New Year Resolution

Entry by: Fletcher & Beaumont

9th January 2015

'New round here are ye?'
Sam spun around, flicked his eyes in the direction from which the words had been hurled.
From the shadows of the horse chestnut trees, a bulky form appeared. Moving slowly but purposefully into the light, the shape became more clearly a boy. His reddish brown hair slightly glimmered in the sun and Sam momentarily thought of a lumbering bear.
'Asked you a question, didn't I? You new round here, soft lad?'
Shrugging with the obviousness, Sam replied, 'Sure. New.'
'I know, see, cos if you weren't new you'd know about your year. You'd know you gotta stay over there,' the bear/ boy jerked his neck in an uncomfortable movement. Then after a pause too short for reaction, 'Get! Over there with your year, Newby'.
Trying not to fixate on the slug like excretion that threatened to fall from the hairs in bear boy's left nostril, Sam half shrugged again and ambled across the field to the corner where his colleagues were gathered. They'd been watching and, later, Sam would wonder how he could've reacted better. A gesture of defiance: a mock salute or blowing a kiss. These things he never thought of at the time.

His year group -those huddled in the small corner accorded to them by the bullish older youths - had watched with something like interest, until Sam reached them. Another failure. So much for new. So little different.
Now they rehearsed their daily routine, their own micro-society with its understood hierarchies and alliegences. Sam felt his newness over again. Sighed at the mountainous task of introducing himself, inventing himself, finding those of the people around him who he would call friend. Again.

'It won't be the last move, Sam. That's about all I can tell you,' his Mum had said. Then, cupping his face in her hands and smiling gently, 'Remember what you told me last time? You'll get to make more friends. The folk here are just losing a friend. You get the good deal! Remember?' He'd seen the tense flicker of her eyes and nodded, ignoring the sinking feeling within his stomach and resolving to make those words real for her sake.

Summoning his resolve now, Sam laughed a little as if at a joke in his head. Catching the eye of an amiable looking boy who was kicking a ball around, he nodded. He was rewarded with a swift pass and inclusion in the makeshift game.