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Chuck hadn't considered that possibility. In his joy at finding a good Christian school at all, he had forgotten the transportation issue. Indeed, Jerome himself, had not given it any thought.

"I want Charlie to attend this school. I'll work something out," replied Chuck.

"My husband is the principal," smiled Mrs. Strickland. "Why don't we go to his office and get your daughter enrolled, Mr. Overholt?"

Principal Strickland's face looked as grim and strict as his name suggested. Charlie was silently feeling sorry for herself when she heard Principal Strickland mention the grade into which she was to be placed.

"But, in North Carolina, I was in the eleventh, not the tenth grade," protested Charlie.

"That may be," replied Principal Strickland, "but until your school records arrive, and you have been adequately tested by our staff, you will be placed among students of your own age."

There was a sound of finality in his voice that made Charlie fear she was doomed to the tenth, no matter how high her grade average was. Chuck signed some papers and handed over a check that Jerome had already approved.

"Charlie can begin class today," informed Mrs. Strickland, handing the fifteen year old a schedule of the classes she would be attending. "Your locker number is printed at the top of the page," pointed out Mrs. Strickland. "I'll go get the textbooks you'll need."

"Welcome to Galilee Christian School, Charlie," said Principal Strickland. "We hope you'll be happy here." Charlie smiled weakly. "School begins at seven and lets out at two thirty. Tardiness will be disciplined," warned Principal Strickland. "Disobedience in class is not acceptable. Here is handbook of rules that Galilee Christian School adheres to. I suggest you read it thoroughly." Charlie took the pamphlet from his hand and flipped through its contents.

Mrs. Strickland returned with an armful of textbooks.

"Why don't we put these in your locker?" she suggested, leading Charlie and her father into the hall. Charlie found her locker and stowed the books away. Mrs. Strickland checked the large white clock in the hall. "You've already missed English 2. World History began at eight o' clock. It's right over there," pointed Mrs. Strickland. "You had better say good-bye to your father now, and join the class."

Chuck reached out to hug his daughter, but she pulled away.

"Daddy!" she complained, "not in public!"

"I'll see you after school, Pumpkin," called out Chuck, watching his daughter disappear behind the door.

Mr. Jenkins, the World History teacher, looked up from his desk as Charlie entered the room. Most of the students, eager for any distraction that interrupted their work, turned in their chairs to gawk at the new kid.

"You have precisely nine minutes to finish your test," reminded Mr. Jenkins. The teenagers reluctantly returned to work. Mr. Jenkins motioned Charlie to his desk.

"I'm Charlie Overholt," she whispered.

"You may take a seat," instructed Mr. Jenkins. Charlie quickly found an empty seat near the back and sat down. Charlie sat there, stupidly doing nothing. The entire class was taking a test, so there was nothing to do but to wait.

When the nine minutes were up, and the test papers were gathered, Mr. Jenkins announced that they had a new pupil.

"I expect you all to make Charlie feel welcome. And remember, you were once new here, yourself," he reminded. After class was over, everyone got up and filed out of the room. Charlie noticed that the boys were hanging back, and letting the girls go first. She picked up her textbook and followed the other girls outside.

"Hi," said one of the girls, shyly introducing herself. "My name is Kendra Hanna. That pretty girl over there is my twin sister, Jenna. I know we don't look like each other. We're fraternal twins," she explained. The other girls introduced themselves, but Kendra was the only one who didn't leave. "Where are you from?" asked Kendra, walking beside Charlie to their next class.

"Twin Yucca," replied Charlie. "But before that, I lived in Montana."

"Really?" exclaimed Kendra, "me too! I mean, not the Montana part. But, I live in Twin Yucca, too! My parents own a restaurant there. Maybe you've been there? It's called 'Hanna's Family Restaurant.' I'm been lobbying to get the name changed, but I've been vetoed every time!" Charlie couldn't help smiling. Kendra was nice.
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