Mornings. I always suck at mornings. There’s always a part of me that wants to just go back to bed, but I have to get up. Get up, go to the mirror, open the wardrobe, get out my clothes for school, get out my books and new pencil case, stuff it all in my Cath Kidston school bag and run downstairs. Have waffles, say goodbye to my Mom and to Lyle and get into the car. Walking into the shark-infested waters of Tenth Grade was a lot scarier than I thought it was going to be. Getting out of the car and walking towards the school gate was terrible and for most of first period I was sitting at the back of the class with my head on the table. Then there was gym. You can always tell the cheerleaders from everyone else. They were by the apparatus, doing backflips off the tower. The rest of us were on badminton. The shuttle cock landed behind me and I went to pick it up. When I came back, they were picking on Martha. She had bandages around her knees and was extremely upset, as far as I could see.
“Come on Martha, it’s not that hard. All we want you to do is do a back tuck off the tower.” I’d had enough, “Leave her alone” “We’re recruiting, and so I’m allowed to recruit talent where I see it, and I think Martha has it” Her attitude was really starting to annoy me, “Come on Martha” She started laughing at me then, and I can’t take it when idiots laugh at me. I almost shouted, “So you can do a back tuck off the tower? What's the big deal?” She was giving me a look now, “If it's so easy, why don't you try it? In fact, if you can do a back tuck off the tower, Martha here is off the hook” I heard a voice, “All right, I’ll do it.”
I turned around. Behind me, there was a girl. She was pretty. She had straight, long auburn hair that reached down to her ankles. It was so long that she had had to tie it up in a plait to stop it trailing on the floor. She smiled at me as she walked past, only taking a passing glance at the cheerleaders, who all now had their arms crossed. The one on the right of the one who had taunted Martha whispered, “This should be good, right, Debbie?” Debbie smirked, looking up at the girl with the auburn hair, who had just climbed up onto the tower, “We’re waiting” The girl on the tower smiled and winked at me, before jumping off and perfectly landing a double backflip off the tower. The smirks had been completely wiped off the cheerleaders’ faces and as the girl sauntered over to where I was stood with Martha, who was looking at her, completely in awe of what just happened, she laughed, “I’ve got one less problem without you lot trying to be better than everyone, but, do you know what, I bet none of you can do that.” Debbie spent the next half an hour trying to prove her wrong.
At lunch, I was sat on the steps, as you usually do, when I heard someone clear their throat. I looked up and it was the girl from earlier, “Do you mind if I sit with you?” I smiled, “Not at all.” She held out her hand, “I’m Lucy” I swallowed the sandwich I’d just been eating and shook it, “Claire. Where did you learn to do that?” She smiled, “The back flip? I was a cheerleader in Texas, where I used to live, but I guess that here I just want to blend in.” It was my turn to smile, “You deserve to be a cheerleader, you’re really good. I used to be one in Oklahoma, but the girls here are really different.” Lucy laughed, “I know what you mean. Sometimes I ask myself, is there anybody out there – it feels like I’m talking to myself, no one seems to know my struggle, but I get that you do” Lucy stood up, “It was nice to meet you Claire.”
As soon as Lucy got up, a boy took her place. He was cute, his hair hung low in his eyes. He had a wild look about him, but he seemed kind; his smile lit up his face, “Hey.” I was a little startled by his sudden manoeuvre, “Hi.” His eyes were a deep blue colour, “I’m Nathan,” Nathan pointed to the boy who was playing soccer, “That’s my brother, Pete.” “I’m Claire” Peter, who had obviously heard his name, looked up and got the ball in the face because of it. Both Nathan and I sniggered as he got up, and Nathan smiled saying, “Welcome to Union Wells High.”