I peeled my eyes open to another day of hell, the sun was just rising in the east and I knew if I hung around I'd lose my job at the café. I folded my sack up and shoved it into my handmade satchel, I pulled out my lucky jumper and put in on - it was lucky because I'd found it, practically new, in a dumpster. I checked the clock on the museum opposite and began to run to the café, I was running late, it was already 5:20am. I ran into the café,
"Come on Sarah, this isn't good enough," Snotty Bill cried, his name was Bill, but his nasal hygiene made me call him otherwise. I pulled on an apron and left my bag in the cloakroom, the smell of fat and grease rose from the kitchen; I hurried out into the café and handed a menu to the customers.
"Sarah, can I have a word?" Jake called me over; he was Snotty Bill's son, very different from his father. He wasn't obese and his forehead wasn't constantly covered in sweat, I made my way to the corner with him. "Could you clean yourself up a bit?" he asked pointing at my face, I grimaced,
"Sorry," I didn't stay to let Jake smile as the pink flush filled my cheeks. I peered in the dirty mirror in the staff toilets, my face wasn't clean - Jake was right. I ran the water and washed off the dirt, I couldn't help it, it really depended on what I used for a pillow during the night. Returning to the café Jake's friends had come to pick him up to take him to school,
"See you around Sarah, have a good first day of school!" he called smiling at me, I smiled and waved him off. I couldn't help but admit I quite liked Jake; he was one of the school's jocks. He had black hair which was held in curls, and deep blue eyes which sometimes I managed to look into without getting embarrassed. I knew Jake and his friends humoured me, but I didn't care, I could still like him, couldn't I?
"Sarah!" Snotty Bill cried, "Stop daydreaming!" he snapped, I took two plates from the counter and handed them to waiting customers. Because of this job I was late for school, but out of it I got a free breakfast and enough money for my lunch, I could usually manage without a dinner. Each week I could save up $2, which over the months had amounted to $100, I was saving up - for what? I didn't know. I handed out more menus and took more orders; Snotty Bill was getting sweatier and angrier as more people filled into the café. I was soon rushing around waiting for 7:30 when I could escape, the clock ticked slowly by and finally it snapped to half past. I grabbed my satchel and some bacon in a roll, Snotty Bill handed me $5 and I left swiftly. If I ran - full pelt - all the way to school, I could get their in time for my first lesson. It wasn't good that I was late for the first day of school, I was now a junior! I got to the office and asked for my timetable, the woman handed it to me,
"You're late," she informed me, I nodded,
"I know!" I snapped, she smiled tightly,
"Have a good day," she told me. I ran to my class and peered in the door, the class was already in session. I opened the door quietly and snuck into the back desk, I listened up for the teacher to tell me off. She hadn't noticed, instead she was welcoming a new boy,
"Welcome all of you to your junior year of high school! Most of you have been here all your life, so you guys know the rules; however, we have one new student here today! His name is Joshua! Joshua would you please stand up and introduce yourself?" I looked at my desk and held my gaze, I didn't like attention, I'd rather spend my high school life invisible.
"My name is Joshua... you can probably tell from my accent that I'm British," I looked up from my desk, his voice was compelling, "My parents just got a job here in Beverly Hills, so we moved here a few weeks ago. I'm still getting used to it here... but so far America has been a blast!" he enthused. He was a good public speaker - unlike me - I hated talking to one person, let alone a whole class. I began to hear a series of different voices and looked up,
"I'm Tanya," said Tanya sitting back down, a girl stood up,
"I'm Emily," she sat back down, it was my go! My stomach tightened and I froze, ‘get up Sarah! Or they'll all stare!' I stood up quickly,
"I'm Sarah," I said sitting down before I could blink; I curled into my chair as faces turned to look at me. I rarely spoke, I was rarely noticed, but when I was, I was called tramp or hobo. The problem was, they were right, I didn't have a home, I did live on the street, in all honesty I was a tramp. I cringed away from But from a moment's glance I knew he was like most other boys here, good-looking, arrogant and rich.
By lunch time I was ready to crawl back into my sack and die. That new boy had been in my math class too, but I'd been at the back and he hadn't noticed me. But whilst I sat in the caffeteria he came over to me, I guessed Jake had told him I was homeless and he was here on a bet, to jeer at me.
"Hey I noticed you haven't got anything to eat... would you like me to get something for you?" he asked, his accent raised goosebumps, I looked up from my empty tray and my eyes widened.
"Ermmm," I began, "I'm not really hungry," I told him, "I had a big breakfast," he looked at me again,
"Sarah isn't it?" he asked, I nodded slowly, he held out his hand, "Please to meet you, I'm Joshua," he smiled, I looked at his hand and then back to his face, "you shake it," I took his hand gingerly and shook it. "We'll work on it," he joked, "you've got to have a firmer grip," I laughed,
"It's so... so British!" Joshua smiled,
"My bad," he put on an American accent, "How was that?" he asked,
"We'll work on it," I joked standing up, "you've got to have more of a twang," Joshua took my tray for me and put it away,
"Want to stay with me this lunch?" he asked, I smiled,
"Well we've got a whole 5 minute till class,"
"What? Lunch has only just started!" he exclaimed,
"It's only 20 minutes long," I told him,
"In my old school we had an hour and ten minutes,"
"You're not in England any more," I reminded him,
"No kidding!" he put on an accent again, I laughed,
"Better," I told him, "This is my class," I said at the physics door,
"Ah physics, fun!" he smiled, "See you around Sarah," he smiled and headed off. I sighed and walked into the classroom with more confidence I'd had in a long time.