The New Kid
“Hi, can I sit here?” asked a young boy.
“Yeah. You’re new here, aren’t you?” replied another boy, sitting and quietly eating his meal.
“Yeah…” he said, sitting down and hanging his head.
“This place is much bigger than my last school. I keep getting lost.”
“Oh. Don’t worry, that happened to me too. My name is Phin.”
“I’m Nate Rothman.”
“Nice to meet you, Nate. What school did you come from?”
“My first year was at the preparatory school in Argenstrath. My father became an officer in the Navy and said that I was now able to go to the best school.”
The boys sat quietly for a moment, slowly eating.
“So, you used to get lost?” asked Nate.
“Yeah, when I started last year, I would get lost at least twice a week. The professors were really helpful. At least, most of them were. There are a few you should avoid”
“Well, that makes me feel better. Which professors should I...”
“HEY! New kid!” shouted a boy entering the room. Three others followed him.
“I should go,” Nate said quietly, while grasping his bag.
“Hey! Didn’t I tell you that your kind isn’t welcome here?” the boy said as he approached the table.
“Shove off, Jon. Leave him alone,” Phin stated, staring straight at the small group.
“I should have figured that you would be friends with him.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“The low class sticks together, am I right. My father says it’s kids like you that are ruining the reputation of the academy.”
Phin stood up quickly, pushing the chair out from under him.
“Go away, before I break your nose,” shouted Phin, raising his fist slightly.
The others jumped back at the sudden movement. Jon prepared to lash back, but stopped when he saw a professor walk into the hall.
“You’re lucky, this time,” he said before walking away, the others following behind him.
Phin grabbed his chair and pulled it back to the table.
“Don’t listen to him, Nate,” said Phin, seeing Nate looked upset.
“What if he is right, though. What if I shouldn’t be here?”
“If he was right, then you wouldn’t be here, and neither would I. So, we are both here. That must mean that we belong here.”
“Thanks,” said Nate, managing to smile slightly.
“Stick with me. You’ll like it here.”