I was the new kid. The only people I could pretend to know were primary school friends, but I had not seen any of them since grade six - everything had changed. I turned up in a second-hand uniform hoping that might help confuse me with the regulars, and maybe it did, but unfortunately the face was brand new.
I anxiously passed through the gates that bared the emblem of my bag and blazer, took a deep breath and in a very uncool way told myself over and over - everything's cool. I stepped into the centre square, which is where all the year 10's hangout. It was packed full and I was packing shit. I put my head slightly down and walked towards something, I had no idea what, but I had to look like I knew, or had somewhere to go.
My phony confident stride through the layers upon layers of peering peers was foiled by my big old bag that banged into the side of every second person I passed. I tried to pretend I was not meeting people for the first time by ramming them with my bag, but sometimes because of the level of impact I had to pull a confused smile and say "sorry".
Once I got into the clear I tried to gather some composure before walking into my homeroom. But out of nowhere the teacher walked up to me and asked "are you new?" A flash of anger washed through my paranoid skull - not only had I made a terrible entrance, but now I was talking to some forty-year-old balding man who was wearing a pink polo shirt with long socks and sandals. I was trapped within this Christian school hell, and to prove it I had to follow this guy through all the crowds of kids again, with the same violent result, so that I could introduce myself to the principal.
I thought to myself why fucking bother, I mean after this I can't imagine lasting past recess. Anyway I only thought this, so I met with the guy in charge and politely spoke about how excited I was to be starting something new. To cut a boring conversation short, let me just say that the principal did not only make me lie, but late.
So I walk into my homeroom and everyone is seated and there heads all swivel around as I stand there dazed by the terror of the scene. The teacher says "you must be Andrew", I nod and smile. "Everyone this is Andrew and he is new so make him feel welcome. Andrew how about you sit next to Phil, Phil it's your responsibility to show Andrew about and help him get to know the others."
I hated this teacher already, making someone drag me around with a lead, whilst I pretend not to be a moving shadow. It was awful but it got better, because by the weekend I was invited to Paula's party. I turned up with a large Italian friend from my old school in case I was invited for initiation purposes. We wandered down the drive-way to the back garden and found a piss-weak back yard party with some crap Triple J sounding stuff. There were a few couples sitting on laps and about ten really straight people staring into the fire. I stood there with my bodyguard/friend for a very short space of time because I saw a few people going in the opposite direction when we arrived.
After some street searching we found another party. They had all gone down to the railway tracks just near by to get extremely wasted. So there we were, sculling large amounts of Jim Beam out of coke bottles and yelling at passing trains. This went on for a while with quite a few stumbles and slurs in between. Then all of a sudden the daze turned to craze, there were torches shined in our direction and someone yelled "cops!". Suddenly a huge troop of underage drinkers ran in various angles.
I ended up sprinting in the same direction as this girl Karen. We were trapped with nowhere to go. She kissed me. I broke it, and walked away, you see she was going out with Steve - the tallest homie at the school. Being the new kid and kissing that guy's girl could not possibly work in my favour. Intoxicated by fear, alcohol and hormones I kept on walking. She quickly caught up with me and started putting her hands all over me. I tried to stop what was happening by saying "the cops are still close we must keep moving," but she did not appear to give a shit.
After some drunk kiss chasey she went on about how it's our secret, so why not. I cannot remember what was most convincing in her argument but suddenly I was lying on my back in some driveway with cars driving past. There were headlights tracking our horizontal bodies while Karen performed some serious tribal act I had only ever seen on television. I tried to play along as if I knew what I was doing but all I knew was that we were on the run from the cops, half-dressed, and rolling around in the middle of some suburban driveway that only went back about a metre from the road. Then I closed my eyes and immediately realised we were also having sex