Chapter 1

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Monday mornings were so not my forte. Mornings in general just irked me. I think they bothered everyone, with the exception of my mother, that is. Caroline Price was known for being a committed lawyer. She was the very definition of a workaholic.

My mornings were far from ideal. My mom didn't come and wake me up with a pat on the back or with reassuring words. Not even with threats. By the time I got up, she was already long gone. Dad couldn't wake me up either; I couldn't beg him for an extra five minutes in bed. He was still asleep himself.

Dad had been laid off for about 4 months now. And he was either going through some odd male depression, or he was enjoying the lazy days on the couch.

I wasn't sure how to feel about being a loner at home. The lack of boring or odd family breakfasts was a plus, I'd say. I had school to focus on, volunteer work at the American Red Cross center, and the occasional microwave dinner at home. There goes my sob story.

People tended to feel bad for me, which is why I didn't talk to them about my (somewhat pathetic) personal life. Honestly, I didn't feel deprived. I preferred solitude over pity any day. People didn't get me, and I didn't get them either. The only thing I needed was a full scholarship to college - a major reason why I was going to the Hamford School of Arts for my senior year.

It was my first day at this new school, this particular Monday. I hopped out of bed and took a few steps to my closet. Opening the rackety wooden door, I blindly pulled out my uniform. One very unoriginal navy plaid skirt, a pair of navy knee highs, a white oxford-style button-down shirt, and navy blue tie (optional, but cute). Personally, I thought I looked better with the tie. I threw my uniform on, stuck my feet into some converse, and ran a comb through my medium-length, plain blonde hair.

"Somebody looks terrible," I mumbled to my reflection in the mirror. Confidence, I had some.

I coated my barely visible blonde eyelashes with mascara and added some eyeliner for good measure. My brown eyes could not have looked duller. I got them from Dad, even though I wished I had inherited my mom's electric blue eyes. She didn't even need make up; her eyes are surrounded by thick, dark lashes.

I grabbed my plain black backpack off the floor and slung it over my shoulder. School was only a mile away, so I started my walk.


I walked directly through the big wooden doors of the brick building, trying my hardest to ignore the looks I was getting. (Or thought I was getting. Like I said, I wasn't looking.) I'd been in the building before, for orientation in the summer. But now, it was like seeing the place in a whole new light. I felt lost in this place all over again.

As I sauntered through the halls from class to class, I dared myself to look around and observe. I made note of three things:

1. I have never felt more ugly in my life.

2. These kids are not only rich, but have the most intimidating, nasty glares.

3. There was an adorable boy who, until further notice, will be called Hottie Guitar Player, strumming away in the west wing.

The girls at this school... my goodness. Big breasts, perfect noses, long, flawless hair, manicured claws. I was totally out of my element.

In the midst of my staring, I heard the late bell rang. I glanced down at my schedule, trying to figure out which class I was going to have to make a grand entrance in. The most important class of the day, my focus: creative writing. Stellar.

Mrs. Sawyer was a figure of authority, that was for sure. Long, black pencil skirt, heels, a red blouse, sorrel hair tied in a tight bun at the top of her head. She was intimidating, to say the least, and my heart started racing at this discovery. She wouldn't let me get away with just sitting there in silence, like the other teachers had. Oh no, she'd expect me to 'voice my opinion' and 'participate' in 'group discussions'... I could tell just by looking at her.

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