Maria quickly learned that she had been correct in assuming that room 224 was in the basement, after a good fifteen minutes of searching up and down the halls of the second floor without meeting her destination.

"Fuck," she hissed, cringing as she heard the bell chime, signifying that class was now in session. And she was late, for her first day. Oh well. Like she had thought before, she shouldn't really care what the teachers thought of her tardiness, but rather, focus on being on time as much as possible. She hurried down the three flights of stairs to get into the basement, and then, a few minutes later, found herself at room 224. And it was only six or so minutes after the bell had rung. So, she wasn't that late.

Good.

Maria opened the door to the classroom, which made a loud creaking noise that hurt her ears. The hinges were rusty, and it was easy to tell that it had been far too long since they had been rubbed with oil. However, she opted to not say anything about it, knowing that nagging the teachers about the upkeep of the doors to the classrooms, of all things, probably wouldn't earn her any brownie points.

Once she was inside, all the eyes of the students turned on her. Maria's face turned a bright red color, and she could feel her palms begin to sweat. Despite her near-narcissism, she was never good with having all of the attention on her. Which was kind of funny, considering that she thought so highly of herself. It didn't really make any sense.

"Ah, Ms. Sanchez," the teacher sitting at his desk greeted. A name card on his shirt read "Mr. Banks". He was tall, rather stocky, with a skin tone similar to milk chocolate, and short but very frizzy black hair. His eyes held a warmth that made Maria feel slightly more comfortable. Guilty, even, for thinking that he would be hostile towards her.

"Everyone, this is Maria Sanchez. She is new to Cassingdale, and I expect you all to treat her with respect. Maria, why don't you introduce yourself?" All of the eyes were back on her then, and she felt her heart rate speed up with anxiety.

"I...um..." she started racking her brain for facts that would be interesting enough to share with her classmates, "Well, my name is Maria. But you already know that. Um...I like Algebra, but I hate Geometry, which is probably why I'm in here in remedial Geometry with you folks, and, um...let's see...I like Skyrim. It's a fun game. I spend most of my time on creative writing websites and blogging websites, like fictionpress and tumblr. And yeah, I think that's all that's really important for you to know about me." A couple of the students in the back snickered, making her feel more uncomfortable. But she said nothing.

"You can sit next to Cole, in the empty seat over there," Mr. Banks told her, motioning towards a tall and lanky boy with platinum blonde hair in the second role of desks. Cole gave her a nice smile and a wave, relieving Maria just a little bit. She had had a number of negative experiences with boys at her previous school, things that she would prefer never to think about again.

"Hey," she said softly, glancing over at Cole. He grinned slightly and nodded. When he turned his head to look back towards the teacher, Maria noticed a streak of bright red in his hair, covering one of his bangs.

Hmm, she thought. That looks pretty cool. Maybe I could dye my hair like that... She quickly dismissed the idea. Maria's parents, if nothing else, were known for being extremely strict. They hadn't let her get her ears pierced until she was fifteen. And hair dye? She was fairly sure they would think of that as some sort of blasphemy against the gods. The thought made her chuckle, just a little bit. Maybe she would bleach her hair and then dye it without telling or asking them. They'd be sure to have a heart attack then...


Around fifty minutes after Maria had joined the class and gotten started on her work, the bell rang once more. She looked over at the intercom and then winced. It was the middle of the year, and she still had so much to do to get caught up. She sighed softly, putting her papers back in her folder and then slipping her folder into her backpack. She looked to the left where Cole was, and found him smiling gently at her.

"What class do you have next?" He asked. Maria shrugged and pulled her schedule out of her pocket, unfolding it and trying to straighten the creases.

"I think it's...um...art. Painting in 2D," she murmured. Cole grinned.

"I have that next as well. I'll see you there, alright?" Maria nodded, and then got up, slipping out of the classroom and down the hallway. It was good that she had already seemingly made a new friend. Actually, it was more than good. It was a huge relief, considering how hard it was for her to connect with people. Of course, saying that she had connected with the boy after knowing him for less than an hour was quite a bit of a stretch, but she didn't mind stretching the truth a bit. In fact, she enjoyed it. It gave her ideas to entertain in the back of her mind.

Looking at her schedule once more to check the room number, Maria headed up to the third floor. Hopefully, art wouldn't be that bad. She had always found fine arts classes to be rather enjoyable, and yet... she sucked at them. She could barely draw a stick figure, let alone a self portrait or abstract geometrical design. She let out a sigh. At least it wasn't a sculpting class. That was impossible.

End of Chapter Two

(A/N: Hopefully this wasn't too bad. It's been a long while since I have written anything for something other than fanfiction, lol. Also, I'm sorry that not many of the submitted characters have been featured yet. I'll try to work some more in in the next chapter. Anyways, updates should be coming a little more frequently now, since I am working pretty hard on my writing. Once again, thank you for the support! Oh, and, submissions are still open. If you'd like to submit a second character, you may! Thank you.)