When I finally arrived in my hidden Biology classroom, the female teacher introduced me to the rest of the class, and I had to endure another set of pointing fingers and jokes directed towards me. I avoided conflict altogether that time, making sure that I wasn’t going to say anything to conjure up some more enemies on my first day at a new school. I took my seat—once more at the front of the classroom—and watched the teacher as she moved eloquently across the front of the class, explaining things that I already knew about.
I dozed off as she spoke, anticipated everything she would say. I was right after every guess, and I soon became bored of the task. It required listening to a lesson I’d already learned. So instead of wasting my time trying to place what she would say next, I glanced out the window that was next to me, out at the rolling expanses of wet green, grassy hills that rose and fell unevenly. The forests stretched on for miles, and the trees were from ten to twenty feet in height. I looked at them in frustration, remembering the packed streets of California and its sunny days.
Here it was the opposite. Cold, wet, endlessly rainy. The inconsequential part of Cleveland that we were living in might as well have been a small village cut into the middle of a thick, dense jungle, unkempt due to its sprawling vines and relentless waves of vegetation. A thin sheet of rain fell gently from the sky to meet the already wet parking lot, causing a thin stream of rainwater to form in the cracks that slithered across it. I watched uninterested as the rain became a drizzle, which fell for twenty minutes before it stopped. Cleveland, I thought. Of all the places in Cleveland, we choose the one carved into woodland. Perfect.
I sat in my seat for what seemed like forever as the lesson finally dragged on to a stop and the bell rang that signified one of the best parts of the day: lunch. Lunch came slowly. I found the cafeteria downstairs and sat at a table with my tray of lunch. I opened my can of soda just as my sister sat down across from me. “I hate this school,” I said.
“Why?” she asked, taking a bite out of her red apple. “Zack, did you already make someone hate you? It’s amazing how you do that! You somehow find a way to make fun of someone cleverly, but then you un-cleverly make an enemy!”
“I’m sorry that my tongue slipped,” I said, frustrated. “He was the one who started it!”
Jen brushed back her blond hair so that it fell over her back and looked straight at me. We looked so similar—the skin tone, the hair colour, the gray eyes—and yet we were so different. Jen was the levelheaded one who wouldn’t be pushed around. I was somewhat similar, but I liked risks. I was thinking about this when I caught sight of a strange group of kids who were about Jen’s age sitting at the back of the cafeteria. They were sitting away from the window, and they caught my attention or some odd reason.
They were all pale, paler than all of the people around them. Each one of them had papery white skin, as if they were suffering from some kind of disease. Their eyes were silvery gray, just as mine and Jen’s were, only they seemingly glowed. There were only two of them there; one was a girl, and one a guy. The guy had jet black hair that looked windblown as if he’d stood behind an airplane and the wind from the turbines had buffeted his hair. His features were angular, and his dark eyebrows furrowed as he looked over at me. The girl was amazingly beautiful.
She looked like she was straight off the runway: dark brown hair that fell long down her back, pale skin that brought out her glistening silvery eyes. They were like two polished mirrors. Her features were angular as well, and they were dramatic. Long, black eyelashes, sharp, perfect nose, angled cheekbones. She looked like she could be the boy’s sister. I gasped as I looked at her. She stood from her spot alongside the boy, and they walked out of the cafeteria, both of them as graceful as deer. I sighed as I saw her, knwing I'd fallen for her. Hard.