Back to School

For more Adventures of Linus and Margaret

Linus turned the corner fast, his knee colliding with the back of his sister’s head. She was crouched on the ground, digging deep into her pink and purple backpack.

“It’s time to go, Mar,” He said, picking up his own backpack from next to the door. “Mom’s already in the car.”

Margaret rubbed her head. Linus was about to mutter an apology for the bruise when his sister turned around and looked at him with watery eyes.

This annoyed Linus because they were already late and he hadn’t even hit her that hard.

“Come on! I don’t want to be late for my first day of second grade.”

Margaret bit her lip. They had spent the summer taking on Leviathans and going on vacations, but he his little sister look so unsure and afraid. Time for some big brother action.

Linus bent to his knee. “Is there something missing in your backpack?”

Margaret shook her head.

“What is it then?”

He remembered his first day of Kindergarten. How excited he had been to be driving to school – not pre-school – for the first time. This is where big-kids went, he remembered thinking.

“I’m scared,” Margaret whispered into the backpack. “I won’t know anyone.”

“No one will. It’s the first day.”

“Yea, but –”

“You wanted to learn how to read, right? And practice coloring in the lines?”

Margaret nodded.

“That’s what Kindergarten’s for!” Linus wedged his hand under her arm and pulled them both up from the ground. “Plus, if anyone bother’s you just come find me.”

The backpack was nearly as large as Margaret when she finally pulled in onto her back. She looked up at Linus, worry growing with each minute. “You think the other kids are going to bother me?”

Linus groaned. “No. I think that wittle kindergarteners are usually pretty nice and the mean ones get put in the corner right away.”

“What about the big kids?”

Linus shrugged. He had experienced some bullying from the third graders before but he didn’t want to scare her more, plus, he wanted to get in the car already! “You won’t see them much until first grade. They keep you separate for now.”

“So how will I find you if I need you?”

Linus thought for a moment before the idea hit him. He dropped his backpack without a word and rushed back up the stairs to his bedroom. When he returned, he had two walkie-talkies in his hand. He unzipped Margaret’s backpack and threw one in.

“There,” he said. “Now you’ll be able to reach me if you need me.”

Margaret’s face lit up.

“But only if you really, really, really, need my help,” he warned. “Or else you risk the teacher taking it away.”

Margaret nodded repeatedly, “I won’t lose it.”

She was smiling now and Linus pushed her out the door, locking it with his very own copy of the front door key. Their mother had given it to him this morning because he was a big kid now.

Margaret waited behind him, swaying on her feet. “I wonder if I’ll get Ms. Callahan like you or someone else.”

“Ms. Callahan was nice but I hear Mr. Broody brings snacks every morning.”

“Ooh, I love snacks! When do you think I’ll learn how to read? Right away? It takes a while right? You didn’t really learn until last year but I’m smarter than you so…”

He listened as the excitement grew in his sister’s voice. When they approached the car their mother sent him a small smile and asked, “Everybody ready?”

They cheered as she pulled out of the drive-way.

Inspired by Write Anything Wednesday!

6 thoughts on “Back to School

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