Ch. 1- Ethan

Ethan Rainey groaned and slapped the snooze button on his alarm clock. What felt like five seconds (But was really five minutes) later, his clock bleeped again. Annoyed, he hit the off button and opened his eyes to the sunlight streaming in through his bedroom window. Another day, more friends to make... then to move away from...

Ever since he'd left his hometown in Missouri, he'd been in a slump; having left all his friends was hard on him, but he'd moved several other times and that made it all the more harder. He lay there, quiet, until he heard his mom's voice from upstairs: "Ethan, get up!"

He groaned again as he realized: not only was today the beginning of a new school year, but it was his freshman year in high school! "Man... high school... wonder if I'm gonna be picked on..." With that, he threw on some clothes, quickly brushed his teeth and blond hair, and went upstairs.

The majority of his day was monotonous. His first class, History, was filled with Honors students, but there were still the always-annoying preps and the delinquents. His teacher droned on about what they would be doing first semester, and Ethan tried to listen but wound up reading the syllabus, then his book. Due to his school's strange schedule, he had his third period class, Art. He let himself zone out, and his blue eyes went cross-eyed, as a pretty-in-pink girl so sweetly informed him. He wasn't rude, but he brushed her off; she didn't seem interested in him, anyway, and the feeling was mutual.

Next was lunch. He bought a slice of pizza, sat down under a tree, and ate his lunch while watching the people pass by. He knew he was slowly getting out of his slump, but he also knew that most likely it'd take a long time to be totally over it. Even though his last home had still been in Arizona, along with his current home, it was still hard.

His last class was somewhat more entertaining: Geometry. He walked in and found that he sat near a dark-haired, dark-skinned girl who was talking to a boy with black (or was it dark brown?) hair and a somewhat lighter complexion than the girl. The boy was whining something, but not annoyingly.

"Lipikaaaaaaaaa!! Pleaaaaaaase!! I wanna read it!!!"

The girl, Lipika, laughed. "Fine. Make sure you take care of it," she replied, handing the boy a book.

The boy noticed Ethan looking their way and decided to talk to him. "Hi! What's your name?"

"Ethan."

"Ethan...?"

"Rainey."

The boy giggled and clapped excitedly. "That's funny! It's like my name, Rain!"

"Rain?" asked Ethan. "Interesting name."

Lipika snickered, and Rain elbowed her. "My parents were hippies," he added. He then began to giggle again. "Well, not really... but I've always wanted to say that! My real name is Ken, but who wants to be named after a Barbie doll? By the way, I'm sorry if I annoy you... I'm hyper right now."

Ethan laughed. "It's fine."

At this time, the teacher, Ms. Abraham, walked in and called the class to attention. Somehow, Ethan found himself more attentive after Rain's hyperactivity. He began to zone out just as Ms. Abraham said, "Cuzco was an ancient king. He wanted to count his corn and found that each row had five ears of corn. How would he figure out how many ears in thirty-two rows?"

"Isn't that a food?" a voice piped up from behind Ethan. The class laughed, and Ethan heard Lipika tell Rain "Yes, corn is a food!"

"No, no!" Ethan turned to look at Rain. "I mean Cuzco!" Rain had a confused look on his face, then noticed the class staring. A look of comprehension overtook his features. "Wait, no, that's couscous. Sorry." The class laughed, and the bell rang.

Rain and Lipika exited the room, and Ethan stood to leave. Rain suddenly burst back in excitedly and said to no one in particular, "I forgot my book!" He snatched his book off his desk and turned to leave. Noticing Ethan, he turned his head to say goodbye, but kept running; he ran into the doorframe.

Ethan knelt to see if he was okay. "You... ran into the.. door?! Are you alright?!"

Rain's chestnut eyes blinked up at Ethan. "Ow." Ethan laughed. "Ow. I ran into another door... my third one this week!" He took Ethan's offered hand, hoisted himself up, and with thanks, left.

Ethan smiled and headed home.