Lesson Two: First impressions are kind of Important

My mother kept herself in a perpetually drunken state to forget about me. When that failed, heroin or coke filled the empty hole I seemed to have created in her. When I was five she checked into rehab, leaving me with my dad, Norman, who blamed me for everything that went wrong regarding his high school sweetheart. We never heard from her again, even after she'd gotten clean. I guess she decided some mistakes should remain in the past, and I guess that included me. Was it really my fault? I'd behaved, I'd called her momma in the cute way little kids do. I even made her a scribbled card for mothers day in kindergarten like all the other kids. Was it just my existence, was that too much for her?

"Listen, Caleb, if you get detention one more time, I'm sending you to military school, do you understand me?" Norman North yelled at his son, who was dressed in his typical led zepplin shirt T-shirt and extremely baggy pants with holes in them. Sixteen year old Caleb North shot his father a typical as-if-I-give-a-damn glare before slipping his seatbelt on. His father lectured him this way every morning before driving him to school, as if the harsh words substituted a good morning. To Norman, the speech had become so routine even he knew the words by heart. Caleb shoved a stray strand of his light brown hair (at medium length now, definitely in need of a trim) to the side of his forehead. His mud brown eyes flashed anger, but at what, at who, one could never tell; perhaps he constantly felt anger towards everyone and everything.

Norman let out a sigh as he shoved the keys into the ignition and pulled out of the driveway. Caleb watched the rear view mirror absent mindedly as his house, a run down residence painted a pale yellow, faded from his sight. The dirty white window shutter that had come undone at the top hinge now leaned haphazardly against the window, threatening to fall. The broken window pane of his bedroom on the second floor, covered with cardboard until it could be properly repaired, reminding him of the long-winded lecture Norman gave him in response to the incident. The tattered welcome mat that laid awkwardly in front of the house's paint chipped wooden door, failing to serve its purpose. Just like everything else in his life, the place he left and came home to every night offered nothing welcoming to him at all, despite the welcome mats best efforts to persuade any visitor otherwise.

"Did you hear me, Caleb?" Norman bellowed, clearly not finished with his substitute 'Good morning'.

"No, I'm deaf." Caleb rolled his eyes. "How could I not hear you when you yell at a decibel level that could compete with the sound of an airplanetaking off?"

"You sarcastic prick, if you heard me, you better answer me, understand?"

Caleb had another bitter-soaked comment up his sleeve, but he bit his tongue.

"Whatever," He growled, turning his attention to the scenery rolling by outside his passenger side window. More houses, broken down and unattended to, housing more people in this town who wouldn't go anywhere in life outside the perimeters of this community, mocked him the entire way to the school. They screamed mediocrity and failure; he'd never be good enough, he'd never make it anywhere in this world, he'd never make his mother regret leaving him behind. Such thoughts might have eaten away at a different person, but Caleb internally sneered back at the inanimate object's teasing. Who the hell did he have to be good enough for, its not as if anyone expected anything from him. Why the hell would it matter if he amounted to anything in this world its not as if anyone cared, and why the hell would he even care if the mother who left him regretted it, its not as if it mattered to him anymore. He didn't care about any of it, he learned to stop caring about things like that a long time ago.

"You're tuning me out again. You need to grow the hell up." Norman reached across and slapped Caleb upside the head, causing his head to slam into the window. Norman jerked his arm back to the steering wheel to turn into the school's parking lot.

"Bastard." Caleb muttered underneath his breath. He couldn't wait until Norman finally decided to give him back his car keys. Caleb broke curfew for the sixth time last month, and his father didn't let it slide without what he deemed a 'strict punishment', which considering the result of it had been Norman driving Caleb to school for the past month, it truly was.

"What the hell did you call me?" Norman nearly spat as he pulled into a parking space driving very much like someone intoxicated would due to his rage.

"Nothing." Caleb sneered as he grabbed his backpack and opened the car door.

"Don't you push me, Caleb North. Don't make me the bad guy. I just want you to grow up, be responsible. You have to stop acting like the entire world is against you."

Caleb didn't reply, unless the car door slamming shut merited a response to Norman's redundant monologues.

Sometimes it really did feel the world was stacked against him. Not that he cared.

"Excuse me, could you please help me?" Arvy asked softly to a tall girl in the hallway on her way to class. Arvy landed on earth roughly two hours ago, and already she found herself on the verge of being late for her first class. School posed as a cover; the school would find all the information a student needed to have - the birth certificate, social security number, any other forms they deemed necessary for enrollment - all accounted for in Arvy's files. Too bad heaven couldn't arrange host families. Arvy had to figure out how she planned to survive on this foreign landscape by herself, though she did currently have close to ten thousand dollars to get started. What purpose the green paper served, she had yet to figure out.

The school bustled with liveliness, a positive, upbeat energy she soaked in. She liked how colorful everything in the school appeared. Bright posters declaring GO PANTHERS! proudly lined the space between the multicolored lockers and the ceiling of the hallways. Even the varicolored fabrics the people wore nearly blinded her in their radiance. Someone passed by her wearing orange-and-yellow-striped pants, a bright pink shirt that read: Kiss Me (which, Arvy though, was a bold thing for the shirt to request), coupled with a one strap book bag covered in various pins that hung loosely at the platinum blonde haired girl's side. She couldn't wait to tell Tyler about it, she figured he'd get a laugh out of the bizarre attire.

"What do you want?" The tall girl asked with a tight smile as she flipped some bright hair off her shoulder.

"I'm a bit lost." Arvy admitted, feeling certain this counted as a poor first impression.

"You're new?" The girl asked with a raised eyebrow.

"We both are." Arvy jumped in surprise at the warm male voice and the arm now draped over her shoulder. She looked to her side hesitantly to find the arm belonged to none other than Mars Heaton, a pure angel apparently taking the H.A.L.O.W. exam as well. Mars represented everything all the teenage male mixed angels wished they could be. He possessed great charm, a winning smile, and as a pure angel, a lot of respect. His eyes were an icy blue, and his hair was raven black, a rare combination for a human, an even rarer combination for an angel. He threw a quick wink at Arvy, causing her to blush. She didn't know Mars personally, but angels took community seriously, meaning they stuck up for each other whenever possible. It didn't happen so much between a pure angel and a mixed angel, but perhaps Mars considered sticking up for his fellow species to be especially important. Whatever his reasons, she thanked him silently for stepping into what she felt was a failed attempt at conversation.

"Oh." The girl's tone changed at seeing Mars; never had her eyes witnessed such a miraculously gorgeous male! "Let me take a look at your schedules to see where you need to go. I'm Sasha by the way," She chirped, all too happy to help them out now. Arvy and Mars pulled out their schedules as requested, which Sasha scanned over, taking a mental image of Mars' for future 'coincidental meetings'.

"Looks like you both have calc first period," She announced crestfallen at this development, "It is at the very end of this hall on the right. Can't miss it."

"Thank you so much!" Arvy beamed.

Mars chuckled at her before leading the way through the crowd of students bustling to get to their first class before the tardy bell. The newly formed duo slipped into two seats beside each other just before the bell rang. The teacher announced the new students transfer before slipping into a lecture about the Chain Rule.

Halfway through the class Mars passed Arvy a note.

Arvy, wide-eyed at Mars' act of a somewhat insubordinate nature, quickly grabbed it before he could be caught by the teacher.

Who's your assigned soul?

His penmanship was perfect. She didn't know what to answer exactly. Finally she took a deep breath and replied:

Caleb North.

He looked at it, nodded as if he knew the guy personally, scribbled a quick note, and passed it back.

What's his deal?

He's an atheist, has no respect for his father, stole two cars - he didn't get caught for those, but - and he lies to his father all the time about things! I'm doomed! I haven't met him yet, and I'm scared to!

Haha, I think you'll manage.

What about you? Who's your soul?

Get ready for it: Sasha, the redhead who gave us directions to our class.

But she seemed nice?!

Totally superficial, materialistic. Greedy, spoiled, and fake.

Arvy studied the note, puzzled. It appeared her first impression of Sasha had been far from accurate. She made a mental note not to be so trusting, though it veered against her character not to see the best in people.

*Author's Notes*

For the first chapter I recieved four reviews, which is definitely a nice start, but I have a feeling you guys can do better :) I want to set a record for the most comments recieved on one of my stories (So far that record would be 31 comments, for a different story on inkpop). Why? Because I love feedback, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. So - help a girl out? Even a one line review is appreciated :) Thanks in advance!