Year Eight, was when everything got out of control. Tom and I were forced together after I decided to ditch maths, I claimed I had a headache and was sent to the sick bay where I sat counted cracks in the magnolia walls. I had been in there two hours when Tom arrived. I saw he had a black eye and concluded that he had been hurt in a rugby or football match.
I remember being very nervous. The situation could not have been more awkward, Tom wasn't ill enough not to talk and I wasn't ill at all. Two healthy people, from completely different social groups in a small sick bay room.
To my surprise Tom talked to me as though we were old friends, we talked of the gel pens in year 5 and I felt quite embarrassed that I had to remind him of that - as if I remembered it for a significant reason. The hour spent with him, was a series of me blushing and correcting my clumsiness.
Tom was incredibly popular by this time, or so it appeared. He had been rumoured to be going out with a few girls in my year. He was sports captain and had a lot of friends. I remember sitting on the bed opposite the chair which he sat on. He asked me why I was in the sick bay and I replied that I had a headache - lying just to get out of maths. I remember stupidly asking him why he was in there, when it was quite obvious that he had been hit in the face.
I wanted to look at him, see his face properly but every time his eyes met mine I would look away - blushing. The nurse would come in every once and a while, to ask if I was ok - which I was and give Tom an ice pack. I remember him being quite playful with her; it was as though he knew everybody in the school but me. I continued to ask him questions, getting more confident as the hours progressed - I used any excuse to look at him. He had bright blue eyes and a longish kinky brown hair. I remember thinking that he was too attractive.
My ogling at him was soon interrupted by Ross Locke. Ross was the most popular boy in school, almost everyone adored him. I personally didn't like him, I found him quite intimidating. He spoke with Tom and asked him about the rugby match. Whilst they talked I rolled my eyes at Ross's speech and mannerisms and Tom caught my eye more than once suppressing a chuckle. As Ross turned to go out, he noticed my trainers - black with mud and kicked them. Sneering at me as he walked out that I was a "grebo" I didn't know what the word meant but as Ross left Tom muttered "dick"
I had scowled out of the door and Tom laughed.
After that afternoon, nothing occurred. I all but forgot about him, apart from one discussion which was me telling Jessica that he isn’t has bad as he hypes himself up to be. Rumours somehow got around about Tom, that I remember paying little attention to. The night after our meeting in sick bay I thought about him a little, just considering that may be he isn't as bad as I thought. The one rumour I remember was that he was going out with Tahnee Burton, I can't remember caring or daring to care. Tahnee was a bully, very intimidating and she used to draw on her eyebrows.
Weeks go by and in those weeks, Tom breaks up with Tahnee. Why I don't know, but it was most likely to be with Starr Hubburts who was another intimidating bully at my school, I remember thinking that Tom went for the wrong type of girl but otherwise not daring to care.
After a few days of that rumour settling, there was a fight outside my classroom, involving a friend named Cyndi. A boy named Josh Foster Brown was shouting abuse at her, which could be heard from the classroom. Most of the year was outside watching him shout at her, I was standing the closest to him, protecting my friend. He spat at us, and said the "c" word, the word I know - without even thinking my hand lashed out and slapped him across the face. There was a brief second of no movement and the next thing I know, I'm being thrown across the corridor. My back collides with the wall and I'm unconscious.
The next day as I was waiting for year head to talk to me. I was hoping Josh would get into some sort of trouble. He didn't because he had ADHD but as I was waiting, Jack Kilpatrick - another popular boy from my school tells me that Tom is going to give Josh Foster Brown "beatings" for hurting me.
Days pass. I don't hear anything about Tom other than he fancies a girl he calls "sick bay girl" my stomach lurches when I hear the new rumour and on a rainy day sitting outside my classroom, Tom comes around the corner and asks me for my mobile number. The whole situation happened so quickly, I was soon raiding the teacher's desk for pen and paper. I only found a pen, and can remember holding Tom's warm hand in mine as I gently wrote what I thought was my mobile number on his hand. I didn't realise until the following weekend, when my father is complaining about some "Tom" texting him every day that I had accidently given Tom my father's number. I blush, but deny knowing a Tom - fearing the boyfriend talk with my father.
On the Monday back to school I ask Tom whether he had been texting me and he lies, claiming his friend Eugene stole his phone. I remember laughing and rolling my eyes because he lied. As I'm talking to him, he is stuffing his locker with his school bag. He doesn't look at me, which I don't mind. What shocked me the most was he asked me out, I was so taken that I asked him to repeat himself. When he did all I could reply was "yeah" and I ran out of school before he could look at me.
The weather of that day was hot and I ran after my friend as my heart travelled up my throat in excitement. She asks me "did he do it?"
"No need to tell her what happened" I thought grumbling. I was excited, but so nervous at the same time. I'd never had a boy friend. What if I wasn't a good girlfriend? What if he wanted to kiss me? I can't kiss...can I? Who could I ask that question?
"I'm not pretty" I grumbled to myself on the way home, looking at my reflection in the bus window. I'm not like his ex-girlfriends. He has had a lot of them; he knows what he's doing - when I have no idea. I felt a lot worse when Stacey tells me Tom had just broke up with Starr to be with me. Good idea Tom, get your current girlfriend stabbed by your crazy ex girlfriend.
The next day I couldn't sit still from nerves. What do we talk about? I don't know him, he doesn't know me. We have three hours worth of chatter between the two of us. This will be a very quiet relationship. I remember walking through the school doors and seeing him waiting by his locker. Through my utter horror I ignore him, looking in the opposite direction, failing miserably in becoming invisible possibly drawing more attention to myself ever, in the history of my school years.