Chapter One

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Chapter 1

"Wake up and get ready for school". Jocie always thought to herself that was a horrible way to start off your day. She would lay in bed and think of a hundred different ways to start off her day better. After getting to option number five another scream down the hallway would come into focus. " I said get up, your going to be late! I don't have time for this". Jocie let out a faint "humpphh" and thought to herself, one more month, one more month till Summer vacation.

It was a daily routine. Get up and walk like a zombie to the kitchen where there was an empty bowl, a box of her favorite cereal, a quart of milk and a spoon sitting on her spot of the dinning table. Jocie would plop herself down and proceed to fill her bowl with cereal while zoning out the ruckus of her three younger brothers running around the table as if they were super heroes on a special mission. Most the time they entertained her with their childish antics but as of late she hadn't paid much attention to them. She can't remember the last time she had jumped out of her chair and pretended to be the evil villain. They didn't seem to miss her villainy anyways. After breakfast she returned to her room where she had her clothing already laid out from the night before. She would look at her ensemble and make sure everything matched to her liking. If there was one thing Jocie would not, no could not tolerate was bad fashion. Everything has it's place and everything has it's match. Jocie always found herself frustrated with being only fifteen and not being to be totally free to explore her own fashion sense. She always made due with what her parents had bought her for school and seasonal purposes.

The day started like any other day. Sitting on the ground across from the gym was Mia Christofi. Mia was new to the school last year and Jocie had taken her under her wing. Mia would wait there everyday for Jocie to arrive. Jocie always thought that Mia was the only one that ever truly understood her. Hey Mia, Jocie said. Hey Jocie, Mia replied. Mia had a big smile on her face and couldn't seem to stand still. What has gotten into you, Jocie said. I walked by the classroom and on the chalkboard was written "Special guest speaker at 12pm." So, it is probably just another boring lecture on whatever boring topic is going on said Jocie. You're probably right but it is exciting to think about what it could be about! Of all people you should know what happens when you start to imagine what "could" be happening said Mia. Yeah, I have quite an imagination said Jocie.

Once seated in class Jocie felt an uneasiness overcome her. She felt slightly nauseated. Like car sickness. She took a deep breath and seemed to feel better. Her mind started to go crazy in anticipation of who or what was the special guest. She could not focus. She would start thinking it would be a fashion model here to discuss the upcoming line of clothing from Collette Roux. Then abruptly her mind would switch to an even deeper fantasy world. An ancient alien was discovered right here in Ukiah and they were taking refuge in her high school. If left alone Jocie would go on and on with all these absurd ideas. The only person Jocie ever shared her day dreams with was Mia. No one else would understand, Jocie would think to herself. Mia was a good listener and a very good friend.

Mrs. Lang went to the front of the class and asked for everybody's full attention. We have a visitor from the United States government here today to talk about options students have in the future said Mrs. Lang. A tall middle aged woman seemed to come out of nowhere from the back of the room. Jocie thought to herself, where did she come from and more importantly where did she get those shoes!

Hello my name is Alexis Garcia and I am here to talk to you all about your future, said the tall woman. Ms. Garcia paused for a moment. Jocie thought to herself, she looks like a robot scanning for living organisms. No sign of intelligent life forms here Jocie chuckled to herself. Every student was at attention and everybody was staring at her in a focus that has never been seen before. Everyone had their heads staring right at Ms. Garcia. Everyone but her. She was an attractive lady but this was out of the ordinary. Jocie didn't put much more thought into it and focused on Ms. Garcia's lecture. There are many outlets that we offer to assist all students in furthering their education past high school. Even though we recommend collegiate education, there are other options Ms. Garcia said. Ms. Garcia continued talking about financial aids, trade schools and other government assisted programs. Jocie found herself once again drifting off into her own mind. Jocie wasn't interested in anything Ms. Garcia had to say. She pictured herself in Paris working behind the scenes with The Roux Co design firm. Rushing out the tall young models on the runways and enjoying the after party's with the fashion elite. She thought to herself, if I want to make this dream a reality I better start taking the right steps to making it so. I will only have two more years of high school before I am thrown out to the wolves. Thank you Ms. Garcia, even though I was not interested in one word you said the message was quite clear.

The bell rang for last break and all the students started filing out the room. Ms. Garcia and Mrs. Lang were talking by Mrs. Lang's desk. Mrs. Lang was holding a paper in her hand pointing to something on the paper. As Jocie looked over to the desk Ms. Garcia looked up and made direct eye contact with her. Ms. Garcia gave Jocie a faint smile, more of a smirk and looked back at the paper. Abruptly Mia jumped in front of Jocie. Hey wasn't that cool! Said Mia. Yeah, very cool! Let's get out of here and go for a walk said Jocie.

While walking about the grass field Mia was going on and on about what actions she was going to take to prepare herself for college. Jocie could hear Mia's voice but not a single word was coming into focus. All Jocie could think about was that smirk Ms. Garcia gave her. Her thoughts were not going anywhere which was more confusing than anything. It was like time stood still and her brain was frozen and all she could see were those thin red lips moving slightly to one side so slow it took minutes for the entire smirk from start and finish. A loud "Don't you think that is a great idea" from Mia popped Jocie back into reality. Jocie looked at Mia and said "yeah I think that is a great idea".

The bell to return to class rung and Mia and Jocie started walking back to class. A few seconds later the school PA system screeched on. "Will Josaphine Alvarez and Melita Christofi please come to the principal's office" Both Jocie and Mia looked at each other in disgust. "I hate it when they use our real names Jocie said. Mia nodded in agreement.

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