Dad chuckles seeing me staring at my reflection. “I hate this,” I grumble.
He chuckles, “How about this… You get through this semester with the grade point average higher than the 80% and I will reward you.”
“Trip to Bahamas,” I ask. “Oh, I know, a cruise…”
He laughs, “Whatever you want Rayven. As long as you don’t let this place bring you down. You’ve always been a bright girl, and I am proud. You can call it bribing, but if you continue to excel, and not let this get in the way, you will be rewarded.”
I sigh quietly, “So what do you think is going to happen?”
He pauses, pressing his lips together, “Well…”
“Tell me the honest truth,” I say with a sigh, looking into his emerald eyes.
“I don’t know,” he says quietly. “This town isn’t very racist, but… Given that you are mixed… I don’t know honestly,” he sighs.
“May I ask a favor please,” I ask.
He smiles, “Anything.”
“This October, may I please get my license,” I ask quietly, not looking at him.
He pauses, “You saw the car out front?”
“Yes,” I say slowly. “I don’t always want to be driven around… I think that’ll attract more attention than me being half white,” I say quietly.
He sighs, pulling me into his arms, “I can’t promise it’ll get better.”
“I don’t care about people’s opinions, I just hate the fact that you and Mom had to leave just because of the color of her skin,” I say quietly. “Mom’s family welcomed you, didn’t they?”
“Yes,” he smiles. “Yes they did. They loved me from the first time she brought me to their house.” He sighs, “It’s just the nature of…”
I chuckle, “Thanks for not lying on their behalf.”
He kisses my forehead, “Have a great day at school. I’ll probably be home when you get back.”
“Would we have time for a match,” I ask.
“Don’t rule it out,” he smirks. “Your driver is waiting,” he says.
“I thought they are supposed to wait on me,” I smirk.
He laughs, “I thought you’re not a snob.”
“That’s true,” I smile. I peck his cheek, “Thanks Dad.”
I leave the house, closing the front door as I walk to the black limo car. The driver is standing by the door, waiting to open it for me. He does and I smile, “Thank you… What’s your name?”
“Roger,” he says.
“Roger that,” I smile.
He cracks a smile and I slide in just before he closes the door. I lay my backpack on the leather seat and sigh looking around. He turns on to the main road and drives south, going back closer to town. I see teenagers walking in groups. I barely see anyone walking alone. I sigh. Another small town… How am I going to cope this time?
Last school year, was bad. Very bad. I was pretty enough to be in the popular crowd, but I wasn’t at all preppy, nor interested in gossiping, neither was interested in wasting time ogling over the football players that weren’t worth the time of day. I was quickly an Outcast and didn’t make one friend. I was kind of glad when Dad had to move to expand his company to other states.
I sigh and press the button on the door. “Roger, may you please park at the back of the school?”
“Yes ma’am,” he says.
He does as I say but the way the school is positioned, we practically go around the whole school before driving up the driveway to the back parking lot. By the time he stops the car and comes to open it for me, plenty of people are staring, while others are talking.
Roger opens the door and I step out, wearing no shades, and no cell phone glued to my ear. I don’t have an expression on my face as I thank Roger. “Hope you have a good day,” he murmurs quietly.
I nod, and smile, thanking him without saying a word. I walk through the courtyard, not looking at anybody, in silence. When I reach the front doors, I open it, and outside everything returns to normal.
I find my way to the office easily. Walking in, I smile at the receptionist. “Hi, I’m Rayven Bennett… A new student to the school.”
“Bennett,” she asks surprised, looking up at me, to see I have emerald eyes just like my father. “Rayford is your father,” she asks.
“Yes,” I nod.
“He’s back in town,” she asks.
“Yes,” I nod again.
“Really,” she asks.
“Yes,” I say without nodding this time.
“Wow… That’s shocking news. After what happened, I didn’t think he’d show his face around—” She looks up, realizing I’m still here and clears her throat. “Welcome to Rogue,” she says with an easy smile. “This is a great school,” she says.
“Let me guess, you came here as a student,” I say.
She smiles chuckling, “Yes, in fact I did. So did your father,” she says.
“Yes, he’s told me a lot about growing up here,” I say.
“And what about your mother,” she asks.
“They met here in high school,” I say.
She pauses, but I don’t elaborate. She clears her throat. “Okay,” she says dragging out the word. “Your paperwork was transferred so… I’ll just print off your schedule,” she says. She pauses, “I’ll be right back.” She looks over at the printer that doesn’t print the paper.
She leaves to go in the back room, grabbing print paper to fill the printer. As she walks around, I glance out the office window, to see people looking in on me as they slowly walk passed the office door.
Just as I’m about to look away, I see a tall guy, smiling… at me. I hesitate about to look back to see who he’s looking at, but I know he wouldn’t be able to see the receptionist, Ms. Larry from where he stands.
Just then a girl walks up to him, and he snaps out of it. His curly brown hair falls in front of his eyes and she smiles brushing it aside to kiss him before leaving his side. He looks after her, but when he turns around, I’m already looking away.
“Great, here it is,” she smiles.
I look down at my schedule. “Um… It says that I have Law, English, Math and…What is the last course?”
She looks at the course code, “Health.”
“Health,” I ask. “I requested Gym.”
“You are a junior, your only other options are fitness and recreational.”
I pause, “What does that even mean?”
“Cheerleading or swimming,” she says.
I suck in a breath, “What other courses are available?”
She turns to her computer and starts typing away. “There’s Art, um… A photography course and… History.”
I pause, “That’s all my options?”
“And cheerleading and swimming, that’s all your options, yes,” she says looking at me.
I pause, thinking it through, “Photography please.”
She nods and smiles printing my new schedule. “Enjoy,” she smiles, returning to hand me my new schedule.
I don’t say another word as I leave the office.