"Matheus, wake up," a voice said. I ignored both it and the hand shaking my shoulder and buried deeper under my covers.

"Come on, wake up," the voice repeated.

"No," I grumbled.

A groan. "You don't want to be late for your first day of high school, do you?"

"Yes, I do," I muttered.

"Oh, come on."

The covers were yanked from above me and I was dragged from my bed by my waist.

"No!" I said, alarmed, my eyes now wide open. "Mom! Mom, let go!"

Needless to say, she didn't.

I hate my life, I hate my life, I hate my life…

I was standing just outside my mom's car, glaring at the school in front of me.

"Have a nice day, hon!" she said.

I turned and gave her a death glare. She grinned kindly, almost apologetically, and drove away.

I pulled the hood of my jacket (I wasn't wearing anything under it, seeing as it was still summer) over my head and, grumbling, stomped up toward the school.

"Hey, kid," an unfamiliar voice said as I reached the stairs.

I looked up from where I was half-glaring at the stone and saw a well-muscled guy in a football jacket standing a few steps above me.

"Elementary school's across the street," he said, smirking. I wasn't sure if he was serious or not.

"I know," I said, sighing.

"So why aren't you there?" he asked, leaning down a bit so his head was only three feet higher than mine.

"'Cause I'm a freshman," I said with a nice, big fake grin to boot.

Before he could say anything to let me know if he was confused or just being a jerk, a girl practically materialized next to me.

He looked at her, mildly annoyed. "What's with all the little kids today?"

I looked over at her. She was a good four inches taller than me, but her face made her look younger, even with her red shirt with black stripes encircling the sleeves and a burning heart on the chest, torn jeans, black Converse, and black fingerless gloves.

She scowled. "Move it, pinhead," she muttered, pushing past him.

She reached the door and looked back down at me. "You comin', or what?" she asked, her expression becoming a bit more… welcoming.

I ran up next to her and we stepped into the annoyingly loud hall together.

"Freshman?" she asked, looking over at me.

I nodded. "You?"

She nodded. "But I have a friend whose brother already goes here, so he gave us the warnings and stuff. Probably a good thing." she chuckled humorlessly.

She paused and turned toward me. "Hey, how tall are you?"

I frowned. "4'9"," I muttered, not stopping.

She caught up to me. "And yet you still look older than me…" she said under her breath. She looked to her left and stopped. "Well, this is my stop," she said. She stuck out her hand. "I'm Ellis, by the way."

I shook it. "Matheus."

"So, I'll see you later?" she asked, almost smiling.

I shrugged. "Probably."

One corner of her mouth lifted up. She ran over to the wall of lockers, waving, and stopped next to a darker-skinned girl with short hair sticking out at weird angles.

I shook my head, disappointed in myself. Probably. Way to flirt, Matheus.

I scoffed at myself and kept walking.