I got in!

Kate clutched the college acceptance letter the same way a struggling swimmer would a lifejacket, her knuckles were turning white. She anxiously reread to make sure it wasn't an illusion. When the typed, black ink ceased to disappear , she let out a shriek of joy. She had been one of the students selected to go on the higher performing arts course, ND. The course she'd been on previously was the equivalent of High school drama, but this was the advanced level, the one which would give her the equivalent of three A levels and hopefully get her into a proper London stage school once she graduated the course in two years.

Kate had been convinced the only letter she'd be receiving would have "rejected" marked across the front in block red capital letters. As while she had every confidence in her acting ability, she'd barely passed the lower dance class as it was, and had assumed the fact she was a left footed, uncoordinated robot would lead to her downfall, thus forever crushing her dreams of stardom. Then, seeing as she had no other talent whatsoever, she'd have to submit to her fate, and join the successful , talented wonderful people at McDonald's, doomed to serve greasy fries to overweight kids, until she finally died at eighty, surrounded by cats. Now she'd still die surrounded by cats, that was fated to happen either way, but she might actually have a chance of reaching her dream first. She grinned, apparently she had underestimated herself.

Kate rushed into the blue wallpapered hall, keeping a tight grip on the letter, and did a few quick phone calls. She was pleased to discover that some of her mates from FD had made it onto ND too, at least she'd have company. Naturally, many of her other college mates had been rejected, clearly not up to the required standard. While part of her mourned this fact the way one would a deceased relative, another, secret part of her, was aglow with pride. She hadn't been rejected, which was all that really mattered.

Kate walked around the high street , not really seeing any of it. She was too busy listening to Phoebe. It had been weeks since both Phoebe and Kate had received their acceptance letters and it was only a few weeks until summer break ended, college started up again and they would start their new course.

Phoebe, in particular, was worried.

"I'm not looking forward to it," she stated, "and the new people. Oh, god, Kate, the new people!"

"What about the new people?" Kate gently prodded.

Phoebe's brown eyes were wide with panic. "They're from high school." She might as well have said "they're from a rat infested sewer" from the level of disgust her tone carried. "They have just finished high school and most of them will be sixteen."

Privately, Kate understood her point. Kate, Phoebe, and their fellow FD students graduated High school a year ago. They had been at the college and had got to know each other for a year, and now a bunch of immature, giggly newcomers would invade their family. Sure, both the newbies and some of the old gang were all starting ND together, but because of FD Kate and the others were more advanced and experienced then them, they knew the teachers, drama techniques, the way the college worked, etc, these new kids were fish out of water, young fish, and no doubt all obnoxious fame seeking wannabes, vying for attention.

Like we were last year, you mean? When it was all new to us. Kate could tell her inner voice was smirking.

She bit her lip . She wasn't normally judgemental. I haven't even met them and I'm already making ill founded presumptions. I bet they're really nice, the least I can do is give them a chance.

She refocused on Phoebe, who was still ranting about something or other, probably the "Attack Of Killer Newbies."

Kate attempted to calm her. "They won't know anyone, whereas some of us already know each other. They are bound to be nervous at first."

"It's not that. It's the sex!"

"I don't think we need to have sex with them."

Phoebe looked at her as if she were a mentally backward two year old. "No, you idiot! I mean, like, the sex conversation we all had last year. It will be the same this year. They'll all be like, asking us if we've y'know."


But we're……"

"Virgins?" Kate supplied, helpfully.

"Shh!" Phoebe hissed, casting a furtive look around.

"Nobody can hear us, and so what? We'll just say we are. It's nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, we should be proud."

"I know, but, it's like, bad, Kate. They're sixteen and have probably done it, and we're nearly eighteen and we haven't."

I know, but you still stand more of a chance of losing it than me, Kate sadly noted, catching sight of their reflections in a shop window. Kate wrinkled her short, upturned nose at her outfit. Puke coloured cords, grubby white trainers that looked like rats had been munching on them for about seventeen weeks and a t shirt that had seen better days. Gee, I put Vogue to shame. She really needed a new wardrobe. Not that the rest of her was much better. Dyed, dry, dark red hair fell past her shoulders, hanging limply, her pale face was flushed and sweaty from the heat, and her only redeeming feature, aside from her legs, which were her blue eyes, were obscured by unflattering dark shades.

Phoebe, however, showed off her toned body in faded hipsters, and a fashionable top. Her long light brown hair , recently streaked with red, was tied back, and even with no make up, she was striking.

Almost as if she could read her thoughts , Phoebe added-

"When you next have money, we should go shopping together. Are you sure you don't have any now?" At Kate's nod, she sighed. "Ok. But when you do I'll help you chose an outfit. I wish I could look in your wardrobe , and then dress you every day, I'm sure I'd find something and you'd look much better." Then, seemingly quite oblivious to her own tactlessness, she frowned. "I've had enough window shopping, I'm starving. The last thing I ate was breakfast "

"Oh no! Three whole hours since your last meal, however do you manage?"

"Shut up," Phoebe playfully snapped. "Just because you don't eat."
"I do-"
Oh yeah, malt bread, I forgot. Lets go Subway."

Mentally rolling her eyes, Kate trailed after her. She was amused by the clothes conversation rather than hurt. In any case, this was actually mild coming from the girl that not long after her and Kate had first met, told her she needed make up advice, tanning and eyebrow/ eyelash tinting. Since that was during Kate's shame inducing bright blond stage, Phoebe had also affectionately dubbed her "Kate eyebrows" due to the fact since Kate's natural hair was dark brown, her eyebrows followed suit, and needless to say light- bulb hair and thick brown brows made a "striking" contrast.

What Phoebe thought, Phoebe said, and Kate loved her for it. Though, the fact Phoebe knew she was prettier and made no attempt to hide it, did used to grate. Now it did not seem to matter so much. Kate recalled hating her when they'd first met last year.

Aside from making tactlessness into an art form, she seemed to have a fetish for American mannerisms and phrases and popped words such as - like, whatever, freak weirdo, into virtually every six sentences. Most people thought she was American at first, which, when you looked at the fact she was actually Irish, and talked with a heavy Irish accent when she was at home , or around her family, was especially funny.

Last year she had demonstrated her involuntary rudeness further by calling one guy at college a freak repeatedly to his face then getting all confused when he got all huffy about it, branding most of Kate's other friends "losers" and even telling Kate that looking at one person made her physically sick.

Kate knew her well enough to understand that most of her words and actions were born out of impulse rather than malice, however, and found her highly entertaining.

Thinking back to the first few weeks of knowing Phoebe, she grinned. Brian, the college's gay resident bitch queen, decided he didn't like Phoebe, which naturally meant nobody else did either. Still, Kate felt sorry for her, and, despite not liking her much herself, would occasionally talk to her. She severely regretted this, however, when not only did Phoebe take it upon herself to sit next to her on the first college coach trip, and restlessly nagged , moaned , bitched and blathered on about "Friends" the entire way when Kate was travel sick, but later, accidentally nicked her sandwich, mistaking it for her own, and made her change roles in their first performance in front of the tutors, as she wanted Kate's part. When Kate graciously changed characters with her, Phoebe then wanted to swap again, prompting Kate to passionately declare to her mum and best mate, Lily, that she was being single white femaled.

Fast forward a year and Kate had abandoned Brian's popular clique for Phoebe , helped her with most of her assignments and everyone at college seemed to think they were basically the same being as they hung around together that much.

It's funny, Kate thought., how wrong first impressions can be. I won't make that mistake again this year though, I won't judge anyone. Besides, I think most of them will like me. Everyone thinks I'm sweet, timid , and quiet when I first meet them, the only people I clash with are straight guys, and there's not likely to be many of them on this course, and Brian, but we've know each other since we were eight anyway so while I probably won't be close to any of the Newbies , I'm bound to get on alright with everyone.

Entering Subway, Kate had no idea how wrong she'd be.