New School, chapter 1

"Awwww, please dad, I really REALLY wanna go, PLEASE?" Billie Joe stared at his son in disbelief. Billie still found it freakishly unbelievable how similar his son was too him. The same green eyes, black hair, and punk behaviour (apart from the 'working hard at school' part). But he had his mother's nose. Joey's mother, Adrienne, the most beautiful woman in the world according to Billie. He glanced at his wife, and saw that she couldn't quite believe what was going on.

"Why do you want to go so badly? What's wrong with this place?" Billie's head snapped up at the sound of his wife's quiet voice.

"Nothing, I love this place, you know I do. But I have been given a chance to go somewhere else, to a better school, and I have always wanted to go to England. Please, it is a big deal to me." Joey was looking from his mother to his father, and back again, waiting for an answer. Billie sighed, and looked directly into his son's eyes.

"Ok, so tell me about this place then."

"Cranbrook Grammar School is in...well Cranbrook, in England, a little way out from the capital, it takes both boarding and day pupils, um, it is the best school in the south-east of England, and it looks really nice!"

"Well, and you've already taken the entrance exam, yes?"

"Yes, and I passed, I found out this morning," Joey replied looking exasperated.

"But why do you want to go all the way to England? Why not go to a Grammar school here?" Adrienne was now trying anything she could to keep her son in his home, in Berkeley, California.

"I just...I don't know, I just like the sound of this place, and loads of people from school are going, well, if they passed they would be, but I think I am the only one, but PLEASE!" Billie looked at Adrienne, who just sat there.

"Ok, Joey, go to your room while I talk to your mother." Joey got up and left the table.

Billie looked at his wife, who sighed, and said, "Well, he has already made up his mind, he wants to go, he's desperate, we don't really have much choice, I mean, he is 16!"


Joey's Point Of View

Yes, I can't believe it, I have 2 months before I leave! I can't wait to get away from here! I'm so excited! Mum has already started packing up all my stuff, so my room is empty, and I have no clothes for the next 2 months, oh well. YES!


I arrive at the school, after a 13 hour flight, then a 2 hour taxi drive from Heathrow airport to the school. It looks huge. I have 1/2 an hour until I have a tour of the place, but I hope I get a map or something! I am shown up to my room, apparently I am very lucky to have my own, only the 6th form get their own room, others have to share, now that is just wrong! I start unpacking, but give up after 5 minutes, what's the point, I have ages to do so. I get up and walk down stairs where we were supposed to wait for out tour!


Well, I know my way around the school. I am the only new 6th former student here this year, all the other new people were year 9! Awww, bless, they are so short! Peoples' accents are weird around here, much worse than on TV, it all sounds so posh.

I sit on my bed, and wait for the dinner bell to go, I am so hungry, I never eat on planes, so I haven't eaten for hours! I decide to go and buy something, I remember seeing a supermarket up the high street, so I start walking slowly. Cranbrook is quite small, lots of glittery shops full of preppy girls, fish n chip shop (the official British food) and well, other shitty shops, no good, punk shops or any punks for that matter. I begin to feel that I won't fit in around here! I get back to Rammel boarding house 45 minutes later, with a can of coke, and some chocolate. I am about to fall asleep, when the dinner ball goes, so I slowly open my eyes, and start walking to the main school canteen, which is just down the road, around the corner, up the hill, and on the left! God, they couldn't have built the boarding house any further away from the school!

I follow the other people from my house, who all know what they are doing, and after quite a good dinner, I must say, I wander back to my room. I haven't bothered to talk to anyone yet, I will make friends tomorrow. I have to be up by 8am!! OH MY FUCKING GOD! That's a little too early for someone who has just got off a very long flight, so I had better get some sleep!


I walk to the main school building with my timetable, and wonder where room 65 is. I try to talk to someone, but they tell me to fuck off, because I look different, anyone would think they had never seen a fucking punk before! But thank God I don't have to wear the uniform, it looks kind of like a suit, but with hideous ties, depending on your 'house'. However, because I am in 6th form, I am allowed to wear whatever I want, apart from Mondays, and Fridays, on which I have to wear a suit!

I hear the bell, and watch as everybody rushes off to their classes. I walk more slowly. I walk down a long corridor, which I see rooms 3, 4 and 5. Well room 65 clearly isn't anywhere around here, so I decide it might be upstairs, but I end up in the library! God, this place couldn't be more confusing. I tried to remember back to yesterday's tour, but the guide simply pointed somewhere and said they were the history rooms, well I looked at my timetable, it was history, so I had to figure out how to get there. I walked past some biology rooms, and found room W5, well, what happened to simple numbers?

I am completely lost! I stand in a daze when I hear footsteps behind me, I turn around to see the most beautiful girl in the world look up in surprise, and, she is a...PUNK! Yes!

"Uh, hi, can you please help me? I'm looking for room 65, I'm new here," I ask.

"Uh, yeah it's up there somewhere." She waves her hand in the direction of the stairs. "But don't worry about it, I'm supposed to be there too, but Mr. Liston is the worst teacher, his lessons are so crap." She smiles. "I'm Katie, what's your name?" She offers her hand.

"Uh." I snap out of my daze, God, she is so damn beautiful. "Uh, yeah, I'm Joey," I reply, still lost in her outstanding good looks.


Katie's Point Of View

Damn he is hot! No, Katie, come on, you've got a boyfriend... But he is a prick. Anyway, there's no harm in a little flirting, is there? "Uh, you wanna get outta here? The first day is always boring," I ask, hoping he will say yes.

"Uh, yeah, sure, uh, do you know any good places to hang out?"

"Yeah, follow me," I reply as I lead him back down the stairs I had recently wandered up, out of the doors at the bottom, across the quad, past the hockey pitch, and down into the valley.

Joey's Point Of View

"Uh, what is this place?" I ask. I look around. It is not too far from the main school building, but it looks lonely, and uncared for. I look at the ground, and see loads of cigarette ends.

"Oh, it is called 'The Valley'. It is where everybody knows to come to hang out, it is the short cut between the school and 'Scott' and 'Rammel' boarding houses."

"Oh, so there is a short cut, I was beginning to think I would have to walk three miles to school every morning!" I laugh.

"Haha, very funny, you want?" She offers me a joint.

"Yeah, thanks," I reply as she gets out a lighter. I look at her properly, in the light. She has shoulder length, straight black hair, and fantastic blue eyes.
She starts singing quietly to herself. I strain my ears to hear her.

Roll roll roll a joint
Twist it at the ends
Light it up and take a puff
Pass it to your friends.

I laugh as I recognise the song Tre made up years ago. "Where did you learn that?" I ask

"Oh, you know Green Day? Tre sings it on their DVD, Bullet in a Bible, you do know who Green Day are, don't you?" She looks up as she asks this.

"Uh, yeah, I know them," I reply, not bothering to tell her my dad is the lead singer. Well, at least I know she has good taste in music! "Do you like them then?" I ask still smiling.

"Hell yeah, they are fantastic. Especially Billie Joe, he is amazing!" I watch her as she goes off into a dreamy daze. Fantastic, she prefers my dad to me! (Note the sarcasm.)

"Yeah, um, you do know he's married, right?" I ask, curious.

"Well duh, how could a guy that fit not be married?" she asks as if I am mental! Man that is not something I generally think of, my dad as being fit!

"Ok, what other bands do you like?" I ask, trying to change the subject a little.


Katie's Point Of View

We keep talking about music and other random stuff, including hot dogs, for some reason, for hours. I stare into his eyes for a while, they are the most brilliant and astonishing shade of green I have ever seen. He notices I'm staring. "Are you ok?" he asks, with a gentle voice.

"Uh, yeah, I'm fine, sorry, it's just, your eyes are a really weird colour." I smile and look at the floor. Damn it, I can't fall for this guy!

"Yeah, I know, I get them from my dad," he replies, going slightly red. I suddenly hear American go off from somewhere underneath me.


Joey's Point Of View

I look at the floor, slightly embarrassed when I realised she had been staring at me for so long, as to notice my eye colour. Damn my dad for having such a weird colour! Then I hear American Idiot, I watch as she stands up to get her phone from her pocket and answer it.

Oh hi Stacy. How are you?
...Yeah I'm good thanks
...Yeah, I know, sorry, I met a new guy, I was showing him around.
...Yeah, ok, meet you there.
...K, bye."

"Who was that?" I ask.

"Oh, that was my friend Stacy, she was wondering why I wasn't in lessons this morning, we've been here for 1 ½ hours. She told me to meet her in the quad in 2 minutes."

"Uh, the quad?" I ask, I had no idea where that was.

"Oh, yeah, sorry, the random place, you know, the thingy," she states simply.

"Uh, is it possible for you to narrow it down a little?" I ask, laughing at her bad attempt at explaining. She laughs.

"Yeah, sorry, I am really bad at explaining anything, you'll see in a minute," she grins.


We walk slowly, in silence, we have run out of things to say. "So, you're from America, right?" she breaks the silence.

"Uh yeah, California to be more precise." I look up as I say this.

"Oh, right, isn't that where Green Day are from?" she asks. Shit, I tried to get away from that topic, I don't feel like talking about my dad all the time.

"Uh, yeah, but you know, Cali is a kinda big place!" I say, trying to get away from this. She smiles and looks back at the floor. Then she speaks up again.

"So, I've told you a lot about myself, but you haven't said very much. So, for starters, what's your last name?" Ah fuck it!

"Uh, Armstrong," I say quietly.

"Oh, right, I guess that is kinda a popular name in America, right?"

"Uh, yeah, I guess, why d'ya say that? Oh right, you like Green Day, and the lead singer is Billie Joe Armstrong!" I say quietly.

"Yeah, sorry, I kinda know a lot about them, but I'm not a teenie, don't worry, I've already met them, at a concert last year, and I know that American Idiot was not their first album," she says quickly.

"Oh, right, ok, so you're a big fan then? What ya think of them then?"

"Uh, they are really cool. Billie Joe is still really fit, and Tre was absolutely mad, I mean, I had heard about how mad he was, but I never expected him to be that far gone!" She laughs.

"Haha, yeah, I know, he has completely lost it! He's been like that for as long as I can remember. But that is just normal, you should see him when he is completely pissed, take it from me, that's not a pretty sight!" I say. "Oh fuck, I didn't mean to say that. I mean... Uh, as long as I have liked Green Day, I have read a lot about them, and uh...yeah," I stutter trying to cover up my mistake of letting slip that I know Green Day. She looks at me weirdly.

"What? What do you mean?" she asks confused. "What are you hiding? Oh shit, you're not...Joey Armstrong as in Billie Joe's eldest, are you?" She stares.

"Uh, yeah, that's me, but please don't tell anyone, I don't want people to make friends with me just because I'm the son of an international rock star," I plead.

"Yeah, sure, I mean, that's why you didn't like talking about them earlier, OH MY GOD. I'm so sorry, making you listen to me talking about how fit your dad is, and, OH MY GOD. Ok, I'll shut up now." She looks scared. "I was your friend before I found out, so that's ok, isn't it? Can we still be friends, if you wanna?" she asks.

"Yeah, course, but please don't tell anyone else, and don't bring up the topic of my dad too often."

"Yeah, sure, tell you what, I'll buy you lunch to make up for nattering earlier, and I won't talk about it again!" she says.

"Uh, ok, thanks, but actually, judging by the way you were talking earlier, your friends might think something was wrong if you don't talk about Green Day too much," I laugh.

"Haha, yeah, I'll just tell them I don't think he's that fit anymore, don't worry about it!" She smiles, damn she has a beautiful smile. "Ok, we're almost there, let's change the subject, um, chickens, yeah, let's talk about chickens." I laugh.

"You know, you and Tre might get on quite well, he keeps a plastic chicken on his window sill," I laugh again.

"Oh really, well so do I, well, I will now!" She laughs as well. So we start talking about chickens as we arrive in the quad, and I get introduced to all her friends. All of which are punks, apart from one. Katie starts introducing us. "Hey guys, this is Joey, he's new. Joey, this is Charlie, (pointing at a girl with long black hair with orange streaks) um, Ed (pointing at a guy with black spiky hair,) um, that's Jimmy (she says, pointing to a guy making out with a preppy bitch) and he is making out with Sarah, who isn't too bad, she is kinda half punk, but goes through stages of wearing other stuff, don't worry, you'll like her, when she hasn't got her tongue down Jimmy's throat." Stacy laughed.

Then another guy walked up, put his hands over Katie's eyes, and whispered in her ear, "Hello gorgeous." She turned around slowly.

"Hi," she said, smiling, but continued talking to me, about chickens. Then the stranger spun her round, and kissed her passionately on her lips.

I watched as they stood for about 2 minutes, as I felt my heart break in two. Damn it Joey, you should've guessed she would have a boyfriend, she is so beautiful. Fuck, you've only known her for a couple of hours.

"Joey, this is Jay, my boyfriend, Jay, this is Joey, he's new here." She smiled at me. I just looked at the floor, and mumbled a 'hello'.
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