Chapter One

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Chapter One

Just keep walking and ignore their staring eyes and stupid comments.

I pushed a pair of old, black sunglasses up further on the bridge of my nose. From behind the dark lenses, my eyes scanned the familiar faces of students moving in the opposite direction. I knew most of these kids, even if they didn't really know me. I could list off all of their names and boring hobbies.

A group of giggling girls was somewhere behind me in the crowded school hallway. Their high-pitched voices echoed throughout the corridor, growing louder by the millisecond and causing an intense pounding inside of my head.

As I turned the corner, my eyes locked onto a face I had seen before, but only a few times, and very recently. He wore a baseball hat and stood awkwardly off to the side of the hallway. Despite the hat, I could still see his pupils focused on me.

His lips pinched together as he raised a skeptical eyebrow in my direction. The boy's acknowledgement caught me off guard. It was almost as if he thought he knew me, but that was impossible. No one really knew me. I didn't even know myself.

I shifted my gaze back towards the front, trying to avoid any further eye contact with him. The abrupt movement caused my hair to sweep against the shoulder of a student walking next to me. Her face grew contorted as she weirdly flinched away from my brief touch. Her reaction seemed a little dramatic, but I had gotten use to how people responded to me.

Everyone at this school knew I was different. Odd. Strange. Freaky. I had heard all of the words they liked to call me. I had been attending this school for three years, yet, they still acted as if I couldn't hear them whispering about my pale skin and white hair. The weird girl was on the move...

I reached up to my neckline and found the one thing that had been constant in my life, my necklace. I traced the familiar silver chain, which hung loosely around my neck. It was simple, with a medallion the size of a half dollar. I envisioned myself on some sort of tropical beach, a world away from this place, but my daydream was quickly interrupted by the familiar clicking sound of my teacher's shoes. My head snapped down just as she came to a stop inches away from me.

"Esa, why are you wearing those sunglasses inside of the building? It's not even sunny outside," Mrs. Vaughn huffed, hands on her hips. Her gray hair pulled back into a French braid, showing off her high cheekbones. She narrowed her eyes as she continued to inspect me. Like almost everyone else at this school, Mrs. Vaughn was looking up at me. Even with her black high heels, I easily stood a foot taller than her.

"Esa, is everything all right? I told you yesterday, and the day before that, the sunglasses have to go."

"I'm fine." I pushed them up on top of my head and instinctively raised a hand to shade my eyes. I couldn't help but blink a few times at the sudden intrusion of light.

"Sorry, I just forgot... again," I mumbled.

She nodded, satisfied. "Uh huh. You will have to figure out how to sit at your desk for the next forty-five minutes without wearing those awful things."

Mrs. Vaughn turned and headed back towards her desk. I couldn't understand why teachers always had the same reaction to my sunglasses. Honestly, there wasn't anything wrong with them. They were glasses, not a horrible serpent slithering through the hallway, preying on helpless students; although, that would be interesting.

As I sank down into my seat, my hand brushed one of the chair's metal legs. A tiny line of electricity jumped out of my palm, creating a small spark. I looked around to see if anyone had noticed, but, no one was paying attention to me. The thought brought a sly smile to my face. If only they knew. But they didn't. No one knew my secret.

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