Chapter One

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Hello again! I have rewriten the first chapter of Hologram, and I hope this is an improvement. I would love it if you guys would try to comapre it to the original first chapter (if you read that) and tell me what you think. Honest comments are really appreciated, and any feedback would just be really helpful. :) Thank you!

OH. And I must thank seeMISARCHIST for virtually beating me into writing again ;D Her persistant pestering is the reason you have something to read right now ;D

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Perfection is a gift.

I snorted at the phrase above the doors. It hurt me to stand so close; I could practically feel the words trying to pull me into the lie it preached. I glanced at the shadow the two story building cast across the ground. I had been waiting here longer than I was comfortable with. It had been nearly two years since the last time I stood atop these steps and walked through those doors, but more importantly, nearly two years since I laid my eyes on the lie engraved above them. I had changed since then. I, unlike the others, had come to my senses.

The door swung open, its hinges creaking dully. The smell of old books and graphite dust washed over me, and I wrinkled my nose in disgust. A young boy stepped out, his arms folded tightly across his chest and his face twisted into a vicious pout. I could see the fresh tear stains on his face from where I stood, and my heart sank in my chest. I pushed off the railing I had been leaning against and closed the short distance between us. He refused to look at me as I knelt down next to him. The collar of his polo shirt stuck up around his face, hiding his eyes. I frowned and began to fold it down.

“Are you ok?” I asked.

“I’m not crazy,” he whispered, his voice muffled from crying. “Tell them I’m not crazy.”

“Thank you for coming down here, Harper. I understand it was sudden.”

I looked up at the woman now standing behind him. She smiled down at me through her rosy lipstick, and placed her hands on the boy’s shoulders. I pulled him closer to me by his arm and put on my best fake smile as I stood up.

“It was no problem. He is my brother after all.”

“Yes, well I was wondering if we could have a quick, private world about your brother.” Her sly smile never faded as she turned her attention away from me and back to the young boy standing at my side. “Could you wait at the bottom of the stairs, Noah? Your sister will be down in a moment.”

Noah turned to me, his cheeks still damp from tears. I nodded my head and ran my fingers through his mess of blonde hair.

 “I won’t be long.”

He turned away from us without a word. The woman in front of me sighed as she watched him walk away, her head shaking slightly. A few loose strands of curly red hair fell from the messy bun in the back of her head. She suddenly stretched her hand out to me, her fingers drowning in a mess of gold and silver rings.

“I’m Ms. Nicole, Noah’s teacher, but of course you can just call me Nicole.”

“Well you already know my name,” I said, throwing in a casual laugh at the end in an attempt to lighten the heavy mood.

“Of course, your name is still occasionally used around here. You were a favorite to many of the teachers here, Harper. You were a very bright student.”

I was uncomfortable with being the topic of the conversation. I hadn’t meant to become a favorite of the school. My teachers only liked me because I was, as they put it, a “deep thinker”. I would ask questions they couldn’t answer -- questions only I thought should be answered.

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