"Ok, Jade, you can do this." I take one long deep breath to brace myself for the unknown and pull open the door and walk inside. I avoid everyone's gazes and start looking for the office. The joys of being the new kid. The sooner I get there the sooner I'm away from all the curious gazes.
"Do you know where the office is?" I asked a random kid with spiked hair who was putting his backpack into his locker.
"Uh, yeah. It's over there." He turned and pointed ahead and what do you know it was right next to the group of lockers I'm in front of. "Thanks." the boy nodded silently, giving me a wary look like everyone else. I expected as much with my medium length hair that I dyed lavender paired with black clothing, including a leather jacket.
I walked in and headed to the reception desk where an older woman, probably in her mid 40s,was busily typing on a keyboard but paused when she saw me.
"Can I help you?" she asked eyeing at my appearance with disapproval. Again, to be expected.
"Yeah. I'm Jade MacCallister. The new transfer student." the woman typed something on the computer and nodded and said she'd be right back with my schedule, locker combination, etc.
I drummed my fingers on the counter while I waited, taking a sip of the energy drink I had to help me get through the day. I didn't sleep well last night, some of it because I was starting school again after being out for two months, which meant the semester was more than halfway over and who knows if I'll have to do extra work to even pass.
"Alright, your locker number and combo are on this little index card- don't lose it until you've got it memorized. And this is your schedule. Your first class is chemistry with Ms. Unger." I nodded trying to make sure I remembered all this information.
"Where is the classroom?" I asked and the receptionist- I glanced at the plaque in front of me- a Mrs. Johnson, handed me a school map.
"Thanks." I say. As I head for the door my name is called out and I look back at the woman.
"Principal Perry wants to meet with you first before you go to class. If you'll follow me I can take you to her office." And draw more attention to myself by being escorted?
"No, it's fine. I can find it." I waved the papers which had the map on top to assure her. She nodded and said alright, allowing me to leave.
I figured I would find my locker first before finding the Principal's Office.
There's a circular bench in the middle of the hallway and I go over to set my books down that are quite heavy so I can actually pull out the paper with my locker number. Locker 46. Now I just have to find it.
I hadn't noticed that someone had taken a seat next to me until they spoke up. "Hey pretty lady." I blink and look at whoever said that. A boy was sitting on the other side of my stack of papers and books with big brown eyes and an even bigger grin. He almost looked too young to be in high school.
"Hi?" I responded, a little creeped out when he leaned forward and rested an arm with his chin sitting on his palm as he continued staring at me.
"I've never seen you before, you a new student?" I nod slowly wanting this conversation to end.
"Yeah." I answered shortly.
"The name's Leo dooley. It's a pleasure to meet a beautiful woman like yourself."
I raise an eyebrow. "Beautiful huh? You must not talk to many girls." Apparently he thought I was joking because he laughed loudly which made some of the students look our way making my face flush. Thank goodness I was wearing make-up that hid my skin that easily would turn red when I got embarrassed.
" You are hilarious!" I wasn't trying to be. "Anyways, can I interest you in a tour of South Mission High? It's easy to get lost around here." As much as I didn't want to, I needed one. I shrugged and stood up.
"Sure kid. you can show me where my locker is." I handed him the slip and grabbed my books.
"Locker 46. It's right over here." he pointed ahead to the group of lockers next to a set of double doors leading into a larger space with tables. Right by the cafeteria, glad I won't have to walk far for lunch. I thanked Leo and headed over to deposit my things minus my backpack.
I scored one of the bigger lockers which I'm happy about.
"How about we start with the cafeteria?" Leo suggested. Without letting me answer he took hold of my hand and pulled me over to the double doors that were already open. I tried to wiggle my hand free but this boy has a grip of steel. He's really starting to get on my nerves.
" Let go of my hand before I break your arm." I say in a threatening tone. His eyes go wide in fear and he drops my hand. At least he doesn't push his limits. "Thank you." Walking a little past him I survey the cafeteria. Round tables are scattered about, most of them occupied except for a couple near the back. I make my way to the farther one away from all the bustling activity so I can look at my schedule and the map.
Leo followed me like a lost puppy, but for some reason froze when I stopped at the table I wanted and sat down.
"Uh, this is the cool table. Only the football players and cheerleaders sit here." he informed while glancing around nervously like said people would show up all of a sudden.
"Well they're not here, they've probably already finished breakfast. And I don't see their name written anywhere on the table, do you?" Leo shook his head quickly.
"Trust me, you don't want to get tangled up with them. My step brother did on his first day of school and it did not end well." I rolled my eyes. There's no way I'm gonna let some lame football people tell me where to sit.
"You can leave anyways. I can take it from here."
"Are you sure? I can help you find your first class." I sigh and roll my eyes handing him my slip.
"Cool, we have Chemistry together!" I silently groaned. It's only been five minutes but this kid already gets on my nerves. I hope we don't have to be lab partners.
"Class is starting in about 8 minutes. If you want we can head over there. Together. " One thing I already knew about this kid, he was determined to be friends with me. Or maybe more.
"Actually I have a meeting with the principal, being the new kid and all. In fact I should probably head over now." Leo nodded and became serious again.
"Fair warning, Perry is not your average principal. She's got a bad attitude and runs this school like a dictator." I smirked, not at all afraid.
"Thanks for the warning." This should be interesting.
Exiting the cafeteria I hear someone yell.
"Hey you!" I turn around and see a red headed short lady in a pan suit marching over in my direction. I point to myself in question. "You the new kid?"
"Yes and you must be Principal Perry I'm guessing." I say after taking in her unflattering pan suit and the fact that students hurried out of her path as she walked over.
"You got that right. Let me get right to the point. This is my school, and I'm instructed to keep an eye on you. Step out of line, and you'll be wishing you were back in juvenile detention." I raised an eyebrow. She was different from my old principal who was a pushover and gave me more chances than I deserved. I get the feeling that it won't be the same here. For one she spoke about my time in juvie without any consideration as to student confidentiality since we were in the middle of the hallway.
I hope no one heard what she said because as soon as she entered the area the students kept a good distance as if she had the plague.
"Uh, nice to meet you too?" I said.
"Don't mock me, Grape Head." she ordered while moving her face close to mine to intimidate me. But her short stature and high pitched voice made it almost comical, as she barely reached my chin. I did tuck a stray piece of my lavender hair behind my ear though, suddenly self conscious about the color. "Nothing in this school happens without me hearing about it."
"I'll take that as a challenge." I retorted sarcastically lifting my can to my lips. But it was ripped away before I could take a sip.
"And no drinks allowed in the hallway." Perry infirmed and I rolled my eyes.
"How else am I supposed to stay awake in my boring classes?"
"Hopefully you'll fall asleep and you will be the first student to get detention on their first day of school." I already did that at North High but whatever, I remained quiet having grown tired of this conversation. "Now get to class." I looked around and realized that the hallway was empty and the bell rang on que which meant I was late. "You're late." I scoff.
"Only because you made me." Principal Perry shrugged and finally left me in peace. Shaking my head I pulled my schedule out of my pocket. 'Ok… First class is Chemistry. Room 34.' If Principal Perry wasn't a person I instantly didn't like I could have asked her to point me in the right direction.
"Maybe I can figure out the map." Yeah right my mind said which instantly filled me with doubt.
Ten minutes later and I am officially lost. I growled and crumpled up the map before I threw it on the floor.
"Why aren't you in class?" an unfamiliar female voice asked and I turned my head to look at its owner. A woman slightly taller than me is standing with arms crossed waiting for my reply.
"I just wanted to take my sweet time getting there." Noticing the goggles perched on her head and white lab coat I'm filled with relief. "You wouldn't happen to be the chemistry teacher would you?"
"I am. Ms. Unger. And you are?"
"Jade MacCallister, transfer student from North Mission High."
"Well since you're new I won't mark you tardy. I had trouble finding my way around on my first day."
I scoff and cross my arms. "I'm not lost." I insisted stubbornly.
"Sure you aren't." she gives me a wink and motions her head while saying to follow her. I do, and hide my relief that she had found me with an indifferent expression.
Turns out I wasn't far off and was only one hallway over from where the classroom was. Still annoying though that I can't read a map, or anything for that matter without second guessing myself.
I could feel everyone's gazes on me when the door opened and I followed Ms. Unger in.
Mrs. Unger turned to face the classroom. "It looks like you now have a lab partner Chase." I looked at the boy the teacher was talking to and saw it was the boy I had asked directions from. "Jade please go sit down so we can continue today's lesson." Nodding I go sit at the only empty chair next to Chase in the front row and besides a quick nod hello we pay no attention to each other. I met eyes with Leo who was at the desk behind us and he eagerly waved at me but I ignored him and took out my notebook and pencil.
I was surprised at how many times Chase answered questions the teacher asked the class, so much so she had to tell him to stop so the other students could answer. Great. My lab partner is a brainiac.
I kept quiet, twirling my pencil instead of writing down notes like I should have. I doodled in my notebook a couple of times to make it look like I was taking notes when the teacher would look over in my direction whenever Chase answered.
I found myself wishing for a different lab partner because I was pitiful compared to his knowledge of atoms and other chemistry stuff.
Mrs. Unger instructed me to read a few pages in the Chemistry book so I could be caught up in the curriculum by tomorrow. I had to take notes as well.
But it's hard to do that when you have zero motivation to do so.
"Miss McAllister?" I blinked and found that was standing in front of the desk with arms crossed and a stern expression.
"Why aren't you reading what I assigned you? " Shoot. I racked my brain for an excuse.
"Uh, I already learned this stuff at my old school. " I lied smoothly.
"Really? Well, then I suppose you can join the rest of the class in today's pop quiz." A series of groans came from the students when she pulled out a stack of papers from behind her back with an evil grin.
"I would be more than happy to do that." I say, catching an amused expression from Chase out of the corner of my eye. Great he's on to me. I gave him a look that said "What?" and his smile dropped. He turned his attention away from me to the test our teacher gave him. Yeah, no one laughs at me.
A two page test is slapped on the table in front of me and I quietly sigh at myself. Why do I get myself into trouble like this?
I sat my test on the pile of others on the teachers desk at the end of class, fairly certain I got every problem wrong. I high tailed out of the room before Ms. Unger could say anything to me about my behavior earlier.
"Hello Jade." Leo said walking beside me with that flirtatious smile he had before.
"Hello Leo." I replied, returning his smile with my own tight lipped one.
"Can I walk you to your next class?" I'm about to say no way, but think about my previous attempt to find the class on my own. I mean, he offered.
"Sure why not." I pulled out my schedule since I couldn't remember what class was next. When I gave it to Leo I noticed that Chase had joined the two of us. He didn't say anything.
"Can we help you with something? " I asked not so nicely. As you can see, I'm not exactly a people person.
"Excuse me? " he asked and he looked at Leo with a surprised look.
"Oh, this is my brother Chase." Leo said and I'm guessing he means step brother since they didn't look alike in any way.
"I don't really care. Where's my next class? " Leo looked back at my schedule and hummed.
"Huh, you're in the Algebra 1 class with my brother Adam. That's usually what you learn as a freshman but you're a sophomore right?. "
"What? Give me that." I swipe the paper from him and looking at it I see that Leo was right, "But I took Algebra 1 last year. This is a mistake." I say getting annoyed.
Wait, I didn't pass it last year. Dang it. I shove the paper back into my pocket. "I'll figure this out later. Do you know where it is?"
"Yeah. Shall we?" Leo offered his arm and I stared blankly at him. Then started walking down the hall. He caught up with me, not discouraged by my rejection. Chase must have gone a different way because I didn't see him run after us.
After a few minutes of walking he stopped in front of a door and opened it for me like a gentleman. "Here we are." I pat his shoulder gratefully and walk in. "Thanks."
I'm relieved to see that I'm not the last person to arrive, in fact there's only a handful of students here. This gives me the opportunity to claim a seat in the back corner so I could have some privacy.
As the classroom filled up I got excited when no one sat in the empty desk beside mine. But apparently nothing can go right for me when it was claimed by a boy who made it in just as the bell rang.
He smiled at me, but not in a flirty way like leo. In fact, he was way older, like he could be a senior so why was he in Algebra 1?
He lifted his chin "Sup." he said and I smiled awkwardly and focused on the teacher who had begun speaking. Apparently kids at this school are more friendly to new students.
Even though I still should be taking notes, I doodled every so often to relieve some of the boredom. In my opinion numbers and letters should not be put together.
When I looked back down at my notebook after trying to read the gibberish on the white board I blinked on seeing a folded piece of paper that wasn't mine.
Glancing around my eyes landed on the boy next to me who smiled at me again and motioned his head to the note. Quirking an eyebrow I discreetly unfold the note, which took a minute to decipher since it was just three words.
Cool drawing. - Adam. I looked down and wondered which one he was referring to. They were just simple sketches of my favorite animal, the black panther.
Half shrugging I hand the note back to him with another awkward smile. He opened it eagerly and pouted when he saw I hadn't written anything. Sorry dude, not interested in any conversation.
When class ended I tried to leave before Adam could talk to me. But unfortunately he caught up with me easily.
"Hey, are you a new kid?" He asked.
"No I've been here all year but you couldn't see me because I was invisible." Adam gasped dramatically, but I don't think it was fake.
"Really?" Is he serious?
I squinted at him. "No."
"Oh. Darn, that would have been awesome." he shrugged it off, "Anyways, wanna hang out at lunch?" I'm taken aback to be honest, but I don't show it.
"You want me…" I pointed to myself then to him. "To sit with you?" Adam nodded slowly like it was obvious. "Uh, thanks but I think I'll pass." I don't know if he just wants to be friends or maybe he somehow developed a crush on me after one class but either way I don't need the trouble. The latter seemed unlikely though.
Adam's smile turned into a sad frown. "Ok." he sulked as he walked away and I probably should feel bad but I'm relieved he didn't push me to hang out. I still need to find a way to drop leo after I'm done using him to find my classes.
I know that may sound harsh, but I'm not eager to make friends here. Get to close and they find out your secrets and then betray you. That's what always happens and I'm determined to not let that happen again.