Hello everyone. This is the re-done version of of my first story I ever wrote on fanfiction. I am warning you now it is going to be VERY different from what I had written before. I've kept the same concept and MOST of the plot the same but character's personalities, the dialogue, and a lot of other things are going to be completely different, and better in my opinion, so if you'd rather stick with the version you know then do not read this. Please read and review.

Chapter One: Brighter Days

By definition, a dream is a series of images, emotions, or ideas occurring subconsciously in one's mind. Throughout history, people have always felt their dreams were important, and felt they were reflections of the past and the future. Every night, I always had the same recurring dream. I would be standing on a pier looking out towards a large lake. I would watch the ripples of the water under the moonlight with a vacant and almost transfixed stare. Then a shadow would suddenly loom over me and I would feel lips at my ear. My heart would pound and chills would run down my spine. And that was when I would wake up gasping with cold sweat on my brow. This dream reflected one of my darkest secrets… and my worst memory.


Having a window seat during school was always a secret pleasure of mine, but here at the Alice Institute, looking out the window was a moot point. There was nothing outside but brown, barren grass and large gated fences surrounding the entire school. The only thing interesting to see was the occasional guard switch. I guess I could watch the students in my class, but if any of the girls caught you looking at them, a fight was destined to happen. So it was best to keep your eyes to yourself. Well, it's not as though looking at my peers was all that interesting. Usually, they would either be sleeping or terrorizing our teacher. Mr. Thomas was the textbook definition of the underpaid, overworked, and bitter teacher. He spent the majority of his time at the front of the room with his back turned to us, writing dates in history and speaking in a low monotone. He reminded me of Ben Stein, and his class often became our nap time. I couldn't really blame Mr. Thomas for not giving his best effort; no one here expected much of us. We were all pretty much expected to have a future involving minimum-waged jobs and raising children on government assistance. You see, Alice Institute was not a school, but a state institution. It is two notches above prison and one notch above Juvenile Hall. The students at this school are all boys and girls who were sent here by their parents because "they were concerned by the alarming behavior of their children." To keep it simple, we did something bad and our parents didn't want us around anymore. Whatever we had done was often less than a misdemeanor, but the majority of the students here have been in and out of Juvenile Hall multiple times, and their parents just gave up.

Just as I was about to fall asleep, the bell rang, signaling that it was the end of classes. The girls who had been awake quickly filed out the room while those who were asleep either remained asleep or opened their eyes blearily. I slowly gathered my things into the plain black book bag the school had given me. I was soon the last one in the room. I was about to leave, but then Mr. Thomas called my name.

"Solano, hold on for one minute." I rolled my eyes, annoyed. Why couldn't teachers ever just call me by my first name? It wasn't that difficult to pronounce or spell- Michelle. What's so hard about that?

"Yes sir?" I asked warily. The last time I had been pulled aside by a male teacher, it was so that he could grab my behind- and I didn't want that happening again.

He handed a paper to me. I looked down at it and recognized my handwriting and a big A+ on top of it. He had made it a habit of giving me my papers at the end of class after everyone had already left since I was the only one who had ever bothered doing assignments. It was something I appreciated- really, the last thing I needed was to come across as a snobby know-it-all. I took the paper and turned to leave when he suddenly said something that startled me.

"I'm transferring you into a harder class," he told me in a conclusive tone. He made it clear he would have no arguments about this.

"What!" I said with widened eyes. "You can't! If people find out I'm smart around here, do you have any idea what kind of grief I'd get? I'm sorry, sir, but you can't!" I said, panicking.

"Calm down," he said dismissively. "I'm well aware of what would happen to you- which is why I'm transferring you into Division Three," he said with a small smile.

I gaped at him. My heart beat faster and I felt tears spring into my eyes. He was offering me a chance…a future. Alice Institute was divided into three divisions. The first was for children and teens with no criminal record, the second was for repeat offenders and those who have been in trouble with the law before, and the third was for students with various problems such as drug abuse, depression, eating disorders, and so on. I was currently in division one, but that really didn't matter. Since division one was so small, it was mixed together with division two, and the students were given relatively the same treatment as prisoners minus the bright orange jumpsuits. The school was bad, the food was worse, and the students were the worst. Fights broke out and they were often unavoidable. I myself had been in about three that occurred in my first weeks here. I had quickly learned three things: don't look at anyone, don't talk to anyone, and do not draw attention. If you do those three things, you'll almost always avoid trouble. But Division Three was an entirely different story. People in that division actually had a chance of leaving it and actually being worth something. Of course, you didn't get five star cuisine or private school teaching; at best you'd get the same treatment normal public school students get with the addition of counseling and group therapy. But at least you didn't have to go around looking over your shoulder for a group girls starting trouble. I looked at Mr. Thomas more clearly and realized he was probably going to be a teacher I'd remember for the rest of my life.

"T-Thank you." I stuttered. "This… it means so much- more than you'll ever know"

He smiled sadly. "I have no idea, why you are here in the first place. You have to be one of the brightest and most polite students I've ever taught, even before I came to this place," he said gesturing to the blank walls with the only decoration being an American flag in the corner of the room.

I swallowed heavily and tried to ignore the sudden throbbing in my chest. "…Something happened that I had no control over, and I ended up here." I looked up at him and smirked. "No one ever said life was fair."

He looked puzzled. "I suppose. Take care of yourself, Michelle," he told me earnestly. I nodded and turned to leave the room, smiling. For once in my life, things were starting to look a little brighter.