CHAPTER ONE – Silver, Black, Blue, and… Orange?
Hawkin smiled at his familiar surroundings, the excited gaggles of girls comparing and fawning over eachother’s April adventures, the vibrant class colors paraded about by anyone with an ounce of school pride and the big billboard sign that read: “LaminaHigh School, Home of the Animals…Welcome back from break!” And man was it good to be back. Not that he was a Five-Star student by any measure, but his home-life was a never-ending drama film, straight from Lifetime Movie Network. Spring break arrived with its gleeful tidings right in the climax of the movie. Oh yes, school was like the advertisements that kept him sweating in anticipation of what would come. In anticipation of his life… after a few short messages from the teachers at Lamina High. Hawkin smirked. He didn’t mind advertisements so much. For him they were often better than the movie itself.
For now, he grinned. If school was going to be a long run of ads, he was going to make them Super-Bowl status. He’d already given himself a head start, cloaking himself in his own senior class color. It was a time-honored tradition for everyone to return from break in their individual colors, and he went all-in as always. This year his hair was streaked with silver spray, and his face smeared in paint. He was as silver as the stars themselves.
Eager to jump back into the life that had been briefly interrupted, he scanned the halls, looking for his usual social ring. He was surprised to findDevonin the excited crowd, buzzing with a post-spring-break high. His unnaturally thin freshman buddy grinned and waved him over.
“HeyDevon! I didn't think you'd be here. Weren't you planning something big for vacation?”
Devongrinned as his tall friend walked over. “Nah. Parents decided that it would be easier to go next week. You know, when everyone else is back in school. Less crowded.”
Sally, a cute blonde junior tossed him a jealous look. Her parents would never go for that. The jealous look diminished when she saw who’d just joined their ring. She burst into fits of laughter. Before break, Hawkin had sworn up and down that he was going to go completely berserk with the whole class colors thing. She didn’t exactly believe him. But, well, once again Hawkin had proved them all wrong.
“You actually did it.” She declared in shock.
Hawkin smoothed his blinding hair back with a self-important smirk. “Told you I would. What, you didn’t believe me?”
Pandin, a quirky black-haired senior snorted in reply. “You look like something from the Wizard of Oz.” His electric blue hair-tips bobbed back and forth as he shook his head in mock deprivation.
“Hey, the Tin-Man was sexy in his day.” Before anyone could reply, he turned to Sally mustering up his inner-suave. “So, I like to end my spring break with something special…” He paused for effect, waiting to see her reaction. “Don’t you think a date this Friday would be the perfect thing?” He gave his winning smirk and raised an eyebrow expectantly.
Any other day, and that would have worked.
She blushed and gave a small laugh. “I would love to, but… well, me and Eric made plans already. A lot happened over break.” The blush turned an even more serious shade of red.
“Oh?” He raised his eyebrows suggestively. “Sounds scandalous.”
Her face turned cherry. “No! Not anything like that!”
“So what about you Hawkin?” Devoninterrupted. “Anything interesting happen on break?” He tried to imitate Hawkin’s signature suggestive brow-raising, but failed miserably.
Hawkin pulled a face. “Hah! Yes, best spring break ever. I spent my week with a broom, some crash course training with my dad, and a stack of scholarship applications a mile high.” What he didn’t mention was that, yes, a lot of interesting things happened. Were they good things? Not so much. He gave them the much more condensed, getting-ready-for-college story.
“I thought you weren't going to college.” This from Pandin, the electric blue hair guy.
The freshman,Devonlaughed at the idea.
Sally, still blushing, added, “Yeah, doesn’t your dad have you taking over…” She paused tossing a wary glance at the freshman in their midst, “the family business,” she finished lamely. The ‘family business’ was about as close to an explanation as she could get with Devon around, It was just one of the reasons few were excited to see him. Several of the seniors only put up with the freshman because he was Hawkin's tagalong. Where Hawkin went, he went. Some went so far as to call him Hawkin's pet when they were certain all opposing ears were turned.
Hawkin shrugged as if the thought hadn't occurred to him. “Well it couldn't hurt to be prepared in case things don’t work out.”
Devontilted his head. “The family business?” He inquired. He wasn’t stupid. He could tell when topics were skirted around in his presence. But it happened so often that he had learned long ago to just play the I’m-a-silly-freshman-who-has-no-idea-what-you-guys-are-talking-about card. The group shifted uncomfortably.Devonwas one of few that didn't understand all the ins-and-outs of Lamina High. No one was too keen about the thought of educating him of them either. He was… different, than the rest of them.
“Just some leadership thing for the town or whatever,” Pandin said quickly, “Your dad’s been showing you the ropes, right?”
“Yup,” Hawkin finished abruptly, leaving no room for another probing question. It wasn't that his dad's 'family business' was unlawful, or underhanded. It was just that, the less people that knew the better. As his father put it, some things are better kept a secret.
Wasn't that the truth?
“Hey!”Devon's voice interrupted his thoughts, “Check out the new girl.” Six heads swiveled backwards obediently. Hawkin's was among the first. He had only just remembered that they were due to see a fresh face in their midst soon. She was supposed to be hot.
And indeed she was. The 'new girl' was trouncing in, clad from head to toe in a bright shade of…
It looked like she was trying really hard to have the same spirit as the rest of the school. Maybe she didn't want to be labeled as the new girl right off the bat, but she would have been better off dressing normally because after a quick mental check, Hawkin concluded that orange was definitely not one of their school colors. He had to hand it to her though; she really went all out, almost as festive as he was. Too bad she was routing for the wrong team.
Hawkin snickered, and when she came within hearing range, he made an innocent joke at her expense. “Are you on some kind of campaign, trying to add a class color?” He asked with a teasing laugh, and at her indignant glare added, “Let me know how that works out for you.”
She blushed furiously and, deciding she'd had enough, brushed past him.
“Hey!” He called after her, feeling immediately guilty, “I'm only kidding.” He really did feel bad. She probably got misinformed about the class colors. Doubtlessly from Eric and Levi. Lamina was a small town and they always seemed the first to know if there were transfer students. New victims, in other words. Nobody came into the school mid-year without first enduring one of their not so harmless pranks. It was kind of like a personal orientation. He could only imagine being in her shoes. Then again, if he were on her shoes, he would probably just tell everyone that he took a dare and had fifty bucks waiting on him when it was over.
“Eric and Levi told you all about the whole spirit day thing didn't they?” He asked, catching her arm.
She huffed, “apparently they weren’t the ones to ask. Excuse me.” To be honest, she didn't really feel like talking to anyone and she'd already heard enough jokes at her expense. Since she couldn't be sure that another one wasn't on it's way from the silver-soaked senior, she wanted to get away from him as soon as possible Maybe she would have time to scrub some of the orange off her face before school if she hurried up.
“Really, don't worry about it too much.”
Madolin crossed her arms cynically. “M-hm. How do you figure?”
He sighed again. “They do this to everyone that transfers in. It's really not that big of a deal. It could have been a lot worse. They told this one kid it was short shorts day. He totally fell for it. The next day he showed up in the tiniest pink shorts I've ever seen, thinking he'd go the extra mile and make people laugh. He sure did. Wearing a lot of orange isn't that bad in comparison. Besides,” he added with a flirtatious lift of his eyebrows, “it looks good on you.Orangeis totally your color.”
She finally let go of a small laugh and brushed her shiny highlighted hair out of her face to reveal a stunning smile offset by a lingering pigment of blush. Despite this though, she still looked slightly irritated at Hawkin.
“So Pumpkin…” he began, already assigning her a nickname, “what's your name?” As if he would actually use it. He had already found one that would stick.
“Madolin.” She said curtly, itching to be on her way.
“Pretty name,” he said, “very suiting.” Hawkin let loose the most reliable smile he had in his arsenal of seductive grins.
She simply stared at him, unfazed. “Is something wrong?”
The smile disappeared. “No, uh, nothing.” Today was just not his day! Looking slightly more reserved now, he posed a serious question at her. “So, Pumpkin, are you, are you, uhm…” He cleared his throat, re-gathering himself. “Are you really a Lamina girl?”
She blinked. “What do you mean?”
Hawkin scratched the back of his head. “Well… a… You know…”
Her face said otherwise, but the way he was looking at her told her it should have been obvious, so she answered carefully, despite her confusion. “Yeah… I guess so. What’s a –”
“Uhm… Okay, but what –”
The silver haired senior, Hawkin in his fame and glory, seemed almost in a trance. He really couldn't help it. She seemed to chirp her words, like a bubbly starling. Wouldn't it have been ironic if that was…
He shook his head. That was something he would find out later. Right now, he needed to be Mr. Suave. To cover for his flustered shake of the head he raised his eyebrows in a winning smirk. At least he hoped it was a winning smirk. His flirting skills seemed to be experiencing trouble-shooting today. “Sorry, what were you saying?”
Hawkin was so busy trying to act smooth that he hadn't noticed her mild frustration in the least. It was strange. ‘Acting smooth’ normally came naturally to him. Today was just an off day, he concluded.
She had just opened her mouth to ask the crazy, gorgeous, silver-suited senior a question of her own when a loud shrill ring sounded. It took Madolin a few seconds to realize it was the bell. It took Hawkin even longer. He was lost in his own little world.
Lost in Madolin's ice-blue eyes.
He shook himself free of his self-induced trance. What the heck was wrong with him? He was supposed to be smooth and chill. That was his charm. His laid-back-and-happy-no-matter-what-I'm-doing personality. Right now, he was most certainly not laid back; he was acting like those groups of giggly seventh grade girls as they walk past their oh-my-gosh-crushes.
When he realized the bell had rang, he silently thanked the stars for saving him from embarrassing himself further. He exchanged a few see you laters before sighing away to his first class, leaving Madolin wondering what the heck he meant. And leaving himself wondering what the heck was wrong with him all of a sudden.
She blushed as she watched him scuttle away, tail between his legs.
Madolin too scurried off towards her first period, trying to ignore the trails of jock snorts and comments about her wardrobe choices that followed in her wake. She was so absorbed in this impossible task that she unintentionally ignored a stoic figure in a black hoodie as he tried to explain to her that her bag was unzipped. Instead she just kept walking, leaving him behind with a glower on his face. She was just like everyone else at the stupid school.
She was obviously one of them.