Chapter 1

"Jack? Are you sleeping? Do you want a detention?" The teacher asked.

I raised my head, quickly wiping away the tears that had crept down my cheeks while I dreamt, "Sorry, Mrs. Logan. I didn't sleep well last night."

"No excuses, Mr. Gold. If you aren't feeling well, fill out your passbook and go to the office." She pointed to the door. I sighed and let her sign me out of class then I scraped up my books and headed to out the door as someone else was going in. I didn't see their face, but I knew it was a girl and her golden hair seemed oddly familiar. Pushing the thought aside I set off towards the office.

The nurse's office was a nasty green color and that alone would make anyone want to puke, but I wasn't sick, simply tired. The nurse checked my temperature then she let me lay down on the cot in the back corner of the room. My eyes closed and I was out like a light. The dream began instantly, but it was the same one I'd had earlier in class, the same one I'd been having for weeks, it was the whole reason I couldn't sleep at night. It ended the same way every time, the mysterious girl fell and I couldn't catch her.

I sat up and wiped away more tears that had been shed for the unknown girl who haunted my dreams. I laid there for an hour before I finally headed to my last class of the day. I walked into algebra II, halfway through a lesson on quadratic equations, and took my seat, looking around confused. The teacher erased the notes and I sighed looking for someone who would let me copy their notes. The seat next to me was normally empty, but today there was someone sitting there. I could only assume that she was a new student.

 "Dakota,  please answer the example?" the teacher instructed.

She stuffed the phone into her pocket then brushed away a strand of golden hair, "x=3?"

"Very good, Please make sure you're paying attention." the teacher turned to me, "Mr. Gold, so glad you could join us. Do you have a pass?" he asked. I handed him a slip of paper that I'd been given in the office, "Well, I hope you're feeling better. As you can see we have a new student, this is Dakota Haines.  Dakota, would you be willing to let Jack copy your notes?"

She glanced at me then looked away quickly, but I managed a slight glimpse of her extraordinary grey eyes. She handed me her notebook without a word and the teacher walked away. I scribbled down the notes then tore out a blank sheet writing, "Hi, welcome to the school."I slid it into the back or her notebook and handed it to her.

She pulled it out and wrote back, "Thanks. I don't understand any of this!"

Not surprising, new school, new lessons, plus Mr. Oliver is a horrible teacher. I'm pretty good at it though, if you ever want some help with it."  I slipped it back onto her desk and it returned almost immediately.

"Well, seeing as I don't have any friends here yet and I don't want to go home after school... we could hang later"

She turned and looked at me. I looked back and her eyes drew all of my attention to them. I thought they had been just one plain shade of grey, but instead they were flaked with lighter and darker shades of grey and mixed with tiny specks of white, giving them more of a granite look. I wrote without looking away from her face, “Yeah, we could go to the bowling alley, I go there a lot after school anyways."

She gave me a "sounds good" nod and turned back to face the front. I slowly began piling up my books on my desk in my usual routine to get out of the room as fast as possible. The bell rang, releasing a rush of energy as twenty students raced for the door and down the hall to their lockers. I sorted out the books I'd need for homework, stuffing them in my backpack, and slammed the locker door.

Dakota was waiting in the lobby easily detectable by her long golden hair. She'd put on a slim black coat, and was carrying a heavy looking book bag at her side, "Over here," she beckoned when she saw me across the room, "I told my mom I was going to hang out with some new friends and get caught up on everything in school."

Her voice was almost as captivating as her eyes were, making it hard to keep myself from staring. My phone buzzed in my pocket forcing me too look away from Dakota.

"Well let's get going. My friends are wondering where I am and if I'm bringing you," I said as I opened the door to let her go first. I fed her some information about my friend Jeremy and his girlfriend Sophia while we walked and she told me stories about where she came from.

She had just moved from Chicago to my tiny little town in the middle of nowhere, or more commonly known as Spring Lake because it always felt like spring time, it never snowed and it only got hot during the summer. No one knew how the word lake got into the name, but most just guessed that there used to be a lake nearby that had long since dried up to be replaced by the dense, green, woods that surrounded the town.

Her dad had just been fired and found a job in town which had forced her to move half way across the country and leave her friends behind. She had played some sort of sport at one time or another, as had all of  my other friends, which kind of left me the odd man out because I didn't participate in anything.

We were so differen't from eachother, but for some reason I felt some sort of connection to her. I was gald she was talking while we walked because it gave me a reason to stare with out her questioning me. Unfortunatly for me however we had reached the bowling alley.

I opened the door for her again, but I didn't know it would be the last time I would visit the bowling alley for a long time.


The End

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