Chapter 1: Attention
Ugh I don’t want a damn new start I have a perfect one back home. Just because she gets a job here doesn’t mean she has to drag me along. England was way smaller than this and I was almost done with school! It’s the middle of the school year and she thinks she can make up for it by sticking me in an ‘artsy’ school.
In my position artsy only mean stuck up rich kids who think they can sing and dance, walking around like they’re the shit. Back home I was the king, I had everything; a band, my best mates, a girlfriend, and the teachers were easy and I was always ahead. But this is New York the place where dreams are made of, ugh that damn song.
I walk down the hall I’ve been circling for the past 20 minutes I finally spot life at the end of the hall. “Excuse me,” I jog up to them, “do you know where English 101 is?” the tall blond in heels that almost made her as tall as me, put down the tape and posters she was putting up, turned with the brightest smile. She must have paid big bucks to get them whitened.
“Wow nice accent, are you the transfer from the UK?” Ugh a peppy blond, it seems like everywhere I go in America the first thing they do is note my accent.
“Uh yeah look I’m kind of in a rush and I’ve spent most of my first day climbing the stairs so if you could just tell me where to go that’d be great.” If she doesn’t pick up on my annoyance, I’m going to explode.
“I’ll do you one more and I’ll show you myself.” Well at least I didn’t explode. As we walked down the stairs, her heels tapping on the perfect polished floor add to the head ache. “I’m guessing you’re not a fan of smiles.” She said erasing the awkward silence.
“What was that?” I asked confused by her statement.
“I can sense attitude when I hear it, I was trying to be nice but I guess you just weren’t having it.” So she did get my memo.
“I didn’t mean to be rude it’s just I rather not be here.” And that’s the truth. We stopped walking and the metal plate on the door said room 101 notifying me we finally made it.
“Here we are,” she said and I went to reach the door but she stopped me. “Look lose the attitude, just because you’re from ‘across the pond’” she said putting her fingers up making air quotes around the phrase, “doesn’t make you better than us, especially me. This is my school Harold-,”
“It’s Harry.” I bitterly spat.
“Whatever, this is my school and no one has an attitude problem with me get it, got it, good.” She turned the knob and opened the door for me. The teacher stopped talking and looked at us.
“Wish you luck!” she said going back to her peppy voice, “you’re going to need it.” She whispered and walks away. First day and I already hate it. I walked in and like usual all the nosey teens looking at the bald teacher and I like we’re the main act in the circus.
“Ah Mr. Styles welcome I will be your English teacher, Mr. Matthews.” He holds out his hand for me to shake but I just look at him and raise an eyebrow, “Well uh you may take whatever seats open. We are going over page 354 in the literature book under the desk.” I looked around and the only seats open was the one in the front row and two in the back.
There’s no way I’m going to be that kid front and center, I headed to the back. I slide into the seat by the window and grabbed the orange book at the bottom and turned to the page, once opened I began looking around the room. Poetry posters filled the walls along with quotes from famous people you’re supposed to look up to.
I turned to the left and noticed a girl with long raven black hair scribbling on a note book. We were only separated by an empty desk; she had no book out nothing just the note book and a pencil.
She’s wearing a black leather jacket with the hood part covering her face, black skinny jeans on and leather black boots with buckles on the side. She doesn’t dress like the other students; all bright and rich like. Maybe she’s a normal one, well the normal in my dictionary.
“Hey.” I lean towards her, hopefully my voice goes unnoticed as the teacher continues to bore the class. “Hey, hey you.” Damn it, talk about hard of hearing. “He-,”
“Mr. Styles, I don’t know how they do things where you’re from but here at DeWitt Clinton High School we do not speak while the teacher is speaking.” Just as his mouth is finished embarrassing me the bell rings and the class rises.
“Hey thanks a lot for getting me in trouble, hey I’m tal,” I tried my attempt at getting her attention but it’s like she doesn’t even hear me. I was interrupted by a voice behind me.
“It’s Styles right?” I turned and looked to see who stopped me, he was wearing a plaid open button up with a graphic tee with black jeans. The ray ban glasses and grey beanie had hipster written all over him. But the black boots like mine gave me a sense to talk to him.
“It’s Harry, Harry Styles.” I said shaking his hand, as I looked down to see where my locker was located the guy I still don’t know the name of took the piece of paper out of my hand,
“Hey your locker is right next to mine, I’m Isaac Lahey by the way.” He seemed normal, not like all these stuck up people looking at me. We finally got to the lockers and the same girl I saw was taking out a book from hers a locker away. She shut it and walked away.
“Who’s that?” I said looking towards the girl making her way through the crowded hall.
“To be honest I have no idea, she doesn’t talk or anything. They call her geek freak.” He said leaning against the metal blue lockers with his arms crossed. I opened mines and hung my bag and jumper in it.
“Why ‘geek freak’?” she didn’t look like any freak to me.
“The popular kids call her that, she doesn’t do any work but somehow she has straight A’s. I wouldn’t waste your time on her I’ve tried myself and gave up freshmen year.” I closed my locker and stuck my phone in my back pocket along with my folded schedule and map.
“What class is next?” I asked, I mesmerized my schedule and it turns out I’ve missed first period.
“You’re a senior, right?” I nodded. “Cool, you have lunch. If you want you’re welcome to hang with me, I promise none of my friends are like these peppy girls and jocks.” For a first day it was going good, well excluding the 2 sided bitch this morning.
We headed to the back of the school which was just a massive court yard; trees, tables, fountains, not one spot of grass wasn’t green. Isaac led us to a laughing group of people sat under a tree far from the crowdedness.
“Guys this is Harry, he’s new from the UK. Harry this is Scott, Allison, Stiles, Boyd, and Erica.” (yes I realize the cast is from Teen Wolf, it’s easier to know what they look like.)
Isaac introduced me as we sat down. “Uh aren’t we going to eat?” oh god I hope they’re not those people who skip lunch to lose weight.
“Yep here it is.” The girl named Allison pulled out a pizza box from behind her. “Uh it’s a 2 dollar fee.” She said looking at me,
“Oh I got this.” Isaac said reaching back in his wallet.
“No it’s fine” I took out the money and handed it to her along with everyone else. “So why not eat here?” I said taking a bite out of the pepperoni slice.
“Huh be happy you get this instead of that crap they call nutrition. They changed the menu so much for these rich kids its horrible.” Isaac explained
“The food here is all bland and no carbs, just how the skinny witches like it.” Erica added nodding to the large population of girls holding mirrors to their face.
“So is Harry short for something?” Scott asked.
“Yeah,” I took a moment to swallow, “Short for Harold, but Harry is what I prefer.” He nodded
“Home? What part of the UK did you come from?” Stiles piped in.
“Well I was born in a small town in Holmes Chapel but I transferred from London.” Thinking about home makes part of me sick. Home sick.
“Why move from London to here, isn’t it beautiful there?” Allison added to the conversation.
“Yeah it is and no offence but I rather be there than here, my mum got a job offer for some fashion shit, she said she couldn’t say no or they would fire her, but I know it was just to get away from my dad.” I took another bite.
“You’re parents split too?” Scott asked
“Yeah same for you?”
“Yep, best decision she made now he’s off somewhere drunk or throwing up in a trash can.” He laughs
“So Stiles right?” I asked, I’ve never met a guy with my last name as their first.
“Yeah,” he says as he shoves the rest of his pizza in his mouth.
“Harry, Harry Styles.” I reach forward to shake his hand and he gets my joke.
“Ha ha funny.” He smiles, I think I finally found some people to hang out with, I wouldn’t say friends only for the sake of my best mates back home.
“Harry here got in trouble in Matthew’s class.” Isaac said clasping my back.
“Already trying to start a reputation?” Erica said in a sarcastic voice.
“He was trying to talk to that girl they call geek freak.” As Isaac said the rude name you can tell he hated calling her that, but since they don’t know her not even her name, that’s the only way people know who they’re talking about.
“Look, look, look there she is.” As we glanced at her walking alone out of the library she walked like no one was around. As she walked I noticed a group of guy walking toward her. Everyone in the court yard seemed to quiet down and watch, just like us.
“Hey freak, cast any spells lately?” one of the tall jocks got in her face. “Why don’t you talk, is your voice that horrible?” he started to inch closer as she tried to ignore him and keep walking.
‘Don’t do it Styles, it’s your first day don’t mess it up.’ I said in my mind as I tried to stay seated. The end bell rang and the jocks gave her a push making her almost fall. She shrugged her bag back on her shoulder and tugged back on her hood.
“Harry, hey.” Alison waved her hand in front of my face snapping me out of my stare.
“Huh? Sorry.” I grabbed her hand that she stretched out to help me up.
“I have class with you next.” I just said ‘cool’ and walked with her as I tried looking for the girl again, how could she walk away that fast?
“Don’t feel bad,” Allison nudged me.
“Feel bad, for what?”
“If she wanted friends I don’t think she’d wait till her senior year to try. We all tried to talk to her; she just doesn’t want to hear us.” Allison explained. I just nodded, why was I so nosey about her and why does she shut everyone out?
Third, 4th, and 5th went by fast. Hearing the teachers talk about the history of America, why x=y and the art of science. Blah, blah, Blah. My last class should be fun, Art. I was somewhat good in art but mostly liked the quietness that filled the atmosphere.
I entered the white walled class room, odd color for a colorful topic. The teacher was a short woman that could pass for a 60s hippy with frizzy and free hair with colorful loose clothes.
I sat in the back just like all my other classes and I actually paid attention to the lesson. She gave me a sketch pad like everyone else and showed us the skill of shadowing. It wasn’t until the teacher walked down the aisle and pulled out a folded paper. Out of the corner of my eye I watched as she placed it on the girl’s desk, how did I not see her?
The girl didn’t even look up just tucked the note under the notebook she was using in 2nd period.
“Hey.” I won’t stop till she notices me this time. I tore a piece of paper from the last page and wrote ‘hey’ in it. Childish but it was worth a shot. It landed right and center of her notebook. She ignored it and I did another one. The fourth try would be my last. And it was a lucky shot.
As the small paper bounced off the tip of her pencil, it landed straight in her shirt. She looked down, then towards me. Her eyes are blue, but they were brown in the court yard.
I waved my hand low and gave a small smile. “hi” I whispered. She was opening her mouth to say something when…
“Hey freak, wanna be partners. Just put my name on it and call it ours.” The anger was burning inside. I looked at the front board and saw she wrote pick a partner. I jumped at the opportunity.
“Actually meat head she already agreed to be my partner. So turn around and be with blonde.” His nostrils flared and he turned around.
“So Mike and Julia, and Harry and…okay. Class assignment due 2 weeks, have fun and be creative.” She didn’t even say her name. The bell rang and I turned back to her but she somehow vanished.
I looked back on to my desk to pick up my notebook and noticed a note on top of it. I opened it and it read ‘I’ll be sure to spell your name right’. Did she not just see what I was trying to do?
“Ms. Delilah.” I walked to the teacher cleaning the brushes.
“Yes, oh Harry is it?” She had a hint of a Canadian accent, I nodded. “What can I do for ya?”
“I wasn’t really paying attention to the assignment and was wondering what we had to do.”
“Well you and your partner will create a poster on anything, it has to include you but you shouldn’t worry about it.” Wait what.
“Why is that?”
“If I look at the roster, you’ve already turned it in and got full points.”
“But I haven’t even discussed anything with my partner nor started anything.”
“Look she’s a quiet one there’s no way you’ll ever get to know her. She could graduate now if she wants, she’s ahead of every class. You should be happy, you don’t have to do work.” It’s my first day and I already have a massive head ache and I know it’s my fault.
I turned and walked around confused as hell. AND I STILL DON’T KNOW HER NAME! I walked to my locker and see the raven black haired girl open her locker. I swiftly open mine and glance at her.
“Hi I’m Harry.” I hold out my hand, she just looks at it and grabs things from her locker and stuffs it in her bag. Now I feel what the teacher did when I just looked at his hand.
“I um I’m new here and was wondering if you wanted to give me a tour.” ‘A tour really Styles ugh you idiot’, she closes her locker and turns away. I roll my eyes with a long breath I pull out my bag and coat. I dig around the bottom of my bag for my keys as I walked out to the student parking lot.
Opening my car I spot her again, ‘she drives a slick black 2011 mustang ha compared to my white BMW it’s sick.’ Wow I really need to stop talking to myself. She pulls out and somehow I feel like I’m following her as we take to same streets. On my last turn she pulls into the house next to mine.
That’s going to be awkward getting out. Then when I thought the situation couldn’t get worst. Lydia pulls in and parks into the space next to hers in her pink buggy. Can’t stand the color or the girl driving in it.
I walk inside before any of them see me. “Harry? Join me in the kitchen for a moment.” I roll my eyes throwing my backpack on the floor of the kitchen door frame. I see my mum sat at the table with a blond woman that looks like plastic surgery got the worst of her; I couldn’t tell if she was smiling or that just her face.
“Harry this is Kristin, Mrs. Timid.” How ironic. “My boss, she lives right next door with her 2 daughters and she’s inviting us over Saturday for a gathering.” I can tell my mum was being fake just by the way her smile was so planed and her voice was in high class mode.
Do I really want to go to a snobby rich people party? Wait 2 daughters…then that means Lydia and ugh whatever her name will be there. I can talk to her then.
“You have 2 daughters?” I question. My mum shoots me a nervous look.
“Yes, they both are bright striving girls Lydia and Mia, both completely different from each other. Oh how I wish my Mia was more like her sister. They go to DeWitt just a few miles away. Lydia loves to sing she’ll be singing at the gathering Saturday, Mia well she has a talent for doodling and staying in her room. She’s such a closed off girl she has the worst taste in fashion, this one time I bought her a lovely red dress. It’s been 2 years and it still has the tag on it.” she sighed looking at her perfectly manicures nails.
“Well I must be going; I will be expecting you both Saturday, toddles.” Does anyone still say toddles? The door shuts and mum gives me a weird look. Damn it I know what she’s going to do.
“How was your day at school?” Ugh I really don’t feel like having a conversation right now.
“It was fine, I’d love to chat but I have to go.” Before she could protest I ran upstairs to my room.
Mia, well at least I got one thing out of that snobby lady’s swollen lips. I opened my laptop, its 9 pm in London maybe Cassidy’s still up. I dial her number and got the long distant dial tone.
“Harry?” her voice rang through the phone speaker like music to my ears. All my tension seemed to disappear at the sound of her clearly excited voice. I lay back on the bed and closed my eyes and tried to imagine she was right next to me talking. If only I was still home I’d be at her house working on whatever homework we had.
“Hey babe, did I wake you?” I rub my eyes and try to hide my yawn.
“No, I miss you. We all do but I miss you the most.” Her words only make me resent my mother more for dragging me out here.
“Same here how was your day?” We had a long conversation about what’s happen all this time I’ve been gone. The band isn’t practicing like we used to and new lacrosse players are trying to take my place on top of the food chain at school. We said our goodbyes and I love you’s. Hanging up was the hardest out of the whole thing but I knew it wasn’t fair to keep her up. I looked at the clock and didn’t realize it was already dark out.
Small noises from out my window caught my attention and took me away from homework. I opened the curtains slowly and saw what must be her name, Mia. Her long black hair was a change from Lydia and her mother’s blond. I watched her scale down the side vine tree that decorated the side of her house.
I was about to stop her till she started to run down the street. How could someone that looks so normal be so mysterious? I know what you’re probably thinking, ‘why do I care and how is she normal?’ But the fact of the matter is she is normal, to me, aside from all the peppy snobs at school she’s closest to how we look back home and I have no idea how or why she manages to catch my attention.