First impressions were crucial.
I spent literally half an hour throwing clothes from my wardrobe onto my bed, deciding what I could and couldn't wear. I didn't know what people were gonna think of me and I certainly wasn't ready to find out.
I eventually chose a skirt, since the weather was warm, with cute pale pink flats and a white vest top, accompanied by my favourite golden necklace and a pink headband in my hair, which I left loose around my shoulders.
'Zoey!' Maddy whined once more and I heaved another sigh of exasperation, heading to her room. She was still in her pyjamas looking absolutely stressed out.
'I have nothing to wear!'
I stifled a laugh; she certainly took after her big sister.
'Sweetie, just choose anything. You're only seven, you don't need to be worrying about this stuff at your age.' I rifled through her wardrobe and pulled out some blue jeans and a pink top. 'Here, wear this.'
'Fine,' she sighed again and I burst out laughing. She was such a little drama queen!
* * *
45 minutes later I was stood outside the school of Central High. It was elegant with smooth white pathways and bronze coloured bricks making up the majority of the building. Students were flowing freely in and out of the doorway, each talking in their pairs and groups and Maddy squeezed my hand tighter.
I took her to her school which was just a little way off mine. She looked completely nervous and I hugged her tightly.
'You will be fine Maddy, I promise. Tell me how it goes okay?'
I waved her off and once she had disappeared, the butterflies began to settle in my stomach. I wondered how I was going to be approached. Would I make any friends today?
As soon as I entered the school, Verity walked straight over to me. I braced myself, reading for insults but instead she smiled, a seemingly friendly smile and stuck her hand out. I took it hesitantly.
'I just wanna say sorry for the way I behaved the other night. It was well out of order.'
'Um, thank you,' I mumbled, unsure if she was being serious or not.
'Hi guys!' Eloise came over moments later with Ray in tow. I began to relax, starting to feel like I was going to fit in here.
'Hey Zoey, do you like Central High?' Ray asked me.
'Um, I like it. It's different to the one in LA but I like it,' I smiled. I had only been here five minutes so I couldn't really say for sure whether or not I liked it but I didn't want to get on the wrong side of the people that had chosen to be nice to me from the start.
'What was your school like in LA?' Verity asked.
'Well, it was very different.' I began, taking my mind back to what seemed like a whole other world away. 'I guess the actual lessons aren't much different, but the people are. Everyone here sits around and talks, guys and girls together. In LA, the guys would play football whilst the girls giggled and squealed over them. They were very handsome.' I remembered Ben and sighed inwardly.
The bell rang, signalling the start of the day and Ray and Eloise started to lead the way. I walked alongside Verity who started up some small talk.
'You'll like it here, everyone's been dying to meet the new student.'
'Oh fantastic,' I mumbled. Normally I liked the attention but I didn't want to seem like a stuck up snob.
Just as we made our way inside, someone shouted: 'Hey. New girl!' My head jerked up, wondering if she was talking to me. I saw Verity roll her eyes and head into a room with Ray. I debated whether or not to follow her but I didn't want to seem ignorant to whoever had shouted.
Reluctantly, I made my way over to the girl that had called me over. She was very pretty, and tall, standing at 5 foot 10. She had incredibly curly black hair and bright green eyes that now surveyed me with acute curiosity. She was flanked by two other girls: both blonde and both resting their hand on their hip. I got the impression they were the "popular" girls of the school and I cringed at how this looked. Had I been like this back in Beverly Hills?
'Hi,' I tried to be brave but unfortunately my voice gave way slightly.
For God's sake Zoey, stand up. You were popular and confident in Beverly Hills, you can be here.
I straightened my shoulders and stared right at the girls, trying to relax.
'You're from California aren't you?' she asked. Word certainly travelled fast around here.
'Yeah, LA,' I told her. She nodded, possibly in approval, which only made me less nervous. These girls obviously wanted to get to know me. Maybe I could be popular again.
Another bell sounded, telling me that I should be in form room and I turned to go after one quick smile.
'See you around, Hollywood,' she called after me.
Great, so I had a nickname now.
I ran into the room that Ray and Verity had gone into which was quickly filling up. I stopped in my tracks, unsure of where I could sit without intruding. Luckily for me, Ray gestured to the empty seat beside him and I sank down in it grateful.
Moments later, a flustered looking teacher with large glasses and bright red hair came into the room, dumping some folders on the desk along with a styrofoam cup.
'Hello class, it's nice to see you all again. As I'm sure a lot of you are aware, we have a new student joining us all the way over from Beverly Hills. This is Zoey Taylor.' I flushed bright red as she smiled at me. 'Why don't you stand at the front and tell us about yourself Zoey?'
Trying to remain calm, I got out of my seat and went to stand beside her. I looked at a room full of curious eyes and took a deep breath, remembering the Zoey from LA.
'I'm Zoey. I'm 17 and I was originally from Beverly Hills.'
'Great,' the teacher grinned. 'And what do you think of Central High so far?'
Jeez, I had barely been here five minutes, why was everybody already asking me that?
'It seems nice, a lot different to California, but it's a nice change.'
'Well I'm sure it would be. You can sit down now dear. Ray would you be the one to show her around and help her to get settled in?'
I heard a few sighs and I glanced around, confused to find half the boys in this class looking dismayed which was a pleasant surprise. It was nice to know the guys still thought of me.
Maybe Central High wouldn't be so bad after all.