The girl watched from the front seat of her mom's car as the two-story building grew larger and larger, almost wishing she had a trashcan to help release the growing butterflies in her stomach. Her unease must have been evident on her face, because her mom's words were slow and careful. "Just relax, Kensley. Focus on the classes, and you'll be great. And I'll be here after school for you to tell me everything about it." She grinned at her daughter with her warm, blue eyes, creating dimples in her aging face. Her hair was pulled back in a lazy bun, so a few strands were loose here and there.

Kensley could tell she was waiting for her to respond, so she allowed herself a lopsided grin. "Of course I'll do great. First day at a new school, in the middle of the year? Oh, just think of all the possibilities!" She laughed, and her mom joined in.

"You know what I mean." she grinned. "Just be careful."

The blonde teen grinned back at her mother. "I am hurt at your lack of confidence in me." She leaned back in her seat, mostly just for show. "Cause i'm always careful."

"Mmhmm, what about the time you broke your grandmother's vase?"

"...That was a complete accident! How was I supposed to know that vase was there if I had my headphones on and was facing the other direction?" Kensley laughed.

With that, her mom burst into a fit of laughter. "The day you stop wearing your headphones is the day I'll believe you when you say you're 'always careful'," she said, as she pulled into the sea of cars surrounding the school.

"Okay, fair enough." Kensley leaned over and hugged her mom once she finished parking. "I'll see ya after school." She put her hand on the door handle. "Love you!"

"Love you too," her mom said. "Good luck!"

The girl saluted with a grin, before going out the car and walking towards the building.

xXxXx

Kensley felt lost as soon as the front doors closed behind her. Looking around at the great corridor she was just greeted with, she took out her phone and set it at the most comforting, yet less distracting music she had, before placing in her earbuds. Her eyes drifted to the largest of the doors, closest to the one she just came through. She decided that was her best option of finding directions, and waltzed in, her feet moving with a slight rhythm. When she saw the large desk, and the private little hall behind it, she figured she was in the main office. She stood behind the guy in front her and waited for her turn.
The guy was talking to the receptionist. He had jet black hair, which matched his black hoodie. Blood-red streaks popped out brightly against the black. He was taller, maybe by a few inches, so Kensley couldn't really see the receptionist unless she leaned out. Even though his back was to her, the blonde could still hear the agitated tone in his voice, and his posture was slouched, defeated. He seemed to be arguing with the woman; something about changing classes or something. The more they talked, he only seemed to become more agitated. 'Somebody' was an unhappy baby. By the time he turned away in a huffy fury, Kensley had already lost interest in the conversation, and had cranked up the volume of her music. She showed the receptionist her schedule and asked directions to her first class; she'd be able to figure things out from there.

After one very uneventful escort to first period, she took the empty seat at far end of the room, near the front, and looked around as she waited for the class to start. As the students quickly filed into the room, she couldn't help but wonder who in this room she would befriend throughout the year, and who would turn out hating her. It was when she was wondering what would be for lunch today, that she noticed a group of guys walk in, so huddled together that they resembled a gang. In the lead was a tall, bulky teen with his hair in a military buzz, and a work-out shirt which showed off his bare, rippling, mountain-like muscles. Kensley rolled her eyes at that.

Following closely behind Muscle Man was the same kid Kensley just saw a few minutes ago in the main office. Now that he was facing her general direction, the girl could see more detail of him. His eyes were a bright, faded green color, which reminded Kensley of pond-water scum. His skin took on a light, olive tone, and he wore a sly grin across his face. The twinkle in his eyes, mixed with that grin made it look like he was searching for ways to hurt people. ...But there was something else there, something like a fish hidden just below the pond's surface. A somewhat glint hidden, only slightly visible to the searching eye. The two of them walked among the rest of the gang of intimidating-looking teens. All of them huddled in the back of the room, behind her. She sighed. This is gonna be a looong class period, isn't it? The teen merely busied herself by skipping a song she didn't like.

When the song changed to one she really loves, she grinned and began lip-singing, swaying to the beat and drumming her pencil on the desk. Her eyes were closed, but she could feel the stares coming from everyone near her. Kensley merely continued as though they weren't there. It wasn't until she felt a hard tap on her shoulder, that she reluctantly stopped and opened her eyes. Muscle Man and guy with red streaks in his hair were staring down at her, spiteful grins on their faces.

"Nice dancing there, Barbie," Red-Streaked guy stated. "Where'd you learn that? Retards-R-Us?"

Kensley raised an eyebrow at them, then laughed. "Where'd you learn trash talk like that? ' ?'" That got the other kid's attention. If they weren't staring at her before, they definitely were now. But Kensley's brown eyes didn't leave the two boys.

The guy laughed wickedly at her. "I tried there first, but the site didn't do anything for me. I prefer the more natural feel."

The girl blinked at him in surprise, then bursts out into a laughing fit. "Oh, that's funny." She laughed more. "A guy like you, needing to search sites for insults? You are one pathetic excuse for a tormentor, Red-Streaks." She tutted in disapproval. The other classmates laughed.

Muscle Man narrowed his eyes at her, and he looked about ready to throw a punch. He started towards her, his fists clenched. "Don't you dare talk to us that way, you little sk-" But Red-Streaks put his hand out to block him. His eyes were sly and a low chuckle escaped his lips.

"Hold it, Nash." He looks at her. "She's just new. Let's give her time to adjust to the school, before knocking her out. 'Sides," his lips turned into a sly grin. "I don't think weak little Barbie would be able to hold her own."

'He's a dead man,' Kensley thought angrily to herself as she grinned at the boys' retreating back. Her eyes landed on the rest of the boys' little gang, and the grin fell. Sitting among the boys was a girl, who was listening to one of the guy's speak with a bored expression. Kensley blinked. She was sure the girl wasn't there a minute ago. Kensley didn't realize she was staring, but the other girl's eyes drifted to her, and she gave a defensive sneer. Kensley decided to look away then.

The teacher, Ms. Madel, was a short woman, her sandy hair pulled back with a hairband, and dark eyes that seemed larger behind her black rimmed glasses. Despite her size, she carried herself with strength, and her voice rang clear through the room as she called the class to order. She began with roll call, listing each individual by name. When the list rolled down to Kensley's name, Madel politely asked her to stand, to point her out. This got a lot of murmured laughter from half the class, and she even got a dog whistle, which came from the back of the room.

"Nice butt," declared Muscle Man, or Nash, as Red-Streaks had introduced him as.

"Mister Mccormick!" Madel started. She glared at the boy, and took out a piece of paper.

Kensley grinned, and turned to him. She promptly bowed. "Glad you like the view, Muscle Man." With that, she turned again, her back facing him as she sat again*

"Oh believe me, Barbie, we are," stated Red-Streaks.

"Megalos! That is it! You two," Madel gestured to the two boys with her pencil, "lunch detention! Your parents might let you do whatever you wish, I will not stand for your absurdity on your first day back from winter holidays." With that, she finished writing her first note, and began writing the second. The looked up and held them out for them.

"Aww, but we were just havin' a bit of fun with the newbie, Sasha," Red-Streaks, or Megalos, said with a little chuckle as he stood to collect the papers. Everyone chuckled along with him.

"Hush, all of you," Madel said. She turned back to the boys. "If either of you think-"

"Ma'am," Kensley began. "I don't have a problem with it. It gives me a good reason not to share my candy with them." She grinned slyly.

As Megalos passed Kensley, he eyed her, then laughed. "Like I would want anything from you, Barbie." He collected the detention slips from Ms. Madel as though they were nothing.

"How about tips on staying out of detention?"

"Like I even care about that s…" he paused for a second. "...stuff." He hurried back to his desk, handing Nash his detention slip.

xXx

Unlike the events of first period, the rest of the morning unfolded with a thick dullness. Each teacher began the class in a similar way, introducing themselves, the highlights of their line of work, and the rules of the class. The two good things about this repeated rhythm was that the teachers were so busy describing the class, that there was no homework. The second was that neither of the boys in the first period made an appearance.

By the time lunch rolled around, the young blonde found herself facing a giant room overflowing with a large variety of teens, some a bit older, some slightly younger, but most of them her age. Her shoulders sagged. One advice you always hear when beginning a new school is to befriend someone who has the same lunch as you. That way, you wouldn't have to sit alone. The trouble is, that advice is hard to follow for people who aren't the best at making 'friends'. And how're you supposed to know who has the same lunch as you anyway? Do you suddenly walk right up to someone and ask? 'Hello! Can I see your schedule? Aw, you don't have B Lunch? Darn. We can't be friends.' Kensley shook the idea out of her head, and just sat at the closest, emptiest table with her tray of food.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you, newbie," a voice said from further away.

Kensley looked up. Sitting on the opposite side of the nearly deserted table was a seemingly familiar girl. She had darker skin and straight black hair which was pulled back in the front. She was glaring at Kensley with light, chocolaty brown eyes. The corners of her lips were turned down in a frown, as though she hardly ever smiled. She wore a bright red shirt, which stood out against her dark skin. That's when it hit her.

"You're the one who was with that group of guys in first period," Kensley stated. 'The one who suddenly seemed to appear out of nowhere', she thought to herself.

"Yeah. So?" the girl asked defensively.

"Nothing, nothing." She coughed. "So...why shouldn't I sit here, again? You gave some creepy 'you shall not pass' warning when i sat down." Kensley laughed, but the girl was unamused.

"Because this is where me and Ponti sit every day." She shrugged. "If you wanna get beat up tomorrow, be my guest." With that, she looked back at her food.

"Who's Ponti?" Kensley asked. Then she grinned, and leaned in a bit closer. "Is he your boyfriend? Is that why you didn't want me to sit here?"

"Why don't you mind your own business, newbie?" The girl glared at her.

"Because you got me so curious, now. Who's Ponti?" Her voice was light.

"That guy in first period who got lunch detention." She said it lazily, like it was something that happened on a regular basis. "The one with the red highlights in his hair."

"Oooh, okay. Ya know, I think I like the name Ponti, better then Red-Streaks. Never telling him that, though. So what's your name?" Kensley asked, her voice very curious.

The dark-skinned girl looked up at her with a look that asked, 'who the heck is this girl, and why is she here?' "Sky," she said simply.

"Sky...like Skyler?"

Sky glared daggers at the blonde. "Call me that name again, and I'll kill you."

Kensley let out a soft laugh. "Okay, okay, no killing, please," she grinned. "I do like that name, though; Sky. It's unique."

"Yeah," Sky chuckled, but there was no humor in her voice. "Unique." She looked back down at her food, a thoughtful expression on her face.