“Class, we have a new student joining us,” Mrs. Cameron said. All eyes were on the boy with the brown bowl cut and blue eyes. “His name is Niall Horan, and he’s from Ireland. Can anyone tell me where Ireland is located?” I shot my hand up. “Valerie?”
“Europe!” I said confidently.
“Excellent! Niall, sit next to Valerie Cochran. She’s right there in the front row.” Mrs. Cameron gestured towards me.
“Thanks, Mrs. Cameron,” Niall said in an Irish accent, taking the empty seat to my right. Mrs. Cameron then started the math lesson.
In the middle of the lesson, when Mrs. Cameron was writing problems on the board, I heard Niall singing to himself. I didn’t want him to get kicked out of class for it, so I spoke up. “Niall, stop singing!” I whispered.
Niall ignored me and just kept singing. Eventually, Mrs. Cameron caught on and stopped the lesson to scold him. “Niall, this isn’t music class. Stop singing, or you’ll be kicked out,” she warned him.
Niall apologized and shut up, only to start up again ten minutes later.
“Niall Horan, I warned you once, and I’m not gonna warn you again! Get out of my classroom and face the wall!”
“But I wanna be a singer someday!” Niall said.
“That’s nice, but you’re disrupting the lesson. Stand outside for eight minutes.”
Niall groaned, got up, and left the classroom, mumbling “bitch” on the way out.
“Make that sixteen minutes, potty-mouth!”
My daddy came to pick me up from the after-school program at 5:30. As soon as my name was called over the PA system, Niall and I gathered our things and went to the coordinator’s office to greet him, since I’d invited Niall over to my house.
“Hi, Daddy!” I said to Daddy when I saw him.
“Hi, sweetie!” Daddy said. “I see you’ve made a new friend. Who’s this?”
“This is Niall. He’s from Ireland! I invited him over to play.”
“Well, it’s nice to meet you, Niall. Does your mommy know you’re coming home with Valerie?” Niall shook his head no. “Then I’ll call her and tell her, okay?”
“My mummy’s back in Ireland,” Niall said. “My brother says she and Daddy ‘divorced’, but I don’t know what that means.”
“Oh, that means your parents don’t love each other anymore. I’m gonna call your daddy now. Do you know your phone number?”
Niall gave Daddy his number, and Daddy called Mr. Horan. A couple minutes of talking later, he hung up. “Your daddy said yes, and he’ll come pick you up at 7:30,” Daddy reported.
“Yay!” Niall cheered.
When we got home, my Lab mix puppy, Sadie, greeted me at the door. I petted her, and then she went to get her ball.
“Why don’t you two go outside and play with the puppy while Mommy fixes dinner?” Daddy suggested.
“Okay!” I said. “Come on, Niall!” I dragged Niall to the backyard, where we played fetch until it was time for dinner.
The doorbell rang at 7:30, so I knew it was time for Niall to go home. Mom answered the door and called Niall’s name when she saw Mr. Horan standing there.
“Bye, Valerie! I had fun!” Niall said, hugging me.
“That was very sweet of you, Niall,” Mr. Horan complimented. “Come along now. It’s time to get ready for bed.”
“Can we be friends?” I asked Niall.
“Sure!” Niall said, following his daddy out to the car.