Hey again! It's me, your romance writer Miyano Ran~ Hope you enjoy another story of mine! Here it is...

You're Special to Me

A novel by Miyano Ran

~ Bernadette Co is known as the shy and kind girl in school. Due to lack of self-esteem, she rarely talks to anyone and remains hidden under her thick shell. But, deep down, she is really a very friendly person… but she doesn't have enough courage to show it. But, as she enters her new school year, she is determined to fight off her shyness and make friends. Then, her old childhood friend comes along… who helps her through the exciting, fun and dramatic school life… and in the long run, life itself. She meets more people who make important marks in her heart… and those are her true friends. This story talks about the inevitable cycle of life and death, constant change, happiness and sadness, triumph and tragedy, hurt and comfort, correcting mistakes, God, friendship, family, romance, loyalty, letting go of the past, forlorn regret, starting anew, optimism, steadfastness, understanding, patience, courage, strength, faith, hope, and above all… love… and so much more. ~

~ This novel encompasses almost all important facets of life. ~

~ Albeit this looks like an ordinary and shallow story at first, if you search deeper, you will see that this is a powerful, sentimental and emotional story that can move hearts. Do not be deceived by its simplicity. After reading this… you will feel that life has so much more to offer. Life is… special, the most special thing God created…. Life ~

~ Comedy, Friendship, Family, Angst, Drama, Romance, Slice of Life~

Chapter I- A Fresh Start

It's the first day of school again and I'm just so excited to meet new people. And now, I'm entering another year, another stage of my life. I'm now fifteen and I'm so eager to make new friends! I was quite bashful in the past so I didn't socialize with people much, but now, I'm going to try my very best to break out from my shell and venture into the world of peers and long- lasting friendships. I entered the school gates of Saint Jude Catholic School with a smile and brought with me this shining new hope that this will be a brighter school year. I shyly waved at familiar faces and made a quick eye-to-eye contact with new faces. I gripped the strap of my backpack nervously when I was greeted by one of our strictest teachers in the campus. I bowed lowly and mouthed a soft "good morning". I slowly walked upstairs towards my new classroom. Then, I stopped in my tracks and stared at my class card anxiously and heaved a sigh. My classroom's High School 3A. It was just now that I realized that the school has been renovated during the summer and the last time I was here was our last day of second year. Considering the campus' gigantic and spacious size, I was, without a doubt… lost.

I eyed the large wall clock which hung right above the statue of Mama Mary alongside the miniature pond with swimming turtles inside. It read 7:10 am. Now, our third bell which will signal the lining up of students outside their designated classrooms will ring five minutes from now. This is just terrible… simply horrible beyond thought. Imagine, being recorded late on your first day of school! I knew I had to find my new classroom quickly or else I'd get 'the' pink slip which everyone dreads, most especially on your first day. I hasten my footsteps as I ran pass one corridor to another in every single floor while stopping for a while to make sure it wasn't my classroom. I lightly collided with a kind-looking female student who looked a lot like one of my batch mates last year. I nervously apologized to her; she smiled at me.

"That's okay. Um, do I know you from somewhere?" She asked me suddenly in response. "Ah… I think you're m…my b…batch mate… last y…year? If…if I'm not mistaken. H…hello, it's n…nice to meet you!" At that moment, I felt so insecure, so shy, and so unconfident. I felt really dumb… I tried my best, but I still ended up stammering all the way. I couldn't get rid of my shyness. I wanted to open up and make friends… I really did. Well, now she must have thought that I'm some kind of unsociable weirdo… and she won't want to make friends… I squeezed my eyes shut sadly.

"Hey! I know you! We've never been in the same class… but I've seen you before!" Her cheerful voice which broke the train of thoughts in my head caused me to flutter my eyes open again. I could feel my cheeks heating up; they're probably pinkish right now. Oh, how embarrassing! But, I couldn't believe it… she was still talking to me… even if I was so shy just then! That made me grin… a grin so wide which caused her to giggle. I tried to speak up while struggling to brush my coyness aside. "H…hi, I'm Bernadette Co! I…I was part of class 2B last year, how about you?" Wow. I couldn't believe myself right now; I did great. Well, I still stammered a bit, but still, I was able to make a conversation! I was so happy! My chest was still pounding loud out of uneasiness due to my timid personality, though.

"Hi Bernadette, you have such a lovely name!" Hearing this, I couldn't help but smile. She complimented me. And then, she continued. "I'm Raine, short for Lorraine, Lorraine Huang. Some people call me Lory, though, but I prefer Raine." She grinned. I was about to reply when suddenly, the loud sound of the echoing bell of the school rang. Both of us gasped while looking at the clock. I looked at her hopefully and asked while crossing my fingers. "What class are you going to?" She smiled radiantly and replied. "I'm class 3B." Now, my eyes were probably sparkling. I was probably grinning with a queer look, but I didn't care. It was because I think my very first best friend was going to be my classmate. This was no doubt arranged by Papa Jesus, oh, I was so ecstatic! Sure, I also had few close friends before, but, we weren't that close. It was because I was too shy to open up… so I didn't feel that I truly belong.

"So am I!" I declared with obvious thrill in my voice. "Do you know where the classroom is? I don't and…" Then, she said with a smile. "I know! Let's go together! I'll take you there!" Unexpectedly, without another word, she took my hand and then, the next thing I knew, we were running in full speed while the cool wind brushed on our faces. I could see her laughing. I think she must be happy to meet me, too. I made a soft smile while running alongside her. Finally, we made a full stop when we reached our classroom. We saw familiar and likewise unfamiliar faces outside and inside of the room. Some waved at us and we waved back, too.

"Well, it says class 3A." Raine told me while pointing at the sign above the door. "We're here. Let's get inside and mingle with our new classmates." Raine offered while dragging me again. I grinned at her and nodded. Raine instantly mixed well with the crowd and chatted lively. Wow… I can't believe it… I'll be mingling with my classmates… making new friends… Finally, I can set my insecurities aside… and just, belong. I won't be lonely anymore… Oh, I was too excited already! I was so happy I met Raine since she's such a good person. Then, I decided that it's my time to reach out to people and not otherwise. I took a deep breath and gave out my best smile and approached a girl in pigtails. She was quite chubby and short but she was fair and really cute. I patted her shoulder and when she turned around, I had the courage to greet her and say. "Um, hi, I'm Bernadette Co! We're classmates this year… I think I haven't met you before… what's your name?" To my surprise, she didn't reply. She clasped her two hands together while rubbing her two feet together. She didn't look at me; she was staring at the ground.

At first, I thought that she didn't want to be friends with me; however, I realized that she was also as shy as I am. I took a peek under her long bangs and saw her reddish cheeks. I felt that I had to help her open up to me so that we can become friends. "Which class are you from last year?" I asked kindly. Then, my heart uplifted when I heard her reply to me. I was so happy she started talking to me. "I'm… I'm Xu Yong Fen. But call me Annielyn Kho. I'm actually a transfer student from Chiang Kai Shek College. I'm actually from Taiwan and since my dad moved his business here in the Philippines, our family had to migrate here. At first, I didn't want to come here, but my dad said that there are overseas Chinese living here… so I was convinced."

When I heard that, I had this overflowing feeling of gladness inside me. It's not only because I love absolutely everything in Taiwan like all the Taiwanese dramas, Taiwanese superstars, Taiwanese food, Taiwanese songs, or Taiwanese people, neither was it because it has always been my dream to meet and talk to foreign Chinese since I absolutely love being Chinese… but I think it's because I was able to find a new friend yet again. However, did she say Chiang Kai Shek College? Isn't that where my cousin Daniella was studying? Isn't that in Binondo? To simply clarify things, I queried. "Isn't Chiang Kai Shek here in the Philippines, too?" She chuckled slightly and answered. "Oh! I meant, the Chiang Kai Shek College back in Taipei… not the one from here. I heard that there is a Filipino-Chinese school near here with the same name." I nodded, understanding. "I see. So…"

"The prayer is about to start." The teacher announced while clearing her throat. And so, I had to reserve my many questions for later. I went in line and clasped my hands together when the prayer finally started. I bowed my head and intimately prayed to God. I prayed for world peace, my family's good health, everyone's well-being and safety, friendship and more. I really prayed that something good will happen this school year. I prayed that I wont be the old me who didn't have friends. I wished that I will be able to make friends before I graduate high school… I wished that this year would be memorable; I wished this year would be a happy one. I hoped that I can still maintain my fairly good grades, too and have good relationships with everyone. When the prayer was through, I opened my eyes and grinned. "A new school year…" I whispered to myself with delight. In one straight line, all of us marched in one by one towards the classroom.

Hope you liked that :D review guys! :)