It wasn't love at first sight. For two reasons, actually. One, it takes the human mind at least two months to establish a true feeling of love, so love at first sight isn't even possible. And secondly, I didn't actually really feel in love with her.

It was weird. There was no feeling of love, or even like. It was just an odd feeling that all I really wanted to do, ever, it seemed, was to make this person happy.

Her hair was a vibrant, but somehow natural shade of red, pulled back in a low ponytail. I was across the room from her, so I couldn't tell the exact color or her eyes. They seemed dark though. Not colorwise, in that way they were light, probably a green or blue, but they seemed to suck in all the brightness in the room. There was a very deep sadness in those eyes.

She cast her gaze around the room, the light dissapearing into the depths of her eyes. Her tiny rosebud of a mouth pursed worriedly, her brow creasing to match.

Seizing the opportunity, I waved, as friendly as I could, and pointed to the seat next to me. There were only two empty seats in the room, one in the middle of a bunch of football players, who eyed her like a pack of sharks readying to attack a porpoise. The other empty seat was the one she chose, in the back of the room. Next to me.

The tardy bell rang just as she got to the seat. She smiled quickly, graciously, but in no way happily.

Quietly, as Ms. Saquizowskivich spelled out her name and explained that she would accept Ms. S, the girl extended her hand, "Varonyka Phi. With a p-h."

"Jef Scotia. Like Nova." I glanced at Ms. S, who was still working on that name, "You're new?"

"My dad didn't want to pay for me to go to Xylar anymore. Says that was just for my mother's sake."

For a second it seemed like the room was going to go black, the way her eyes and their sadness intensified.

"Lucky you. If you need any help finding any classes, I'd be glad to help."

"Thanks. I'm sure I'll be fine."

"Mr. Scotia." Ms. S smiled unhappily, "I almost didn't see you their tucked away in the back."

I nodded. I'd had Ms. S the year before for honors junior English. Now I was back again for AP Literature, senior year. We had had a, shall we say rough time, getting along the previous year.

"Something tells me that this year will be no better than last."

"I'll try my best, Ms. S."

"You will DO your best, Jef. No more trying."

"Yes sir."

She frowned at me and turned away to pass out syllabuses. Syllabi? I smiled a little and turned to ask Varonyka.