She stared at the face staring back at her and sighed.  Running behind time, she was already late for school.  She stared in the mirror one last time, still not happy with her appearance, but decided she was late enough as it was.  Bounding down the stairs two at a time, she ran into the kitchen, grabbed a Coffee Crisp and a can of Coke.

"Naomi!"  Naomi spun around to face a somewhat unpleased mother.  "And where are you planning to go with that, that…junk food?"  She spat out the words as if they were poison.  "Are you planning to go to school without a proper breakfast?" Naomi's eyes darted everywhere trying to look for an excuse.

"I'm late, Mom!  I'll eat a proper breakfast tomorrow," Naomi tried to explain. 

"Nonsense.  You're not going to school unless you eat a proper breakfast.  I'll drive you to school."  Following her mother, Naomi stifled a groan and grabbed a bowl of Cheerios.

"Nothing beats a bowl of Cheerios…" she said sarcastically, spooning giant mouthfuls of the cereal into her mouth.  Yes, she thought to herself, I'm going to be so popular this year.  Late for my first class, that'll put me in the teacher's good books.  And being driven to school by my own mother?  "Mom, I'll drive to school, don't worry about me."  Naomi, being 18, had her driver's license and had the privilege of having her own car.  Although it was an older car and wasn't very efficient, it was still a car.

Her mom stared at her as if she was crazy.  "You're telling me you want to drive to a high school you've never been to, nor know where it is, and you want to park your car in some place where it could get stolen?" her mom said, first speaking almost at a whisper, then yelling as if Naomi was deaf.

"No, Mom, sorry," Naomi mumbled.  Although her mom had the best intentions, she could have the most annoying traits.  I don't need to start this year the way my last four have been.  Naomi was a quiet girl with the sweetest personality, yet no one seemed to give her a second glance.  A girl who could be pretty if she tried; a girl who was smart as could be; a girl who wasn't as fake as the rest.  She wandered around aimlessly by herself without friends, and it would be lying to say she didn't wish that she had friends.  People just didn't see her; she blended into the wall.


Naomi walked into her first class of Science 10.  Naomi walked cautiously up to a girl who had an empty seat beside her.  "Excuse me", Naomi said quietly, "is anyone sitting here?"

The girl flashed back a grin.  "No, of course not!  Sit down if you like.  I haven't seen you around before, are you a new student?  What's your name?"

Naomi cringed.  She went through this ritual in Grade 9, too.  "Actually, I'm not new, I've been here since Grade 8.  My name's Naomi, what's yours?"

"Michelle, nice to meet you, Naomi."  Michelle offered another smile before Naomi sat down.

Michelle had seemed friendly enough, but Naomi wasn't fooled.  By the end of every year, the person she had been sitting with forgot she even existed.  It was as if they had never met before.

***End Flashback***

Naomi arrived to school later than she would have liked, but still with enough time to check where her first class was and to get to class.  She hopped out of her mom's car to the stares of groups of seniors who were talking on the courtyard in front of the school.  "Uh…bye, Mom…" Naomi managed to stutter, trying to get away from the car as soon as possible.

"I'll be here to pick you up at 3:30.  Be here waiting, I'm not going to wait a second for you, Naomi," her mom yelled loud enough for the courtyard to hear.  Naomi turned a bright red and turned to walk towards the school amid whispers with her head down.

Probably not the best start to school, she thought.  Why does my mom have to be so embarrassing, especially in front of people I have to spend this year with?


Naomi walked into her first class, Writing 12.  Already late, there was a limited choice of seats left.  Hugging her binder to her chest self-consciously, she walked up to the closest seat and asked if the seat was taken.

A boy with shaggy but well-kept blonde hair and deep blue eyes looked up at her.  "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bother you…" she stammered.

"Not at all.  No one's sitting here yet, so you may as well make yourself at home."  He flashed her a toothy grin and pulled her chair out.  "Sit down now, I'm not going to bite!"  She took her seat slowly, looking for possible pranks.  Finally satisfied, she plopped herself onto the seat.  "Now, tell me, what's your name?" he asked, looking genuinely interested.

"I, me, uh…my name's Naomi," she mumbled.  Great way to sound like an idiot, she thought.  If her mom hadn't embarrassed her enough, she was digging herself deeper into a hole.

"Hey, Naomi," he smiled.  "I'm Tom."  He looked at her with a gentle look, almost kind.  "Where do you come from?  I haven't seen you around before."

I've heard this before, but at least this time there's a reason for it, she thought.  "I changed schools this year.  I used to go to Lincoln."  An odd look crossed his face.

"Really, but why did you switch in your senior year, especially to Marshall?"

She looked down at the table, scared he would see her thoughts through her eyes.  "Oh, I don't know, I just decided I wanted a change of pace," she lied.  "I figured I needed to buckle down to get into university, so I didn't want my friends to distract me."

"Oh, I see.  Well either way, welcome to Marshall."  She looked up and saw him looking at her again.  He smiled sadly for a reason she didn't know.  There's something about this girl and her past, he thought, and I'm going to figure her out.


[A/N] So, what did you think?  Okay, it's been a while since I've been back.  PLEASE tell me what you think.  Or else I don't know what to do…=) thanks!