"Last stop," the tanned bus driver with too much hair gel warns as the Grey Hound brakes in front of a huge, closed-off building.
I rub the sleep from my eyes and yawn widely, catching a glimpse of one of the old ladies out of the corner of my eye. She's frowning at my rudeness, but I just shrug and try not to wonder why someone would even live out here if they weren't going to the school. I shiver when I think of the school. Williams Lockwood Academy. My mouth even tastes rancid when I think about it.
Wiping the sweat off on the upholstered seat beneath me, I stand up slowly. By the time that I've gathered my things (a backpack and a large suitcase) the bus is ready to leave. I close the large luggage door on the side of the bus and it immediately drives off, as if afraid of the place that I am going to be for the rest of the year. God knows if I'll be staying here for the rest of my life.
When I was fifteen my younger brother died.
Alec was a good kid. He was only ten and he had such light hazel eyes that even other parents would stop and stare. You see, my family being all black makes it a little weird for one of us to have such light eyes. But Alec was special. From the moment he was born to the day that he died, you could feel a light emanating from him. Of course, when he drowned at our cottage, the light instantly left his little body.
For some odd reason, he was the yin to my yang. When he was alive, he'd run around laughing and asking questions, like any other little kid and I was always an obedient kid, but when he died I became rebellious by skipping classes and cursing at my parents.
But I'm not the only one putting guilt on myself. My parents have it in their minds that I could have saved him, even though I was inside the cottage making a sandwich when Alec swam out on his own. We still wonder why he did that since he knew that he wasn't allowed in the water alone. But the point is that they blame me. Though, like I already said, me saving him would have been impossible.
Getting a good grip on my suitcase, I turn and glare at the large building in front of me. My parents didn't even have the guts to bring me, they just sent me on the bus with a whisper of a goodbye and two forced hugs. Alec should have never gone into that water alone, at least if he hadn't I wouldn't be in this mess now.
An old Toyota drives up a few feet away from me and a guy around my age, seventeen, steps out of the car. Unlike me, he isn't scowling. But also unlike me, he looks sadly back at his mom, who is quietly saying something to him. He closes the door angrily and roughly grabs his stuff from the trunk. His mom is staring straight ahead and from the expression on her face, I can tell that she is willing herself not to cry. The blond guy gives her a lingering look before turning his back to the car as his mom drives away.
I can already see that I'm not the only one with problems.