Journey To South Hills
It was the 2nd of March with cold weather. Elle was looking at herself in the mirror. Light yellow skirt, black shirt with a striped yellow and black tie. Although she didn’t like the yellow blazer, she had to admit, it looked good with her light brown straight hair which touched her lower back.
“You’ll be late, Elle!” Her mother called from downstairs as Elle saw her getting out of the house from the window in her room.
Elle picked up her trunk along with her handbag as she headed downstairs and to the garage. Her mom unlocked the trunk as they started loading the suitcases in it. The handbag was a necessary item which contained a toothbrush, sleeping dress and things like that, in case anyone loses her trunk on the first day.
Elle felt sad that she was leaving her old friends behind but she was excited at the same time, as it was the first time she was going to a boarding school.
The average age for a fifth-grade girl in South Hills was 11. As Elle was 10, she was pretty much the youngest among other girls.
The drive was pretty smooth with the car filled with silence. The bus stop wasn’t very far from their home as they were already pulling into the parking lot after a couple of minutes. It was quite a bigger stop than what she expected. There were girls here and there, wearing “South Hills” uniforms and chattering loudly and excitedly. It looked like everyone knew each other, except Elle.
“I don’t think I will ever be able to know all these girls.” She thought as someone bumped into her.
“Ouch!” She turned around to see a tall girl with round black glasses which suited her perfectly.
“I am sorry!” she said, fixing her glasses.
“It’s okay!” Elle said with as much politeness as she could find in herself.
“Oh okay!” She said without any expression, “Then I better hurry or I’ll miss my bus.” The tall girl said and disappeared into the crowd leaving Elle smiling and confused.
It took a minute for Elle to realize that her mother was not with her and she was standing all by herself at a huge bus stop with thousands of people she didn’t even know.
She was just about to panic when her mother appeared from Nowhere. “Oh God Mom, where were you?” Elle asked with a worried face.
“Oh, I was just finding your house Mistress.” Her mother calmly said. “You should’ve at least told me.” Elle said in a panicked voice.
“Come on baby, there’s no reason to be that upset.” She paused and started to look around until her eyes stopped on a woman, “Look, that must be your house mistress.” Her mom was pointing at a middle-aged decent-looking woman. She was wearing a light brown knee-length skirt with a mint-colored shirt. She had brown eyes and a fine face. The only thing that was going into Elle’s mind at that moment was “Why is everyone here so beautiful?”
“Hello, I am Mrs. Carter.” her mother said once she was right in front of that woman, trying to catch her attention. “Ugh, mom could be so embarrassing sometimes.” She thought, getting red in the face.
“Oh, hello, Mrs. Carter.” The mistress took a step back to try to get her personal space back. “And you must be…” she said as she looked at a nervous looking girl standing at some distance from her mother, “Elena Carter.” She said looking down at a paper in her hand.
“Oh, yes. Hello!” she paused and took a step forward, “I am Elle.
“Hello, Elle. I am Miss Harriet. Your house Mistress.” She had a kind smile which comforted Elle, “If you have said your goodbyes, we shall go then.”
“Oh, yeah, sure.” Elle hugged her mother as she followed the mistress. They kept walking through a chain of busses labeled “South Hills” until they stopped in front of one. “This is the bus where all the fifth grade girls will be. I hope you have fun.” She said as Elle entered a bus filled with chit-chat and laughs. Though, nobody seemed to notice that there was a new girl.
She kept walking in hope of finding an empty seat when she saw the girl who bumped into her earlier sitting alone. She let out a sigh of relief as she headed toward her.
“Hey, I am Elle. Do you remember me?” Elle asked after settling on the seat next to her. The girl nodded while staring out the window. “I am Mia. Mia Jones.”
At first, Elle thought Mia was a good sort but the way Mia looked at Elle and how she talked to her, wasn’t the best sign of a person Elle would want to make friends with.
“Hey, Mi-”Elle said but got interrupted. “Not at all interested, Elle,” Mia said, holding up her palm while she kept staring out of the window.
Elle felt like she wasn’t needed there so she got up and went to sit in the seat right in front of her. There was a plum, red-haired girl sitting at that seat who told her name was Amy.
Mia was rude to Elle but was a chatty and fun thing around everyone else. And as told by Amy, “She’s the type of girl who likes everyone. Especially new girls."
South Hills was only 1 hour away from the bus stop and the journey was not at all boring. Mia continued making everyone laugh until she and everyone else was worn out.
“Hey girls, we are back at the castle!” Mia screamed excitedly as everyone smiled.
“Looks like everyone likes her.” Elle thought for a second but brushed it off as she didn’t want to be negative on her first day. The bus took a turn and entered a beautiful gate.
“The gate looks royal!” Elle said under her breath but it looked like Mia was eavesdropping because she replied within a second, “Just wait till you see the school!” There was pride in her voice which seemed quite unusual. But Elle didn’t pay attention to her.
It was a golden hour. The bus took another turn and there it was. SOUTH HILLS. Sparkling by the rays of sun with the hills behind it making it looks mesmerizing.
“It’s charming!” Came out of Elle’s mouth.
All the Buses stopped in front of the school. There was a parking lot on one side and a huge lawn on the other. Girls started getting off the bus and in less than a minute, there was a huge number of girls on the lawn. Some going inside the school, some finding their way, some greeting each other and some still chattering. The ones who came with their parents were still fresh but the rest were exhausted. Amy was nowhere to be found after getting off the bus. Elle tried to find her or Miss Harriet but found it impossible.
“Excuse me!” Someone said.
“Hey, excuse me!” The same voice again said but this time, with a tap on Elle’s shoulder.
Elle turned around to see a tall brown-eyed girl, with wavy hair and a gentle voice. “Oh, sorry, I didn’t hear you.”
“It’s ok. I don’t think anyone could hear anything in so much noise.” the girl said, smiling.
“I am Luna. Head of South Hills.” She extended her hand which Elle immediately shook “Miss Harriet has given me the duty to take all the new girls to their dormitories and I’m guessing you’re one of them.”
“Yep, that’s right,” Elle replied.
“Okay, perfect. Can you tell me your name and grade, please?” Luna asked, taking out a diary and a pen from her bag.
“Elena Carter and Fifth grade.”
“Okay.” Luna wrote something in the diary then moved her gaze back to Elle, “Do you have your trunk with you, Elena?”
“Oh, no, It’s still on the bus. I am sorry, I forgot to take it off.” Elle said, already running towards the bus.
“Hurry up!” Luna called. There were seven other girls with Luna when Elle returned. All of them looked older than Elle except one, who told her name was Natalie. She was the same height as Elle but way tanned instead of honey-colored like Elle.
“Should we go inside then?” Luna asked, moving her gaze from one girl to another.
“Yes, please! I am dying to see what it looks like from the inside.” an older girl said.