Saturday and Sunday went by uneventfully. Tracy and Franklin went by the local Wal-Mart and bought decorations and such for Tracy’s bedroom along with a couple of new school clothes. Then for the rest of the weekend, she unpacked, decorated, and got her backpack ready for school.
Monday came quickly, quicker than Tracy wanted. She could be pretty anti-social when going to a new environment, with her true personality only coming out once she gets to really know people. So it was an understatement to say she was nervous. But at least she already knew one person at the school.
Tracy put on a pair of blue jeans and a pink and blue t-shirt with the Superman symbol on it. She then slipped on her light black jacket and put on her blue tennis shoes before going out the door, locking the large house behind her.
She had to ride the bus since Franklin went to work earlier than she woke up for school.
Tracy’s bus stop was just outside her house, so all she had to do was walk down the driveway to the corner where the other kids in her community would wait. There she saw Kayla (and surprisingly not Troy), who gave Tracy a friendly wave when she saw her.
Taking out an earbud, Kayla said, “Morning Tracy, you excited for your first day at Lakewood High?”
“Define excited” Tracy said.
“That doesn’t sound like the right attitude” said Kayla.
“I mean it’s school, don’t think I can name anyone who’s actually excited for school...at least I only have two more years” replied Tracy.
“Ah, I remember my junior year...good thing I’ll be leaving after this year.” Kayla then stopped and looked up the street, glaring.
Tracy followed Kayla’s glare and saw a girl walking down the sidewalk to the bus stop. The girl was rather thin and tall despite the black kitten heels she wore. She had straight, long light brown hair and an olive complexion. Her eyes were a dark brown and her full lips were covered in a light red lipgloss. She wore black skinny jeans and a white tank top covered by a dark blue blouse, had a multitude of colored bracelets on her wrists and two silver studs in her ears.
“That’s Kristyn Albritton, her parents are higher ups over at the FANG Research Facility. I've only known her for two months, but she already takes the cake as the bitchiest bitch I've ever met” Kayla said with anger as Kristyn approached the bus stop. “She’s bad news, Tracy, I wouldn’t recommend breathing the same air as her.”
Kristyn walked past Kayla, but then stopped when she noticed Tracy.
“Ah, you must be Tracy, Mr. Evans’ daughter, right?” Kristyn asked even though she already knew the answer.
“Uh yeah, nice to meet you” Tracy said sticking out her hand. Kristyn shook it and looked Tracy up and down.
“Nice outfit kid. You should sit with me and my friends if we have the same lunch.”
“Uh, yeah, maybe” Tracy said.
“Perfect,” Kristyn said before looking at Kayla.
The bus rounded the corner and Kristyn turned to look at it before looking back to Tracy. “Hope to see you around, Tracy. Ciao” Kristyn walked to the bus along with the others and boarded. Tracy followed an angry Kayla onto the bus and the two sat down together.
“She didn’t seem that bad,” Tracy said, breaking the silence between the two.
“Oh of course she didn’t, but that’s how she gets you. She lures you in and then when she doesn’t see anymore use for you, she throws you under the bus. And watch out, cause she might do that literally” said Kayla.
“You sound like you speak from experience” said Tracy.
“I’m ashamed to be riding the same bus as her” Kayla said, looking back at Kristyn. Tracy noticed this and if looks could kill, Kristyn would be the victim of a triple homicide.
They arrived at school twenty minutes before it actually started, so Tracy left Kayla to go get her schedule. She entered the counselor's office and sat down with an old man by the name of Mr. Moon.
He had snow white hair, a bushy white moustache which practically covered his mouth, blue eyes, and wore a white suit.
“So, Miss Evans, you’re joining us from California...says here you’re an honor roll student” Mr. Moon said while reading her transcript.
“Yes sir, I do my best” Tracy said with a smile.
“Well, I believe you’ll enjoy your schedule. Here you go” Mr. Moon took a sheet of paper fresh off the printer and handed it to Tracy to look over.
Tracy looked over her schedule, before looking up at Mr. Moon.
“Everything appear to be in order?” Mr. Moon asked.
“Yes sir, I believe everything’s all good” said Tracy, standing up along with Mr. Moon.
“Excellent! Now, let me see if I can find you an escort to help you find your way around” said Mr. Moon as they walked into the front office. “Ah, Mr. Megryan, just the man I wanted to see!”
Tracy looked over to see a tall junior who was now looking over at the two of them.
He was about her age and had light skin like hers, dark brown eyes, black spiky hair, and a small scar on his left cheek. He wore black converse, black jeans, a white t-shirt, and a black and gray letterman sweater.
“Oliver, this is Tracy Evans, she’s new here. I’d like you to show her around to her classes” Mr. Moon said with a smile.
Oliver looked at Tracy before smiling. “Oh yeah, sure. Nice to meet you Tracy” Oliver said sticking out a hand that Tracy shook. “Mind if I take a gander at your schedule?” Tracy handed Oliver her schedule and he read it over.
“Okay, we got a couple classes together. This'll work” Oliver said with a smile. Tracy gave him a reassuring smile back before Mr. Moon practically shoved the two of them out the door.
“Enjoy Lakewood!” Mr. Moon called after them before shutting the office doors.
The bell suddenly rung, and Oliver slung his backpack over his shoulder. “Well, let’s get a move on. You wouldn’t want to be late for your first class” Oliver said, walking backwards down the hall, motioning for Tracy to follow. Tracy followed him and he began lead her to her algebra class.
“Hey Oliver, this may seem weird but do you by any chance know Skylar?” asked Tracy. “Skylar Kenway?” Oliver asked.
“Yeah she's my girlfriend, you already know her?” asked Oliver. “She's my dad's friend's daughter, so I met her earlier this week” said Tracy.
“That’s nice,” said Oliver. “So how do you like Lakewood so far?”
“It’s alright. I haven’t really seen anything too mind boggling yet.”
“Oh trust me, we’re really exciting” Oliver said with a big smile. “Whelp, here you are, algebra with Ms. Wilbanks. Good luck” said Oliver, giving her a wave as she walked into the class.
By the time Tracy finished chemistry, she was exhausted.
She had only been to three classes, yet almost all of her binders were filled, and almost all of her papers were gone.
At least she was getting a good education.
She walked into the Spanish class, not looking where she was going, and bumped into a skeleton on display dressed in a mariachi outfit.
Tracy let out a scream as a laugh was heard, and a skinny, Hispanic man walked towards her.
He had dark brown eyes, a thick black beard, straight black hair, and a silver necklace around his neck. He wore a black polo and khakis with dark brown loafers.
“Ah, Hola señorita, lo siento, I didn’t mean to scare you” the man said. “I’m Señor Alcala. I’ll be your teacher, as you can probably tell.”
“Oh, uh, nice to meet you Señor….Alcalla…” Tracy said.
“No, no, no, no,” Señor Alcala said quickly. “Alcala” he annuciated slowly.
“...Linda barba” Tracy said finally, smiling and letting out a laugh. The rest of the class laughed as well as Señor Alcala smiled slightly.
“We’re going to get along well. And thank you, my beard is awesome. Take your seat, let’s get into today’s lesson.”
“Everybody, this is Tracy. She’s joining us from Cali; let’s all make sure to make her feel at home” Señor Alcala announced. “Now, Tracy, not to be discriminatory, but you got to sit in the back. There’s no more room up here.”
Tracy laughed along with the class as she sat down in the back, right next to a boy with his head down, his long scraggly black hair covering his face.
While Señor Alcala began talking, Tracy couldn’t help but notice a small singe on the boy's neck in the shape of a diamond. It was strange; not like any tattoo she’d ever seen.
Tracy stopped looking at the singe mark and turned to Señor Alcala, who was looking at her along with the class.
“Can you tell us the forms of gustar?” he asked. “Oh, yes. One moment.”
After Spanish, Tracy arrived at lunch, a brown paper bag in hand. She had managed to find the lunchroom on her own, it’s huge size giving it away.
The lunchroom was a sight for sore eyes, with long white tables and light brown chairs set up in practically every place they could be sat; and an outside courtyard was set up with even more tables and food kiosks.
“Wow…” muttered Tracy.
“Pretty big, right?”
The sudden voice startled Tracy, causing her to jump up and turn around, looking at Kristyn, who was trying not to laugh.
“Did I scare you?” Kristyn asked with a laugh.
“Yeah, just a little bit” Tracy said catching her breath.
“Well, come on then, we wouldn’t want our new student sitting by herself, would we” Kristyn brought Tracy over to a secluded table in the back where some other kids were.
“Everyone, this is Tracy Evans. She’s new here and we’re all going to make her feel at home” said Kristyn, sitting Tracy down before taking her seat.
“Tracy, this is Marc Whittaker, Alyssa Crowder, and Reagan Keith” Kristyn said, pointing to a blonde haired boy, a raven haired girl, and a red headed girl.
“Nice to meet you all,” Tracy said as she began to take out her PB&J.
“Alright Tracy, you've been to three whole classes, so tell me,” began Kristyn. “On a scale of one to ten, how much do you love Lakewood?”
“Uh…” Tracy started.
“Come on Albritton,” Marc chimed in. “She couldn't have possibly formed a legitimate opinion by now. This is her first day, and she hasn't even gotten through it.”
“Yeah, what Marc said” said Reagan.
“I didn't go anywhere, y’know” said Tracy looking at Marc.
“But so far it's pretty cool” said Tracy.
“Well that's good” Kristyn said as she bit into her salad.
“So Kristyn, how are your parents taking the FANG fire?” Alyssa asked.
“Awful,” groaned Kristyn. “They say by losing all that research, we lost about twenty grand.”
A round of a fake gasps went about the table.
“I know, my mom and dad say we probably won’t be able to afford the renovations for our house until next year” Kristyn continued to complain.
“Don’t worry, Kristyn, you’ll get through this” Reagan said reassuringly.
“Hey, I remember watching the news about that break-in. What exactly does the FANG facility do research on?” Tracy asked.
Everyone looked to Tracy as if she had just pulled out a gun, a look of widened eyes and gaping mouths.
“What?” Tracy asked innocently.
“No one really asks about FANG here,” Marc said.
“Why not?” asked Tracy.
“Because no one wants to know,” said Kristyn. “FANG can be described by that old saying. Everybody loves hot dogs, but doesn't like to see how they’re made...but since you seem to want to ‘ruin your appetite’, I guess I can give you a little insight. FANG, or the Federal Adaptation of Novelty Genetics, is one of the most monumental, groundbreaking facilities in all of North America. I’m honestly surprised you haven’t heard of it. There, they study ways to make organisms...better, in a way.”
“Better?” Tracy asked, tilting her head to the side. “How so?”
“Well...I can’t really go into that, but I can tell you this,” Kristyn looked around before motioning for Tracy to lean into the middle of the table. She did so and Kristyn began whispering.
“My parents told me that they found something so big that it would change the world...when they can stabilize it, that is” said Kristyn.
“What is it?” asked Tracy.
“Well,” Kristyn said with a laugh as she leaned away from Tracy. “I can’t tell you now, can I. Wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise for when it’s announced to the world.”
Tracy was about to ask another question, but she suddenly heard Kristyn speak up, surprising her.
“Oh hey Oliver” Kristyn said excitedly. Tracy looked up to see a passing Oliver, who stopped and turned around.
“Oh, hey Kris, hey Tracy” Oliver said, taking a quick seat. “You adjusting well? I see you got here on your own.”
“Well it was smack dab in the middle of the school. Kinda hard to miss” Tracy said chuckling.
“So, you two have already met?” asked Kristyn.
“Yeah, Mr. Moon asked me to escort her around while I was turning in a backpack Skylar and I found this morning” said Oliver.
Kristyn seemed to frown at the mention of Skylar.
“Oh yeah….did they figure out whose it was?” asked Kristyn.
“Nah, not that I know of. Hey, I gotta go, the soccer team is meeting in the library, I’ll see you around Kristyn, you too Tracy” Oliver then grabbed his tray and made his way out of the cafeteria.
“So uh, Kristyn,” Tracy spoke up. “I have just one more question about FANG, has anyone ever actually-”
“I’m telling you Kristyn, you’re wasting your time” Reagan said.
“Yeah, he didn’t seem all that interested just now” added Alyssa.
“Don’t get mad at him because he cares about his extracurricular activities. He’s the best attacker this school has” defended Kristyn. “Right behind Ashlynn, you mean” Marc said.
“And you’re forgetting one important detail. Him and Skylar are already dating” said Alyssa.
“You’re overreacting, I doubt Oliver and Skylar are going to last this year. Oliver and I are already good friends, it’s only a matter of time before him and Skylar split and me and him ascend to that next level” said Kristyn with a smile.
Tracy was slightly uncomfortable.
“Yeah, the friend zone” snickered Marc.
Kristyn turned to Marc and stared daggers into him.
“May I remind you that you’re only here because you started dating Reagan two days ago,” Kristyn snapped. “So if you want, you can leave just as easily as you came.”
A silence went over the table.
“Oh, Tracy, did you have a question?” asked Kristyn.
“Yeah uh, wh-”
Shuffling of feet were heard along with the scooting of chairs as the loud bell went off over the loudspeaker.
“Oops, guess I can answer your question another time. Till later” said Kristyn getting up.
“Right...later” muttered Tracy.
Tracy collected her things and joined Oliver outside of the cafeteria, and then he began leading her to English.