It all began in my first year at my Secondary School; I didn’t pass my 11+ and so had to go to Turnhill Secondary school of Business and Enterprise.
It was a very highly thought of school with an American head teacher called Mr. Michael Ratchett.
I was disappointed at first but soon I was itching to go because I so sick of the walls in my house, but I couldn’t do anything with anyone I knew because I didn’t live anywhere near my friends from my primary because when I was six I moved to a farther away place but I stayed at the same primary because my parents didn’t want to go through the same experience of having to find friends again.
When I was told I was going to Turnhill School I was sent a package full of instructions about the school. I got a list of the summer programs that I was welcome to come too, the list of pieces of clothing I would need for the new school year, and a map I was too get use to for the school grounds.
I gave my parents the lists and I kept the map, I analysed it as much as I possibly could, I wanted to see where every building was and every single little place I could explore when I was bored or when I had to find specific places or things.
The school was set into 4 separate buildings and 5 mobiles.
A huge yellow building for the English, media and geography this was the newest building and it placed in front of a playing field. Then there was a smaller older building which was where the arts and science classes were, I noted carefully as well that this building had the flashy new bike sheds a helpful tip when you live less than 10 minutes away.
Then there was a huge building which had the Reception, the Recption was connected to a corridor which had a staircase which went around a huge square building which had the middle cut out of it to reveal a nice garden area, this part of the building held the Library, the MFL department, the ICT suites, the Maths Department and a few more Science rooms. If you go in the opposite direction of the Reception to the staircase there is the Canteen, stairs to some small offices, the PE centre with two separate changing rooms, a gymnasium and sports hall and an office. The gymnasium was attached to the music buildings which were attached to the grand performance hall of the drama where I dreamt of performing.
The last building was a weird building. There were three entrances, one on the left, one on the right and one in the middle.
The left led to a History room and a RE room the right led to 3 RE rooms and the middle which was a staircase went up to the six form.
And then there are the mobiles which are the History rooms.
I liked the yellow building best it was open, spacey and forever noisy. People think I’m strange for liking the noise but it makes me feel like I’m not the only one out there with problems.
On the first day of Turnhill I suddenly became nervous and unresponsive and frightened about what people would think of me. I had never really cared but now I did. There was that electric feeling of nerves and sweat and adrenaline and to get rid of my churning stomach I thought of all the others joining and how nervous they were. It worked and I was immediately wondering what life would belike now I was joining Turnhill. The school was relatively large and full of children definitely bigger than the other school I would have joined if I had passed.
The other school Hideswand was one big building with several mobiles and the tiniest canteen ever honestly it was the smallest thing ever barely big enough to fit a table in let alone chairs.
I was sad when I found I wasn’t going to be going to Hideswand because it was a grammar school and my brother and sister had both gone to grammar my sister was at this one.
But then when I looked around Turnhill I realised it wasn’t that bad it was actually probably better than the Grammar.
I wasn’t worried any more.
At Turnhill I wanted to be different, my brother and sister had told me that secondary school was a lot different to primary and that it all changes and changes begin, and at Primary I was just a clown, the funny one like my mother was when she was there. But funniness doesn’t get you a job so I was told to buckle down into my studies and study hard and I listened. I loved studying I read all of Shakespeare’s plays, studied what my sister was learning to get a head start and to stop being just the funny one.
Instead I was the smart one the nerd, Boffin and the smart girl. I didn’t care if people thought I was strange or to intelligent I would be getting a better grade and job than those who were bullying people and worrying about the next trend of fashion stupidity.
My summer before school was rather boring. My parents dragged me around shops looking for my uniform and school supplies and I played a very genteel role in that. Complimenting my parents astounding efforts in there struggle to find the correct things on the list we were given by the school.
On one particular meticulous shopping trip I came home with a pencil case, a set of new pens, pencils and maths equipment as well as 3 fountain pens and a bag of 50 blue ink cartridges, a ruler, a rubber, a book on to survive school, a new school bag, a pink and purple spotty headband to make my hair look smarter and all of the Maths, English, and Science Key Stage 3 textbooks, a pair of well polished school boots, my green and yellow striped tie with a blue background and a pack of 5 clean white socks.
My parents were going to make sure that if there was a smart dress competition I was going to win it. I felt like a silly dress up doll that was going to a well dressed prison society meeting.
School was turning out interesting already and the only problem I had left was the friends and the not knowing anybody.
During the summer it felt like a fear which was turning into a phobia of the fact I wouldn’t know anyone.
So my mother signed me up for several social school activities. I was excited but full of apprehension of what people might think of me.
But I had to get it over with at some point, and this was that point. The program was a week long summer school, we were to have themed days and be in small groups of 7 or 8.
The first day came, my stomach had butterflies and my bottom lip trembled at the thought of having to meet new people and what they would think of me, but I put on a brave face. I randomly search for some suitable trousers to wear all I could find was my old pair of jeans with a butterfly ironed into it, but I wore it because I was too tired to search for my smarter pair.
I picked up my plain blue top which was sat on the top of my dressed very neatly, it was to small for me, but was comfy and soft just what I needed for something so daring as making new friends and meeting my fellow teachers.
I could already feel the drama filling up inside of my tense body as I was leaving. I had packed what I needed the day before in my old handbag. My phone, purse, keys, lip-gloss, mascara and mirror two pens a pencil, sharpener and eraser I wasn’t going to need much else.
I left early in the morning not wanting to make a bad impression, my sister and brother were still snoring my dad had left an hour before and my mum was frantically cleaning the house like usual.
The walk was soothing, because no one was there; the roads were empty of the usual roaring cars and the disturbing aroma of gas and early morning chimney smoke.
The journey to the school was a little time of about 10 minutes but people could probably walk it in 5 minutes but as it was a beautiful morning and because I am a slow walker it took me forever.
My breathing was natural and calm as I got to the gates of the school, but I had to stop. I found that my body was against me from going to the activity and was paralysing me from the waist down. It took me a mint, 4 deep breaths and a talking to before I could move again.
There weren’t many people their just the odd car and the odd person walking around.
I breathed in again and walked through the gates to the reception.
The Reception was buzzing with kids and there parents. The kids were talking to one another but there parents kept coming over and plaiting there hair, checking there clothes making sure they were warm meeting there new friends etc.
Any of the parents that weren’t doing that were outside with a cigarette.
I wanted to have my mum there, but she said I should go on my own because she would get in the way and because I would regret it when I got their and I agreed, but now I wasn’t so sure.
As I began to crave one of her hugs.
A lady dressed smartly in pink and black wearing a long necklace of pearls came in, she had a name tag but I was to far away to read it. Everyone stopped there chattering as she came in and she read some instructions from a piece of delicate Turnhill printed paper.
“If the Children and their Parents would please come with me to the Canteen where we will have a short introduction of the activities that you will be doing over this week’s period and then the instructions of where to go. Thank you.”
She turned around and started walking away the parents quickly grabbed at their bags on the floor and then pushed the child forward. Everyone rushed forward like they were trying to get there child into the school when they were already in.
I stayed behind them a little, staring at the parents in embarrassment and curiosity and the children in envy.
Then a tall girl my age came up to me. She had a bob of blonde hair like I had when I was a child and was so tall I had to look up at her.
She said “Are you alright? You look a little dazed.”
She had a cockney accent and a very nice sense about her, she was dressed in a pair of trackies and a red top which clashed but made her stand out.
“Huh?” Is all come out of me?
“Are-you-alright?” She was trying to be clever but I found it funny.
I giggled and nodded.
“Good.” She said.
“I’m Lucy, Lucy Hamilton. Nice to meet you.” She held out her hand in greeting.
“Ellie, Ellie Sharp.”
“Hello Ellie.” She shook my hand hard so my hand ached after she let go.
“Are you coming or what she said.” I looked away from her the parents had literally scattered there was one or two left looking for things that they had lost. I chuckled at their expressions.
Lucy and I walked into the canteen silently, we wouldn’t have been able to hear each other anyway we could barely hear ourselves think.
There were two seats not yet claimed Lucy grabbed my hand and pulled me towards them.
A mother and son were walking towards them to but Lucy was sly and slim she got to the chairs before the mother and son had chance to say “Seats.”
Lucy slumped down in her triumph and I laughed at her immediate breathlessness, she made it look like she had just run the marathon.
“What you laughing at?” She asked not angry but interested.
“Obviously it ain’t nothing.” She huffed out of her nose.
I shook my head as she looked at me in an interested look.
“Fine, Fine keep your secrets secret.”
I laughed at that comment, with the high amounts of repetition.
“Where’s your mum or dad?” I asked trying to change the subject from my giggling.
“My dad doesn’t live around here and my mums working.”
“So how did you get here?” Curiosity in my voice must have made her jump she answered immediately.
“I caught the bus. Duh!”
“Oh.” I said feeling stupid.
“Where are your mum and dad then?” She asked me changing the subject over to me.
“My dads at work and my mums to ill to drive.”
“Ill to drive, what’s your mum got then the flu, a cold, athlete’s foot, whatever that is?” She asked inquisitively.
“She’s got Chronic Asthma and recently had a really bad Asthma attack which nearly killed her yet the only thing she does is clean, clean, clean, clean, clean!”
“Oh, God that’s terrible. Including the cleaning thing as well, I can’t imagine my mother cleaning.” She was caring now staring into space thinking about her mother and cleaning.
“You think! You should try living with her! The blisters you can get from dusting are horrific.”
“It must be tough though, the chronic Asthma, not the cleaning!”
“Yeah it is, but she’ll be fine soon.”
I sounded as if I didn’t care but I had practiced so hard at not sounding worried so that my mum didn’t worry about me that now I sounded fine with it whenever I talked about it, when in actual fact I was terrified of what might happen to her.
But you can’t act like that, because then your parents start worrying about you and that isn’t good for my mum when. But it gets so hard and so emotional, that sometimes you lock yourself in the bathroom and the tears pour out and then you have to cover it up and sneak away and smile like a forever going secret mission, but you have to live with it and nobody can imagine the hardness of it except the most experienced.
“Ellie? Earth calling Ellie. We come in peace. With fish and chips. And tomato sauce and salt and millions of other things making us fat! Hello!”
I shook my head out of my daydream.
“Are you ok? You’re looking dazed again?”
“Yeah I’m fine, just thinking?”
“None of your beeswax’s!” I poked her in the arm.
“Ow! Fine. There about to start the presentation.”
“Really, Cool!” I was excited I wanted to know what we were going to do.
“Cool? What planet are you from? Mars? Jupiter, Pluto?”
“Pluto’s a dwarf planet actually.”
“I rest my case you are from a different planet.”
I laughed and pushed at her, then she pushed me then we just sat there laughing. Then the presentation began.
The actual presentation was boring; we would sit there and listen, then listen and sit, then move and then listen again! I didn’t know a presentation could go on for an hour, and it was only on health and safety precautions!”
The themed days were superhero, Western, Romance, Horror and Science Explosions.
I personally was looking forward to the Romance one.
I’m a sucker for a good romance, Gone with the wind, Twilight anything I love them.
The week was interesting and rather exciting, we made face mask for horror, watched Romeo and Juliet and then acted out a scene, Lucy played Romeo and I played Juliet we did the death scene it was funny Lucy fell of the table and stood up when she was dead and started pretending she was a ghost it was hilarious.
We made perfume in the science explosion theme as well as blowing up a can of coke by putting a mint into it. For superhero we had to dress up as a hero or a villain, I dressed up as bat-women! Lucy dressed up as a cat and called herself cat girl; she had a tail and everything (claws included). I was ill for western but apparently it sucked anyway.
I didn’t meet other friends in the week other than Lucy, but that didn’t matter me much I had at least one friend which was a start and Lucy probably could find friends faster than I could.
But there was one girl, I wouldn’t say she counted as a friend she was trying to cheat off my crossword but failed. She seemed exotic. Her hair was a mousy brown with tints of Blonde, she wore a purple bandana over her head and she was as pale as a sheep’s wool.
She was sitting in a bundle of friends; they seemed to be very friendly towards each other which I was missing because Lucy was in a different group of mine. It was lonely not knowing anybody again.
The girl was called Fearne but she and I didn’t become friends I was too shy.
Summer School was nearly over and it was time for us to wait the 4 weeks of the summer holiday left and get all of my school supplies perfect and all my information on school settled into my overloading brain.