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. I pounded through the streets, my feet slapping against the pavement. I was a good runner; used to represent my school in competitions. My English school. Not that I was interested in winning. No, I just liked to run. Winning was great, but I liked running for running’s sake.
I vaulted the gate and dashed up the house, let myself in and began to tear up the stairs but Mom came out, wanting to talk.
“Hey sweetheart. How was it?” Mom was drying her hands on a tea towel as she appeared in the hallway.
I scowled. “I hate it. I don’t know anyone and, and I was teased because of my accent. “
“It can’t have been –“ I left her talking and stomped up the stairs and slammed my bedroom door behind me.
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.” I 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.” I put the landline down and looked up at mom.
“I’m, uh, sorry for earlier,” I said hanging my head.
“It’s okay honey. It’s tough I know. But you’ll settle right in,” mom smiled. “Chocolate?” she asked, offering me a bar. I grinned taking it and collapsing on the smoky grey, old sofa.
“So what did Emily have to say?”
“She wanted to.” I paused as I swallowed. “Know whether I wanted to try out for the cheerleading squad.”
“Cheerleading?!” mom laughed.
“Yeah,” I 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?” I demanded, jumping to my feet.
“Well…” mom began shamefaced. I just stared open mouthed at mom.
“I’m going out,” she snapped.
“But Joanna. You don’t know-.” But once again I left, running down the street.
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.
I 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. I swung a little, pushing myself with my right foot.
“Hey.” Accompanying the male voice was a gentle hand on my shoulder. I jumped, and looked over my shoulder to see who it was.
It was a boy, with dark brown hair who looked maddeningly familiar.
“Hey,” I replied quietly. The boy smiled as he sat down on the swing next to her.
“I know you don’t I?” I asked suddenly.
He nodded. “Yeah. You’re Joanna. Preferably Anna, yes?”
I just grinned in reply.