Exchange Watching

The year below us weren't there today, the room felt empty but so welcoming.

Though we were still sat in a small huddle as we would be any other day. A boy came in, a foreign exchange student. Sat down next to my "friend", my acquaintance. Opposite and across one from me.

I guess he didn't want to feel so secluded that he sat away across the other side of the room but at the same time did he not feel secluded from the fact that he wasn't being conversed with? I thought about talking to him, I really did. But I'm not that kind of person. I don't like new people, I shy away. I'd seen him before though, he never seemed to talk to the other exchange students though, he always sat off to the side and ate his food.

They were all from different countries, I don't quite know why they were here on their exchange. A whole year in a new and strange country, not just that but in a new and strange education system. Not what I'd call fun. I wondered what country he was from.

He had dark hair, possibly black. Dark hair but I'm not sure what colour. Darker skin, a tanned colour. He was gangly, he must have been over 6 foot, though my estimation skills are terrible. I wondered how old he was, schools in other countries grade differently, they were in with the year below us but they might be the same age as us rather than them for all I knew. I wasn't very good at guessing age since I knew it was so difficult to do. Especially those from other countries, people seem to mature at different rates. Being classed as a man somewhere else may well still class you as a boy here.

I tried not to stare, I didn't want to seem rude. I put my earphones in and read my book, glancing out the corner of my eye every so often. Just wondering if I should say something to him but always chickening out. He did look so uncomfortable.

One of the boys from our group offered out some chocolate I didn't notice until he'd passed some to him. I said no, so did all the others after me. Maybe he thought we didn't want the chocolate because he'd had some. Maybe he thought we were that mean to people we didn't know. To foreigners.

Once he'd eaten the chocolate, though I didn't see him actually eat it I went back to my book. I saw him pull out his own book. I vaguely wondered if it was English or not, but I didn't want to stare so I let him get on with it. Did he see my book? Would it look childish in comparison? I did get it when I was twelve, I'd fished it out today to read realising I'd never actually read the whole thing. No one else had noticed it's childish quality. Would he? Would he even be able to tell what the title said? I could see the cover of his book it seemed to be fire or something. A fantasy book maybe? Or just an adult Sci-Fi book?

I thought I saw him looking at me, I got nervous. Had he noticed my staring? But his eyes seemed to sweep over everyone. I wasn't alone, he was gazing at us all. But for what? Was he thinking us rude? Did he feel uncomfortable? I didn't want to think about what he was feeling, alone in a room full of English students, all possibly older than him. It couldn't be a nice feeling for him. Or was he sweeping his eyes past me because he thought me uninteresting, not pretty? Did his eyes linger on my friend sat next to me? She was pretty, she was worth second glancing. Was she deemed pretty to him? She was pale with rosy cheeks and dark hair but parts were dyed. She was skinny with big boobs. Did he like that? Was there a certain type of woman that was deemed attractive in all countries? Or was he sweeping past her too? Looking us all over with curiosity, annoyance, suspicion, fear.

He went back to his book and I went back to mine. I looked at him occasionally. And I saw my friend/acquaintance squirm slightly and give a slight look to the side. Was that meant for him? Did he notice her? She was a language student, was she not supposed to embrace other cultures? Instead she looked uncomfortable. In all fairness the girl scares me, always seems to have. Did she scare him too? She wasn't intimidating per say, but she was just shudder inducing. Like you don't want to know what goes on in her mind when she looks at you. Was he getting the same feeling, or is it just me, or just people who talk to her.

He was sat with his legs apart, I wanted to uncross my legs and do the same but it felt too weird. What if he'd seen me looking and realised I was copying his posture? It would be embarrassing, he would think me weird. I stayed cross-legged for a while longer before growing restless and checking the time. Just to notice he was doing the same thing with his phone. Well that wouldn't look too suspicious , I was checking my mp3. It would just look like I was changing songs.

The buzzer went off, I moved quickly but he moved quicker. His book was in his bag before I'd even shut mine. He stood and I saw how tall he was in comparison to my 5 foot 2. I felt like an imp or an elf. I packed my things up quickly, I walked behind him through the door. He was through the corridor faster than me, taking long strides before he was out the other door. I stopped outside the classroom door just before the doors he'd left through and watched him turn right. His bag was much too high on his back and his trousers just looked abnormally long on his abnormally long legs.

He didn't turn and look at me as he went to the right. I'd probably watch him tomorrow if I had the chance, just to see if he talked to anyone.

Just to see if he'd look at me.


A/N : First One-shot. Quick I know but I just decided to write it down quickly so I understand if there are mistakes. Sorry.

Review please to see what I can improve/what you thought :)