As stated by LittleMatt in the request section:
I will post the 6 chapters I have below… perhaps if we playfully beg, plead, and cajole Lil’ Matty enough, he’d finish it off!
This was not the way Thomas Welton wanted to begin his first day at his new school. This was not the way any 13 year-old should begin any day. Tom took every insult to his maturity seriously and this one was particularly grievous. He had grown tired of everyone assuming he was a little kid, a mere elementary schooler. He was officially a teenager and even if he was a little shorter than average adults should know better than to simply presume he wanted a kid’s menu or whatever it was they did to overlook his status as a teen.
These are, at any rate, the things he told himself. Though he was barely aware of it he envied younger kids, the way they didn’t have to struggle to prove that they were big and mature and completely independent. Some where in the back of his mind the thought lingered that he had wasted his opportunity to simply be a carefree kid on his constant quest to prove himself grown-up.
But no matter how aware he was of those feelings he wasn’t about to let on as his mother drove him to his first day of morning daycare. Her new job required her to arrive early, too early to take Tom to school. So she had found a nearby daycare that offered a bus service to the local schools. Tom thought he could ride his bike to school but was over ruled by his mother who insisted it was much too far for that. So he sat staring glumly out the window taking some solace in the promise that this particular center had an area for Jr High students in his position so he wouldn’t have to spend all morning hanging out with little kids and being treated like a little kid.
He was momentarily pulled out of his brooding funk as he felt the car come to stop. This was all quite worse than than he thought. Crude art projects decorated the windows cheerfully colored playground equipment sat waiting to be used. To Tom every detail screamed that this was a place for immature little brats, something that he was not, something he never was. He stepped out of the car and glared at this rugrat jail only to be interrupted by his mother giving him a quick pat on the head before starting her way to the door. Tom gave gave a resigned sigh and followed her in.
Inside the daycare center was a desk marked by a single name plate decorated with teddy bear stickers and bearing the name “Sarah.” And behind the desk the Sarah identified by the name tag sat beaming at the new mother and student who had just walked through her door. Her slightly plump round face and easy smile made her a natural for the part of a daycare teacher, To most of the parents here she was the face of the daycare and her obvious pride and experience in her work reassured them all that this was a safe and comfortable place for their little ones.
“This must be my new student,” she said cheerfully “Tommy isn’t it?”
“Tom” he corrected her tersely.
Her eyes twinkled at his attempted protest “I’m sorry Tom, I didn’t know I was getting such a grown up boy.” She turned to his mother and gave her a knowing smile before asking “And what school will we be sending Tom to this morning?”
“Stone Ridge Junior High” Tom answered with a a touch of pride before his mother could even speak.
“Well” Sarah chuckled “I guess we really do have quite the grown up here. Before you know it he’ll be working here.”
Tom glowered silently as the adults went about their final arrangements
“I’m sorry” Karen Welton said “he thinks he’s too old for daycare so he’s a little grumpy this morning.”
“Well I’m sure we’ll find a way to make him fit right in.” As Sarah smiled her reassurances at him Tom couldn’t help but notice the odd twinkle in her eye. It took him aback momentarily and he couldn’t help but think that however sweet this woman might be she meant everything she said, perhaps in ways he could never quite understand.
With her business concluded Karen turned to her son and kissed him on the forehead “Have a good day at school sweety. I’ll pick you up right at three, maybe we can rent a movie or something.”
Tom mumbled a good-bye and watched her walk through the door and leave in the care of Kiddie Town Daycare. Sarah called over one of the teachers and introduced her to Tom.
“Linda” she said calling over a younger blond haired woman and handing her a packet of papers “this is our new boy, would you mind showing him around.”
“Tom this is Linda she’ll show you where to put your things and get you settled in.”
“Come on Tommy” Linda smiled “I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun here.”
Tom crossed his arms and issued his correction for the second time today “I only like to be called Tom.”
“I’ll be sure to remember that” Linda said paying little attention to her new charge’s indignation “These are the cubbies we part all our things in, well make sure to get your name on yours.” She explained using the voice she obviously reserved for small children as took his backpack and coat and tucked them neatly into his cubby.
“And over here is the play area we’ve got toys and games on that shelf over there…”
“I really just need to see the area for kids who are going to the junior high. I’m just here so I can get on the bus, I don’t want to play with toys or be babysat.”
“I’m sorry hon but we don’t have any other kids going to your school today so we’re just putting everybody in this room for now. But I’m sure you’ll be able to have lots of fun in here too.” Linda said not breaking her condescending manner at all. She gave the papers Sarah had handed her a second look and shrugged before leaving Tom with some more reassurances.
Tom stomped off and found a chair where we could sit and wait. “What is wrong with everybody in this town?” He thought to himself as he tried to ignore the throng of kids playing around him.
It wasn’t long before one of them came up to him with a big red ball in his hand “Hi, I’m Johnny and I’m in third grade, do you wanna play something.”
Tom didn’t even look before spitting out “Look, I’m not a little kid like you guys and I don’t want to play, just leave me alone.”
“Well sorry,” Johnny rolled his eyes “I was trying to be nice.”
Tom returned to glaring into space as Johnny went off to play. He sat and stewed until it was finally time to board the bus. Outside he found several different buses. He stopped and look around for a second until on the the drivers leaned out the window with a clip board and called “Uh Tommy Welton, this is your bus.” Tom gritted his teeth at being called that name again but boarded the bus relieved to be done with daycare for the day.
Tom looked out the window and thought about how great it would be to finally establish his new teenage life in his new town. At least he’d have something to balance out his dreadful mornings. He was bought back to reality by the driver calling out “Alright Tommy, this is where you’ll be getting off.”
“Tom.” he corrected as he walked hurriedly off the bus. He stepped of the bus and looked around, something obviously wasn’t right. Behind him he heard the bus drive off as he tried to figure out what had happened. Finally he spotted the sign on the lawn in front of the office “Sunny Brook Elementary School.”
“Shit these idiots brought me to the wrong school.” Tom muttered to himself. He cursed his luck and walked towards the office determined to clear up this grievous mistake. Little did he know the forces he was up against.
Tom walked into the office of Sunny Brook Elementary confident that he’d clear everything up and be on his way to Stone Ridge Junior High where he belonged. He went right up to the front desk and wasted no time getting to business “The bus dropped me off at the wrong place, I need to call somebody so I can get to the right school.”
The secretary barely took her attention away from the parent she was speaking with “I’m talking with a grown-up dear, maybe you can review the rules while you wait for us to finish.” She directed his attention to a colorful poster on the back wall and went back to her business.
Tom looked at the poster and gave a disgusted eye roll. It was a list of simple rules aimed at elementary school aged kids. “We let everybody have their turn” it read “We do not interrupt. We always speak politely and say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’.” Tom crossed his arms and waited impatiently this was not a place he wanted to stay any longer than necessary.
Finally the interminable conversation ended and Tom strided up to the desk and launched straight into his story.
The secretary put her hand to her chin and pondered the situation for a moment. “There’s never been a mistake like this before, this is a very well run district. What’s your name hon?”
“Tom Welton.” he replied finally feeling like he was getting somewhere.
“Oh yes, I have a Tommy Welton listed as starting in Mrs. Sanborn’s fifth grade class.” She said as though the answer to everything.
“I’m not in the fifth grade and I like to be called Tom. Somebody made some sort of mistake.”
“Is you mom’s name Karen?”
“Yes.” Tom replied impatiently.
“And are you going to Kiddie Town Daycare?”
“Yes,” Tom groaned “But only because I’ve got to take the bus.”
“Well that matches what this form says, I even have your mom’s signature with fifth grade checked off.” She said as though she was actually trying to talk him into this.
“She probably just didn’t notice.” Tom said exasperated.
"Well I’ve never seen a error on one of these forms before. Like I said things are very well run here, we don’t make mistakes like this. She caught attention of a tall kindly looking man walking through the office and pointed out Tom to him. “This child says he’s supposed to go to Stone Ridge but the bus dropped him off here and he’s listed as a student here.”
The man pondered the situation for a second “Let’s go look this up on the computer,” he turned to Tom and said “We’ll be back in a minute son.” And the two went behind a door labeled “Mr. Lessen, Principal.”
From behind the door Tom could bits of their conversation “He doesn’t look that old to me either, but do you think a kid would really tell a lie like that.”
The scowl on his face deepened. Adults were always saying things like that. It was stupid, it was perfectly obvious he was a teenager. Maybe if his mother would let him buy the clothes he wanted things like this wouldn’t happen. As he sat there he made up his mind that after today he’d insist on being treated as grown-up as he really was.
After a few minutes Tom was called into the office. He breathed a sigh of relief fully expecting that his true status had been verified and he would be back on his way to the school where he belonged.
Mr. Lessen invited Tom to sit and explained the situation to him in a well practiced ‘talking to a child’ tone, “Well Tommy it looks like everything checks out you’re officially a fifth grader. Are you sure you weren’t just trying to get out of school today?”
“Yes I’m sure,” Tom said too exasperated to correct the principal on his name “I was done with the fifth grade two years ago. Call my mom and ask.”
“I do intend to speak to your mother, but for now I want to report to your classroom.”
Tom shuffled along behind the secretary angrily wondering what sort of grown-up activities the teenagers at Stone Ridge were up to and not paying the slightest attention to her tour of the playground. Finally they arrived at the door of Mrs. Sanborn’s class. “This is your classroom, now remember that you can always come to the office if you get sick or skin your knee or have an accident or if you just need to call your mom.”
Tom groaned inwardly “Accident? Did this lady seriously think there was a chance he’d wet his pants?”
“Oh, and I’ll make sure we get your uniform ready. You can stay dressed like that today but you’ll have to wear from tomorrow on. Have fun”
“Thank God, I’ll be out of here after they talk to mom.” Tom thought
Tom walked inside the classroom and thought he’d gag on the cutesy decorations on the wall. The entire classroom was adorned with cartoon animals an various posters bore reminders of the class rules. Tom just reminded himself that this be for today only and walked up to the desk to introduce himself.
“My name is Tom and I…”
“Oh Tommy, you must be the new boy. I hear you think you’re supposed to be going to Stone Ridge.”
“I am. And I only like to be called Tom.”
“Well I’m sure everything well get straightened out. We’ve already got a desk ready for you right over there.” Mrs. Sanborn pointed a desk with a name plate that read “Tommy” in the front row. “I guess we’ll have to change the name tag, but that should be good enough for now. All your books are already under your desk.”
Tom sat down bitterly in his desk as Mrs. Sanborn called the class to order. “Class he have a new student today can you all say ‘hi’ to Tom.”
Tom rolled his eyes as the assembled brats said “Hi Tom” in a juvenile sing-song unison.
“Tom why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?” Mrs. Sanborn invited.
“First of all no matter what this thing on my desk says my name is Tom not Tommy. And I’m only here for today because somebody messed up, I’m supposed to be in junior high.” Tom explained in a loud defiant voice with his arms crossed tight. Tom did his best to ignore the doubting giggles and snickers as Mrs. Sanborn began class for the day.
“Now everybody get out your science books and turn to page 75. Tom, since this is your first day I’ll give you first try at this question. What are the three basic types of wave function?”
Tom blinked. “Wave function?”
“Now come on try to remember” Mrs. Sanborn coaxed as all the other students shot their hands into there air eager to answer.
Tom sat and tried to remember ever hearing of such a thing all around him the class grew more and more eager to answer, each straining to lift their hand higher than the others. “I don’t know” Tom finally admitted.
Tom’s admission elicited one last round of excited hand waving and calls of “Pick me, pick me.”
Mrs. Sanborn looked over the class for a moment "Alright Jessica, can you tell us what the basic types of wave function are.
“A complex vector with finitely many components, a complex vector with infinitely many components, and a complex vector with one or more real variables.” Jessica said smiling proudly.
“Very good Jessica. Now if you remember yesterday we were discussing one dimensional momentum space…”
Tom stared slack jawed at all around him. Everybody in this room, he was convinced, was completely insane. He’d never heard any of this before. Something was very wrong with this town. He hoped that they wouldn’t be like this over at the junior high. He sat for the rest of time in complete incomprehension until his teacher announced that it was time for recess.
He wondered out to the playground still in shock from the bizarre scene he’d just witnessed. He looked around and realized that everything in this place was for little kids. With nothing else to do he sat on a swing and stared despondently at the ground.
As he sat a group of boys walked past him.One of them looked at him sand asked 'What’s the matter Tommy."
“My name’s Tom” he said with a little less conviction than before “and I’m fine, I just want to go the right school.”
“You don’t even know basic quantum mechanics” scoffed the largest boy of the group “you should probably be in preschool or something.”
With that Tom stood up to face him before noticing he was actually quite a bit bigger. “Come on Todd, leave him alone it’s just his first day at school” said one of the group.
“Fine” said Todd “I guess we’ll just let the pouty baby pout on the swings.” and with that they left. Tom sat back down trying to look as dignified as he possibly could after a fifth grader had just stood up for him. All he wanted at this point was to get through this day with as little notice as possible.
The rest of the day in class went much the same as the first. Tom had no idea what was going on, he just knew he wanted out of this place. Finally the last bell rang and he made a bee line for the office where he hoped he’d find that everything had been cleared up.
Inside he found his mother speaking with the principal. “Hi sweety,” she greeted him "I have good news, Stone Ridge is going to let you transfer and all you have to do is pass one little test. Inside Tom told himself that what happened today was a fluke, he could pass any test they gave him with flying colors.
Mr. Lessen gave him his test packet and a pencil and let Tom take the test in the privacy of his office. Tom opened the booklet and his heart sank. If anything this test was crazier than the stuff he’d heard in class today. All of it was completely alien to him. He did his best to struggle through, but all he could do was guess.
Once again Tom found himself staring glumly out the the window of his mother’s car. Only this time he was officially a fifth grader again. In the back seat sat his brand new school uniform, a simple light blue collared shirt with the school logo emblazoned on the front, a figure of child holding a teddy bear in one hand an adult’s hand in the other. Along with the shirt was a pair of slacks and pair of shorts. Tom took some solace in the fact that he didn’t have to wear the even more babyish uniform of the lower grades. Still he knew everywhere he went he would be unmistakably identified as the grade school student he now was. And he was beginning to wonder if this really wasn’t the place he belonged after all.