A Fresh Start
A Fresh Start
Even in the darkest of moments, a glimpse of light is all it takes to give you the hope that you can start again.
The nightmares of the past few months are drawing to a close, as of today. There’s no turning back, and that feeling is enough to give me the best night of sleep I’ve had in a long time; despite being broken up but that in itself says a lot.
But right now, I lay here, eyes wide open, waiting for my alarm to go off at 6:30 in the morning.
It’s a Monday, and I hate Mondays, I’ve spent the past sixteen years mindlessly hoping that someone would get rid of them, but I’m yet to have those hopes fulfilled. However, this Monday isn’t like any other start to the week; I’m going to be starting at my new school.
Most people would usually be excited, but me? I’m dreading it mainly because I’m starting halfway through the semester.
I look at school as if it’s a prison; 6 hours a day of work and then homework, it’s a continuous cycle that every average teenager has to go through, and it’s horrible.
The beeping of the alarm fills my silent bedroom. Rolling onto my side, I hit the button, turning it off. I stretch my legs, pulling my covers up over me so that I can wriggle around in my sleepy warmth for one final time before starting my day.
There’s no time left to waste sitting and wondering what the day ahead will hold for me.
Through the gape in my curtains, it looks bright. It’s only March, but it seems as though it’ll be a beautiful day today. The first semi warmest day I’ve seen since moving to Illinois. That’s where I live now; I moved over to America from England a couple of weeks ago.
Getting out of bed after rubbing my eyes multiple times, I drag my feet across the floor towards my bedroom door. This is it, a fresh start, an opportunity to reinvent myself.
Anyone who has ever started at a new school will know that the only fun thing is the possibility of making yourself whoever you wanted to be, painting your image of yourself into the minds of everyone else. If I wanted to be a polite, teacher’s pet- I could be. If I wanted to be a rebel and skip classes, even though the chances of that happening are unlikely- I could be.
You don’t get many chances to start again, but for me, this is something I have to grab with both hands. I need to get away from the person I used to be, or I’ll be stuck in this darkness forever.
Despite feeling sick from nerves, I know that I should eat breakfast before carrying on with the day. Heading downstairs to the kitchen, I carefully avoid knocking over any of the packing boxes from the mountains that have gathered in the hallway.
After looking through a few boxes on the kitchen counter, I find the toaster and decide that a couple of slices of toast may be enough to settle my stomach.
Although I’d had my best night of sleep in a while, the recurring thoughts and nightmares had crept in, waking me up every so often. I gently rest my head on the table, tiredness dawning on me and before I know it, I’m fighting to keep my eyelids open.
“Lola!” My mum screams as she storms into the kitchen.
She wraps her purple, fluffy dressing gown around herself tighter in an attempt to stay warm. Her hair is ruffled messily, the short locks clumping together while her eyes are bloodshot, suggesting that I’ve woken her from her sleep.
The burning smell in the air and the ear-piercing sound of the smoke alarm confirms my suspicion; my toast has burnt.
It turns out that I’ve slept for 20 minutes and unfortunately for me, our broken toaster that is incapable of popping up the bread once it’s cooked has meant that I’m now facing an angry parent. As she fans the kitchen towel around the alarm to stop it from screeching, we both listen in the hopes that it hasn’t woken my four-year-old sister up.
Checking the time, I notice that my power nap means that I’m now running late. I have 30 minutes until the bus leaves the stop and so far I’ve had no breakfast and remain sitting in my pyjamas. With hesitation, I force down the burnt toast, not having time to make anymore.
Stepping into the shower, I stretch out my arms, feeling warm water trickle down my body. There’s something so comforting about showering in the morning. Not only did it make you feel awake, but it also makes you feel fresh and clean for the day ahead.
The smell of vanilla fills the air in the small cubicle as I lather up the soap, rubbing it across myself. As I turn the shower off, I squeeze the ends of my hair through my hands to wring out the remaining water droplets. Grabbing the towel from the heater, I tightly wrap it around my body, allowing the warmth to kiss my wet skin.
After drying off, I walk into my room and most some items about so that I can open my wardrobe doors.
My room is still extremely messy, and I haven’t been able to unpack everything that got moved over here.
So far, I have somewhat decorated my room. All of my walls are white other than one accent wall which I have painted a dusky pink colour. On it sits a framed picture containing a quote, not a picture of myself from England, there were no memories I wanted to bring to America with me.
My bed sat in the middle of my room had been made by my mum while I was in the bathroom—the fluffy pink pillow placed in the centre and the soft grey blanket droops across the edge.
Personally, my favourite part of my room is my window sill. My view looks out onto the fields behind our house, stretching for miles to where the sun meets the horizon. Placed in the middle are a beautiful array of roses, standing in their vase, reminding me every day that just like a flower, I can also blossom into something beautiful.
Drawing my attention back to the clothes in front of me, I begin to flick through each hanger.
What shouts out ‘first day of school’?
I pick out a pair of skinny jeans along with a white lace top and a grey cardigan. Matching this with my white trainers and some hoop earrings, I finally feel happy with my decision.
As I walk back to the bathroom to style my hair, something catches my eye. The bathroom window is open, something I hadn’t done when I was in here moments ago.
I run forward, shutting it, my heart beating fast now. Leaning my back against the shower door, I take a few deep breaths; I need to gain control of these irrational thoughts. They’re the main reason as to why I hadn’t started school earlier, and they are my most significant setback.
The thoughts frustrate me the most. They’re so silly, yet I’m unable to prevent them or convince myself that the problems in my head aren’t real. They can’t possibly have found me over here, not yet anyway.
After slowing down my breathing and heartbeat, I lift my head, catching a glimpse of my bedraggled appearance in the mirror. I keep my hair down, silently praising its natural straightness which means that a brush is enough to make it neat. I clip the strands at the front back and apply some makeup, making sure it looks natural and not like I’m trying too hard.
Looking down at the watch on my writes, I have 5 minutes until I have to leave or I face being late and that’s no way to start your first day.
I walk over to my new should bag, placing my makeup and a water bottle inside. At the moment, it’s reasonably light, but that’s because there are no heavy textbooks in it yet. I’m sure it’ll weigh a ton by the end of the week.
Slinging it over my shoulder, I run down the stairs, giving my mum a kiss on the cheek and the same to my sister Lily. The glare from my mum proves that the smoke alarm did wake her up, but I don’t have time to apologise right now.
Despite the deceiving warm look from behind the window, it’s still cold. We’ve moved to a small town surrounded by tall mountains and towering trees which are beginning to blossom. I did miss England, but I lived just outside of London, and although it was one of the nicer areas, it still contained the hustle and bustle of the city.
However, out here, it’s breathtaking. The kind of place that you dream of living with your family in the future, even though it’s crazy for me to be thinking that far ahead but I’ve always been a hopeless romantic.
Upon reaching the bus stop, there’s another girl with short black hair and me. Now’s the start of the test, and I have to step outside of my comfort zone if I want to make friends.
“Hi.” I say shyly, trying to gain her attention.
She doesn’t reply, but then I realise that she’s listening to music and although my cheeks flush with embarrassment, at least she wasn’t purposely blocking me out.
As the bus pulls around the corner, it’s rustic features stick out. The paintwork scratched from its years of service, but the yellow bus is just as I imagined it—the same as you see in the movies.
I get on the bus, looking straight down the aisle, trying not to notice what feels like millions of eyes glaring at me. As I start to walk towards the empty seats as the back, all I can hear is whispering and murmuring, people wondering who I am or stating that they haven’t seen me before.
All of the boys look thrilled to see a new girl, smirking at each other. A blush crosses my cheeks, and I lower my head as I quicken my pace to reach a seat.
When I get to the black, a girl with light blonde hair sat by the window; her bag placed on the other seat. Her long, curly ringlets fall just past her shoulders, and her glistening blue eyes continue to stare over the fields. She sits with her legs crossed, her red floral skirt just above her knee.
I clear my throat, looking at the seat, and upon noticing me, she moves her bag.
“You can sit here.” Her soft American accent is friendly.
She seems to be the only person not judging me on my appearance. I sit down slowly and sigh. I already hate this, and there are only about 30 people on the bus, let alone the number of people that will be at school.
“I’m guessing you’re new around here. Hi, I’m Sophie!” The girl says.
I straighten my back in shock, not expecting her to speak to me.
“Hi, I’m Lola, it’s my first day.” I reply, giving the tiniest amount of eye contact before my nerves make me look away again.
Her eyes widen at my accident, and I suddenly remember that I’m British. I was trying so hard to fit in, yet my accent doesn’t.
“You’re British! You’re accent, it’s amazing!” She gawps.
I giggle, it’s like she’s seen a puppy for the first time.
“Thank you, my family and I moved here a few weeks ago. With all of my nerves, I forgot that my accent is completely different from all of yours. I suppose I’ll be hearing a lot of people say that to me today.”
“You certainly will! How old are you?” She asks.
“I’m 16, 17 in June.” I reply.
“Does that mean you’ll be joining us in Junior year?” She calculates immediately, excitement radiating from her voice.
“I guess so.”
“That’s so cool! Hopefully, we’ll have some classes together. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up becoming the best of friends.” She nudges my side with her arm, joking with me, but her comment gives me some kind of hope that I’ll find more people like her.
Looking around at the other people, most are listening to music. I reach into my bag to grab my headphones, but Sophie is so amazed by the fact that I’m not American, she continues to ask me questions.
I begin to learn more about her as she chats to me. How she asks this many questions in such a short amount of time amazes me, but I know that she’ll be the first of many people today, so I’m just going to have to get used to it.
I’m the new girl, and inevitably, people are going to want to find out who I really am.
And I will use absolutely everything in my power to make sure they don’t.