“Do you have everything for school?” my mother asks worryingly.
“Yes, for the hundredth time,” I reply.
She clasps her aged hands together and smiles at me with happiness and sorrow. “Oh, my girl's growing up.” She embraces me for a hug and I don't hesitate to return the favour. “Mother. I'm in my last year of high school. I'm sure I can look after myself,” I state before heading out the door.
The bus still reeks of sweat and grub from last year, which ain't a disappointment seeing as I'm used to its familiar odour. At the school stop, I leap from the bottom step of the old yellow bus and onto the soft pillow green grass. It's 8:34 in the morning. Another 16 minutes before the whole schools 'welcome back' assembly.
“Ivanna!” I hear my best friend's unmistakable voice call. Reese, in her spiked blue and black streaked hair, peers at me with delight with those piercing blue eyes. She embraces me in a friendly hug and leads to our sitting spot where we begin to catch up on missed details over the Christmas Holidays.
“We went to Hawaii for Christmas,” I claim. “The hot sun and rushing waves always made perfect days for surfing and snorkelling. What about you?” I ask her.
She answers my question, but I never get to hear it because my loud friend, Courtney, barges between our conversation and laughs like a retarded seal, clapping her hands feverishly.
The school bell rings and we head to home group in T40. Technically, we're meant to be at the Senior Campus for this year, but it got burned down due to asbestos problems. So in the meantime, we're here at Middle until the new school is rebuilt.
Our names are called one-by-one before our home room teacher, Smithy, announces some surprising news.
“I'm going to be a father!” he cries.