"Gym should be illegal. It's humiliating."
After a lot of wrong turns, I found my way to the gym. Only no one had told me we needed to get out of her regular clothes and change into our gym t-shirt and shorts. Also, since when do girls and boys have gym together? I got a lot of awkward looks when I entered the gym, wearing my pale yellow t-shirt and blue denims. The gym instructor of course thought I was playing a practical joke. She blew her whistle at me, and I went up to her. Her tag read Coach Enid. For a minute, I was painfully reminded of Enid Blyton. I had grown up reading her books. I snapped back into focus when I realized, I was being yelled at.
"Have you or have not have gym before, young lady?" Coach Enid was shouting at me.
"Not really," I managed to tell her, "My last school didn't have scheduled gym classes."
Well, it was true. We had Karate classes and of course we had to change for that. But I didn't even know we had to change for gym. In fact, I didn't have my gym uniform. Coach Enid didn't like my reply.
"Are you from another country?" she wanted to know.
"Another continent, actually," I replied.
Of course that kickass reply landed me in detention. Still, I thought I would be able to sit out of gym for the day. But that was not to be. Coach Enid called upon one of the girl's who was very into all these gym stuff.
"Joy Davis!" she yelled.
A tall, black haired, dark girl came jogging up to where we were standing. I noticed she was the athlete type, extremely into sports and stuff.
"Yes Coach?" Joy asked.
"Please take the new girl to get her gym clothes and report back in ten minutes. Got it?" she turned away, turning a deaf ear to my protests, "the rest of you, I want you to divide into groups of five. We're all going to climb ropes today."
Joy steered me out of the gym room, towards the place where students were supposed to collect their gym clothes from. I wondered vaguely why Mark had failed to mention that. Joy struck up a conversation as we walked towards the girls' dressing rooms.
"So you're new here?"
"Yes," I replied, "And I'll let you in on a secret: it's not only the school I'm new to. I'm new to this country as well."
"Don't worry…fitting in, isn't as hard as it sounds," she reassured me, "I'm Joy, by the way. Joy Davis. Are you into sports?"
"I'm Anoushka Sengupta," I told her, "And I don't really know. I only ever took Karate lessons before this."
She opened the door to a cubicle for me, and I got in. five minutes later, I emerged in the t-shirt and the shorts. But I felt that the shorts were a little too short for me. I tried to tug at the hem, pulling it down. Joy laughed at me.
"Don't worry, you look fine. Here, it's too late to figure out your locker in the dressing room, just throw your stuff in mine."
She was helping out a lot. I was really beginning to like her. We walked back to the gym and got sorted into the last group. Joy couldn't wait for her turn it seemed.
"You really like this class, huh?"
"Are you kidding? It's the best part of my day."
I was thankful when Coach decided Joy would be the last girl to climb the rope. But my happiness was short lived. She wanted to see how we would all fair in basketball. I'd never played that game in my life. How was I supposed to be any good at it? When my turn with the stupid ball came, I tried to dribble it…but it slipped from beneath my fingers, shot off in the wrong direction and hit a boy on the other side of the gym.
"Damn it," I swore under my breath.
"You!" shouted Coach Enid, pointing at me, "Go get the ball."
The boy I hit must have belonged to the very popular crowd, because almost half the class had gasped when it bounced off his head. I noticed he had dirty blonde hair, and when he collected the ball and looked around to see who'd mauled him with it, I noticed his eyes were the deepest blue. I walked up to him and held out my hand for the ball.
"I'm sorry," I said, with a lot of effort, "I haven't played basketball – ever. I didn't mean to hurt you. Can we get our ball back please?"
His initial shock gave way to a very cheeky grin. He dribbled the ball right under my nose, and said, "If you want it, you've got to come get it."
"I just told you, I can't play," I answered, dodging out of his way, as he went around me, showing off his basketball skills.
"Don't be a jerk, Scott!"
"You're holding up our practice, Scott!"
"Scott! Give the girls back their ball."
Indignant squeals came from both sides of the gym, but nothing deterred him. Then I remembered. I wasn't completely alien to the game. There was this one time my father had installed a basketball hoop in our garden, and Josh and I would sometimes try to score baskets. Of course, we'd barely followed the real rules but at least that had some grounds of practice. For instance the cheating scheme Josh used to follow.
I carefully tailed Mr. Popular, and the one second he got distracted, I stuck my foot out and tripped him. He landed face first on the ground and the ball went right out of his hand. It bounced happily across the gym and came to a halt at Coach Enid's feet.
"What is the meaning of disrupting class like this?" she screamed, annoyed, "You just got yourself a week's detention, young lady. And you have detention today, Mr. Aims."
Scott collected himself from the gym floor. He ran his fingers through his hair, winked at me and said, "See you after school then, new girl."
I was glad went the bell went, signaling the end of class. As we filed out of gym, I spotted my little brother, all dressed up his gym class. I wondered how on earth he knew he needed to change for gym. I ruffled his hair as I passed him. He looked around and smiled at me.
"Good day so far?" he asked, over his shoulder.
"Not really. Tell you at lunch," I replied.
He gave me thumbs up and disappeared into the crowd of freshmen going into the gym for their physical education class. It was kind of depressing to think that it wasn't even halfway into the first day of school and I had landed myself in a week's worth of detention. I wondered what wonderful new tortures would come my way as I went through the first day of being a new girl.
Author's Note: So I wanted to do a double upload to see how we fare :)) do leave a review, comment etc.