The Notes (Novel Excerpt) – Abbie Hoffer

The last day of school. A day of goodbyes, yearbook signings, and vague promises to hang out over the summer. After walking the halls with my friends for a while, I made my way to homeroom to start off my last day of junior year. I took my seat, which was in the back row next to the window. The teacher, Mrs. Carmichael, was reclining back in her swivel chair and eating a light strawberry yogurt. She had a few kids around the room taking posters and projects down off of the walls.

“Kaitlyn,” she called out to me, “you need to go open your locker and take everything out.”

“Alright,” I responded, “But I’ll need my combination. I haven’t used it at all this year.” She picked up a clipboard and glanced down at it.

“Your combination is 22-9-19. Do you know where your locker is?” she asked.

“Yeah, I know where it is, I just didn’t know the combination.” I left my bag at my desk and walked down the hall towards my locker. All around, people were tossing old assignments and moldy forgotten sandwiches into the conveniently placed trash cans stationed around the hall. Girls were fondly stowing away photos of their friends and crushes, couples wee sharing one last lip lock before summer break separated them. Finding the right row of lockers, I three from the right and spun the lock a few times. It took a few tries before the lock had loosened up enough.

There was a lot of paper in my locker. Not old worksheets or anything I had ever seen before, they looked like notes. Hundreds of intricately folded and decorated notes, scattered on the floor of my locker. Judging from the edges of some of the notes, they had been shoved through the vents of the locker door.

I knew right away that the notes weren’t from any of my friends, because all of them knew that I never used my locker. I spotted a gift bag in a nearby trashcan and used it to grab all the notes. I left my locker door open and took the bag back to homeroom.

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