Chapter 1

"I can't believe were actually here." I said in disdain, glaring up at my new house. My father was promoted manager at a major corporation which meant we had to move. No questions, no comments, no complaints. So badly I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs for forcing me to leave but what could I do about it? I leaned against the car and studied the two story house.

"Come on Patrice, why so negative? At least we can have a new beginning." My mother said, wrapping one arm around my shoulder. I shrugged out of her embrace and said,

"Mom you don't understand. I left everything behind back in Pennsylvania. What friends could I make here? Everything that meant the world to me in Pennsylvania is gone. Besides do we even know anyone in Washington?" I said folding my arms across my chest.

"Of course I understand Patrice. When I was growing up, my parents moved me and my brothers around a lot. It was hard but I managed to meet some greet people along the way." Closing the car door behind her she walks up toward the new house and inside. Luckily everything was shipped here so moving all out belongings wasn't an actual problem.

With a final sigh, I walk our new house. All of our furniture was here, and it reminded me of my old house except slightly bigger. The walls were painted various shades of blue, accenting the beige furniture. I walk up the stairs and towards the left where my new room will be. Opening the glass knobbed door, I walk inside and lay on my bed, staring up at the newly painted gray walls. I turned over in my bed on the right, staring out the rain covered windows. How depressing, I thought to myself silently listening to the rain. I hear a faint knock on the door and I knew it was my mother.

"Come in." I said faintly as she sat at the edge of my bed. I sat up against the headboard, facing my mother. She could have been my older sister because she looked young for thirty four. She had naturally long curly dark hair that framed her beige toned face, making her appear younger, while I had unruly straight hair and was a few shades darker. Her gentle brown gaze peered into mine as she formed the right words to say.

"You'll be starting school tomorrow and I already have the schedule for you. I know it's quick and you don't feel like going but I'm sure you'll enjoy it." Who enjoys school? I thought to myself remembering the tons of homework and annoying, dry humored teachers? It wasn't the only thing that actually bothered me.

"Mom, although I'm not a fan of school, that's not what I'm concerned about. Don't you realize that I'll feel like an outcast? I don't think that there are many minorities in the whole Washington populace?" I said, emphasizing minorities. Her eyebrows shot up and she said,

"Oh, that's what it's about? " I shook my head and she sighed,

"Well there really isn't anything you can do about it? There are always going to be situations where you're going to feel alienated because of race but that's not important. What's important the content of character. "

"Yeah but although it's the twenty first century, people are still racist and won't be used to see black people in their lives. "

"True, but you have to learn to ignore ignorant people, but I'm sure you'll be fine Patrice you're a strong young woman." Putting a hand steadily on my shoulder she said,

"If you're hungry there's take out downstairs. I have to go to the grocery store and your father's at work. Will you be okay?"

"Mom I'm sixteen, almost seventeen. I'm sure I'll be okay." I said, throwing her a small smile. Smiling she walks out of the room quietly. Once the door is closed, I lie back in my bed, burying my head in my Hershey park pillow. It wasn't like I've experienced any racism before hand, but I could always tell when you feel as though you don't belong. That deep rooted feeling that although everyone is a full blooded human being, there was always be a divide between races. My clock red seven thirty, so I decided to head downstairs to have dinner. Chewing quietly on my orange chicken, silence evokes the house besides the rain.

Sometimes I enjoyed being lonely, while other times I imagined what it would be like to have a sibling. Since my mother and father work round' the clock, I see them only at the end of the day. So when they said we were moving, I knew that things won't be the same again. Prior to the move, I hadn't spoken to my Leslie or Teresa, my two and only best friends. I felt a pang of sadness as I quickly reminisced about the moments we shared. I could feel myself becoming overcome with sadness so I resorted to watch some mindless TV.

After washing my dinner plate and cup, I plopped down on the leather beige couch and grabbed the remote. Flipping through channels I only saw infomercials and I was growing bored so I decided to watch SpongeBob Square pants. Thirty minutes of mindless entertainment, I shut the TV off realizing I was still sad, so I decided to go to sleep.

Walking up the steps, I head towards the bathroom and decide to talk a short shower. I muttered a curse as the cold water hit my skin but then changed to warm water. Relishing the warm water, I turn the faucet off and grab a leaf green cotton towel and wrap it around myself. Walking down the hall towards my room, I turn the light on in my room; I look in my room and change into orange boy shorts and a white t-shirt. Pulling on a pair of fluffy white socks, I crawl into my bed and slip my dove grey comforter over my body, shivering as I realized how cold it was. The front door downstairs opened and I knew it was my mother coming back from the grocery store. Laying my head lightly against the pillow I fell asleep. …

The sound of my alarm woke me as it softly buzzed in my ear. I opened my sleep ridden eyes and rubbed them gently, remembering that I wasn't in Pennsylvania, but rainy Washington. Slowly sitting up I glance at the time from the clock and realized I had to go to school. Ugh. I usually don't complain that much but come on, who wants to go to school after moving?

Groggily getting out of my bed, my legs felt wobbly as I steadied myself by gripping the edge of my nightstand. Walking towards my closet, I grab a sea green long sleeve shirt and faded jeans. Slipping my feet into silver rain boots, I walk towards the bathroom to brush my teeth. I already felt myself becoming nervous as I thought about the day ahead of me. Jogging down the stairs, my mother was at the table drinking chamomile tea while reading the paper.

"Good morning." She said perkily, despite the gloomy weather, taking a sip of her tea. I nodded as I went to the fridge to grab a bottle of water, thirstily drinking it.

"Excited for school?" She said.

"Nervous more like." I said honestly, putting the cap on the water, looking out the window.

"That's understandable." She said empathetically. Glancing at the clock she said,

"I'm going to start the car now; I'll wait for you outside." Gracefully rising from the chair, she grabs her keys and coat and walks out the door. I jog back up the stairs to retrieve my wallet, my backpack and my coat. Jogging back down the stairs I shut the door behind myself and walk towards the passenger side of my mother's Toyota Corolla. Heat blasted through the vents as she backed out of the driveway and onto the road. The sky up ahead was clearing, and bits of sunlight shown through. Light jazz music played in the car as she waited at a stop light.

It turned green and my stomach dropped as she we drove closer to a familiar looking building that read SeaTac High School painted in a navy blue. I saw cars and students walk into the building and I knew my nerves were getting the best of me. Already my nerves were getting the best of me as I noticed my hands were clammy. I bit down on my lip as I looked at the sea of unfamiliar faces out the car window. My mother stopped the car at the entrance of the school.

"Well this is it. I really do hope that you have a nice day. Remember stay positive no matter what and things will fall into place."

"I hope they do."

"They will Patrice. Listen, I'll be late picking you at from school, are you alright taking the bus?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." I lied, gripping the door handle. Slowly opening it, I shut the door behind me as my mother's blue car drives off of school grounds. This is going to be the longest first day of school, I thought to myself walking up the steps of the school. My schedule was in my left hand as I quickly glanced over it.

The unfamiliar teacher names baffled me as I walked to my assigned locker. Already I was getting curious glances as my skin was the only pigment that showed against this white student body. I spotted a few Asian kids and Indian kids, but still I felt isolated. Some glares were thrown my way as I walked towards the office. Luckily the school was too confusing as I spotted big red letters that read office. Stepping into the office, it smelled of coffee and freshly printed paper. I walked towards the front desk to see a robust, dark haired woman typing furiously on the computer. Make up caked her face and her dark eyes glistened in annoyance.

"Can I help you?" She said rudely, her eyes still on the computer screen. I felt my hands clench at my sides. I already wasn't in the mood to be here and she was irking my nerves.

"I'm Patrice Redding, I'm new here." Her eyebrows shot up as she met my gaze head on. I could see she was mentally judging me with those beady black eyes but she obliged to voice her opinion openly.

"I'm the school secretary, Ms. Bead. I have a print out of a copy of your schedule. Jason Rose has a similar schedule so he'll direct you to your classes." Someone walked into the office and I quickly turned around to an athletically built boy. He had a friendly smile on his face showing white teeth that glistened against mahogany colored skin. His hair was cut short and he wore a tan sweater with dark jeans and white sneakers.

"Jason, this is Patrice." She said dryly turning back to the computer, ignoring us.

"It's nice to meet you, Patrice. Since you're a junior I'm assuming I'll take you to all your classes. If you have any questions I'll answer them for you personally." Giving another grin we walk out of the office and into the now quiet halls.

"So what brings you to SeaTac, Washington?" He inquired as we entered a flight of stairs.

"I moved here because my father got a promotion. Is it safe to say that I feel uncomfortable here?" He laughed softly saying,

"Don't worry I understand. I grew up here my whole life and in honesty it's not as bad as it seems. The people here aren't as…. Racist as you'd think. There are some other black students here also and they handle it the same way as I do. It doesn't have to be as though you feel left out. Besides, you've already made your first friend." He said, pointing to himself. We both laugh and I suddenly felt at ease. We stopped at a room number that read 306, and he turned the handle. I walked in behind him and it was there I saw the most beautiful pair of gray eyes…