The Girls 2

Estal Academy is back! A new year, new students, new friendships.

With all the problems in their lives, can the three girls stick together?

*Contains triggers and emotional subjects people may find distressing/upsetting

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Suki

Another summer holiday has gone by, and off we go again, back to Estal Academy, back to the drama and the work and the people.

In September, the mornings are always chilly and by the afternoon, you are sweating, pinching your tights from sticking to your legs, and slipping your jacket into your bag. I love mid-September, when you're in the school sleeping routine again and the rain trickles down the windows and batters the leaves in the gardens.

September in Japan is different to September in England. The sun shines and it is over 25°C (or 77°F), outside. However, there are long periods of rain to interrupt the heat. That's why I enjoy the rain, because I'm so used to having it around in the September months. Sometimes, we had typhoons and earthquakes in Japan come September, so at junior school we would have drills and action plans for when they hit. We were always prepared.

I jumped out of the car and kissed mother goodbye as I looked up at Estal Academy. I only started here last year, since we moved from Japan. I had to spend the time I had before September learning English, picking options for exams and having tours around the building. Luckily it was empty all summer round, so I had no students to glare at me as I strolled up and down the hallways, trying to remember the way to the dorms and the way to the classrooms.

Compared to schools back in Japan, Estal Academy looked daunting. It's an old building, something you'd find back in the Victorian days. I think that's why it took me a while to adjust to the layout. Also, I'd never been to a boarding school before. Leaving my family was terrifying, but my parents were initially travelling back and forth between Japan and England for work, so they decided it would be best if I had somewhere secure to go. My brother, Kaito, who is 8 years older than me, has been getting into a lot of trouble since he was 18. My parents decided he wasn't trustworthy enough to look after me; this being another reason why boarding school was better. Plus, it meant I could easily access things I needed to boost my English, like a library and teachers whenever I needed. After one year of being at Estal, I told my parents about the lovely friends I met and how I really wanted to stay to complete my studies, so they agreed I could stay.

I walked through the door and signed in at reception. "Suki Webb," I smiled at the receptionist. I don't know her name, but I know she makes good coffees and likes cats. She nodded and smiled at me, handing a key over. Room 17. I thanked her, and headed over to the lift. Our bags are always picked up and transported to our rooms, since we have 9 months worth of clothing and it would be impossible to cram it into one or two suitcases.

I opened the door to see that one of my friends was already in the room. Amber King. Her and my other friend, Laine Chapman, were the first ones to ever be nice to me when I first arrived at Estal. Though I stuttered through my English, they managed to understand me and help me along. "Hey Amber!" I exclaimed as I went over to hug her.

"Suki! How have your holidays been? Did you go over to Japan?" She asked, nuzzling her nose into my neck, and then pulling away, still holding my arms.

"I went over for a month, met my old friends and spent some quality time with the family. Thank you for asking! How were yours?" I asked.

"I didn't really do much, I saw Dominic a few times but that's about it."

Ah. Dominic Walsh, Amber's boyfriend. He isn't like the typical boys. He doesn't play sport and he's not into gaming. He actually enjoys going for coffee dates and shopping, or just chilling and watching some Netflix. Amber and Dominic are really cute together. Dominic used to laugh at me when I struggled with my English, but then he helped me too and we get along really well.

Just as I was about to answer, the door handle moved and a familiar face peered around the corner. "Hey girlies," Laine laughed, dropping her clutch bag and reaching to pull us both in for a hug. We stood holding each other for a few minutes.

"Did you have a good holiday?" Amber asked as we all started pulling away.

Laine shrugged a little. Her cheeks flushed a rosy pink colour. "Not bad hah. Anyway tell me about yours! I want to know!"

Amber didn't seem to notice how Laine didn't give any information away, as she proceeded to tell us about her and Dominic going to the cinema and stuff like that. Then Laine turned to me and asked about my holiday. "Spent a month in Japan," I laughed, "it's so lovely there in Summer. I'll take you two sometime." They both nodded like excited little puppy dogs.

~~~

A few weeks later and we were back into the normal school routine. Wake at 7am, be out of the dorm for 8:45am, ready for register at 9am. Break at 10am, lunch at 12.30pm. Lesson end at 4pm, tea at 5.30pm, and bedtime by 10pm. It started raining as we entered October. I love the Autumnal feeling in October, when the leaves start to turn red and orange and yellow as they fall from the trees, and crunch beneath your feet. I love the smell of cinnamon candles burning and of wood. Autumn is by far my favourite season.

As I jogged around the school grounds as the sun was setting, just me and my music, I actually felt at peace with Estal Academy and the world. But I knew that wouldn't last for very long because here at Estal, drama doesn't stay away for very long.

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