Chapter 01: New Kid in Town

Gossip was running rampant throughout Smithville High that morning.

In a surprising change of the usually day-to-day dreck, the victim this time was not the usual slut cheerleader or depressed artsy chick, or any other stereotypical teenager who is usually plagued by gossip.

No, this time it was about the 'New Girl'.

No one knew her name. No one knew where she was from. No one knew what her purpose in life was.

Actually, the reason they didn't know was because classes that day hadn't actually started yet. But they'd soon find out. For the New Girl would be forced to tell her life story, plus or minus a few details, in nearly every single class that day.

Her first class was English with Ms. Nadine, a short and stout old lady who would probably become a librarian after retirement, which would probably happen soon judging from her snowy white hair.

Ms. Nadine laughed and giggled all the way through roll call. She really did enjoy this a lot. She kept putting off retirement another year. She loved the kids too much, even when they gave her a lot of grief.

"Ooh, my, it seems we have a new student today. Amaris Taylor, please raise your hand, sweetie."

The New Girl shrank in her seat considerably and raised her hand slightly.

"Ooh now, don't be shy. Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you."

"Never call me Amaris," She said bluntly. "My name is Maris. The reason I'm here in this Hellhole is because my mother's jackass boyfriend shoots up on heroin, downs a couple cans of beer and shoots her in a 711. In my spare time I like to bird watch and play Boston Monopoly with underprivileged children."

"Ooh, my…" For once, Ms. Nadine was speechless.

Her next class, History with Mr. Murphy, was almost as eventful.

Thankfully, she had lunch after that and didn't have to deal with people if she didn't want to. But luck was not with her. As she sat down to eat at a table in the very corner of the lunchroom, a tall brunette that she recognized from both of her previous classes sat down next to her.

"Maris, right?"

"Depends on who wants to know. Are you just curious, or are you the IRS after my tax money?"

Brunette laughed. "You're funny. I like you already. Must suck being the new kid."

Maris shrugged. "It's not so bad if you like being looked at like you had two heads, three breasts and a tail."

"Three breasts? Don't let the football team know, or they'll be all over you."

"Breast fetish?"

"More like perpetual horniness."

"I see."

She paused as two bubbly blondes paused briefly, staring at them then running away giggling.

"Do I look like a Martian or something?"

"I don't see any antennae… Why?"

"Everyone's staring at me. I hate the attention."

"They're not used to new people. You're the first new kid in five years."

"Further proving my theory that this place is a hellhole."

"So, who are you?"

Brunette shook her head. "Gee, golly, gosh. I plumb forgot!" Upon seeing Maris' look, she quickly added, "Don't worry, it's all an act. My name's Rhoda Block."

"Nice pun. Loser parents?"

"Idiot parents."

"I'm Maris Taylor."

"I know."

"Does everyone?"


"Got siblings?"

"Four older brothers and an older sister. You?"

"None that I know of. I could have several bastard siblings that I don't know about."

"Story you told in English: true or false?"


"That sucks."

"She wasn't a good mother anyway."

Rhoda smiled softly. "Want to come over after school gets out?"

Maris paused. She didn't really want any friends, did she? And this Rhoda girl was going to want to get all buddy-buddy with her if she agrees. But Rhoda wasn't really sitting with anyone else, was she? Maybe she was desperate for a friend. And while Maris didn't really want a friend, she probably needed one too.

She'd never realized how lonely she felt. So she shot Rhoda a wry grin. "Sure."

Rhoda raised an eyebrow. "Really? I wasn't sure whether you'd actually agree or not. So, anyway… My brother's picking us up. Just look for me. I always manage to duck out of class a few minutes early." Rhoda took a bite out of her sandwich. "Man, I'm starved. So, where are you from?"

Maris gulped down the rest of her milk before answering. "Well, my mom was originally from Hawaii but I was born and raised in Boston."

"Beantown, huh? Explains the accent."


"You haven't pronounced one single 'r' since you got here." Maris scowled. "Say 'park the car in Harvard Yard.'"

"No, this is stupid."

"C'mon, say it."

"Fine, park the car in Harvard Yard." Or at least that's what she tried to say. It came out as 'Pahk the cah in Hahvid Yahd.'

Rhoda giggled.

"Did you just giggle?"

"Did you just say 'Hahvid'?"

"Got me there." Maris looked around. "Man, it's wicked cold today."

"It's 60º in here. And did you just say 'wicked'?"

"Yes… So?"

"Just wondering."

Maris shivered and ran her fingers through her shaggy, ear-length auburn hair. She was freezing and she was wearing a thick sweater. She always got tense when she was nervous and she always got cold when she was tense. So she was nervous… She could feel the pit in her stomach, but couldn't figure out what it was about.

She still had three classes left, along with one after school get-together and then facing her Uncle Jim.

When her mum had died, she'd been sent to live with her Uncle Jim, her mum's younger brother. He tried hard, but knew nothing about parenting. Before she'd come, he's apparently gone out and bought three different brands and types of tampons for her along with vitamins and lots of aspirin and Midol.

He was hopeless.

But he offered her a home and treated her well, unlike some of her past surrogate fathers.

"You OK, Maris?"

Maris sighed. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I'm wicked OK. I'm just going to go puke up my lunch now to make my figure perfect." She got up to leave, looking back at Rhoda, surprised to see her looking concerned. "You do know I'm only being sarcastic, right?"

"I have to get used to this…" Rhoda shook her head and accompanied Maris out the cafeteria doors. "Are you always this sarcastic?"

"Normally, I'm more. I just feel so completely shy around all these people I don't know," Maris said in a deadpan voice.

"Bullshit. You're just wittier in a familiar environment."

"Couldn't have phrased it better myself."

"I think I like you, young Maris."

"I think I like you too, tall Rhoda."

"No height jokes. It's a sensitive spot. It's not my fault I'm so damn tall."

"Look who's talking, I'm the midget. I've been five feet even since the sixth grade." It was true. Maris had not grown in six and a half years.

"So it's agreed then, no height jokes whatsoever. No giant jokes and no dwarf jokes."


"What class do you have next?"

"French 5."

"Same here."

"Wicked cool."

"Ok, that's enough."

Well, this is my new story… It took me about an hour to write this part and I'll try to update every day. If you review, you'll get special mention in here, so you'll be famous! Or, well, sort of…

Next Part: Maris and Rhoda hang out at her house where Maris meets Rhoda's 23-year-old brother.