Mrs Roberts had us dive straight into auditions, we were the last class to go, so no one expected to get any parts unless like me, it was backstage stuff. Lily did her audition and straight away I knew she would get the part, her voice was powerful enough to leave me a speechless. Then Zack got up, he hadn't told what song he'd picked but I recognised the music straight away. His voice was beautiful, but I was struggling not to blush crazily as he stubbornly insisted on looking at me the whole time. When he finished and sat down next to me I mumbled my “well done”.
“You going to audition?” Lily asked Nick.
“Erm, probably not,” he replied. Lily looked a little put down about that. Amber was sitting with her friends but I could see her studying Nick and Lily's interactions.
“So where did you move here from?” Lily asked, perking back up.
“London,” he answered. The way he said it indicated he didn't think much of it. Maybe there were bad memories there? I would've asked my own questions but Lily seemed pretty determined to keep badgering him. I wondered if it was an act Lily was pulling, because she knew Amber was watching. When the bell went off and we had to leave Zack caught Lily's shoulder to stop her following the others and Nick, who seemed pretty intent of getting out fast.
“Really? You barely know the guy,” Zack said. At least I hadn't been alone in picking up on it.
“I'm just making friends,” she replied, we could see even she didn't believe that.
“Look, what's so wrong with wanting a normal, functional relationship?” Lily asked, Zack softened a little.
“I know, but don't you think your moving a little fast?” Zack asked.
“What's wrong with fast? I just want to forget about her,” Lily said. We all heard the sharp intake of breath. Maybe we should've checked if Amber was around before this conversation started.
“I didn't realise you hated me that much,” Amber said, her voice impressively calm.
“I don't hate you. But nothing else can happen between us. So just leave me alone.” With that Lily left the building and headed into the field. No doubt searching for Nick. I opened my mouth to ask Amber how she was but she cut me off with a raised hand.
“I better find my friends,” she said. As we walked into the field I saw Lily was talking to Nick, he seemed a little more at ease than before now. Amber was with her old cronies, but other than giggling at people as they walked past, she didn't seem interested in a confrontation. I couldn't see Lewis or any of his gang which I was grateful for.
“Hey! Over here,” Kim yelled. I waved and me and Zack walked over. There a girl next to her with dark coffee skin and one too many ear piercings.
“Anisha had the day off school. Anisha meet my best friend Michael,” Kim introduced us. We had a quick handshake and settled down.
“It's a shame I couldn't meet you at the last meet-up,” Anisha said.
“Freak flood, had no choice but to stay with Zack,” I joked.
“Like you didn't enjoy every moment,” Zack said, wrapping an arm round my waist.
“So, you're going to Long Road?” I asked, since I knew Kim wouldn't bring it up. She sent dagger glares but I didn't care. Anisha half choked on her gulp of juice before stuttering a laugh.
“Erm, I don't really know. I'm going to be looking at the college this weekend with my parents. They want me to go some private college so I can get the best teaching. But I don't really mind,” Anisha explained.
“What course will you be doing?” Zack asked.
“Probably sciences, mostly chemistry and biology. I'm interested in studying medicine,” Anisha said. I blinked a little at the strong aspirations.
“Nice, my dad wants me to study business and administration,” Zack said. The tone of his voice made us laugh.
“What do you want to do?” Anisha asked, to which Zack shrugged. But I had gained a pretty good idea after watching him perform. When the bell went and we headed to our lockers to grab our stuff, I turned to Zack.
“There are some pretty good Drama schools out there, I'm sure you'd get in,” I said. Zack looked at me in surprise. He faltered a little in getting his stuff.
“I can't. My dad's accepting, I told you that. But he won't let me pursue that kind of future,” Zack said. I opened y mouth to point out it was his life but he walked away too quickly. And I had to go in the opposite direction for English. It didn't take long for the time to pass. We were given a project to write a story with a partner.
Me and Lily paired up straight away. Though I saw Derek glance my way when the teacher mentioned pairs. Me and Lily decided off the bat that the story should be about a gay couple, just because no one else in the class would do it. When the bell went I kept an eye out for Zack but couldn't see him so I headed to the gym. I remembered too late that both Lewis and Derek were in my sports group.
“Don't worry, if either of them touch you, I'll knock their teeth out,” James said the moment he saw me see the two of them talking with a few of the other guys.
“Going to be a little hard considering what we're doing today,” I replied. James frowned then saw what the teacher had written on the board. He decided to give us a 'fun' lesson before we lunched into exams.
“Well, the point of the game is to dodge, so just do that?” James suggested sheepishly. We both knew Lewis and all his friends would be concentrating on me.
“Hey Michael, how you doing?” Lewis asked from across the gym. A sneer twisting his features.
“He was probably fine until you spoke to him,” Nick piped up from behind me. James raised an eyebrow at me so I mouthed “new guy”. James didn't say anything, just glared at Nick before turning back to his friends.
“I've never seen Lewis ignore someone,” James said. Nick shrugged and pickled up a dodge ball.
“So, we're beating those buggers right?” Nick said. It was grossly not in our teams favour, but Nick did manage to hit Lewis and get him out. I heard Lewis mutter a curse but he didn;t confront him in the locker-rooms.
“Go to the girls rooms, I don't want to get changed and showered around a queer,” Lewis spat. I tried to channel Zack and rolled my eyes.
“Don't ignore me,” he muttered darkly.
“Then don't say dumb things. No offence Lewis, you're not cute enough to check out,” I replied. James burst out laughing while Nick did half-hiccup giggles. Lewis' fists clenched and I had a bad feeling I'd gone too far.
“Tonight,” he growled. He rejoined his friends and I shared a worried look with James.
“Amber's party,” I said and he nodded.
“Don't worry, just don't go off alone,” James pointed out.
“He'll only want an audience for barbs,” Nick added. Maybe it would be easier if I just didn't go to the party. But I couldn't leave Zack alone.