Kaimoana Tales

by Kiwi

Part 15, Virgil

Virgil went to school. A new beginning in a new school. He was a bit nervous, but not a lot. He was bright enough to cope with the academics, that wouldn't be a problem. He was fit enough for the sports and games, they wouldn't be a problem either.

What he didn't know was how was he going to get on with the people there? He hoped that he would. He'd been the outsider in a small school before and it was not nice.

If he didn't? Well, it wouldn't be the end of the world. He was 2 years older now and a lot more confident than last time he'd made a new beginning. If they didn't like him, well - tough! He'd like to make some new friends, but wouldn't care that much if he didn't.

He had a brilliant life at home anyway. His mum loved him, his gran loved him, and then there was Joel. Joel was the cutest, handsomest, sexiest, lovingest boy ever and he loved him totally. (Lovingest?) As long as he had Joel he'd be happy and never need anyone else - ever!

Joel was the best and he was his mate. How cool was that? Very, very, very cool.

So, he was feeling pretty good and hardly nervous at all when he walked into the school grounds. His mum left him to go to a staff meeting and meet her new colleagues. It was still early. He wouldn't be making a habit of coming in with her. It was not that far to walk anyway, and it was all downhill, sort of. Maybe he'd just hitch a ride on wet days.

Someone opened the doors so he went inside, found his locker and sorted his books for the day. There was still hardly anyone around, so he went back outside to wander around, get his bearings and check this place out. It looked okay.

People started arriving in groups and pairs. Everyone was looking, but no-one spoke to him. They just looked, checking him out. He sat down on one of the low bench seats by the netball court, looked back at the growing crowd and checked them out too.

"Hello, Virgil Cain, what d'you think of it so far?"

He looked up at a teenage girl and boy and stood up. "Looks okay, I guess. How do you know my name?"

"Oh, I know everything," the boy grinned. "I can read your mind you know."

"Shut it, Dork! You can not!" She hit him, lightly, on his shoulder.

Well, it looked like a light smack, but he fell about, clutching his arm and moaning.

"Ow. Ow, Ow! Boyfriend abuse! Boyfriend abuse!"

"Shut up, Mac. You'll live."

"You're a brutal, brutal woman, Jocelyn Archer."

"You ain't seen nothing yet."

They grinned at each other.

"Now shut your trap. I'm trying to talk to the new boy. Hello. It is Virgil, isn't it? Cool. Welcome to Kaimoana High. I'm Jocelyn and this idiot is Bryan MacSweeney, we call him Mac, among other things."

"Idiot? You're a hard woman. First you beat me up and now you're abusing me. Dunno why I let you love me."

"Because you adore me, and you know you do. Now pipe down before he decides that we're all idiots here. What d'you think, Virgil?"

"Looks all right. But how did you know my name?"

"Told you - I read your mind"

"Mac! You did not. He saw it written on your locker. Mac's got the one next to yours, he's your neighbour."

"Yeah, a new name on the locker, a new kid in school, not hard to put two and two together."

Oh, I see. You're not a total idiot then."

"Not at all. I'm a genius really. Just don't tell Joyce that, don't want her getting an inferiority complex."

"Inferior? I would have a complex if I was!"

"She loves me really. So where are you from, Virgil, and why didn't you stay there?"

"We're from Tiroroa, kind of, and I came here to steal your girl away." Virgil grinned in case they thought he was serious.

"Steal her? You can have her if you think you can handle her!"

"Handle me? I'll handle you!"

"Promises, promises."

Virgil laughed. He liked these two. They looked at him, looked at each other and they laughed too. Life was looking good. The three of them sat chatting in the sunshine and waiting for school to begin.

"Hello," Joss said. "You're not the only new kid here today.'

"Who're you talking about?" Mac looked around. "Whoah. Talk about your interesting people!"

A Maori girl walked past them. She was very dark-skinned, very 'maori' in her features and she had a spectacular mane of black, unruly hair that spilled halfway down her back. Everyone there was giving her a wide berth as she stalked through the school.

She was a striking-looking girl, but the most arresting thing about her was not the looks but the attitude. She was scowling and glaring at everyone, they could almost see the waves of anger coming off her.

She spotted the three white kids sitting there looking at her and she stopped, tossed her hair and demanded, "What are you Niggas looking at?"

Virgil stood up. "I don't know about these guys, but I know what I'm looking at."

"What then?"

"I'm looking at a rather spectacular, very beautiful, Maori girl."

"No you're not. You're looking at me."

"Yeah, that's what I said. You look stunning. I'm Virgil. I'm new here too. It's a bit scary being all alone in a new school, isn't it? These are Joss and Mac, do you want to sit here with us?"

"I don't care who the fuck they are. I don't sit with no honkies. And I ain't scared of nothing. I don't need no pretty white boys telling me that I'm scared. You can shut the fuck up and stop looking at me."

"Oh - kay." Virgil held up his open hands and sat down again. "But you do look good. What's your name?"

"None of your bloody business!" She tossed her head and walked away.

However, she only went a few steps and she stopped and looked back. "Missy," she said. "You can call me Missy."

"Okay. Missy it is then. Nice to meet you, Missy."

"Nice? I don't do nice. Shut up Nigga." She walked away, continuing her progress through the school and scaring everybody.

"Whoah! Awesome," Mac grinned.

"Yeah, scary stuff," Joss agreed.

"No she's not," Virgil said. "She's just a kid all alone in a new school and that's not nice, I know. Thanks Guys, for coming and talking to me. You make it easier."

"You're welcome. You're a nice guy. We might as well be friends seeing as we're all neighbours," Jocelyn replied.

"All neighbours?"

"Yeah. Mac has got the locker next to yours and I live across the street from you, in Fife Avenue."

"You do? Hello Neighbour. We've been here for a couple of weeks. I haven't seen you around."

"I've been away, on holiday. I just got back yesterday. I've seen you. Who's the hunky boy hanging around with you, is he your brother?"

"That's Joel. We're not brothers, we're mates. I haven't got any brothers."

"No brothers? You can have some of mine if you like. I've got 4 brothers and that's far too many."

"And that's why she's a tomboy," Mac grinned.

"A tomboy? Shut it, Mac. You've got all sisters, what does that make you?"

"Oh you're mean! I'm the man of the house, you know that."

"Dream on, Sister!"

The teachers arrived and the school year began. Virgil spent most classes sitting with Mac. At lunchtime they introduced him to more of their friends and he found that he was easily accepted into their crowd. He was going to like it there. It was a friendly place.

The only sour note in his day was the maori girl, Missy. She was alone all day and he didn't like that. He knew what it was like to be all alone in a new school - not nice. He made a point of smiling and speaking to her whenever he could. She didn't answer, except once when her response was, "Shut up Fool."

Missy seemed to be intent on keeping everyone at a distance. If looks could kill, there would've been a massacre there that day.

After school, he walked home with Mac and Joyce, Kelly Smith and Megan Solomon. The others dropped off, one by one, until there was just him and Joyce left. They stood talking in the street outside their houses.

"Man, I so need a drink! Coke's great for waking you up at the end of a hard day. You want to come over to our place? Meet the family and have a coke, if there's any left?"

"No. thanks but no thanks. I've met enough new people for one day. It's going to take me weeks to get all their names right. Why don't you come and have a coke with me? We've got plenty."

"Yeah, let's do that," Joyce grinned.

Virgil led the way inside. Gran wasn't there, who knew where she'd be? He got out glasses and a bottle and they sat at the table.

"You sure a girl's safe all alone with you?"

"Yes, of course you are. Perfectly safe. Am I safe alone with you?"

"Well, today you are."

They grinned at each other.

"Mac's your boyfriend, right?"

"He is. I quite like him really. Don't tell him I said that."

"Probably wouldn't believe me anyway. Mac's a good guy."

"He's the best. Have you got a girlfriend?"

"No way. Joss, umm. I'd rather that everyone didn't know, but if we're going to be friends, I think you should. I'm gay. I'm gay and I've got a boyfriend, so you're totally safe with me."

"I see. Thanks for telling me. I won't tell anyone. I'll just put a note in the Chronicle, that's the community newspaper you know."

"You wouldn't!"

"No, not really. You're cool, Virgil. We'll be friends."

They sat sipping their drinks and thinking. Joyce broke the silence.

"It's Joel, isn't it? He's your boyfriend."

"Well, yeah! Joel's my boy."

"Oh you lucky Beggar! He's gorgeous."

"He is and he's even more beautiful on the inside. I love him to bits and he loves me too and I know that I'm lucky."

"Very cool. Romeo and Romeo."

"Oh yeah!"

The drinks were finished, she didn't want another.

"No, ta. Time that I was getting home. I'll see you tomorrow. Are you walking to school?"

"I am. Mum goes in too early, so I'm walking."

"Cool. I'll walk with you. I'll come and pick you up about quarter past eight, okay?"

"Very okay. Thanks, Joss and thanks for talking to me today. I think I'm gonna like it here."

"Yeah, it's a pretty cool town. You'll fit in well. See you in the morning."

When she arrived home, Virgil's mum was well pleased to hear how his first day had gone.

"You won't be burning this school down then?"

"No. I don't think I'll need to."

"Glad to hear it. Will Joel be here for dinner?"

"Twenty-seven, Mum."

"Twenty-seven? What does that mean?"

"It means that if you ask a stupid question, you'll get a stupid answer. Of course Joel will be here for dinner. He'll be wanting to know how my first day went."

When Joel arrived, in the Chevy, he was delighted to hear about Virgil's day.

"That's good, my Boy. Really good. If you have any trouble, call me and I'll come running."

"I know you will, and thanks, but I'd rather handle it myself, if I can. It doesn't look like there'll be any trouble anyway. This is a cool school."

"Well, good! But just remember the rule - anyone hassles Virgil, I kill them."

"If I don't get to them first," Natasha said. "Virgil Cain, if you break up with this boy again, I'll bloody murder you."

"Not going to happen, Mum. Not ever."

"Never," Joel agreed.

"See that it doesn't." Natasha liked to have the last word.

However, this time, Virgil did. "My Mum's a bit in love with you, Joel," he grinned.

"Shut up!"

"Shut up, Virgil."

The trouble started before he even got to school the following morning.

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