just the first course. Then, we had to do pull-ups and hang there as long as we could while they timed it. I honestly only did it for two seconds. After sports was over, it was time to go home. Hallelujah!
Chapter 2: Day #2
Basically, it felt like I was having deja vu. The same thing happened, we got the same “blah, blah, blah” science stuff and art. But today, we had music. I have the worst singing voice ever. But this time, I was actually surprised that my voice sounded… better.
After music, I was out of breath, but the bad thing about that, was that after music, I had sports again. Sometimes, I think that teachers and principals like their kids being tortured, so they torture them for a funny show. Well, it’s actually not funny. It’s heartbreaking.
Today, the only good thing that happened was that my mom made breakfast. Her famous pancakes. They were good, but sometimes you have to watch out because they say a message. If there are pancakes, my mom’s in a good mood. If there are pancakes and bacon, my mom got extra tips from the store because she’s usually not able to afford that. If there are pancakes and bacon and strawberries and blueberries, that means something horrible has happened.
“We got some news today. Grandpa Muffin is moving in,” said my mom.
I practically almost spat out my cereal. “Nooooooooooooooo!!!”
I went to school grumpy.
Why do bad things always happen to me? I said in my head. It’s not fair.
I was grumpy until I realized I was going into art. A smile stretched across my face. Just what I needed to cheer me up. After art, I found Carol again, and we went to the cafeteria. Good thing I had brought my own lunch.
“The cafeteria ladies are witches,” Carol said. “They put poison and fart spell in the meatloaf. Never eat the meatloaf!”
“Got it.” I took my grilled cheese sandwich, Oreos, apple juice, fruit snacks, and Fruit Loops. Mmmm.
And then, I saw Missy. I could not believe what Missy was eating. She had a fancy butler serving her steak. Fresh steak!!! I got so mad and jealous!!
“Ugh!! Missy. I have a plan!!”
Worried, Carol said, “What are you up to?!!!”
Chapter 3: Day #3
I made a plan to spill pudding on Missy at the right time. First, I convinced my mom to let me bring pudding. When Missy went to the bathroom, I followed her. While she went to the stall and started doing her business, I put all of my pudding in my mouth.
“Blargggh!!!” I pretended to throw up.
“AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!” she screamed in a high-pitched voice.
“Missy?” said Mia and Brianna. They rushed into the stall to help, but as soon as they saw her, they were disgusted. “Eww!!! What is that?!”
Missy passed out on the floor. The pudding covered her whole body except her diamond crown. Mia took the crown.
“Crowns are only for clean and pretty girls. Queen Mia forever!!!”
Missy was mad about earlier. She thought it was me, which was true. After second period, she put a note on my locker that read: Hey loser, I know that you spilled pudding on me. You’re going to regret that. It’s on!!
Missy was so… evil!!!
I tried to avoid Missy, but that’s hard to do when someone threatens you. So I just went to class. After that, it was pretty much a normal day.
After school, I had to go home and meet Grandpa Muffin. I don’t like when he visits because he’s so bossy and boring and grumpy. He’s always yelling at us to get a cup of root beer and basically everything for him.
Since I was already bad at school, this was gonna make everything even worse. When I came home, thankfully, Grandpa Muffin wasn’t home. I dropped my backpack and found my mom in the kitchen. I started to groan.
“Why does he have to come today?” I didn’t really wanna tell my mom what was happening at school. I just wanted to lay my head down, but I couldn’t do it because somebody was visiting.
Finally, Grandpa Muffin came. I tried to greet him, but he dropped his humongous bags in my arms. What did he even keep in this stuff? Weights? I was about to scream, but then my mom looked at me, so I had to keep all the anger in. When I finished greeting Grandpa Muffin, I went to my room and screamed into my pillow. Why does the bad stuff always happen to me? What did I do? I just lay down on my bed, and to cheer myself up, I finally got a piece of paper and started coloring.
At first I just wanted to scribble, but I knew that wouldn’t help me, so I drew a world where everything happened perfectly, just the way I wanted it. This was a world I wanted to be living in, but instead, I was living in this world, the opposite of that world, where nothing happened perfectly. I kept on groaning in my pillow, but then, I fell asleep because of my anger. I mean, there was nothing better to do.
Chapter 4: Day 4
This morning, I hurried up trying to get to school because I did not want to run into Grandpa Muffin. I didn’t even know what happened yesterday, but Grandpa Muffin was NOT sleeping in my room. I got breakfast and started tiptoeing out of the door, when suddenly, Grandpa Muffin screamed at me.
“Where are you going?!” he yelled. I jumped up out of surprise.
“I’m going to school.”
“Before you go to school, get me a root beer.”
“This early in the morning?”
“Just give me the beer, child.”
I went to the fridge and started talking to myself. “Grandpa Muffin is the worst. I have better things to do than give him beers all day.” I gave him the beer and hurried at once to school. Right now, I almost thought that school was way better than Grandpa Muffin. School was basically the same thing every day: I went to science where the teacher “blah blah”d every day, I went to art and made the best drawing, I went to writing where the teacher “blah blah”d again, I went to sports and got hit with dodgeballs, and then, I went home.
But the twist to my new routine was that I had to give Grandpa Muffin beers in the morning and right after school. Grandpa Muffin was like one of the teachers at my school. They thought they were doing us good, but it was actually heartbreaking. Then, I just did my homework, and tried to avoid Grandpa all day. I was so glad when my mom came home, so I asked her the one question I’d been waiting to ask her.
“Where is Grandpa Muffin sleeping?” That’s when it got dark. My mom sighed for a few seconds and took a deep breath.
“Sorry, but Grandpa Muffin is sleeping in your room.” I opened my mouth, but nothing came out.
“Why can’t Grandpa Muffin sleep in the guest room?! It’s not fair!!” Just when I had thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.
My mom said, “Sorry, but life isn’t fair.” And all I could think was that for me, life was never fair. I stomped into my room, went to my pillow, and screamed approximately 1200 times. At first, I thought that this was my fault. In my head, I wondered why I was such a pushover, why I let everyone control me. But then, I realized it was everyone else’s fault but mine.
One day, the teacher asked if anyone wanted to sign up for a baking session. At first, I wasn’t considering it, but then, the teacher said it would give you extra credit on your progress report. Then, I thought, my progress report is probably just straight Fs, except for art class, so maybe I could earn some extra credit to boost up my progress report. Because if I didn’t get at least a B or C, my mom would be so mad, and I would be sooo grounded. The teacher said that it started tomorrow, so I had to wait a whole day, but that was fine by me. And the baking session might give me some time away from Grandpa.
When I got home, Grandpa Muffin asked me to turn on the TV. The TV was right in front of him, two feet in front of him, but he didn’t want to turn it on. Ughh, old people are so lazy.
I asked my mom for her cookbook and said I had to borrow it for a baking session. She gave it to me because she thought it would keep me from screaming into my pillow because of Grandpa.
“I’m so glad you’re gonna put your screaming behind you and do something different.”
“I mean, I’ll still keep screaming, but I’ll scream less, and it will at least give me some time away from Grandpa.”
“That’s good enough for me.”
I took the cookbook and started looking for a recipe for tomorrow. First, I looked at chocolate chunk cupcakes, but then, I flipped passed them because my teacher was allergic to chocolate. Then, I saw blueberry muffins, but I wasn’t trying to make muffins, because then, Grandpa Muffin would eat them. Then, I saw chocolate chip cookies. I thought about them for a while, but eventually skipped them. Then, I saw butterscotch cookies, and after thinking about them for awhile, I decided to go with butterscotch. I started baking. I had my mom try the first batch, but she said they were too hard. The second try, my mom helped me, and they were just right. I put the cookies in a special place so no one could touch them. It was a good thing that the baking session was first thing in the morning.
I went straight to the baking session the next morning. There was a teacher trying out the cookies. I couldn’t believe people got paid to eat cookies. She must have had her life planned out perfectly. I wanted to be paid to eat cookies!
Turns out, I came in second place, so I’d have to find something better than butterscotch cookies. You would never believe who came in first place… It was Missy! She probably paid some cafe guy like $1,000 to bake something delicious so she’d win.
“Tomorrow,” I told my mom, “we have to bake something perfect, so I can rub it in Missy’s face.”
We looked at the cookbook, and I found a brownie cake. I remembered the teacher who was judging tomorrow was only allergic to peanut butter, so I tried the brownie cake. I baked the cake, and my mom tried a small piece. She said it was perfectly fine, so I decided to use it tomorrow.
The next day, I met up with Carol. She was reading the newspaper. I found out that there was a school dance, but I wasn’t really interested. When I went to class, I heard that I got first place!!! Missy was there, and she was so mad. It was a perfect show for me. I just love when my plans come together. Then, I went to my locker, and something squirted out and landed right on top of me! It was sticky, sticky yogurt. I bet it was Missy; she was probably just jealous I had won something with my own work.
All the parents got a flyer for the dance. My mom got excited because she thought I would go, but I told her I wasn’t going because I wasn’t interested. My mom convinced me to go, but I asked her how she would get the money to buy me a dress. My mom said that we could have a bake sale! I could use my cooking skills and use cakes and cupcakes and cookies to buy a new dress and heels. So my mom and I started baking, and we baked and baked and baked and baked so much, that for the first time ever, I saw Grandpa Muffin turn on the TV himself and get himself a root beer. If my mom wasn’t here though, he’d have made me get him his root beer and turn on the TV for him, even if it was two feet away. See how terrible he is?
My mom and I baked all the cupcakes and cakes and pastries that we needed and started selling. Carol was our first customer, but then, she decided to start helping us sell everything. Soon enough, we had about thirty customers. By nighttime, we had about $180, enough to buy a dress, heels, and maybe some new earrings. The night of the dance was two days away, so I had to start getting ready. We decided to do a bake sale one more time to get some money for a new necklace, and so that I could get my hair done. For the first time ever, it would be untangled. We did the same thing over and over again for two more days until something finally changed.
On the night of the dance, after school, my mom took me to do my hair and get ready. She dropped me off in a taxi, and I walked in. The first thing I saw when I walked in was a disco ball and a red carpet. It turns out the carpet was only for Missy, but I was determined not to let her ruin my night. So I went up to Carol and talked to her. She introduced me to some of her friends, and we all went to the table to get some snacks. Then, Missy was talking into the microphone.
“Hello classmates! Welcome to the dance that I created.”
“You created?” I said. “I’m pretty sure that the teachers created it. Just because you’re rich and famous doesn’t mean you have to lie.”
I had already made a plan because I knew Missy would be on stage. I went behind the stage and pulled a rope. There was a big bucket of pudding where she was standing, so I released the rope, and the bucket fell right up on Missy’s head! There was so much pudding. I went back to my seat, everyone was laughing, and I was whistling innocently, but Missy knew it was me.
“You ruined my night!!” she said.
“Your night?? It’s everyone else’s night, too! Not everything’s about you.”
Missy ran after me, but then, I tripped her, and she accidentally stepped on the skirt of her dress, and it got ripped off. Everyone was laughing while Missy ran away. What parents would even let her inside of the car? She ended up having to walk home, and I, Sophie, never had to worry about Missy again. I finally realized that if something bad is going on in your life, you can’t just complain, you have to do something about it.