2. newfound complications
M A R C I E "Marcie, table 5 are waiting for their order!" Shouted Karla. I wiped the sweat off my forehead with my hand. Gross. But it was a Saturday night, which meant it was the busiest night of the week. Karla's Cafe was the only decent place to eat in town, so of course it got busy. I've been working here for about a month now. After a week, Karla realised that I actually had nowhere to stay and offered her spare room in her flat above the cafe to me. I was extremely grateful and we made an agreement for me to pay rent every month. Most of my warning from working in the cafe go towards the rent, but now I find I have money for myself. And I have to tell you, it feels good. Straightening my uniform, I pick up table 5's order and head out of the Kitchen. The place is packed with Jocks, Old timers and even a couple of knitting groups. After giving table 5 their order, I make my way through the sea of tables, to the till where Karla is. "That boy was looking at you" she said, arms folded. "Mmhmm" I say, not concentrating as tap in table 8's order into the till. "And? What are you gonna do about it? You need to at least make one friend!" You're my friend" "Nice try, I your employer. I don't count" I sigh. It was always like this. "I don't need friends. I'm fine, seriously." "Well I needed to talk to you anyway. You're 17 right?" She asks. I nod. "You should be in school! I know I'm not your parent or anything, but I enrolled you into the local high school." Great. This is so going to help my situation of staying in hiding. Not that Karla knows about that, of course. "No" "Yes" "No" "Yes" "NO" "Let's make a deal" She asks. "No" "You don't even know what it is yet! Look if you have made 1 friend by the end of this year, then I will raise our salary by fifty dollars" She held out her hand. "Deal?" Fifty dollars! My mouth hits the floor. No, I can't do it. But fifty dollars! If I saved up with that I could rent my own flat! I shake her hand. "Deal" •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• A week later I lied. I can't do this. Standing outside the school makes me think my heart is gonna fly out my chest and hit someone in the eye. But it's different to England. Here, they have weird sporty people called jocks and everyone pretty much sits at a table where their friends are and don't talk to anyone else. What's the word? Cliques Cliche or what? You can do this. Just remember the rules back in England. Step 1: Head down, don't make eye contact. Step 2: One foot in front of the other . Don't want to trip up and embarrass myself. Step 3: Don't bother the popular people and they won't bother you. If you pray hard enough. Step 4: Eat and study in the Library every break time and lunch time. As well as private study. Step 5: Survive. Ha. I don't know if other people follow this rule in Australia. Soon find out. I learnt from last time though. Never go up to the teacher and announce you're new. You may as well commit social suicide. Just go straight to the back of the classroom and shut up. Once teachers do the register, they can't be bothered to introduce people. I sat at the back next to the window, without making contact with anyone. As the other students entered, I read my timetable for the day. It had all my A Level subjects on there. Monday History Free Period Break-time English Literature Enrichment P.E Lunchtime Music Free Period Yes. Free period at the end of the day meant that I could go home early and start homework. I figured that I would strive to get good grades and not friends. Work hard not party hard. Not that I have ever been to a party. History went by quickly. The curriculum is different to England. The topic is WW2 which we did for GCSE. At least that means I know what to do. Was given an essay on whether we think Hitler was evil or not. Quite an interesting topic actually. Well I sound like a nerd. I discovered the Library in free period. The Librarian is not as nice as Mrs Williams, but she'll do. I stayed in there all break time as well. I also started my History essay and finished most of it. I decided to do the conclusion at home. English homework was to read Jane Eyre and write a book review. I'm sorry, but do we look 5 years old? Surely we should be answering exam questions on it? Nerdy again. Whoops. P.E was a disaster. Cricket. Of all the sports in the world they picked cricket. I think I got hit in the head twice. Cricket balls are really hard. I spent most of the lesson on the bench holding frozen peas against my head. Fun. Lunchtime. Library again. I have a feeling this is going to be my home for the next year. Started reading the book. It was actually really good, I haven't finished but I can't wait to see what happens to Mr Rochester. After Lunch was the lesson I couldn't wait for. Music. Don't get me wrong, I can't actually play an instrument. I like to sing, but I would never tell anyone that. I love reading lyrics and writing songs, but I'm a shit lyric writer. So all my songs are currently wordless. We're halfway through the lesson when 3 boys just saunter in. One was super tall, one looked Asian, and the other had green hair. GREEN hair. Why would you do that to yourself? "Hi, sorry we're late, we won't do it again" said the green haired one, in a monotone voice. It sounded like he says it every lesson. Before the teacher can answer, they've both sat down like nothing happened. The teacher sighs, but carries on teaching the lesson. I carry on taking notes for a couple of minutes, but I feel slightly uneasy. I can feel someone staring at me. ' Don't turn round and look, don't turn round and look!' I think to myself, furiously. I obviously forgot step 1 already. I turn round slowly and survey the class behind me. I scan along the class, until I hit a wall. Of deep brown eyes to be precise. The Asian guy is staring at me. The popular guy is staring at me. Breathe. He tilts his head as if to say 'who are you? Are you new?' I whip my head round to my desk. I really am breaking all the rules today. I hear him lean over to his green haired friend and ask him who I am. Something sounding like a snort erupts from the green haired guy. "Who knows, she doesn't look like much" he says, sniggering. I feel my cheeks begin to burn. Luckily, the bell rings and I start to pack up my stuff, ready to run home to escape the embarrassment. I sling my bag over my shoulder and walk to the door. Only to be blocked by a figure in my way. The guy who was staring at me. He reaches out his arm and touches me by my elbow and opens his mouth to say something, but I flinch and jerk him off. He stares at me. Wow this couldn't get anymore awkward. I dive past him into the corridor. I hear him call out to me, but I'm running out of the school now and down the drive. I race down the street and make a sharp left and keep running till I'm outside the cafe. I round the side and up the stairs to the flat door. I pull my keys out of my bag and try and put it in the lock, but my hands are shaking too much. "Hey!" I look down to see that he has followed me all the way home. What the hell? Great, now he knows where I live. We make eye contact for a second and I shake my head at him. I push my way through the door and slam it shut. I slide down until I reach the floor, breathing heavily. Karla looks up, startled. "What happened?" She asks. I look at her for a moment, trying to wrap my head around what just happened. "I have NO idea."