My heart dropped as the bell rang, signalling the start of lunch. I had been able to make it through all four classes this morning without seeming like too much of a loner. To be honest, trying to blend into a classroom full of people wasn’t hard. I just had to sit in the back row, do all my work and be as inconspicuous as I can. Blending into a schoolyard full of laughing people was a different story.
I took my time packing up my books, and walked slowly back to my homeroom. The room was full of people by the time I got there, with chatter and laughter filling the air. I slipped through a group of gossiping girls and two boys having a mock fight to get to my locker. It took me a long time to open the combination lock, since I was not used to using it at all. At primary school last year we had little tubs to put our books in and hooks to hang our bags on, not a square grey compartment called a locker. Finally I managed it, and slid my books carefully onto the shelf. It was only the second day of school, and being the neat freak that I was, my locker had to look meticulous. By then, my homeroom was empty. I took out my sandwich, and reluctantly left the room.
Outside, the sounds of a typical schoolyard made me so much more aware of how lonely I was. The yells of a footy game down on the oval, the tinkling giggles of groups of girls catching up with each other after the summer holidays made me uncomfortably conscious of the fact that I had no one to talk to. I had moved house late last year, just before Christmas. It meant that while I finished primary school with my old friends, none of them will be accompanying me to high school. Being the shy person that I was, starting at a new school was even harder since I knew no one.
I decided to sit down on the steps outside my homeroom and eat lunch. I ate as slowly as possible, chewing and rechewing each bite of bread and ham. I figured that as long as I was eating, I had something to do and was not just sitting there pointlessly like the loner that I was. But I finished my sandwich all too soon. Glancing at my watch, I had about twenty more minutes of lunch to go. I looked around me for something else to do.
It was then that I noticed the tall blonde girl. I thought I recognised her. She’s the silent girl at the back of my classes, the pretty blonde who didn’t catch anyone’s eyes. It looked as though we were in the same boat. She was leaning against the door of the homeroom opposite to me, her pale hands twining around each other for a lack of something to do. She glances up at me as I looked her way. I thought her eyes were the prettiest I ever saw. They were a beautiful green. I later learnt that they changed colours according to her mood, which in my opinion is the coolest thing that someone’s eyes could do. I really wanted to talk to her then, to become friends. Us two misfits would be great together. I gathered up my courage and unfold myself from the homeroom steps.
“Hey, I’m Tori,” I mumbled, my heart beating like crazy.
“Hey, I’m Lena,” she replied at the exact same time.
We laughed, the ice broken.
I’ve found my best friend.