Chapter 1: New School, New People.The light breeze is a nice feeling, relaxing some of my stress bottled up inside me. The first day of school can be stressful for anyone, especially when they're new. Most of the kids in this town have been friends since they were in diapers. But for me, well I haven't been the luckiest at friendships.
The car stops in front of a brick building, a sign saying Salem Middle School. I look at my mother, to see if she has any last words of advice. She tries to smile, and it looks like the I'm-sorry-you-have-to-go-to-another-new-school kind of smile. She pats my shoulder. Ever since I hit the age of 11 and I started blocking her out, things got awkward. We don't even hug anymore.
I open the door, feeling the wind pick up, stronger than just through the open window as we drove slowly here. Kids walk in through the big doors. I shove my hands into my sweatshirt pockets and rush into the doors, safe from the cold.
I look around for a front office, or an administrator. I focus fully on that, not paying attention to where I'm going. I bump into someone, and hear a shrill shriek. I can tell without even looking that it's a stuck up, popular, miss thang kind of girl.
"What is your problem?!" she asks. I turn myself to face her, giving her "The Look," or so my sister calls it. I can see the result of my eyes burning into hers, her cringing away. I smile internally.
"I don't believe I have a problem," I say, smirking. I push past her and spot a glass door labeled 'FRONT OFFICE.' I open the door and get hit by a waft of hot hair. The room is basic. Four folding chairs sit against a disgustingly ugly orange wall. The desk is yellow with a plump lady with a bad perm behind it. I walk right up to the desk. She doesn't seem to see me.
I clear my throat. She looks up, her brilliant green eyes sparkling.
"Oh, dear, I am so sorry. How can I help you?" she asks as she shuffles around her cluttered desk for God knows what.
"Umm... I just need my schedule. I'm new here." I bite on my fingernail, a habit I formed the second time we moved.
"Oh yes, of course, what's your name?" the scatter-brained lady asks. I can tell that's what she is, I learned to observe very young.
"Celest Briar," I say, prepared for her 'what-the-heck' reaction.
And here it comes. "Did you say... Celest?"
I roll my eyes. "Yes, Celest, please give me my schedule." I feel annoyance forming around me. She prints some stuff and makes me sign some crap I don't care about. I grab the schedule, hot off the press. I turn and walk out, suddenly surprised by the mass of kids crowding the halls. I prepare myself to be shoved around, but everyone practically avoids me. The freakish-new-girl. What's new? Can these people be any more dang cliche?
1st period, math. Oh joy, my favorite class. I roll my eyes and look for room 4B. Luckily, it's a half-a-step straight. I turn around for one last look at the disgustingly empty hall. Puke-colored lockers, black-scathed white tiles, and posters for every dumb club the idiotic students could come up with. But the students are gone. I open the door to the class, and all eyes focus me. Normal people might be uncomfortable or flattered by the attention, but I don't give a crap about anyone in this room. It appears I'm late, considering the seats are all occupied. I look at the teacher, a tall man with a blue shirt and khakis. Gross.
"Celest Briar." Whispers. Who's that? What kind of name is 'Celest?' Is she new?
"Oh yes, you sit in the last seat by the window," he says.
"Thanks so much," I say, my voice thick in unintentional sarcasm. That became my default voice. A couple people snicker. I make my way to the back. Somewhere in the sea of stupid people, I see that idiot who bumped into me in the hallway.
A couple people stare at me. This is going to be a long year.
Each class seems to be just as unbearable as the last. I feel stares burning into me, but I don't care enough to acknowledge them.
In English class, the old woman of a teacher tells me to introduce myself. Why not?
I walk up to the front of the room. "My name's Celest. Yeah, ha ha, laugh. So funny." Some people do laugh. "Um... I'm 13, I don't like school, and I probably won't like most of you." A couple whispers. The teacher clears her throat. "I like stars. Yeah, stars. I take pictures of stars. Ironic, right?"
I make my way back to my seat. We begin reading "The Outsiders." I've already read it, and I felt no emotion like most every sissy-la-la of a girl.
I eat lunch at a table alone. I did, however, get to go through some of the star pictures on my phone. I tweeked them, just a bit, and posted them to Instagram. Some people follow me on there, and I only post so people can see my work. A chair screeches beside me.
"Um... Hi, I'm Cole," a kid with brown hair and blue eyes says.
I look at him. "Celest."
"Yeah, I know, you're kind of the topic of conversation around here." He smiles. "Do you mind if I sit?"
"Do what you want, I don't own you." So what, my flirting skills are slim to none. Whatever.
He sits and sets his notebook on the table. I scroll through my phone. His notebook slides off the table with a quiet 'bang.' I reach down to pick it up, but it shoots up into my head. I look at him, and he's staring at me.
"Uh..." I push the notebook onto the table and stand up. I walk into the bathroom as fast as I can. My neck starts burning, just a bit. I look in the mirror, and see a thick bruise forming. Perfect.