I wasn't rich. I wasn't popular. And I definitely wasn't pretty.
I was average.
At least, that is what I kept telling myself as I walked through the hallway of Wright High. I was nervous. It was the middle of the semester and of course my father would get orders to be transferred. He was a captain in the Navy and, of course, could never say no. I had no say in the matter, like always, and so with a smile I climbed into our attic and began pulling boxes down.
It was just my father and I. My mother left us when I was 12, and she refused to take me with her. I thought their marriage was a happy one. However, after my eighth birthday the happiness seemed to disappear. My parents fought all the time; over money, myself, and the little things that my father did. I didn't see anything wrong at the time, but after our fourth move, my mother had had enough.
So she left.
Now it was Rhett and I. I would like to say that it was great living with just my dad. That is if your definition of great includes a strict nine o'clock curfew every night, no loud music, no cursing, drinking, smoking, or drug use, and a completely immaculate house that would make any OCD addict proud...then I guess it would be great.
I sighed. I should be used to this. Being the new kid. But you never really get used to the stares, snide comments, and rude jokes that are made at your expense. I shuffled the papers in my hands until I found my class list and schedule. At least this school was significantly smaller than the other ones I had been in. It would surely take no time to find my way around.
As my glasses slid down the bridge of my nose, I quickly looked at the schedule to see where my next class was located. I heard the tardy bell ring and frowned. Late on my first day. Great!
I tucked the papers into my bag and looked up right before slamming into something hard. I pushed my glasses up and felt my face redden.
The boy looked at me with disgust. "Why don't you watch where your going," he said stiffly.
I nodded silently and pulled myself inward, "Sorry." The word was barely audible.
That was another problem I had. I was too shy, too cowardly, and way too quiet. I wished that one day I could be loud, borderline obnoxious even!
I quickly pulled myself into the lockers and pressed my back firmly against it as the crowd began to pass, the boy scoffing and walking away shaking his head. I frowned and pulled my papers out to check the schedule one more time.
The final bell rang and my mouth popped open into a small 'o'. "Crap!" I quickly ran to the classroom and tugged at the handle, slowly opening the door. The squatty balding man by the blackboard sighed in frustration and looked over at me. "Well, don't stand there all day," he said, obviously irritated. "You must be knew."
I nodded and handed over the papers. I head whispering and laughter erupting from the other people in the classroom and peeked my eyes over the top of my glasses to examine the room.
I figured for an honors Calculus course that it would be all nerds and geeks, like me. However, my eyebrows rose in surprise and the back row. I spotted three letterman jackets and two preppy blonde girls. On the end next to the empty seat sat another letterman jacket, but this guy seemed out of place. As my eyes met theirs, their laughter grew louder and I quickly turned my head back to the teacher.
"Class, this is Jane," the teacher said, handing the papers back to me after he initialed by his name. "Jane, I'm Mr. Burns, your Calculus teacher. Welcome to Wright High. Why don't you introduce yourself to the class."
My mouth went dry and I felt my body go rigid. Public speaking? Me? Seriously! "Um," I whispered. The snickering continued and I shuffled my feet uncomfortably, "I'm Jane, I just moved here from Pensacola. Um...yea..." I trailed off.
"Right, well, take your seat in the back next to Mr. Palmer." Mr. Burns pointed. My eyes followed the direction and widened as I looked at the boy who I would be sitting next to. The lone letterman jacket on the end.
He was beautiful. His eyes caught mine and he chuckled before shaking his head.
"Please take your seat Miss Eckhart."
I snapped out of my gaze and quickly hurried to the empty chair and slid myself into it. I slipped my bag off my shoulder and let it fall to the ground with a soft thud. After pushing my glasses back to the top of my nose, I pulled my book from the bag and opened it.
Mr. Burns resumed his teaching and I sank down into my seat. To me, school was easy. It was life that was hard. I would rather spend my time doing math problems, or writing term papers, rather than actually going out and experiencing things.
I had never been to a pep rally, or a football game, or even eaten lunch in a cafeteria. For some reason, it just never appealed to me and I didn't even bother with it.
My eyes traveled from the problems on my book to the boy sitting beside me. For some reason I was completely infatuated with the way he looked. My eyes traveled to his hands, large and tanned. There were edges of callouses on the side of his palm, I assume from weightlifting, and his nails were short, probably from being bitten.
His wrists disappeared into his letterman jacket that was black and red, with a black 'RB' on the side, along with a few patches. My green eyes flickered over the writng. "All-American," I mumbled to myself. 'Wow'.
My eyes continued their assault on his body and up to his tanned face. His hair was dark, the color of bark, and his jawline was very square and masculine. His face was perfectly chiseled, as if he were a Statue of David in the flesh. And his eyes...
His eyes were dark, almost black, with small grey flecks in them. They looked dangerous.
A throat cleared and I blinked and realized that he was staring at me. His face was a mixture of amusement, curiosity, and contempt. I inhaled sharply and immediately turned my face back to the front.
"Looks like someone doesn't get out much," a female voice snickered. "You better watch who you have your eyes on turd," she warned.
:"Mel, cut it out," another voice whispered back, "she's just a hermit."
I blushed and sank even lower into my chair. Great. Now I was going to be labeled the crazy, stalker-esque geek instead of just the quiet awkward girl.
"Oh come on Emmet! She was staring at Colt like she had never seen a person before!" the blonde, who I assume to be Mel, replied. She was beautiful, of course! Her blonde hair fell down her back in waves and her eyes were a bright blue. Her skin was tanned also, but the color was a few shades lighter than orange. I assumed it was from one too many minutes in a tanning bed or a few extra sprays of canned tan.
Despite the color, she still seemed to be flawless. She was definitely one of the girls you would want to be associated with.
The boy speaking back to her, Emmet, was just as lovely ad Colt. He looked like he walked out of an Abercrombie and Fitch advertisement. The others looked the same, all perfect in their own ways. They reminded me of looking through my Cosmopolitan magazines. That is, until my father found them and about had a heart attack. He thought I was having sex and refused to let me out of the house for a month; as if I went out anyway.
I sighed softly and scribbled down the homework.
The bell rang, signaling the end of class and I grabbed my things hurriedly and was out the door before the front row. I felt embarassed, I didn't want to be around those beautiful people anymore.
My next two classes went by rather quickly. Latin, which was as I suspected full of bookworms like myself, and then Advanced Chemistry. Chemistry was, like my Calculus class, mixed company. I wasn't used to having popular people in these classes and I actually preferred it that way. I hadn't seen the beautiful boy since Calculus, who's name was Colt. I managed to listen in on a conversation in Chemistry between a few girls who were talking about him. Apparently, he was one of the best running backs' in the state and prepared to accept a scholarship to USC to play. He was smart, at least smarter than the rest of the jocks at the school, but had a really bad attitude. And he was single.
Well, I guess a girl in my position can only dream...right?
I sighed and heard the lunch bell ring. I dumped my things into my bag and shuffled out of the room and followed the massive crowd towards the cafeteria. I turned off before entering and sat down on a bench in the courtyard. The only other people outside with the kids wearing skinny jeans, black eyeliner, and random band tee's. They lit up a cigarette and began chatting noisily.
I pulled a book from my back and cracked it open, unfolding the top corner of the page, and picking up right where I left off.
"Ah, there you are! You must be Jane!" a voice called out before plopping down beside me.
My eyebrows perked up and I turned my attention to the lanky boy sitting next to me. "Who are you?" I asked.
Now this was weird. People rarely spoke to me, especially on the first day! I was a loner, even with people like me.
The boy flashed a small smile at me, "I'm Ryan," he said, shoving his hand towards me. I shook it hesitantly and nodded.
"Right. Well, hello."
Ryan grinned and looked down at my book, "Pride and Prejudice?"
"And Zombies..." I added, flashing the cover of the book to him. I laughed softly. "It's decent, just something to pass the time."
He laughed and we fell into a conversation. He mostly asked questions about where I came from and what brought me to Charleston. Ryan was nice. He was one of the loners at school, much like myself, and informed me that he was a part of the Drama Club and on the Newspaper Staff. He seemed decent enough, and I could tell that we would become good friends.
Or at least I hoped so.
The doors to the cafeteria burst open and an entourage of letterman jackets and mini skirts poured through them. They were laughing loudly at something and I turned my attention back to Ryan, "Are they always that flamboyant?"
Ryan nodded, "Much worse. They kind of own the school. The preps." He gave me a run down on the group schematics. There was Emmet Hollinsworth and Mel Baldwin, who were kind of dating and in my Calculus class. Emmet was on the football team and Mel was a cheerleader, of course! Then there was Jason Stewart, who was a basketball and lacrosse player, Edward Hale, another lacrosse player, Leah Belle, and Macey Mitchell. And at the end, the beautiful boy from Calculus, Colt Bennett. According to Ryan, all of them were wealthy, beautiful, and too full of themselves to associate with anyone else.
To me, they just looked like gods.
One of the girls, Macey I believe, turned her face towards me and grinned. I blushed a little and quickly turned away.
I heard footsteps approaching and saw Ryan's eyes begin to widen. "Well this is strange," he whispered.
I felt the bench move next to me and I turned my face slowly to see who was occupying the space next to me. "Hi," she said brightly.
I stared at her with wide eyes. One of the beautiful people, talking to me. Holy crap!
"I'm Macey," she stated. "And you are going to be my pet."