I pulled my hair back into a messy bun with my half functional hair brush and glanced at myself in the mirror. I contemplated re-doing it, but i could hear my bus slowly chugging toward my street. I threw my bag over my shoulder and darted for the stairs. “Don’t forget your papers on the table!” my mother reminded. “Yeah, i got it”. I grabbed the papers and threw them into my bag, inevitably crumpling them. i shoved my PB and J into my mouth and grabbed my water bottle that was filled with warm chocolate milk. I could hear the bus stop with one final cough. I grabbed my set of keys and wedged my feet into my shoes. I grabbed my sandwich from my mouth. “Bye mom” i said while slamming the door shut and bolting for the bus at the end of the driveway.
As i sped to the bus I could feel Ashley and Kayla’s eyes scanning me, even through the glossy dewy windows. I knew what I looked like, my hair was a mess, my clothes were not matching and neither were my socks. My shoelaces were undone and my feet loosely wedged into them. It probably didn’t help that I was holding my breakfast. I quickly hopped onto the bus and bolted for the seat beside Jack and Luke. “have a good summer?” luke chirped.
“Umm, yeah,sure, what about you?” i said, still pumped with adrenalin.
“Not too bad” he said, before pulling a comic out of his bag. “It’s the latest edition of The Flash, i love the comics, but not the show.” he said.
I didn’t know how to respond. “Cool” i said. I didn’t really talk to them much the rest of the way to school. I concentrated on drinking my chocolate milk and eating my sandwich without spilling.
The bus stopped with a cough and a halt. I shoved my lunchbox filled with crumbs and half empty bottle of chocolate milk into my bag and hoisted my bag onto my shoulder while shoving to the front.
The pavement was littered with clusters of kids with pinned-lined bags and the most in-season summer wear. The moment i stepped off the bus i was being carried by the strong current of teenagers of all shapes and sizes. I recognised some of them from last year, but i wouldn’t consider them my friends. Just acquaintances. There was a split at the gate, some heading straight to the hallways, some heading for the main hall and some to the main office.
“You know, i think it could be a great opportunity for you to join the buddy system this year Rin” my dad and my conversation ringing in my mind, “nah, its okay dad, im fine where i am” He thought it would be nice to meet the new kids and show them around. He didn’t say it, but i knew it was because i didn’t have friends. How would they know this? My mom is part of a group of moms from my school. They go on about how their kids have parties and sleepovers and stuff like that, last time i had someone over was when i was 5, and my mom arranged it. There was nothing i would like to do less. I would have to skip lunch breaks and homeroom to ‘buddy’. This of course was not up for debate, so i had to go do it. I made my way through the hoards of 8th graders and ended up in the main office. Once i opened the glass door i knew i had to get out of there. In front of me stood a girl with long curly light brown hair and shiny grey eyes. She was about 5’4 and wore a white shirt with black on the edge of the sleeves with dark blue ripped jeans and grey and navy blue high tops. She looked like she was going to fit right in with Kayla and her cliche group.
Kayla, Ashley, Cheryl and Lavone have been annoying since the dawn of time, picking on people just for the fun of it. I’ve known Ashley since grade 2, when she used to trip and kick me around the ankles in ballet just for the fun of it. Kayla and Lavone i met in grade 3, when they pushed me off the swing sets and called me names that were grammatically incorrect. Cheryl soon joined the mess in grade 5 when she moved from Austrailia, and is exactly like the rest of them. They made the rest of my school life a living hell, and i am in no mood to start anything this year. Sadly, Kayla and Ashley are in my class this year, so i doubt there will be much peace.
“Hi, my name is Adrian” she said, extending her left hand. “Hi” I said, shaking her hand. Firm. Mr Bridge was stood next to her, looking more flustered than usual. “Now, Adrian has just moved in from 2 years in Scotland so i expect you to help her find her way around” Iv never been to scotland,we visit friends in neighbouring cities alot though. he handed me a stack of neatly stapled papers. “Here are her papers, timetable, locker, rooms, things like that and i will meet you two at lunch right here”, he said, gesturing to the ground. i looked over at her. She just smiled. Her wavy golden brown hair reminded me of lavone, her silvery blue bag reminded me of cheryl and her attitude reminded me of how they were, and what they became, and i didn’t have any intent of getting involved. “Right, off you go then” he said, waving his hands to the doors. She adjusted her bag on her shoulder and brushed her hair to the left of her. “Hi, my name is Robin” i said. “Like robin hood?”. I was hoping she wouldn’t point that out.“Yeah,umm sure..., i guess” i said, peeking at her sets.I didn’t know if she wanted me to, they were hers after all. She was in my class and her locker was in the same hall as mine, just across the row and to the left. “So you can umm,... follow me to your locker, if you want.” i said, trying to stay focused. “It's a big school, isn’t it” she said, looking around, i just shrugged. “Sure, yeah, yeah” i said, before turning to face the crowded hall, i shoved along the side of the lockers before reaching hers.
“So, umm, this is your locker, and umm, i don’t think you will, need, stuff...But its up to you, umm, yeah...” she nodded.
“Im just ...going to...” i said as she tried getting her combination in.
I shoved through the crowds of eighth graders and the strong clouds of perfume from girls sharing emma watsons new sense and made it to my locker. Within a couple of twists i opened it to reveal some old notebooks and loose papers. I swung my bag from my back and threw it in before slamming it closed and darting back to Adrian. Once i was close enough to see her i waved, but within a few seconds i saw who she was talking to.
“Oh, you again” She rolled her eyes and let out a giggle
“People are supposed to start giving up halfway through the year.” kayla said, looking at my outfit and pinching my shirt sleeve. Adrian blinked at me. “Adrian?” i said. Cheryl,Lavon and Ashley strode in from the bathrooms. Don’t go to war without an army. I lifted my head high and walked to class.
We didn’t do much that morning. We played ice breakers and met with all of our teachers and ‘investigated what is learning’. I snuck a few glances at Adrian, seeing as i was supposed to help her around, but every time i would, Ashley would glare at me or mouth out ‘stop staring’, so i did. Before long it was break, and i had to make the journey to enemy territory to get Adrian
and take her to the reception for a ‘check in’. The bell sounded and just before army of well dressed middle schoolers left with their prisoner, i tapped her on the shoulder. “Hey, so umm, we have to go to this thing for um, new kids and stuff”. I was very aware that i was being stared at like i was not speaking english.”yeah, let's go” Adrian chirped. “But Addie, we need to decorate your locker” she said, pointing to her bright pink and light purple locker that was probably visible from space. “Maybe tomorrow” she said. Kayla and Ashley’s faces were priceless. I doubt anybody had ever said no to them before. I turned around with ‘Addie’ and headed for the reception. “I take it you don’t get on with them” she said, digging in her pocket for her phone. “Yeah, its umm, complicated but-” she cut me off “don’t worry about it” she said. I saw the head of administration at the end of the hall with a bunch of kids i didn’t recognise. “Im guessing thats you” i said, turning to her. “Umm, yeah, catch you later?” she said, lifting her fist. “Yeah, sure” i said, bumping it. I turned around and walked back to the break room. There were loose papers and candy wrappers strewn about floor, and the odd cluster of eighth graders were clinging to the side of their lockers.
I waited in the empty halls for break, watching the clock’s hand jerk forward to match the time. I tapped my foot in rhythm. “Hey, you waited?” Adrian walked out of the hall with a jump to her step. “Uh, Yeah, i guess i did” i said. “We have…umm….Science... next in room, uh, c34 Science” i said, pointing my thumb behind me “oh, okay” she shrugged. “Lead the way” she joked. I smiled.My didn’t really talk the way there. She hummed the tune to a popular pop song that i hear on the radio when my mom picks me up. I didn’t know what it was, but it sounded good, i guess. The hallways began spilling in with sweaty kids with cheeto dust on their fingers and water in hand. We stopped in front of Ms Grabow’s class. Since Ashley and Kayla are in all of my classes, i won’t have a lot of luck to get away from them. They stood, oblivious to the fact they were blocking most of the loud crowded hall. They were scanning each other’s nails. As if on cue, Ashley lifted her head and spotted Adrian. “Addie! Come, look, we painted each other’s nails yesterday, and this is how they are a day later.” They looked fine, but they were clearly upset. Kayla rolled her eyes at me “does nail polish melt your skin” she said, rolling her eyes. I looked down at my nails, I had bit the ends off the night before and stained by my pen from this morning .I looked around at the other girls’s nails. Pink, Blue, Purple, everyone had a colour. As Adrian skipped toward them i kept my distance.I looked through the window in the door. And Ms Grabow signaled us to come in.
“Alright kids, see you tomorrow!” Ms Grabow announced as she opened the door to lunch. I looked around to find Adrian walking and giggling exactly how the rest were.They walked into the hall and i trailed behind them. She didn’t even realise i was there. Should i leave her? Should she be better off with them anyway. I looked around at the tornado of middle schoolers when Adrian turned around. “You coming?” she smiled at me. Behind her dumb and dumber bit their lips. “ i uhh, we need to go to that...super lame thing and-” Kayla stepped forward, she was maybe 10 centimeters from my face. “Listen, WE are going for lunch, Adrian doesn't need you anymore anyway” she scowled and began walking to the lunch room “no.” adrian stared at me. “What was that addie?” Kayla said, shocked. “I said no” Addie said, louder. This caught the attention of many stood around.
“no i don’t want to go to lunch with you, no i don’t want to ever sit with you and no, i don’t want to be your friend. And my name is Adrian, if you find that difficult to spell with your pea brains it's A-D-R-I-A-N.”
they stood speechless in a pretty neat row. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Why? The entire hallway had seen what was about to happen and formed an almost shell around the scene. The girls stood open mouthed in awe. “Let's go Robin” she gestured to the meeting hall. The crowd disappeared in murmurs and whispers down the hall. People smiling at Adrian and waving. “Call me Ari” she said, smirking at me. “You must be really brave to do that Ari” i chuckled. “Nah, you saved me really, like robin hood.” she smiled at me. “Let’s ditch this, i think i know my way around.” she said pointing her thumb toward the lunchroom.”sure, i just need to get some water.” i lifted my empty bottle from my bag “i’ll save you a seat, okay?” she said, walking backwards to the lunchroom “yeah, thanks” i said, as i skipped down the hall. I turned around when i reached the water coolers, and i watched her long, wavy hair disappear into the crowded room.