10 years ago I lost my parents, was only a child and didn’t understand what death meant. Now I do but the idea of death doesn’t terrify me, dying alone, however, does. I’m Amara Rasheeda Ahmed Cortez, if you hadn’t guessed I’m a Muslim and also Spanish, my mum was born a Muslim and my dad converted when he was in his 20s, then he met my mum and the rest you can probably guess. I have an older brother, Sayid and a younger sister, Roza. In 2003 at the Al Garhoud private hospital, I was born in Dubai, my brother and sister. 2001 child and a 2010 child. Anyways this isn’t just about me it’s about my friends’ lives and the struggles we went through. Enjoy.
You know people say a fresh start is the best healer, well it’s not and I don’t think it ever will be. I’ve had multiple ‘fresh starts’ throughout my life and I’m still broken. It probably isn’t evident on the outside but inside, I’m carrying the weight of guilt, pain and loss. Today was my 5th first day of school and they’re all the same, have people stare at you, teachers pity you, people betray you, the same cycle over and over again. My mom’s adamant that I stay positive so I’m positive I’m going to hate this school.
My mom drops me off and I walk up the steps to the school entrance. The school looks like a cluster of detached and semi-detached buildings. The sides of the entrance have rows of floor to ceiling windows that are beautifully arched. It's impressive, inviting even but I know better than to trust the appearance. I'm not going to judge this book by its cover. Instantly I can tell which people are part of which group. On the left near the parking lot, there’s a bunch of jocks and cheerleaders they must be seniors. Then there are a few emo kids and some nerds. I avoid making eye contact with any of them, but I draw attention to myself as the new girl.
“Hey, you must be new, where’d you get that top, fall of 2016” one of the cheerleaders yells. Her face just screams pick me, girl. She's of average height and had an obvious athletic build. Her face is long and pointed with very sharp, angular cheekbones. Her eyes are green with blue specks, arched eyebrows, thick lips( probably due to lip fillers), and straight whitened teeth like polished pearls. Earrings are expensive, dangling and shining in the light. She would look way prettier if her face wasn't completely caked in make-up. Her posse erupts in fake laughter. I can’t help myself so I yell back
“Yeah just like where you got your personality and makeup” oh s*** I shouldn’t have said that yeah you shouldn’t. Shut up conscience, now's not the time. I bow my head down and walk into the building as soon as possible. After getting my schedule, I walk through the maze of long corridors with stone steps to room A5 which is now my homeroom and is light and modern, luckily there are not that many people so I sit at the very back and go through my phone.
Mom- have a great day sweetie love you :)
Sophie- Girl u left me once again, love u tho 😋
“Hey” I look up and see an annoyingly cute guy staring down at me. He has raven black hair, short and spiked and greenish-blue, soft yet mysterious eyes that seem to be changing colour. He reminds me of the character Percy Jackson. He has a mischievous smirk on his face.
"Can I help you?"
"No, but I can help you"
"I'm not sure exactly how you think you can help but don't waste your time, I'm a hopeless case and too messed up-"
Why did you say that? Now he thinks you're crazy.
"I'm messed up so maybe we can be messed up together"
"Well I'm a piece of trash"
"As an honourable citizen, I'm required to pick you up, Friday at 8?"
Damn this boy is smooth. It's weird that he, of all people, chose to speak to me. I mean look at me, I'm weird, an outsider and a very introverted introvert.
I'm about to ask what his name was when a group of girls come and practically drag him away.
"THE NAME'S WES" he yells quickly looking back. Wes that's a nice name, simple but nice.
"Abby" I yell back. I could feel a smile snaking on my face. Stop it girl now's not the time to be catching feelings besides you barely know him.
The room eventually starts to fill up with more and more students.
A teacher with a grey blazer walks in. He's my homeroom teacher and my schedule says his name is Mr Morris.
"Alright, students welcome back to a new academic year. I'm sure you've all had a great summer break and are as eager as I am to begin yet again. I have some announcements from the principal but first, we shall-"
"Sorry, I'm late sir". A girl walks in with an air of unnerving calm, she's above average height, maybe 5"5, 5"6. She has a grey hijab that's got shiny lines of silver on it. She's wearing glasses, a black hoodie and jeans with a snake print on the side. She seems quiet and soft but the moment she walks past the girls at the front they shut up and I can tell she's got a great sense of authority.
"I'm glad you've finally decided to join us, Miss Cortez."
"Ahmed-Cortez, don't forget my religion"
"Of course not, you remind us all the time, please take a seat and where is your brother?"
"He should be here right about...now" she answers, sitting down with another girl at the back of the room. They share a knowing look.
"Sorry I'm late sir" a boy walks in, he's the girl's gender-bent version. Black, messy hair, strong jawline, hazel eyes. He's probably 6"1 or 6"2. He sits in front of his sister, next to a guy and they do a weird handshake. His chair is angled so he can look at her and the other girl.
"Amara, Sayid, why is it a tradition for you both to be late to homeroom on the first day of the week?"
They both share a look and say in unison," I guess we'll never know"