Chapter One

It started with a phone call. I had no idea that answering it could change everything I once knew, but, then again, I had no idea who could be on the other line. And if I knew what it would bring me, I can't help but wonder… Would I have ever even picked up?

The day started off normally, just like any other day would- waking up to the frostbitten weather, white ice crystals fluttering form the graying white sky, sticking to my window so that it was almost impossible to see out of. It was winter.

The white light that filtered into my room was reassuring, beautiful through my eyes. It was something to wake up to, if you had to wake up at all. At least, that's how I saw it.

I yawned and stumbled around my room, getting ready for yet another day of school- something I didn't quite dread, but something I found that I couldn't look forward to, exactly. It's the way every teenager looks at it, I suppose.

It took almost an hour for me to get completely ready, teeth cleaned, hair up, and fully clothed. I grabbed my backpack, slid on my boots, and made my way downstairs.

The house was silent- vacant. I was the only one there, which was how the story usually went. My mother worked as a realtor a dozen or so miles away, and it always seems to occupy her time. My father… well, I wasn't exactly sure what he did, but I knew that it took up a lot of his time. His job had something to do with autopsies and morgues and all of that gruesome stuff. Whatever it was that he did, both of my parents were usually home by nightfall. At least, when things would work out right.

I sighed into the silence, setting my backpack onto one of the dining room chairs and grabbing a piece of bread. That would have to be my breakfast for the day. Truthfully, I never really did eat much. Some of my friends thought it was because of some eating disorder, but my parents told me that it was natural for a girl like me. I never quite understood what they meant, but I never questioned it- I had learned that my father generally knew best, so why dwell upon what he may say?

I know, I must sound so obedient. The perfect daughter. Right. Believe me, that's not the case. In fact, I used to challenge my parents all of the time. But then I started to realize that they were always right, and I usually… well, wasn't. So, when it came to some things, I decided to start listening to them. It's actually worked out quite well, I can say. Nothing terrible has happened yet, at least.

Finally, I knew that time couldn't wait much longer. I wrapped my winter coat around me, threw my backpack over my shoulder, made for the door, and braced myself for the burning cold that I knew I would be in contact with in less than a moment. I opened the door, clenched my teeth, and made my way out into the snowy bliss.

Truth be told, I was being way too overdramatic about the cold. Honestly, I liked it- it never quite affected me like it seemed to annoy all the others. I almost loved the way that the cold would seep through my humongous coat, cooling me down in a way that I knew a nuisance to the others- the frozen air kept me as calm as I ever could be, and helped me keep my mind clear and intact.

I ambled in the direction of the school, not exactly wanting to get there- the cold, the snow, it all put my mind to peace. But I knew that, as soon as I entered the building, it'd all be disrupted and everything that was life would become drama again. That's one thing that I had never liked about being a teenager- the overwhelming, hormone fueled drama. It was too much for anyone to take.

But, eventually, all good things have to end. I arrived at the school, almost dreading the moment I entered- the loud hallways of screaming high school students and classrooms of lecturing teachers didn't exactly quell my many headaches.

As I opened one of the double doors that led into the school, heat flooded throughout my body immediately- it was too hot for comfort, if you would have asked me, but everyone else seemed to bask in it. I had decided quite some time ago to just ignore it.

I stared down as I walked through the hall, hoping that no one that I knew would notice the fact that I had arrived- my headache was already beginning to throb. I knew that people would only make it worse.

"Jayde!" I heard someone call.

I sighed- so much for keeping out of sight. I glanced up to see my friend Laine heading straight for me. I use the term "friend" very loosely, you should know. I would say "stalkers", but I'd feel rude. So I just stick with the former.

"Hey," she said as soon as she had made it to my side.

"Oh, hi Laine," I said, trying to hide my disappointment. "How are you?"
"Completely exhausted!" she exclaimed with a small laugh. "You see, I was up all night because Jared Lowry had this party, and-"

Laine continued on, but I didn't pick up much more- for someone who claimed to be extremely tired, she sure could talk a mile a minute. The words buzzed into my head, quickly making my headache worse.

"Hey, I've got to get up to the chemistry lab to give Mr. Schaffers something real fast, alright?" I asked, cutting off her incessant chatter. "I'll catch up with you later."

She offered me a grin. "Of course! I'll finishing telling you about the party in English."

"Um, sure. Can't wait," I said, trying to sound sincere when, secretly, I was now starting to dread that class. If Laine was good at anything, it was putting these daily headaches to the extremes.

"Same here!" she said, her grin still in place.

I smiled slightly, just to be nice, then turned and walked away.

I'm probably seeming so rude to you. And maybe you're right. But I didn't ask to be friends with any of these people; I just chose not to turn them down. It was too hard for me to do anything like that- I hated having to disappoint people, even if I didn't like them.

Instead of going to the chemistry lab, I headed for my locker- they were in the same direction anyway. When I finally made it, I realized that I wasn't the only one there.

I smiled slightly to myself. "Hey Kara," I called, joining her at our shared locker.

She turned to me, sweeping her honey-hued blond hair out of her face. She gave me a small, shy smile. "Hey, Jayde. How are you?"

I smiled. You see, this is a girl that I could call my friend and actually mean it. This girl could always brighten my day- at least, she never seemed to be the reason for an increase of the pounding in my skull.

"I'm fine, thanks," I said, giving her a grateful look that she seemed to understand. "A bit of a headache though…"

She gave me a concerned look as she grabbed her books out of our locker. "You have those a lot lately, I've noticed… do you think it's something you should look into?"

I shook my head. "Naw," I said. "I've talked to my dad about it… he claims that it's some genetic thing. I don't really understand, but he doesn't see the use of going to a doctor for it- he says it's pointless."

She still looked a little worried, but shrugged anyway. "Alright… if he thinks that's best. So, are you ready for that Pre Calculus test that's coming up?"

I shook my head, my dark hair swaying as I did so. "Not at all," I replied. "But I'll take whatever score I can get, I guess."

She smiled. "I know what you mean- it's way too complicated. But that's what we get for being in an honors class, huh?"

"I guess so," was all that I said.

Kara hesitated, her gaze moving from me to the hallway that was slowly emptying of students. "Well… I'd better get going," she said finally. "Hopefully I'll talk to you later."

I smiled. "Alright. Bye."

She waved, gracing me with her infamous kind smile, then turned and walked away. Honestly, out of all of the people I hang out with, I'd have to say that Kara was always my favorite. She was always so nice to everybody, no matter how cruel they could be. No one deserved her hospitality, but they all got in anyway.

I grabbed my books and headed towards History, my first class. Not the most exciting, but there were always the interesting times, like when Mrs. Fitzgerald, the teacher, would add mythology and legend into out lesson. That always seemed to grab my interest the most- whether it were gods from different religions, or some folklore characters such as mermaids or vampires. That always seemed to keep me on task.

Today, though, I just wasn't so lucky. It was an introduction to Europe's history, something I couldn't find very interesting. So, instead, I let my mind drift away; away from the teacher, away from the class, and into some new world where everything made sense to me- obviously, it wasn't anything like the reality we lived in.

No, not at all. In my world, logic just didn't make sense- not completely, that is. I mean, not in the same way. In my world, numbers were just scribbles, and scientific explanations were just gibberish. In my head, the world ran on intuition- something I had always relied on. Everything was based on what I heard, on what I saw, on what I felt- the way it should've been in real life.

The sad part of truth was that school took away the very best of me. Everything there was about knowledge- gaining it, using it, remembering it. But something about me rejected most of what we learned- my reaction was never based on knowledge, but instead intuition. Somehow, my gut feeling was always right. It made me feel almost animalistic, using my senses rather than my logic. But it just seemed so right.

My train of thought was interrupted as something banged against my desk. I looked up into Mrs. Fitzgerald, who sat holding her ruler. "Glad that you could join us, Miss Beauregard," she said, her voice distasteful. Mrs. Fitzgerald could be a great teacher, as long as you were paying attention- once you drifted off, she could be as volatile as a pipe bomb. "Now will you please explain to me what the book meant by that last paragraph?"

I glanced down at my own book- open, but obviously on the wrong page. I glanced back up at her, trying to use my most innocent expression. "I'm sorry… I just haven't gotten much sleep lately… I'm not sure why. I just… I find it so hard to concentrate."

The teacher's face became a bit less strict- Mrs. Fitzgerald had always had a soft spot for me, like many of the other teachers. I'm not really sure how that works, but somehow, it does.

"Well…" she said, seeming hesitant. "Talk to your parents about that. If it gets too bad, at least. We can't have you dozing off every day. Besides, teenagers at your age need rest."

With that, she turned away from me, not even bothering to pester me about the fact that I obviously hadn't been paying attention. This was nothing strange, though- with me, this is nothing short of normalcy. You can call me a teacher's pet all you want, but I could care less. With benefits like these, I'd take the title any day.

As her attention was brought upon another student, I immediately let my mind wander again. You know, what I had said before wasn't a complete lie- about the lack of sleep, that is. But that was just natural for me. It was like insomnia was a great friend of mine, one that would lend its company every night, one that I would invite acceptingly. Sometimes I could sleep a little, but most of the time I'd try to no avail. Somehow, I was never really tired- not like I knew I should have been, at least. I was fine with it though- it sounded better than what others went through, so tired that they would collapse. I had yet to understand what that was like.

By the time the bell rang, I was buried deep inside my own little world, and Mrs. Fitzgerald had yet to interrupt it again. I knew that she wouldn't- not until some other day. It always worked that way.

I threw my bag over my shoulder and ambled out of the room, keeping my head bowed so that my dark hair fell in front of my face. Again, I was hoping that I would go unnoticed in the large crowds of the hallway. Again, I failed.

"Jayde!"

I sighed, then poked my head up. It was Ian, another classmate who had zeroed me out as a friend. One of way too many, if you asked me. I know that I'm not really in a position to complain, considering that there are tons of girls who would love to be me right now, but I try my best to disregard that fact. Remembering it just made it all the worse for me.

"Hey, Ian," I said with a smile, putting my friendly, patient façade back on.

"Hey," he said, returning my smile with a huge grin. "Didn't see you this morning…"

"I had to go down to the chemistry lab," I said, using the same lie as I had before- I had learned that, when you change your story too many times, complications would arise.

"That's cool," he said, though I could tell that he would have rather me with him than at some scientific lab that the school owned. "Well, I'm glad you're here. I was almost afraid that you wouldn't have made it today!"

I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, that would have been horrible, wouldn't it have been?"

He nodded in sincere agreement, causing me to sigh. I didn't understand what it was with him. He was like a puppy, I guess. You know, the kind that craved attention from a companion, that would complain and whine until you gave it to him. And if you left him alone for too long, he'd go crazy.

"Well…" he said hesitantly, noticing that we were passing the stairs that he would have to descend to get to his class, "I guess that I'll see you at lunch, Jayde."

"Of course," I said, offering him one last smile. "See you."

He smiled back, and I turned away before he got the chance to say any more- I knew that he would never turn away if had the chance. Honestly, he was a great friend- polite, loyal, a lot like my other companions. But something about the fact that he seemed obsessed with me scared me just a bit- I was trying so hard to shrug them all off in the politest way possible. With them around, constantly bothering me, it was almost impossible to ever really enjoy the world that I had created in my head. I know how rude I'm sounding, but it was true- I appreciated that they were all so great to me when I hardly even deserved it, but something in me begged to be alone. It had always been like this- I was better as a loner than to try and mix with others, where I felt so awkward and out of place.

So, that's just me for you, I guess. I'm like the complete opposite of the normal teenage girl- I'm the popular student who would do just about anything to be the loner.


Author's Note: Okay, so, here's the next chapter! Yeah, it's really slow right now... But I guess that's most beginnings, no? Anyway, I'd like to thank Var, Violet, and Belching Banana Butter. You guys are the reason that this chapter is up! ^^

Anyway, if you happen to read this, please give me input- on how to improve, or what I should definitely keep doing, or something of the sort. Criticism is always great! I just want to know what you think.

Anyway, thank you!

-Autumn