Exchange Student

by Cate S., Age 12 , Grade 7

A cold winter breeze blew out of my window as I laid my head on my desk. My mother was baking a cherry pie for my grandmother in the kitchen. Grandma was turning 69 today, and we needed to bring something to her party.


Following the smell of sweet sugar, I slowly got up and walked downstairs. The stairs creaked as I stepped on each one, so mom knew I was coming down. I scooped up a little bit of the cherry filling onto my finger as I walked past the pie, and licked it off my finger. Mom asked, “Are you ready for your first day of school tomorrow?” I replied with an eye roll and a moan because that’s how I truly felt about the idea of going to a new school. Mom told me to get ready for the party and to make sure I looked nice since ‘everyone’ will be there. 


I raced back up the stairs, two steps at a time to change. As I grabbed my hair tie, my cat Luna hissed at me. She’s hungry. I pulled my Auburn hair into a messy bun as my mom called to me from outside and told me to hurry. I ran down the staircase as fast as I could and once I got outside I locked the door shut. I twisted the knob side to side to make sure it was locked. Mom honked the car horn at me. She is so impatient. I jumped in the car and buckled my self in. Grandmother’s house is far away and we don’t visit her often, so it will be nice to see her.


Once we got there I had mom’s pie ready to go in my hands. I shuffled out of my seat and walked up to her house. As mom knocked on the door, you could see somebody walking up through the windows of the door. The door opened and Grandma came up to me to give me a big kiss. I assumed people would be arriving soon. I put the pie on the dining room table, where mom and grandma where heading to.


Thirty minutes had passed and still no people. Then the doorbell rang and I sprinted out of my seat. A flood of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends started to pile in. I looked eagerly for my cousin Olive. I heard she had an exchange student from Sweden staying at her house. I couldn’t wait to meet her. I’ve never met anyone from Sweden before; I imagine she would have blonde hair and green eyes, but I didn’t even know what language she spoke. All I knew is that this was probably one of the most interesting things happening to out family.


When I spotted Olive, I shouted her name. She started walking but I didn’t see the exchange student, just some brown haired boy. She walked over with him and said “Izzy this is Erik, Erik this is Izzy.” I looked at him and said “Who are you?” in a snarkier tone than I meant to use. Olive said, “This is the exchange student, y’know, from Sweden.  “Oh, I thought you were gonna be a girl.”, I replied. I was so embarrassed!


Erik grinned and then winked at me. He winked at me! I must have turned 10 different shades of red and I felt my ears getting warm. I made a quick excise to go help my grandma and quickly shuffled off to the kitchen to escape the awkward moment. After I had a moment to cool down, then I felt even more stupid for running off. Why did I run away like that? Gosh, he must think I am dumb! The truth was that he caught me so off guard and his smile was the most adorable thing I think I have ever seen. Yuck. I am not the kind of girl that gets crushes on random boys and acts silly.


I started to help my grandma and mom lay food out for guests, and my mind started wandering off. I wonder why Olive didn’t tell me it was a boy. I don’t think she told me specifically that it was a girl, but when we spoke last week we thought her exchange student was a girl. Erik arrived 4 days ago and I had texted Olive like 100 times since then! Shaking my head, I tried to get his cute smile out of my mind. Just then I felt a tap on my shoulder. Expecting to see my mom handing me another casserole to put on the table, I whipped around quickly with an annoyed look on my face. It was Erik.


“Hey”, Eric said with that dazzling smile on his face again. I couldn’t stop looking, but then his smile turned into a confused look and I wondered why. Oh I left him hanging. I quickly said “Hi, sorry.” He asked if he could help. I replied with “Sure.” I handed him some plates and napkins to lay on the table. I didn’t know what to say so I asked “How do you like Florida?” He replied with “ It’s warm.” This was getting awkward. I asked, “How long are you staying in Florida?” He replied “Six more weeks.” I thought to myself, he’s going to be in town for the Winter Formal! Then I almost giggled out loud at how stupid I was acting.


I flashed him a huge smile and said “Oh good, maybe I’ll see you later”, and I walked away with something that resembled butterflies in my chest.  


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