"Class we have a new student. This is Samantha Baker." The history teacher's voice rang through the classroom and the new girl's eyes lowered to the floor.
"Where are you from Samantha?"
"Sam," she muttered. "I go by Sam. New Orleans." She spoke softly, but something about her voice made everyone listen. It held authority and confidence, no matter how shy she looked.
"Very well. You can take your seat." As Sam walked to the back, bag slung over her shoulder, eyes followed her. She didn't just talk with confidence and authority, she walked with it too. She didn't look like she felt out of place at all. Maybe that's what caught Olivia's attention, or maybe it was because she came from New Orleans and everyone knew girls from New Orleans liked raising hell. If asked, Olivia would just say Sam looked cool- meaning she looked like someone to add to her groupie collection. So, when Olivia saw Sam sitting by herself at lunch, she walked over, bringing three groupies with her.
"Hi!" she said brightly. "Tough first day? I'm Olivia and this is Faith, Lucy and Amber," she added without waiting for a response.
"Nah," Sam answered. "Teachers going easy on me today." She laughed lightly, but she was feeling anything but cheerful. It was two months into junior year and only her first day in Small Town USA. A quaint, small town where the new 'city girl' stuck out like a black eye. But Sam knew the new girl routine well.
"Don't worry," Olivia laughed. "They'll get tougher."
"They always do," Sam muttered. She knew exactly how tough teachers got after the first day.
"Hey you're the new girl right?" Sam looked up as a guy sat down, but as she opened her mouth to reply, Olivia beat her to it.
"What do you want, Jekyll?"
The kid laughed. "Easy, easy. No need to get upset. I just wanted to say hi to the new girl before the other guys." He winked at Sam.
"Well fine, you've said hi. Now leave." Olivia's tone was icy but the kid's green eyes sparkled under his black, floppy hair.
"Well Darlin', I'm Tyler, though most call me Jekyll." He grinned and Sam couldn't help but smile back.
"Nice to meet ya." And just like that, he left. As he seemed to skip away, Olivia rolled her eyes and Lucy giggled.
"What's with that guy?" Sam asked, glancing at Olivia.
"Him and his mom are sorta the town joke." Olivia said harshly.
"Yeah," Faith cut in. "His dad…" She trailed off as Olivia shot her a look of pure venom.
She turned back to Sam, smiling again. "His dad ran off with a woman half his age years ago. His mom's a complete drunk and Jekyll's gone crazy in that house."
"Why do y'all call him Jekyll?" Sam looked thoughtful.
"Think it's got something to do with his best friend being Jake Hyde, the bully. Jekyll's the hyperactive and brains of the two; Hyde's the muscle. They're usually inseparable."
"Wonder where Hyde is then."
Olivia just shrugged at Sam's thought. "But anyway, Sam," Sam looked over at her. "Five's a perfect number for a little hell raising in this town, don't ya think?"
Sam shrugged. "What do you mean?"
"Exactly that, there's five of us now and I think we can have all kinds of fun with that."
Sam thought about it. She didn't want to get the title of goodie-two-shoes on her first day- she liked a good party and a couple of beers, but didn't do illegal and she just knew Olivia was going for illegal.
Olivia noticed her pause, "Well just give me your answer after school, no rush," she said just as the bell for lunch to end rang.
"Ok, no problem." Sam knew this girl was trouble, she also could tell Olivia was used to always getting her way. She was obviously at the top here.
When Sam walked into English she grinned. Jekyll and a huge guy that could only be Jake Hyde were sitting next to a girl. With her cherry-coke brown that cascaded down her shoulders and in black heels, tight jeans with a blue plaid button up that fitted her perfectly and matched the blue sphere that hung from her neck and her icy blue eyes, she seemed to naturally drawn attention to herself. Not that she noticed while she was laughing at something Jekyll said. He looked up and seeing Sam, called her over.
"Hey Darlin'. We got an empty seat here." He motioned to the seat next to the other girl. Disregarding what Olivia said about Jekyll being crazy, Sam smiled and sat down.
"Sam, meet Sabine."
"Hey," the girl cheerfully said.
"Hi." Sam looked at the big guy. "I guess you're Jake, huh?"
He looked surprised and glanced at Jekyll. "Our good friend Olivia got to her," he muttered just loud enough for Jake to hear.
"So what did she tell you?" Jake's voice was gruff and the question was loaded. "That Jekyll's crazy and I'm a terrifying asshole?" Stature wasn't the only thing that differentiated him and Jekyll; they were complete opposites. Hyde had brown hair cropped close, almost military style, and his voice wasn't nearly as friendly or easy going as Jekyll's. His face was dominated by a scowl and his blue eyes were like ice shards.
"Umm…" Same didn't know what to say.
"Hyde, calm down. I doubt she listened." But the question and Jekyll's comment irked her. It was her first day, how was she supposed to know the caste system?
"Yeah pretty much." Jekyll groaned but Sabine grinned. "She said Jekyll's bat-shit crazy and you're the big, bad bully," Sam challenged.
"Aww Sam, whatcha have to do that for?" Jekyll moaned. "I just saved your skin; now he won't like you."
Sam couldn't tell if he was joking she just shrugged. "He asked. So I'm guessing based on how she's queen y'all are a bit lower on the social pyramid?" Both guys were dumbstruck; Sam didn't fit the 'new girl' profile.
Sabine spoke up. "You could say that. Hyde here used to be the town bully," she added, earning herself a glare from Hyde. "Well it's true. But he's on the mend now." She laughed, glancing back at Sam. She didn't laugh with Sabine even though Jekyll did and even Hyde spared a smile. Without the scowl he almost looked kind.
"Ok guys, ease up on the new girl," Jekyll said, sensing how uncomfortable Sam was. She flashed him a small smile.
"Sorry new girl." Hyde gave her that much.
"So," Jekyll said abruptly. "Where are you from?"
"New Orleans," she automatically answered.
"Big city girl, small town, how did you get stuck in Rocksville?" Sabine asked.
"Something with my dad's job, not sure." Sam shrugged, sounding nonchalant. It was always her dad's job if asked.
"What about your mom? Wouldn't she know?" Subtle had never been a word to describe Hyde.
"She's dead," Sam muttered. There was an awkward silence and some mumbled condolences.
"So…" Jekyll dragged the word out. "You a band nerd?"
Chorus prep? Soccer diva? Science geek?"
"No, no, and no; just horses and books." She laughed, but she was feeling worse than at lunch.
"Horses, you say?" Sabine was interested. "In the big city?"
"Uh..." Sam mentally smacked herself; it'd been awhile since she'd let something like that slip. "Yeah well there was a stable 'bout twenty minutes away. My mom used to take me…" her voice trailed off but she was saved by the bell ringing. Class had started.