"Jordan, get down here!" My mother called, her scratchy voice grating on my nerves. Several seconds passed as I positioned my emerald sweater that my grandma had given me the last Christmas she was alive. I looked into my scallop-edged mirror that mom added to my room last week while I was still at Computer Camp. I checked to make sure I still looked the same: same black, slightly wavy hair, green eyes peering out at the world from behind black thick rimmed glasses, peach lips, sweater perched atop DKNY skinny jeans.

I noted my lack of makeup without much care. I'm not the type of girl who is crazy about what she wears to her high school. And did I mention that I hate makeup? I'm not that girl who hates it because it's not-organic or anything: I have absolutely no need for it at all. Girls wear it to grab men's attention, but I don't need their attention because I particularly don't like men. I don't dislike them, really. I just find them a nuisance.

"Coming mom!" I shouted. I checked my cell phone display. My tiny red phone confirmed that I still had time to catch my cross-town bus to Kiki High School. Living in Hicktown, USA, isn't all that bad, you know. I mean, it's a very small town. 600, 700 people, tops. But that means that you don't have to put up with as much crap as you would if you were living in Los Angeles or New York. Plus, you know everyone here, so it's not like you don't know who is a crazy serial killer or pedophile or whatever. Of course, the down side is that everyone lives on top of everyone else. And there are absolutely no secrets here. Everybody knows everything about everybody else.

I tip toed down the stairs to make sure Robin, my younger brother, won't attack me. He takes karate lessons downtown, and apparently the other kids think he's a wuss because he can't break a board with his hand. So lately I've become his unwilling punching bag. I've got tons of bruises on my arms and neck. My best friend in the world, Caitlyn, saw them when we were changing in the locker rooms for Gym and wondered aloud if Mom was abusive. I got down the stairs and ran out the door without a farewell to mom, who was sitting at the kitchen table, drinking some foul-smelling thing.

The bus arrived a few minutes later and I entered the bus with a simple greeting to our bus driver, Mr. Aube. His son, Derek, is in some of my classes. Some people say that Derek has a crush on me, but I don't believe it. I don't think Derek is capable of emotion.
I scanned the bus seats for Caitlyn, and finally spotted her in the way back, with an abnormally perky smile plastered on her face. I sat down next to apprehensively. Perkiness frightens me.

"What's up?" My voice was a little scratchy from yelling to my mother.
"Gimme a G-U-E-S-S W-H-A-T?" She cheered softly. I looked at her outfit. It was the standard, unbelievably, I-can't-believe-the-school-lets-them-wear-that-it's-totally-
against-dress-code cheerleading uniform.
"You made the squad?" I surmised. Caitlyn nodded, tears running down her face, dripping from her navy blue eyes. She brushed them away, getting the temples of her ashy blonde hair wet.
"Great job!" I wrapped my arms around her, trying to ascertain whether or not her tears were happy or sad. I prayed for happy, because sometimes she would get so sad that I couldn't even help her out of the hole. Once or twice I've wondered if she's bi-polar or just really, really moody. She can get depressed and teary so fast. I, on the other hand, am a naturally happy person. I've only gotten depressed maybe twice in my life. Once was when Mom had told me that my dad had died in a car crash, and the other was when my laptop got a virus and I had to pay for another one. Caitlyn let out a tiny giggle, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Happy, this time. Good.
"You're such a dork, Jordan. You with your computer games, and your fantasy stories." Caitlyn joked as we pulled into the parking spot at the school. She elbowed me in the ribs, knowing that that was my ticklish spot. I predictably yelped and jerked away.
"Yeah, I know. But I'm your dork." I giggled as I started to walk down the steps. All of a sudden Michael Bijordi, school's meanest guy around bumped into me, causing me to fall down the steps and onto the hard concrete. Everyone watched as I slowly brought a hand to my mouth, drew it back and saw the blood. I saw the blood before I tasted it, but then I tasted the coppery, metallic blood leaking from a gash on my lip.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Caitlyn asses me, then turn to Michael. "You. Are. An. Asshole." She growled. "You have five seconds to get out of my sight." She spat at his feet. Michael turned bright fuchsia, but stalked away.
Caitlyn has absolutely no sense of self-preservation. She'll take on anybody. She would fight a house if she thought that it had looked at her sideways. She's tough as nails, and I know that Michael can see that in her eyes.
Strange. My best friend is tomboy turned cheerleader. Oh well. Stranger things have happened. Alien abductions, for example.
Caitlyn shooed away onlookers and helped me to my feet. "C'mon. I'll take you to the nurse. You've got a fat lip." She laughed vicariously. "It'll make a seriously cool scar."

XXX

I explained to the nurse, Ms. Hara, what had happened. "Hold that on your wrist while I call your mother." Ms. Hara said. I had landed on my arm, but was too distracted by my lip to notice. Now, though, I felt the throbbing pain in my wrist. "You can leave now, Catfight." She called out to the waiting room. Catfight was Caitlyn's nickname, and she had earned it, seeing as she had been in more then one.

Caitlyn bluntly disregarded the request and stayed where she was, leaning against the wall casually. "Its okay, Ms. H. I'm missing Gym right now."
Ms. Hara cocked an eyebrow and pointed a tongue depressor at her. "Shift it, Caitlyn. Get to class."

I stayed in the infirmary for a long time. Ms. Hara came back in a couple of minutes after Caitlyn left and told me that Mom couldn't come pick me, and asked me, Did I want to stay here for a bit longer? I nodded and dozed off, until I heard the bell ring for lunch, then a couple of seconds later three hundred kids stampede to the cafeteria. I curled up into a ball on my side and stared up at the ceiling.
Bored.
"Bored, bored, bored. La de da. Bored. Dying of boredom. The boredom is eating my hand."

I stopped my rambling. Whenever I find myself talking to myself, I force my mouth to silence. I think of talking to oneself a sign of insanity. I stared up at the ceiling, my eyes sliding in and out of focus. I traced imaginary patterns on the ceiling. I made a rabbit, a six fingered hand and a pair of sunglasses.

Then I saw a face. A long, wide-eyed face, with straight hair flopping over an eye. I looked harder, and saw a graceful neck, broad shoulders, thin arms, a torso and long legs. My eyes slid out of focus again, and I see my ceiling boy lift an arm and wave at me. He smiled and kicked his feet, like he was swimming, and…
Solidifies. Not into flesh and bone, but suddenly he becomes three-dimensional. I can see the curve of his nose, the hollow of his cheekbone. I watched, transfixed, as his hair ruffled slightly in a non-existent wind.

He dropped slightly, tearing away from the ceiling. His feet dropped so that he was no longer parallel to the ceiling. Now he was floating upright, his auburn hair just brushing the paneling. My eyes bulged as he walked through the wall.
I sat upright, panting. "What a weird dream…" I mumbled. After a second I got up and went to the airplane-sized bathroom. I felt mildly nauseous.
Everything was so weird suddenly. I couldn't shake my mystery boy out of my mind. Was I just seeing things-or was he real? Did my school have…a ghost?!

I don't remember any recent deaths or mishaps. I sat down on the closed toilet and leaned against the wall, my eyes closed. After heaven-knows-how-long, I opened my eyes and stared into the deep eyes of the ceiling boy. He sat down on empty air, crossed his legs and leaned in toward my face. His dark hazel eyes bored into mine. He wore a black leather jacket that contrasted perfectly with his auburn hair. His jeans were more hole then denim. Several scars started under his right eye and snaked down the length of his cheekbone and disappeared into his shirt collar.

"I'm Raian." The boy whispered. Then he pressed his cold lips to mine.


A/N: Yeah woo! I've got my own personal beta who I call Lemon. She's a good friend of mine and she's super good with stories. She has an A in English too! Ha ha. Thanks for the many reviews and the love. I'm still thinking of doing a sequel but I need 20-30 reviews for that to happen. So I'll wait till then, get my Lemon to rewrite this story and make better lemons. Ha ha. Adios. -Charlotte