Naren's first day at school isn't quite what she expected it to be. She certainly didn't expect the Macarena.
Monday morning arrived very quickly, bringing with it the expected anticipation and fear of starting a new school. I was kind of excited, seeing as it was Gerard and Mikey's old school. But I was dreading it because it was... Well, school. School is where the bullies are, and then the lessons, they bore me half to death. School is where you grow up, where you decide what kind of person you are. School is where you decide. You decide who you are, what you do, whether you care or not. School moulds you. Some come out good, some come out bad, some come out neutral.
My phone woke me up, Helena by the Misfits being my ringtone. It was seven am, and I did not want to get out of bed. It was cold, it was dark, and the thought of starting a new school just completed the package.
That day was scary, let me tell you. If you've never had to start a new school, count yourself lucky. I'm not talking about going from Elementary to Middle, or Middle to High. I'm talking High School to High School, in the middle of the term. I wasn't prepared, and I felt sick.
I rolled onto the floor and lay there for a while, not bothering to get up and turn the alarm off. It switched off itself, after thirty seconds or so. After lying on the floor groaning for around a minute, I dragged myself up, feeling like Frankenstein. The bathroom was locked when I got to it, and I heard someone moving around inside. The taps were running, and it sounded as of someone was brushing their teeth. The taps switched off, the door swung open, and out stepped a tall, skinny blonde girl. She didn't say a word to me, she only sniggered and stalked off down the hallway. I washed quickly then went back to my room to get dressed. I found my black jeans and a Misfits T Shirt that Jayne had retrieved from my mom's house, along with all my other possessions. I took my eyeshadow palette and a random eyeshadow brush from the drawer. After my foundation, I swept red eyeshadow onto the outer corners of my eyes, then got my trusty black eyeliner out. The Black Parade was playing softly in the background, and I listened as the song changed from The Sharpest Lives to Welcome to the Black Parade. I sang along as I grabbed a bag and started shoving stuff inside. The lyrics took on a meaning for me, telling me not to let the world take me. Feeling a little bit more confident and ready, I switched the CD player off and headed downstairs, feeling my pocket to make sure my iPod was there. I was met by Jayne, in the kitchen, wearing a dressing gown and fluffy slippers.
"Morning Isabelle," she yawned. "The bus'll be here in about ten minutes, you can wait outside if you want."
I nodded. "Yeah okay. See you later."
'Things are changing,' I thought. 'Look where I am. I'm away from my mom, after nearly eight years of abuse. I have a boyfriend. I should be happy. So why am I not?'
I shook my head and sat down at the bus shelter, waiting for the bus to arrive. After about ten minutes most of the kids from the hellhole had assembled there. The red headed boy had sat down beside me.
"Starting a new school then?" he asked.
I nodded silently, peering at him through the gaps in my fringe.
"It might not be that bad," he said, noticing my nervousness.
"Yeah it'll be great," I said, my tone dripping with sarcasm.
He opened his mouth as if to offer his retort, then seemed to think it unnecessary, and shut it again, then buried his head in a comic.
After a few minutes, I couldn't keep back my apology any longer.
"I'm sorry for being a bitch, I'm just nervous," I said.
"You're not a bitch, far from it," he muttered, his eyes speeding along the page.
"What are you reading anyway?" I asked.
"X Men. The bus is here, c'mon, we don't wanna miss it!" he stood up and walked towards where the bus was stopping, and I followed suit. There were already a few people on the bus, about ten or fifteen teenagers. X Men redhead boy hurried to sit beside a girl with curly blonde hair and glasses. I sat on my own, and plugged in my iPod, staring out the window at the cold, grey, New Jersey morning. The school seemed pretty normal. A few students were milling around the gates, chatting or copying homeworks off each other. The bus lurched and came to a stop, sending a small, brown haired girl wearing jeans and a Big Bang Theory jumper flying. The bus erupted into laughter, and nobody helped her up. I looked at her in pity. If I was at the front of the bus, I would have helped her up. Nobody even spared her a sympathetic glance.
We all spilled out onto the footpath, most kids running to rugby tackle their friends or looking for someone to talk to. Me, I walked awkwardly at the back, lagging behind, trying to figure what where to go and what to say. I felt a tap on my shoulder and spun around, pulling my earphones out. It was redhead X Men boy, his blonde friend hovering at his shoulder.
"You know where you're going?" he asked.
"The office over there. Just go and say your new, they'll sort you out and stuff," he pointed towards double doors beside the main entrance. "I gotta go, me and Jess have a late assignment to hand in. See you later."
"Thanks, bye!" I said, but he was already gone.
I shoved my earphones back in, but kept the volume at half way. The office was warm inside, and there was a woman in a grey and blue suit sitting at the front desk.
"Can I help you?" she asked, in a crisp, dry voice,
"I'm Isabelle, I'm meant to be starting here today," I replied.
"Oh, the new girl," she said. She began rummaging through drawers, evidently looking for something that she needed to give me, or something she needed to consult. She pulled a purple folder from the drawer and handed it to me.
"That's got your timetable and diary and stuff in it. You'll get your textbooks in class. Home room starts in ten minutes. I'll show you the way,"
"Thanks," I said, taking the folder.
I followed her out of the room, and into the hallway, which was flooded with teenagers. Let me just say, the hallway was mad. Kids with drumsticks banging them against the locker, couples making out and groping at each other's er... parts, sluts rolling up their already scarily short mini skirts and pulling their shirts down, letting their boobs out, people slamming other people's lockers shut, people running along the hall screaming, people texting and listening to music, people screaming, and a few people were just getting books from their lockers. We turned a corner, and there were no lockers. Art was hung up on the wall, or posters advertising clubs, with slogans like 'What can cooking club offer you?'. The office woman, whose name I still didn't know, stopped short outside a door with a number 17 painted on it.
"This is your home room," she said.
"Well go in! I have things to do! Good luck on your first day. You'll need it," she said, then she turned and walked back in the direction we came from.
Taking a deep breath, I turned the handle and went inside. It was as though I had suddenly stepped into a party. The room was chaos, absolutely mad! There was a boy playing music from his phone, and kids were singing along. It sounded like a bunch of terrified crows were being forced to sing, and they didn't know half the lyrics. There were two boys standing on desks, doing the macarena. A dark haired girl was sprawled across the floor, screaming at an iPad and pulling weird faces. And there at the front if the room, not bothered at all by the noise, was a teacher, sitting with his feet propped up on the desk and observing the class without concern. People were calling out to him, screaming rude things or ridiculous and he didn't get angry.
"Sir, when's your birthday?"
"Sir are you a virgin?"
"Sir have you had butt sex?"
"Sir are you gay?"
"Sir do you think Alexandra Jones is a slut?"
"Sir have you ever wanted to fuck a student?"
"Sir did you get Miss Atkinson pregnant!?"
"Sir have you ever done drugs?"
"SIR, YOU'RE A GAY ASS FAGGOT MOTHERFUCKER!"
"Why thank you for that comment, James. You are quite the faggot yourself," he said, grinning lazily at a student in the middle of the room.
"Alex, Kyle, you're doing it wrong!" he accused, pointing at the two boys doing the macarena on the desk. "This is how you do it!"
He stood up on his own desk and started doing the macarena. Someone played the song on their phone, and the teacher and two boys danced.
Seriously? The macarena? In a class room? On the desks? I stood awkwardly, wondering when he would notice me. A few girls were pointing at me, and one suddenly called out to the teacher.
"Sir, there's some chick in our classroom!"
"Huh?" he asked, stopping his dancing. "Oh! You must be the new girl! I'm Mr Heaney. What's your name?"
"I'm Isabelle," I said.
"Oh, well have a seat, Izzy!" he sat back down and took his phone out of his pocket.
I made my way to the back of the classroom, and sat by the window, well away from the gossiping barbies and the Macarena boys. The time ticked by slowly, slowly, slowly. Tick... Tock... Tick... Tock...
After what seemed like hours the bell finally rang. It broke through the chaos, bringing a little bit of order to the class. Some sat down on chairs, some sat on tables, some lay on the tables, some lay on the floor, and the Macarena boys made theirselves comfortable on Mr Heaney's desk. Like I said. A little bit of order.
"Alright, roll time..." Mr Heaney murmured, pulling a graffitied folder out of his drawer.
"I'M IN MY SEAT BEING A GOOD BOY."
"What? Oh - Oh - Here!"
"Dogface? Oh - My sincerest apologies, I meant Matt," he joked.
"Here," he said crossly.
The roll continued and he added my name to it, marking me as present.
"What do you have first?" he asked.
"Uhm... Hold on..." I rummaged in my bag for my timetable. I pulled it out, and consulted the colour coded table. "English. With... You."
"Oh that's good then. Just have a seat, the rest of the class will be here soon," he smiled.
As I made my way back to the seat I was at before, he stood up and started setting something up on the laptop, humming something that sounded like the Harry Potter them.
I stared out of the window in silence, wondering what this school would be like for me.
I felt hostility in the air, but thankfully not towards me in particular. There were hostile people in this school, and they just added to the atmosphere.
The school had a scent, too. It smelled like paint, and nail varnish, and fake tan, and lip gloss, and perfume, and deodorant, and after shave, and sweat, and coffee, and just a little bit of what smelled like weed.
The bell rang, cutting through my thoughts like wire through a block of cheese, and almost immediately students started piling in. I dared myself to look at them. And look I did. It was just like any other high school. Most people were wearing denim or coloured skinny jeans, and a few sluts in the usual second skin.
I couldn't keep looking up any longer. The fear was bubbling inside me, scorching my brain, burning holes in my veins. My gaze dropped down to the desk again, and I carried on with the doodles that were starting to personalise the back cover of my English book. As I shaded in a dogs paw, a shadow fell across the desk, and in the corner of my eye I could see a dark blue hoodie.
"You're sitting in my seat," he said bluntly.
I felt the blood rush to my face, and instead of saying anything, I simply gathered up my stuff and shoved it unceremoniously into my bag.
"Sorry," I say, in a barely audible murmur.
"It's okay, you can sit with me. I just have to sit by the window," he said.
"Thanks," I muttered. I dropped my bag on the floor and practically threw myself into the seat, in case anybody was looking at me. I'd draw a lot less attention to myself if I was sitting down than I would if I was standing.
When the room was pretty much filled up, Mr Heaney cried, "SILENCE! FOR I AM YOUR MASTER!"
A chorus of quiet laughter rippled through the room.
"Shh! Today, we are starting a new unit, which I think will be of interest."
"What is it?" someone asked.
"Alas! Thy curiosity and enthusiasm cannot be contained!" he exclaimed.
"Can't be tamed! Can't be tamed!" someone sang the lyrics to Miley Cyrus' Can't Be Tamed.
"Ha. Ha. Ha. Our new unit is drama and media! We're gonna be studying a few different types of movies, and take a look at how the mood is set. Does anyone have any examples? What makes the mood in a movie?"
"Facial expressions?" called out a girl with spiky brown hair and glasses.
"Yes!" he cried, writing it on the board.
"Tone of voice?"
"Your on a roll!"
The class threw ideas back and forward while I observed silently.
"The films we will be studying..." Mr Heaney began, "Are The Dark Knight, focusing on the Joker in particular, Harry Potter, Paranormal Activity, and the Avengers."
My head snapped up. I loved every single one of those movies.
"Has anyone seen them?" he asked.
Most people in the room raised their hand, and I timidly raised mine.
"I thought so," he said.
The forty five minute lesson passed quickly, and I found myself turning to the boy next to me to ask him where my science class is.
"Follow me," he grunted.
I slung my bag over my shoulder and he took off at such speed that he seemed to be trying to get rid of me. My short chubby legs struggled to keep up with his tall, thin ones, and I was jogging to keep up. My converse squeaked as I walked, and I silently screamed at them to shut up.
The science room was small and cramped, the teacher old and stout with a thin weedy voice. Boredom was prominent in the atmosphere of this room. Thankfully the lesson passed quickly, and so did the rest of the day. The hours sped forward, and all of a sudden it was lunchtime.
I didn't feel like eating, and I didn't know where the cafeteria was, so I head outside. I just listened to music for the whole hour, and drew a little bit.
So far my day was alright. Not many people noticed me, and nobody laid a hand on me. I wondered what Gerard and Mikey were doing. And the people I had met at the mall. Maybe some of them went to Belleville High.
My last lesson was maths, and it passed painfully slowly. I'm terrible at maths. By the end of the lesson I had a pounding headache, and I was just aching to listen to music.
Somehow I managed to find the bus, and was the first to get on and find a seat.
I rested my aching head against the cool glass, and watched as the other students piled on. Thankfully no one sat beside me.
I had missed Mikey and Gerard. Missed talking to them, hugging them. I had only known them for a few days, but I missed them like crazy. My hands fumbled for my phone in my pocket, and I sent a text to Mikey.
Hi. First day of new school today. Guess what school it is? Belleville High! It's okay so far, awesome English teacher called Mr Heaney. How's you? How's life? Can't wait until the new album, when does it come out? Speak soon :3
He replied almost immediately.
Mikey - Belleville High?! How did you know me and Gee went there? I'm good, so is everyone else :) New album comes out on November 22nd, we'll send you a free copy and stuff, obviously. You've heard the new singles off it?
I smiled as I typed out my reply.
I'm an MCR fan! Every MCR fan knows that you and Gerard went to Belleville High. It's not exactly something that not many people know :P And you don't need to send me a free copy, I can buy it myself :) And yeah, Na Na Na and Sing? I love them, they're really really different from your other albums.
It felt weird. Texting THE Mikey Way. Telling him him how Sing and Na Na Na were different from his albums. Saying, "your albums" and not "their albums".
Mikey - Woah stalker! And of course we're sending you a free copy, don't be stupid! How was school, anyway?
I typed my reply as the bus began to move forward.
It was okay. Kinda... Mad... There were two boys doing the Macarena on a desk in home room...
Mikey - Uhm okay... I'm gonna go take Bandit to the park now. Talk later?
Aw, that's cute!
Sure :) Give Bandit a hug from me :)
The bus ride home was pretty uneventful. A paper plane nearly poked me in the eye, but I swatted it out of the way in time. Nothing else happened though.
The bus pulled up outside the hellhole, and I clomped off the bus, alongside the other kids from the hovel.
"How was it?" asked redhead X-Men boy.
"It was... Interesting," I concluded.
"Interesting? Who's your home room teacher?"
"Mr Heaney," I said, turning to look at him. "He's really weird."
"Mr Heaney?! Lucky bitch!" he exclaimed.
I laughed slightly as I replied, "Yeah, he's cool."
That evening we had pasta for dinner, but I only ate half of it. Like I said, trying to lose just a bit of weight. After we finished our pasta, I washed the dishes. There was a rota, we each took a turn in doing the dishes every night, in alphabetical order. Same with vacuuming and cleaning. Vacuuming days were Sunday and Thursday, and we cleaned each bathroom once a week.
As usual, I went to bed at about ten o'clock, but the thoughts of what was lying ahead kept me awake.