A story by Drips of Blue-Green Turpentine

Chapter One

"KEITH! WHERE DID YOU PUT MY FRENCH BOOK?" Once again I was searching for it. Keith, the utterly, annoying brother of mine had once again stolen it. Why? Because now that he is out of high school he thinks it's funny to drive me crazy every time I wake up in the morning. I could even hear him laughing down the hallway as I screamed at him. Annoyed, I tossed my long hair back over my shoulder as I dug around my room. It could not be in here. He must have taken it else where? But why did he have to be such an idiot?

"Having trouble sissy?" Keith mocked, appearing in my door way. He was tall, and despite his acne issue, many of the girls who used to go to my school found him attractive. Why I could never know. He had darker hair than me, his was nearly black while mine was light brown bordering on strawberry blonde. "Looking for un livre de francais?" He asked, still his tone was infuriating. I wanted to smack him, and nearly did, but he moved out of the way. He managed to grab the door knob and in the process of slamming it shut hit my hand - hard.

"OW! You bastard!" I screamed pulling my hand out of the door in rage. "I am late to school, on my first freaking day of class and you are being a jerk!" He only laughed and ran down the hall before I could pull the door open. I began to chase him, but before we could get far, my eldest brother Andrew barred Keith's way.

"What is going on?" Let it be to Andrew to make everything serious and without a joke. His tone said that he was not in the mood for mocking, of course, if he weren't just out of the shower, a towel around his waist, and his hair gelled back, we wouldn't have had trouble keeping stupid smiles off our faces. Regardless, we still paid attention to him. While our mother was on yet another of her little adventures down the lust and passion path, we have always been left with Andrew, who had treated us equally. He was just out of college, while my brother Keith was just entering college.

"He took my french book!" I declared. Keith rolled his eyes leaning against the wall. Andrew glanced at Keith who sighed.

"Fine, let it be to little miss prissy who can't have any fun." He said. He walked down into my room, I following him, while Andrew took the rear. He entered it and reached up to the top shelf above my desk, where I can't see, and pulled off my book. "You are so serious all the time." Keith muttered.

"As she should be, school is a serious business." He said with a disapproving expression.

When our father walked out on us as kids, it had always been Andrew who watched us. Eventually, he grew to be more and more like a father figure, especially when our mother wasn't even present, some times leaving us home alone for months while she went off to her boyfriend's house and played girlfriend for awhile, coming home on a few weekdays to pretend to have a normal family life. Andrew became so serious that he eventually became a defense attorney. He just finished his college courses for it, and was in the process of joining a firm, or more over deciding a firm. He -- has been excepted to about five now. He just can't figure out which one he likes best.

As for Keith, he was the one who would always act the trouble maker, and Andrew often had to pick him up from school once he was out of school himself because he got in trouble. He nearly dropped out of high school, because he never did his homework, instead prefering to skate board and graffiti up the town. Numerous times he was caught for underage drinking, and we were lucky when he was accepted to the local community college after all he did. He is now going to go into a feild that involved art and graphic design for advertistment. I expect he probably will not get far.

"Well then. Fine. I have to go get breakfast before I go and do nothing." Keith said, feeling proud about himself.

"Oh no you don't. I am going to do some more research on the law firms I am looking into, today you get to clean the house." Andrew corrected. Keith sighed.

"Come on!" Keith said. "You have to make me do all the work."

"You have nothing better to do-"

"Excuse me-- Underage child who needs a ride to school before she misses first period and has to get a tardy pass -- PARTY FOR ONE!" I intervened. Andrew glanced at me, then at Keith.

"Drive Lauren to school first, I have to get ready to leave. Then make sure you get this house clean, mom's coming home tonight-- with her new boyfriend."

"Mom? -- Wait, new boyfriend? Why is she bringing him here?" I asked.

"SCHOOL!" Andrew demanded before returning to his shower. Keith sighed, rolled his eyes, then glanced at me.

"Get your shit, I am not wasting an hour on getting you to school." He said before leaving my room. So nice, my brother is. Some days I want to kill him, but in the end he does stick up for me, when I actually need it. Though I prefer to just not have him at all.

I grab my bag, pushing my french book in amongst my Science, Reading book, and English Textbook, as well as my tennis bag before running down the stairs after my brother. I slide into his car, which is beat up, and basically a piece of junk he bought from the side of the street. He pulled out and turned onto the street.

I began to fiddle with the radio as he did so. "Don't touch that." He muttered.

"Why not?" I asked annoyed. He rolled his eyes.

"Because I wanted it to be on my station and you messed it up, good job little sister, great." He complained. I rolled my eyes putting it on a good station that played my favorite brand of pop music, but Keith didn't like that.

"Dude, put it back on Rap." He said.

"Don't dude me, and no, I like this singer." I said, singing the lyrics. He reached down and was about to fiddle with the controls, but I slapped his hand away. "You are driving, pay attention to the road."

"Shut up." He said proceeding to fiddle with the shit. I wanted to smack him, but I prefered not to get killed so I let him switch it to rap without protest, but didn't talk to him the rest of the ride. The ass hole, I think he should just be shot, really. I am so sick of my brother messing with my things and being a jerk to me in general.

This is the mood I entered Ashebury High in. Keith pulled up to the door, not bothering to say anything as I opened it and slammed it shut. I walked towards the doors, where tons of students were already rushing into. Of all the students, one grabbed my arm.

"OH MY GOSH! LAUREN!" She screamed. Ow... oww, my ears. She has a really high pitched voice. "I can't believe it, I haven't seen you forever. did you know that Josh and I broke up? Oh my god, he moved away and I was like, so so sad, and then did you hear about Hannah, she is pregnant, oh my god, the whore, you know? So anyway, I am arranging a homecoming party, I was wondering if you wanted to come, oh my god, you just have to come. I can't imagine what it would be like with out you! Are you playing tennis this year? Is that your tennis bag? Oh, this is awesome, I decided to join too! I bet I will be so good, I used to play with my mom and she was an awesome tennis player, and oh, did I mentio-"

"Mall -- Mall. I think you are going too fast." I said holding up my hands. Eh, I am never going to be able to hear out of my right ear again she is talking so damn loud. "You should go talk to-- that cute guy over there!" I announced pointing to a guy I think was Greg Hutchin, but I wasn't sure, because despite the fact that he was in my class, I didn't know every one, and he could have easily been someone else. Regardless, Mallory was instantly distracted, and I made my escape. Stupid twit. Red hair that looks dyed, but she claims it's natural. Whatever.

She takes off towards Greg, while I try to make my escape, but soon collide with my best friend; Tucker. Tuck shifts awkwardly, his hands resting on my upper arm as he tried to balance me, so I don't topple over. I smiled up at him, with a grin that looks like I ate too many cookies and was caught by her friend.

"Hey There -- Where you going so fast?" Tuck asks.

"Mallory." I reply, and then without hesitation he turned and sliding his arm down to my wrist, he drags me into an area not completely populated by people, a wider opening than the normal hall way. He glances around, but doesn't see what he is looking for. "Is she gone?" I asked, searching the crowds for Mallory. He glances at me, an awkward smile on his face.

"Yes, I think so." He says. "How was your summer?"

"Tuck!" I punch him. "You saw me yesterday, and the day saw me just about every day! What are you talking about ' how was your summer'?" I yelled. He laughes, falling back against a wall.

"I couldn't help it, I know you hate answering questions about stuff like that." I punch him again, only to result in him laughing. "You need to get some muscles." He murmured. He held my fore arms anyway to prevent me from hitting him again.

"OH, yea, you wouldn't be any better, you are skinny as hell-"

"No, I have muscles, they just aren't bulging." He said, offended.

"Psh-- I am soooo sure you do." I teased.

"It's true, I'm joining the football team, did I tell you?" He asked.

"No, that's cool, you are going to help us lose?" I asked, teasing again.


"HEY!" Ejected from the crowd comes Sarah, Jess following behind her seconds later. "I was wondering where the love birds were."

"N-" Tuck starts.

"We are just friends Sarah." I quickly correct. Tuck's face is on flames, and he is awkward again. I glance at him, a smile on my face. "We are just close from being friends." I said leaning in to peck him on the cheek, to which his face erupts in more flames. He can't help but blush when girls kiss him on the cheek. Sarah rolled her eyes, not thinking it's true.

"Oh, look-- There is Anthony -- Later!" Tuck says pulling from my grip and tossing himself into the mercy of the crowd.

"OH LADIES!" Mallory's voice calls from the crowd. She is tugging the kid I told her to say hi to earlier by his wrist, and it doesn't look good for us.

"Umm--- I have Spanish--" Sarah says, "So does Jess..." She and Jess disappear. I smile at Mallory.

"Sorry - I have to get to French... First day and all--" I say, Mallory glances at me, disappointed.

"But I thought you would like to meet Greg!" She chirped. Greg looked as if he didn't want to be here, and giving an apologetic glance towards him, I shrugged.

"Sorry Mall, but I really, really need to get to class." I tell her, before assimilating with the crowd. I let the crowd take me to where I need to go, everyone jostling me, I tried not to feel claustrophobic, but in a school this large, it was hard not to. Eventually I found my class room, a small one that had a banner over it that said "Mrs. Leight's French class." I tried not to get swept away by the crowd, that was still moving, but it was hard. Eventually I managed to duck under a rather large football player's arms and step into the door.

"Intense." Ezra Friar spoke. As in out loud. As in to me. He has never spoken to me. I turn my head slightly so he is in my line of sight. "I got out of that easy." Asshole. I don't reply to him, instead I walk to the closest available desk. Someone's stuff was on the desk next to it, but by the cover I could tell that the stuff belonged to Tuck.

Moments later Tuck appeared in the room. He glanced at Ezra who merely glared at him, before walking to the desk he had choosen. "What the hell is his problem?" Tuck whispered.

I shrugged, checking out Mrs. Leight who was staring at some papers waiting for people to come in.

"EZI!" A girl's voice shouted. She walked in and wrapped her arms around his neck, hugging him. Ezra smiled, wrapping his arms around her also and spinning her around.

"Eh -- annoying people." Tuck muttered under his breath, opening his note book to the summer work while I merely stared at the table. Tuck and I said nothing while I waited for school to start.

At 7 AM the bell to be in classes went off, and everyone was in a seat of their choosing. Mrs. Leight stood up, glancing around the room then, taking attendance for the kids she has had for the past two years already. The only time she put down her clip board was for the pledge, which she took with everyone before resuming her station.

"Bonjour etudiants!" Mrs. Leight said, saying hello effectively in a language of her choosing. "Vous avez eu un bon ete?" She asked. While a few, err, actually Meg Jarbins smiles, the rest groaned.

"J'ai eu un bon ete, Madame!" Meg said, her voice peppy, her friend Anna, who was one of the more popular girls in school rolled her eyes next to her. "Et toi, tu as eu un bon ete? Je suis alle au lac dans le ete avec mes amis. Anna aussi!" As always, the moment that Meg sticks her big nose into something, which ever teacher is in question smiles, bigger than any other teacher. Their eyes light up, and they basically shout for joy, because Meg Jarbins, the shining glory of our little High school, that has a roll call count of about 500 per grade or more, has spoken up.

"Very good!" The teacher says glancing at all of us as if we some how digust her. "Now how about the rest of you? What did you do this summer?" The teacher sighed. "Do you really want me to ask you in order?" She glanced around. "Fine. Let's start with Anna..."

Proceeding to ignore her now. "Did you see that that movie came out -- what was it? Amber Skylights? I heard it is good. Want to go?" Tuck is trying his best to be subtle, but he fails every time. I can tell the teacher's listening to his inability to whisper.

"Tuck, let's...listen?" I suggest. He falls silence for a moment, but then he glances around the room, and back at me quickly. He leans in close to my ear and whispers.

"Ezra is staring at you." I glance up and meet his gaze. He then promptly looks away, but I know I caught him. I glance at his friend, the strange girl who was always hanging off his arm or neck, then back at him. He raises his gaze to check if I looked away and our eyes meet again, but this time I feel very strange, and look back at my desk.

"This is strange." I whisper to Tuck, no longer caring if the teacher catches us or not. "He talked to me for the first time today also." I whispered. Tuck shrugs, not taking interest in this any more. Something tells me he is bothered by this new turn of events, but I decide to ignore it, instead pulling out a piece of paper and trying to sketch a bad verious of Mrs. Leight in action, but her eyes are off and so is the rest of her face from all the motions she makes. Eventually she reaches the girl next to Ezra.

"Mary, how was your summer?" She asks.

"Oh fine, Ezra and I hung out at our families houses with some friends. We had a few cook outs, and then we just sort of did our summer work." She said speaking for both her and Ezra. The teacher seemed to note this, but still didn't accept Ezra's silence yet.

"Do you have anything to add Ezra?" She asked. To that he merely shook his head, and his eyes switched from her to me again. I blushed, turning away and resuming facing front.

"Tucker? What about you?" The teacher asked.

"Ah, well I went camping, and Lauren came. She caught a huge fish, which was amazing, and her older brother's had a huge fight on the docks, and they ended up both falling in, and stuff. Then we came back, and mostly hung out with friends at the beach down town."

"I confirm his story." I added, turning back to my drawing, trying to see what could be salvaged, if anything. As it was the answer seemed to be no, so I put it away.

When the teacher was finished with the class she pulled out a piece of paper that we all knew. Seating charts.

"I know, I know, but last year you spent the entire year talking, so this year we have to try and fix that issue. You have already proven yourselves untrustworthy." Her eyes fell on Tuck. He ducked his head, not willing ot argue because he knew it was true. He ducked his strawberry blonde hair between his body and the desk as he smiled evily. I rolled my eyes, instead worried about getting seperated from my best friend to sit next to a strange.

"Everyone up!" Mrs. Leight says waving her hands around. I roll my eyes, not interested in moving, but standing up anyway, and walking around my desk to the front of the room, as the desk I choose was alreayd near the front. I glance up at Ezra and he is watching me, and doesn't look away when I notice him. I looked away again and towards the teacher. Mrs. Leight starts putting people down. Meg Jarbins retained a seat next to Anna, and was also set next to Mary who didn't look very pleased with her new seating partner. Tuck got put down next to a kid named Lawrence, but I had no idea who he was. Eventually she files down the names until there are six of us left, us including me, Ezra, and four other people. "Jesse." She points to a seat. "Ali." Another. "Ezra, and... Lauren." Shit. No. She didn't do this to me. Does she seriously hate me that much?

Ezra sits down in his seat, and I swear he has a smug expression on his face, but there is nothing I can say to it being smug because there is no realy way of saying it is smug besides the fact that he looks like he is going to break out in laughter. I slowly wander to my seat, begrudgingly halting after every step, before I finally put my books down. I hear Tuck whisper 'drama queen' to his new desk mate, but I don't remember who it is, but he glances at Ezra seconds later and I swear he is glaring. Ezra scoops a pencil from his pocket and glances at me. "I don't think your boyfriend likes me." He whispers. His voice is hollow and doesn't seem to have any real tone. It is sarcastic, and he seems to find it funny. Seems to enjoy torturing me.

"He isn't my boyfriend -- he is my friend." Ezra shrugged in response.

"Try telling him that?" He muttered and began to write down something. I hadn't noticed that we had started taking notes. I pulled out my notebook quickly to catch up with what I had obviously missed.

--Day one with Ezra... it sucks.

AUTHORS NOTE: ---..........I know, the story sucks too, but hey....psh.