I took a deep breath and walked through the doors, smiling at the receptionist nervously. Self-consciously, I smoothed down my hideous grey, pencil skirt and swivelled my eyes around to gaze at the occupants of the hallway. My uniform was itchy and new, smothering my body like a thick, padded winter coat. I couldn’t help but despise the uniform; I mean black blazers with grey skirts and ties? How morbid could clothes get? They were heavy too, pushing down on my shoulders like the worries that have been buzzing round in my mind lately. I sigh and fiddle with the tassels on my bracelet, suddenly realising that the receptionist is speaking to me. After a good minute of nattering on about reputations and the many doors that this school can offer, she frees me, weighing me down with a stack of binders and a locker key. I smile sweetly and rush off to find my locker, excited about my very first day.
“Amy, Elise! How are you both?”
“Good thank you. How were your holidays?”
My two friends rushed over to greet me. I hadn’t seen them in a month or two but they had both changed loads. Elise now had a never-ending line of boys chasing her and Amy had bleached her hair a startling blonde and started slapping on makeup. They were still the same people though, despite the awkward silences that filled the majority of our quick conversation. I guess I had to accept the fact that we were drifting apart. We had all been put in different classes and I had hardly seen them over the holidays; What with them both being flown out to tropical islands whilst I was huddled in a tent somewhere up North, trying to block out the noise of the rain that drummed against the fabric walls. I made polite chit-chat with them anyway, before excusing myself and weaving in and out of students as I tried to find my locker.
“Number 615.” I muttered under my breath, counting down the lockers and scanning the digits.
613, 614, 6-
“Hey,” I spun around, my blonde hair whipping the air. A tall guy stood before me, generously muscular and with a cute smile that lit up the whole of his face. His dark hair swept across his forehead perfectly, framing his twinkling blue eyes and long eyelashes. I smiled back at him, sweeping my hair out of my eyes in an attempt to get a better look. “You, um- dropped this?” He uncurled his fist, revealing my charm bracelet.
“Oh, but?” I pulled back my sleeve. No bracelet. I must have dropped it back at reception. “Um thanks-“
“The name is Carter; Logan Carter.” I laugh at his cheesy ‘James Bond’ line and fumble with my key in the lock. “Here, let me,” He takes the key from me and unlocks it with a click. I smile up at him and stuff my binders in the locker before slamming the locker door and twisting the key in the lock.
“Well, thank you, Logan Carter.” His name tastes weird in my mouth, like a new flavour of ice cream, strange, but delicious. Just like him. I can feel him laughing beside me, his shoulders heaving up and down gently as I stand looking at him, my forehead crinkling. “What?” I demand, annoyed at his sudden change in character.
“Nothing. It’s just-“
“What?” I repeat, my foot tapping the marble floor impatiently. As good-looking as he was, he was wasting my time. I needed to get to class; I didn’t want to be late on my first day.
“You’re just so…different.” His reply was unexpected. I couldn’t believe that a guy this well…hot was talking to me. Didn’t he have anything better to do?
“Different?” I started to walk off, him hot at my heels.
“Yeah, like not in a bad way.” I rolled my eyes. Why was he so desperate to speak to me? Any other boy would have walked away but now, but he was persistent, irritating almost. He seemed like one of the ‘popular’ types, and I was hardly the person that mixed with them. My theory was soon proved as another guy, basically a blonde, taller version of Logan turned up behind him.
“Hey Logan, dude. Why aren’t you in football kit? Practise starts in like…10 minutes.” I flushed as he looked at me. His eyes were empty, hollow. Not half as colourful and lively as Logan’s pair. “Who’s this?” Logan’s friend nodded towards me and inspected me unsubtly. I was pretty sure that, in his mind, he was weighing out my flaws and judging whether or not I could be classified as decent. I tucked some blonde locks behind my ears and fiddled with my earrings; Waiting for Logan’s answer and trying to avoid Logan’s friend’s penetrating glare.
“This is my beautiful friend-“He trailed off, looking at me expectantly.
“Erin.” I finished his sentence for him and his friend grunted, clearly unmoved by Logan’s spectacular speech.
“Right. Well come on then. Coach makes you run four laps if you are late.” He trotted off, stopping to grin mischievously at a couple of girls and take their numbers. What a player. I hate people like him. My eyes found Logan again and I noticed him staring at me, a puzzled expression on his face.
“I um, I had better be going. Don’t want to be late for class, not on my first day.” I laugh nervously and start to walk off, but he grabs my arm and I turn back at him.
“First day, eh? Fancy a quick tour?” He grinned at me, looking me up and down.
“Um…no thanks.” I swallowed, “I have to go now.”
“Oh okay then, but here, take this,” He passed me a small rectangular card and winked, “It might come in handy.” After watching me pocket it, he grinned again, walking off in the opposite direction like he had no care in the world. I rolled my eyes and swallowed a laugh. He was so arrogant.
The bell screeched manically, sending loud shocks of noise throughout the school and causing all students to flood through the corridors. I rushed off, hoping to avoid being swallowed up by the unruly crowd.
Three hallways and several directions later, I ended up outside my classroom, joining the line that sprouted across the wall. Sheltering it from view, I took the card from my pocket and held it up. There, in scruffy handwriting sat two words I never thought I would see.
A long only-just-decipherable phone number sat at the bottom of the paper, along with his name and a small kiss. Was this some kind of twisted joke? A guy, (not just any guy, a guy who just happens to be in the football team and who is incredibly good-looking) just gave me his phone number. I blinked twice but it was still there. I shook my head and shoved in in my blazer pocket, blushing madly and grinning like an idiot.
At that exact moment, a strict-looking teacher came out of the classroom and gestured for us to enter.
“In.” She said, glowering at us whilst subconsciously picking at her nails.
This was going to be a long day.