Tick. Tick. Tick. I could hear the analog clock that was placed on the wall, and the sound of the second hand beat inside me like stones being thrown against a hard brick wall. A quick glance around the room, showed that the rest of the pupils shared my enthusiasm for the class to end.
‘12:13, almost there,’ I thought to myself. Each minute took an eternity, but there was only a little while to go. ‘12:14, one minute and I’m out.’ The frustrating wait gave me the urge to scream aloud, but I held my breath, feet towards the door, like everyone else.
Tick. Tick. ‘Just a few more seconds.’ RING! In a synchronised anarchy, every student flew to their feet, chairs slamming in a deafening cacophony and numerous teenagers bumped into one another, attempting to leave as soon as possible, as if they were late for something important. I could hear the teacher trying to instruct the craze to “walk don’t run” but they couldn’t hear her over the rumble of footsteps on the polished floors of the school.
I, a sensible student, normally waited for the stampede to clear out, as to not be a part of the madness. I was noticeably alone, but I didn’t mind. However, hanging at the back of the classroom, I noticed I had a guest today – someone else who didn’t fancy being crushed by a mob of teenage feet. The petite girl, donning the same uniform every other girl at the school did, dropped her gaze from me, as soon as our eyes met.
There was silence for a moment. Then the teacher cleared her throat and we both looked up, simultaneously. The girl started walking towards the door, quickly. I followed shortly after.
The hallway was empty now. I could faintly hear the chatter from the lunch hall on the other side. My shoes were squeaking, loudly. Funny, it didn’t do that before!
I stopped walking, but the squeaking didn’t stop. I looked down at my shiny schoolboy shoes. It definitely wasn’t me. Then the noise stopped. I looked up and jumped. The girl was standing in front of me. “Sorry,” she muttered and shuffled the rest of her way down the corridor. I just stared at her, strangely. However, my nose sniffed the tasty food steaming from the open door of the cafeteria, so I followed the scent.
The moment I walked through the doors, I immediately wanted to turn back. There was a food fight going on and I really wanted to miss this one out. A pie landed spat on the cream-painted wall behind me and a mustard covered hotdog almost knocked me out!
“Yikes!” I spun around and my classroom companion was fleeing her way back down the corridor. I picked up a tray and dumped a jacket potato with cheese onto my plate – I was really hungry but there was nothing else. Then I slipped out the hall, unnoticed.
I walked around the school, trying to find a spot to eat. I remember my first day here quite vividly. I didn’t know my way around and thought the school was a maze! But now I know it’s not like that. It’s actually pretty neat.
I saw in the distance, a small faint shadow sitting on the grass outside. There was nowhere else to go, so I reluctantly stumbled my way over to the figure. She looked up at me again when hunched up next to her. Her lips parted slightly and I managed to catch a small whisper uttering “Hello.”
I plucked up my courage to ask her: “What’s your name?” I’m not scared to talk to girls.
“Oh… I’m…. Tina…… I’m new,” she stuttered quietly. She looked down at her small, well-kept hands. I smiled at her then my tummy rumbled. I laughed, embarrassed, then started wolfing down my meal. I was like a ravenous beast! I glanced to my side and became aware that Tina wasn’t eating. I realised she didn’t have anything! I felt ashamed of myself.
“I…um” she murmured “forgot lunch money…”
“Don’t worry,” I said. “You have half of mine”
Tina’s eyes lit up like shining stars. She took one look at the buttered potato, then gratefully took half away. She swallowed her food down, and I did the same. Then, Tina looked at me, shyly. “Thank you.” I smiled and thanked her back. Together we walked down the corridor, together.
And we’ve been friends ever since.