Read and explore.
I ran out of the school as soon as I could and as fast as I could. Didn’t wait for Emily, didn’t stop, didn’t hesitate.
She pounded through the streets, her feet slapping against the pavement. She was a good runner; used to represent her school in competitions. Not that she was interested in winning. No, she just liked to run. Winning was great, not that she actually won anything, but she liked running for running’s sake. She vaulted the gate and dashed up to the house, let herself in and began to tear up the stairs. However, her Mom came out, wanting to talk.
“Hey sweetheart. How was it?” Mrs Wilkinson was drying her hands on a tea towel as she appeared in the hallway.
Joanna scowled at her mother. “I hate it. I don’t know anyone and, and I was teased because of my accent. “
“It can’t have been that bad,” her mom said placidly, but she was talking to empty air. Joanna had stomped up the stairs and slammed her bedroom door behind her.
I know it wasn’t as bad as I made out, but I was mad. It’s what teenagers do. Get mad at their parents because they don’t understand them. I never used to argue with my parents. But since they told me we were moving to the U.S of A and how exciting it was, it was all I’d done. Can you blame me? I don’t know.
And even if Emily was now angry at me, which I doubted seeing as since I’d known her she’d always been a mediator, there was always the boy from English. Not that I knew who he was.
“Yeah I know. Totally.” Joanna said into the phone. “Yeah, it’s totally…you what? Oh bogus, yeah, right. Bogus. But Mom wanted me home so what can you do? How was your day? You, you did what? Oh /cheerleading/. Yeah Em. There’s a spare place? Me? Try out? I dunno. It’s like…commitment. Oh, parents. I gotta go. See you tomorrow.” She put the landline down and looked up at her mom.
“I’m, uh, sorry for earlier,” she said hanging her head.
“It’s okay honey. It’s tough I know. But you’ll settle right in,” her mom smiled. “Chocolate?” she asked, offering her daughter a bar. Joanna grinned taking it and collapsing on the smoky grey, old sofa.
“So what did Emily have to say?”
“She wanted to.” Joanna paused as she swallowed. “Know whether I wanted to try out for the cheerleading squad.”
“Cheerleading?!” her mom laughed.
“Yeah,” Joanna said, immediately becoming defensive. “Why?”
“Oh well darlin’. I wouldn’t have thought you were…”
“Pretty enough. That’s what you were going to say wasn’t it?” she demanded, jumping to her feet.
“Well…” her mom began shamefaced. Joanna just stared open mouthed at her mom. “I’m going out,” she snapped.
“But Joanna. You don’t know the area.” But once again Joanna was gone, this time out of the front door, running down the street. Mrs Wilkinson sighed and put her head in her hands.
I can’t believe she said that! Aren’t moms supposed to tell you that you’re beautiful no matter what? And that you can do anything you want if you try? I hadn’t planned on trying out, but I resolved to try out and prove Mom wrong.
She was sitting despondently on a swing in the nearby park. There were no kids playing, no birds singing. It was a gloomy place; nothing like the parks of England. She swung a little, pushing herself lackadaisically with her right foot.
“Hey.” Accompanying the male voice was a gentle hand on her shoulder. She jumped, and looked over her shoulder to see who it was.
It was a boy, with dark brown hair who looked maddeningly familiar.
“Hey,” she replied quietly. The boy smiled as he sat down on the swing next to her.
“I know you don’t I?” Joanna asked suddenly.
He nodded. “Yeah. You’re Joanna. Preferably Anna, yes?”
She grinned in reply.