I stepped past Mrs. Bauer into the house. The changed from the heat of the outside to the air conditioning was abrupt. Inside was cold. Very cold. Goosebumps formed on my arm and I shivered a little.
The house could have been a copy of ours. To my right was a living room. Theirs had a big blue couch and a couple of matching arm chairs. In front of the couch was a glass coffee table with a mask in the center. On the walls hung art that I guess was African. An arch separated the living room from a dining room that had as 6-person dining table. In front of me was a short hallway into a kitchen. To my left were stairs. It was exactly like our house.
"Are all the houses the same?" I asked Mrs. Bauer.
"Probably," she replied.
I rubbed my arms to warm up.
"Rebecca," Mrs. Bauer called.
A girl with brown hair came in from the kitchen. She was carrying a piece of toast.
"Hi," she said.
"Hi, I'm Samira," I replied. "I just moved here."
"Great! What grade are you in?"
"I'm in seventh. We've been here for two years. You'll like AIS."
"Does everyone go there?" I asked.
"Everyone here," she answered. "There are other schools around though."
Her face scrunched up as she thought. She stuck the rest of the toast in her mouth and counted on her fingers.
"British, French, Indian, Lebanese, German. Probably Italian. And of course all the Nigerian schools."
"Everyone goes to their own school?" I gaped.
"Not exactly. You know, they have different systems. And they learn different things," she said shrugging. "But our school has lots of different nationalities. You'll see."
"Where do the teachers come from," I asked.
"Washington. And sometimes Texas. Oh, but the aides and a couple teachers are Nigerian. And one's Jamaican. And a bunch just live here and got teaching jobs. Like Mrs. Crawford here at Chevron! She's a sixth grade teachers. You'll probably have her."
Mrs. Bauer had left us while we'd been talking but now she came back.
"Rebecca, why don't you show Samira your room. I'm sure she'd love to see it."
"I should probably get back," I said. "My parents don't know I'm here."
"Ok," said Rebecca. "But you can always come by again. It's still early. There aren't so many people back yet and I'm bored. Later we can see if June's awake! June Crawford. She's in fourth grade. Oh but her brother is in your class."
"Sounds fun," I said.
"What house are you in?"
"Cool. See you later!."