“Thank you” I said genuinely to the school secretary leading me to my homeroom class.
“It’s really no problem dearie.” She replied in a pleasant tone as we stopped outside room 212. “Here we are Mrs. Lee’s homeroom. Don’t be nervous hun you’ll fit right in.” She offered me a small smile before turning to return to her regular duties.
I took a deep breath as I pulled open the door to reveal a mostly empty classroom. I quickly found a seat in the back corner next to a window. Pulling out a notebook and pen I was prepared to doodle until the teacher arrived.
“Hey, you must be new here.” I heard the guy a few rows ahead of me say.
I hunched closer to my notebook hoping he would get the hint and pay someone else attention.
“I said hey, you must be new here.” He said again after a moment.
His voice sounded much closer and looking up I saw he was now standing directly in front of my desk. I raised both my eyebrows slightly in silent question as I took in his loose fitting jeans and hoodie, short cropped blonde hair and green eyes.
“My name’s Mike. Do you have a boyfriend?” He said, offering me a smile that instantly set me on edge.
“I’m not interested.” I said turning back to the poorly drawn dragon in my notebook.
“Hey who said I was interested; that’s super presumptuous of you, y’know?” He said smugly.
Lifting my eyes to meet his once again I barely stifled an eye roll at his cocky smirk. “My bad ‘Do you have a boyfriend’ just seems a lot like the kind of question that leads to other questions like ‘do you want to go out?’ and I-” I was interrupted by the sound of the school bell ringing out.
“Woah slow down Bella we just met and you’re already asking me out?!” He said louder than necessary catching the attention of the other students who’d begun to trickle in at the bell.
I scowled as I felt a blush creep along the tops of my ears. Thankfully the second bell and arrival of the teacher sent him back to his desk and I was saved from the rest of that unpleasant interaction.
“Alright welcome! Welcome back class so good to see all of you again!” The teacher clapped her hands together as he surveyed us with a wide smile. “I’m Mrs. Lee and I’ll be your homeroom teacher this year. I know most of you know me but we have a new face or two this year so the usual introductions are needed!” She clapped again and her eyes settled on me.
As she extended her hand in a clear motion beckoning me towards the front of the class I felt my blush flare up again. Fuck, Fuck, Fuck. Okay ‘My name is Bella Swan, I’m from Phoenix, my uncle is the police chief. NO do NOT say that. Okay ummm- I was so focused on trying to rehearse my introduction I didn’t notice Mike's foot conveniently placed in the aisle.
Stumbling, I threw a glare at his smug face over my shoulder as I righted myself and made it to the front of the class facing my snickering peers.
“Uhhh, hi.” I waved slightly and received an exaggerated ‘heya’ and wave from Mike eliciting more laughter from the others in the room. Mrs. Lee shushed them and gestured for me to continue.
“So yeah, I’m Bella Swan. I just moved here from Phoenix.” I paused unsure what to say next.
“Why don’t you tell us what you like to do for fun Bella?” Mrs. Lee suggested with an encouraging smile.
Hmm I like to smoke weed and wish I was dead. I scoffed at how voicing that thought would end. “I like to read and I like to stargaze.” I said instead with a shrug.
“Lovely pursuits indeed.” Mrs. Lee said as she took the front again gesturing for me to return to my seat. “Well let’s all be welcoming and helpful to Bella as she adjusts to our school hmm.” She looked pointedly at Mike who offered a thumbs up in return.
Any further homeroom activities were stalled by the start of day bell. “Alright everyone have a great first day and I’ll be seeing you here every morning for the next 300 or so days.” She laughed at her joke even as we all shuffled out the door groaning at the reminder of how long until next summer.
I could feel Mike right behind me and sped up to avoid any further unpleasant interaction. I was quickly swallowed in the sea of passing students. Dodging him all year is gonna fucking suck. I just hope we don’t have any other classes besides homeroom. I thought as I fished in my pocket for the schedule I’d gotten from the secretary.
Suddenly I found myself sprawled out on the floor only the ringing of my surprise in my ears as the hallway fell silent around me.
“Oh shit my bad.” Came a voice from above as I felt myself being hauled up by a hand on my shoulder. “I was trying to catch your attention for a while, guess you didn’t see me.” The boy said tossing his shaggy black hair out of his eyes with a flick. “I’m Eric and you must be Isabella.” he said offering me his hand now that I was standing upright.
I just eyed his hand warily remembering the most recent forks teen I’d met.
“Sorry I didn’t mean to run you over. You walk really quickly.” he awkwardly returned his hand to his side before continuing. “I’m your schedule buddy. I'm here to make sure you get from class to class. Your hero chauffeur in one if you will” He shifted his weight from foot to foot as my silence continued even in the face of his joke. “You’ve got Physics this period with me, wanna go?” He gestured down the hall.
“Sure.” I shrugged and I could see he was surprised that I bothered to answer him.
“Cool.” He shoved his hands in his pockets and led me down the hall to room 225. Opening the door he quickly made a beeline for a table with a brunette already seated. As he sat down next to her she looked up and smiled in greeting. I watched as he said something to her before turning to the empty seat on his other side quickly. He looked confused for a moment before lifting his eyes to find me still standing by the door.
I made my way over at his wave preparing myself to meet this girl and hoping the two of them were at least moderately less annoying than Mike.
“Isabella this is Angela, Angela this is Isabella.” Eric introduced motioning between us several times with his hands.
“Nice to meet you Isabella.” Angela said, meeting my eyes with a genuine smile. “Sorry about him,” she nodded towards Eric. “I swear he’s not nearly as strange as he seems once you get to know him.”
I couldn’t help but chuckle along with her as Eric yelped out an offended “Hey!” at her teasing.
“So I take it you’ve known him a long time then?” I asked, causing Angela to laugh again.
“Oh lovely yes let’s all gang up on Eric why not?” He mumbled sarcastically, though I could see a smile on his downcast face.
“Well from what Angela here says you don’t make it hard dude.” I said nudging him with my elbow gently with a smile. “By the way you guys can just call me Bella.” I said as the bell rang.
Angela stifled her laughter as the teacher entered the room welcoming us all back and launching into a lecture about the marvels of Physics and the rules that govern the universe.
“Alright schedule buddy next up is the ever awful Gym class!” My body went rigid and I let out a small squeak as Eric threw his arms over both mine and Angela's shoulders leading us out of the physics room.
I carefully removed his arm from around me while trying to gain control of my thundering heart. Glancing around I sighed in relief seeing that no one paid us any undue attention.
“Bella are you alright?” Angela asked, reaching a hand out towards me hesitantly frowning when I took a step back.
“Yeah, no, yeah.” I said nodding my head quickly a few times. “I’m just not really a touchy person, sorry.” I said with a weak shrug toeing my shoe at the ground.
“That’s okay Bella.” Angela said elbowing Eric swiftly in the side. “Some people don’t understand the concept of personal space.”
“Yeah my bad. Didn’t mean to startle you.” He apologized rubbing at his side.
“It’s cool you didn’t know.” I forgave quickly hoping to get out of this uncomfortable situation as soon as possible. “So which way to gym?” I asked following Eric as he turned with Angela in tow as well.
I chatted with Angela as we walked out of the locker room into the gym. Looking around I took note of how similar the large building was to the gym back in Phoenix. I guess gym is gym no matter where you go. I thought taking a strange comfort in the familiarity of it. I followed Angela over to where Eric was sitting on the raised equipment area next to a pretty brunette. They were both speaking to a blond guy I couldn’t see due to the angle. As we approached I felt my stomach drop as the two came into full view.
I took in the smiles and easy demeanor of the three before me and hoped my smile didn’t look as uneasy as it felt.
“Bella this is Mike and Jessica the last members of our Musketeers” Eric introduced with a flourish that had Mike laughing along.
“Hey.” The girl, Jessica, waved slightly and I returned the gesture.
Mike smirked at me as he spoke. “Oh yeah, we’ve met. Bella and I have homeroom together.” I tried to hide my scowl at the smug tone of voice.
“Oh no way that’s awesome. Must be fate Bella, you're stuck with us now.” Eric shouted and poked Mike who laughed along as their antics turned to an imaginary sword fight. Angela and Jessica rolled their eyes though they couldn't help but laugh as well.
I felt any hope of avoiding time with Mike evaporate as I watched these long time friends interact. I guess I can put up with him if I have these three as a buffer .
Suddenly there was a loud whistle. “Alright class line up! York! Newton! Would you two knock it off? 1st day and already you’re goofing off.” The gym instructors' loud voice rang across the large space.
I sighed as we all jogged over to line up and hear what archaic torture he’d devised for us.
“Today we’ll be playing an easy game of soccer to get you all back into the swing of things. First to warm up 2 laps around the gym and Newton’s going to lead the stretch when you’re done.” As Mike and some of the other students began running he glanced around at those of us still standing in line.
“Questions, comments, problems? Get going!” He barked out quickly and off we went sweating away the next hour of our lives.