Hurdles

Our relationship. It wasn't sonnet inspiring, the story of it won't make thousands want to listen. But it was complicated and it was special to us. It was certainly more than I bargained for from just seeing a boy with a football helmet across the room.

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3. Three

A couple of days after that I start school and I'm so nervous. Literally every part of the day makes me nervous. I'm nervous when I do my hair and makeup in case it looks bad. I'm nervous when I get dressed in case I'm not wearing the right thing. I'm nervous having breakfast in case I throw up because I'm so nervous. I'm nervous getting on the bus in case there isn't anywhere to sit and because everybody's looking at me because I'm new. 

I actually start to calm down a little on the ride over. It's weird. I've been into the city but I barely saw it because we were rushing to the shops. We're not really going into the heart of the city now, but it's still weird, just being out in this new place without my parents. I'm excited to explore Austin properly some time soon though. I also get a chance to see what people are wearing. It's all very casual which is weird to me after years of uniforms but I think I made a good decision in just a t-shirt and shorts. I was worried shorts was a bit of a showy idea but there are girls here in shorts with crop tops so I think I'm okay. I also think I have a lot to learn. 

I think of Jaclyn, Nicole and Kylie as I walk through the gates. They're five hours ahead, they'll already be quite far on in their day now. It's still the summer holidays in England and they're all sleeping over at Kylie's tonight which is kind of sad to me. Obviously I don't want them to not spend time together, but I'm also sad I'm not there and I'm scared they really will just forget me. I decide then I don't really want to make friends here. It's not like an act of rebellion, I had that feeling all along but it's just kind of confirmed to me now. I'll make some friends, maybe be part of a bigger group, but I don't want to be as close to them as I am to my own friends. I just want to stay connected to them somehow. 

I have Maths first. It takes me everything I have to even call it Math like they all do. What I'm liking about school in this country so far is the fact that there are just individual desks so there's no awkward 'can I sit with you'. I just get to sit at the back of the class. Luckily this teacher isn't so attentive and doesn't ask me anything or introduce me to the class. People barely notice I'm there. 

I hope for the same in English class next but it's very different, plus I'm in advanced English so I'm with people a year and two years older than me so that makes me even more nervous. A few people are already sat at their desks, a group of guys all crowded around, a small group of girls at the back and a couple in between and they're each having their own conversations but they all look up and go quiet for a minute before going back to their conversations. The teacher looks up and he smiles, standing. 

"Ah, you must be Alice Johnson!" he holds out his hand. He's so smiley and it makes me more comfortable but also more worried that I seem awkward. "I'm Mr Jackson, welcome to our class."

I shake his hand, laughing a little to try and seem less cold. "Hi, thank you."

"Oh you're English!" he raises his eyebrows. "We have an English person in English class!"

"Sir." one guy from the group of guys near the front groans. "We all hate when you make little remarks like that, you know that. It sounds sad."

"Just because I find wit in every day occurrences doesn't mean I'm not cool." he protests and then looks at me. "We're a very close knit class. That's why they think it's okay to make fun of me like that."

"You are the best teacher in this school." another boy talks up. "But you're also really uncool."

"I am the best teacher in this school, thank you Harry!" Sir grins. 

"And really uncool." another guy adds. 

"Yeah, let's ignore that." Sir smiles at me again. "Take your pick of seats."

I laugh a little again. "Okay, thank you."

I go sit at the back on the other side of the classroom just out of habit and then I worry I seem rude but when I look, nobody's really bothered apart from one guy, I think he's Harry, the one with the football helmet at his feet. He's looking back at me. I smile at him and he smiles back before turning back around. I relax a little. I've moved across the world, I'm here in a new school and I don't know anybody but I've got a nice teacher and I'm in an advanced class and the students don't seem to hate me and somehow I'm not nervous.

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