It is their second day in Paraguay and they have to go to school. Jane tries to stay calm but Jeremy is excited. It is their first day of school. He is carrying a new schoolbag and is eager to head for school right away.
“Jane, hurry up. It’s always the same with you. You’re going to break all the mirrors in the house because you’re so ugly,“ Jeremy shouts from downstairs.
The relationship with his sister is the same as in Chicago, of course, but now Jeremy is much more willing to annoy his sister. Now he has leverage.
“And remember, we´re now in the same school and Miguel Ángel will be there…,” Jeremy says.
“Don´t even think about it! You are not going to screw this up like you always do,” Jane shouts as she runs down the stairs and gets in the car.
In a few minutes they arrive at school. They are surprised to see such greenery at school, full of plants and flowers, though they were in the center of the city on Brasilia Avenue. It is a very nice building. Jane walks through the door of the school and Jeremy enters through another door as he is still in elementary school. A relief for Jane since she will not have to see her brother at break time every day.
“Hi there!” says Miguel Ángel walking up to her. “I thought I would see you today.”
All the girls and boys look at her since she is “the new girl” in school. It is awkward. Although she has a friend in Miguel Ángel, who is not only super cute, but a senior student, it is still a little scary. Were the girls jealous?
“You must be the new girl, my name is Alicia Benegas.” Jane turns around to see a beautiful girl of intense black eyes and brown skin standing behind her.
Jane thinks that the Paraguayan girls are really very pretty. The combination of dark skin and mysterious eyes is amazing. Jane is not a typical American girl. Her skin is very white but she also has some of that Paraguayan heritage. She has a wide mouth with full lips and beautiful blue eyes.
“We’ll have a welcome party for you after school today. The school headmaster told us about your arrival,” Alicia says. ”Miguel Ángel and I will pick you up.”
“But…,” Miguel Ángel says hesitantly.
“Miguel… forgive me, I forgot to tell you about this party, but I can count on you to go to Jane’s house… yes?”
“Of course, I love surprises,” Miguel Ángel says smiling.
“Guys, it’s time to start, please go to your classrooms,” says Sara, the course monitor. “You must be Jane. My name is Sara and I am your monitor.”
Jane thinks it is a very good start. She has friends in the courtyard, friendly inviting adults that ask her nicely to go to class and Miguel’s big blue eyes. And he is also going to take her to a welcome party after school. She cannot ask for more.
Jane has geography class in the first period. The teacher spends much of the class talking about the most important things in Paraguay. Some students also participate and tell the rest of the class about the region of the country where they are from. Some show pictures and others have a video.
“For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Lourdes and I am from San Bernardino,” says one of the students who is called to the front of the class. “Everybody calls it “San Ber” and it is the summer capital of Paraguay where everyone goes for summer vacation. We have a beautiful lake there called Ypacarai.”
She looks at Alicia and then addresses Jane directly. “Jane, you are new here. Welcome to Paraguay. Many of us in the class are going to San Ber tonight. Alicia has organized the trip. You are coming with us, right?“
Jane nods, a little surprised, still looking at the images. She has no idea if her parents will even let her go. An afterschool party three hours away by bus seems a bit much.
“Jane, what would you like to tell us about yourself?“ asks Silvia, the professor, inviting her to participate.
“Well, I think everyone already knows that my name is Jane. I’m in Paraguay because my parents are writers and received an invitation from a Foundation to write their next book that will be about Paraguay. I think I was not very happy with the news at first, but really, now, I’m very, very happy. Paraguay’s great!”
The bell rings. It is the end of the class. After the next class, Jane wants to go outside for their break and talk with Miguel Ángel. She needs some answers.