"Welcome to Harfield Manor, Ruby."
I looked up to Steph's encouraging smile and had to fight hard not to roll my eyes or mutter a sarcastic comment under my breath. Typical that I'd be stuck with the 'rich class'. I wouldn't be suprised if the Lord and Lady owned a private swimming pool ... or maybe football stadium.
I mentally slapped myself and imitated the nasal voice of my Year Eight Form tutor. You are here to start afresh. Not to criticise. Man, Mrs Busch had authority, and she knew how to use it. She was the only teacher brave enough to give me detention. A ghost of a smile appeared on my face as I yanked out my headphones.
My iPod had saved me from an awkward journey of having to mix in with Steph and Mr Harfied's chatter. The middle-aged man, dressed in a smart grey suit, had introduced himself with a suprise enthusiasm. His handshake was firm and his eyes were kind. I even managed - God forbid - to return one of his grins, before concentrating intently on the music. I had narrowed him down into two categories; Dedicated Businessman and Proud Host. Maybe a bit of a Family Guy in there. Despite him having no resemblance whatsoever to Peter Griffen.
My intuition was correct. Three figures stood under the arched doorway - a woman, tall but curved, glancing dotingly at Mr Harfield before resting her smoky blue eyes on me. I guess that's the Mrs. A young girl, peering towards the car as it pulled up the driveway, held the woman's hand. And, slouching to one side, was a boy - my age, perhaps slightly older. When Steph ushered me out of the vehicle, he stepped down the porch, walking care-freely to stand beside me. The rest of the family followed.
"You want any help with your bags and stuff?" His face tilted briefly, emphasising his eyes that had obviously been gained from his mother. I shook my head.
"Nah, I haven't brought that much. See?" I shook the sports bag that hung on my shoulder, smirking inwardly at the little white lie. It actually contained a hell of alot more possessions than I thought I orginally owned. But, one handy aspect of being 'different' was the fact that I could lift around ten of these and not break a sweat. Not that I'm bragging.
"Oh, don't worry Ruby, it's not a problem. Jay can take your things." Mr Harfield insisted. I shrugged, then passed my bag to 'Jay' without hesitation. He stumbled back ever so slightly, then heaved the load onto his back. I told you so, I smirked.
"Now, before we go inside, I just want to introduce you to my family. This is my wife, Seline," His arm slid behind the woman's waist, hugging her to him fondly. "My daughter, Gillian," The little girl waved, beautiful blonde curls bouncing around her cheeks. "And my son, Jay." The boy grunted in response to his name, still struggling with my luggage.
Seline pitched in after her husband, "We are so happy to have you here. Our home is now your home. We know you haven't had the easiest of times but we want you to enjoy yourself."
Well, I sighed. Here I go.