I walked tentatively into the main office of the high school. The secretary smiled. She had blonde hair in a loose bun, and she had kind grey eyes. I walked over to her desk, gripping my messenger back strap tightly.
"H-hi, I'm Alice Jackson. I-I just transferred here."
"Hi, Alice. I'm Ms. Howe. Let me find your transcript, it's in my box somewhere," she said as she rolled to the other side of the desk. She shuffled through two trays of papers before holding one up. She looked at it skeptically, and then she rolled back over to where I was.
"Okay," she said, "you need to go to Mr. Pack's class, and he'll give you the rest of your classes." She handed me a piece of paper that had four buildings. One of them was labeled Math and Science; one was labeled History and the Arts; one was labeled Gym; the last one, which was the smallest, was labeled Governor's school. A room in the History and Arts building was highlighted, and so was the main office.
"Okay, so Mr. Pack's room is here, and I'm here, right?"
"Yes, you need to exit here, go left, enter that building, and follow the signs to room 1017. Give him this map, and this note," she said as she scribbled said note, "And tomorrow, I want you to come back here and ask me any questions you may have. Have a great first day!" I left the office and followed her instructions. The layout of the school was simple; it would just take some getting used to. I was used to a small school, a small rural school, and now I'm in a big suburban school. Yes, it would take a lot of getting used to.
I reached room 1017, and I knocked lightly. The door opened and a man, oh I'd say he was in his early forties, appeared. His slightly graying, dark hair was beginning to recede. He had brown eyes and glasses. He smiled and gestured me into the room. He closed the door and walked over to me. I handed him the map and the note.
"Class, this is Alice Jackson, and she just transferred here from," he pushed his glasses closer to his face, "Tennessee. Please make her feel welcome. You may sit in the free seat next to Mr. Cooper, Ms. Jackson." I sat down in the only open seat and sat my bag down. "Mr. Cooper" had black shaggy hair and it looked like black eyeliner. He also had a lip ring. His eyes were black, but I suspected they were contacts. He didn't look mean; on the contrary, he looked like a happy go lucky person copying the emo crowd.
"Hey, I'm Chase. Chase Cooper."
"So Alice, what do you think of Washington?"
"Big, I mean, compared to what I'm used to."
"Was it nice in Tennessee?"
"It was very homey, and my school was very small."
"That's cool." We sat in silence.
"Ms. Jackson? Can you come here, please?" I got up and walked to Mr. Pack's desk in the back of the room. He handed me back the map and my schedule.
"Here is your schedule, as you see, we have blocks. Today is English, Science, and drama, your elective this semester. Tomorrow will be history, math, and gym. Every morning you will report here after you go to your locker. Your locker is here," he pointed to a circle on the map, "We still have a quarter of an hour of homeroom left. Tell Mr. Cooper he is to accompany you to your locker. This is your combination, and you will receive your textbooks at the end of the day."
"Thank you." I walked back to my desk and Chase looked at me.
"Mr. Pack would like me to inform you that you are to accompany me to my locker," I said. Chase's face broke into a wide grin. The fact that he was so easy-going and the fact that I may already have found a friend brightened my outlook of this new place.
"I love your hair, Chase."
"Yours is pretty cool, too." I twisted my blonde, not my natural color, hair around my finger. I had my bangs in my face and the tips were purple along with the tips of my hair, which was in a side ponytail.
"Thanks," I said, "but no comment on my amazing designer clothes?"
"They're amazing, too," he said, then we both started laughing. My clothes were far from designer. I had a off the shoulder black shirt that went to mid-hip, a white, thick-strap tank top under that, grey jeans, and black skater shoes. The shirt had a shiny silver electric guitar printed on it. I did love my messenger bag, though. I made it out of black canvas, and I put silver studs in, and I connected them with purple sharpie to say 'Rock Out'.
"Thanks," I said after I stopped laughing.
"Here's your locker, Alice," Chase said, hitting it once with his fist, "Let me see your combination."
"O-okay," I said questioningly. I handed him the small piece of paper. He read through it quickly, turned the knob on the lock left to a number, then right to another. He banged it three times and it popped open.
"Here you go."
"What the hell did you just do?"
"Well, you see, if you turn the knob to the first number going left, then you put it on seven going right, then you bang it three times, and it opens!"
"How did you figure that out?"
"The janitor told me."
"I guess the janitors are nice."
"Yeah, especially when you save them food from a party. I told him that it took me too long to go to my locker in between classes, so he told me."
"Cool," I said as I hung a mirror up on the inside of the door of my locker. I took out two binders, my math and science binders, and then I made sure my gym uniform was in easy reach.
"How do you already have a uniform, but not textbooks?"
"My mom came here yesterday and picked it up. They didn't have my textbooks ready when she came."
"Sure she did. Are you sure she didn't steal it from some poor, gym uniform-less soul?"
"Okay, I gotta say, that was funny," I said in between peals of laughter.
"I try, I try." We walked back into the room.
"Hey, what's your next class?"
"I have an idea," Chase said.
"Hold on," he said, then he faced the class, "Who has English next with Mrs. Greevy?" Four hands shot up.
"Who'd mind showing Alice to where her next class is?" Three of the hands went down. A, I must say, rather cute guy with light brown hair and sparkling green eyes smiled at me.
"I don't mind, Chase." He had a voice filled with self-confidence.
"Its fine, Blaine, I don't mind showing her," Chase said, his voice rather strained.
"He can show me, Chase. It's okay," I said. He opened his mouth to argue, then he sighed, shook his head, and sat back down. I stared at him, confused, before sitting next to him.
"What's wrong with him?"
"You'll find out soon enough," he said, his face in his hands. Gosh, now I was nervous. I looked over at that person. Real nervous.
"Hey, I'm Blaine. Blaine Mett."
"Alice Jackson, Alice."
"Pleasure to meet you, Alice." He accentuated the "pleasure", making it sound like, er, something else.
"Nice to meet you, too, I guess." I didn't look him in the eyes, but I looked at the door numbers instead.
"So, do you like it here?"
"Its fine," I said, still looking at the doors.
"Hey," he said, his tone making me turn my head. My eyes locked with his.
"Y-yeah," I managed to ask meekly.
"What are doing this afternoon?"
"So how about you hang out with me," He asked, his face of conceit planted firmly on his features again.
"Oh, I can't sorry." I could tell he was a womanizer. A big one at that, too. I could see why Chase didn't want me hanging around him.
"Then maybe tomorrow." He sat in his seat before I could reply. Oh, apparently I was in the classroom. I walked over to Mrs. Greevy, a short, graying woman.
"Hi, ma'am. I'm Alice Jackson, and I just transferred here."
"Yes, yes. You may sit in the empty seat in the second row." I turned and saw a girl, animatedly talking to someone else, next to the seat Mrs. Greevy pointed to. I sat my stuff down. The girl turned towards me, scoffed, and then moved. Another girl with neon pink hair took her seat.
"Hi, I'm Lydia. That's Candy; she takes that seat to talk to Blaine. I don't like either of them. Though, Blaine is better than Jeff. Jeff is going out with Ashley, Kaleigh, and Talli at the same time. Then again Talli is going out with Jeff and Michael. Michael is easy to take advantage of, though. So it's not really dating. Oh, and Kaleigh is moving so I guess that doesn't really count. So Jeff is going out with Ashley and Talli, but I think he's going to break up with Talli; Ashley has a suspicion. He's gonna have to break up with her to keep his reputation, and anyway he thinks she's happy enough with Michael, even though they're not technically dating."
"Is it okay that I have no idea who those people are?"
"Yeah, I like to keep in the know. And you're new. What's your name?"
"I'm Alice Jackson."
"Nice to meet you, Alice. I'm generally very hyper and today is no exception. So, do you like it here? I love it here, it's so fun! There's so much to do and so many people to meet!"
"I don't know; today's my first day, so I haven't checked out the extracurriculars."
"Well, you need to! Do you play guitar? I play drums!"
"I play electric guitar or acoustic. I want a B.C. Rich guitar, but they're really expensive. If I knew someone cool who plays bass, we could have a band."
"Chase Cooper plays."
"He didn't tell me that."
"You know Chase?"
"Yeah, Chase is cool. He's in my homeroom, and we were just talking."
"Yeah," Lydia said, looking down. I had the feeling that she like-liked Chase.
"What do you know about Blaine Mett?"
"Too much! He's really smart, but he doesn't apply himself; he's normally skipping class. Then, he dates any girl who looks at him, which is every girl basically. I have to say, he is cute. He's a huge jerk, though. He likes to press girls to do, er, stuff that not all girls want to do. It's sick, really."
"But never more than one at the same time?"
"Not that I know of; I think he thinks he's not smart enough to pull it off. He is, though. He could easily be the smartest guy in the class."
"Wow, seems like a normal rocky home life teenage guy."
"It is, Alice, it is. His dad's a coke addict, and he abuses him and his mom. He never really goes home if he can help it."
"How do you know this much about him?" Lydia blushed scarlet.
"I went out with him," she said.
"I'm so sorry," I said.
"The thing is, when he's not near his groupies, he can be nice. But he chooses not to be. I saw him in a moment of weakness, where he thought he was alone."
"Yeah. Anyway, Mrs. G is about to start." Sure enough, she was walking to the front of the room with a few pages of notes and glasses. I started to get out a sheet of loose-leaf.
"Don't bother; she posts them all online," Lydia whispered. I put my binder back on the floor. I looked around the room; eyes had already glazed over and she hadn't started yet. This was going to be long.
Two and a half hours later, the bell woke up every single person in that room. Including me. Yeah, I fell asleep about a half an hour in, which was later than everyone else there. Mrs. Greevy didn't say anything; she just plowed on through her notes.
I hoped that science would be more fun. Mr. Louis sounded cool from what Lydia said. I walked into the classroom and the first thing I saw was a giant red bulletin board. It was covered in newspaper clippings and website printouts. Then my eyes were attracted to the red curtains. I walked around all of the groups of desks and went up to Mr. Louis.
He seemed to be a just-out-of-school teacher. He looked about twenty-four with his reddish hair spiked. That's not something you see with a lot of teachers! I let go of my blanket of anxiety and handed him the note from Ms. Howe. He smiled at me and then looked around the room.
"Alice? You can sit in the empty seat next to the window. I take it you know Chase and Blaine? Maybe you can be the peacekeeper for those two. I swear they're always at each other's throats," he said, though I think the last part was more for him.
"Thanks, Mr. Louis," I said and sauntered over to the group of tables where Chase was. And Blaine. Ugh! Why was I constantly stuck near him? My teachers did that in Tennessee. There was this one girl whom I greatly disliked, and I was always stuck next to her! I mean, it wasn't even the fact that I looked at her and said I don't like you; we just didn't get along no matter how hard I tried to.
But I digress.
I sat down and Chase grinned at me. Blaine waggled his eyebrows at me. Ew! Mr. Louis got up in front of the class and leaned on his desk.
"Okay, guys and girls, as you've probably already noticed, we have a new student," he motioned for me to stand up; "This is Alice Jackson from Tennessee. I expect all of you to be nice. If you aren't, well, I'll know. Trust me." He looked like he meant it, too. I looked over at Chase.
"How will he know?"
"He listens to the gossip and is head of the 10th grade at our school for the NEA," Chase whispered back to me. So this teacher was like a well-tuned radio. Cool.
Mr. Louis started class with role call and then he started writing random words on the board. After a few minutes he seemed satisfied and looked around the room. His eyes stopped on Blaine.
"Mr. Mett; would you mind telling me how these words are related?" Blaine's eyes scanned the board quickly. The collection of words was obviously a trick. How could 'glass' and 'rope' be related?
"Everything you put up on the board can be made by elements occurring in nature. The left words are items that can be made without altering the object too much; the right side consists of things that need to be chemically altered to be formed from nature."
"Correct. I'm glad to see you put forth some effort in our discussions today." Blaine shrugged, flashed me a smile, and then looked out the window. Chase sighed. I looked at him in question, but he shook his head. I turned my attention back to Mr. Louis.
"—so work with your groups to find things that come from live organisms that we use everyday."
"So what are we doing," I asked Chase.
"We have to come up with a list of items we use everyday that come from living organisms."
"To show us that living creatures provide many things for us. It's biology, this is what we do," Blaine said. I scowled at him.
"You know you want me." I saw Chase go white with anger.
"Yeah, you only wish." Crap, my temper was getting the better of me.
"Brrrrr, that was cold!" Now Chase was shaking. If Chase blew up at Blaine, Blaine would probably get absolutely horrible.
"Anyway," I said forcefully, "let's get started. Blaine, can you write these down?"
"Sure, baby." Now I glared at him. He had no right to call me that.
"Don't. Call. Me. That. Ever. Again." I actually felt my ice blue eyes turn steel-gray. They did that when I was mad. Blaine flinched. I smirked.
"Anyway," Chase said, "we wear clothes, which comes from cotton. Most of the time."
"Then there's leather," Blaine interjected.
"I think killing animals for anything but food is wrong, unless you're using other parts to survive. Leather just because is cruel, like ivory," I said softly, "Well, we drink milk and eat cheese."
"Good one," Chase said.
"We eat meat," Blaine said. I sighed.
"Blaine, this project is to find objects we get from living things without slaughtering animals," Chase said through clenched teeth.
"Sorry! I get the feeling that you both don't like me. I understand you, Cooper, what with your girlfriend and all that. I don't get why you hate me, Alice."
"I don't hate you, but you're getting on my nerves."
"So, if you don't hate me, I bet we could get along just fine if you went out with me," he said. I chanced a glance at Chase. His face was in his hands. Control your temper, we don't need hostilities open this early, I thought.
"No, I don't think so. Now can we please get back to Biology?"
"Yes, let's," Chase said. I grinned at him. We continued to throw out suggestions and Blaine wrote them out. Fifteen minutes passed without our noticing.
"Now, class, we're going to read them all out loud. See, we're teaching each other. It's much more fun than lecturing, isn't it?" A loud chorus of agreement answered him.
"Good. Now, Jeff, can you give us five answers?" He nodded. The boy was tall and stocky. He looked like his ego needed it's own country. Was this the infamous Jeff that Lydia spoke of? I looked back at my teammates. Blaine had loathing burning in his eyes. Chase looked really mad as well.
Yep, this was the infamous Jeff. He read off his answers confidently. I wondered what he could have done to make Blaine hate him. Well, he could be taking all the girls and not leaving Blaine any. That seemed to fit.
I left class talking with Chase. He had band (saxophone), and I had drama. They were close together.
"So, why didn't you tell me you played bass?" He blushed.
"Where'd you hear that?"
"Lydia, erm, with the bright pink hair? Yeah, I was talking with her in English." His blush deepened.
"Oh. Well, yeah, I've played for a while now."
"Am I going to guess that, by your ever-increasing blush, that you like said girl with bright pink hair?" Now his neck was going red.
"N-no…. Why would you think that," he asked meekly.
"Come on; are you really that bad of a liar?" He shook his head.
"Normally I'm a good liar, but I get so nervous when I even think about her."
"Would you care for my advice," he nodded eagerly, "I'm pretty sure she likes you, too. Ask her out."
"But that-that-that is brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?"
"Because you thought that you would never be good enough for her?"
"I guess so. Are you sure, though?"
"No, but where's the fun if you know exactly how they feel?"
"Then I refuse to do it," he said stubbornly. I wasn't going to get anywhere, now. I would have to show him that she did, then.
"Well, here's the auditorium, I'll see you later," he said and stalked off. I shrugged then walked into the drama room. There were rows upon rows of theater seats. I walked down the center row and walked onto the stage, where other people were sitting. Some of them stared at me while I sat down, but most of them continued talking.
Looking around, I saw that I fit in with the décor nicely. Most of the dramadians had died hair and far-from-designer-clothes-and-knockoffs. Why were they all glaring at me? Maybe they didn't like change. But, aren't the dramadians forever changing their attitudes for their roles? Was it possible for me to be more confused than now? I don't think so.
A girl looked at me. She didn't seem angry, just mildly interested. This girl was not made with the drama mold. Jeez, was I stereotypical! Anyway, this was the girl with Hollister clothes and designer glasses. She turned back to her Abercrombie guy. Looking at the group around her, I could see that the dramadians were separated into two groups: Designers and Non-designers.
Did I stumble across a feud? Or was something happening today that attracted the Hollister/Abercrombie/American Eagle crowd? Were the dramadians mad at me because they thought I was trying to steal their spotlight? Or worse yet, did they think I was a poser?
When have I ever cared about what other people think of me? I made my decision and sat next to the Dramadians-from-the-mold. Some people gave me dirty looks, but I saw a hair color that I would recognize anywhere: bright pink. I was saved.
"Alice, why didn't you tell me you had drama? I mean, I could've walked with you! You see, you came at a high tension time. We have come upon auditions for our big winter show, and the preps want to steal our show. So many of the drama geeks think you have come to try and ruin our production. I'm just forewarning you. But if you want to get in the drama geeks' good books, befriend the queen geek. She's the girl with the asymmetrical cut and green bangs," Lydia said, pointing to the girl in the smack-dab center of the circle.
I swear, as I started to walk towards that girl, the dramadians parted. They created a path for me, and stared at me as I passed. How nice of them.
The queen geek raised an eyebrow at me. I raised one back at her. She smirked and stood up.
"Rachel Price. Captain of the Drama Geeks."
"Alice Jackson. New student," I said confidently. I do not back down from challenges.
"Well, Jackson, what's your business here?"
"According to my schedule, this is my class. Do you have a problem with that?"
"Nope, not one," She said, sitting back down. That was weird. Well, now the dramadians were open with me and the preps were ignoring me. Not like I cared. I sat down next to Lydia and was immediately pulled into a conversation about how fake crying should be done.
"If one cannot produce fake tears, than it should be done in one's hands," Greg said.
"But all good actors and actresses can do that, so it should always be done with the audience seeing the face."
"But Lydia, not all people can! Some people are good actors, but they can't fake cry!"
"Greg, just because you can't fake cry, that's not a reason to stick up for bad actors."
"Y'all should shut up, because this is starting to make fun of other's acting capabilities," I said.
"I concur," Greg said.
"Fine," Lydia said, "but this is not over, Greg."
"Shh, the Great Drama Master L will speak," Greg said. Guess who walked onto the stage? Mr. Louis! He must be much cooler than I thought he was if he taught drama. And I thought he was really cool to start with!
"Well, my prodigies, today is the first day of auditions for our play. Now, as you know, I've told anybody and everybody who would listen that auditions were today, so please welcome our newcomers. Speaking of newcomers, Alice Jackson is a new student here! Please don't be too hard on her," He paused, "And now, I will have each of you get with a partner and act out a scene of your favorite movie. Go!" Lydia stepped in front of me.
"Okay, I've seen practically every movie ever made, so pick one," she said.
"I don't know, Ella Enchanted?"
"Nice, one of my personal favorites!"
"I like the scene where Ella and Hattie have the debate, and where Ella's secret is worked out by Hattie," I explained.
"That'll be good. You remember how it goes?"
"Yes, yes I do. She stands up for the giants, and then Hattie goes 'Admit you're stupid and you don't know what you're talking about.' Then Hattie goes on about how great a king Char will be a great king, Ella makes a smartass comment about her liking his butt, and then Hattie says 'Hold your tongue!"
"Switch the tongue part and the 'admit you're stupid' part and you'll be good."
"Okay. I can do that," I said.
Ten minutes later, Mr. Louis had us all do our auditions. Guess who was trying out for the male lead? No, it's not Chase. It's my favorite person, Blaine. Of course! He loves attention, why didn't I think he was going to be here?
Lydia and I did our piece, extremely well, might I add, and then Mr. Brains came on. He and some other random dude did the scene from Romeo and Juliet where they're fighting. How original.
The rest of the people auditioned, and the Dramadians were much better than the preps. Though, they do have the drama queen parts down. Then again, that's what they are.
"Okay, tomorrow I will place the callbacks up in the main hallway. The next audition will be posted there as well. I shall warn you now that the next audition will have to be singles. Practice a monologue. Dazzle me with a song of your choosing. Just be ready when the time comes. You all may pack up and wait at the door," Mr. L said.
I picked up my binders and walked over to Lydia. She was talking animatedly to another random Dramadian. I stood near her, but not close enough to overhear her conversation. That would be rude.
"So, Alice, you did a good job," Blaine said. Of course.
"Although it pains me to admit it, so did you," I retorted.
"Ah, do I sense some hostility?"
"Now you've moved onto sarcasm, eh," he asked. He wasn't trying to be a jackass, but I still didn't like him a lot.
"Can't get anything past you, can I," I asked dryly. His response was cut off by the bell.
I exited the auditorium and walked quickly towards my locker. If I hurried I could get to my bus quickly and avoid….people. By people, I mean Blaine. In case you didn't pick up on that.
I opened my locker quickly and pulled out my bag. I shoved my binders unceremoniously into it. I snapped it shut, slammed my locker and raced off towards the bus loop. I reached the main hall when- bam! -I ran into somebody. I lost my balance and landed on my butt.
"I'm so, so sorry," I exclaimed.
"It's fine," he said. He looked up and I was stunned. Amazingly dark, curly hair, drop-dead gorgeous green eyes, chiseled features, dimples…. The absolute most gorgeous guy I have ever seen.
"I-I'm Alice," I said, quickly regaining my composure. He grinned; I almost died.
"Ryan," he said, offering me his hand. I took it and he pulled me up. I brushed off my butt.
"Well, I better get going," I said.
"Me, too. I'll see you around?" I nodded. He smiled again, my heart skipped a beat, and he walked away. Is love at first sight possible? As of now, I think it is.
I picked up my stuff and headed out towards the bus loop. I really hope the buses didn't already leave. I decided to run the rest of the way. I stepped outside as soon as the last bus pulled out.
My hands threaded themselves through my hair and I looked up, aggravated. At least I didn't have to walk home in the rain. It wasn't too cold outside, either. I guess someone decided that I didn't get enough exercise in gym. Then again, I could stand to lose a couple of pounds.
The walk home was about four miles long. My legs were protesting after the first one. I'm surprised I didn't immediately fall over upon reaching my house. Yeah, I was rather out of shape. I wasn't, you know, fat or anything, but I had a couple handfuls of chub. I need an exercise routine.
I sighed and started on my homework.
A.N. - Hello fair people! Well, I'm finally starting this story on fictionpress! I've been writing it for a while, but I kept it on my computer. Well, not much to explain. Any brand names you recognize are not mine. I'll update the next chapter when I get 5 reviews. That's not too hard, is it? With that said, please review! I'd love to hear any constructive critism (which I'll most likely refer to as con crit). Thanks for reading!