4/7/09: After reading a few chapters and cringing, I have decided that this story needs some serious editing! Please excuse the mistakes and reptitiveness. Hopefully the glitches will be fixed soon! JM

Author's Note: After weeks, and months of procrastinating, I've finally decided to post this new story up. Hope you guys enjoy!

They Call It 'Karma'

Chapter One

There were numerous things Essa Evans despised and Valentine's Day was definitely one of the many events she loathed with a passion. It wasn't because of her lack of a love life which triggered her bitterness to such an occasion; it was females and their high pitched squeals at the flowers or costly gifts they received.

Rolling her eyes as another shriek of delight erupted in homeroom, she bit her lower lip before continuing with her sketch, begging for this ordeal to finish soon. Adding some tone to her picture, she skilfully used her pencil to add the effect but had barely even begun the process before she heard the morning routine of bedazzled sighs escaping her female peers.

Watching as a relatively large group of males swarm into class, Essa had to refrain from groaning aloud. Another thing she abhorred was teenage girls and their annoying habit of swooning over some of the biggest jerks of all time. She didn't understand why half the males at Ocean High were worshipped as gods, nor could she grasp the concept that almost all the girls in school wanted one as their boyfriends.

It was true that majority of them were handsome – however if you had witnessed the graphical nature some went into to describe a females anatomy, you'd begin to understand that the perverted part of their personality dominated their devilish looks.

Averting her attention back to her work, Essa refused to acknowledge the presence of her homeroom peers for majority of them weren't worth her time. Focussing on her toning technique, she couldn't help but overhear the conversation taking place beside her.

"He broke up with her to be with me," Cassandra Wilkins, a crafty blonde announced to her group of friends whilst eating up her lovely bouquet of red roses with those pale green eyes of hers. "Though I do feel bad that we started dating a day after their breakup, however Creston did reassure me that he held no more feelings for her," she explained as a smile tugged at the corner of her lips. "I have to say that out of all the Valentine's gifts I've received, these roses are the prettiest."

Hiding her look of disgust behind dark locks of wavy jet-black hair, Essa's sketchbook snapped shut as the bell signalled for the start of period one. The number one thing on her 'hate list' was the one and only Creston Montgomery Spencer who was deemed the school's 'sex god'.

She didn't abhor the guy because he was so well accepted by the schooling community – no – Essa had an even better excuse to loathe him.

Creston Spencer was a charmer, not to mention an absolute heartbreaker with the girls and the number one hero for the boys. To add to his already perfect self, he was smart, sporty and wonderfully handsome. Although in everyone's eyes the guy was flawless, Essa hadn't failed to spot the imperfections he possessed. In her eyes, Creston Spencer was an overly arrogant vulture who had a heart that was black like coal.

The guy preyed on women, revelled in female attention and was renowned for going through them like no tomorrow. The moment he was out of a relationship, in a flash he was in a new one with another. It had been this type of conduct which triggered the male species to be envious; leaving Essa to feel apathetic.

To add to Creston's infamy was his most recent scandal – apparently the devil had wedged himself between two best friends, ruining the friendship within a matter of days. When he was done with one, he moved onto the other best friend.

It was this type of behaviour which initiated Essa's deep dislike for the guy. It would have given her great pleasure if someone or something inflicted some damage to Creston's oversized ego.

Stalking down the school corridors, she passed many smiling faces and frowned even more. In her eyes Valentine's Day was overrated, nothing but an excuse for the human species to cut down beautiful flowers in a pathetic substitution for affection.

Approaching her locker, she entered her combination and opened the door, searching for her English books. She had barely packed her books in her bag before a face peered over at her from behind her locker door.

"Morning sunshine," Tynan Christopher Welling greeted, a dazzling smile lighting up his face.

Essa rolled her eyes at her best friend. "Just because ladies love you doesn't mean you have to charm me too," she stated whilst elbowing her locker shut.

Able to see that Chris was still grinning, her bi-coloured orbs glared up at him in warning before she made her way down the corridor dismissively. It appeared Christopher didn't take the hint as he strode down the hallway beside her. Through the corner of her eyes Essa could see the single rose he was grasping. She never understood how she and Chris became best friends, but she knew that had they not been neighbours, the two of them would never have spoken.

Tynan Welling was a good looking creature – the ladies loved him and it was evident he loved the ladies too. He was popular, sporty, and a total rebel. However one thing Essa adored about him was that he knew her and he tolerated her random mood swings. If it hadn't been for him, Essa knew she'd be close to nothing.

They were total opposites of one another – Essa was serious, a little anti-social and highly opinionated. Chris on the other hand liked to make people laugh – he was generally the life of the party and was quite laidback.

Though the two were like fire and ice, they still managed to get along somehow.

"You only got one today?" Essa finally asked, her books held closely to her chest. "I would have thought you'd have an entire locker full of roses by now."

Chris stared at her briefly and then at the lone rose in his hand. It was at her statement which prompted him to hold up the flower to her.

"Actually," he began. "This one's for you," he voiced. "Happy Valentine's Day Essa," he announced and they were both at a stand-still.

Staring down at the gift Essa met Chris' gaze. She had to admit that it was a very pretty rose – its petals were yellow with splashes of orangey-pink in the inner petals.

As if the rose itself wasn't beautiful enough, nice red wrapping paper enveloped it followed by clear cellophane and a nice yellow bow.

"Chris," she breathed as her brows clicked together in a frown. "Chris the thought is taken dearly to heart but I cannot accept this because I do not want to be bashed by your fan club," she explained.

Chris cocked a brow at her in question. Essa Evans was an oddball indeed.

Seeing that he didn't understand, Essa pulled him aside to elaborate. "I can't accept that rose," she stated firmly, "If the girl who gave it to you sees that I've got it, she'd hate me for life."

He chuckled at her response, "Well sunshine you don't have to worry about that." He said, seeing her frown deepen, "This isn't a hand-me-down."

Blinking at him as if he'd gone mad, loud ruckus filled the corridor treading to their direction. Chris extended the rose for her to take but she didn't.

"What now?" He queried with a slight hint of impatience.

"I don't want to die from death glares," she said aloud as he burst out laughing. Her face hardened, "No Chris, I'm being serious" she exclaimed, "Your fan club is crazy and I'm sure that they'll make my life hell the moment I accept your gift."

No more words we exchanged between the two as a group of boys approached them.

"Yo Tynan my man," Alexander Jamison greeted.

Essa watched as Chris shook his companions' hands in that manly shake boys always used. The people that Chris hung around were guys from the soccer team and those guys were the exact same ones females were fawning over this morning in homeroom.

Only able to observe, Essa was well aware of the fact that Chris was in deep conversation with his group of friends. Deciding it was time to make a run for it, she was slowly but stealthily, backed up against the wall and commenced to make a run for it. She had barely taken a step when a smooth, masculine voice intercepted her.

"You must be a part of Tynan's fan club, wanna come over and join mine?"

Startled by the question, Essa's eyes gazed up at the source. Her orbs came in contact with grey-blue and as she began taking in his profile, she realised the person before her was the number one person on her 'hate-list'.

Creston Spencer.

There was a knowing smirk on his face as he stood confidently in front of her.

Irritated by his arrogance, Essa decided it was easy to take an immediate disliking towards him as she instinctively began to tear down his ego.

"No thanks, I despise overly confident guys like you," she informed and threw him a mocking smile.

Behind her, the group of guys – including Chris – had heard her statement, as soft chuckling filled the air.

"Tynan where'd you pick this one from?" Alex asked, "She's a definite keeper seeing as she hasn't fallen for Creston's charm."

One of the guys stood beside Creston, giving him a pat on the back as Essa remained silent. She was irritated by the fact that Alex had referred to her as an object.

"It's okay man," Ivan Hawkins assured the still smirking Creston. "This one must have been chased off by your new girl toy."

It was then that Chris decided to step in and make an introduction. He wrapped an arm around Essa's shoulders and the guys didn't fail to spot the rose held in his left hand.

"You're receiving roses from her already?" Came Jensen Marcosta, "She's a goner…"

Biting her inner cheeks out of frustration, Essa didn't want to speak anymore. Instead she wanted to get away from the overwhelming testosterone and get to her English class. But she appeared to be trapped against Chris and the wall.

"Guys I'd like you to meet Essa Evans," Chris introduced. "And this rose," he announced, waving it up in the air for emphasis, "Is from me to you Essa."

Taking the held out rose from Chris' hold, she took it grudgingly before shouldering away his arm and stalking away from the group. Within the last ten minutes she had done two things that she didn't want to do.

Number one was she spoke to Creston – Satan's spawn – and number two was that she took Chris' rose – meaning she'd be slaughtered by his groupies. Entering her English class, she threw the teacher an apologetic look for her tardiness before making her way discreetly to a seat located at the front.

With her books before her, she commenced jotting down some notes, taking no notice of the arrival of more late comers. Perfectly aware that a person was now taking the vacant seat beside her, she subtly glanced over at them.

There had been many seats available towards the back of the room though the person beside her had to sit next to her.

As her eyes took in the figure, she found herself freeze in shock. Staring back at her with a trademark smirk was the one and only Creston Spencer.

"So we meet again," he greeted.

Rolling her eyes Essa muttered under her breath. "Just my luck,"

Creston could only grin devilishly.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Fuming, Essa managed to find a table all to herself as she sat down. English had definitely not gone according to plan, and the mere thought of what occurred in that period enraged her further.

Throughout the lesson Creston had gotten her into trouble numerous times. At first she had received intimidating glares from the teacher and then it got to a verbal warning. The indignity of the situation wasn't fair! It was all Creston's fault!!

Throughout English he would keep talking to her – mumbling incoherent words to annoy her. In response, she would tell him to shut up.

However every time Essa told him to silence, the teacher always seemed to hear her and think it was directed to them. As the period lapsed, she had not only been infuriated by the annoying prick Creston, but she had also made a bad impression on the teacher. So when class had finally reached an end, Essa had made a run for the door, intent on getting as far away as possible from the devil's spawn.

Now seated and settled, she was pleased to see her friends approaching and there was nothing more she wanted than to be surrounded by her friends. Smiling tightly as her comrades joined her table, she began to make a start on her lunch.

"You look rather angry today dear," Trisha Davis pointed and Essa found herself exhaling loudly.

"Don't go there."

"What happened?" Sophia Teague – Essa's other best friend queried.

Hesitant at first, Essa commenced retelling her mates the events of the morning and how Chris had been an ass to her. What made her feel good was that they agreed with her that Chris had been a complete jerk. It was a relief to finally be around normal people who she felt comfortable around.

"Creston Spencer is an ass," Trisha said with finality. "I can't believe he got you in trouble like that,"

"He felt no remorse because he was smirking at me whenever I gave him the death glare." Essa added, jabbing at her pasta in hopes that it was Creston's head.

One thing in common with the three girls was that they all shared a passionate loathing towards Spencer and his little mob of girls.

Essa, Trisha and Sophia had been friends since the start of high school. It had been different forms of art that had brought them together. Sophia was good at music, Trisha was great with photography and Essa was fantastic with drawing and painting.

The school's annual art gallery had brought them together a few years ago. The three girls had teamed up to help with the set up and the nightly event. After that occasion, the three had been inseparable.

"I wish someone would deflate that ego of his," Sophia mumbled, able to see Creston and his group of friends seated a few tables away. "But then again I don't think that's possible seeing as his groupies are constantly praising him for nothing."

There was silence for a while before Trisha's head popped up in thought. She observed Essa briefly and then her gaze travelled to Creston who was preoccupied with his group of friends. As she turned back to look at Essa, Sophia caught her eye and she smiled deviously. If anyone was to shrink Creston's ego, Essa Evans was the one to call. She was pretty and a true feminist.

Smiling wickedly, she realised that Essa just noticed her scheming expression and she was greeted with Essa's questioning brow.

"Actually Soph," Trish began. "I think I might have found the right person for the job,"

It was then and there that Trish's gaze narrowed on Essa and Sophia nodded her head in agreement – a joyful expression on her face. Essa didn't share the look of bliss with her friends. Instead Essa was frowning at the two of them who were suddenly chatting amongst themselves in an excited manner.

Crossing her arms, she leaned back in her chair and cleared her throat, waiting to be acknowledged. When she had her friends' attention she gave them a stern stare.

"You guys are crazy," she stated shaking her head. "There is no way I'm doing whatever you've got planned."

"Come on Ess," Sophia sulked. "You won't have to do anything, I mean just try and close the distance between the two of you,"

"You mean you want me to grovel over him like the rest of his parasites?" Essa queried with disgust, her mouth pursed into a tight line. "No. Way."

It was Trish's turn to intercept. "No, you don't have to do that 'cause he'll just lose interest in you after a day." She explained, "You have to be different to the other girls. You have to…" There was a short moment of silence before Trish came up with the words, "Be you!" She half shrieked and smiled at the confused expressions on both Essa's and Sophia's face.

"Well, guys usually like the chase and since you, Essa, didn't appear to like him at first glance, I'm sure he'll be swarming over you to try to get your attention. So you two finally met today and had a bit of an exchange and you probably won't be speaking to one another. But," she accentuated able to see that Essa was about to protest. "If you made yourself appear more in his life – in his social activities – I'm sure he'll soon chase after you and that would be an opportunity to crush that ego of his."

Finally able to speak, Essa shot out her first question. "Why would I want to waste my time on a jerk like him? And it's a little cruel don't you think?" She asked as the three of them shifted to study Creston.

His current girlfriend was huddled in his lap but he was paying no attention to her since a pretty brunette was busy flirting with him. Cassandra appeared as if she was about to pounce on the brunette but he had stopped her by giving her a quick peck on the cheek.

This had to be one of the lowest things Essa had ever witnessed in her life. Sophia and Trish were staring at her in a 'what-were-you-saying' fashion and she backed down a little.

"Okay, so it sounds like a good plan but have you guys forgotten that Creston Spencer is also Chris' buddy?" She fired at them. "He will kill me if he found out our motives and you two won't be facing his wrath."

"So there are a few loopholes here and there, but we'll figure something out. We're all in this together; all for one and one for all." Trish stated her gaze fixed behind Essa who had her back facing the main entrance to the cafeteria. "Speak of the devil," she muttered her eyes falling to her watch. "I have to go. I have to see Mr. Shipper about a class transfer."

"Hey, I have to scoot too." Sophia informed and smiled apologetically at Essa, "Ms. Atkins wants to talk to me again."

"She still hasn't given up?" Essa asked and received a mouthed 'no' from Soph.

Essa shook her head at Soph.

Sophia Teague was a tall, intelligent girl with brown curly hair topped with dark brown eyes. She was academically gifted but refused the many offers the teachers had thrown at her to compete with other schools due to her painfully shy nature.

"We'll see you soon," Trish announced and left the cafeteria with Sophia alongside her.

Now seated alone, Essa pulled out her sketch book deciding to continue with her drawing.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tynan Welling entered the cafeteria scanning the room for a brief moment. To his left he could see his group of mates seated and chatting up girls as usual. As he passed many smiling faces, his eyes caught the lone figure located towards the back of the cafeteria. She was sitting with her back towards him; her body leaning over the table.

It was obvious she was drawing in that sketch pad of hers. Silently approaching the table, a few females waved at him in greeting. Grinning back at them he continued to walk past, able to hear a few sighs here and there. Smirking to himself, he took the seat across from Essa – one of the only females who didn't really pay him any attention.

She was still busy colouring and erasing, adding some tone to her masterpiece as he cleared his throat to announce his presence. Leaning over, blue eyes studied the almost finished picture.

"I thought you had soccer practice today," he heard her say.

Gazing at her with his ocean blue eyes, he grinned at her which caused her to quirk a brow at him in response.

"It got cancelled so I decided to spend some quality time with you, Ginger Ale."

To his satisfaction an irritated look crossed Essa's features before her attention fell back to the finishing touches for her sketch. He had given her that name since they were young. The 'Ale' part stood for her full name.

"You know I hate that name," she breathed.

"And you know I love it," Chris replied, his grin widening. "It's so brilliant."

"Stop smirking," she ordered without looking up and he knew he had won the argument.

A few girls approached their table, gawking at Chris and giggling softly. The red head was the first to settle down as she stepped forward to speak to Chris.

"Do you mind if we sit here with you?" She asked, ignoring the fact that Essa was sitting right across from Chris and that the two were conversing.

Rolling her eyes, Essa observed in silence as her best friend pushed a seat out for the red head and her other two friends. She wanted to say that she cared but decided to go against that urge.

Sitting silently, she was pleased by the fact that none of the girls took notice of her. Instead they had their eyes set intently on Chris, bursting into fits of giggles at the lame things he expelled.

"Will you be interested in coming to my party this weekend?" the red head inquired in a flirtatious fashion. She placed her index finger on Chris's left knee, tracing small circles on his kneecap. "I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun."

"We'll have a lot of fun," added one of the red head's friends.

Chris threw her a dazzling smile, one that was sure to have made many girls blush. He wasn't surprised at the pass the three ladies were giving him; he was after all one of the most well respected males at school. His reputation was based on the people he hung around and his rugged looks. The females really loved his shaved beach blonde hair and his sky coloured orbs.

Lifting his head, his eyes drifted over to Essa. She was ignoring him and she was doing it gracefully.

A male voice broke Chris out of his thoughts, "Tynan," Jensen called. "Hello ladies," he greeted, referring to the pretty red head and her two brunette friends. "Creston rescheduled soccer practice," he said to Chris, "Since today's practice was cancelled because of some sport tournament, he wanted us boys to make up for it in our own time."

"Oh, can we come and watch?" piped one of the brunettes whilst flicking her hair in what she thought was an appealing fashion.

Wanting to stand and walk away from the pathetic scene before her, Essa snapped closed her pad. She began to stand from her chair but it appeared this had caught the attention of Chris and his cronies. Hiding behind her fringe, she returned their stares with a challenging look.

There was an amused expression on her best friend's face – his eyes twinkling with laughter. Summoning enough courage, she placed a few of her long jet-black wavy hair behind her ears before speaking.

"I just can't wait to tell the girls about this practice session," she squealed in mock delight. Her eyes locked onto Jensen, "You will be playing in the park that's across from Chris's house right?" She asked in a high pitched voice, she was trying to imitate the many girls at school.

Jensen seemed to be taken aback by her, it was evident he remembered who she was from this morning. Shifting her attention to Chris, she gave him what she hoped was her best inquiring-trying-to-be-cute look. The amusement showed in his eyes.

"Uh, yeah," he replied and turned to Jensen. "At five right?" He asked.

Jensen could only nod.

Imitating the giggles she had heard earlier, Essa flicked her dark glossy hair back. She inwardly cringed at how brainless she sounded when she had giggled. She was aware of Jensen gawking at her as if she had just grown another head and how the three girls were glaring at her because of the attention she was receiving. Unable to leave without finishing what she had started, Essa leaned over the table so that she was almost face to face with Chris.

"I bet you're the best player on the soccer team handsome," she breathed, giving him a smirk before walking away. She almost gagged for calling her best friend 'handsome', though the looks that followed her were worth it. At least she got a laugh out of it.

Essa was sure that Jensen and the other girls had been frightened to have witnessed her attempt to flirt. But she was only giving those girls a taste of their own medicine. She was merely trying to show them what she saw whenever they flirted with guys.

Usually she would have never bothered to make such a scene, but she had been bored and decided to add a little more jargon in her life. It was after all her final year, and what better time to have a little fun than now?

As the bell sounded, she released a sigh of happiness – relieved that it was her final class and she was spending it with her female friends.