Bare with me as I edit the story. I know there are mistakes . Both with tenses and grammar issues. Feel free to point them out if I miss any and look for new chapters as I write and post them right away (thus the reason for the mistakes. These chapters are posted raw off the writing spree) Enjoy!
Marleena stepped onto the school grounds and heaved her backpack onto her back. She was a tall, slim sophomore girl in high school who was glad to be back in her hometown. Ireland had been a great place to live at for a couple of years, but this was where she had grown up. This was where most of her memories had been created. Marleena flung her brown hair out of her face. In the sunlight, she knew the tint of red glimmered as she walked. She had liked her hair long, but after a while she became sick of taking care of the thick hair. Now it was curled inward at the tips, brushing her shoulders.
As she found a glass door with white writing that said "The Office," she took a deep breath. Her hand on the handle, she swung the door open and stepped inside. The lady at the front desk immediately knew who she was and smiled. Marleena blinked soft brown eyes at the lady and smiled in return. She handed her a few papers, one being her schedule and another being a list of the books she needed.
Another girl walked in and waved at the lady in the front desk. This girl was a little shorter than Marleena was. This was not anything new to Marleena. She was tall, maybe 5'7", but this didn't mean she never met anyone taller. She simply knew a lot of women who were shorter than her. The girl smiled at Marleena and practically bounced up to the counter, her dirty-blond ponytail bounced with her head. Marleena sighed and already suspected why she had been told to wait a moment. Most likely this bright blue-eyed girl was here to show her around the school. Anyone who wore pink was listed as someone who Marleena would probably not particularly enjoy. At least the white shorts were cute... maybe she wouldn't judge her right away. After all, her clothes were comfortable, nice, but comfortable. Marleena didn't dress to look cute, she dressed in whatever looked comfy.
The girl smiled at Marleena and then nodded at the lady.
"Yeah, sure. I'll do it, I have that class now." The girl smiled at Marleena again, revealing braces on her teeth with pink rubber bands. "Hi, I'm Kathy Reggle. I'm here to help you get your books and get to class." She began walking, "Come on, we need to go to the library."
Marleena followed and when they left the office, she looked around. The school was old, but she could tell that it was kept clean well enough. The trash was picked up and the grass was green. She glanced down at her shirt; her green tank top was a few shades darker than the color of the grass. The halls were outdoor, simple little roofs connected to the top of the rectangular buildings. It was enough to keep the rain out... if it ever did rain hard enough to get wet. The weather in Poway, California had not changed much. It didn't in the years she grew up here, why would it now?
"So, I heard you are a transfer student, from where?" Kathy turned a corner.
Marleena tore her gaze away from the campus and glanced at Kathy, "Oh, I moved from Ireland. My dad is sometimes transferred to different countries for longer than necessary. I was old enough to go this time, so he took me with him."
"That's quite far from here, but I would have loved to traveled out of the country." Kathy paused for a moment and looked at Marleena, "I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name."
"That's because I didn't tell you my name," Marleena mumbled.
"What was that?"
" Marleena, Marleena O'Connar."
"What a beautiful name. It doesn't sound Irish though."
"I don't know what it is. Besides, I said I went to Ireland for a few years. I didn't say I was from there."
"Well, here we are. Here hand me your list, I'll get the books for you."
Kathy walked into the library doors and Marleena followed. The library was much smaller than her old school's, but at least it was cool inside. Kathy talked to the Librarian and soon came back with six books. She handed them to Marleena as she took her backpack off her back. Marleena looked at the books as she put each one into her backpack. The first one was Geometry, then Spanish 3-4, and a small workbook for Spanish as well. The rest of the books were a thick biology book, an English book, and a World History Book. She slung the backpack over her shoulders and brushed off her black slacks from kneeling. Kathy looked down at Marleena's schedule and looked up at her.
"No Physical Education?" Kathy said while Marleena stood again.
"No, in Ireland I already completed all of my credits for that." Marleena took a big breath from the weight of her books. After a few days she could get a locker, but for now, she had to drag the books around with her. Thrilling, Marleena thought.
"Oh, so I see." Kathy walked out the door, followed by Marleena. "Mr. Jefferson's class is who you have first. He's a great Spanish teacher, and right now we're just doing review from last year. I'm surprised they teach Spanish over in Ireland. It just doesn't seem like they would. You're going to love it here, and in fact, you can hang with my friends and me. We can show you around and even show you around town. There are many things to do here."
As Kathy went on talking Marleena thought, "Does this girl ever shut-up?" They turned a corner again and came to a long hallway with doors that had a room number and a letter on them. The buildings all looked the same. They were pasty yellow with green roof edges and gray lockers. At times there would be some painting or mural on the wall. The one they passed said, "Go Titans!" in giant green and gray letters.
"So, what do you think about doing that sometime?" Kathy said looking at Marleena.
"Uh? Oh, sorry." Marleena saw Kathy's face turn from a smile to a little sigh. "I've been here before, not at this school, but when I was in 7th grade, I moved to Ireland for only a few years. My father knows Spanish and so I learned that way, but I'm not good at it. I don't even think I am going to continue it next year." Marleena mentally sighed. The girl now had her rambling.
"Oh, so you pretty much know your way around town?" Kathy looked disappointed.
"Actually, no." Marleena lied, not wanting to make Kathy feel more disappointed. "It's changed a little since I've been here and I can't remember much."
It worked, as they arrive at a classroom door labeled P-7, Kathy smiled once more at her. "The teacher already knows you're coming so just grab the yellow work sheet off his desk and come join my friends and me." Kathy walked in and headed for her seat.
When Marleena walked in, she was glad that everyone was busy working and chatting so that no eyes came upon her. She did as Kathy suggested and after the teacher greeted her, she took her seat next to Kathy where three other girls were.
"This is Marleena, she came here from Ireland. She's been here before though, but she said that she can't remember where everything is, so we can still show her!" Kathy seemed to go on and on, telling them her whole life, or at least everything Kathy had heard from Marleena. Some of it, Marleena wasn't even sure if it was true or not. The girl just kept talking and talking, filling the already noisy classroom with more noise.
"Well, Marleena, I'm Annie. It's nice for you to come back to the US. Especially here in California, a little quaint place, isn't it?" Annie could literally play the real Annie in the musical play. Her hair was just that red. It was the first thing Marleena had noticed about her, besides the freckles that just seemed to cover her entire face and arms.
"Wow, so your father lived in Ireland. I've always wondered what it looks like. Oh, sorry, I'm Shelly, nice to meet you." She smiled, her dark brown eyes sparkled slightly before she continued to listen to Kathy go on and on about some report she did once on Ireland. Apparently, the attention had to stay on Kathy and no one else. This was fine with Marleena. She didn't want the attention; it was bad enough meeting all of the new people. Shelly's long black hair kept falling in her face when she stopped to write something down on the worksheet. Marleena watched as she absentmindedly pushed the strands back before lifting her head to adjust the tight, light blue shirt she wore. It was like a pattern. Push back hair, adjust shirt.
"That's neat. So you actually got a good grade on that report. I bet Marleena could do just as well." The girl smiled and nodded towards Marleena. "Call me Lupe." Somehow, Marleena knew that she would like this girl the best out of all of them. Her voice was soft, and she added to the conversation when she needed to, but didn't press. Most of her worksheet was finished and Marleena suspected that the others mooched off her hard work. She wasn't sure if the pigtails were just to be cute or because she liked them that way. The hair style would have seemed silly to Marleena, yet somehow it seemed to fit the brown-haired, brown-eyed girl. Marleena didn't know how she got stuck with these people, but it was nice to have someone to talk to, especially on her first day. It wasn't that she didn't know how to make friends, Marleena just became bored with large groups. It was hard to follow the conversations and she simply did better with one best friend instead of many. She took her time with the worksheet, wishing her dad was here to coach her in the review. Her eyes glanced around the room, taking in the obvious groups in the small classroom. She could tell who the hard workers were. They all were huddled in a group and were probably almost done with the worksheet. Beyond them were more groups, or at times a pair who worked and talked among themselves. It was as she looked behind Lupe that Marleena became curious. This one student sat by himself, leaning back in his chair. No one seemed to arrange themselves close to him as if they knew they avoid being anywhere near his desk.
"Excuse me," The four girls stopped and looked at Marleena, "Who is that?" Marleena gestured towards the guy behind Lupe.
"You mean Ray? You don't want to associate with him." Kathy said in a matter-of-fact way. There was a hint of anger in her voice, or maybe it was just Marleena's imagination.
"Yeah, Marleena, he is really weird and he hangs out with Terisa and her gang." Annie had a disgusted tone.
"Terisa and her gang are people you want to avoid. I'm still surprised that Ray came to class today. Usually he skips this period." Shelly said and then continued with another subject. "Oh, did you hear what happened yesterday in science?"
Marleena still stared at Ray, ignoring the other's conversation. She could have sworn she saw him before. His untidy dark brown hair and those piercing brown eyes with a tint of green were like from a dream she once had. He could have looked like any other boy, but it was the look in the eyes that made her think differently. It was as if she was drawn to him... she couldn't quite put her finger on what it was. Marleena sighed; his clothes were not that appealing. He had the looks, but definitely not the style. The blue jeans were too baggy and the t-shirt too simple. It may have been wrinkled too, but she couldn't tell from where she was sitting. It was the small symbol on his shirt that caught her eye. She couldn't quite make out what the symbol was on the shirt. It practically blended in with the black color. Marleena realized that Ray was staring at her as well and when their eyes met, Marleena turned away, barley seeing the scowl he gave her. She was too embarrassed to be observant.
When the bell rang, Marleena gave a sigh of relief and left. After trying the whole entire hour not to look at Ray again and listen to Kathy, Shelly, Annie, and Lupe go on and on about nothing, she wanted to go home. Thankfully, it was lunch, so she would be able to at least eat while listening to the gossip. Food was always a plus on Marleena's daily list. Not that she ate a lot just that she loved to eat. Food tasted good. Plain and simple. When Marleena came out of line carrying some food, she sat down next to Kathy who immediately began talking about how she may visit Ireland this summer and other things that just didn't interest Marleena at all. After about ten minutes of eating, Marleena saw a group of five people walking by the table they were at. As they passed, Marleena saw Ray eye her down. A chill flew down her spine as she watched everyone that was in their way move to the side or went the other way. Even the volume of the noise around the lunch area settled down. Finally, the group of five sat down at a table at the far end of the lunch area. She watched them for a moment and they seemed to scan the students in the crowd around them, their eyes darting from one to the next.
"What are they doing here?" Lupe's voice broke Marleena's thoughts and brought her attention back to the group of girls. "They never come and eat here."
"I know, and I think everyone else is surprised too. We always thought that at lunch time we would be able to eat without them around." Annie said eating some peaches.
"Is that Terisa and her gang, you know the one that Ray is in?" Marleena said curiously.
"Yep, that's them. All five of them." Shelly said looking away from where they were sitting.
"See the tall one, about your height with strawberry-blond hair?" Kathy asked as Marleena nodded, "That's Terisa. The so-called leader of the gang, and the one to her left is Cody, her boyfriend. The pair across from them is Elara and her boyfriend Travis. And then, of course, you know Ray already." Marleena nodded.
"So, why are they so awful, I mean, why is everyone afraid of them? They must be in our grade, so why would the seniors be afraid?" Marleena glanced at the others wanting to keep an eye on Ray.
"Well, it is said that strange things happen whenever they are together, bad things. For example, the last time they were together here in the lunch area, they took a student by the neck and beat him up. That student never came back. The seniors aren't afraid, it's just that they don't care so they mind their own business." Lupe sighed, "It would be wise to just stay unnoticed and out of their way."
Marleena looked back at the group. She stared at them a little closer and finally noticed what the symbol was on all of their shirts. It was a dragon. Marleena almost smiled from the comedy of it. There was a group of kids in high school all wearing the same style and colors of clothes with different colored dragons. How stupid could they get? Marleena didn't see anything scary about them... just Ray gave her the chills. She didn't know what it was about him... he just made her uncomfortable.
"Why do they have dragons on their shirts and why do they look so much alike?" Marleena interrupted the group's conversation and they looked at her with wide eyes.
"Don't say that too loud, we don't want to draw their attention to us." Kathy said.
"Well," Annie whispered, "Their group's name is The Dragons. It's their theme or something, I never really knew why and for the looking alike thing? No one really knows, I think it is just their style, but if you notice, Cody and Terisa are always a little different from the other three." Marleena did notice that. Cody wore a black muscle shirt instead of a t-shirt and Terisa wore a tank top, a very low-cut tank top. Marleena tore her gaze away from the group and shoved some more french-fries into her mouth. She had a hamburger with cheese that was half eaten on her plate.
"Tell me, Marleena, why are you asking so many questions about them?" Shelly asked as the others all looked at Marleena.
"Oh, no reason, just getting my facts straight, that's all." Marleena lied again.
She was curious about them and why did Ray stare her down like that? And why were they back in the lunch area when they haven't been in here ever since that student was beat up. Why were there dragons of different colors of their shirts and why did they look alike? All these thoughts and questions were put on hold when the bell rang and Marleena reluctantly got up to find her way to orchestra.
"Do you think she's the one, Ray?" Terisa asked watching as Marleena disappeared into the crowd. Terisa was slowly taking the braid out of her hair.
"I don't know, but I sensed something from her." Ray brought his attention back to the rest of his group.
"Do you know anything about her? I know she has to be new or something, because I don't recognize her." Cody flicked a French fry from the table and put his arm around Terisa. She slid him a small smile, so small that no one would have noticed it if they were not right next to her.
"Yes, she is new. Her name is Marleena O'Connar. She transferred here from Ireland and came during fourth period today. She apparently has been here before, but not since 7th grade." Ray stood up.
"And how do you know all of this?" Elara's blue eyes narrowed.
Ray glanced at her and grinned, brushing some of her black hair behind her ear. "Kathy does have a big mouth in Spanish class."
Travis scooted closer to Elara, almost as if he was claiming her as his own. "What made you go to class today?" He rubbed his buzzed head questioningly. "You hate Spanish and avoid it all the time."
"I don't know. I just had a feeling." Ray began to walk as the others stood to follow. The group all walked to the end of the lunch area and looked at each other. They glanced at the dwindling crowd of students and were silent as they watched. At times, students would glance their way and quickly dart around the corner of a building or look away and turn the other direction.
Terisa smiled softly, blinking her blue-eyes innocently, "Oh no, it's the Dragons! We better hurry!" She mocked. "Bunch of silly little idiots. Look, I've got detention today with Cody, so we'll be late today, make sure you tell Kinkade about Marleena, Ray." Terisa said as Ray nodded.
"Elara," Ray smiled, almost grinning from ear to ear. "She has orchestra next."
"Then I guess she's stuck with me for the next hour." Elara kissed Travis on the cheek. "I'll see you after school." Travis put his hand against her cheek for a moment before she walked in the same direction that Marleena headed in.
"So, Ray, seems you know her whole schedule." Travis said.
"Yes, after hearing Kathy ramble on and on, it gets stuck in your head, you know?" Ray looked at Terisa.
"Oh wait let me guess. She is in my last class, Biology right?" Ray nodded as Terisa smiled, "Well, I guess I'll try and be nice, but you know, if she is one of us, she should already feel some kind of inkling or something." Terisa smiled at Cody, "I'm off to Geometry, and I have to go today so that my detention won't double." As Terisa left, Cody and Ray headed for Physical Education.
"You ready to play some racket ball?" Cody grinned at Ray.
"Yeah, and this time, I'll try to hit the ball instead of the teacher." Ray gave a little chuckle as they walked on.