I look out the window and sigh at the sight of the building littered in in frost and snowy dust as the bus slowly pulls up to Ebony Hale High School. "Welcome back, Kaino Gardner." I murmur as the bus stops and the driver, Mr. Walker, turns up the radio a little bit on the rock station he and a few of the middle school kids in the very front are listening to. As I pick up my grey backpack and get up from my seat near the front middle along with my fellow high school students, I can't help but overhear a few members of the Mystery Maidens clique mumble in sadness about how "the little ones get to stay for the music".

"You got that right." I mutter disappointedly as we step off and make a start for the building of Hale High. However, I stay behind in front of the bus and watch as Mr. Walker starts the large yellow vehicle up again and the middle school students sing along to Simple Plan.

After the bus drives off to Callisto Middle School, I look over to my left and see a few students excitedly group-hugging and taking a bunch of selfies while I walk towards the front entrance. I roll my eyes and turn back to the entrance. A clique of SoCal-esque girls are chatting away while walking out of the front office. I stop a few inches away so that they can get to their destination. The leader, Candi, sees me and her eyes hilariously widen in my direction while her minions keep staring at their phones. Sarah, the mini-Ellaria of the bunch, tiptoes over to me and hugs me; while she's doing that, she whispers in my ear, "It's never too late to be part of our little family." She releases me and smiles warmly before quickly rejoining Candi and the gang.


I've been offered a spot in about two cliques at Ross High, but I turned them all down because I think being part of a clique is dumb. Also, I know that the SoCal girls want to make me girly.

Soon, my train of thought is rudely interrupted by howling and boisterous laughter. We turn around and groan at the sight of Dante Fitzsimmons running in my direction with his cronies from the football team. I can see in the last days of Winter Break, his short, light brunette hair has really been clipped down to look like Shaggy's really ugly haircut in this episode of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated that I watched yesterday morning.

He sees me, causing his grin to fall and his eyes to squint at me like I'm a transfer from the rival school, M. E. Harris High School, or Meh for short.

"What are you looking at?" Dante asks seethingly.

I place my hand on his shoulder and sigh dramatically. "Such lack of loyalty." I say in a disappointed tone.
Dante looks at me with a somewhat anxious expression. "What do you mean, Kayley?"

"You know what you did last week. Also, my name is KAINO." I respond sassily. The rest of the football team are in shock and murmur amongst themselves, then they're joined by other onlookers.

"What happened?"

"What did Kaino do to push Dante's buttons this time?!"

I can hear the whispers of the people around us but I don't care as I kept sneering at my #1 least favorite jock. Dante glares and crosses his arms, "Really? What did I do this Winter Break?" He asks, tilting his head in suspicion.

Suddenly, a smirk finds its way to my face and I find myself taking a step towards him. "You know what you did." I repeat.

Dante opens his mouth to make an excuse; but Travis, the smol bean of the bunch, shouts, "You were asking Molly out on New Year's while Annie was in the bathroom, Joffrey Baratheon!"

Dante quickly turns to me, and holy moley, he's looking like Chernabog. "You little tattletale!" He shouts.

I pull out my iPod and play the song "Stronger Than You" from Steven Universe. "No regrets!" I shout back proudly. Then, I turn in the other direction and laugh my butt off like a moron with Travis following me and also giggling.