If there was an award going for most shallow, self obsessed person I had ever met, Zoe would get it hands down.
I had known her for less than a day, but within that time all she had done was moan about her ex boyfriend, batter her eyelashes at me and make several slightly desperate advances at me. It was so obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes and common sense that she wasn't over her ex boyfriend and I was already being used in a pitiful attempt at making him jealous.
Zoe had introduced me immediately to her friends. They looked like the standard popular cliche at any high school. All immaculate, oozing confidence. I didn't exactly like hanging out with these losers. They were all so tiresome, so tedious so... human. A smarter person would have ditched them earlier, but I found I could not to this. I knew it was because of that girl. The one with eyes that would envelope you in warmth and compassion, securing you in their safe embrace. The one with the sweetest nature I had ever met.
But that was what was so frustrating. Diana cared. That much was obvious. And I didn't like it one bit.
It was better to talk to people that pretended to be your friend than those who would actually follow out their good intentions. People like that just let you down. People like that couldn't be trusted.
And so that is how I was spending my time at school. Hanging around with Zoe and her friends pretending that I didn't hate every second.
* * * *
As soon as I entered the room I saw her.
I was incredibly frustrated at how acutely aware of her I was.
'Hello,' I said politely as she passed me.
'Hey,' she murmured, looking down and hurrying to her seat. Spending time with Zoe and her friends seemed to have a profound effect on those around you. For instance Diana right now would not look at me, instead pretending to root for something in her bag.
I pursed my lips slightly before sitting in the seat beside Kevin.
I was two rows behind Diana. Her head was ducked, thick hair falling across her shoulders. My attention was snagged however by the childish giggling from the row directly in front of me.
'You're going to have a bunch of female admirers, buddy.'
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes.
Registration went by fairly quickly, and then we were in first period.
We hadn't gotten five minutes into the lesson when the door opened and a stick thin woman with black heels and curly red hair entered the room with a slip of paper in her hands. She passed it to the teacher, both their eyes flickered to me.
'James Ashdown, the principal wants to see you.'
I frowned, briefly wondering if I had gotten into any sort of trouble. Curious eyes bored into me as I picked my bag up and slowly left the room. A wild impulsive thought told me that they knew. They knew what I had done. They knew why I was here. Someone had told them and right now they were going to kick me out. I hadn't even spent forty eight hours in my new school and they were going to give me the boot.
But when I entered the office, I noticed with a staggering sense of surprise that I was not alone.
Diana was sitting in one of the chairs, her expression a perfect portrayal of how I felt inside.
I flopped down in the seat beside her.
'Do you know what this is about?' she whispered, her eyes darting to the door frantically.
She's really scared, I thought.
I shrugged. 'Beats me. I figured I had gotten into some trouble, but now seeing you here makes me realize that that's not it at all.'
'What do you mean?'
'Well,' I scoffed. 'You don't exactly look like the type of person who would get into trouble. Strait laced, I think that's what they say.'
She looked indignant. 'You don't know the first thing about me.'
'Oh yeah? Why don't you surprise me?'
Her eyes flashed with something close to anger. It was the first real, raw emotion I had seen in her.
She's got some fire after all.
'James Ashdown? Diana Nightlark?' The secretary called from her desk. 'Principal Mason says you can go in now.'
'Thanks very much,' I said sarcastically. 'What an honour.'
'James!' Diana hissed.
The secretary looked disgruntled.
'Ah Diana, James, have a seat,' Principal Mason greeted as soon as we crossed the threshold. We saw he wasn't alone. A woman, perhaps in her early thirties with bright green eyes and silvery blonde hair stood beside him, beaming at us.
I didn't trust this one little bit.
'What's this about?'
'Well. Normally in a situation like this we would advise that you have a parent present, but Melanie,' he gestured to the woman, 'insisted that perhaps you should hear this first hand before any rash decisions are made.'
Melanie's eyes flickered to Diana, who was practically trembling in her seat.
'It's nothing to worry about sweetheart. It's to do with your, well, unique powers shall we say.'
My heart seemed to still within my chest; my muscles became rigid and paralysed. The only thing that showed any sign of life was my grip on the chair which tightened profusely.
They knew about that?!