"Let's go! You're going to be late!" Scott, Arthur's older brother, yelled up the stairs. It was Arthur's first day in a new school in a new country. What compelled Arthur's parents to move to America right before his senior year of high school he had no clue. He would have loved to finish high school in England. He didn't have too many to miss or be missed by, but he loved his home country. As soon as they moved to America, the summer right before Arthur began his last year of school, he wasn't too sure he would like the country.
Regardless, he pulled on that mask and jogged down the stairs.
"Sorry…" he said as he followed Scott out to the car. Scott was going to attend his third year in college. Arthur's school was on the way to the university so Scott was going to drop Arthur off. Even if he didn't want to.
"What were you doing? Fixing your make-up?" he laughed. "Jesus Arthur, you are slower than a girl!" Arthur remained silent and got into the car.
"You have everything right?" Scott asked as he turned the car on. Arthur nodded and they were on their way. To Arthur, the car ride seemed too quick, but at the same time, not quick enough.
Upon arriving, Arthur noticed all the students socializing outside the school. He promised himself he wouldn't try to start any friendships. He said good-bye to Scott and walked into the building. His first priority: locating his locker.
His schedule has been mailed to his new house a month ago. He held it in his hand as he read what locker number he had. A118. He guessed it was on the first floor but he had no idea what hallway. He finally located it and opened the lock.
"Are you new?" Arthur heard a female voice behind him. He turned around to see a girl not much shorter than himself with long blonde hair.
"Uh, yes. My name is Arthur" he smiled. The girl's face lit up. "Oh my God! You're British?" she squealed and practically jumped up and down.
Arthur nodded. "I moved to the states a few months ago. And how did you know I was new?" There must have been hundreds of students going to this school. He wasn't sure how this girl had known he was new right off the bat.
"Well…" she started after she had calmed down. "One, your clothes" she gestured Arthur up and down with her hand. He looked down at his sweater vest and dress slacks he had thrown on that morning. He looked around and saw no one else dressed in a similar fashion. He had to admit, he did stand out like a sore thumb.
"Two," she continued. "I know every student that goes to this school. I have to. I'm the student council president" she said firmly and lifted her chin in pride.
"Ah" Arthur said and nodded,
"And three, your British accent" she finished.
"But you only found out I was British after you started to speak with me"
"Yes, but it confirmed that you are a newbie" she smiled. Arthur didn't understand this American girl at all.
"Well, I have to go" she said suddenly.
"Gotta go pick on the freshmen with the rest of the seniors" She turned to walk away. "If you need help finding anything just ask! I'm Lindsay by the way!" she waved as she walked down the hall. Once she turned the corner, Arthur sighed and shook his head slightly.
When he finished at his locker he went to find his first class. He was lucky to have fit concert band into his schedule. It was only offered for two periods and the guidance counselor was worried his English and Science classes would conflict. That wasn't the case though and Arthur walked through the school to find the music room.
He still had ten minutes before class started so he wasn't in a rush. The room wasn't too far from his locker so he found it in no time.
There were already a few students in the room. A couple of them were talking and one or two were playing nothing in particular on their instruments. It was clear they all knew each other and he wondered if they would accept him or ignore him. He was used to being ignored so it really didn't matter to him.
He took an empty seat and waited patiently for class to start. Right before the bell rang, the teacher walked in and took his seat at the desk in the front of the room. All of the students taking his class were seated before he arrived and had their instruments out and ready.
"Ok, it looks like we have a new student guys" the teacher said very casually as he got up from the desk, his attendance sheet in hand.
"Arthur?" he looked at Arthur and he nodded, confirming that that was his name.
"Welcome to the family" he spread his arms wide and smiled. Some of the students chuckled.
"We're a pretty messed up family Mr. S" one flutist said and the rest of the students agreed.
"Either way, we will make Arthur feel welcome."
"Thank you" Arthur said. He regretted speaking because a few of the students perked up and their eyes widened. Not again Arthur thought to himself.
"You're British?" a girl asked. Arthur was having déjà vu. He nodded and waited for the questions to follow. Everyone was asking him questions a mile a minute and it finally too Mr. S to yell at the class to leave him alone.
"You can all ask you're questions later. Remember this is band and not the 'History of Britain'." The students slumped back in their seats.
"Now then, on to business" Mr. S grabbed a large pile of papers and held one up. It was a packet of photocopied papers stapled together.
"This, is your rhythm packet. Everyday we will work on a page until we complete the packet. It starts out easy and gets harder as it goes on." He passed pit the papers and Arthur leafed through it. The entire thing seemed easy to him.
The rest of the class period they worked on the packet, discussed what songs they wanted to play for the winter concert and near the very end they asked Arthur their questions. He tried to be as polite as possible but he really didn't feel like telling them too much about himself. He was as vague as he could be while still answering their never ending questions. The one flutist helped him out here and there by trying to calm their peers.
At the end of the period he was, quite literally, saved by the bell. The students gathered their things. Their instruments had been put away earlier when Mr. S had informed them that they would not be playing. Arthur was one of the last students to leave and his teacher stopped him for a minute.
"I never got the chance to ask you what instrument you play." Arthur messed with the hem of his shirt. He still felt awkward and uncomfortable from all the attention he had received so far. And it was only nine in the morning! He knew it would be a long day.
"I play piano…" he said.
"Really now? Maybe you can play for us tomorrow. Oh, and I also wanted to ask you if you wanted to do marching band. We've already started practice but we can put you on xylophone or marimba, they are very close to piano" he smiled after he finished talking. Arthur continued to nervously play with the bottom of his shirt.
"I umm…I'm not so sure marching band is right for me." He was never one to like performing in front of people. He knew that the band would perform at America football games and competitions and he didn't want to disappoint anyone.
"Well tell you what, we're having practice tomorrow night at six. Why don't you come by so you can get a feel for it hm?" Arthur didn't want to be rude and flat out say no, so he said "I'll think about it."
"Good. Now you better run off to class before you're late" Mr. S said and Arthur nodded and headed out the door. He was fortunate he found his class right before the bell rang. He was unfortunate, however, to have to sit in the front row. This was tragic to a person who didn't want to draw that much attention. The class was English, his best subject, but he hated to sit in the front.
The rest of the day not much really happened. There were more students that were fascinated by the fact that he was British. Seriously, what was with these Americans? Arthur silently wondered to himself. At lunch a few of his classmates from band invited him to join them at their table. He was glad he was fitting in somewhat. When the day was over he collected his things from his locker and waited outside for Scott to pick him up. He had to wait a while because Scott's classes got out after Arthur's classes ended. He was finally picked up and they headed home. When asked about his day he simply replied "It was fine."