A/N: First chapter of an ongoing series that I have perfectly planned out right now. The first few chapters are a bit short (seeing as I've already got them written -ahem-) but they'll get longer as the story progresses. Some, of course, will be fillers, so expect brevity. The story may seem amaturely written at first (>.>) and it probably is, but as any writer does, it will likely progress. As a postcript, I know the review sounded a bit more morose than the story seems at first, but be assured that it will get dramatic as well as lively as it goes on, so no harm done.

Peaches and Postcards: Chapter One

As usual, this morning was a nightmare. Standing up was the hardest part: getting out of bed at six in the morning, stepping on a mess of clothes, and tripping on some unidentifiable goop on the floor was only the first part.

Then came the actual moment of waking up; when you step into the shower and expect a warm gush of water to pour onto you. Today, that didn't happen. Instead, a stream of icy cold water hit my tired body.

Naturally, I screamed. And naturally, a whole lot of people came to my rescue. Also naturally, they tried to break down the door.

It was rather unnerving.

As calmly as ever, I got out of the bathroom twenty minutes later, hair blow-dried and dressed in fresh clothes that smelled like peaches.

"Calling for me, mom?" I asked innocently when I arrived at the kitchen table.

She looked at me like I had chocked on the shower knob. I just rolled my eyes and took a piece of toast from theghastly pile she makes every morning.

"About your first day of school--"

"Mom," I cut her off, "I know the routine. We've been through it—what?-- ten times?"

She ignored my sarcasm and continued, "Pay attention in class, be sure to have your lunch, and--"

"Try not to get into detention?"

"--don't talk to any boys--"

"Find geeky partners in Science?"

"—call me up if you have an emergency—"

"Mom!" I groaned.

She just smiled at me-- enough to tell me she was just joking. I said a hasty good-bye and jumped the thirteen carpeted steps to my room. Looking around, I grabbed the nearest pencils, wad of papers, and small essentials on the School Supplies List. I jammed everything in my backpack with a five-dollar bill for lunch. My bus was leaving in three minutes, which explained my sudden hurriedness.

Putting my long chestnut-brown hair in a ponytail, I dashed out the door.
"Bye mom, bye dad!" I shouted at them as I jumped down onto the driveway and ran for the bus stop.

Tired and out of breath, I reached the bus in time. Mostly, it was empty, with only a couple of apathetic people sitting here and there. I sighed, and made my way to the back--my usual spot.

To my surprise and annoyance, a guy in a black Green Day T-shirt sat in my spot, not even realizing that I was standing there, looking like an idiot.

"Uh... hello? Can you move? This is my spot."

The guy looked at me. Bright green eyes rooted me to the spot.

"Take another seat." He replied with indifference.

I glared at him, trying to make a point. No one just sat in my seat without permission. Sure, it sounded stupid and territorial, but I was overall like that.

With defiance, I tried again, "Move."

His emerald eyes glanced back at me. To my shock and surprise, he grinned. He moved two inches towards the window, and said, "Happy?"

"Ugh," I made an irritated noise and, being the stubborn girl I was, sat down next to him. In any case, I was not about to stand during the whole ride. For the next five minutes, it looked like he fell asleep against the glass window.

"Name's Bryce, by the way," I heard a muffled voice.

I scowled in his general direction. Great, now this moron's trying to talk to me. What would Mom say now?

"Tara," I carelessly offered my name. Getting out my CD player, I popped in a disk and turned it on. The familiar voices of Blink 182 sounded in my ears. I closed my eyes and was silent for the rest of the ride, lost in the magical power of the divine band. Seriously.

"Get off the bus!" A voice shouted in my ears what seemed to be five minutes later.

My eyes flipped open to see half the bus looking at me like I was stupid and Bryce two inches away from my pained ears. I must have fallen asleep listening to the CD. Which is kind of an accomplishment if you think about it— punk rock isn't the easiest type of music to fall asleep to.

"Why don't you scream a little louder? Might have been a couple of people on the next block that didn't hear you," I snapped at Bryce.

He looked unconcerned as he pushed me off my seat.

I got off the bus, thanking all the gods I could think of that I wouldn't have to go through this guy's tortures at school. It was bad enough that he rode my bus.

Briskly, I walked to the high school entrance. I figured I had ten minutes before classes started.

We didn't get lockers until next week, seeing as we'd have nothing to put in them until the teachers actually gave out assignments, so that wasn't an option to visit.

I got out my schedule and decided to look for my classroom. As slow and bad as I was with directions, it would take me an hour to find the right room. Might as well start now.

"Hey Tara!" Someone behind me squealed. I turned to see Lily, my best friend since about three years ago. I squealed with her, causing a lip-locked couple beside us to break apart and stare at us.

"I haven't seen you the entire summer, Tara! How've you been?" You know how these things get. Friend meets best friend after a summer apart? Not exactly a quiet conversation.

"I missed you so much, Lily!" We gave each other quick, friendly hugs and pulled apart to examine each other.

"Oh my gosh! I love what you did to your hair!" We laughed, exchanging summer events and adventures. But that didn't last long. The first bell rang before Lily could tell me about her vacation to Hawaii.

"Well, see ya! I've got Math first period." She wrinkled her nose in disgust.

I waved and headed towards English, my first class. Writing wasn't exactly my favorite subject, but it definitely beat Math.

I turned into a familiar hallway and walked the five yards to the end of it. Opening the wooden door to room 412, I felt an ominous feeling of uneasiness, but proceeded nevertheless.

The second bell rang just as soon as I closed the door behind me. The teacher didn't look too happy, but didn't comment either. In any case, I wasn't late.

I took a seat in the middle of the class, the seats at the back already taken by earlier students. Scanning the sea of students, I saw a couple of familiar faces: John, Susan, Andrew, Kat. They discreetly waved at me and grinned. I grinned back.

It was not until the middle of roll that I noticed another familiar presence. However, it was the announcement made afterwards that really made the next year of my High School life a hopeless despondency.

"Robinson, Bryce." An indifferent hand rose up far on my left. I cringed. Ignore. Ignore. It'll all just go away.

The teacher looked something up and a few moments later seemed settled upon it.

"So, you just moved here, Bryce?"

I saw Bryce nod unnecessarily at the teacher's question.

"You would need someone to help you around the school then." His words seemed final. I closed my eyes and hoped he wasn't about to do the thing I'd most dread. No... he won't. There's no way. This only happens in books. There's no way there could be a coincidence. There's no freaking way he'll pick--

"Tara, your schedule seems identical to Bryce's. You'll be aiding him around the school until he becomes more accustomed to it."

I froze.

What would Mom say now?

A/N: Thanks for reading. Please be so kind as to review. I also apologize for any mistakes.