Author's Note:

{Character writing}

Translation

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Every New Beginning…

{Her back hair fell in front of her face as she scribbled a quick not to her friend. She folded it into a small triangle and slipped it into her pocket. Her piercing green eyes followed the teacher as he paced around the front of the classroom, attempting to educate us on the Second World War. I caught myself starring and quickly looked away.}

"Not bad." Iris thought to herself as she quickly closed her black notebook and slipped it into her black messenger bag. She capped her pen and shoved it in her pocket.

The grass was damp beneath her and started soaking through her jeans. "Good think I wore black today." Iris joked to herself as she stood and flung her bag over her shoulder. She glanced at her watch and headed towards the big oak doors of Haycox High.

"We are now entering hell; please keep your hands and elbows inside the car." Iris whispered to herself as she pushed the front doors open. The halls were flooded with familiar faces. Football players congratulating themselves on last season's big win, cheerleaders already planning prom, neuro-geniuses discussing the pro's and con's of the latest "Star Wars" flick, thespians reminiscing of past cast parties and wasted summer school days. Iris wandered down the hall eavesdropping on side conversations.

"Did you hear about Dirk and Alyssa? She totally dumped him in front of everyone!"

"So then I said 'fuck this' and left. I just hope they let me come get my stuff, I mean, they are my parents."

"No, I'm wearing purple to prom, you can wear pink."

"She is such a loser, I almost feel bad for her."

This comment made Iris turn slowly to face the speaker. It was her sister, Hillary. Hillary starred into her sister's eyes with disgust. Never before had she seen a more pathetic being. Iris' lip quivered slightly, then she turned back around. "Almost." Hillary added.

Iris hurried down the rest of the hall, stopped at her locker and opened it. The inside was bare except for the four overgrown textbooks sitting at the bottom. She emptied her messenger bag and collected the books she needed for her morning classes. She starred into the empty pit that stood in front of her, and wanted to die. She knew she'd never really fit in. She'll always be 'a loser' no matter how hard she tried. "I still hate the hell-hole." Iris thought as she held back a few tears.

Summer was her nirvana, total bliss. She had spent it with her grandmother in Ireland. She missed the rolling hills and the smell of warm scones every morning. She had total freedom from her family and could write whenever she pleased.

"You should really decorate this thing." A familiar voice said from behind.

Iris turned around and faced a tall, black haired girl dressed in a full length burgundy and hunter green velvet gown. "Perhaps some of that poetry you're always talking about."

"Era!" Iris' hear jumped through her chest as she starred into the green eyes of her beloved friend. "I thought you were in Portugal. What happened?"

"My father still got transferred, but I moved in with my grandmother, to finish senior year. How was Ireland?"

"It was nothing without you. I missed you. I thought maybe I'd-"

"That you'd never see me again? Don't be silly Iris; I'd never leave you stranded in this hell-hole."

Era and Iris had been best friends since middle school, when Era moved to the Haycox area. They spent everyday that they could together, becoming closer each time. They found everything they wanted to find in themselves in each other.

The two girls laughed as they bell rang and they headed towards their morning classes. "I can't believe summer ended." Iris complained.

"It had to happen some time."

"But it was so nice, you know? My father wasn't here, planning my future. My Mother want' there, attacking my love life."

"Still non-existent?" Era joked.

"Of course, what'd you expect?" Iris responded sarcastically. "But best of all, Hillary wasn't there."

"She's your sister, you can't hate her that much."

"She called me a loser this morning. Practically to my face."

"Ok, so maybe you can."

"You're lucky being an only child."

Just then Iris ran head-on into Hillary.

"Watch where you're going." Hillary sneered.

"Bite me." Iris spat and walked off. "I thought I sensed the presence of evil."

"Classic." Era congratulated.

"Don't you have a class to get to?" Iris asked.

"I'm going, I'm going." Era turned and headed down another never- ending hall.

Iris opened the door to her first hour class and found a peaceful seat by the window. Eyes followed as she took her seat. Iris was used to the odd looks, her all black attire practically begged for them. She pulled out her black notebook and began to write. It was a few minutes before her name was called for attendance, but when she heard 'McDougall' she heard her response being echoed. She looked up to see her sister's accessorized, moisturized, and beautified hand in the air. "Oh shit. This'll be fun." Iris thought sarcastically and continued writing.

{I sat up straight and waited for the bell. The last five minutes of class always take the longest. Finally it rang and I rushed out of the room. She quickly followed and headed in the opposite direction. I wish just once I could talk to Crow Girl, and not be terrified by her radiant beauty.

I watched as she moved quickly down the hall avoiding people as she went. Her grace was hypnotizing. It was like in the movies when the beautiful girl walks down the hall in slow motion and there's and angelic glow radiating off of her. I held my breath and hurried to my next class.}

As they left their fourth hour class, Iris made plans with Era for lunch. "I'll just meet you at your locker." She said and ran towards her own. She quickly did the combination and grabbed her lunch, resulting in spilling her pens everywhere. "Dimmit." She sighed and bent down to pick them up.

"Let me get those." A helpful voice said, making Iris look up. She was starring into the ice blue eyes of Otis Delo, Haycox High's sweetest, funniest, most good looking guy. "There you go."

"Thanks." Iris managed to say, still fixated on his gorgeous eyes. He walked away and Era tapped Iris on the shoulder.

"Hello…Lunch date?"

"Right, I was just on my way." Iris looked back in Otis Delo's direction and smiled.

The tow girls went outside and sat in the sun under a big shady maple tree. They ate their homemade lunches and talked about their summers. Era was in Portugal with her family up until the beginning of September, when she moved back to the U.S. to live with her grandmother.

"I tried to make it back for your birthday, but my plane didn't leave till the fourth." Era explained.

"That's Ok. It was only my 18th birthday." Iris replied sarcastically. She was one of the oldest girls in her graduating class, because her parent made her stay with her sister, who was ten months younger than her.

Their conversation was a pleasant one with birds chirping in the background. The tulips around the school were just starting to wilt, cautioning the end of summer to the passer-by. The bell rang and the two hurried off to class with plans to meet after school. Iris watched Era walk way as she opened her locker. She sighed when she saw the blank walls again and decided Era was right, she really should decorate it. She grabbed her chem. Book and black notebook and shoved them in her bag. Her black jeans were still a little damp from sitting outside, but Iris didn't care, Otis Delo had talked to her.

The chem. Lab reeked of Sodium Nitrate and Hydrochloric Acid. Her teacher was frumpy old Mr. Kanadya who had been teaching chemistry since the beginning of time. "I can't believe I have to sit here and listen to this dinosaur talk about protons and neutrons for 176 more days." Iris though and started coloring her fingernails with a black sharpie.

Iris had a tendency to not pay attention in class. She did her homework on time and studied the night before a test. She had an overall GPA of 3.69 and that was good enough for her. She was naturally smart, and a very quick learner. Her outlook on life was a little grim, but she never lost hope that things would improve. It was hard to get Iris to express her true emotions (unless of course they were of hatred), but her poetry explained them all. It was like reading her soul.

"Sorry I'm late, I was…uh...Detained."

Iris looked up and saw Otis Delo's smiling face apologizing to Mr. Kanadya. She looked around and noticed there was an open seat next to her.

"Take that seat in the back Mr…?"

"Delo, Otis Delo."

"Ah yes, the infamous Mr. Delo. Please take a seat."

Their eyes met. Iris tried to smile but was too nervous to succeed. Otis sat down and sighed. Iris didn't know what to do. She sat there tapping her sharpie nervously. She noticed she only had three fingers left to color. She uncapped her pen with her teeth and held the cap in her mouth. The sharpie squeaked as the toxic fumes filled the surrounding area. She capped her pen and slapped the sharpie onto her desk.

"Hey," Otis whispered. "Aren't you Hillary McDougall's cousin?"

"What?" Iris asked. Then remembered how ever since their freshman year Hillary denied they were actually closely related. "Right, yeah, I'm her cousin."

"That's what I thought. Sorry to hear about your nervous breakdown. Are you-"

"My what?!" Iris shouted.

"Do you have a question you'd like to address to the class?" Mr. Kanadya asked impatiently.

"No. I'm fine." Iris responded sheepishly.

"I'm sorry. I didn't know I wasn't supposed to talk about it." Otis whispered.

"That's Ok. I'll get over it. I always do." Iris muttered.

The rest of the class time was torture. There was a never-ending awkward silence between Otis and Iris. It made her want to vomit.

{I opened my locker and shoved my crap in as quickly as I could. I was going to talk to Crow Girl. I gave myself a quick, mental pep-talk, closed my locker and headed towards hers. My hands shook, my heart thumped, my breaths were uneasy. When she came into my line of sight my blood ran cold. I completely froze up. I swallowed hard and proceeded. Crow Girl stood, with a friend, in front of her locker. I waited. When her friend left I made my move. My footsteps echoed in my head. I stopped in front of her.

"Hi." I squeaked.

"Hi, Iris right?"

She knows my name! "Yeah. I was just wondering if you got the notes from U.S. History."

"Oh yeah. Right here." She handed me a paper written in purple pen.

"Thanks. I'll get them back as soon as I can."

"Don't worry about it. I don't care." Her smile twinkled.

"Oh-Ok."

"I'll see you later Iris." She said sweetly and walked away. I stood, drowning in a pool of my emotions. The brick in my stomach had vanished and I was left with a fresh smile on my face."}

Iris walked up the brick path to her huge eyesore of a house. Its stone walls stood three stories high, four if you count the attic. The big wooden door starred back at her, tempting her to enter. "You sicken me." She spat at it as she turned its bronze doorknobs.

Inside, the big spacious rooms echoed insanity. Iris headed into the kitchen (50's style), where she crossed paths with her mother.

"Salut hello, Iris." Corrinne McDougall greeted in her natural French accent.

"Salut Mammon."

"Est-que tu d'accord?" Are you alright? She asked worriedly.

"Just fine. Et tu?"

"Ca va. Ton pere sera a maison a six heures." Fine. Your father will be home at six

"A quell heure diner?" What time's dinner?

"Six heures et demi." 6:30 She looked at her clock then back at her daughter. "You're very beautiful. You'll find someone, someday."

"Merci Mammon, but that's not what's on my mind." Iris really didn't want to discuss anything with her mother right now.

"D'accord. Have Marie make you a sandwich. You look hungry." Iris' mother rubbed her shoulder and went upstairs.

"Je n'ai pas faim. J'ai confusion." I'm not hungry. I'm confused. Iris said to herself as she left the kitchen and went to her room.

She placed her bag next to her desk and looked around at her royal purple walls. They were her favorite color, it was her favorite place. A big Celtic knot tapestry hung above her four-post bed, a tall mahogany bookcase stood next to it, and her matching desk across from it. Iris lie on her bed and let her mind wander. She soon fell asleep, and when she awoke, felt refreshed.

"Dinner!" Iris' mother called.

Iris rolled out of bed and hurried downstairs. The whole family was sitting at the oversized dinning room table, waiting for their meal. Iris took her place across from Hillary. They exchanged scorns then refused to look at each other.

"'Ow was everyone day? Qu'est-ce que tu fait 'Illary?" What did you do Hillary? Their mother asked.

"J'ai renconu un nouvau homme. Il est tres mignon, et sympthique, et comique…" I met a new guy. He's very cute, and sweet, and funny…

"En Anglais." Their father, George McDougall, interrupted. "We decided no French at the dinner table."

"I don't get why." Iris mumbled.

"Pardon?"

"Why can't we speak French at the dinner table? Mom's French and we're all fluent in it."

"Like I said, we decided-"

"Non, George, you decided. I like when ze girls and I converse en Francais.

"We discussed this. Dinner is family time, and French is not the family language."

Everyone sat in silence as Marie, their maid, brought in dinner. The sweet aroma of fillet minion filled the dining area. Red wine was poured for the adults, while the two girls had sparkling cider.

"Bonne apatite everyone." Iris joked.

Her father sent a piercing stare in her direction. Iris looked at her plate and picked at her food. She wasn't hungry. She wanted to write leave. She wanted to write and sleep, but mostly just get away. She could tell where this conversation was about to head.

"Filled out any more applications?" Her father asked.

"No." Iris answered blatantly.

"No? Have you filled out one?"

"No."

"What are you waiting for?" Iris' father was getting upset.

"World destruction." Hillary replied.

"Hillary-"

"Bitch." Iris sneered.

"Iris!" Her father snapped.

Iris threw her fork down and sat back in her chair.

"Where are you planning to go? What are you planning to do? Where's your future going?"

'Down the crapper, along with my ambition, motivation, and self dignity, thank you very much,' was how she wanted to respond, but went with "Exactly were I want it to," instead.

"I see." Iris' father leaned back in his chair and looked at his wife with a 'what- are-we-going-to-do-with-her' expression on his face. The rest of the meal was eaten in silence.

When excused, Iris ran up to her room. She slammed her door and threw the first thing her hand reached for. It was a picture of her and Era back in sixth grade. She quickly bent down and threw the broken pieces of glass in her waste basket.

Iris stood in her room collecting herself. She went over to her desk and unlocked the second drawer down. She ruffled a few papers around and pulled out five college applications: Whitman, Boston College, Berkley, UC Santa Barbara, and King's College in London. She slapped them down on her desk and dug around for a pen. "I'll make the bastard happy." Iris thought as she filled out the 'Boston College' application. "I'm planning my future, happy? I don't see you jumping down Hillary's throat about this, but hey, whatever the fuck makes you happy."

Two hours later Iris had them all completed, sealed and stamped. The only one she wanted was King's College in London. A whole ocean away from her family. She yawned and took out her black notebook. She read a few of her past poems and did a little editing. They were all about her and Era, their friendship, their trust, their souls. When she finished, she turned on her T.V. to "Daria," her favorite. Her day had been crap, but watching "Daria" always made her feel better.

{You want, I do

You want me to succeed,

I do.

You want me to be respected,

I am.

You want me to have security,

I do.

You want me to stand out,

I do.

You want me to be well-off,

I am.

You want me to outlast the others,

I do.

You want me to be happy,

I am.

Are you?}

Iris closed her black notebook and placed the applications on top of it. She'd mail them in the morning, first thing. Her mind wandered over the events of the day. Seeing Era again made her happy. She was prepared to suffer through her senior year alone, but now that wasn't necessary.

Iris went over to her window and sat on the windowsill. She had the perfect view of their next door neighbors. The room she could see into was empty, for her neighbors moved out a week ago, and her mother was now selling it. Iris hoped a nice family would move in. Then she could sit and pretend she was a part of it.

She sat on her windowsill and watched it start to rain. Iris found it slightly rejuvenating. She sat and listened, for a good hour, then turned off her blaring T.V. Her eyelids felt heavy and she began to yawn some more. She lipped off her pants and on some boxers. She took off her bra and pulled back her dark green covers. Her bed was warm and comforting. She found sleep instantly.