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Pen Your Pride

Chapter 1

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“This is your captain speaking. We are about to initiate takedown into Melbourne Airport, please return to your seats and fasten your belts as we prepare for landing.”

I flipped up my tray and slid back into the increasingly uncomfortable economy class chair. I’m so glad it’s almost all over. I just wish I wasn’t about to arrive in some random city where I know no one. The not knowing anybody thing wouldn’t be that much of an issue if I was only visiting. Problem is, I’m being forced to live here for the next TWO YEARS. Why? Apparently my mum thought by taking me away from everything I know and love, I’d miraculously change as a person. Not that I need to. I’m perfectly fine with the way that I am. But she thought it was necessary. I reckon she shipped me off to Melbourne just so she wouldn’t have to deal with me.

I guess you could say I was a bit of a trouble maker… Back in Brisbane I had a bad reputation, I was the sort of teenager your parents and teachers warn you about. The one who wasn’t going anywhere in life. The girl with messy blonde peroxide hair and thick black eye makeup who sat around at the local shops instead of going to class. The dropkick.

I wasn’t always like this though, before I began high school I was a little angel. I guess people change under pressure. When I first started year 8 I found it really hard to fit in. I didn’t have any friends and everybody seemed to know me as “the weird girl”. So when the bad crowd treated me nicely, I didn’t really stop to think what I was getting myself into. I was just happy to finally have someone to talk to.

* * * * *

Walking out into the arrivals section, I scanned the room. I stood hoping she’d had an old people’s moment and forgotten to come pick me up, but I was out of luck. Over near the clear automatic doors was a short elderly woman wearing a pale yellow coat and a brown hat. My Grandmother.

“Lydia!” she exclaimed, smothering me with a tight hug. “My gosh, haven’t you grown since I saw you last!”

“That’s generally what happens when you get older…” I mumbled.

Heavy rain poured down onto my face as we stepped out of the airport. Great. Not only did I have to spend two years with my overly religious Grandparent, but turns out the weather here sucks too. We scurried along to where the car was parked and hopped in. Grandma spoke up,

“Your mother said you needed a change of scenery. To get away from your silly friends back at home and get a fresh start somewhere new”

I mumbled a small yes in agreement. I didn’t feel like talking about my Brisbane life. I figured that if I just ignored everything I’d be able to pretend I didn’t even leave in the first place. I didn’t want to be here and I didn’t want to co-operate. So I wasn’t going to.

* * * * *

The front door let out a low pitched squeak as it swung open. The house smelt like old people. Kinda like soap. Awesome.

“Your room is upstairs and on the right. I like to watch the 6’oclock news so dinner will be served at 5:30 every day. Your bed time is 9pm sharp, no exceptions. Your mother also left it up to me to enroll you in a nice school and I have done just that. You’ll be attending Penola Catholic College.” Great. So now I was stuck at a stupid Catholic school in the middle of nowhere. I nodded so she knew I was still listening.

“You begin classes at 8:30am on Monday. I suggest you take your things upstairs and unpack.”

I could tell this was going to be a long and boring two years.

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