"Testing, testing." The man that stood atop the stage said, tapping the microphone in his hand a few times before placing it back onto its holder. He adjusted his tie, tightening it, before giving a look around the large lobby that held the 50 freshmen students. "Good morning, students. I'm the Principal's secretary, Mr. Dustin. On behalf of all of Westwood High I would like to welcome you to the most prestigious high school in all of North America. You have been selected from the thousands that have applied here based on excellence in academics, athletics, theater, art, the sciences and mathematics. Do well here you are more than guaranteed a place on top of the world stage. You will be the leaders of the future. You will be the greatest of the great. And Westwood is here to help you achieve it. So let the opening ceremonies begin!"

The 50 freshmen clapped nervously as Mr. Dustin turned on his heels and moved across the stage. Just as he moved down the stairs the clapping dissipated as a uniformed student who, from the four stripes on his right arm, was evidentially a senior. He had blonde hair polished back and was dressed very primly. His walk was confident and strong, fast but not at all rushing. He stepped up to the microphone and stared out at the 50 students who anxiously waited for him to speak.

"Good morning. My name is Darren Wentworth. I am the student council president and I welcome all of you to our school. As you know we have four houses. Named after four great philosophers; Thales, Berkeley, Hume and Locke. You have been assigned to one of these four houses and will be separated accordingly. The four doors on either side of the lobby lead to all four of these houses. As our tradition goes, freshmen are always roomed with seniors. Your roommates will be awaiting you in your room when you arrive. Take your time to know them, ask them whatever you need to ask, if you need tutoring they will help. They are your guardians. And they will be your greatest asset. Good luck and I hope to see you all at the festival outside after you get unpacked." Darren stepped back before turning and moving off the stage. His departure was followed by scattered applause as the freshmen moved towards the house doors with their bags.


"My name is Adam." Adam introduced himself to the boy who was dragging his luggage next to him. As they moved down the hallway towards the Hume house Adam decided to try and make a friend.

The boy next to him, who had short-cut black hair and dark brown eyes, smiled back. "I'm Christian. Nice to meet you. What room are you in?"


Christian grinned. "Fantastic! I'm two doors down in 103!"

Adam nodded. "Sweet. Are you as nervous as I am?"

"Probably more so. I can't believe we have to be with the seniors. We've got to be our best even in our rooms. It's frightening!" Christian sighed as he eyed the doors they passed.

"This is my room…" Christian said, stopping in front of his. He glanced at Adam. "Good luck… See you at the festivities."

"Yeah, I'll drop by your room later…" Adam muttered.

"Bye." Christian said and, even before he moved for his room door, Adam could see the colour fade from his face.

Adam suddenly felt nervous as well. He moved slowly towards his own room. Even though everyone was moving into their rooms the hallway was still very quiet. The rooms were made to be soundproof so that there would no distraction for studies. So the hallway had been almost eerily quiet. Adam opened his room door and glanced inside.

He moved his bags in and shut the door after himself. The bedroom was large, with its own washroom and two closest. The beds were queen-sized, already fitted with matching bed sheets and pillows. The maids had made them both up as they do every morning. The curtains were drawn back and the windows open to let the air in. Everything was clean and one of the desks was stacked with books and papers and folders. But nobody sat in it.

Adam frowned.

Where was his senior?

"Maybe this is the wrong room…" He muttered, fishing out his information sheet from one of the bags. He went over the number but he had not been mistaken. Frowning, he placed the bags near the bed that was besides the empty desk and glanced around. "Hello?" Adam moved towards the washroom and knocked twice at the door. There was no response.

"Okay then…" Adam muttered to himself. He sighed and began to unpack a few things, putting his belongings onto the desk. He picked out the small doll that his sister had made; a hand-sewn pink-skinned girl with a dress made with his favourite color; blue. It was for good luck, his sister had told him. And he believed it would be so. Adam smiled as he looked it over.

"Playing with dolls I see…"

Adam felt his chest tighten as he turned to meet a familiar face. But he felt no joy in seeing that face. It was not one he had hoped to see again and certainly not up-close.

Darren Wentworth crossed his arms across his chest, eyeing the doll with distaste.

Adam was frozen. He wanted to hide the doll but he wasn't sure how, and his brain could not function for some reason.

Not only was the most influential student at the school inside his room but he had caught him staring with affection at a girls doll.

"This is not-"

"I don't care what it isn't. What you do on your own time is your matter… just… don't bring it out when I'm in the room." Darren muttered, glancing at Adam.

"S-sorry… but why are you in my room?" Adam muttered, slowly putting the doll back into his bag.

"That dense are we?" Darren muttered before moving over to the desk on the opposite end of the room. "I'm your roommate."

Adam shook his head slowly before laughing nervously.

"What's so funny?" Darren turned to him with a look that was empty of any amusement.

Adam frowned. "Nothing…"

Darren turned back to a folder on his desk. "Maybe it's your records… I don't know how you managed to sneak in here with a 94 average."

Adam licked his lips. "Um… I… do my best work outside the classroom."

"Don't tell me you're one of those obnoxious athletes that have no worth and only serve to lower the totally average of our school."

Adam felt his face heating up. "N… no I'm… an actor."

Darren turned around again to face him. "Actor? What have you acted in?"

"Um… a few movies… My father is a director."

Darren grinned. "So that's where I heard your last name from… Adam Corrine… I know your father's works, he isn't half bad."

Adam nodded slightly. "Thank you…"

"Now Adam… you do understand that as the president I am always very busy."

He nodded. "Yes, sir."

"And that what I have in this room is very important stuff."


"So that means…" Darren stood up, keeping his eyes on the younger boy. "That the door will be locked at all times. When you are in here and when you are out. Nobody is allowed to come inside, no matter who they are. No friends, no parties. No smoking. Don't bring food, don't bring drinks. Don't play music when I'm here, even if you have headphones on. No watching television when I'm working. No snoring. If you snore at night we'll have to find some way to fix that."

Adam frowned. "I… don't sno-"

"Keep your cellphone off during the night. I will not lose sleep because your girlfriend wants to know when you want to come over to play dolls."

Adam blushed. "Okay…"

"As long as you keep quiet and stay out of my way we'll be fine."

Adam nodded.

"Oh and Adam…"

He frowned. "Yes?"

"We're not best friends. Okay? I will not give you special privileges or anything of the sorts."


Darren smiled. "This will be fun. It was nice meeting you." He turned and moved towards the door before pausing and glancing back at him. "Like I said before… keep that doll out of sight."

Adam licked his lips as he watched his worst nightmare exit his bedroom. He slowly brought his hands up to his face and let out a sigh of relief.

What had they done to him?


"Christian?" Adam knocked twice at the door to Christian's room. He anxiously glanced around, watching as the seniors walked alongside their freshmen roommates towards the exit, heading for the festivities.

The door swung open and a tall, skinny boy with glasses glanced out.

"Um…" Adam eyed him. "Is Christian here?"

"He's putting on his uniform. Are you his friend?" The boy smiled kindly at Adam.

Adam nodded. "Yeah sort of… We just met. But uh, I don't have anyone to go with to the festival…"

"Where is your senior?"

"Uh… It's… Darren Wentworth."

The boy frowned then grinned. "I see. Okay then, come with us."

Adam smiled. "Thanks. I'm Adam."

"My name is Fredrick. Call me Fred." He nodded just as Christian walked over besides him.

"Hey Adam! This is so cool, Fred is really nice."

"Well, I do what I can." Fred grinned as the two walked out of the room.

"How's your senior?" Christian asked as the three made their way down the hall.

"Uhm… He's…"

"Probably a jackass." Fredrick grinned. "He got stuck with the infamous Wentworth."

"Seriously? You're rooming with the president?" Christian's eyes widened, as though impressed.

"Unfortunately…" Adam frowned. "I can't believe my bad luck…"

"If you need any help you can come to me." Fred offered. "I don't mind. Slip a letter under my door when you need help and I'll drop by."

"Thank you." Adam smiled. "It's so nice that I have someone willing to help me out. All Darren did was boss me around."

"Yeah he's good at that…" Fred laughed as they moved out onto the large field where the festival was taking place.

The students were everywhere, playing games, going on rides, eating the free food. Adam and Christian stopped to admire the scene, wondering where to go.

"Well... this is gonna be fun." Christian grinned.

Adam nodded, grinning as well as he tried to forget about Darren. He still wanted to have fun for the first week of orientation. And he won't let Darren stop him.


Adam played all afternoon with Fred and Christian. There were many games that involved getting drenched in cold water or getting paint all over. They had gotten into a team of 6 with a few others and played a paintball hunt. By the time Adam was finished it was the evening and dinner would be served in an hour. So Adam and Christian decided to head back to shower and get ready.

Adam moved into his room, still wet and dirty, but stopped when he saw Darren seated at his desk.

Darren frowned when he saw Adam. He narrowed his eyes. "What are you doing?"

"Uh… I… want to take a shower-"

"Go into the public shower, you're going to make a mess." Darren turned back to his books.

"But… I need my clothes…"

"There are towels there. Get out. You're stinking up the room."

Adam licked his lips. "The uh… public shower… where is it?"

Darren turned to him with a look of irritation. "That, Adam, is what the signs in the hallway are for."

Adam frowned then nodded slightly before turning and moving out of the room. He sighed, shaking his head. "What a fucking prick…" He grumbled as he eyed the signs that led him to the showers.

After taking his shower and using soap to clean himself off Adam wrapped his dirty clothes in a towel before doing the same to his body. He had a difficult time getting the towel to stay while holding the towel with his clothes. He moved, awkwardly and barefoot, towards his bedroom.

He stopped outside, eyeing the door. His hands were both full and he couldn't open the door so he decided to call out to Darren.

"Darren?" He said, hoping not to disturb him. But there wasn't a response. "Darren?" He called again, louder this time. Nothing, again. Adam frowned then decided to knock at the door with his head but just as he moved towards the door it swung open and he stumbled forward.

Darren, who had opened the door, stepped back, eyeing him wearily. "That impatient?"

Adam licked his lips, eyeing him. "Sorry… Excuse me…" he moved past Darren and headed into their washroom. He dumped his dirty clothes into the laundry basket before heading out and moving over to his suitcase to find an outfit to wear.

Darren moved over to his desk again, taking a seat with his back to Adam.

Adam moved back into the washroom to change into shorts and a T-Shirt. When he finished he headed out and glanced at Darren. "Are you going to dinner?"

"I don't need your invitation, Adam. I will go when I care to." Came Darren's cold response.

Adam frowned then made a strange face before mouthing Darren's words immaturely. Afterwards he held his middle finger out to the boy's back. He sighed, slipping his hands into his pockets before slipping his sandals on. He turned and headed for the door.


He paused, turning back to Darren. He smiled. "Yes?"

"I saw that lovely face you made in the mirror right next to my desk." Darren said, without turning to him,

Adam's smile disappeared as he glanced at the small mirror besides the desk. He felt his face go cold.

Darren glanced at him. "Enjoy your dinner."

Nodding slowly, Adam turned on his heels and moved out of the door.

Embarrassed again.

This would not be a fun year.


"Adam!" Christian stood up from his table in the cafeteria and waved Adam over once he walked into the room from the food court.

Adam smiled, moving over to Christian and Fredrick, who were seated at a round table. "Hi guys."

"How is it going?" Christian grinned.

"It's… going…" Adam shrugged, placing it tray in front of an empty seat before he sat down in it. "He's really tough…" Adam sighed. "I don't think I can ever please him."

"Don't worry about pleasing him. He's not into men." Fredrick joked, offering him a wink.

Adam blushed at the thought. "That's not… what I meant."

"Apparently everyone here thinks everyone else is gay. But that nobody is willing to admit it." Christian shrugged.

"We're not supposed to engage in any sexual activities around the school. Only outside of it. Which is why most of the students turn out gay, because we hardly have the time to leave the school. Will you be one of them, Adam?" Fred asked before biting down into his sandwich.

"Uh… no I don't think so…" Adam frowned.

"So what's your specialty?" Fredrick asked. "Everyone who comes here comes in with a talent."

"I like to act." Adam grinned. "I've already registered with the theater at the school."

"Fantastic! They put on great shows! There's one tonight, you'll get to see them in action." Fredrick grinned.

"Yes, I'm very excited. They're acting out The Glass Menagerie. It's a great play." Adam nodded. "What's your… 'speciality', Fred?"

"I'm a mathematician. Give me numbers any day over public speaking…" He laughed.

Adam nodded before turning to Christian.

Christian grinned. "I'm a film-maker."

"Oh!" Adam grinned. "You like to direct?"

"Yes! It's my dream to be a director!" Christian smiled.

"That's so brilliant! Will you be working in the theater group as well?" Adam asked, eagerly.

"Yup!" Christian grinned. "We'll be theater buddies but I'll be filming you and you'll be onstage!"

"Well now I feel left out." Fred eyed the two. "Stay close, guys. You'll probably need each other's help a lot. It's always good to have a buddy in here."

"Who's your buddy?" Christian asked.

"Well I have two. They're also mathematicians. It's always easier to stick with people who like the same thing as you." Fred grinned.

"I'm so excited to see the play tonight." Adam beamed.

"Let's meet in front of the theater hall, Duncan, tonight at 9." Christian said. "So we can snatch a seat really early.

"Really early is at 8:30 at the latest. Seats will fill up fast." Fred said.

"Oh, okay…" Christian frowned. "Well then, 8:30 it is."

Adam nodded. "It's a date."

"So you are gay?" Fred grinned.

Adam blushed slightly. "Oh yeah. So very. How can I resist Christian's charm?"

"I always knew I was irresistible." Christian shrugged.

Adam laughed.

He couldn't have been happier to have found a good friend. It was good enough to make up for his situation with Darren. Almost.