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No Brights, No Rights (Chapter One)

This chapter introduces a few characters who are a part of the story.

Part One, Chapter One

“NO BRIGHTS, NO (SCHOOL) ACCESS!”

That’s what one pin said on Maddie Sticks’ double neon green shirt.

“NO BRIGHTS, NO RIGHTS!”

That’s what her green rubber wrist band said in big and bold white letters.

Maddie Sticks is an eighteen-year-old girl in neon pink and green who should never be messed with at all. She’s the kind of girl who can get away with everything and to make another student feel miserable. If someone ticked Maddie off, she would find a way to make them feel miserable. Maddie did that so many times that every student who sees her will immediately back away from her and hope that she wouldn’t do anything terrible to them, like getting throttled in the gut or having the word LOSER stamped on their forehead with pink and neon green striped stamp ink.

But today, no one has ticked off Maddie, yet.

Right now, she’s about to get the status report from her friend Emma Lillith and (possibly) Brady Tanks.

Well, maybe not from Brady Tanks, Maddie thought to herself. He’s probably getting himself into another fight. I hope that Emma shows up before school starts because I’ll go CRAZY if I don’t get the latest report or assignment from Principal Hanks.

As she glared at another student with an evil smirk, a strand of her neon pink-tipped hair was blown in her face.

“Maddie!”

Maddie turned her head back and smiled.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t Emma Lillith, the professional eyewitness of SMHS!” She exclaimed. “Did you find anything interesting?”

Emma shook her head and replied,

“Nothing new today.”

“Hmm,” Maddie said, “did Principal Hanks give you any assignments?”

“Just our typical assignment.”

“Watch out for anyone who’s going against the rules of the school?”

“Yep.”

“Darn.”

Then, Emma’s eyes widened in realization.

“Oh, I almost forgot!” She exclaimed. “Principal Hanks told me that there’s going to be a new student coming!”

“Really?” Maddie asked. “What is the new student’s name?”

“Uh, Something Willows.”

“The new student’s name is ‘Something’?”

“No. I added the ‘Something’ because I forgot her first name. All I know about this new student is a girl, is in the twelfth grade like us, and her first name sounds gloomy and mysterious.”

Maddie replied,

“Hmm! Now that’s really interesting! Probably the most interesting thing in two months.”

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Meanwhile, another eighteen-year-old girl was sitting under a tree while eating a peach. As she munched on the juicy fruit, she watched the cars stop and drive through the parking lot while the morning traffic was slowly simmering down.

Her name is Karri McCarthy.

She, almost like all of the students and teachers, likes to dress in bright-colored outfits. But unlike the students and teachers, Karri chose not to go overboard with the bright colors. For now, she’s wearing a pink tank top (with green bra straps slipping up to her neck) but the pink’s not really bright. It’s kind of a faded pink like Easter egg shaped chalk. Karri is also wearing a medium-sized skirt (decorated with lettuce leaf-green, faded pink, and navy blue rectangles), a thick black belt, navy blue tights, lettuce leaf-green Converse shoes, and two black armbands (with one sliding down to her right wrist and the other staying in place).

Karri’s gravity-defying hair is really unusual. It is dyed with three different colors. On the top part of her hair, it was dyed a lettuce leaf-green color with a streak of black in the middle and on her slight lower left and right side. The mid-section of her head was dyed a very light baby pink while the lower section of her hair was lemon yellow.

Karri is the kind of girl who labels herself as something for a reason. For example, she labeled herself as ‘The Ghost of SMHS’ for some reasons. For reason number one, she, as the photographer for the SMHS paper, can wander around the school hallways and snap a picture of somebody without getting caught. For reason number two, other students treat Karri like a—.

Who’s that driving up to school parking lot?

Karri quickly gobbled down the last few juicy bits of her peach, jumped to her feet, and tossed the orange fruit away in a nearby trash can like a basketball.

“Yes!” She exclaimed to herself while pumping her fist up in the air. “I made it!”

The sound of a car being turned off for the day made Karri focus back on what she was curious about.

She looked back at the parking lot and frowned in confusion.

“Hmm, why does that purple van look familiar?” Karri said to herself and walked closer to the parking lot. “I know that I’ve seen it somewhere!”

Karri watched the dark purple Chevrolet Chevy van turn into an empty parking space in front of her as her eyes searched for the driver inside. But because of how dark the front window was, it was, unfortunately, very hard for Karri to see.

“What are you doing?” A voice asked.

Karri looked behind her and groaned in her head.

Walking towards her was Emma and Maddie, and they certainly didn’t look very happy to see her.

“I was just looking at that dark purple van,” Karri replied. “It just looked interesting.”

Maddie exchanged a glance with Emma and Emma didn’t waste any time to walk towards Karri and push her. Karri landed hard on her bottom, and she watched, with fear in her eyes, Maddie and Emma walking towards her.

“Look here, McCarthy.” Maddie said and stood over the frightened Karri. “It is the Bright Brats’ job to watch out for new students and anything out of the ordinary, not yours. So back off, you little ding-a-ling.”

“Yeah, and go ahead and go to your first-period class right now.” Emma added and placed her hands on her hips. “Maddie and I will deal with the new student.”

Karri frowned at the two mean girls and quickly hopped back on her feet just before the driver’s side door of the dark purple van opened up.

Emma and Maddie looked to their left, and their threatening looks immediately melted into fake friendly smiles as they walked towards the driver and the purple van.

After sighing, Karri walked towards the front doors of SMHS with her eyes aimed at the ground.

………………………………………………………………………………………

The new student applied her black lipstick as two girls were walking towards her van. She looked in her rearview mirror to check if her lipstick was perfectly applied on her lips before she stepped out of her van and grabbed her backpack, a dry erase board and an erasable black marker.

“You must be the new student.” The girl in the neon pink and green said as the new student closed the door of her.

The new student looked up at the two girls and wrote on her dry erase board with her erasable marker,

Yes, I am.

Next to the girl in neon pink and green was a girl that looked really unusual to the new student. She carefully observed the other girl with her eyes covered by her dark sunglasses. The other girl was wearing a white strapless dress with bright blue stripes (with some scars of black) running down diagonally and had bright blue lipstick on her lips. Her hair was dyed a bright orange with black and bright blue stripes running down from the parted section. The girl’s arms were even tattooed in the most unusual way (Yes, the new student can tell that they’re tattoos instead of tattoo sleeves.). The tattoos started from where the arms were connected to the shoulders and stopped at the tips of her fingers. The tattooed right arm had orange and bright blue stripes while the tattooed left arm had orange and black stripes with a ruined black heart in the middle of the upper arm area.

“What’s with the dry erase board?” The girl with the strapless dress asked the new student.

The new student replied on the dry erase board,

I can’t speak.

The girl in the neon pink and green asked, “Is it because you don’t like talking to people?”

After erasing the previous reply with her hand, the new student wrote,

No. It’s not that. I have laryngitis. I’m trying to rest my voice.

The girl in the neon pink and green nodded her head in understanding.

“That’s understandable,” She said. “But enough about that, let’s…introduce ourselves. I’m Maddie Sticks.”

Hi. The new student wrote on her dry erase board.

“And I’m Emma Lillith.” The girl in the strapless dress said.

-Hello. It is very nice to meet you.

After checking the time on her phone, Maddie said,

“Since it’s almost time for school to start, I will take you to your first-period class. But before we do that, Emma and I need to take you to the principal’s office so that we can complete a few things.”

After erasing the previous replies with her hand, the new student quickly wrote,

What sort of things?

“You’ll know when you find out,” Emma said. “Now hand over the sunglasses.”

No, I can’t.

“Why not? Do you have something to hide?”

NO. I’m not hiding anything. I’m wearing these sunglasses because I’m still recovering from an eye surgery and I don’t want to expose my eyes to the brightness yet.

Emma narrowed her eyes and gave the new student a smug.

“If you say so,” She said in a creepy whisper.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

Karri McCarthy panted after stopping in front of the door of her first-period class.

The morning bell hadn’t rung yet, but she ran to the nearest hallway after entering the school. She ran up three flights of stairs, made a right, a left, and another right before stopping. Now that she’s arrived, Karri almost collapsed to the cold tiled floor.

“I made it!” She exclaimed softly.

Then, she heard the bell ring loudly, and the hallway began to flood with students in bright-colored outfits.

Unfortunately for Karri, because of her first-period classroom door being locked, she knew that if her teacher doesn’t show up as soon as possible, then she will have to face the students running into her or worse, face the Bright Brats.

Suddenly, a student in yellow bumped into Karri.

“OW!” Karri exclaimed.

“Hey, watch where you’re going, Stripes!” The student in yellow exclaimed back.

“DON’T CALL ME THAT!”

Because of how Karri styled her hair, she earned a nickname that she hated with a passion: Stripes. She stated multiple times in her head that she would give almost anything to make any student who decided to call her “Stripes” shut the heck up. But unfortunately, there’s no way it can be done and mainly because Karri is a pacifist. Sure, she may raise her voice and say stuff like “Stop” or “Cut it out” but she’s not motivated enough to start a fist fight. Karri even stated that once a fist fight starts, her hands are “frozen” to her hips and raising them in defense is a very big difficulty for her once that happens.

I guess that there will never be a day when I can finally stand up for myself and fight back. Karri thought as she waited anxiously for her teacher to show up. I guess that I’ll be called “Stripes” for the rest of my senior year…and maybe until the day I die.

“Excuse me, Karri.”

Karri moved out of her teacher’s way and watched her teacher, Mr. Gilda, unlock the classroom door despite carrying a coffee mug and four folders. After pulling the key out and putting in his pocket, Mr. Gilda pushed the door open with his right foot.

“What are we doing today, Mr. Gilda?” Karri asked as she followed her teacher.

“I beg your pardon?” He asked.

“What are we doing today?”

“We are going to finish up Macbeth and discuss some of the remaining questions from our work packet.”

“Oh, okay.”

Mr. Gilda tucked his neon orange collared shirt into his white pants after placing his folders and coffee mug on his desk. Karri walked to the front of the room and placed her green backpack on her desk before unzipping it.

Eight more students in bright-colored outfits walked in the classroom as Mr. Gilda pulled up the morning assignment on his Smart Board. Today’s morning assignment immediately caught Karri’s attention.

“Hmm, this looks interesting,” She mumbled to herself.

The Smart Board said in bold text:

For your bellwork, write about doing something terrible in your life and explain if you did or did not feel guilty after doing the terrible thing.

This bellwork is related to where we left off on Macbeth.



After taking her pencil out of her skirt pocket, Karri took her Macbeth work packet and bellwork notebook out of her backpack and sat down. She aimed her eyes at the ceiling in thought, thinking about what to write down for her bellwork. What to write, what to write. What was one bad thing that Karri did in her life? Did she regret doing that terrible thing or did she not feel any regret at all?

Suddenly, after the warning bell had stopped ringing, Karri sat straight up as three more students walked into the classroom.

“You’re late.” Mr. Gilda said to the boys. “Go to the attendance office and get yourselves a couple of tardy slips.”

Since I’ve never gotten myself into a fight, I guess that I will have to make up something for mine. She thought. And I think I know what I want to write down.

Karri quickly opened up her bellwork notebook, turned a few pages, wrote down the date on the next empty page, and quickly wrote down her answer:

When I was eight, my brother was getting ready for his prom with his date. Two weeks before the prom, my brother…caught this possum and brought it home with him without anyone, except me, knowing. I constantly reminded my brother to make sure that the cage that the possum was in stayed locked because I didn’t really like the way it looked at me.

One day, before the prom, the possum chewed its way out of the cage and wrecked my room. I was so mad. I got so mad that I decided to take a couple of mothballs and stuffed them inside my brother’s tuxedo. I enjoyed the way my brother would complain about how his tuxedo smelt like the mothballs and how he later started to smell like the mothballs three days later. I never regretted anything. I was enjoying my brother’s pain too much.



Then, Karri sighed and set her pencil down as two boys in bright blue clothes started to play a game of Pencil Darts. They quickly sharpened their pencils, glanced at Mr. Gilda and exchange glances with each other. The two boys looked up at the ceiling, aimed their pencils and threw them upward, watching the pointed ends of the pencils harpooning their way into the fragile ceiling tiles.

Karri rolled her eyes as the two boys laughed and gave each other air-fives. The boys laughed so loudly that one classroom on the second floor can hear them.

“Boys? BOYS!” Mr. Gilda exclaimed. “Please settle down!”

Then he looked up at the ceiling.

“You know that you’re not allowed to play Pencil Darts! The pointed ends of the pencils damage the ceiling tiles! Principal Hanks is not going to like it if I have to report you two to the office again for play Pencil Darts in this classroom!”

The pencils slipped out of their targets and landed on the boys’ desks with a few small bits of the ceiling tiles landed on the boys’ lime green hair.

Just as Mr. Gilda was about to say something, a knock on the door was heard, grabbing his and the students’ attention.

“I’ll get it.” Said one of the students.

She got up from her desk and opened the classroom door.

Karri picked up her phone and turned it on for any recent text messages. Then she looked up from her phone in curiosity when she heard Maddie Sticks announce to Mr. Gilda,

“Mr. Gilda, you have a new student joining your class today.”

“I do?” Mr. Gilda asked.

“Yes, sir.”

Then, Maddie turned her head and said,

“Come on in the classroom. They’re all waiting for you.”

The new student walked into the classroom with reluctance. Everyone in the classroom gave the new student several looks of shock and surprise.

The new student wasn’t sure how to react to the other students’ reactions. They all looked surprised and scared. Well, most of the students looked scared while a few of the students looked surprised. She wasn’t even sure if it was her outfit, her abrupt entrance, or her dark-colored sunglasses that made the other students give her a mixture of shocked and surprised reactions.

Karri’s eyes widened with surprise, and her eyes scanned the new student’s outfit and her physical appearance.

By judging the outfit that the new student’s wearing, she looked like a combination of Avril Lavigne and a rebel space punk. The bright blue pixie cut-haired new student was wearing a tank top that had horizontal bright blue and pink stripes running up and down (with an attached single-buttoned undershirt-like fabric sewed onto the round neck collar). In the middle of her tank top was a bright pink cartoon face that had a frown printed on it. The new student even wore patchwork pants (that had black and different shades of pink and blue), bright blue combat boots, and had a black collar (that looked like one fit for cats) around her neck. There were two more things that stood out from every student in the classroom. Those things were the new student’s pale skin that had a purplish tint to it and the black lipstick that was neatly applied onto her lips. Karri quickly grew curious about the new student having pale skin with a purplish tint in it and wondered why she was wearing a collar around her neck. And why, Karri thought, was the new student wearing sunglasses in the classroom? Wasn’t that against the school dress code and rules?

“Her name is Lorelei Willows,” Maddie explained to Mr. Gilda as he shuffled through some papers, “and she just moved into Allerton three days ago. When she came here, I had to take her to see Principal Hanks to see if she needed to do anything else. I’m dreadfully sorry that I made Lorelei late.”

“It’s not a problem at all.” Mr. Gilda replied. “We’re just about ready to get started. In fact, my students and I will be ready to get started after Lorelei tells us a little more about herself.”

“Oh, okay.”

Then, Maddie smiled and sighed.

“Well, I hope that everyone in this classroom, including the new student, will continue to have a nice day,” She said.

“I hope that you do too.” Mr. Gilda replied.

“Thanks.”

Maddie walked out of the classroom with Lorelei watching her walk away with quick steps. Everyone, except for Mr. Gilda, went back to what they were doing before Lorelei and Maddie walked into the room. Mr. Gilda was still shuffling through the papers on his disorganized desk. He continued to shuffle until finally, he found what he was looking for. It was the class seating chart.

Karri closed her bellwork notebook as Mr. Gilda looked at the seating chart.

Finally, Mr. Gilda said to Lorelei,

“Before I give you your assigned desk, go up to the front of the room and tell us a little bit about yourself.”

Lorelei reached into her patchwork pants pocket and took out a small slip of paper. She handed it to Mr. Gilda, and he looked at her with a confused look before taking the slip of paper out of her hands.

After reading quickly, Mr. Gilda said,

“Okay. Well, you may use the Smart Board to communicate with us.”

Lorelei walked up the front of the classroom and grabbed the Smart Board’s blue marker.

She quickly wrote:

Hello. As you already know, my name is Lorelei Willows. I’m new here.

“How come you’re not using your mouth to say that?” One of the boys in bright blue asked.

Lorelei replied by answering,

I have laryngitis, and I have to rest my voice for a few more days.

“Oh, okay.” The boy in bright blue said while nodding his head.

Then, Lorelei erased everything off the Smart Board and wrote,

I’m from Courtman, Texas. I live with my mother, father, and one pet.

“What kind of pet do you have?” Karri asked.

A cat.

“What kind of cat do you have?” Mr. Gilda asked.

A Canadian hairless cat. His name is Rameses. He’s very friendly, and he doesn’t like to be alone.

“Interesting.”

My family and I moved here because my father just got a new good-paying job. He is now working as a personal trainer at the 6-Pack Workout Studio.

“What does your mother do?” Karri asked.

Lorelei erased her previous replies and wrote,

She stays at home, acts as company for Rameses until I come home from school, and paints pictures in the basement. She paints surreal settings and sells them to one of Allerton’s art studios.

“How do you like living in Allerton so far?” One of the students asked.

For the first time, Lorelei smiled. Well, it wasn’t like a pretty smile. Lorelei was smiling a smile that a villain would smile when chuckling with their mouth closed. The two boys in bright blue widened their eyes fear as Lorelei wrote,

Hold on. Give me a week and I’ll let you know.

Almost everyone in the classroom laughed. The only student who didn’t laugh was Karri McCarthy. She was watching Lorelei with wide eyes.

Lorelei erased her replies and Mr. Gilda said,

“Well, Lorelei, thank you so much for telling us a little more about yourself. It sounds like you have a very interesting life. I really mean it.”

Lorelei wrote,

Thank you.

Then, she erased it.

“For past two weeks, we’ve been reading one of Shakespeare’s most famous, darkest, and tragic plays, Macbeth.” Mr. Gilda explained. “We’re almost done reading the play but don’t worry, Lorelei. I’ll get you a work packet, and you can borrow another worksheet from another student to help you answer the questions that you haven’t answered yet. Why don’t you put your stuff down at your desk while I get you your copy of the packet questions?”

Lorelei nodded.

Karri raised her hand.

“Yes, Karri?” Mr. Gilda asked.

“Mr. Gilda, you haven’t told Lorelei where she’s going to sit,” Karri replied. “Where is she going to sit?”

“Lorelei is going to sit next to you, Karri. Since the desk on your right is empty, that’s where Lorelei is going to sit.”

“Okay.”

Mr. Gilda looked up at Lorelei, who was looking at him with an unsure look on her face.

“It’s okay, Lorelei. Go on ahead and sit down.” He said.

After a pause, Lorelei placed her backpack on the empty desk and sat down. Karri watched her sit down, take her backpack off her desk, and placed it on the left side of her chair.

“Now, class,” Mr. Gilda said as Lorelei took a pencil out of her front backpack pocket, “take your textbooks out of your desks and open up to where we left off. We’re about to get to the part when Macbeth is about to deliver a soliloquy that’s considered to be very famous.”

………………………………………………………………………………………..

Three minutes until the bell rings for lunch. Lorelei thought. Just three more minutes in physics and it’ll be time to eat.

With some Celine Dion music playing from her phone, Lorelei thought about her day at school was going so far. She continued her school day like any other student in SMHS. It certainly wasn’t an easy task for her during passing period, which was when a lot of students would stop walking and look at her. So far, that has only happened twice. The first time the staring happened when Lorelei was walking to her second period class, which was algebra, and the second time happened when she was walking her way to art, which was her third period class. Of course, Lorelei tried not to let the staring bother her but the staring was just too weird for her to ignore.

During her second and third period classes, Lorelei had to repeat the same process of introducing herself before her teachers decided to get started. She would be told to stand in front of the classroom and tell everyone in that classroom a little bit about herself. Then, Lorelei would use a Smart Board to communicate and answer the questions that the students and teachers would ask her. After all of that, she would sit down at her assigned desk and either work on an assignment that the other students would work on or copy another student’s notes.

Fortunately and surprisingly, Lorelei’s second and third-period teachers never asked her about her sunglasses. They just acted like the sunglasses were a part of—

“Miss Willows.”

Lorelei immediately snapped back to reality and looked up at her physics teacher. She took the cap off her dry erase marker and wrote on her board,

Yes, Mr. Moore?

“It’s time for lunch.” Her teacher replied.

Lorelei gasped and wrote,

Really?

“Yes, Miss Willows. You were a little occupied.”

Oh! I’m so sorry!

“It’s all right. Just try not to make it a habit, okay?”

Lorelei nodded her head.

Then, she wrapped her earphones around her phone, slid it into her patchwork pants pocket with her dry erase marker, and took her lunch bag out of her backpack. Before Lorelei left her physics room, she picked up her lunch bag and dry erase board.

Lorelei walked into the cafeteria and watched the many students in bright-colored outfits doing their own thing. They would either talk to their friends at their lunch table, play games on their phones, work on assignments while eating their lunch, stare off into space, wait in one of the many lunch lines in the cafeteria, buy their lunch, or maybe not eat at all.

The cafeteria was pretty big. To Lorelei, it looked like it was smaller than a football field but a little bit bigger than a school gymnasium. That was her best estimated guess and her best description of how big the cafeteria looked to her.

But unfortunately, for Lorelei, the walls of the cafeteria were white, bright yellow, and bright blue. She could not understand why everyone in SMHS and Allerton liked bright colors so much. Whatever the reason, Lorelei hoped that reason’s good enough to explain everything.

Lorelei could continue to observe everything in the cafeteria, but she became too hungry to do that. She looked (with her eyes still hidden behind her dark sunglasses) around to see if there was a table for her to sit alone and eat her lunch in peace without anyone asking her questions or try to take off her sunglasses with Lorelei’s permission.

It took Lorelei a little bit of time to find an empty table but after one quick glance, she found one table that was empty but a little dirty because of some food crumbs that were scattered around from a previous lunch period.

After looking to see if no one was walking their way towards her and the empty table, Lorelei sat down at her table and sighed in relief. Then, she pushed her dry erase board a few centimeters away from her and opened her lunch bag. She took out a napkin and used it to wipe the black lipstick off her lips. Lorelei reached into her lunch bag again and took out a six-inch long, plastic-wrapped salmon and pesto sandwich.

Lorelei tore the plastic wrap open and peeled it off like it was skin from a banana. She was interrupted by Karri, who just walked up to the table and sat down next to Lorelei with a tray of food in front of her.

“Hi,” Karri said. “Is it all right if I eat lunch with you?”

Lorelei stuffed her sandwich back into her lunch bag, took her dry erase marker out of her pocket, took off the marker’s cap, and wrote on the board,

Be my guest.

“Thank you,” Karri said.

No problem.

Lorelei erased her replies and slipped her dry erase marker on to her right ear. Then, she reached into her lunch bag and took out her sandwich. Karri picked up a plastic fork from her lunch tray and stabbed a couple pieces of macaroni with it before putting the pieces in her mouth. Seconds after chewing, the macaroni tasted bland in Karri’s mouth. It made Karri wonder why she bought some macaroni as a side for her lunch instead of remembering that it’ll later become tasteless as soon as the cheesy pasta came in contact with her tongue.

Seconds after Lorelei bit into her sandwich, Karri said over the loud conversations that grew louder by the second in the cafeteria,

“In case if you forgot my name, I’ll like to have you know that my name is Karri. May I use your dry erase board to spell out my name?”

Lorelei nodded and handed Karri her dry erase marker.

As Lorelei bit into her sandwich, Karri pushed her tray aside and picked up Lorelei’s dry erase board. After taking the cap off the marker and setting it down on the table, Karri wrote,

K-A-R-R-I. Karri.

“That’s how you spell my name,” Karri said. “You pronounce it like it’s the word ‘carry’…or, if this is becoming an awkward moment, I’ll just say that since I just pronounced my name, just pronounce my name the way I just pronounced it.”

Lorelei nodded her head awkwardly, which made Karri give her dry erase marker back for a better response.

Lorelei wrote,

-Okay.

Karri stabbed three more pieces of macaroni and calmly put the pieces in her mouth. As Karri chewed on the macaroni, Lorelei took a big out of her sandwich and chewed it up quickly before swallowing.

Then after taking another bite of the sandwich, Lorelei began to have a feeling that someone was watching her. She knew that Karri’s the one who’s watching her because she was occupied with her lunch. With her sunglasses-covered eyes, Lorelei glanced around the cafeteria without turning her head very much. She looked and looked and looked until her attention was grabbed by Emma Lillith.

Lorelei frowned under her sunglasses as she watched Emma staring at her with a look of suspicion. Although that she’s still trying to get to know everybody else in SMHS, Lorelei can admit, if she were alone with someone who she can trust completely, that she did not like Emma one bit. She knew that as soon as Emma surprisingly allowed her to keep her sunglasses on after narrowing her eyes and giving her a smug. Lorelei knew that Emma will eventually give her unwanted trouble at any moment when the time’s not appropriate. After acting like she’s not noticing Emma by taking another big bite out of her sandwich, Lorelei made a mental note to stay away from Emma and try to blend in with the other students at SMHS.

“So, Lorelei,” Karri said, immediately snapping Lorelei out of her thoughts, “what class do you have after lunch?”

Lorelei picked up her dry erase marker and wrote on her dry erase board,

I have study hall. Then, after study hall, I have economics, drama, and PE.

Karri’s eyes widened in surprise.

“We’re sharing the same final three class periods!” She exclaimed. “This is great and believe me, you’re going to have fun in drama! It’s amazing!”

-Really? Lorelei wrote.

“Yep and the teacher is very nice! I also hope that we can be great friends.”

Lorelei stared at Karri with surprise and then, she erased her previous answers and wrote,

I’m not sure if that’s going to work.

Karri looked at Lorelei with surprise and concern.

“What makes you say that, Lorelei?” She asked. “Did I say something bad?”

Lorelei frantically erased her first reply and quickly wrote,

No, you didn’t. It’s just that

But after writing that last word, Lorelei stopped.

“It’s just that what?” Karri asked.

Lorelei looked at her new friend. Although that Karri couldn’t see Lorelei’s eyes underneath the dark sunglasses, she can tell that Lorelei was both concerned and hesitant.

Karri asked after a quick pause,

“Lorelei, what is it?”

Lorelei sighed and wrote underneath her unfinished reply,

…Nothing. Never mind. Just…forget what I just said, okay?

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