ACK! Finally, this is up! I'm sooo sorry it's been so long, but this one's pretty long I hope you all like it. I spent some time on it. REVIEW! Please? Read, at least ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

With that, chaperones stationed around the room began to "hustle up" the group. People crowded around the pile of bags in attempt to retrieve their own. She felt as if she should be meek with her being underage and all. However, she just felt alienated. With no other way to go, she trailed Mint over to the crowd to get her bag.

Subconsciously, she wondered why she was keeping her distance from Mint. She hated to get on people's bad side. Insecurities roamed her freely, unobstructed. Still, however, these were different people. Maybe they were even welcoming. Was that possible? she wondered. Shrugging off her inquisitions, she took hold of her navy duffel that had been relocated to the floor and rolled it out to the makeshift line that had formed near the exit. The squarish man called out directions once more.

"Okay, people. Just a few more things before we go. We've got two buses so you might not be sitting by your friends on the ride there, but it's a short trip so don't make a big deal out of it. Umm," he kneaded his hands, looking around. "Well, I guess that's it. Let's go." She tuned out the rest of what he said; directions to the chaperones around them.

She sunk to the back of the line, a subconscious test to see if Mint was even interested in talking to her or if she was acting as a mere bother. The walk to the shuttles was. indescribable. It was more of a blur, really. The crude line ranged from three- to five-file. The assembly thinned once they reached the escalator. Disappointment sunk in as she realized that Mint hadn't bothered to find her. Pulling her duffel up, she boarded the moving staircase. Relapsing in her mind as the escalator journeyed upwards, she began to think of other people to befriend.

Her considerations halted once she reached the above floor. Mint was standing off to the side with another girl. Still uneasy, she didn't move towards them. However, as they made their way to her, her confusion dwindled. She gestured a "hey" to the two girls joining her.

"Where'd you go?" Mint inquired, oblivious to her insecurities.

"I dunno. I just lost you, I guess," she covered up with a smirk-like grin. She turned to the black girl next to Mint. "Hey, I'm Nelle."

The girl was, well, pretty. Most black girls she knew wore their hair in cornrows or attached unrealistic pieces to their heads. This girl, she must be fifteen, had slicked her hair down, just hanging there. Her subconscious wondered why this style hadn't occurred to any of her southern peers. Seconds of thought were cancelled when she noticed the girl had turned towards her.

"Amanda," a cool voice replied. Her voice was a caramel-esque tone, smooth and viscous. She smiled as she spoke, creating a white streak of light across her lips instigated by her lip gloss.

Nelle shook herself back to reality. A bad habit of analyzing everyone and everything had overtaken her momentarily. She smiled at Amanda before reaching the doors; they exited out to a cement walk and regrouped with the rest of the cluster of teens. Her subconscious wandered off again as the chatty hum resumed.

Looking out to the group ahead of her, she didn't really care to meet any one else. She was accustomed to having a few people befriend her-- why try to alter a state of mind after thirteen years? She blinked in astonishment. Had she really stuck out for that long? She grinned, not exactly in disbelief, but in humor of herself. It was true. As social as she was, most didn't care to be associated with her. Shrugging off a depressing note, she began to move on in her mind. Mid-thought, however, Amanda reached over and tapped her back.

"Come on, we're going." Snapping back to reality, she realized that it was true-- they had began boarding. She smiled, telling herself to stop sulking in the past: what did that have to do with now?

Two Greyhound buses were stationed at the curb, their folding doors surrounded by people waiting to board. A few bystanders took notice of the large group, but that wasn't saying much, due to the large census of people waiting for taxis. The trio, or as Nelle conceived it, the two and loitered as the group slowly decreased one by one until they were face-on to the entrance. Mint boarded and she followed her on to the crowded bus.

The bus was surprising in a way-- there weren't any guys climbing over seats, passing back other's bags; in fact it was quite calm. The seats were double on each side, she saw; in most rows there was only one left.

"There's an empty row back there," Amanda called from behind. The two in front of her followed her finger to, indeed, an empty row. Mint began to shift towards the middle of the bus and scooted into the seat. Amanda and Mint, having spent more time together, knew each other better, resolved Nelle, taking the aisle seat on the opposite row. She turned to the guy sitting next to her, a broad-shouldered mop of curls.

"Hey," she greeted him by habit. He gestured a greeting with two fingers to her before returning to the front, staring slightly down. She hadn't seen his earphones under his makeshift 'fro. She smiled back at him before doing the same and taking out her CD player and leaned back, enveloping herself in the music. A few minutes, a few tracks passed before Mint prodded her.

"Turn that off and talk to us," she implored. Lowering the volume, Nelle turned to her peers, possibly even her friends. The bus rolled on.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ How was THAT? PLEASE PLEASE PLEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASE REVIEW!! It means tons to me. Again, sorry for this being late- I got a new comp so it was kind of delayed. Thanks for reading~ tell people about it . Please? Bye!