A/N: Hey all. I realize that the last chapter was a bit short and kind of left you hanging, but it was only the prologue so please forgive me. Also a big thank you to everyone who reviewed last chapter! You guys are amazing. I'm glad i got positive feedback and it really encouraged me, so i wrote the rest of this chapter. Anyways, i ask you to review this chapter and tell me what you think as well and if you think there's anything i can improve on, constructive criticism is always welcome .

1. Offending the High School Gods

I sat in study hall which was thankfully the last period on the final day of school. I was literally counting down the seconds until it was absolutely official that I had survived junior year of high school. Junior year, which is I'm convinced, a more humane way to describe the nine months of hell devised by adults that sit around in a stuffy room all day waiting to see whose will was strong enough to take the torture. After all, Darwin wasn't stupid when he came up with the "Survival of the Fittest" theory. Juniors are still second to the Seniors, which means that if we don't keep our guard up we can be eaten alive.

15 minutes 45 seconds—44—43—42—

I swept my long brown hair into a messy ponytail to keep it off my neck. It was reaching cruel temperatures outside. God bless my parents—they just had to send me to St. Joseph's High School, the only high school that I knew of in the tri-state area with no air conditioning. As an added bonus, they also had a dress code that insists students (well, girls anyway) suffer with either pants or a skirt with knee socks. Because the skirt looks absolutely hideous, I had stupidly opted for pants today. That was possibly the dumbest move I could have ever made.

"Isabella Lianeti, are you listening to me?"

"Honestly?" I turned my head towards one of my best friends, Cecilia Jacobs, who was apparently in the middle of telling a fascinating story that should have had me captivated the second she opened her mouth. She wound a lock of blonde hair around her finger as she chewed her bottom lip, trying to decide whether or not she wanted the sugarcoated version of things or if I should just tell her flat out that she wasn't grabbing my attention.

"Yes honestly. Were you listening to me?" Cecilia tilted her head to the side and looked out the window behind me. She then used this window as a makeshift mirror and reapplied her lip gloss.

"You do realize that there's a mirror inside the case that you just took that out from, right Cee?" I asked as I watched Cecilia. She continued applying the gloss and shrugged while keeping her eyes still on her faint reflection.

"The glare from that mirror gets in my eyes."

"You're looking directly at the sun."

Cecilia shrugged again as she swiped the gloss wand over her lower lip again. "Maybe its glare isn't as intense as the mirror's glare." She put the lip gloss tube back in her purse, checked her hair in the window's reflection and turned back to me.

"They say third time's a charm so let's try this again. Were you paying attention to anything I said or not?" Cecilia pressed. I sighed.

"Not a word of it."

"God, lie to me next time, would you?"

I made a face. "You asked for the truth!"

I watched Cee pout and I rolled my eyes. I was waiting for the lecture that was inevitable here because apparently I commit a crime against high-school nature whenever I don't listen to the latest gossip that she had to offer. Heaven forbid that I actually have something better to do with my time (at that particular moment, I had absolutely nothing better to do with my time except draw idly on the last few pages of notebook paper that I had, but let's just pretend like that's better than listening on a scale of one to ten, shall we?).

"Yes! Good truth! I asked for good truth! When it's the good truth, I always want it. When it's bad, I don't want it so much," Cecilia answered. I stared at her, trying to make sense of her twisted logic. The world according to Cecilia was very warped, but I had become accustomed to it.

"So in other words, you want me to form reality to accommodate your needs?" I asked, knowing the answer would be some form of the word "yes" and then a few reasons to justify her self-centered attitude.

She looked at me and instead, she decided to avoid the previously posed question. That was the way Cecilia was—if she didn't like something, she would avoid it or not talk about it. She preferred to live in her own self-deceived world rather than face anything that might be unpleasant. It was quite interesting the way she thought at times, I must admit. If Yale, or anywhere else for that matter, ever wanted to run a study on human nature, Cecilia was a prime target. I sometimes wonder how she passed freshman year. I sometimes wonder how she passed first grade.

"Whoa, look whose using the big 10-letter words all of a sudden," Cecilia noted while taking my notebook off of my desk and doodling on an already graphitized sheet of paper.

"Cee, accommodate has 11 letters in it," I pointed out. Cecilia looked up.

"No it—"

"Yes it does."

Cecilia counted the letters out on her fingers twice—once to make sure she was right before arguing, and the second time to make sure that she hadn't counted incorrectly the first time. A slightly crestfallen look appeared on her face. "Oh damn, I'm failing English."

I laughed and Cecilia grinned in a slightly sheepish manner. Cecilia was about to recap the story that she'd been telling me since the beginning of the period (which meant that she was talking a mile a minute) when the PA system buzzed on.

"Good afternoon students and teachers. This is Mrs. Gates speaking…"

"Speak of the devil," Cecilia mumbled. Mrs. Gates was Cecilia's English teacher and she was constantly working on the theory that Mrs. Gates was from a foreign country of some sort and knew nothing about the "American" English. "Do you know that on my last paper she gave me a D?"

"Yeah, so?" I asked, turning to her.

"So!? That paper was amazing! Some of my finest work! I think it deserved a B+ at worst!"

"Cecilia, I read your paper; you used the word 'uncool' in it."

Cecilia looked at me blankly. "What's your point?"

"'Uncool' isn't even a word. It's slang."

"Seriously? People around here seem to use it all the time! See, this is what I'm talking about! She should learn to speak American."

I hesitated. Should I lecture her? Nah, that takes up too much of my time. "You're an idiot," was actually what I was content in saying before I snatched back my notebook.

Cee was about to respond, but was overridden by Mrs. Gates' crisp voice who had apparently said something relatively interesting as half of the class was shrugging or shaking their heads. I could have cared less. I didn't listen to Mrs. Gates when she substituted for Mr. Mansell in homeroom, and I figured it didn't make a difference if I listened to her now.

"…so there are only two more things left to say:
a. Mr. Pickins is offering a summer tutoring program for the SATs. Anyone interested should sign up now. Spots are filling up quickly.

"and 2. We would like to remind incoming seniors that the first day back at school is not Senior Prank Day. Though this is a notorious tradition, the Principal would like to have it stopped immediately after this year's graduating class dented his car by putting the cafeteria tables on top of it—and all of the other faculty cars for that matter. Please restrain yourselves. You are being warned now."

At this, there was scattered applause down the hall as students appreciated the graduating class' accomplishments. They were very proud of the fact that they had dented Mr. Buckwell's Chevy. Cecilia and I clapped along simply because we were proud of the way they made Mr. Buckwell look after he found out about said dented Chevy.

"That's all. Hope you all have a wonderful summer and we will see you back next year." Mrs. Gates turned off the PA system with a click and five seconds later the bell signaling the beginning of summer rang. Finally. I breathed a sigh of relief as I filed out of study hall with Cecilia next to me.

"I wonder if Mrs. Gates knows that the number two doesn't normally come after the letter A." Cecilia speculated offhandedly.

"God, no wonder you'll fail English." I grinned. Cecilia scowled at me and flipped her hair out of her eyes.

"Thanks, your encouragement for my current state is overwhelming."

"Anything I can do to help," I chimed. She stuck her tongue out at me and I did the same thing back to her. I laughed inwardly at our immaturity. Yes parents, this is your future America.

"So anyway, I was just going to tell you about what I heard about Jake—"

I cut Cecilia off with a disgusted grunt. There was absolutely no way that I was going to spend the beginning of my summer listening about effing Jake again. I had spent enough time hearing about how good looking or athletic or popular or whatever else he was during the school year. I wasn't about to waste my time—my summer—time listening to it, thank you very much.

"Ugh, Cee, I'm absolutely sick of hearing about Jake Robinson. Why's he so interesting anyway?"

Cecilia shrugged. "I'm just saying that Jake is planning on breaking up with Maria Wilkins." At this pronouncement, Cecilia peered at me for a reaction. I had none to offer. We wove our way past the stream of students in the halls with Cecilia still waiting for the possibly delayed reaction.

"Oh you want me to say something," I finally got out after the silence began to annoy me.

"Well yes, it would make me feel better," Cecilia explained.

"Well then, that's fascinating," I voiced this in the same monotonous tone that one would use when describing a term paper that they have to write. Cecilia opened her mouth to protest about this lack of enthusiasm when I was tapped on the shoulder. I turned to see Luke Owens, our longtime friend, standing behind me. Thanks for the save, Lukey boy.

"Bee, have you heard about Jake?" was the first thing he asked me with a lopsided grin on his face. You are worse than a girl, sometimes, Luke.

"Are you serious? Luke, please don't tell me that you've joined the gossip chain of St. Joe's," I threw a pleading look to Luke, who shook his head, causing his shaggy blonde hair to fall into his eyes. His grin widened as he chewed on his gum.

"There's no gossip chain of St. Joe's; St. Joe's is a gossip chain," Cecilia said, knowledgably. "And ha, I got to her first Luke, sorry. Next piece of dirt though you can tell her, I promise, I'll keep my mouth shut." Luke rolled his eyes at this; we both knew that she wouldn't be able to shut her mouth, even if she wanted to. It was one of her many talents—to keep talking and never shut up. Ever.

"Or we could go back to that old fashioned idea of it just being, you know, a school," I voiced. Cecilia considered this and then dismissed the idea.

"Nah, that's definitely not what it is. And anyway Luke, I'm in the process of telling Bella some extremely important news," Cecilia said with pride. Luke gave a half-smile.

"Obviously it's mind-blowing because she seems so riveted by it," he pointed out sarcastically. Cecilia stuck her tongue out at Luke who turned back to me. "And I wasn't talking about the fact that Maria and Jake broke up. You knew they would anyway. I love how this is such a shock to everyone. Jake doesn't like hanging onto a girl for more than two weeks tops. Maria lasted three. Good for her. But I was talking about the trip."

"What trip?" Cecilia and I asked collectively. Luke opened his mouth to respond when his cell phone rang. His hand jumped to his pocket and he flipped the Motorola phone open.

"Mhm, sure no problem," he spoke into the receiver. "Hang on a second…" he turned back to us and covered the receiver with his hand. "Guys I got to take this. I'll talk to you later, okay?"

"Whatever," I answered for the both of us and turned to walk down the hallways with Cecilia leaving Luke to go the other way.

Cecilia turned back to me. Here it was—the nuclear bomb I had been waiting for. It was the same back-and-forth exchange that took place every time I told her my stance concerning Jake Robinson.

"By the way, you are not normal. How is it that you don't care about any of this?" she questioned, referring to the lack of enthusiasm I showed when Cecilia revealed the wonderful piece of world-shattering news to me. I shrugged.

"Because Cee, there's nothing to care about. There are more important things than Jake Robinson's love life," I explained slowly.

Cecilia gasped theatrically at this pronouncement. "That's blasphemy."

Here we go.


"Speak not to me you blasphemer." Cecilia held up a hand and turned away from me. I rolled my eyes at her new addition to our well-rehearsed argument. "You have offended the High School gods. They won't forgive you until you have picked wildflowers and frolicked through a field while wearing a headpiece of your traditional Native American ancestors and singing a tribal war chant."

"Cee I really think—"

"That's not a tribal war chant! Chant! Chant, I say!"

I sighed and, seeing no way out of this, began to mumble incoherent noises. It was simply easier to acquiesce to her demands rather than argue. I lost more than 94 percent of the time anyway. That was another one of Cecilia's gifts—she could use anything you said against you. Even if her arguments didn't virtually make sense, she could make you believe that they did.

"Louder my blaspheming wrong-doer," Cecilia was allowing a grin to pull at her lips just as I became conscious of how stupid this was. I was chanting—chanting!—in the middle of our high school hallway because I had offended the mythical High School gods. Oh. Dear. Lord.

And this, my friends, was what I called a normal Friday with Cecilia.

"No! This is ridiculous," I shook my head as if to rid myself of an annoying fly. I had given up long ago on trying to regain the sanity that Cecilia had taken from me bit by bit over the years. "Anyway, I'm not Native American."

Cecilia quirked an eyebrow at me. "You're not?"


Was this really a new revelation to her?

"Are you sure?"

Quite sure...

"Does 'Lianeti' sound like a Navajo name to you?"


"Never mind. We've been friends for what, fifteen years now? Since we were, like, two? And you still don't know the fact that I'm Italian."

"No, I always knew that!" Cecilia protested.

"You thought I was Native American five seconds ago," I pointed out.

"No I never said that."

"Yes you did."

"Never, you liar."

"You said it five seconds ago!"


"I'm pretty sure you did."

"I think I would know what I thought, Bella."

"One can never be too sure with you, Cee."

"Hey, I take great offense to that!" Cecilia put a hand to her heart as if wounded. I rolled my eyes. Cecilia could get amazingly dramatic when she wanted to.

"What are you a High School god now?" I asked her raising my eyebrows. Cecilia considered this.

"Yes," she answered, obviously deciding that she liked this title, "Yes I am. And now you must sacrifice a virgin from the senior class who has not gotten drunk once to please me or else I'll unleash my wrath on you."

Oh, I just walked right into that one, didn't I?

"Where, oh where, do I find a senior to sacrifice, Almighty One?" I asked her as we reached our lockers. Cecilia leaned against hers and I dialed my own combination. Fifteen, thirty-one, seventeen. I chanted my combination over and over again in my head praying that it wouldn't take me ten different attempts to open it this time.

"It's the hallway! Scout out one!" Cecilia said, watching me dial consciously.

"Oh yeah, I'll just put a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board." I retorted sarcastically, looking up from my lock.

"Couldn't hurt."

"I was kidding!"

"Oh." Cecilia turned to her own locker and dialed the combination with nimble fingers. It was open within five seconds. Show off.

I finally jimmied the locker open. I was one of the fortunate few that were blessed with the ancient lockers that refused to cooperate when I wanted them open. This was especially true when I was in a rush. I owe 90 percent of my detentions this year to my locker that were given for either being tardy or showing violent displays of hate towards the metal box of evil. During these tantrums I would kick or hit it causing a loud noise. I never actually dented the thing, but it made me feel better. But this, I discovered, only angered the locker. I extracted my bag and slammed the rusty metal door shut.

"So where am I going to find a sober senior virgin then?"

"I just told you to scout out one."

"It's high school, Cee. They're going to be in college next year."

There was a moment of silence as Cecilia thought this over.

"Yeah okay, so I'm granting you a reprieve. But it's only this one time. Consider yourself on thin-ice. And if you offend the High School gods again then…well bad things will happen."

"Nobody likes a vague threat, Cee," I told her as I leaned against the metal death trap. That was another good thing about a new school year—new lockers.

"It's not vague, it's…secret. Yes, that's it. It's a secret amongst us gods and you mere mortals can't know about it because you're not gods so there."

"I'm sorry, are you forming a High School God Club now?" I asked with sarcasm.

"Could be, but you wouldn't know," Cecilia gave me a look "cus you're a mortal and you're not in our club!"

"That is so fourth grade, Cee," I told her, rolling my eyes.

"Is not! You're just jealous!"

I stared at her for a minute and fought to keep a straight face. "Yes Cee," I finally nodded. "Yes I am."

"That's Almighty Cee to you."

The hallway traffic was beginning to thin out already. Many students had taken the bus or driven themselves. The Almighty Cecilia and I lived in the same neighborhood and were about 10 minutes away from the school by foot. Today was a day to walk home.

The glow from the shimmering afternoon sunlight kissed the leaves of trees as Cecilia and I walked along the pathway that cut through the center of town. Cars passed by as we laughed about the years events and thanked God that summer was finally here.

We took the long route home which meant that we reached my house first and walked up to the front door. I took the key out of my purse and shoved it into the lock.

"D'you want to come in?" I asked Cecilia. Normally we went over to each others houses after school to pig out on chips and soda and delay doing homework as long as possible. This time, though, Cecilia shook her head.

"Can't today, remember? Dad's coming home from…wherever he was. Mom's insisting that I'm there. She said she had something… I don't know, important to tell me, or something. Hey, but I'll come over after dinner, yeah? We'll celebrate the start of summer like we always do!" Cecilia grinned as she thought back on their "normal" celebrations.

"So that means ordering movies on On Demand, acting like immature idiots, laughing about stupid things, and laughing even harder when we hurt ourselves. Oh, and baking the traditional summer-kick off cupcakes, yeah?" I recited the usual itinerary for Cecilia. She smiled and nodded, confirming that the plans that we made since fourth grade hadn't changed.

"You get the frosting."

"You get the batter."

"Done deal." Cecilia walked off my front porch and out the driveway. I had one foot in the front door when she turned around. "Oh and Bella?"


"Do you have one of those Native American headdresses?"


"Get one."

A/N: i apologize if it's a bit slow starting, but it will get better, i promise. Suggestions are welcome in case you end up wanting to see anything happen in this fic, im here to please.

Until next time,