I walked into Mr. Jackson's classroom and immediately was overcome by the cool winds coming from outside. He was an odd teacher, that man. He liked to open the windows in the classroom while talking, even in November. He would stare at you, I mean really stare, and if he was talking to you, he'd be extremely close. His long nose inches away from your face. I'd usually tried to avoid asking him questions, but as I walked into class half an hour early, like usual, to find Mr. Jackson finishing his umpteenth cup of coffee, I couldn't help but blurt out a series of questions.

There was desk next to mine. I was very comfortable sitting at the back of the classroom away from everyone else. I didn't have to worry about people trying to cheat off me, or ask me to pass notes along to their friends. I think that's why Mr. Jackson put me in the back, he knew I was uncomfortable with my peers.

Weird though, just two years ago I was the most popular girl in my class, apart from the snobby trio Tiana, Alix, and Erin. I really didn't like them. We had a history that went all the way back to the first grade when me and Alix were sitting on the bus together on a field trip to the fire station, and then on the way back Tiana and Erin begged Alix to sit with them, leaving me, alone and crying slightly. And that's why I don't like them. Of course, I've never had real luck finding good friends.

But, my bad friendships isn't what I was talking about. I was once very popular, but somewhere around fifth grade I made a mistake. Anthony Greene. When I was 10, I thought he was a total hottie! I was in love, or so I thought at the time. I knew he liked me, and I liked him, but we never told each other, until the day he sat next to me during lunch and told me that he liked me. And then, I said that I liked him and well, I thought nothing of it, until the next day at school when I was rumored to be his girlfriend! I was furious! Why would I be his girlfriend? I was so angry I decided that I would tell him off. Later on, I'd realize that that was an awful idea.

I guess I really broke his heart, telling him that I didn't like him and never would. I don't know where I'd gotten the courage to stand up to him, he was, for a fact, the most popular boy in school! I was popular, but still not the most popular. He made my life a living hell after that day. He had a lot of friends and every morning I'd go to school they'd taunt me about my hair, which was always in a ponytail, or my teeth because I had braces . I hated school because of him and his dumb friends. Because of him, I became unpopular and a social outcast.

Now that I've filled you in and depressed myself I guess I tell you what happened that November morning.

"Mr. Jackson." I said quietly. I've always been the first student to arrive at school, but this year, with Mr. Jackson, I was thinking of hiding in the library until the class filled. He scared me, not like he was a mass murderer or anything, but he was just strange.

" Ms. Jones, the first student , like always. Hello." His sentences always seemed to be scrambled. I could never understand him. But I nodded, not wanting him to get up and talk in my face.

"There's a desk next to mine." I stated. Mr. Jackson poured himself another cup of coffee from the coffee machine that he kept on his desk, took a long sip, and then said,

"Yes, we're going to have a new student coming today." New student? I always got shy when a new student arrived. I nodded and went quietly to my desk.

Luckily for me, about ten minutes later Drew walked into the classroom. Drew was one of Anthony's friends. We had a weird relationship. In front of Anthony, Drew would be really cold towards me, but with us being neighbors and all, he'd walk home with me and talk with me as though I was his best friend.



I never confronted him about that, though. I had very few friends and I didn't need another enemy. I never had a crush on Drew, although my mom always told me that she would make him take me to the prom, or drop hints that he and I made a cute couple, I still had no romantic feelings toward him.

"Hey Becca." He said walking over to my desk. I gave him a forced smile.

"Hey Drew." Drew nodded , but he wasn't paying attention to me anymore, he was focusing on the empty desk next to me.

"New student?" He asked me. I nodded and sighed.

"And lucky me, the new student is my desk neighbor." I rolled my eyes at Drew who seemed to think the situation was funny. He'd always thought that I was stupid for being so insecure and he reminded me everyday.

"Stop being so insecure." He said sitting at the new person's desk and gave me a playful smile.

"I am insecure. Could you blame me? After all that stuff you and those jerks put me through…" I looked down at my manicured nails. Lately, I'd noticed that I had a slight obsession with my hands. I'd wash them over and over until they were red and then put loads of hand lotion on them. I heard Drew sigh and he put his hand on mine.

"I'm sorry. Ya know, but you were a jerk to Anthony, too." My eyes slowly drifted from my hands to Drew's face.

"I was rude to him for one day, you and Anthony, ruined my life." I said angrily and pushed his hand off mine. Drew stood up and gave me a truly sorry look and walked over to his desk, and just in time I suppose because not a minute to soon Anthony and the rest of the class started to fill in.

I sat quietly at the back of the classroom and watched as friends talked about what they did over the weekend, about their dates, new hair cuts, junk I wasn't really interested in. I saw Ronny enter the classroom. She was one of the few people in class that I talked to. I couldn't really call her a friend, because she wasn't very trustworthy. Before becoming friends with her and Lyssa , we were common enemies. Me coming from the suburbs and them coming from…well, the rough parts of the city, it would've been very odd if we were fiends. But this year, all the hostility came to a stop and we began to talk.

We were for a fact the only black girls in the class, if you didn't count Tiana whose mother was biracial and her father was black, but she thought herself more white than black, although I don't see how, being that she had a darker skin tone than me. I gave a small wave to Ronny as she made her way to my desk.

She was very tall for her age. She was 12 and almost 6ft! I hated standing next to her. I felt so…short.

"Hey Becca, what's up?" She asked sitting on my desk. That really irritated me. A desk is a desk, not a sitting object, a chair is a chair, which is made to sit on. I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and I try to converse with Ronny.

"Nothing much. A new student is coming today. Mr. Jackson put the newbie next to me." I said dully and looked over at the desk. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Ronny roll her eyes .

"Hey! Lyssa! Over here!" She shouted over the other loud voices that were in class. I looked up to see Lyssa walking towards us. I liked her much more than Ronny. With Lyssa I could tell all my secrets too, not like I had many, but at least she kept the few that I told her, and vice versa, with Ronny she'd tell the whole class everything if I told her something, so I chose to keep quiet of all personal information when she was around. Lyssa was much shorter than me or Ronny. She came to my shoulder, and I was 5'1. She was a bit on the heavy side, but no one dared say anything, she really scary looking. I decided that if I was going to make friends, I was going to make friends with people who could protect me, I think I chose very well.

"You guys won't believe what I saw in the hallway!" Lyssa said excitedly.

"What?" asked Ronny.

"There's a newbie in the hall with Sister!" Lyssa squealed.

"Now, please, Lyssa, tell me…is it a boy?" Ronny asked with her fingers crossed. Lyssa delayed the answered by smoothing out her green plaid uniform.

"Well…"Lyssa said slowly.

"Dammit, Lyssa just spill it!:" I snapped. Ronny and Lyssa gave me a questioning look.

"Well, you seem really interested to know. Before you yell at me again, I guess, I'll tell you….it's a guy, and he's…alright." Lyssa said with a slight smile. I sighed and went back to staring at my hands.

"Class! To your seats!" Yelled Mr. Jackson. The class automatically silenced and satin their assigned seats. The intercom came on with s light beep.

"Good Morning everyone. Please pray silently today." And with that my principal Sister Mary turned off the intercom.

"Okay class, before we start our day, I'd like to welcome a new edition to our classroom." said Mr. Jackson as he opened the door to reveal Sister Mary there with an angry looking black boy with braids next to her. My class was brain-washed when we were just in Kindergarten to stand up when Sister Mary came into our class and greet her.

"Good morning, Sister Mary." She nodded, then introduced the guy next to her.

"This is Jerome Thompson." I stared at the boy with disgust. I couldn't believe I'd have to sit next to this…thing for the whole year. Of course, I'm not a psychic, how was I suppose to know he would change my life in a few months?