Birchwood
CHAPTER
1
Distance: Grace
I roll around in bed struggling not to make a sound while pathetically putting on my too tight socks. I had already been awake for more than an hour and had tried (And failed) to straighten out the waves of my white hair.
Mrs. Hawthorne, our dormitories mistress, opens the door and shouts, “All you lazy kids get out of bed and get dressed for school!” Already dressed I scurry down stairs in a desperate attempt to get away from Kira, Hailey, and Ali. Let’s just say they are not really morning people. I get my breakfast, the usual. As I sit at the table I give a faint smile to Riley and swing my legs around on to the bench, sitting in my assigned seat across from him.
“What’s sup Grace” he yells through a mouth full of soggy eggs and bacon.
I groan, roll my eyes and hiss “Don’t raise your voice or you’ll get detention from Mrs. Hawthorne.’’
“What! that fat old lady. I don’t get why they even let her in this boarding school anymore.” He replies. I just look down at my eggs and too crisp bacon prodding it with a fork. Mrs. Hawthorne as mean and grouchy as she is she’s my only legal family. My parents died on a trip to Canada when I was in second grade. Mrs. Hawthorne is my grandmother’s sister and my only living family member. I’ve kinda felt detached from society and no hobbies to hold me down or connect me with other people, except Riley. That is the only way I got into Arson Boarding School of Arts. Mrs. Hawthorne is the only reason I’m around.
Beautiful green eyes stare at me apologetically. Riley is the most attractive and popular guy at school easily. I know I’m the only thing holding him back from being popular. Where he has emerald green eyes, I have stormy grey ones. His dark brown black hair, my white hair.
My thoughts were interrupted by a “Hi Riley,” as Riley’s girlfriend, Sharon, sits down right next to Riley. If anyone deserves Riley, it’s Sharon, not only is she beautiful with caramel colored skin and Asian eyes, she is a super talented actor. She and Riley whisper and giggle for awhile. I silently sigh, Couples.
“Hey, Grace, I was wondering if you could go ice skating with me and Riley on Friday.” Sharon asked, friendly and open.
“Sure,” I replied. I always look for an excuse out of here even if I hate it. Riley knows how I hate ice skating so he gives me the look like, this is gonna be fun. I silently pray that since we have assigned seats that Kira, who sits next to me decides to skip breakfast for her “diet”. Sadly my prayer isn’t answered as Kira and her friend Ali are finally heading down the stairs making final adjustments to each other’s hair.
“Sharon, Riley, don’t look now but miss hobo tree-huger is staring at you!” Kira laughs cruelly. I can’t help but notice how ruler straight her hair is, how does she do it. She slides into the seat next to me. I shake my head. For me this is a normal morning. Riley gives her the meanest look but she doesn’t seem to notice. Riley is not one of those friends who doesn’t stand up for you but years ago I told him to stop being mean back. I told him if it doesn’t bother me it shouldn’t bother you. So now he sits and glares.
“Well at least she wears no makeup at all versus you who wears so much that you look like a clown.” Sharon retorts sharply. Sharon has been dating Riley for four weeks now and does not know my rule. Kira silently fumes where as Riley and Sharon share looks of victory. I crack a small smile, she was a little overboard with the foundation. We eat for about five minutes more in silence before the bell rings. As me and Riley stand up together for our first subject, math, I feel bad for Sharon as Kira and her head to acting. “See you later”, he smiles as he kisses Sharon full-blown on the lips, I snigger at Kira’s pathetic jealousy.
“Sure silent this morn, Grace. I didn’t know that you were desperate enough to go ice skating.” He chuckles.
“Well first off just because I’m mute once in a while to enjoy life doesn’t mean I’m silent it just means I’m in deep thought and second off, when you have captivity and homework versus life threatening fun with friends you take a risk.” Riley, laughed amused at my snappish behavior. I sighed knowing that it was just my luck that first period was calculus. Just because I had no art skills of any kind didn’t mean that I wasn’t talented at all. Being 15 and in calculus was impressive. That was my only other skill beside gardening. Weeds just went wild around me. but that was beside the point because the calculus teacher was old, cranky, and deaf.
Mr. Burch gives me a reprimanding look as we enter spot on the bell. Sighing I stalk to the back of the classroom with Riley and plop down. We’ve discovered years ago when we first met in 4th grade that passing notes and whispering is sure going to get you caught, especially with a klutz like Riley. Don’t get me wrong, with the exception of pottery, (My forced art class) I’m a straight A student but I tend to get things faster then my peers, except Riley. So instead of paying attention me and Riley share looks a secret facial language. I mouth Riley and Sharon sitting in a tree. His face cracks a small smile through his “offended mask”.
Then before Riley could make any sort of witty remark back, a tiny blur off movement caught my eye through the window behind him. Tiny enough, so that if I didn’t look, it wouldn’t nag at me what it was, but instead of looking away leading a totally different life, I looked. And the first thing out of my mouth was a scream.
“SHARON!!”
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