I slip the teacher my papers with a quiet hello. He is graying at his temples and the sweater vest he is wearing is stretching taut against his belly. He looks over my information with naturally squint eyes, and says, "Alright, have a seat right there." He points to an empty seat in the middle row of the room "I'm Mr. Song, by the way." I nod and make my way to the seat, never looking up. As the new girl, I know its just too risky. I sit and take out a sheet of paper. It's Monday morning in the beginning of January. MY shoes squeak a little on the linoleum from the wet snow that's melted.

The teacher speaks to someone. "Give her your notes to copy please, K."

The boy in front of me turns around. "Here," he says. "It's c and stuff."

He passes me some papers and I look over his scrawl. It's actually very pretty, a hurried mix between print and loopy cursive. As the teacher begins to review for the test the class will be having, I begin to copy. Females have XX chromes, males have XY. I remember learning about this many years ago, and I know I don't need the notes, but I copy them anyway. After several minutes, I finish and tap the boy on the shoulder. He turns around with a surprised expression, like he didn't remember there was someone behind him.

"Uh, thanks. You can have them back."

His eyes dart between my face and the papers I'm extending to him for a brief second. "Yeah," he says, taking the papers slowly. "No prob." He turns back around with a slight smile.

I examine the back of his head for a few moments. The raven locks are almost iridescent, and I feel like if I shifted them, I could find other colors hidden underneath. I shake myself mentally and divert my attention to the teacher.

"…The majority of the test will be multiple choice, but there will be several short essays, so look carefully over your notes. Next class we'll be moving into our next unit, so if you need help you'll have to come before or after class. Does everyone have that? Now, any questions?"

Several hands raise in the air and Mr. Song gives each student a turn, and I pay close attention to their question, retaining any information that I don't know.

The bell rings just as Mr. Song finishes answering the last question. I get up, not too quickly, yet still unwilling to get to my next class late. As I walk past Mr. Songs desk he says, "Erm, Ember, could you wait."

I turn t him and ask, "Yes?"

"We've just finished the a chapter, and the test is on Wednesday. Have you covered any human biology in your old school?"

"Yeah, we did some of the basic stuff. Punnett Square, gene dominance, and all."

He nods with a small smile. "Good, good." That's exactly what we're going to be doing. Do you think you'll be able to take the test on Wednesday or do you want to do it another day."

"Wednesday is fine. I've already got the notes, so I think I'll be okay."

"None the less, maybe you could partner up with someone to go over them with."

"Uh…"

"I'll do it." We both turn to the girl on the left. She is just putting a book into her large bag. Once it is in, she looks at us with a smile and flips her dark her out of the way. "Um, sorry. I hear you guys talking while… anyways, I'd love to help you study and stuff. And I could show you around the school." She hikes her bag up on her shoulder and she looks so genuine in her offer it sort of throws me off.

"Oh. Yes that would be great," M Song decides. "Ember, this Michelle. Michelle, Ember."

She smiles brightly at me, eyes crinkling, and sticks out her hand. "Hey. Nice to meet you."

I nod and smile as well. "Yeah, you too."

"What class do you have next?"

I check my schedule. "Art."

"Oh, that's right next to the my class. I've got music. We can go together."

We leave the class together and she walks me to Art with a monologue describing the school and pointing several people. People watch us as we go by, and I can tell she is one of those really popular kind of girls. At the door, she smiles again and says she'll meet after class and she has math and ohmygosh, so do I? we'll go together.

Inside, I do the same the same thing did in my previous class, and the teacher, Ms. Likens shows me to a seat next to a girl with a tattoo of a fairy on her exposed shoulder. Ms. Likens puts her hands on my upper arms and looks at the canvas in front of me.

"You will make great art," she says. "I can feel it." Then she flips her shawl over her shoulders and floats way, petite form barely making contact with the floor.

"Don't pay attention to her unless she's talking about art," the girl next to me says. "She knows her art, but otherwise she's a raving hippie loony."

I smile at her seriousness. "Okay."

"Yeah. I'm Jules, by the way." She picks up a brush.

"I'm Ember."

She looks at me, examining my features, and nods. I look around and see people already working on their canvases. Some are drawing abstract lines, others more defined. I ask, "What are we doing."

"We have a free day today. Draw whatever," Jules says. "And

--

Thirty minutes later and I have a single red curve on the page, and the blue paint on the brush in close the dripping on my pants. I make a line thought the red curve. Then class is over. Jules looks at my canvas.

"I'm not artistically inclined."

"No," she says, scrutinizing my canvas. "It's like…I don't know. If you add some yellow and orange in the spaces, it could look like a bloom."

I tilt my head, trying to imagine. But Michelle is at the door and I don't know anything about blooming art, so I pack up and leave.

--

Study hall is next and I'm hungry ten minutes in. But I study my science notes anyway and ignore the looks people pass me when Michelle declines their open seats to sit with me. She passes notes with some guy on her right and giggles at me. So I smile because it's infectious and I don't want to be rude.


A/N: I guess I should try to summarize this. I suck at them, you know.

This is basically the story of Ember, a girl with a secret that you'll find out about soon. She moves to a new town in NJ and attends a new school and proceeds to lead a seemingly normal life and make friends. She slowly develops a bond with quiet and thoughtful Keanu, but when a sinister being threatens to reveal her secret and take away her life, she's afraid to endanger the lives of her friends as well. Yet some of them aren't what they appear.

Hopefully you guys will keep reading and add me to your favs (hinthint). Haha.