Majority of the day passed by with me hanging out with these four new ‘friends’ of mine. At least, that's what they called themselves. All of them were being rather polite and courteous with me, especially Adrian, who I figured out later was the taller, dark haired guy who happened to be captain of the soccer team.Alex (who actually preferred being called by his full name – Alexander) was the other one. I guessed that him and Adrian were brothers, or related in some way as they looked a lot alike, although Alex's hair was a darker shade of brown, and his eyes were grey and a lot more...troubled.
I hadn't seen him open his mouth all day though he had gestured and made some form of communication with Adrian. Either way, they had to be brothers. Or 'best buds'. He kept mostly to himself otherwise, besides tuning into conversations the others started up and glancing at me from time to time. Maybe he found me intimidating but I quite believed it to be the other way around.
I wasn’t interacting as much with the others. I had anti-social issues of my own going on right now. It didn't help that I'd somehow found my way into the 'popular' group. But there was one thing that did provoke an interesting conversation between the five of us.
“Did, by any chance, a girl named Maria attend this school before?”
My random question seemed to spark interest from Adrian, who looked up from the lunch meal in front of him, surprise shining in his green eyes. “Why do you ask?”
“Just that…” Come up with something smart. “I found something of hers in my house. And I assumed she must have attended this school.”
“What did you find?” Leonardo asked.
“A school sports tee,” I lied quickly. No way was I telling any of them about the diary. But I’d answered a little too fast and Leonardo smiled knowingly. The dude winked at me but didn’t say anything more. “It had her name on it,” I said in a more convincing tone.
Adrian cleared his throat and set down his fork. I turned my head, waiting for an answer as it looked like he was about to give me one. “Maria…” he started, smiling in a rather quirky way. “Maria was one of the foreign exchange students that joined last school year as a sophomore.”
“Oh.” Sophomore means she’d be about two years younger than us.
“She was…different.” Adrian settled with that word which always confused me.
“Not quite,” Makayla said, exchanging a glance with her boyfriend. “She fit in and all, people immediately liked her. She seemed great…but there was always something off about her.”
“She had identity issues,” Leonardo said simply. “Family drama, personal doubts, and all those other things that mess a person up.”
“But then she just magically changed when she befriended Rachelle,” Adrian added, smile growing.
“Who’s Rachelle? Is she still in this school?” I asked, remembering the girl that Maria had brought up in her diary, the one I’d really been dying to know about.
“Rachelle was a junior, a grade above Maria when they met. And no, she doesn’t attend this school anymore and neither does Maria,” Makayla said.
“What kind of a person is Rachelle?” I dug deeper.
“Beautiful,” Alexander whispered. I blinked, a little fazed by the sound of his voice. It was the first time I was hearing him speak. He looked up to meet my gaze and I could swear his troubled grey eyes were smiling when he said, “She makes you feel beautiful.”