A month went by and I never went round to see Christa even once in that time. I didn't think I could bear it. She probably hated me now anyway for trying to kiss her. Girls got all annoyed when they thought you were a friend and then tried to come onto them. I read that somewhere I think.
Instead I busied myself settling in to my new room, or 'making a mess of it' as my mum said, shaking her head every time she came in. Parents never seem to understand that kids actually like their bedrooms messy. It provides an atmosphere that we can relax in. Having everything tidy and put away, and the floor all clean just freaks us out.
Whenever I go into their room for something I always shake my head and wonder how anyone could live in a room as clean as this. So why did they always tell us to tidy our rooms? Having an untidy room is a child's right. It can take ages to mess up a room to a satisfactory standard. It's almost a form of artwork really.
I also started my new school during this period. It was much bigger than my old one. I don't think I'll ever find my way around it, not completely anyway. Still, I've only got a couple of years to go at school before I have to leave. I'd never really expected this time to ever come around, where I finally had to go out in the big bad world and figure out what I was actually going to do for a living. Wait, I already know what I want to do. I want to be an actor, performing in all the glamorous theatres in the Empire, becoming world famous, and getting a lot of attention from all the nice girls.
My first day was quite nerve-wracking, but I think it went ok on the whole. In the morning I had to stand at the front while the teacher introduced me to the class. As soon as she said my name the arm of just about every kid in the room shot up into the air. 'Are you...' one kid began.
'No I'm not related to any famous people in history' I said wearily.
All the hands went down and everyone seemed kind of disappointed.
By lunchtime I felt really upset and was missing all my friends at my old school, and Maria. I remember sitting down on the grass under a large shady tree and wondering what they were all up to. Fortunately though a boy from my class came over, and we got chatting. His name was Toby, and he was quite small with short dark hair and had a habit of staring open mouthed at things occasionally, but he was harmless and he was a good listener. We talked about many things, such as my old school, the girls there, the girls here, where my new house was and how well we were settling in, the girls who lived round about me, the weather, the most popular places to hang out at the weekends and where you had the most chance of seeing the girls...I noticed for the first time that teenage boys talk a lot about girls. I mentioned this to Toby and he laughed a strange laugh which sounded remarkably like a duck. I thought back to my experience with the angry ducks at the lake and I told him all about that, and all about Christa which I'd curiously managed to avoid somehow in all our previous talk about girls, and he laughed even more and his laugh set me off and soon we were chuckling away like the best of pals...which I suppose we were, for I didn't have any other friends in the world now.
'You have to introduce me to this Christa girl' he said keenly.
'Ha! You'll be lucky. She probably never wants to see me again. In fact, she'd probably chase me with a rolling pin' I said, sighing heavily.
'So? That's good!' he exclaimed. 'Then the way'll be clear for me to have a try with her!'
I had to admire his optimism. He wasn't the best looking of fellows, or the brightest penny in the fountain, but he had that innocuous and friendly charm that most girls seem to go for. He was the kind of guy they could all get motherly and protective of, making sure he didn't get his heart broken by another female. Now I understand why all the girls were sitting around him in class earlier on.
'Believe me, I'm never going to go round there again' I told him.
This seemed a rather definite statement but it turned out to be a complete load of rubbish for that very afternoon after school I found myself stood at Christa's front door with Toby eagerly grinning and combing his hair back with his fingers.
Tiberius Goes to Rome:
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