Read and discover.
So I was starting a new school. Shouldn’t be hard. Huh. Yeah right. I was new and I was English. Bad combo I know. At least I knew some people. That was a bonus…right?
She was wearing faded denim jeans that had holes at the knee, a scarlet vest top over a black long sleeved top and a black denim jacket. Battered trainers covered her feet. On her back was an old aqua rucksack that contained a notebook, a couple of biros and her purse. Her ebony hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail so that a few strands were falling across her dark blue eyes.
She walked to the front gate and shuffled on the spot for a minute, aware that her Mom was watching out of the front window. She took a deep breath and pushed the gate open, walked through so she was standing next to Emily who was smiling benevolently at her.
“You ready?” she asked, looking immaculate in dark jeans a white dress top and black boots.
“Not really,” Joanna breathed.
“What?” Emily asked, frowning.
“I said yeah sure,” Joanna said at normal volume.
“Great!” Emily beamed. “Dad can give us a lift.”
I never was comfortable around Emily’s Dad. I don’t know why. He just gave out an aura of ‘don’t mess with me or else.’ So consequently that ride was quiet. Very quiet. Extremely quiet.
She hesitated outside the school even though her friend was walking on. There were cries of “Yo Em how’s it hanging?” and “Em, Long time no see.” Joanna hesitated longer as she realised with a shock that her friend was popular. Extremely popular. Mega popular. Cheerleaders in the movies popular. That was Emily turned round and gestured with her head.
“You coming Jo?”
A few heads turned to watch the new girl walk into the school, and from one of the observers there was wolf whistle, causing Joanna to duck her head and blush, her face quickly turning a fiery red. As she reached Emily, Emily smiled. “Hey get used to it. You’re pretty Jo. Remember that.”
As Emily uttered that statement, Joanna tripped over her own feet. She righted herself quickly but she heard a few sniggers causing her face to stay red.
“You’d better go to main office,” Emily continued as they entered the school building. “It’s over there,” she finished, pointing to their left. “Down the corridor, turn left, then right and it’s just across the hall. I’ll see you later, kay? I gotta go see Miss Patel.” And then she was gone. Leaving Joanna in the middle of a hallway, dumbfounded.
I don’t think I ever got over the fact that she’d just disappeared. It shocked me. She obviously thought I was good at adjusting. I wasn’t. I’m not. And nothing could change the fact that my accent was obvious.
She ran down an empty corridor. Lessons had started about fifteen minutes ago while she was still filling out forms. Now she was trying to make her way to English. Not that she understood why it was called English. It should be called American. As she was pondering this she slid down a corridor and went straight past the door she was looking for. She skidded to a halt and ran back, knocked then pushed the door open.
“Yes?” The teacher asked, looking slightly irritated.
“Um, I’m Joanna Wilkinson. I’m new? I’m, uh, sorry I’m late, I was at the office…” she trailed off as the teacher nodded and smiled slightly.
“There’s a spare seat at the back Miss Wilkinson. And I expect you to be good at this subject,” he smirked. Joanna’s face fell. She hated English. She found it pointless. Why did he expect her to be good at it? Then it clicked. Her accent. So obviously English. She kept her head down as she made her way to the empty seat.
As she walked towards the seat she tentatively looked up, searching for a friendly face. Most people were watching her with interest or hard eyes. She dropped her gaze to the floor till she reached the chair. As she sat down she noticed that one boy had a ghost of a smile on his face. Her lips hesitantly quirked up into a smile, but he looked away. Her face fell.
Her worst subject with a anti Joanna teacher and no friends. Perfect.
I managed to get through the lesson and the lessons after that. I thought that at lunch I’d be able to see my friends. Turns out that they were in the other half of the year and consequently I had no lessons, no breaks and no contact with them.
She stood up and left the cafeteria after wolfing her lunch down so she could escape the stares that came of being the new girl. As she almost ran out of the doors that opened onto the outside, she ran straight into someone, sending them tumbling to the floor.
“I’m sorry!” she gasped, cringing. She slowly focused on who it was she’d sent flying. It was the boy from her English class. He scrambled to his feet.
“No problem,” he muttered as he dusted himself down.
“Are-Are you ok?” Joanna asked timidly.
“Apart from getting knocked down by the crazy English girl, yeah,” he replied. She hung her head. “Sorry.”
He snickered. “I was kidding, you know.”
“Oh! I, er, knew that,” she countered.
He nodded. “Sure Jo. Course you did.”
“Anna,” she blurted. “Not Jo.” He looked at her consideringly.
“Ok. Anna.” He made his way to the top of the steps. “See you around.”
She nodded as he disappeared through the doors. Then realised she didn’t even know his name.