What If . . .
Everyone Knew Your Name

CHAPTER 2

SPANISH CLASS
Everything makes sense
when you’re speaking the
international language of
P-O-P-U-L-A-R.


It was passing period on Monday morning, the first day of school, and the halls were congested with students slamming lockers, slapping high fives and snapping bra straps.

Haley followed Annie Armstrong, clutching her books and fending off a pair of rowdy linebackers playing a game of touch freshman. Basically this game involved one of the boys tossing a football at an unsuspecting freshman girl while the other made like he was going in for a catch but instead reached for the girl’s breasts.

“I like to think of Hillsdale High as a sort of training ground for real life,” Annie said to Haley while ducking out of the path of the ball. “Sure there are obstacles to overcome, but whatever your major field of interest, you can explore it here.”

Annie had volunteered to be a part of the welcome program that helped new students acclimate to Hillsdale High. Haley had been assigned to Annie because they had similar class schedules—all honors except for Spanish, which was a third language for both of them. Annie, Haley discovered, had also studied French in junior high.

“Impressive, isn’t it?” Annie said with pride, as Haley noticed a long glass case filled with trophies and rows of photographs. “For a public school, we do more than all right. In fact, we have everything,” she added, beaming. “A debate team, a fencing squad, archery, Spanish club, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, lacrosse. We have skiing—downhill, cross-country and water. Band. There’s golf, dramaturgy, Francophiles, Model UN, student council, badminton, tennis. We have Young Scientists and math Olympics, home economics and Econ Ten. Horseback riding, chess, Young Philanthropists and ballet.”

Haley’s head was spinning. She began to worry that she didn’t have enough extracurricular activities on her résumé. In just a few years, she would be competing for college placement with girls like Annie, who could probably build the world in five days, as opposed to seven.

“And last, but certainly not least,” Annie sighed, “we have . . .” She paused and looked around to make sure no one else was listening, then in a reverent whisper said, “SIGMA.”

“What’s Sigma?” Haley asked, without bothering to keep her voice down. Several girls craned their necks to get a look at her.

Annie laughed nervously, shrugged and announced, “She’s new here,” before grabbing Haley by the arm and pulling her around the corner. “Boy, do you have a lot to learn,” she said, shaking her head disapprovingly and bumping into a girl fiddling with the combination on her locker.

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Excerpted from What If . . . Everyone Knew Your Name by Liz Ruckdeschel and Sara James. Text copyright © 2006 by Liz Ruckdeschel and Sara James. Excerpted by permission of Delacorte Books for Young Readers, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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