Chapter two...

The girl had large brown eyes, which were framed with thick eyelashes. Her face was oval, like mine, and tanned. Her hair was definitely the most striking part of her; it was about three different shades of brown and extremely curly, reaching her elbows and looking very silky. Despite the beauty this girl possessed, the expression on her face made her look about four years older than she was. Her eyebrows were met in a frown, her forehead scrunched up and her knuckles white from the many bags she was carrying. I immediately took a step back, forcing a smile and ignoring the dirty look that was being thrown my way. I had promised Dad that I would 'behave', but if this girl carried on like this, that was going to all go out of the window.

"Hey," I greeted her brightly. "Can I help you with those bags?"

The girl looked me up and down a few times before handing over the smallest bag, looking around the room and opening her mouth to speak.

"You're Pippa right?" She asked without looking at me, her eyes still searching the room. A sign of embarrassment or lack of trust, I noted, but I just nodded.

"That's me, I'm guessing you're...Nicole?"

"Yeah." Nicole replied, offering me a genuine smile. "Which one's my bed?" She asked, looking a little surprised at the strange arrangement that the beds were in. I shrugged, wanting her to leave so that I could be on my own. I had enough to deal with, and I didn't need a moody and untrusting roommate to deal with as well.

"Whichever one you want; mine's top left, and the others haven't arrived yet so the rest are all available," I explained, falling onto one of the sofas and taking out my phone. I scrolled through the long list of emails I had received from various friends, most of which who didn't attend the school.

Nicole dumped her bags on the floor next to the beds on the right hand side, deciding on the top bunk. She opened one of her bags and took out a few small things; a book, notepad, pencil case, phone, a small tin, and four packets of mints, one of which she threw to me. I was caught off guard by the gesture; most people here were either afraid of me or hated me.

Nicole shoved the rest of her bags with the others that had been dropped off a week prior and gathered the items she had got out. She threw them onto the bed of her choice, before following, using the bar next to her bed to get onto it rather than the ladder provided. I chuckled when she saw the look of pride on Nicole's face when she accomplished this manoeuvre, causing Nicole to beam even more. A weight suddenly felt like it had been shoved into my stomach. She obviously assumed we were friends, and friends rely on each other; I couldn't afford to rely on anyone.

Nicole rearranged the covers on her bed and put her items on the shelves in front of her, before jumping down and going back to her things. I sighed. Watching Nicole unpack was a reminder that I still needed to, and although I didn't want to, I shoved my phone back into my pocket and stood up, walking towards my pile of boxes and bags

.

As I walked over, I analysed Nicole again. She was wearing a small red and white crop top, pale blue jeans and shiny red flats, and had just pulled her hair up into a high ponytail. I looked down at what I was wearing and scowled. I looked stupid compared to Nicole, wearing red skinny jeans, a fitted white top with a lace top and bottom, and black boots, I looked absolutely fine, but not whilst standing next to her. She was the competition, and my natural instinct was to eliminate the competition, since it had been all my life. I shook that thought off; I needed at least one person in my life who didn't despise me.

I knelt down, grabbed a pair of scissors and tore open the box that was closest. I looked inside and stifled a giggle; I shouldn't have let my sisters pack for me. I took the first item out, a bright pink top with flowers lovingly sewn onto the fabric. I used to wear the colourful top constantly whilst growing up. I held it to up to my nose, breathing in its familiar scent, the scent that caused a rollercoaster of emotions to fly through my body. I put the top down quickly, taking a large gulp of air and covering the top with a suitcase Tia had bought for me. No way was anyone going to see me fall apart, especially someone I'd only met a few minutes ago.

Nicole looked at me, concern apparent on her face. I forced a smile but I was sure it looked more like a grimace. Nicole continued to stare at me, a small smile tugging at her lips, which was quickly replaced by a look of utter horror. Her eyes turned wild and her mouth hung open. I glanced at her warily, but before I could say anything, she turned away and went back to her bags. I furrowed my brow in confusion; what was that about? However, I didn't have long to contemplate what had just happened, as a knock sounded at the door and a tall, blonde girl poked her head around it.

She had long blonde hair that was pulled up in a pony tail, soft brown eyes, pale skin and quite a round face. She was tall, but not as tall as me, and very slim. She had on pale pink jeans that showed off how small her legs were, a white turtleneck jumper, blue and gold chandelier earrings that caught the light and made blue and gold shapes around the room and light brown ugg boots.

She smiled nervously, no doubt feeling awkward. After all, Nicole and I probably looked both confused and shocked. I shook my head and smiled, though it was forced, and said,

"Hey."

She smiled, a bright, dazzling smile that temporarily lifted my spirits, until I remembered the no friend thing.

"Hi, I'm Evelynn, everyone calls me Lynn though," she introduced herself brightly, opening the door fully and dragging a heavy looking suitcase and a flute case into the dorm. The case was black with pink stripes and covered in peace signs. I rolled my eyes, great, I'd never get a second of peace with a flipping clarinet playing 24/7. Lynn didn't notice and continued to drag her cases across the floor until she reached the beds, dropping them and looking up in confusion. I heaved myself up from the floor and lumbered over to where she was standing, waving my hand in the direction of the bed under Nicole's. "You can sleep there if you like, it's up to you."

Nicole looked up from her spot on the floor, deliberately avoiding my eyes, it seemed, and smiled at Lynn, saying, "I'm above you if you sleep there, and Willow will be opposite you when she arrives."

"That sounds great!" Lynn grinned, kneeling beside her suitcase and unzipping it, "So, is this your first year? Or have you come before?"

"I've been here from year 7." Nicole sighed, "It's been interesting to say the least."

Lynn giggled and turned to me, "What about you?" she asked, looking genuinely interested.

"Since year nine, so two years not counting this one," I explained, not making eye contact with neither Nicole nor Lynn, and instead staring out the window at the rain that had begun to fall sometime during our short conversation.

Lynn didn't seem thrown off my short answer. "Well, it's my second year. I joined a term into year ten."

Nicole asked her something, and pretty soon they were both in a deep discussion about something or the other. They were so focused on what they were saying that they didn't notice the door creep open slightly, nor did they see a small figure slink into the room, clutching her bag close to her chest. But I did.

The girl had dead straight brownie blonde hair, which fell past her shoulders but not much farther. Her eyes were a deep blue colour, captivating and deep, but filled with fear. She had extremely pale skin and was a lot shorter than Nicole, Lynn, and I. She looked around the room, taking everything in, from the cream sofas to the closed window to the four beds. I walked over; she was so quiet, it was insulting,

"For goodness sake, Willow, just say hello!" I hissed. Friend of the family or not, this girl was seriously annoying. She looked up at me, her eyes glistening. I sighed and threw her a packet of tissues from the table behind me. This was the reason I was in this stupid room, with a goldfish, a flute player, and a cry-baby for roommates, because she had no confidence and no mind of her own.

She caught the packet and took a tissue out, wiping her eyes and turning toward Nicole and Lynn, who were looking at me with both confusion and disgust in their eyes. It made sense though, I'd just made someone cry, but they'd get used to it. I made a lot of people cry, but it was their own fault for being so flipping emotional. Lynn was the first to come over, wrapping her arms around Willow comfortingly and pulling her into a hug, "It's ok," she whispered, "I was like this when I first joined."

I groaned, great, two cry-babies. Nicole obviously heard me because she stood up and strode over to where I was standing, looking me in the eye for the first time in a while.

"What. is. your. problem?!" She hissed, pulling herself up to her full height, which was still a few inches shorter than me.

I raised my eyebrows, "Oh, come on Nicole, they need to man up. Life's hard, and if you're constantly crying, it's not gonna change anything, is it?"

Nicole's face turned hard and she came closer. "What would you know about life being hard?" she growled. That got me; I'd had a terrible life, and one of the reasons I'd accepted the offer to come to this school was to get away from it. To get away from the blame, the heartbreak, the past that always came back to haunt me.

"My life, has been worse that you could ever imagine," I said gratingly. "If anyone knew what I've done, I'd be behind bars. And that's the least of my worries right now, so why don't you just back off, because whatever little girl problems you have in your life, it's probably a fairy tale compared to mine." Finishing, I threw the box I'd been carrying on the floor, hearing the contents smash and shatter. The realization of what I'd just done, what I'd just said, hit me like a ton of bricks, and before I knew what was happening, I'd pried the window open, and jumped.