I’m writing this as part of a larger story- I was inspired.
I turned and watched my mother walk away, as I chewed my lip and prayed it would be okay. Turning round, I swung open the door to the classroom. I kept my head down, winding my way through the desks to a seat at the back, where I would avoid as much notice as possible.
“Who’re you?” I heard a voice, as I sat down in the corner. I glanced across to my neighbour, and smiled nervously. I was shaking.
“I’m Leigh. I’m starting today. You?” I asked.
“Jess.” She said, leaning forward. I noticed the anxious gum-chewing first, then the nose stud. “I been here for years. I’ll look after you.” She said, her strong accent showing through. She may not be the perfect person, but hey, it’s not like I’ve got much of a choice. I turned and watched as others filed into the room. A tall, black girl, with angled cheekbones and angry eyes slumped in the seat next to Jess.
“New meat?” She asked Jess, looking me up and down.
“She’s called Leigh.” Said the girl.
“I’m Chesney.” She told me. “Where you from?”
I paused. This was the question I’d been waiting for. “Tarragh.” I said, quietly.
“Woah, serious?” She said, with a half-laugh. “Why the hell did you move, then?”
“My d-” I started to say, before the teacher entered and silenced me with a sharp glare. “Tell you later.” I whispered to Jess and Chesney, as the teacher began to call out the register.
“Everyone say hello to Leigh Harvey.” She said, and I scowled, my face turning red.
There were a couple of snickers, before people lost interest and the lesson started.
“You were saying?” Said Jess.
“My dad got caught stealing.” I shrugged. I didn’t mention the heartache when we’d been kicked out, but dad had had to stay behind. I didn’t mention how much I missed him. I acted like it was no big deal, because these were tough girls. Not girls who’d tell me it’d be alright, and not to worry, and how they’re sure I’ll see him again one day.
“What he nick?” Said Chesney, a broad grin spreading across her face.
“Stuff.” I said, not wanting to go into it. There was a pause, as they waited for me to elaborate, and I sighed, knowing I’d have to go further. “He took one of the books from the library. One of the hidden ones.”
I winced, waiting for their reaction, but they just laughed and told me that my dad was ‘well cool’
I frowned. Maybe I’d be alright here. Maybe.