An auburn-haired girl with permed shoulder-length hair stood in the middle of the crowded hall. Her pleated jeans skirt went to the middle of her tan thigh and her pink and black polka-dotted t-shirt was low-cut, revealing her newly-acquired cleavage. Her bag with a Renoir painting printed onto it was slung over her shoulder and her leather flip flops pinged against the tile floor when she walked. She looked down at the wrinkled scrape of her schedule. 8th hour: English, Room 142. 'Where the hell is that? It's one forty-two so it's on the first floor. In theory.' She looked to the right above the door. Room 114. She walked down the hall to the next door. Room 116. 'Okay I'm going in the right direction.' Before long she got to room 142 and cautiously looked inside. She saw familiar friendly faces. Finally the school secretaries were having pity on her. She walked confidently though the door, no longer nervous.

Jo yelped, "Ella!"

"Hey Jo! Margaret!" She grabbed them both in a group hug. "I can't believe we haven't seen each other since school let out last year. It's been way too long."

"Forever!" Jo commented.

"You look really good, Ella." Margaret observed.

Ella smiled, "Thanks. So do you two. You got really tan in France. Have a good time?"

"Yeah!" Jo answered. Margaret added, "I wish you could have come."

"Oh well. I had fun at our cabin. I learned how to sail and I swam a lot."

Just then the bell rang and they slipped into their seats. Jo sat behind Ella while Margaret sat behind Jo. The teacher, Mr. Collins, was probably about 35 but his hair was already thinning a little. He looked the typical English teacher. He talked about the what books would be read this year, rules, grading, etc. Ella was losing interest in Mr. Collins so her eyes wandered around the classroom.

'There's Ben. Everyone thinks he's so hot. I don't know why… Oh Trisha. Yuck. To her, preppiness is an art form. Oh. Wow.'

In the row next to her were the twins, Dylan and Scott, who she had known since middle school. 'Someone's summer had done them very well,' She thought. They both had blond-streaked hair(because of swim team she guessed) and both were nicely tan and not too thin or too muscled. They weren't supermodel thin but neither was Ella and she actually preferred normal people to anorexic ones. She didn't know Scott very well because her was more of a jock than Dylan, even though they both did sports. Scott hung in the preps clique gag while Dylan hung out in the semi-preps/artsy jocks group(of which Ella was a member) which was much nicer. She wasn't much of a fan of jocks or preps because, in her experience most of them thought the sun shined out of their asses. (A/N: Sunshine!!)

She and Dylan had met at a few parties but that was all. He had seemed like a nice person, if a bit shy. She wasn't sure he'd ever gone out with anyone. Well, not any long relationships. She took out some paper from her notebook and wrote, Is Dylan going out w/ anyone? wink and folded up the paper.She looked up at Mr. Collins to see him writing something on the board. Satisfied that the teacher was preoccupied, she turned around and whispered loudly, "Jo!".

Jo looked up from what looked like a doodle and held out her hand. Ella put the paper triangle in it and turned around just in time to see Mr. Collins turn around. She threw him an angelic interested smile. He nodded back and went on. 'Teachers always fall for that.' She smiled to herself. When the note came back she read, No. But Scott and Sarah just broke up. Dylan is totally free. I don't think he went out with anyone this summer.

So I guess I can only have one at a time, right? Ella wrote back.

Jo read the note she giggled and whispered, "Girl. You are so naughty." Ella smiled her innocent smile back. "You can't fool me." Jo scolded. They both laughed. The bell rang and Ella put her bag over shoulder. She looked down at her schedule. "I've got gym next with Thompson. What do you guys have?"

"I have Physics with Bermaster." Jo answered.

"I have gym too."

"Cool! Bye Jo. Have fun!" Ella called.

"Oh I'm sure I will." Jo yelled sarcastically down the stairs.

"So. What did you do in France?"

"Well…there's this one guy who sold ice cream on the beach…" Margaret started.

"Do tell." Ella encouraged.

"He has black hair and he's Italian. And he speaks English with the most delicious accent…"

At lunch she found Jo in the pizza line talking to Mark, a boy on the swim team. She overheard the last bit of their conversation, "…it turns out that cider is alcoholic in France so we all got really drunk. You should have seen us singing and dancing."

They both started laughing

"Hey! Hey Mark. 'Sup? How was your summer?"

"It was good. I got onto Varsity swimming this summer, even thought I'm only a sophomore. Dylan did too."

"Awesome!" She said with an enthusiastic smile, suppressing the urge to glare at Jo, who had stepped on her foot. She felt a heal press into her big toe again, "Ow! Jo I heard! You don't need to keep stepping on my foot!"

Mark looked confused. "What did you hear, Ella?"

"Nothing." Ella replied, her cheeks becoming a little pink. She glared at Jo.

"Do you want to come sit at my table?" Mark asked, looking at Jo(well mostly Jo's chest, Ella noticed).

"Yeah. That'd be cool." Jo grabbed her pizza and winked at Ella. Ella smiled and followed.

"You are so crazy. You started talking to him just because I like Dylan. Just 'cause I asked if Dylan was single doesn't mean I want to go out with him now." She whispered in Jo's ear. Jo raised her eyebrows. Ella smiled. "Well thanks I guess." Jo giggled and they both sat down at the boy's varsity swim team table, Ella conveniently placed next to Dylan.

A/N: I'd better not hear ANYTHING from any certain people about this story being about me. NO! Don't even say it. It's not! It's inspired by the horribleness that is school.