The year is 1953, a time of poodle skirts, malt shops, and Bill Haley. Plus it's my freshman year at Van Helsing High in Seattle, Washington. 14-year-old Freshman, "Vanessa Merritt" is starting her first year of high school at Van Helsing High. She is a red-haired, blue-eyed girl who loves writing, newspapers, and most of all, Marilyn Monroe. People say she's a Marilyn Monroe poser, but she doesn't care. Over the summer, she saw Marilyn in her latest film, "Gentleman" Prefer Blondes"
Vanessa was then joined by her best friends, blonde blind girl, "Summer Lindsay", Nerdy black-haired boy, "Anson Dillon" and tomboyish Italian American, "Gabriela, "Gabs" Parziale. Vanessa remembered that Summer wasn't accepted by her parents for being born blind, but her aunt and uncle, because her aunt was a braille teacher.
That is Summer Lindsay. Yes, she's blind. Her parents couldn't bare accepted the fact she was born blind, so her dad left her with his sister, who's also a braille teacher here. "Hey Nessy" shouted Gabs, "Are you flipped for Freshman Years"
"I am" Vanessa replied.
"And don't forget that for our book reading this year." Anson replied, "We'll be doing the new Ian Fleming book, Casino Royale."
"The paper says that this book is a blast," Vanessa replied.
Inside Van Helsing High, she was greeted by an overweight man. He was the principal of Van Helsing High and her father, "Gary Merritt" "Hey, Nessy." shouted Principal Merritt, "It's the biggest day for my 2nd-born child. Her freshman year of high school. I remember Belle-Belle's first day of her freshman year. She packed her own lunch and she had forgotten her spare glasses."
This embarassed Vanessa so much, that she told her father to stop.
During the day, they checked out their homeroom, looked for their lockers, and found the typewriting room. The kids teased Summer for being blind, but she didn't care.
During lunch, they were all wondering where they should sit. "We could try Clifford and his friends," Anson suggested.
"But you have sensitive ears." Vanessa replied, "Remember that ear infection you had this summer."
"Good point" Anson replied.
"I'm not sitting near Creepy Caldwell." Gabs replied, "That girl drives us crazy"
"Plus she teases me for being blind." Summer recalled.
Vanessa looks around when she sees the colored area. She walks over there., "Nessy," Gabs shouted, "You know that's the colored side."
"I know," Vanessa replied, "But maybe some high school freshman can make a little change for a bit.
At a table, was a Cuban girl with a flower barrette, "Fatima", a Chinese girl with a 50s camera, "Penelope", and a black boy with a saxophone, "Ronnie". Ronnie catches a glimpse of Vanessa and purrs, "So Dolly Baby," Ronnie said as he scooted up to her, "Wanna sit with us?
Vanessa looks and nods with her head. Gabs and Anson look at each other, worried that they'll get detention for sneaking into the segregated area.
Meanwhile, Penelope looks at Ronnie in caution and reminded him that Vanessa is a white girl and Principal Merritt's second born child, "Come on Pan!" Ronnie replied in a cool cat tone, "Principal Guy won't ever be hep that they were sitting here."
As Gabs, Summer, and Anson sat down. Fatima scooted up to Gabs, "Hola, Chica. Come Estas?" she asked.
"Como, what?" Vanessa asked in confusion.
"Como Estas" that's Spanish for "How are you?"," Fatima explained.
"Great, so your students here," Vanessa said as she ate a slice of her meatloaf.
"That's us," Penelope replied as she sipped her juice, "We are the ones who aren't allowed to talk to the white kids. But after your father came around, he seemed pretty nervous about it.
"Where are my manners?" Vanessa said, "I'm "Vanessa" and these are my best buds, "Summer", "Gabs", and "Anson"
"We've seen you around Lorenzo's Lunch Pizza Parlor." recalled Ronnie, "Name's, "Ronald" but everyone knows me as, "Ronnie" I play a mean sax.
"You're a saxophone player?" Vanessa asked.
Ronnie nodded his head, "And I write songs for little ladies, like that red-haired version of Marilyn Monroe" he continued.
"Ni Hao! I'm Penelope Ning." Penelope greeted, "I taught myself how to take pictures."
"And Mi llamo, "Fatima" Fatima greeted, "I am a dancer, like Carmen Miranda."
"Maybe you can give us dance lessons," Gabs suggested.
"My specialties are Salsa, samba, and mambo," Fatima replied as she stepped onto the chair in excitement. "Ai, Ai, Ai, Ai, Ai, Ai!"
Everyone else looked at the table in confusion, then Fatima sat back down in embarrassment.
Principal Merritt walks up to them sternly, but he smiles, leaving Vanessa, Summer, Gabs, and Anson confused.
At another table, Claudia Caldwell watches her in disgust, along with her two lackeys, "Glenda" and "Marsha". "Seriously?" Claudia asked in anger, "Vanessa Merritt, youngest daughter of Principal Gary Merritt, sits with a bunch of colored creeps. What a weirdo."
"You tell them, Claudia" Glenda smiled deviously
"We all know, your the prettiest girl in Seattle," Marsha commented.
"Really, I thought Vanessa was the prettiest girl in Seattle," Glenda said as Claudia glared at Vanessa in jealousy.