Chapter 1: In The Halls

The wind swept across the land like a divine breath from heaven, rustling the red, gold, and yellow leaves; gradually whisking them from the trees and to the ground, where they eventually landed, still occasionally blown to and fro by the winds of the season. The temperature was cool, but not yet uncomfortably so; a Great Lakes autumn. The sun shone gently, but was often obscured behind the comforter of cloud that tucked in Manitoulin Island in at that time of year.

At Wacovia Middle-High School, a new year had recently begun, and the students were at this time moving through the halls from class to class. Christine Peck was on her way to chemistry, having just left geometry.

Christine was a tall, skinny girl, standing about 5 feet and 7 inches (roughly 170cm) tall, with straight black hair that extended to about her shoulder blades, a pale complexion and she had hazel eyes. She was dressed entirely in black.

She stopped at her locker, number 407, to get her books, when she heard a voice call to her.

"Hey, Peck!"

Christine turned around to look. It was Valery Buchanan, the head cheerleader. She was widely considered the most beautiful girl at school, and dressed to show it. She had long, lush blond hair and a voluptuous figure. Basically her life was perfect in every way.

"Where's your boyfriend?" she asked, tauntingly.

"Don't have one," said Christine stiffly.

"Oh, that's right!" chimed Valery. "I forgot that you don't have one. Why not?"

Christine wasn't sure how to respond.

"Maybe boys would like you if you were a little more like me," Valery continued.

"Maybe I don't wanna be like you," said Christine.

"That's true," said Valery, preparing to turn Christine's comeback against her. "Not all of us want handsome, sexy boyfriends who take us places and show us off and hold us close in their big strong arms."

Christine was about to reply, but was cut off.

"For all I know, you could be training to become a nun! You'd be great at it, y'know. You're antisocial, unpopular, and you love wearing black. Oh, I've got to get to class now. Ta-ta, Chrissie!"

Christine was used to this. Valery loved mocking the girls she felt were "beneath her."

…But that didn't make it hurt any less. Christine had not had a relationship with a boy since 8th grade; and she wished that had never happened.

She shrugged it off, gathered her books, slammed the locker door shut, and continued on to chemistry class.