The marriage was not my favorite thing. The new society, however, was close to my favorite thing. The rank climbed the charts after we moved to Somerville. Aurthor still had glitches that needed working out, until then I saw no harm in playing the dutiful, doting stepdaughter to get what I wanted.

Mom met Aurthor on a business trip to New York. He was there from Britain to manage a branch of his family's business. In six short months, I was the only one with the surname of Duvall. We'd gone from upper middle class to upper upper class. Mom claimed the relationship a "true love match". I strongly believed there was no such thing but let Mom believe what she wants. I got a new school, a brand new car, and a new house.

They said it was an "old Victorian". To me, it was a two story house painted lavender with my room in the attic and the second floor reserved for whatever children they would eventually have.

"Mica, it's time to go register for school. Let's go." Mom called from the bottom of the stairs.

The old house was the farthest thing from soundproof. It's old creaking floorboards alerted me to visitors long before they reached the entrance to my room. The door hinges that accepted nothing by way of lubrication could be heard in the middle of the night swinging open and shut.

I pushed the attic door down heeding the call of my mother. The stairs reaching all the way to the floor and sending out a cloud of dust to the polished floorboards.

Somerville Commerce Center boasted the best school as Chastity and Lake Prep, that's the school I would be attending. "No daughter, or stepdaughter, of Aurthor Wellick Gregory Deblin will receive anything but the best." I begged with every tool I had for Mom to allow me to register solo. No dice. I would be allowed to drive myself, but Mom tagged along in her "mom-car" to ask "mom-questions".

"Call me if it's necessary, I have phone conference with Mr. Deblin." Aurthor said in his superior businessman tone.

"You mean Dad?" I flooded my voice with sarcasm.

"No, I mean my brother Mr. Deblin, the one living in New York."

"How many brothers do you have again? Seven? Eight?"

My mom picked up on my tone while Aurthor was still clueless, "Come on, Mica. We wouldn't want to miss this opportunity." For all his worldliness, Aurthor had little experience with rebellious, sarcastic teenage girls.

Mom ushered me out the door with a shove on the small of my back. She lingered behind, "Get a room or close the door," I shouted. I heard her whisper before shutting the heavy redwood door behind her. Mom's Manolo Blahnik heels clacked on the cement steps. She dragged her plastic nails from shoulder blade to shoulder blade and whispered, "See you soon, don't get lost."

I hopped up behind the wheel. My Jeep Wrangler had a solid two foot advantage on me. I loved the car. The height difference was an added bonus. The lime green paint always made me smile in the morning. If nothing else, I could love Aurthor for knowing how to buy a car for a rebellious, sarcastic teenage girl.

It took me fifteen minutes to get to school. I enjoyed that distance; it allowed me more sleeping time. Mom was leaning on her door when I pulled in.

"What took you so long," She barked.

"Mom, chill. It's school registration not a sale at Barneys." I called down from my window. The height helped with intimidating my mother. Or rather it kept her from trying to intimidate me.

"Oh, tosh," Mom exclaimed, throwing her arms in the air before realizing we were in public. She wouldn't want to cause a scene in the parking lot of my new posh school.

"Mom, please don't start speaking like Aurthor. You're my only connection to America in the house. Any second Aurthor is going to break into some foreign language a public school doesn't offer, and I won't know what he's saying and we both know he'll be talking about me." I blurted as we walked toward the front of the school. Mom shook her head but made no response; she knew my statement was true.

"Is every door in this city made from redwood?" Mom hated wood doors. She preferred the glass doors outlined in black plated metal with some Frenchman's name in gold lettering or the revolving doors. Many hours of fun can be found within the twirling glass (yet again) framed in gold with blank lettering.

"You're so spoiled," I jested. Mom knew I loved her.

We'd been on our own for so long it was nice for her to find someone with whom to be happy. Dad left for a secretary at work. They'd waited until my dad had the courage to at least tell my mom that he didn't love her anymore to start screwing each other. Unfortunately, they didn't wait for the divorce to conceive a small demon child. Mom and I lived comfortably on her salary and the monthly alimony plus child support. Dad behaved like a dick. But he was still my dad so I loved him. I may not like Aurthor but Mom did, and that made him, if not my father, than an acceptable runner up.

"Okay, you round up the papers we need to fill out, I'm going to find the counselor and have a chat with her." Mom planned. I half expected her to yell "break" as we drifted apart.

I stared blankly at my surroundings. The building had the upkeep of a modern school, and the design of a school built in the 1800s. I loved every square inch of Chastity and Lake Prep. Something about old architecture always wormed its way into my heart. I lived in the right place. Massachusetts was flooded with old architecture.

"It's a lot to take in isn't it?"

I jumped at the voice in my left ear. I turned slowly to get a look at the person spooking newcomers. Her hair caught my eye immediately. The layers were choppy and framed her oval face. Patches of her lacks were dyed blond, some black, some brown, and some were even green.

The girl stood within the average height rank, wearing blue jeans and a band tee. It had the vintage fit, faded letters and dulled graphics. Her eyes caught me off guard, like her hair did, they had a permanent tilt. They always asked a question. She semi-reminded me of a fairytale creature called a sprite.

"Quite like your hair," I blurted. "I dig it."

"Who says 'dig' anymore?" She sounded disgusted. "And thanks."

"I say 'dig'. Sue me."

"I like you."

"Yay for me."

"I'm Tara. I'm going to be a senior. If they let me," Tara added with a smile.

"I'm Mica. I'm going to be a senior too."

"Where do you live, Mica?" Tara's stance got more casual. "I'm over on College Avenue."

"Huh, I'm at the corner of Lowell and Medford."

There was a pause when I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I didn't know the etiquette for answering phones when first meeting somebody. If it had been one of my friends from back home, I wouldn't have thought twice.

"Well, I have to go be the dorky new kid and find all the forms. I'll talk to you later?" I didn't sound desperate in my ears, because I never sounded desperate. But I hoped the lilting tone emphasizing the question didn't sound ridiculous.

"Yeah, oh, give me your number and I'll text you."

I repeated my phone number monotonously. Aside from my new Jeep, the iPhone Aurthor bought me "because every daughter, or stepdaughter, needs a way to communicate effectively with no mistakes or miscommunications" could be defined as used and abused.

"I'll text you. Bye."

I waved and turned away, pulling out my phone in one swift movement. I walked straight into the back of someone.

"Watch it," a male voice barked.

"And here I was thinking everyone in Massachusetts was jovial. Thanks for setting the record straight." I mumbled attempting to check my phone again.

"You and my sister would get along perfect," the guy laughed. His laugh was joined by a few other chuckles. I looked up.

He stood a foot taller than me easily. Basketball was in his future for sure. He had hair the color of melted milk chocolate. It was suiting color for his startling green eyes. His friends were almost ordinary standing around him. One had good eyes. One had a nice smile. But they seemed barely gradable in comparison with Tall Boy.

"Well, why don't you send her my way next time you see her," I spoke as calmly as possible. Tall Boy definitely had a rude streak, he also had an X factor of attractiveness I wasn't prepared to handle.

"Oh, I will."

"Yay for me," I put my sarcastic grin on my face as I got the last word. After a year of living and debating with Aurthor, I achieved expert status at getting the last word. I sauntered off to a table with a tiny paper sign that read "NEW STUDENTS 7-12". That's where I needed to be.

"Hi. My name is Ms. Hayberry. How can I help you?"

The woman had pink hair. Not the dyed bright rave color pink but the Beauty School Dropout, "what have I done" pink hair. Hayberry could look me in the eye, meaning she could only be five-four or five-three.

"I'm Mica Duvall. I just moved here from Texas. What forms do I need?" Ms. Hayberry, while looking welcoming, looked totally lost when attempting to help me.

"Well…" she started. Her hands ran over all the different packets making a dull paper on paper shuffling sound.

"I'm Ms. Adams is there anything I can do?" Another woman beside Ms. Hayberry asked.

"I just need the forms for a new student. I'm Mica Duvall. I'm new." I felt I reached the peak of redundancy.

"Okay," Ms. Adams picked up a packet. "You're one step closer to being a Rebel."

I managed a smile. I was one step closer to being a robot.