Chapter 1... again. This is pretty much completely different, I added on a lot at the start :)

The setting sun cast an orange glow over the suburban street. It was a perfectly normal scene, houses with their windows thrown open wide, trees casting dappled shade on the road, the smell of barbecuing hanging in the air. Two young girls sat on the curb, one with caramel brown hair and one with white gold locks. The girl with the brown hair was lying, flat on her back, on the nature strip. She had a ring of bruise around one eye, and her T-shirt was ripped and dirty. She was staring up at the sky, watching pink stained clouds drift by. The blonde haired girl was drawing with pastel crayons. Her brow was furrowed, and she seemed to be concentrating hard.

"Hey Melissa," said the brown haired girl suddenly.

"Yeah?" Asked her friend, not looking up from her drawing.

"You're my best friend. You know that, right?"

Melissa beamed. "I know. You're my best friend too."

The girl smiled, her whole body relaxing. "That's good."

They sat in silence for a while, Melissa still drawing, her friend pulling up bits of grass and throwing them in Melissa's golden hair. Suddenly, a flock of birds rose, twittering, from a distant tree. Someone let out a huge, spine-chilling roar.


Melissa's friend sighed and stood up. "Sorry Melissa, I gotta go."

Her friend whimpered, "Why?"

"Just because." She attempted to get up, but Melissa grabbed her by the back of her shirt and pulled her back down.

"Hang on," she insisted. "I have to give you this."

She thrust the piece of paper she had been drawing on at her friend. Startled, she took it and looked at it. It was a sketch of two girls, one with brown hair and one with blonde hair. The were standing on a grassy hill, with a rainbow arching over them. The words; To Lumi, love from Melissa, were scrawled at the bottom in waxy black crayon.

"Do you like it?" Asked Melissa anxiously. Her friend didn't answer, she was staring at the paper with a strange expression on her face.

Suddenly, the brown haired girl turned and ran back up the street, her hair flying behind her. Her friend stared in dismay at her retreating back. She had just turned the corner, when a man came barrelling around the opposite corner, heading straight towards Melissa. He grabbed her by the front of her pink dress and snarled at her.

"Where?" He growled, "where's Ignis?"

Melissa started to cry. "I don't know what an Ignis is," she sobbed. The man cursed and raised his hand, about to slap her.

"Hey Jerk!" Shouted a voice. The man whirled around and saw the brown haired girl standing there. She grinned and sprinted back off in the other direction. The man let out a roar of rage and took off after her.

"I liked the drawing," yelled the girl over her shoulder. "Thanks!"

Melissa started. She could feel warm breath on her cheek. Suddenly, a hand clammy hand clasped her shoulder.

"ARGGHHHHHHHH!" She screamed, over balancing and toppling off her chair.

"Miss Jones," asked Mr Yarrow sternly. "May I ask what you were doing?"

Melissa scrambled to her feet and straightened her dress.

"Uh-I- sorry Mr Yarrow," she said weakly. "I was just... resting my eyes."

Mr Yarrow looked at her suspiciously.

"I see. Well, I'll let you off this once, but next time..."

He left the sentence hanging, and with one last threatening glance, returned to his seat at the front of the classroom.

"Class, back to your work!" He ordered. The class, most of whom at been staring at Melissa, hastily returned to their books.

"Phew, close shave." Muttered Melissa to herself, starting on her own maths. "Lucky he's so thick." She sighed, and had a stab at the next problem on the page.

'What is the volume of a cylinder that has a height of 20cm and a radius of 4cms.'

She started working the problem out, marvelling how the numbers fitted together seamlessly, the answer slowly surfacing. She would never admit it, but she actually enjoyed maths. Something about the complexity of it all just grabbed her. Melissa raised her pen, about to write the final answer, when a folded piece of paper dropped onto her desk. She jerked in surprise and scribbled a messy line over her meat working out. Throwing her pen asked angrily, Melissa picked up the note and read;

HEy lOseR

WhY R u TalKiNG to YOuRseLF? Is IT Coz U haVE no FreInDS?

Melissa gritted her teeth and crushed the note into a tiny ball. She could hear people sniggering behind her. Tears prickled at the back of her eyes. She tried to prevent them, but they spilled, rolling down her cheeks and dripping off her chin. A few people turned to look at her and smirked. Some looked a little sympathetic, but of course, no one said anything in her defence. It had been going on for years now. If anyone was going to stand up for her, they would have a long time ago.

The truth was, Melissa did have a friend, she just didn't go to school. Her name was Lumina. She was trustworthy, and loyal, and funny, and everything Melissa thought a friend should be. She and Melissa hung out every Thursday afternoon, and the moments she shared with Lumina were the best times in her life. The one thing that annoyed her about Lumina is that she was so secretive. She knew everything about Melissa, but Melissa didn't know anything about her. Whenever conversation turned to Lumina's home life, she would have a sudden urge to go to the bathroom, and wouldn't come back for half an hour. Melissa had never even been to her house, even though Lumina came over to her house every week. Melissa, being naturally curious, had spent hours questioning her, but she just wouldn't budge. She was as tough as heavy duty, reinforced steel nails. Sometimes Melissa felt like she was talking to a brick wall.

There was another bout of sniggering from behind Melissa.

Come on, she thought to herself angrily. Lumina wouldn't let them get to her. What would she do?

She thought for a second, violently wiped the tears from her face, turned to the girls sitting behind her and whispered;

"You spelt friends wrong, you idiots."

The girls all looked stunned. Weak little Melissa had never fought back before. Melissa turned back to face the front, feeling rather proud of herself.

After a few more minutes of Mr Yarrow's droning, the bell rang and the class was dismissed. Melissa walked hurriedly down the linoleum floored corridor. People pointed and whispered as she walked past. Obviously the news about her standing up to her tormentors had traveled fast. Melissa smiled to herself and continued walking. She had grabbed her lunch out of her locker and was halfway down the corridor when she found her way blocked by four figures. She looked up to find Nancy Bloomer, Phillipa Gregly, Colette Sanders and Amy Griffiths towering above her. They were all wearing identical evil smirks and a look that told Melissa they wanted her to die a very painful death.

Plz plz review! Feedback is always welcome, and I'd really like to know if this is better than the previous chapter one. *bats eyelashes* pleeaaaaaasssseeeee :) thanks for reading!