It was a cold Spring morning when it all began

Chapter One

Time and Tide

It was a cold Spring morning when it all began. The birds were twittering happily outside. The smell of pollution and flowers floated through the opened window that looked out over an uninviting parking lot. Casey hated this view. She had always hated it but her mother refused to move away into another area of town so they were stuck. Her mother was so obstinate that she didn't even switch rooms with her own beloved daughter. She said that since she paid the rent then she had the right to have the better view. Casey just saw it as being selfish and hostile. She survived though. There was not much she could do about it at any rate.

Casey sighed and got up. She rubbed her eyes in an attempt to make them more focused, It helped a little bit. She stood up and caught herself before she swayed badly enough to fall back on the bed. If she had fallen back on the bed she knew that she would never have gotten up again. She had no caring and bossy mother to make sure she arrived at school on time every morning. Her mother didn't seem to care what Casey did or what happened to her if she did anything at all.

Casey sighed and crossed the room over to were her meager supply of clothes was waiting for her in her dresser. She extracted a blue t-shirt and slacks and put her hair into a sloppy pony tail. Without much though she headed to the bathroom where she brushed her teeth and washed her face. A loud beep outside made her jump out of her groggy mood. He was going to get the police at her house one morning, she thought irritably. Casey dashed out the door grabbing her purse and back pack as she ran.

Awaiting her at the foot of the walkway in a shiny black Chevy was her long time friend Mark. He was looking at her with a grim smile on his face as she walked over and opened the passenger's door.

"Don't complain," he said before she could open her mouth. "If you were actually ready when I got here then we wouldn't have the issue of the beeping horn now would we?" Casey closed her mouth rather reluctantly. Of course he was right. He was the brains of the pair. It wasn't fair. She balled her hands into fists and shook them in his direction. He roared with laughter and turned the radio up full volume so that she could not give him a good retort.

"Chicken," she muttered. He didn't hear her. He was trying to imitate the vocalist as they screamed their hearts out. Casey did not like too much of the heavy metal genre but she could tolerate it. Mark was her only way to get to school. It was either get a ride or walk. There was no bus close enough to take her to school. She had to make do with a neighbor.

Mark drove slowly thanks to the oncoming traffic. Casey hated morning traffic. It tended to make them late for school and Mark left rather early. Casey drummed her fingers to the tune of the guitars as they waited for yet another red light. The only plus in heavy metal was the guitar. It was unbelievably catchy and had an extremely good rhythm. It was the only part that made the rides to school bearable. Well that and the occasional vocals. Some vocals were actually good and Casey couldn't grasp why they chose to scream instead of sing when they could be so much better sounding using the latter.

"Almost there," Mark said loudly over the music. He didn't even bother to turn it down. He would much rather have Casey strain to hear what he was saying instead. The more she suffered the better. A terrible theory to live by in her opinion but he would hear none of it. Whenever he listened to her complain he just grinned and turned the music up louder. Naturally she had just given up on complaining altogether because she valued her hearing.

With five minutes before the bell Mark parked in the school parking lot. Casey did not even wait for the car to come to a complete stop. She jumped out without shutting the door and ran towards the building. It seemed to get farther and farther away as she ran closer and closer towards it. Mark called something after her but she ignored him. He was not her concern anymore. He could handle being late because it was he who drove the damned vehicle and chose the lanes that had all the damned traffic. Casey was just desperate and therefore had the right to ignore him and make him do most of the work if not all of it.

She arrived at her locker with three minutes to go. She shoved everything in pell-mell and hastily extracted the necessities. Then without taking a second glance into her messy locker she slammed the door shut nearly getting her finger caught in the process. She let a stream of profanity escape as she walked speedily towards her classroom that was across the hallway. She sat down with one minute to spare. She breathed a sigh of relief and leaned back in her desk stretching to ease her muscles.

"She looks like she just ran a mile." Casey turned to glare at the porcelain beauty that was giggling and pointing in her direction. She was an athletic blonde with baby blue eyes. She always smelled like a baby and all in all made Casey sick to her stomach. She had never met someone more unbearable. Casey half hoped every day that the girl would get expelled for all the evil doings she did behind all the teachers' backs. It was simply unfair how she got away with everything.

The boy she was talking to was a little different. He was more beautiful than she was by a long shot. Every girl in the school had a crush on him except for Casey herself. Mark marveled that Casey could handle that kind of pressure. Sure the boy was gorgeous with his long black hair and jade green eyes but he was just not attractive or appealing to Casey. He had no personality, or it seemed that way considering who he chose to hang out with.

Casey glared at the two of them before she turned back to stare at the empty white board in front of the classroom. Her English teacher had just gotten up to write the day's notes. Glad of something to do Casey took out her English notebook and began scribbling madly in her hasted to keep up with the teacher. She heard giggling behind her again but chose to ignore it. There was no sense in getting intimidated so early in the morning considering she was not a morning person in the least. She concentrated whole heartedly on her notes.

"Rough morning again?" Casey jumped. He was always so quiet and it truly irked her sometimes when he scared her by just talking nicely to her. His name was Conor. He was tall and athletic as well as good looking. He was the kind of boy that Casey would have expected to hang around wit her porcelain adversary. He didn't though. He never had. He had always chosen to be nice to her and he talked to her like she was a normal being and not just a freak of nature.

Casey turned around in her seat to look at him. She just nodded unable to speak. She had a problem with talking sometimes when she was with Connor. His type of beauty took her breath away. He was so white and so beautiful. Casey had never known anyone quite like him. If she had had the courage she would have asked him to giver her rides in the morning so she wouldn't be late every day.

Connor was the number one reason why a lot of girls in Casey's school hated her. Connor competed with the black haired boy in looks but surpassed him personality. Casey thought he was far more appealing and a much better candidate for consideration. The bell rang then. It had seemed like an eternal minute.

The period went by slowly but it speeded up eventually when there were ten minutes to go. English was a boring subject. Casey had had a good teacher once or twice. This year she was not so lucky. She usually gritted her teeth through the entire class and clenched the desk in her annoyance. What made people so obsessed with the subject? She looked around and saw some of the students around her avidly listening to what Mrs. Cru had to say. Casey seemed to be one of the few exceptions besides her giggling antagonist porcelain doll.

As time passed Connor began whispering jokes in her ear and made her laugh out loud once. Mrs. Cru gave her a withering look and Casey quickly closed her mouth. Connor then began to whisper perfect imitations of Mrs. Cru's voice as she scolded a student for playing with their cell phone in her class. Casey laughed again but was careful to cover a hand over her mouth. She successfully evaded another glare from her formidable teacher. In truth there was nothing truly awful about Mrs. Cru. She was in her mid-50's and had a sense of humor and was average enough. She just didn't have the spunk to teach a boring class. Casey would have liked her better if she taught math or history.

The bell rang and Casey walked happily out of the classroom with Connor beside her. They met Mark halfway to their second block. He was looking a little irate about something but Casey couldn't figure out what. Connor looked just as curious as she did but he didn't ask about it either.

"If that Tina bothers me one more time I swear I will have her anonymously assassinated." Mark looked full of vengeance at that moment that Casey would have believed him if he had said that he was going to set off a nuclear bomb on the entire school. Tina was the girl in English who giggled at Casey every chance she got. She was not completely likeable and she was the equivalent of the boy that she hung out with. Every guy liked her with a few exceptions of course.

"What did she do this time?" Connor asked. The two of them heard Mark's complaints almost every day. Tina seemed to think that the only way to get back at Casey for her good luck was by humiliating her other friends in the hopes that they would ditch her. Casey was half surprised every time Mark came up to them and began complaining. He had plenty of reasons to stay as far away from her as possible. He was obstinate in being her friend however and Casey was grateful for everything he did. He knew that staying away from Casey would give Tina the victory she wanted He didn't like letting people win so easily.

The three of them walked slowly through the crowd of students and waited until they could reach their class. It was the only class the three of them had together. Casey loved math that much more. Her teacher had let them sit wherever they wanted at the beginning of the year. That was originally how she had met Connor. She had known him before but she had not known him.

Casey sat in her seat completely at ease. This was also the class she did not see Tina in. Every other class included the porcelain brat except for this one. It was her blissful silent oblivion. She never heard a single giggle. The silence was so assuring and comforting. Connor and Mark apparently felt the same way. They breathed sighs of relief as the class began. It was the rituals of the day moving along as nature moved along its course. Casey couldn't think of anything more peaceful and glorious.

Who knew that it would all fall apart.