Taylin Lazar has been a student at Hathaway Academy for years now and nothing much has happened. Until now. Two new guys show up at the academy the sweet, popular Trevor and the mysterious, bad boy Alec. From the moment she meets them things change and she finds out about a crime that involved both of the guys. She's determined to solve it.
“Do you understand me?” She yelled at the top of her lungs. Her face was red from anger and the blue vein in her neck was popping out. Her black beady eyes boring into him.
“Yes ma’am” he said steady and clear. He didn’t meet her eyes, but instead stared straight ahead like we were taught to do.
Mrs. Price turned around sharply to her desk and grabbed a pen. She frantically started writing, “Your punishment will be two weeks of no activities and no contact with any of the students here for two weekends. On Friday instead of going back to your dorm, you will come to the locked rooms and stay there for the weekend. Then on Monday, at nine o’clock you will be sent back to your dorm. You will do this for two weekends. Do you understand?”
“Yes ma’am” he repeated again. There was no fooling around with Mrs. Price. She meant business.
She had written all the specifics down, tore off the piece of paper, and handed it to him. “Return to your seat”, she said as he grabbed it and stuffed it in his pocket. He silently walked back to his seat, not making any eye contact with any of the students. “Okay now class let’s begin” she picked up her new expo marker and started writing on the clean white board.
So that’s how you end the school year. Well done. On the last week of school someone had been punished. This was how my society works. Us, kids, at least we’re considered that until the age of twenty-one are kept in school to have knowledge crammed into us. We are taught the rules of etiquette, taught how to properly treat and act like adults.
Doesn’t that sound appealing? We were trained to be the models of the society, be the ones who everyone was supposed to be proud of. We represent the society. No pressure, of course.
“Now since we’ve taken care of that” She said disdainfully. She started prancing around the class room in black high heels with her high pitched annoying voice that I’d gotten used to after two years. Two years of her ridiculous teaching and her cruel punishments but, I’d managed to get through. I’d behaved and been the sweet, young lady that society craved for all the females to be. “Let’s go over some of the rules you ladies and gentlemen learned over this year. We will go through the lines and everyone will give me a rule”
She walked over to the beginning of the first row “Miss Kailee you may start us off”
Kailee was a small, pale, brunette who kept mostly to herself. She didn’t have many friends because she was classified as the teachers’ pet. It didn’t help that her last was Anderson, being that we sat in alphabetical order; she was always in the front.
“Girls must keep their legs crossed since they’re wearing skirts” she said not looking up from her blank notebook.
“Good” Mrs. Price said, “Next” Next in line was James. A school player, no scratch that, the school player.
“No drugs” he said. It was ironic considering at all the parties he’d be the one always smoking something. He got another weak praise from her.
Samantha was next. She was another small girl, only had blonde hair curled in ringlets. Her features were so sharp she looked like a porcelain doll in her uniform. The uniform consisted of plaid navy-blue, knee-length skirts for the girls and long khakis for the boys. The girls wore a light blue button up shirt and the boys a light blue shirt with a navy blue vest. We all wore shiny black shoes. Just your typical school uniform.
On and on the rules went from: No boys and girls allowed in the same room together unsupervised, everyone must have shoes on when not in their dorm, no smoking or alcohol either, you may only get one call to your parents on Saturday when you are called into the office. It was ridiculous, in my opinion there were thousands and thousands of rules. There was no body piercings except for ears, you can only side hug the other gender, no cell phones, always be respectful to your teacher, no talking back, no sneaking off, no skipping classes and on and on.
“Taylin Lazar” Mrs. Price said. Me? I’m a five foot five, fifteen year old, blonde. I looked up into her dark, cold eyes. They showed no sign of feelings or emotion, they were just blank.
“No sex” I said slyly and with that most of the people in class smiled. They hid them of course. You could see people looking down at the floor or winking at some other person across the room or people putting their hands in front of their mouths. This was a big rule and if anyone was caught they’d be as good as dead but, people, of course, had found ways. This was the one rule that the guards, teachers, and supervisors failed to get us to follow. We’ve had some pretty smart people. They may not be smart for the teachers but, when they want something they can be smart enough to get it.
Mrs. Price looked around the class and started pacing back and forth looking at everyone’s faces. I myself had a smile but, had never done “it”. I just found amusement of how the teachers we’re so blind about this subject. They didn’t teach us anything about it. They just expected us not to do it. Period, “Yes… yes indeed that is a good one” she said. I was surprised that half the girls here weren’t pregnant.
At last we had been through everyone which would be about forty people. Our classrooms were big, bleak, and boring. White walls, white boards, and white floors; only the desks were wood. Imagine how easy it would be to just fall asleep right in the middle of a long, boring discussion.
It was time to go and Mrs. Price ordered us up and put us into alphabetical order. We sauntered out of the room in a straight, silent line like we had done since we had learned to walk. We all walked in another room of hell.
I will save you the time it will take you to read about all the boring things that happened so, I’ll just summarize it up in a simple sentence. We sat down, got taught about our boring history, and walked out. Tada. Then we had lunch.
We were all lined up again and were given a choice of two gourmet lunches. Today’s was steamed lobster and grilled sirloin. I picked the sirloin but I wasn’t hungry. Then you had to walk back to your seats -which thankfully we got to pick- and got to talk to your friends. I walked down to my usual seat beside Ashley.
Automatically she started the conversation, “So, you lookin’ at any boys?” she said with a smile.
I took my fork and started playing with my food, “No” I said carelessly. I had avoided boys because all they brought were complications. It’s not that I follow the rules but, if I ever did get caught with a boyfriend the punishment is harsh. Rule number six billion and a half: NO relationships among any students. I can’t even count how many times that rule has been broken.
“Oh come on Tay, you have to have your eye on someone” She looked at me with her devious eyes, “I mean I know I do” she looked backwards at a beach blonde, tan guy who happened to look back at her at that time. She winked at him and flipped her hair expertly to look back at me.
Ashley was a natural beauty. Long silky black hair and glowing green eyes. She was pale but she made pale look good with her red lipstick. Boys just fell for her like there was no tomorrow. If she wanted a boy, she got that boy. The only problem with her was she got tired of boys very quickly; she picked one out, had some fun, and then threw him away. That was her cycle. I mean don’t get me wrong she’s a very good person; just I guess she can’t help it. It’s her nature.
Unlike her, I was a blonde with blue eyes and I am very proud to say I am tan. I was thin but, I had curves. Ashley and I were both were fifteen and have both been here for two years, now almost three.
“Wow another blonde; wouldn’t this be your fourth this month?” I asked teasing her.
“Enough about me Taylin. Who’s your eye candy at the moment? C’mon just look around here there’s got to be someone who catches your eye”
I turned to her in disbelief, “Eye candy? You did not just say eye candy”
“What you’ve never heard that before?” She took a bite of her lobster. I sighed dramatically, “Oh you’ve got to be kidding me Taylin so, you’re saying there’s not one single boy here that isn’t the slightest bit cute to you?”
“I never said that now…” I looked around myself but, no one stood out to me really. I wasn’t much for the tan blonde people; all I had to do was look in the mirror to see one of those. “I’ll have one boy to show you at the end of all our classes, fair enough?”
She shrugged, “Fair enough… aren’t you gunna eat anything?” she asked finally noticing I hadn’t even looked at my food.
“Not hungry” I said.
“Suit yourself” she said with a stuffed mouth of mashed potatoes. The bell rung and signified that lunch was now over. We were called up by table to hand our trays to a person who would when given a tray would walk into an ‘employees only room’ and then the next student would give their tray to the next employee in line. That was the lunch line process.
After that we were sent back to another five hours of classes. The first two were too boring and eventless to even summarize but the third one was exceptionally interesting.
The Academy that we all were going to was called ‘Hathaway Academy’ which was named in honor of the founder Amy Lee Hathaway. Our society had different Academies but Hathaway Academy was by far, the strictest and has less fun than any other school but, the results and teachers were the best. Our school was not only for parents who wanted good results but for students who at less civilized schools did something extremely out of line. It was punishment. Either take some cruel, horrible punishment or go to the Hathaway Academy. They always choose the Academy, any person with common sense would.
Well, during the third class after lunch we were in a very “intense” debate over something that had to do with the government, if you catch my sarcasm there. There was a knock on the door and Mr. Conway answered it. There was a police officer and our secretary waiting outside. They all stepped outside and as soon as they did some smart-alec made a comment saying, “Looks like we’ve got another victim of the Hathaway Academy”. A few people snickered.
After a few minutes of barely audible talking Mr. Conway and a boy stepped inside the room. The boy looked older than fifteen he was tall and lean. He was dark too; dark hair, dark eyes, and dark tan skin. The perfect mysterious guy. He looked around the room making eye contact with everyone.
“This is Alec. He is transferring here…” he drifted off as he looked at his clipboard, “Well Mr. Rider looks like you are sitting where Cathy is. Cathy and everyone behind her move down a seat, we must have alphabetical order now haven’t we?”
Cathy was usually my partner because all year Mr. Conway liked to assign partners with the person sitting across from us. Now it looked like I wasn’t going to have anymore girl time studying anymore.
Alec slowly made his way over to Cathy’s old seat and sat down with nothing but him and his leather jacket. He wasn’t in school uniform. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who noticed because Matt, the guy in front of him, turned around and said, “Nice jacket bro”. Alec nodded but didn’t say anything. Mr. Conway looked up and gave the two boys a cold stare. No talking when you are not permitted to unless given other rules- Rule number seven thousand and three fourths.
“We’ll get you your uniform tonight” he said, “Now class, where were we?” And he drifted off into the debate that I bet even the teachers pet wasn’t paying attention to. My attention was definitely not on the teacher. It was on our new student.
Matt turned back around “So what ya in here for?” he asked.
Alec looked up his eyes were menacing, “I set the classroom on fire” he said coldly. Then he looked back down at his desk making it obvious the conversation was over. Matt didn’t say anything either but just turned back to the front of the room.
Most people were in here for small things that the society had problems with. Like smoking or drinking or drugs or fights. Most of the time it was sex. They’d send one of the people in the relationship away to the Hathaway Academy so they wouldn’t see each other anymore but, no this time it was for being an arsonist. Trying to set the classroom on fire was a different story.
I stared at him behind my side bangs hoping he wouldn’t notice. He had high, prominent cheekbones and his teeth were perfectly aligned and white. He was very attractive if I could say so myself. He glanced at me, “Can I help you? Do you want a picture or something?”
He had just called me out but I just managed an “Uh… no…” and gave my attention to the teacher at last. Out of my peripheral vision I could see him smiling to himself. So we have a smart ass here. I see how it is.
Class ended and we were sent to science. Mrs. Lorna was a very nice teacher. She had us stand up, “Today we are having partners” she said, “but it looks like we have a new student” she walked over to Alec, “We are happy to have you here and since you’re new you get to choose your partner first. You can pick someone who seems nice”
Alec looked around at all the faces but, when he came to mine he stayed there. Oh please he- “Her” he said as Mrs. Lorna and everyone else followed his gaze to me.
“Okay Mrs. Lazar it seems you have been picked” she said. I went to my regular desk and he followed with his hands in his pockets. We both sat down at the double desk but, I gave him none of my attention what-so-ever but, it kept bugging me. Why had he picked me? It was probably because I had seemed so shy and quiet in the other class and the fact that he had noticed me staring at him.
I wondered if he was the bullying type. I could take care of myself, but it would get tiring. He was now staring at me with an intent gaze.
“Why did you pick me?” I asked not looking at him.
He chuckled, “Me and pretty faces usually get along quite well” he said with confidence.
Oh god it’s a male Ashley I thought, “Why did you set your classroom on fire?” I asked changing the subject quickly.
“Oh so you were listening in on that too?” he said. I had just told on myself basically, I mentally cursed myself.
“I overheard” I still didn’t look at him, “Didn’t like the teacher?” I took a guess still trying to change the subject.
“You could say that. I already like this one though, letting me pair up with a little blonde” I could picture the smirk on his face perfectly in my mind. He kept changing the subject back to me.
“Did anyone get hurt?”
“Not as bad as I wanted. Plan didn’t go as planned” he said darkly. I turned around to look at him.
“You wanted to hurt someone?”
His eyes met mine, “If I wanted to hurt someone I would’ve done it myself… I wanted them dead”
My heart skipped a beat. Maybe, he was playing all big and bad but something told me he wasn’t the regular macho guy. He was a murderer. Well, technically he was. I could already tell he was dangerous and I already knew he played with fire. I didn’t say anything back. Throughout the whole class which was basically Mrs. Lorna telling us about what was going to happen tomorrow. We were going to do a project outside with weather.
When the bell rung I practically jumped out of my seat and rushed to the door. I hadn’t realized how tense I was but, I had bolted like a spring. I walked out but still yet I heard a whisper and could feel breath on the back of my neck, “You look like you’ve seen a ghost Taylin”
I involuntarily shivered which earned a sly laugh. What did he know about me? My first name and already he was acting like he knew me. I had nothing to be scared about; it wasn’t like I had done anything to him in the first place. Ignore him I told myself. I walked out the door to my last class. Math.
I sat down and to my dismay it was again partner day and it seemed like all the teachers had picked up the way of Mrs. Lorna, letting the new student pick first. Again Alec looked around. All the girls were twirling their hair or batting their lashes wanting to get picked but, whereas I was trying not be seen. I tried to duck down behind someone else. Just pick another girl, I’m not that special.
“Taylin” he said without paying any of his fan girls any attention and he sat down at the first table. I heard some girls sigh and had got some creepy stares from the jealous girls. I knew some of them were praying for my death. I would’ve traded places with them gladly but, of course, I couldn’t do that.
“Don’t be scared of me” Alec whispered when the class had resumed to the partner picking. Unlike the other girls I wasn’t impressed.
“Who said I was?” I retorted. Who did he think he was?
“Well it was either the running to the door or the look of fear you got when I picked you for my math partner” he said sarcastically. I didn’t say anything, “I’m going to sound like some villain off of some cheesy movie but, I’m not going to hurt you”
In fact it did sound like some line on a movie, “And give me a reason I should believe you” I said skeptically.
“I had a good reason for what I did”
Oh sure. “What was that reason?”
“A person has to have some secrets, don’t they? You should know. We all have secrets either from a pinkie promise we made to a best friend or a ‘swear to god I won’t tell’ or just a secret no one knows… What’s yours Taylin?” his eyes tore into me. Why was he getting to me? He was the new guy here, this was my territory. He was turning this on me again. I couldn’t look away from his stare but, I wanted to so badly. At last I looked down and said nothing again. I wondered if this was how all our conversations were going to end.
We learned about algebra most of the time. I was usually good at math that is until they started adding the alphabet in it. The teacher handed out papers of work for us to do. I was downright confused. What do I care what X equals. Math needs us to stop finding his ex and get over her.
I ran my fingers through my hair as I racked my brain for what step happened next. Alec leaned slightly over to me, “You need some help, sweetie?” he whispered quietly.
He did not just call me that. I shook my head but, after about five more minutes of getting no where I admitted, “Okay maybe I need a little help”
“The first step is admitting it” he said as he looked at what problem I was on. I looked at his paper real quick. It was done. He had already finished. What the crap? “Okay you’re only at problem three?”
I bit down my lip so I wouldn’t make a rude comeback; after all I did want help from him, “Yes”
So he started teaching me like it was the easiest thing on earth. He made it seem so simple like second grade math. After he had helped me through some problems, I did the rest by myself. “Anymore subjects you need help in, I’m here. Especially the Human Body. I could really help you around that area” he winked at me. I could not believe it he really was hitting on me.
“Actually…” I said as I played with the strands of hair coming down from my ponytail, “I have a perfect grade in that subject”
“Well then maybe you could help me on it. You can never learn too much”
“Sorry to disappoint” I slyly said.
The bell rung. Our classes were over thank god. Alec stood up and looked at me then he quickly reached over and pulled down my ponytail in one fluent motion, “It takes a lot to disappoint me” he said and then he walked out of the room. I was appalled.
After classes I found Ashley, “Okay so where’s your boy?” she asked while we were side by side walking down the hallway.
“Oh…” I had forgotten about that but, and then one specific guy came to mind. I pulled her arm trying to find him. Then I saw him walking alone with his hands in his pockets of his leather jacket. “Right there he is” I pointed to him.
“Oh boy…” she whistled as she looked him up and down, “Looks like you’ve got a lot on your hands now.”