On The Outskirts Of The Gang

Rosa is a pretty, self-conscious girl who wants to be cool. She's a bit afraid of Jessica, the most popular person in the entire year. As she clings on at the edge of Jessica's gang, she notices things that slowly make her realise that there is something odd going on...

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39. Friday 5th November

Waking up this morning was like fighting my way out of a vast tangled clump of cotton wool. All the drama of yesterday left me very drained, so I didn't want to break out of my sleep. However, I couldn't be late for my first day. I made myself get up.

Herstony's uniform is - by some miracle - almost identical to my old one. The only change, a green and silver tie, actually complimented the outfit. I had thought it would make me look posh and daft, but it didn't. The colour matched my eyes and it wasn't as long as I'd expected.

Mum drove me to the school. When I stepped out of the car, I saw that the buildings were much more modern than my previous ones. It was two storey, and glass walls revealed passageways that were newly-painted and neat. The classrooms were more hidden, but the white walls had green decorations running around the edges. It wasn't at all intimidating. I walked in to the reception.

"Hello!" said a beaming lady behind the first desk, "Can I help you?"

"It's my first day here. I don't know where I need to go."

"What's your name?" The woman turned to her computer.

"Rosa Callen." She typed it in, and it seemed like she found my information.

"You need to go to H16." She must have seen my worried expression, as she pulled out a map from a drawer. "It's this room. We're here, and you have to go down that corridor on the right. Take this, because you'll need it to find your other classes. Here's your timetable. Have a nice day!" She handed the two sheets to me and went back to her work.

I hugged my mum and went off in the way the receptionist had pointed out. I counted down the rooms as I went.  H13... H14... H15... H16. I pushed open the door gently and entered.

"ROSA!!" Sapphire, who had been sitting at one of the front tables, bounded over to me. "I can't believe you're in my form!" She put her hand on my arm and guided me over to the teacher's desk. "Miss Yeldham, this is Rosa Callen. She's new. We're friends, so can she sit next to me?"

The form tutor looked shocked. Clearly she, like me, was surprised at Sapphire's uncharacteristic bubbliness.

"Err... of course. Welcome, Rosa. Today this form has all it's lessons together, so you'll be able to get to know people. Sapphire, you make sure Rosa finds all the classrooms today. Now, go and sit down. I need to do the register. I hope you enjoy your first day, Rosa."

For the rest of the day, Sapphire chatted excitedly at every opportunity. I learnt where all the rooms are, and how to tell which of the three building they were in. If the name of the classroom began with H, then it was in the main building (Herstony Block). Rooms that began with D were in the smallest building (Delmont Block). The building without any glass windows had classrooms beginning with P (Parkemp Block). It wasn't that hard to find your way around once you got the idea.

I babbled about the school non-stop to Mum on the car journey home. She was really pleased that I had enjoyed my day so much. When we got back, I went up to my bedroom. There was a voicemail message from Katya:

"Hi Rosa, it's Katya. I'm sorry about how horrid Jessica was to you yesterday. I'm sick of her as well. She was the one who hurt Megan's wrist, and pushed Penny so that she broke her leg. I was too scared to argue with her. After you walked off, me and Imogen turned on her too. Our badges are joining yours in the dustbin. Can we meet up tomorrow afternoon? You could bring Sapphire, and Imogen's coming. We're going shopping. Please say you can come. Text me. Bye!"

I felt bad that I'd made her and Imogen argue with Jessica, because they're still stuck with her at school. The shopping thing sounded like a good idea, and Sapphire had mentioned doing a similar thing earlier. I could invite her to mine after Saturday Roller-Disco Club and we could have lunch before going into town. I'll text Sapphire and Katya now. It's good that I didn't lose Imogen and Katya, because they are really nice.

After going shopping, I'm going to go and see Penny. She's coming out of hospital finally. Everything is looking up.

This is the last page left in this diary, so I'll just say this. I'm very glad that I moved to Herstony. All the mess is fixing itself now, and I'm not still clinging on the outskirts of the gang.

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