"Julian?" the sky was a fine silvery grey, September had blown in , and the leaves were beginning to turn a warm brown. Julian's dad patted him on the shoulder "you alright son?"
Julian flinched, and then smiled "oh…fine" before grabbing his bag and opening the car door "bye then"
"Bye" said his dad, closing the door behind him. Julian watched him drive out of the school car park, and sighed quietly. This school seemed weird to him, but it wasn't like he had a choice, this school was the only one in the area. Did dad really need that new job?
"Don't forget me guys" he muttered under his breathe, thinking of his old classmates. A chill wind whisked up the leaves under his feet and ruffled his hair, as he walked towards the front entrance. The lobby was impressive; the walls painted a cornflower blue were covered with certificates and diplomas of various subjects won by students, and over to his left was a trophy cabinet. He'd barely sat down on one of the many waiting seats, when a teacher came walking purposefully towards him. Julian stumbled to his feet, and stared at the floor sheepishly.
"Mr Julian Wells?" the teacher asked stiffly, a firm faced woman in her early thirties wearing a beige cardigan and a stern expression.
"Yes miss…" Julian asked timidly. The look she was giving him was evil; it was like she was trying to see into his soul. To be honest, Julian just didn't like people, they made him nervous. He would have preferred to have been alone, maybe with a book, but there was the matter of school to be dealt with…
"come with me, I will direct you to your current class" she snapped, then turned and began to walk coolly back the way she had come, her heels making a clacking sound as they hit the floor. Julian grabbed his bag and hurried after her, his hair in his eyes. His dad had implored him to cut it off, but he couldn't. He fiddled with his curls when he was nervous, it calmed him down. It was because he had the same hair as mom but… he didn't want to think about that. "Hurry up please" the scary teacher barked, and he quickened his pace. Before long, they had reached a room with classroom '9D' marked on the front of the door. "Excuse the intrusion" said the scary lady, opening the door and pushing Julian inside.
The class room was blue like the lobby, and was filled with students, all wearing the same posh uniform he hadn't been given yet. Julian felt his heart drop into the pit of his stomach. The door was shut behind him, and Julian was left stranded with thirty eyes fixed on him intently. He began to wish the floor could just swallow him up, and became vaguely aware that his hand was reaching up to fiddle with his hair again, but snatched it away. He knew full well how girly that looked and already he could hear muffled giggling. "Hello?" he flinched, followed by more giggling, and turned to face his teacher. The man staring at him from the front was tall, and his smile seemed encouraging. In one hand he held a copy of 'to kill a mocking bird' and in the other a piece of chalk. "Its Julian isn't it?" he said kindly "I'm Mr Forrest, your English teacher. There's an empty seat next to Andrew, sit down, and I'm sure Andrew can show where everything is later."
"Thank you sir" Julian mumbled, blushing.
"What a wimp" somebody said quietly and there was a short burst of appreciative laughter.
"Come on guys, knock it off" said a warm gentle voice. Julian didn't know where to look anymore. Everything was all wrong, the looks they were all shooting him, and it was like being stabbed by a hundred knives. "Over here mate" said that same, gentle voice. It seemed kind, and friendly. Julian focused, and walked to the back of the classroom. There was a boy there in the back row that had pulled out the seat next to him, and was smiling at him like a friend. It was the most welcome sight he had seen all day.
"Thank you" he whispered, sitting down. The boy was wearing a prefect badge, his blonde spiky hair hung in wisps around his face, his honey brown eyes almost as comforting as his smile.
"Don't mention it" he grinned back "I'm Andrew"
"Julian" Julian smiled, taking out his books. English passed by quickly, and Mr Forrest gave Julian his timetable at the end of the class.
"Oh, you've got the same timetable as me!" said Andrew, looking over Julian's shoulder "come on, let's go get lunch" Julian thought secretly that perhaps the school might not be so bad. Andrew walked next to him down the corridor to the lunch hall. He listened quietly as Andrew talked about the school, the teachers he had to look out for and so on. He seemed so nice, but it was weird. Julian thought hard trying to remember the last time somebody had openly been this friendly with him, but gave up. "You know, you don't talk much do you?" laughed Andrew, his hands in his pockets. Just then, somebody tripped, a girl, and her drink flew out of her hands. The paper cup burst open, and before Julian knew what was happening, he was covered in ice cold orange juice.
"Wha…" he mumbled hopelessly, his shirt clung to him wetly and juice dripped from his hair, nose, and face. The girl had disappeared.
"Are you ok?" asked Andrew, hurriedly taking off his blazer "here, you'll catch your death" he said, putting it round Julian's shoulders.
"Oh…" Julian began, but then stopped, not knowing what else to say. Andrews blazer was warm, and he realised it smelt of him too. It wasn't…bad. "Thank you" he said nervously, shaking off the impression that his heart might have, for a second, beaten a little faster.