22nd of August, Gledis thought to himself after hearing the alarm clock ring. He had memorized the date. How couldn’t he? All these days he had anxiously been waiting for its arrival but now…, he wasn’t so sure he was ready for it. New school, new friends, new teachers. New everything. What would it be like?
He slowly got up and headed towards the bathroom. The cold water splashing his face, so relaxing and yet so abrupt, fully awoke him now. After brushing his teeth, Gledis navigated to his wardrobe. He swiftly put on a red t-shirt, a pair of black trousers, grey socks and headed for the kitchen.
‘Good morning!’ said his parents in a unified voice as if rehearsed.
‘Good morning.’ replied Gledis.
He sat down at the table and looked at his bowl of cereal. He wasn’t hungry.
‘Well...?’ his mom started saying, ‘How are you feeling?’
‘Excited.’ he answered, ‘Nervous…’
‘I’m certain you’ll have a great time.’ his dad joined in, ‘And don’t forget that the main thing is for you to have fun and enjoy yourself.’
‘Yeah.’ mumbled Gledis. Let’s hope my English doesn’t ruin it.
After only having three spoons of his breakfast, Gledis put on his black shoes, picked up the dark backpack and went inside the car. He felt better having his parents drive him to school. He felt… safer.
Soon they were standing on the driveway of a tall building that contrasted with the green behind it making it stand out. It was bright yellow and orange, like the sun. Would it be like that inside as well?
Gledis opened the door and got outside the vehicle. He waved goodbye to his parents and watched them get smaller... and smaller... and smaller… until they disappeared. Now he was all alone in front of an archway. He felt his knees getting weaker and his hands trembling.
‘Here goes nothing,’ he whispered.
Walking slowly, he could hear bustling noise coming from inside. The corridor had white walls and colourful paintings hung up. To his far left he could see wide stairs and an elevator next to them. Kids from all ages were rushing for upstairs. However, no one was using the elevator. Better go up the stairs then, thought Gledis. To his right a small sign with green writing on it wrote ‘Level 1.’ Going up, the walls were the same; white and filled with bright artworks. Level 2, he counted, ah, Level 3. The corridor here had parts painted in orange along with the white. It made it seem nicer. He took a left, then another one, and then another one until he reached the end of the hall and Mr.Wood’s classroom.
Gledis felt his heart beat faster. This was it. The long awaited moment. Was he brave enough to do this? He put his sweaty palm on the handle, opened the door and went inside the classroom.
‘Hello,’ said Mr.Wood, ‘what’s your name?’
‘Gega,’ he paused for a few seconds, ‘um, I meant Gledis.’
‘Okay Gledis,’ continued Mr.Wood, ‘and your last name?’
‘11 year old class,’ oh wait, that’s not it, ‘sorry, um, my last name is Gega’
‘Very well’ he replied.
What a great start, Gledis thought. He looked at the rest of the class and everyone’s eyes were on him. However, they didn’t have the look he expected them to have, they didn’t have a judgemental look, they had an excited look. Excited that he was there.
They started walking to the cafeteria. It was a buzzing place. He sat on a table with the rest of the boys. On the left stood a colourful stage and on the right was the food counter.
‘Hi,’ one of them said, ‘I’m Luis.’
‘Gledis’ he replied.
Soon he was introduced to everyone else. They were a lot different than what Gledis expected them to be. A lot better.
The teacher tried to get everyone to know each other and they played various orientation games for the day. Sure, Gledis got lost a few times and had a few difficulties in English, however, there was always someone there to help him. He wasn’t alone.
The hours went by like minutes and soon, school was over. He was standing in front of the archway again. This time a lot stronger.
He spotted his car and went towards it, opened the door and sat on the front seat.
‘So, how was it?’ his brother asked him.
‘It was great.’ Gledis replied.