Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present, chapter one of.
Catherine stood in the head office looking at her surroundings while picking up her new timetable. She was glad she had turned up early as otherwise she would have missed her entire first lesson. This had taken 30 minutes so far and Cat wasn't getting anywhere. The line for new students consisted of just her and still the school receptionist was on the phone.
" Hi, are you the newbie?" asked a feminine voice behind her.
" Yup." Cat answered, turning round to face a girl with a tanned face and long, plaited brown hair, wearing a red miniskirt and a light yellow shirt joined with light blue trainers. Contrasting with Cat's paler features, blue denim mini-skirt and light pink 'hello kitty' T-shirt joined with some mild skater boots. Cat wore her long, purple, dread- locked hair in a bandana. The bandana hid her hair quite well, as Cat didn't want to give anyone a heart attack on her first day.
" I'm Jade Appleby. I've been assigned to show you around. You are Catherine McLaren right?"
" Just call me Cat, I hate my full name, it's too Scottish."
" You're Scottish then?" From what Cat heard, she said 'scatish'.
" Yeah, I am."
" Oh sorry, here's your timetable", she said as she shoved a piece of white card into Cat's hands.
" Oh thanks."
" I checked it out before I came along. You're in my homeroom."
" Homeroom? Is that like registration?"
" Um, I guess. Come on, I want you to meet my friends before it starts. You'll fit in really well."
" Okay. I'm sorry, I'm just not used to this yet. My old school was really small, and so was the population. Just answer me this, how many people will be in my year?"
" For the senior year? About four-hundred."
" Oh that's okay." She sighed. " I'm used to half that."
" Why did you want to know?"
" Let's just say I feel like I'm in an ant hill and I'm new and I know nobody."
" Well, you know me."
" That's good to know."
Without realising it, they had walked all the way down the corridor and were now facing Jade's friends, who hung outside her new homeroom.
" Guys, this is the new girl Catherine. Sorry, Cat."
" Um hey!" They all said. It was a bit weird as they all seemed to talk in unison, just for that moment. But they all laughed it off and said nothing else because the bell had rung.
Cat walked up to the teacher at the other end of the classroom with Jade after she had been introduced to Jade's friends, then Jade introduced Catherine to the teacher as a new student. " You do know you'll have to speak in front of everybody now, right? But don't worry, we all have to do that because it's the start of the year." Jade muttered quietly towards her.
" Oh. Back home, the term starts a month before the summer holidays."
" Really? Cool. Well, you can sit beside me and Sara, there's a space there."
" That would be great, thanks."
Soon, the second bell rung and the door was shut as the homeroom teacher stood at the front to welcome them to a new year at Idle High. She called herself Mrs. Stevens, and asked everyone to stand up and say a little bit about themselves, in alphabetical order. First was Jade because her second name was Appleby.
" Hey, I'm Jade Appleby. I'm seventeen years old, if you don't know me already, I love swimming, surfing and roller-skating." And that was it, a couple of short sentences, and she was finished. Catherine waited for her turn anxiously, but when it finally came, the nerves had completely disappeared as she realised that the class were a friendly bunch and were not out to get her on her first day.
" Um, hey. My name's Catherine McLaren but just call me cat okay? I'm seventeen and I've just moved from Scotland with my mum and my sister. I love roller-skating, skiing, cycling and shopping."
She sat down but soon the teacher called her up again once everyone was done. " Catherine, why don't you tell everybody a bit about where you came from, since you're new and all?" Cat wasn't expecting this but stood up anyway.
" Well, I come from a city called Glasgow in Scotland which compared to here it's really cold and small, but it's a lot of fun to be there. So, what did you want to know?" she asked her new teacher.
" Since I believe none of us have ever lived in Scotland, please tell us what it's like."
" I have!" piped up a voice at the back. Cat turned to look at the voice. She was looking straight at a guy, unbeknownst to her, was the school heartthrob, Jake. He recovered himself and said, " I lived on an island called Arran. Do you know it?"
" Yeah. It's pretty close to Glasgow. Nearer Ayr. Any other questions?"
" What's it like living there?"
" It's cool. Much colder than here. And the fashions are so different. We have a lot of warmth to our clothes. If I wore what I'm wearing right now in Scotland, I would surely freeze." Some of the class tittered as she sat down.
" Thank you, Catherine." Said Mrs. Stevens as the bell rung for the third time signaling the end of homeroom.
Jade walked beside her out of the class and directed Cat to Physics, as she had French. " Oh, I took that last year." Cat remarked to Jade.
" Was it hard?"
" A bit, but I got used to it after a time. Our class only had seven people in it though. Our language department was really crap. There was only two people doing Gaelic."
" Gaelic? Cool. I'll meet you at break okay? Try to find someone who will direct you to History."
" Okay, but where should I meet you?"
"Outside homeroom," Jade called as she ran down the hall after Sara.
Cat found her way to Physics with difficulty. She got lost twice and once someone gave her the directions to Psychology instead of Physics. She finally found her class ten minutes late and was dreading walking in alone, and as a new student.
She turned the knob and walked in only to find seven male eyes staring at her. " Sorry, I'm late, I'm new." She offered as a way of explanation to the teacher at the front of the class."
" You must be Catherine, our new Scottish student. That's all right. Take a seat beside Jake."
Jake, who was the jock from that morning, pulled the stool beside him out slightly and gestured for her to sit. "Please, just call me Cat." She said, sitting down with a smile.
" Okay, Cat. Tomorrow," the teacher spoke up. " We will be starting the electronics and electrical fundamentals unit. But first, we are going to familiar ourselves with each other as this will be a long year with just the eight of us." Cat smiled, she had done a course on electronics in her old school last year in her fifth year.
" First, I want to know what you are planning to do in the future with the knowledge you receive in Physics, just so I know that my time here isn't wasted. Cat, since you are the newest person to our group, why don't you start."
" Okay. Um, well, I want to be an engineer, but I just haven't decided what kind yet." She said, " Maybe Electrical Design Engineering."
" That's so cool." Remarked Jake. " I've always wanted to do engineering too. It's seems to be such an interesting subject. I just don't know what I'd major in." Jake was surprised that such a pretty girl of Cat's standard would be interested in such a masculine science such as Physics. What Jake didn't realise is that Cat was really a tomboy at heart and this was her first day in ages that she had worn a skirt. This was mostly because of the colder temperatures in Scotland than Florida, but the heat had made Cat throw away her Baggies for the day and wore this skirt of her sisters as a substitute.
" Maybe. But I don't know yet. What are you going to do Jake?" she asked, trying to lead the attention away from her.
" Mechanical engineering." He prided himself in becoming this, because of the mechanics he knew, not one of them had a qualification for what he did, and here he was, trying to attain himself one.
Another three boys who introduced themselves as Greg, Jan and Pete also wanted to do mechanical engineering, while the three left (Tom, Lewis and Robbie) weren't sure just as yet but were still thinking about it.
" So, no-one wants to do physics at college? That's a pity. But I guess engineering does sound a lot more fun, and hard work."
In her next period, after she had found it without much success until Jake steered her in the right direction, was very much different than the topics she had studied in Scotland.
For Higher, she was going to have to do Russia, Japan and Germany, with WW2, which she found were the most boring units on earth. But here she was to learn a lot more about American history. She was going to have to learn more about the presidents and a bit more about Martin Luther King, even though Cat thought she couldn't cram more in about her favourite history idol.
Music was her third lesson before she met up with Jade again. Her classes so far had been a breeze but she didn't know what to expect in her next class because she was assuming that it would be based on a lot of different things. As soon as she got to her class, which was just along the corridor from History, she was informed that all she had done in music at Standard Grade were sent over to the states for examination, to see if she could be in the class that she wanted.
Thankfully, they liked her Rock and Roll invention and her recorded examination on her clarinet. She had to choose three instruments to focus on over the next year. Cat chose her clarinet and tuned percussion but was on a lose end about the missing third choice. She had until the end of the week to think of something.
As Cat was walking to meet up with Jade she came across the music information board which held tickets to the audition of a new school band, which had not yet been named. It seemed they were in need of a lead singer, and in her mind, Cat decided to go along and see what all the crack was about. The auditions were going to be held after school on Wednesday, so Cat made up her mind to ask Jade to go along with her for support on her behalf. What she didn't know is that what happened on Wednesday could turn her new life upside down.
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