He walked straight and tall. He was always tall for his age but now he could see just how tall and slim he was compared to everyone else. He looked a little embarrassed.
"Hey!" A voice called to him. "That's the first grade wing aren't you a third grader?"
"N-no," he shook his head his black hair falling in his eyes.
"Oh sorry, I have a tendency to open my mouth without thinking. I'm Audrey."
"Once-ler," he whispered.
"Meet me by the big tree at recess 'kay Once?" She asked.
He nodded eagerly.
"Good. You don't say much do you?"
He shook his head.
"I like you!" She hugged him. He tensed up a little and then relaxed.
He watched her leave and then sprinted to his class. He smiled, today started out bad but it was turning out better than he expected. He felt that annoying tickling in his throat again. He coughed into his arm again. He went into the class room and found his name on his desk.
"Once-ler Seuss," the teacher grinned her back to him on a swivel chair, "has just entered the room."
"How did you know?" He asked.
"I know everything!" She laughed. She was young. Her eyes sparkled and were the bluest of azure blues. Her bright red hair was pulled in a high pony tail and a guitar case sat behind her desk. She was a pleasant 24 year old freshly graduated teacher. She loved children and this one was intriguing her.
"You might have met my sister she's wandering the halls usually."
"What's her name?" He asked.
"Audrey." The 24 year old smiled.
"Oh yeah, I met her. She's really nice."
"Glad you think so, I however beg to differ," the elder laughed again a playful smile wiping across her face.
"You're not telling him any crazy . . . oh hello again!" Audrey said with a grin. "I didn't know you were in my sister's class! We could have walked down together. Laura, I know this is going to surprise you, but I forgot my pencil case."
"Already!? Audrey really? When are you . . . never mind that's never happening so why do
I bother asking."
"Thank you!" She laughed taking the three sharpened number two pencils from her sister's hand. "What would I do without you?"
"Be asking teacher's that aren't related to you for pencils on your first day of third grade?" The two sisters smiled high fived and then Audrey left.
"So, Once-ler," She said leaning over her podium. "Aren't you kinda warm in that shirt, hun, it's like August?"
"Oh I'm always cold," he lied through his teeth wiping sweat off the back of his neck.
"Alright then," She gave him a smile. "Why are you here so early?"
"My brothers are sophomores and have to drive to school and they drop me off first."
"Oh, nice," She smiled, "Car pooling, very eco friendly."
"Eco friendly?" he asked, "What's that?"
"What do you mean what's that? It means it helps the trees and the environment and stuff like that."
"Oh," he nodded.
"You've never heard about environmental preservation and saving the trees and that stuff."
"Oh it's like saving the trees, oh no I've heard of it, it's just my aunt and my mother are vehemently against it."
"I see?" She asked.
"My aunt is Vicki DeMode."
"You're kidding. You poor child," she said gently.
"It's not that bad really."
"Wait that means your Dr. Seuss' kid aren't you? Dr. Nathan Seuss?"
"He was my pediatrician when I was little and he's Audrey's."
"No way, small world," he smiled showing his missing front teeth.
This caused his young teacher to laugh. "You're really sweet. Now I see it, you look a lot like your dad."
"People say so," he grinned.
She just laughed, "I can't get over you. I just can't."
The bell rang. "Oh snap gotta get into teacher mode," she winked and grabbed the guitar from her case. It was beautiful. The wood was painted with beautiful trees of all colors and in the left corner was a little orange peanut looking thing, the Lorax.