A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.
A person or thing that precipitates an event.
catalyzer - accelerator

Some people have weird tastes in names, and some people are just plain cruel. Maybe those people who are cruel, were subjected to the same thing when they were younger.

Not my mother. Her name is Katerina. It's a gorgeous and elegant name, and there's nothing wrong with it. It reminds me of a name you'd see in the 1500s or something, because of how unique, beautiful, and sophisticated it is.

I could even see her as a queen. Queen Katerina. She has long, curly brown hair, and blue eyes. She's about five feet tall, just a couple of inches shorter than I am, but she wears high heels that resemble sky scrapers, so it's okay.

"Catalyst! If you're not out of the door in ten minutes you'll be late getting the rest of your books, and then you might as well miss your first day of college," my mother yelled up the stairwell, her voice echoing through the house as I cringed. I heard my younger brother chuckle as he walked past my doorway, pop tart in hand.

I was thankful in a way that my mother had interrupted my internal rant, as I slid my dictionary bitterly back into my black messenger bag filled with only half of the books that I would need for the day. The other half were waiting for me in the office at the community college.

I slid my faded blue jeans on, and pulled a black band tee over my head. I wasn't going to dress in the fancy clothing my mother had been trying to get me to wear my entire life - not even if I were dead. I wrapped my long chestnut colored hair into a bun and lined my blue eyes with some black eyeliner before slinging my messenger bag over my shoulder.

I raced down the stairs, murmured quick goodbyes to my mom and dad, and took off out the door before anything else embarassing could happen. God forbid my mother look past my black hoodie and see I'm not wearing my blouse and dress pants she'd selected specifically for this occasion.

Thankfully, the college was a short, ten minute walk from my parents' new, two-story house.

I took my time on the walk, taking in every little detail of the small New York State town that I now lived in. Small stores lined the Main Street, including a barber shop and drug store. There were also a few boarded up, old stores that looked like they haven't been open in at least twenty years. Along the sidewalks every few feet were small trees, grass peaking through the cracks.

Just past the large, brick bank, stood the campus for the community college. It wasn't that grand, or anything really. It was rather small. I could imagine that the classes held thirty students, some sitting by the windows because there weren't enough seats. It would be claustrophobic in there, no doubt.

Clenching and unclenching my fists to refrain from digging my long nails into my palms and drawing blood, I made my way towards the main office. There was no way I was going to let this place bother me. No way.

I pulled the large glass door open easily, noticing how... posh, it looked inside. Everything was high class, high tech. Nothing was run down, and everything was... shiny.

"May I help you?" I jumped as the woman appeared out of nowhere, her black, thick rimmed glasses perched precariously on the tip of her pointy nose. I wondered if they would fall off, if she were to tip her head downward just right. She raised a thick eyebrow at me, waiting for me to answer her.

I cleared my throat. "Oh, um. I'm Catalyst Amherst. I'm here to pick up history and mathematic books," I stammered, standing up as straight as I could. My cheeks felt hot, and I could only imagine they were starting to become a soft shade of red by now.

The woman nodded her head, her unruly black curls bouncing slightly as she made a thoughtful noise and disappeared through a doorway.

Maybe if I would've worn what my mother had wanted me to, I would have been the perfect business woman, not stammering or staring, and certainly not making a fool out of herself. I pinched the bridge of my nose. I was such an idiot. Such. An. Idiot.

The books slammed down in front of me, causing me to jump. I wasn't paying attention, again. Great. Can I just go home and start again tomorrow? Ugh.

"There you are, Miss Amherst. Please have a wonderful first day here, and if you run across any problems, please stop in or call the number on your schedule," the woman in the glasses spoke in a monotone voice, as if it were part of a routine for all noob students.

I let out a sigh, and mumbled my thank you's. I gathered my books in my arms, and as I was about to reach for the door, a short, blonde woman burst out of a glossy black door to my right.

"My goodness! Did you say you were Catalyst Amherst," she demanded excitedly as if I were some famous big shot.

Glancing around the room, I nodded my head slowly. "Yes, I am," I said softly, taking a step back.

The blonde woman let out a small laugh. "Goodness, goodness. My name is Sora Anderson, but you can call me Sora. I'm the counselor here," she said quickly, thrusting her hand out.

I hesitantly shook it, unsure of what else I was supposed to do as I shifted uneasily from foot to foot.

"You're Katerina Amherst's daughter, right? Oh, of course you are! I heard she just up and move her entire family here," she bubbled on, grabbing my arm and directing me towards a conference room and sitting me on a black spinning desk chair at a large round table.

My eyes were a little wide. This is why we left the city. This is why we left the media. My mother didn't like her family being in the spotlight, but everyone knew her anyway.

"... Famous architect and writer, how could anyone not notice when she left or keep an eye on where she went? I'm quite a fan honestly. Anyway, down to business," she said, suddenly a little more serious but still smiling brightly.

Oh god, what have I done by agreeing to go to college?

"Your mother has requested that you have an escort."

My eyes widened even more, if that were possible at all. "What?" I demanded.

Sora laughed at my shock. "Oh, come on. You've never been to an actual college, classes have already started, and she requested that you have an escort for a week or so to get you through, to help with the transition. I thought it was an excellent idea, and was shocked that I hadn't suggested it first," she babbled, hurt in her voice as she told me the last part.

"Wait. You mean, I'm going to have another student leading me around like somebody that is incapable of finding their way around their own schedule?" I demanded, feeling my folded and worn schedule burning through my back pocket as I spoke about it.

"The high school I attended was three times the size of this. I don't see why she thinks I need an escort. I'm not helpless," I murmured, covering my face with my hands.

My mom had gone overboard with this. Sure, she may be trying to help, but this so wasn't helping my sanity.

"This. Is so. Embarassing," I murmured, shaking my head. She was really going to hear it whenever I'd be able to use my phone to call her, or even if I seem her.

"I'll let you be for a moment," Sora patted my back lightly, still sounding upbeat and like she had something up her sleeve. I didn't like the way she spoke.

I grumbled to myself once more, "So. Embarassing."

"Hey, I'm Riley Dierde. You must be... Catalyst? Catalyst Amherst?" a deep voice questioned from above me, as if he were reading off of a paper.

I cringed. Did he hear my grumbling? Dd he just witness my brat episode? Me throwing a fit? Oh god. Was he my escort? I hadn't even looked up yet, and I was already freaking out. Deep breaths, Cat, deep breaths. Look up, I reminded myself. You gotta be polite, you never know if reports will go back to mom. On second thought, maybe I'd be freed from an escort sooner if they did.

I slowly raised my head and thrust my hand out to shake his hand, sitting up straight and trying to smile. "Please, just call me Cat. If not, I may just die."

He laughed, startled, his eyes widening as they met mine. I raised a curious eyebrow at him, wondering what had caught him so off guard. Hmm.

Riley was tall, very tall, and had shaggy black hair. Though his eyes were widened in some sort of shock, they were bright green, which just so happened to be my favorite color. Lucky me. He was wearing a fitting dark blue v-neck tee, dark worn jeans, and skate shoes. Attractive.

"What?" I asked finally.

His cheeks turned a light shade of pink as he snapped out of it. "Your eyes are just... A really unique shade of blue."

I quickly turnedy head away, my cheeks feeling warm. Wishing I'd warn my hair down, I snatched my books and my messenger bag.

"So, chemistry?" I asked, gritting my teeth. I just needed to keep calm. Easier said than done.

Riley laughed uneasily. "Must be your favorite subject, eh Catalyst?"

I was going to kill my mother.

A/N: New story. :D I know, I don't even update my other ones that much, why get another one going? Because I need something cheerful, and what better than a cliched romance?