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Original Work East Kingston Secondary School by Luna Amore (Destiny) and Flightless_Soul

Discussion in 'Fanfics and Stories' started by destiny4ever, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. destiny4ever

    destiny4ever MH's Most Friendly Member

    MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted

    Apr 30, 2008
    Likes Received:
    United States
    East Kingston Secondary School by Luna Amore (Destiny) and Flightless_Soul

    A look into the personal lives of Manhattan's elite. These are the stories of the upper-class teenager's lives of East Kingston Secondary School.


    The taxi pulled up to the school about a half hour after it departed from the airport. From it, there stepped a brown haired girl wearing a cowboy hat, talking into her phone with a thick southern drawl while pulling her suitcase out of the back seat, "Uhuh, yeah, I just made it. You oughta see this place, mama! It's huge! Huh? Yeah! Of course I'll write y'all! I gotta go now, mama! Tell daddy I love him! Okay! Okay, ma! Don't worry! I won't get in no trouble! Love you too! Bye mama!" Once her mom hung up, she let out an exasperated sigh. She knew her parents were worried. After all, Harley was just a country bumpkin in the big city.

    "Well Harley...welcome to New York. Sure ain't Texas."


    It didn't take long for her to sign her transfer papers and register for her classes, and already she was off to her first class for the day... gym class. After heading down to the locker room to dress, she came back in a pair of shorts that were way too short for her and a tank top that felt sweaty to her. Gross... With a sigh, she tied her hair back in a ponytail and slipped in her earbuds. As the music played, she started jogging.

    Once the first period was over she changed her clothes and got back to her dorm. She closed the door behind her, leaning against it with a sigh. There was about fifteen minutes before her next class started, and just like that, Harley was already beat. Her bed was a welcoming sight to her, so much, that the moment she stepped foot into her room, she flopped down into it with another relieved sigh.

    Wowee...I can't believe I'm finally attending a prestigious school like this, but still...it don't really feel as different from old Celina ISD. She thought looking up at the ceiling. I do kinda miss my friends, and my mama and daddy, and Riley too. Riley being her favorite paint horse back on their 1400 acre ranch. She remembered every day riding on the plains, helping her dad herd cattle, and those summers she and her friends would race each other down to the stock pond. Riley would leave their horses in the dust every time.

    Wonder how he's doing since I left? I'm sure daddy's taking care of him. Aww now! C'mon Harley! You made it! You're here in the big city! About to be one of the greatest photographers in the world...well, maybe just New York. Which reminded her, her dorm walls were still a stark...empty. She would have to change that later.

    "H-huh?! Aww shit!" Harley jumped from her bed with a start and rushed out the door with her camera. Dammit! She was only gonna chill for a bit, but it turned into a full blown snoozefest, leaving her five minutes late for her class! "Shit! Shit! Shit! Dad gummit Harley! First day and you're already late! Shit, I gotta hurry!"

    She rounded a corner doing ninety almost, unaware that behind that corner waiting was a head on colision. "WHOA!" Before the Texan could even catch it, she slammed head first into the poor blonde girl.


    Wearing her brand new school uniform, Natalia was a bit nervous but excited at the same time about her first day in this new school. She had just returned from her summer vacation in both Spain and Italy.

    While Natalia was finishing to fill in some school forms on a shelf around the corner, her gaze raised from the counter for a second and frozenly observed how a rushing girl came towards her. It was like watching a train collision, you could not stop it but you could not take your eyes off of it either. Closing her eyes at the very last minute, the petite girl shouted "Ouch!"

    The two bodies collided like two semi trucks on an icy highway. Harley fell backwards, followed by a terrible cracking sound, that of her camera flying from her hand and shattering to pieces on the floor. She barely had a chance to register that it happened, dazed by the sudden impact into the other student. "Owww...dad gum! Son of a bitch, that hurt!" She groaned rubbing her nose. It wasn't bleeding or broken, but damn did it sting. Thankfully, nothing was broken...except.

    "Oh no!" Harley gasped, fumbling to grab the pieces of her Nikon D500. "Aww shit! Daddy just bought me that camera! He's gon be madder than a rattlesnake in mid July!" She huffed and threw down her cowboy hat, a solemn frown scarring into her lips. How was she even gonna take the class without a camera? However, there was another concern on her mind. "Sorry bout that, girl. Guess I didn't see y'all there. You okay?" She asked the petite blonde.

    Opening her eyes slowly, Natalia saw a girl on the floor and next to her pieces of what seemed to have been a camera just moments ago.

    The petite girl took her hand to her nose and began rubbing it gently. As she intended to reduce the pain on her nose, she heard the words coming out of her new classmate's mouth with great surprise. Natalia wasn't used to the way Harley talk.

    Opening her eyes in surprise, she stretched her hand towards the girl on the floor. "I am okay. Thank you for asking! Are you okay?" A smile beginning to form on her lips. "My name is Natalia by the way."

    "Uh...Harley." Harley mumbled with a dumbfounded grin, taking Natalia's hand in her's and hoisting herself up. Her face felt a little warm, but that must've been from the stinging in her nose. "Nice to meetcha, Natalia." She smiled, perhaps even dumber, as she picked her hat off the floor and dusted it off, a chuckle following,

    "Reckon I should watch where I'm goin' next time."

    Helping Harley get up on her feet, Natalia showed a warm smile to her new classmate. Looking at the girl in front of her, Natalia uttered with a kind voice "I am glad you are okay..." She paused for a moment before continuing. "...Harley." A welcoming smile was still on her face. " Nice to meet you, too!"

    Placing her eyes on the disheveled hat, the blond girl said "I am glad your hat is also okay..." Changing her gaze to the floor, she continued with a sad and worried tone. "I am sorry I cannot say the same for your camera"

    Kneeing down to pick up the pieces of the camera off the floor, Natalia asked. "Were you going to Photography 101?"

    "Yeah, a damn shame that." Harley returned with a disheartened sigh. "Don't know how I'm gon' take the class now. Shit!" She looked up at Natalia. "Were y'all headed there?" She asked.

    "Yes. It is the first class in my schedule today", answered Natalia while getting up on her feet. Taking one of the papers on the shelf, the petite girl kneeled down again and got closer to Harley to show it. "See...this is my schedule~" While holding the paper with her right hand, she pointed with the index finger of her left hand to the upper part of the paper. Photography 101 appeared as the first class on that day.

    The blonde girl stood up again. She was quiet for a brief moment before saying: "I have an idea!" A wide smile on her face and sparkling lights in her eyes appeared. "I have a spare camera in my locker! I can lend it to you for the class." Her look turned more serious than before. "If you want...I mean..."

    Harley laughed upon seeing Natalia's schedule, "Well I'll be damned! Looks like you an' me are camera buddies." Camera buddies...wow, that sounded lame as hell she thought, her cheeks turning a slight pink color. However, it was nice to bump into a fellow photographer, and a cute one at that. She smiled, Well...if y'all're alright with me smashin' it to bits like mine, sure! Eheh, only jokin' though!
    I'll be sure to take care of it!" Nervously Harley giggled.

    "Well uh...guess we don't wanna be late, huh Nat? Let's get goin'!"

    "Camera buddies...", Natalia thought to herself while trying her best to hide a small laugh. She petite girl could not hide her laugh anymore when she heard Harley joking about breaking her camera. "She is joking...right?", Natalia uttered to herself. Letting another laugh of relief when Harley assured her she would take good care of her camera.

    She liked her new classmate. "She is funny!", the blonde girl said to herself while smiling at her Harley.

    "Yes, let's not be late on our first day!", reaching for Harley's hand, Natalia began to run towards her locker.

    She must've still been in a daze after taking a full on collision, or perhaps it was something else. Harley couldn't help but let the girl pull her along down the hall towards her locker. She wondered what kind of camera she had, Natalia, or where she was from, or what were her favorite things to do besides taking photos. So many questions she wanted to ask her new classmate, and yet the cowgirl was content to be dragged along for the ride, her smile so bright and beaming. Here she was thinking the city would be full of rude assholes, and yet here was by far the sweetest girl in the world she thought...holding her hand.

    Harley sure felt odd about it, but a good kind of odd.

    Making a full stop in front of her locker, Natalia turned her head towards Harley. "We are here!", she exclaimed smiling from cheek to cheek.

    Opening her locker as fast as she could, the blue-eyed girl took out a Nikon D500 and handed it to the brown-haired girl. "Here you go! I hope you like it".

    Returning to her locker, she seemed to be searching for something inside of it. "Found you!", shouted Natalia with a tone full of happiness.

    With an expression filled with pride, Natalia showed her new friend her camera. "This is my special camera. I was looking forward to taking it to class today!" It was an old Nikon vintage camera in very good condition.


    "Hey! That's just like mine!" Harley grinned looking over the camera. "Same Hi-def lenses and everything! Thanks!" But if she thought that was something cool, she wasn't ready for what else Nat pulled from her locker. Her eyes lit up like a starry summer night, her jaw almost hitting the floor. "Oh holy sh- That is amazing!
    Is that an FE2? Talk about old school, and still mint condition! I bet you get some killer shots with that!" Suddenly she caught herself, her face a deep red and wearing a goofy grin. "Uhh...Sorry there. Big camera geek. Been one ever since mama let me play with her old Polaroid.

    "You're welcome!", replied Natalia with a happy look on her face.

    She became even happier after hearing Harley's words about her special camera. "Yes, it is an FE2!", answered the petite girl with excitement. "My grandpa gave it to me on my 7th birthday!"

    Being the oblivious girl that she was, Natalia said in a puzzled way. "Sorry...for what?" Still, a bit confused she proceeded. "You have a Polaroid?!". Going back into her locker, it was not long before she pulled a Fuji Film instax mini 8. "I have one, too!"


    Harley smiled, this time a bit more confident, as she answered, "Yupper! Sure do! It's a Supercolor 635cl! Mama let me take pictures with it when I was ten! That's when I found out how much I love cameras! I'll have to show it to you after class!" Which reminded her they were running late, but hell, she was having so much fun already, plus she was making a new friend.

    "Hah! Well I'll be! Looks like we are camera buddies!" Harley giggled. She had never seen such a cute Fuji Film before. Must've been a limited edition she figured. Gosh! Never thought I'd meet another photo junkie like me! I think I'm starting to like New York! She mused smiling at Natalia.

    But sadly their fun had to end with the ringing of the school bell. "Aww man!" Groaned Harley. "Well, reckon we better get in there. C'mon camera buddy!" Giggling, she took her new friend by the hand and hurried to the photography lab.

    Natalia listened to Harley's words with attention. "A supercolor 635cl!", she exclaimed to herself while a grin formed on her face. The blonde girl had had a camera just like that a couple of years ago. It had broken in one of her trips and that was why she had bought the Fuji one.

    Hearing the phrase "camera buddies" once again, Natalia could not help but giggle along with her brown-haired friend.

    Suddenly the school bell rang. Natalia was having so much fun that she had completely forgotten about her Photography Class. She closed her locker in a hurry but not before putting her pink camera inside of it again.

    Letting Harley lead the way, she followed her new friend with her vintage camera in hand. "Maybe this year won't be so bad as last year..." thought the petite girl to herself.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
    Darky likes this.
  2. destiny4ever

    destiny4ever MH's Most Friendly Member

    MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted

    Apr 30, 2008
    Likes Received:
    United States
    "Alright! Alright! If everyone could just take their seats, thank you, we can begin!"

    The photography teacher was pretty much what you would expect for a high end New York school, early thirties, trendy, had tons of accolades in the artist community, the works. As he was addressing the class, Harley and Natalia ran in, unfortunately interrupting him.

    "Oh uh! S-sorry we're late, Mr. uhh..." Harley gave an awkward apology. The teacher furrowed his brow at her.

    "Yeah, last I checked, my name wasn't 'Uhh'." Dryly he quipped with a stern expression, but then smiled giving a chuckle. "No worries. You two must be the new ones in my class. Why don't you take a seat, and we can get started."

    "Yeah! Sure... Okay." Timidly Harley answered. At least this teacher was cool and laid back she thought.

    "Thank you". A soft and sweet whisper came out of Natalia's rosy lips. "Thank you, Harley!".

    Once on their seats, the petite girl realized that she had not brought paper or pen with her. "I hope the teacher does not make us take notes", she thought to herself.

    Looking around the room, Natalia observed in wonder the pictures that the man had used to decorate his classroom. They were superb, what you would expect from someone of that caliber. Her gaze stopped at one of the photographs. It was the picture of a mother pushing her little daughter on the swing. A bittersweet smile adorned her countenance.

    She pulled out her old camera from under the desk and aimed to take that picture. A moment later a click sound was heard in the room.

    Harley heard a telltale click beside her and looked over at Natalia. The blonde was smiling still, but the cowgirl noticed a slight tinge of...sadness maybe? She then looked at the photo on the wall of a mother pushing her little daughter on a swing.

    Huh...wonder what that's all about? I hope she's alright. Harley said aside, her lips contorting into a small frown. There was another picture beside it that caught her eye, one of a line of Marines in their ceremonial uniforms.


    Instead of snapping a pic like Nat though, she merely stared at it for a few minutes...thinking about her brother.

    "Okay, well I see we have two new smiling faces to our humble abode, so please allow me to introduce myself." The teacher said standing in the middle of the classroom. "My name is Louis Felton, and as you know, I am your photography teacher. Now, rather than bore the class by naming off all my prestigious awards and what not, I would rather get to know my two new students. Starting with....you!" He pointed to Natalia with a warm smile.

    Whoa! Whoa! Wait a minute! He's making us get up?! IN FRONT OF THE CLASS! Aww hell naw! It's gon' be first grade all over again! Harley looked content, even cheering on her new friend to introduce herself, but on the inside....well...she was screaming her head off.


    Natalia did not even notice what was happening in the classroom, she was engulfed by the photograph she had taken just minutes ago. It wasn't until it was too late that she realized that the teacher was pointing at her and asking her to introduce herself in front of the whole class.

    Turning her head to the right, she saw a cheerful and encouraging Harley sitting next to her. She softly smiled at her new friend before walking towards the whiteboard.

    Once she reached her destination, she turned around to face her classmates, all twelve of them. Taking her camera in her hands, she took a picture of her fellow photography learners and her instructor.

    "Hello everybody!", the petite girl said as she moved her camera from her hands and placed it around her neck. "My name is Natalia Saint Claire." Her tone was confident but warm and friendly at the same time.

    "I am very happy to be part of this class." She proceeded with a kind smile. "I have been interested in photography since I was a little girl, to be precise since I was seven years old." She paused for a moment. "See this camera", she said while pointing to the camera hanging from her neck. "It is a gift from my grandpa! He gave it to me on my seventh birthday and since that day on I have been fascinated with the stories one can find when you look through the lens". Her expression became softer and a spark began shining in her eyes.

    "I think a photograph is not just a piece of film, a photograph is a story frozen in a moment. Mmmm...See these pictures..." She pointed to the pictures displayed around the room. "Those are part of someone's story. Like that picture!" Signaling to a photograph of a girl and her horse, she continued.


    "That photograph tell us a story. A story of a girl whose best friend is her horse. She feels she can be herself when she is with her horse. She knows she can trust him completely. She trusts him so much that she can just lay down on his back without a care in the world. His gentle nature reassures her that he will always be there for her and that he will love her no matter what." Her smile became brighter. "I am very happy to be part of this class. I am very curious about the kind of stories you will find while looking through the lens of your cameras. Yeah...I am complete looking forward to sharing our "stories" (photographs) during this school year".


    Just wow...

    If there was ever a true definition of what photography was, then Natalia nailed it right on the head Harley thought. Though she had to wonder if Natalia had read her thoughts or something, seeing how she had brought up a girl and her horse on the spot like that.

    Still, Harley was just blown away.

    "Wow!" Mr. Felton was just the same as he exclaimed giving a round of applause to Nat. "That was very beautiful, Natalia! An excellent explanation of the true nature of photography, if I have ever heard one. I for one am very excited to have you in this class as well, and I too look forward to the stories we as a class can capture through the lens. Thank you so much for that, Natalia. You may be seated."

    When Natalia had returned to her seat, it was beside a very excited Harley grinning ear to ear. "Wow!" She squealed. "That was so...Awesome, girl. You are totally amazing!"

    Then Mr. Felton called, "Next up, another lovely addition to our class, and from what I heard, a very talented photographer herself. Please welcome class, Harley Whitfield!"

    "Huh? Aww damn!" Harley muttered under her breath. Her excitement shortly after...had now turned into full blown, crippling anxiety. Nevertheless, timidly she rose from her seat, one last look to Nat before shuffling to the front.

    "Ah...ummm...h-howdy y'all!" She stammered, her throat feeling dry, like she had been eating sand all day.

    In the back of the classroom, a couple of students murmurred, a few teasing laughs to follow.

    "OMG! Did she just say 'howdy y'all'? Tch! What a hick!"

    Beads of sweat dripping down her forehead, Harley resumed, "I'm uh...I'm Harley, but I guess y'all know that already. Anywho, I'm really excited to be in this class too, since I love photography so much, and umm, you can probably tell I'm not from around these parts either. I'm from Texas, Celina actually. It's a little bitty town. My mama and daddy own a big 'ol ranch, and we like to ride horses alot on the property. I've got my own horse too. His name is uh...Riley."

    The whole class looked at her, eyes like needles piercing her flesh.

    "And uh....well! That's all I got!" She finished with a nervous giggle. "Sorry I...don't have much to say, but uh...y-yeah! Totally looking forward to this class. And...I'll just have a seat now."

    She left the front of the classroom trudging away, practically falling into her seat with a thud.

    Somebody just shoot me now...

    With a sweet expression on her face, Natalia returned to her seat. After hearing Harley's compliments, the blond-haired girl delicately smiled at her friend. "Thank you, Harley!" Her words were soft and kind. Giving the brown-haired girl an encouraging look, Natalia was ready to hear the cowgirl's introduction.

    She listened to Harley with great attention. "Her accent and way speaking is so adorable...and a bit funny as well. I am glad to have met her." Natalia thought to herself while her friend continued her introduction.

    The petite girl was surprised upon hearing that Harley had a horse of her own. "Nice coincidence...", she said to herself while looking at the photograph she had referred to during her introduction. With a smile on her rosy lips, the blond-haired girl turned her gaze towards the student in the front once again.

    She was about to proudly clap for her friend, but Harley had rushed back into her seat. Once her camera buddy was seated next to her, the petite girl turned around to face her friend and opening her arms she gave Harley a warm and tender hug. "I like you", she said with a happy grin on her face.
    --- Double Post Merged, Nov 11, 2017, Original Post Date: Nov 8, 2017 ---
    Harley wasn't expecting a hug when she returned to her seat, but she sure felt like she needed one after that traumatizing experience. "Aww, thanks!" Harley giggled, her cheeks feeling warm. "I like you too, Nat." Warmly she smiled. This girl was just something else to her. She was so happy to have such a friend here in the city.

    Mr. Felton smiled and carried on with the lecture while the class listened, some taking notes. It amazed Harley for a man his age to have so much wisdom about his art, and to be willing to share it with the young minds of today, but even though she listened well to him, she couldn't seem to take her eyes away from the cute blonde beside her. She smiled to herself, lucky to have met Natalia this day.

    Natalia listened with undivided attention to her teacher. Since she had forgotten to bring her notebook and pencil case, she made sure to listen extra carefully to Mr. Felton's explanations, anecdotes, and stories. Snapping a picture of the man in front of her every now and then, it was as if she had been hypnotized by her instructor.

    She was so immersed in her teacher's class that she had failed to notice the actions and words of two girls sitting in the far right corner of the classroom.

    Showing more skin than a school girl should have and with her hair dyed pink, Madison fixed her short tank top so that it would show more of her feminine attributes.​
    "Mr. Felton is so handsome, isn't he?", she whispered to the student sitting next to her. "I am going to date him no matter what! I mean, this is the sole reason why I took this class."

    Next to the pink-haired girl sat Amelia, a shy green-eyed girl that had been Madison's friend since they were very little since both of them lived next to each other.​

    "But...but..." Her tone a bit insecure. "It seems like Mr. Felton is interested in the new student", she replied softly to her friend.

    Looking at her friend with an intense gaze, Taylor sensually smiled. "That stupid photography nerd is nothing compared to me. Once a show Mr. Felton...what enjoyable things I can do to him...he won't care about anyone else. Stupid Amelia, you know no man can resist me in bed...or have you known someone that could?"

    Lowering her gaze, the shy girl replied, "No, I have not."

    Though as much as Harley listened to Mr. Felton's very interesting lecture over chiaroscuro, the difference in light and shadow, and how it could dramatically affect their photographs, she couldn't help but hear little snippets here and there from the two girls a few rows behind her.

    She glanced over her shoulder once at the...well...how else could she say it...the hussy babbling about trying to get in the teacher's pants, which didn't sit well with Harley, same with the girl dressing like Friday nights at the gentleman's' club. Talk about no shame. No better than those damn cheerleaders in Celina who tried to get with the football coach.

    She cut her eyes at the two girls, namely the pink haired one, before turning around in her seat, coldly shaking her head.

    Lord forgive me, but what a damn whore! Tryin' to mess around with Mr. Felton! What if he's a married man? Hell, what if he's gay! Eh...I mean I don't think he is, but that's beside the point! She could get Mr. Felton in a whole mess of trouble foolin' round with him like that! I oughta turn around and tell the li'l homewrecker off, but I reckon I don't wanna cause a stir. Still...shit like that just burns my ass!

    She sat there for the rest of the class, her fists clenched at her sides.

    Natalia looked at the clock hanging on the wall just a little above the whiteboard. It was five more minutes before the class would end.

    The blond-haired girl had enjoyed the class so much and it was only the first class of the whole year. She had learned a lot of interesting things during those fifty-five minutes.

    Too bad the class was coming to an end. She was upset that the time had flown by so fast, the only comfort was she would see Mr. Felton the next day again in Photography 101.

    There were some details about the assignment that were not all that clear for Natalia. She got up from her seat and walked towards Mr. Felton's desk, she wanted to talk to him about the homework.

    "If that camera nerd thinks she is gonna steal Mr. Felton from me, she is completely wrong", said Madison to the girl sitting next to her. Her tone was arrogant and irate. She turned her eyes towards Amelia and ordered her with a stern face, "Go...you know what you have to do". Getting up from her seat, the green-eyed hair followed Natalia to the desk.

    Harley decided she would hang around and wait on her camera buddy before going to her next class, plus she too wanted to ask Mr. Felton if he had any pro tips for a young, budding photographer like herself.

    She sat leaning in her chair, fiddling around with the D500 Nat let her borrow, every once in a while looking up at Mr. Felton's desk. That's when she noticed that damn pink haired whore up to no good. That bitch was just itching for an old fashion Texas beatdown courtesy of the cowgirl, especially for all those mean looks she was giving her new buddy.

    Eventually...Harley done had it. Quietly she set her camera down and got up, adjusting her hat and looking the no good hussy straight in the eyes, like she was Clint Eastwood in For a Few Dollars More.

    "Hey." Her tone was stern, even moreso with that Texas drawl of hers. "Y'all got a problem with my friend there, missy? Cause I sure think you do."

    Standing up in front of Mr. Felton's desk, Natalia looked at the man and asked in a sweet and respectful manner, "Mr. Felton...about the assignment for tomorrow..."

    Interrupting the petite girl, Amelia put her innocent girl and eager student facade.

    "Mr. Felton...my friend and I are completely new to this subject. So...I was wondering..." She paused for a minute, trying her hardest to convey the expression of a student in desperate need of help but with great desire to learn. "if you could tutor Madison and me after school every day..."

    Being the kind girl that she was, Natalia did not mind Amelia's interruption at all, rather she felt sad for her classmates and thought of ways that she could help them.

    "Mr. Felton...I think you should help Amelia first...it seems that she needs your help the most right now."

    Looking at the cowgirl in the eye, a smirk appeared on Madison's face.

    "Me? A problem with Miss Saint Claire?", the pink-haired girl said with a goody-two-shoes accent in her voice while pointing at her herself in fake surprise.

    "Not at all!" She paused for a moment her eyes conveying the real feeling within her. "Now...my dear hillbilly...please go back to your seat..." Ungenuine sweetness oozing from her mouth and her expression. "...before I stop being nice and sweet and get you and your friend straight into detention." She batted her fake eyelashes at the cowgirl while curling her hair around her finger.

    Mr. Felton looked up from the few assignments he was grading, rubbing his eyes for a moment before answering with a friendly smile, "Yes, Miss Saint Claire. What is it you needed to know?"

    But before Natalia could tell him, it seemed another new student was needing his help. Amelia was her name if he remembered correctly. It was surprising to him how Natalia let her speak first, but he would admit it was also very generous. He listened to Amelia's request, but as he did, his brow furrowed in concern. "Oh man... Well you see, Amelia, I don't mean to be rude to you and your friend. In fact, I would love to share all that I know about my craft with you two, but..." He sighed. "With my wife and I moving into our new home here and a baby on the way, that might be a tough one. I'll see if I can make some room in my schedule however and get back to you. Again, I'm sorry if this may be an issue."

    Meanwhile, Harley continued to stare down Madison. She didn't buy that sweet and innocent look one bit. It was the same shit the popular girls, the cheerleaders and the rodeo queens used to hook those hunky football boys...and even some teachers.

    She squared her shoulders, leaning in closer with a scowl, "Ha!
    You? Sweet? Darlin' don't make laugh! You're like a damn barbie doll, real good lookin', but you ain't got no heart! And another thing, you best not be lookin' to fool around with the teacher. In case you haven't noticed, you're way outta his league, and you sleepin' with him is gonna get him buried up to his eyes in all kinds of shit!" A sharp finger the cowgirl pointed at her face like a loaded six gun. "So y'all best lay off him, or God willin', I'll come lookin' for you!"

    And with that, she pulled her finger away, marching off with a face full of anger. Thankfully, it went away once she was beside Natalia. She smiled, hanging her arm around the girl's shoulder, "Hey there amigo! What class you got next?"

    Trying to hide her disappointment at failing on the assignment her dearest friend had entrusted her with, Amelia replied to her teacher, "No problem, Mr. Felton...even if it is not every day but a couple days a week that would more than wonderful. Please let me know if you find some room in your schedule."

    She turned around and began walking towards her seat when she noticed the cowboy girl talking to Madison. From a few rows in front, she quietly observed the conversation between the two girls.

    Once Amelia had left, Natalia was free to ask Mr. Felton the questions she had about the assignment. "Thank you, Mr. Felton", the petite blonde expressed as she returned to her seat.

    "Stupid hillbilly", said Madison as Harley walked towards Natalia. Her eyes were like sharp daggers as she looked at the brown-haired girl's back. Her murderous stare was interrupted by the girl wearing her hair in two braids hanging to the sides of her head.

    "I am sorry Madison", Amelia paused for a moment before continuing. A very sad and apologetic expression on her visage. "Mr. Felton said he is not going to be able to tutor us after class every day...but there is some good news...", Amelia paused again. Her tone was a tad cheerful. "He said he is going to try to find some time to help us after school even if it is not every day!".

    What a BS day this was thought Madison to herself. First, that hillbilly had come to try to threaten her. And now Amelia had failed at her mission. She needed something to put her in a good mood and she needed it now!

    "You are useless!", exclaimed Masidon as she furiously stormed out of the classroom. Amelia stood there frozen as her friend leave her behind. It was not too long before the green-eyed student ran out the door in tears.

    Thankfully, the conversation between Madison and Amelia had occurred at the same time Natalia was talking to Mr. Felton, so the teacher had not noticed the drama between these two girls.

    "Amigo?", said Natalia with a teasing smile on her face. "You mean amiga, right?", the blue-eyed girl kindly corrected to her friend. The Spanish blood running through Natalia's veins could not allow her to let Spanish be spoken incorrectly. "I don't know", said Natalia a bit worried. "I left my schedule inside my locker".

    "Aww darn." Harley frowned letting her hand slip away from Natalia's shoulder. Then she smiled. "Well hey, maybe I can go get it for you, you know, if you're still busy talking to Mr. Felton here."

    Felton smiled in reply standing up from his desk and gathering his things into his leather tote bag, "No, no, Miss Whitfield, I do believe me and Miss Saint Claire have already covered all we need to know about tomorrow's assignment, unless there was something you needed to ask, Harley."

    "Me?" Said Harley.

    She was quiet for a minute or so, contemplating her decision she would make then and there. What if she did tell Mr. Felton about that shameless whore trying to get with him? What if she told Natalia about all the mean looks the pink haired girl was giving her? Finally, she gave an answer.

    "Well... I reckon I do, Mr. Felton. You see, I've been having trouble lately trying to find inspiration for my work. I want to do good in this class, and at the same time, I don't want my photos to come off as amateur, you know. I want to take pictures that'll just wow everyone! Like yours!"

    Mr. Felton looked at the cowgirl, giving a warm chuckle, "And do you think I took those when I was your age? I'll admit, these days for me, it is hard to find inspiration. I mean, I'm still trying to settle things here, and I bet seeing how you're not just in a new school, but a new state altogether, it must be a challenge for you to have to adapt to a new way of life." He spoke as if from experience and as though, well in fact, he was talking to both of them.

    "The point is, girls, don't stress yourselves when you can't find either the time or the place for inspiration to hit you. Let your creative imaginations flow freely. I'm sure in time you will discover that creative spark within you and let it flourish, but until then, don't let one solitary thing be the entire focus of your life. A wise man once said that life is what happens when you are busy making other plans."

    He grinned then picked up his bag from the desk. "Now if you two will excuse me, I'm gonna head home real quick and check on my wife. Take care, and remember, even though you may be amateurs today, just keep at it, and eventually, you'll wow the world with your masterpieces. You both have a gift for capturing the true beauty of the world through the lens. Anywho, I'll see you both tomorrow."

    "Bye Mr. Felton! Oh and thanks for the advice!" Harley hollered back. She was wearing that famous smile of hers it seemed, the one she always adorned when she was super excited. She turned to Natalia, practically bouncing on her heels, "Man, Mr. Felton is such a cool teacher!"

    The blonde girl listened with great interest and attention to the conversation between Harley and Mr. Felton. "He is such a cool and wise man", thought Natalia to herself, happy and grateful to have such a great teacher.

    "See you tomorrow, Mr. Felton", said the petite girl as her instructor walked out of the classroom. Upon hearing Natalia's thought about their teacher, the blue-eyed girl replied with excitement, "I was just thinking the same thing!" A sweet laugh emerged from her lips. " I guess great minds do think alike!"​

    Looking at the clock above the whiteboard, Natalia asked her friend, "Hey, Harley! Would you mind accompanying to my locker to check what my next class is?"

    Outside of the classroom in the hall, Madison and her boyfriend were sharing a heated and passionate kissing session. Jason was the captain of the basketball team and a heartthrob, which guaranteed his position as one of the most popular boys in the school.

    --- Double Post Merged, Nov 15, 2017 ---
    "Heh! I reckon I could, amiga!" Harley replied with a teasing grin, wrapping her arm around Natalia's and following her out the door.

    Meanwhile, a pissed off, redheaded punk looking girl skated...yes...skated down the hall on her skateboard, earbuds in her ears blasting loudly and a grungy white T-shirt under a leather jacket that said in bold black, 'I DON'T LIKE MONDAYS' Her clothes smelled like alcohol and stale cigarettes and the look on her face said if you fucked with her, she would knock your teeth down your throat.

    Helena Sheppard arrived late to school yet again thanks to another hangover, but last night's gig at the House of Pain was so badass, a hangover was worth it. She continued skating along, not caring one bit if she knocked anyone over, especially one cunt in particular, but she had to refrain from doing so.

    Popping her board up into her hand, she scowled at the pink haired bitch, then laughed singing a well-known taunt, "Maddy and Jasey sitting in a tree! F-u-c-k-i-n-g! Please, you two need to get a fucking room if you're gonna do that shit!"

    A happy smile appeared on the petite girl's visage upon hearing her friend's reply.

    As Natalia and her friend walked out the classroom, they met with a very steamy scene. Madison and Jason were passionately kissing. It was way more than the young couple's lips just touching one another, from the blond girl's point of view it seems as if their tongue were wrestling each other.

    Stopping in her tracks, the blue-eyed girl observed the scene in front of her with eyes wide open.

    "Ooooookay", said Natalia with a low voice, lowering her gaze as the skin around her cheeks' turned a bright red.

    Although the blond-haired girl could be considered as what you would call a pretty girl, she had never had a boyfriend during her fifteen years of life. Of course, she had had crushes and friends that were boys but she had never had a boy that she could call her own.

    Hearing a familiar voice, Jason opened her eyes as he continued shoving his tongue down his girlfriend's tongue. As soon as the brown-haired boy pulled out his tongue from the pink-haired girl's mouth, he looked at Helena and said in a friendly tongue, "Hey! Lena!" His expression denoted that this was definitely not the first time he saw the red-haired girl and him calling her Lena instead of Elena indicated that whatever relationship they shared came from long before high school. "How was last night's party?", he asked with sincere curiosity and interest.

    Pulling down her short tank top and fixing it so it would stop showing was what meant to be seen for her boyfriend's eyes only, Madison cleaned a bit of extra saliva from her lower lip with her finger.

    "Hey! Lena~". Her fake sweet voice could not hide the extremely dislike she felt from the skater girl. Putting her arms around the tall captain boy, she continued. "Excellent suggestion, dear Lena~ I will take Jasey away from your sigh so you don't have to worry about feeling even more jealous and lonely." An ungenuine good-girl smile appeared on the green-eyed girl's visage.
    The cowgirl went nearly a hundred shades of red seeing what she saw in the hallway. Maybe it was just the fact she was raised in a strict, southern home that she had a little more courtesy as a young lady, or...maybe it was also the fact despite having quite a few friends back in Texas, she never really had that kind of a serious relationship. Nevertheless, she ducked her head behind her cowboy hat, muttering with a sour look to Nat, "Dad gum!
    That girl ain't got no shame at all! If that was me suckin' face in public, my mama would tan my hide!"

    She was thankful that skater chick, however, came along and broke it up. Things looked like they were about to get Rated M for Mature.

    Helena held her skateboard under her arm, giving both Jason and Madison a dirty look. In particular, her famous "I'm gonna kick your ass" look was aimed right at Jason. She scoffed at Madison, "Whatever succubus. Just here to tell your boytoy he owes me the the tree fiddy for his happy pills, and if I don't get it by today, I'm breaking both his fucking kneecaps. We chill?" She waited with an expectant look.

    Harley's brow furrowed watching the scene. This new girl, she sounded rough as a cob. "Damn, I wouldn't wanna mess with her, I reckon. Looks like she probably collects her victims' skulls in her bedroom."

    Lifting up her gaze with her cheeks still of a bright red, Natalia looked at her friend and whispered, "Harley...let's try to go to my locker without being noticed..." The petite girl's locker was just down the long corridor.

    Immediately recognizing Helena's gaze, one that the skater girl had given him plenty of times before, Jason walked towards Helena and placed his arm around her neck.

    "Don't be so stingy Lena. Can you be a bit more generous with your dear friend?" He leaned closer and softly said something in the red-haired girl's ear. "Come on! For old time's sake. I mean...don't tell me you have already forgotten the times when you and I used to swim butt naked in my pool when we were kids..."

    Seeing her boyfriend getting so close with the punk girl was beginning to put Madison in a foul mood again.

    "First the cowboy girl and now the skater girl...what a BS day...a BS day filled with stupid girls...", thought the pink-haired girl to herself while rolling her eyes at the current situation.

    She pulled her wallet from the back pocket of her tight blue jeans. The elegant leather folding case was packed with money. Dollars from different denominations were inside the small bag. The lowest one being twenty dollars and the largest one being hundred dollars.

    Taking out a twenty dollar bill, Madison strolled in Helena's direction. She put on her sweet girl facade and handed the money to the red-haired girl.

    "Here you go~ And keep the change~" Grabbing her boyfriend's arm with her other hand, she continued. "Now would you be so kind as to leave my boyfriend alone so we can go back to what we were doing?"

    "Ditto." Harley couldn't agree any quicker. This situation was getting pretty weird to her, but it was something she kind of expected in a bigger school. Damn Harley. Talk about some high school drama straight outta some bad movie. Drug dealers, students tryin' to get with teachers... maybe I need to go back to my dorm and chill. This day is just gettin' crazier.

    "You lead the way, girl. I'll keep an eye on them bad hombres." She spoke quiet as a mouse to her friend, eyeing the skater girl and the pink temptress nervously as she scooted away.

    Helena looked like she was buying into Jason's sweet talking, but that devilish grin said otherwise. "Aww how sweet~." She scoffed shoving Jason's arm away. "Thanks for reminding me that Big Jason on Campus has got the smallest fucking package. Oh and you know me. Buisness before friends, Jase. Now ante up, bitch!" Her expression went cold.

    She practically snatched the twenty out of Madison's hand as quick as she could, still giving both a contemptuous scowl. "Yeah, you're still three thirty short, ya know? I said three fifty, jackass, but I'll tell you what. Since you caught me at my good graces, I'll give you till after school today to get me the rest, but you better fucking have it."

    And with that, she shoved the twenty in her pocket and hopped on her board skating away. All the while, she continued down the hall in thought.

    Fucker better pay me... That's one more dollar I need...to get the fuck out of this city...

    Natalia wanted to explain to Harley that "hombres" was used only when referring to men, but she thought that maybe this was not really the right time to play Spanish teacher with her friend.

    "Ready, set, go!", she whispered to her friend and with that, she dashed down the hall towards her locker.

    Once Harley had hopped on her skateboard, Jason looked back at Madison. His gaze was enough for Madison to realize what the brown-haired boy was thinking. With a mischevious smile on her face, she opened her wallet enough so that Jason could snatch away four one-hundred dollar bills.

    Observing that Helena was not that far away yet, the tall boy quickly folded the money into an airplane. Being the awesome basketball player that he was, it was easy for him to send the money airplane with great precision so that it would land next to his childhood friend.

    As the plane went flying in the air, Jason shouted, "Hey Lena! There is your money!" Grabbing his crotch, he continued. "Just tell me when and I will show how big my "package" had gotten since our swimming days..."

    Proudly showing her large and voluptous breasts, Madison uttered softly to her boyfriend, "Too bad her breasts stayed the same size as in your swimming days". Looking back at the pink-haired girl, both teenagers shared a loud and devilish laugh.

    Jason put her arms around the green-eyed girl's low rear area and lifted her up. In response, Madison wrapped her arms and legs around the tall boy.
    "You are amazing Madison! " Jason paused for a brief moment and then said with sincerity in his gaze. "I really love you".

    "I heart you too", replied the pink-haired girl. Leaning closer to his neck, she whispered into the boy's ear. "Let's go to the Void so I can show how much I heart you."

    The Void was an empty and forgotten classroom that Madison and Jason had found and that they regularly used for their "extracurricular" activities.

    "You just read my mind", expressed Jason with a naughty expression on his face.​

    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 3, 2017 ---

    Helena wasn't much for religion. She would tell you that, but at this moment she was thinking that if there was an almighty sentient being high in the clouds, she would pray for them to strike those two with a searing bolt of lightning and melt the flesh off their bones, especially that big titted, fake ass whore Madison.

    Grabbing the money off the floor, she crumpled it up in her fist, extending her middle finger high and proud for those fuckers to see before she skated off. Fuck Jason! She thought. He ain't the first fucking person to abandon me in this goddamn city! The sooner I get out of this fucking place, the better!

    She felt sick seeing those two going at it again like acid was leaking out of her stomach...and slowly dissolving her. She skated away quicker, but a small tear fell from her cheek. She needed to go home and medicate.

    Meanwhile, Harley scurried behind her camera buddy. Once they got to Natalia's locker, she leaned against the wall letting out a sigh of relief, "Phew! Well this sure has been somethin', I'll tell ya. That girl Maddy sure likes stirrin up the hornet's nest. Gonna get her ass kicked one day, and probably by that skater girl." She paused for a moment to catch her breath. "I gotta say, Nat, I ain't likin' her one bit." And for good reason.

    As Jason and Madison headed towards the Void, Amelia stepped out of the girls' restroom. She was not crying anymore, but the bags under her eyes showed that she had cried her heart out while hiding in the bathroom.

    Seeing her dear friend in a good mood, brought a happy smile to her face. "Thank God Mady is in a better mood..."

    As much as she cared for the pink-haired girl and as much as she tried to understand her friend's rebellious behavior, the timid girl could not understand why Madison wanted to jeopardize her relationship with Jason by trying to hook up with the teachers. Jason made Mady happy so why did Madison need another man or men in her life?

    "I guess they are heading to the void..."
    Knowing that them going to the void meant that they would skip the rest of the day, Amelia prepared herself to attend all the classes for that day alone. With a look of nostalgia and a bit of jealousy on her visage, the girl wearing glasses walked slowly towards her locker.

    While still trying to catch her breath, Natalia looked at Harley and said, "Well...she was kissing her boyfriend very passionately...and...the hall is not the right place to kiss a boy in such a way..." Just the memory of that steamy scene was enough to make the blond-haired girl's cheeks turn red. She had never had a boyfriend so for a brief moment, Natalia wondered how it would feel to kiss a boy like that.

    Shaking her head in an attempt to remove that embarrassing thought from her head, the blue-eyed girl placed herself in front of her locker. She opened the small compartment and put her camera back inside of it.

    Being the positive and kind girl that she was, the petite girl looked for something good about her classmate. "But...her friend asked Mr. Felton if he could tutor them after class...she seemed really worried about them doing well in Mr. Felton's class...so maybe Madison is not that bad...and she is a nice student that cares about her studies...perhaps?"

    She took a piece of paper in her hands, it was her schedule. Turning around to face her friend, Natalia said to Harley while looking at her timetable, "I have Chemistry next."

    It was at this moment Harley was doing all she could to choke back a gut laugh towards Natalia's words. Madison? Nice?! The cowgirl would believe that when pigs flew. If only Natalia knew that girl was just using Mr. Felton's tutoring as a ploy to try and get in his pants. She leaned against the locker with both arms crossed, answering back slightly sarcastic, "Oh I bet she does, especially with a handsome teacher like Mr. Felton, but..." She sighed, a short yawn segwaying into a stretch. "Maybe I'm being too judgmental here. I just don't like how she's gotta flaunt what she's got like she's some high filutin' movie star or somethin'! I don't like it when people think they're better than me!"

    And perhaps it was a tinge of jealousy, but Harley, she wouldn't stand for any girl willing to ruin a man's life just to sleep with him.

    "Really? Me too!" At least knowing she would be in another class with Nat made her grin. She was about to follow Natalia until her phone buzzed in her pocket. She pulled it out and checked the contact. It was....her mom?

    "Aww man!" Gruffly she sighed. She loved her family more than anything, but damn did they have to be so overprotective? "I gotta take this one, Nat. You go on ahead." She said to Nat with an apologetic smile then answered her phone. "Hey ma!"

    "Hi sweetie!" Her mom's voice practically rang over the speaker. "Just callin' to check up on you and see how you're doing! I can't believe my daughter's attending a prestigious New York school! We're so proud of you, Harley!"

    "Aww gee! Thanks, mama!" Harley giggled, her cheeks turning a bit red. "Just wish you and daddy didn't have to spend so much to get me up here."

    "Well darlin'!" Her mother laughed. "How else were you gonna learn to be a photographer? Now don't you worry! Daddy and I will be just fine.

    He's been working with Mr. Tanner over in Midland, climbing oil rigs till we get another herd of cattle to sell. He should be back home next week. We got plenty of money, sweetheart. Don't you worry."

    "I know mama, but..."Harley paused with a sigh. Her smile began to fade. "I'm not much worried about that, as I am about....about Jack."


    "Harley..." Her mother's voice went soft. "I've been meaning to tell you about him. The doctors said he might not wake up at all. He's still showing brain activity, but he's...still not there, Harley."

    Harley could feel the tears welling in her eyes. She wiped them away on the sleeve of her flannel. "But....does that mean you're gonna..."

    There was silence on the other end before her mother returned tearfully, "If we have to, sweetheart, but Jack...he was born to be a soldier. I know he'll pull through this, God willing, but I wish he never went over there to fight."

    "Mama.... Jack just wanted to protect us. He knew what he was getting into when he joined up. I know he'll make it. He's got all of us. God knows he'll wake up one day."

    "Well... I reckon you're right, sweet pea. I know this has been the hardest on you. You and Jack, you were like two little peas in a pod growing up. You were always his little buddy."

    "I still am, right?" Harley smiled. "I gotta go now, mama. I love you! Oh and...y'all tell Jack I said hi."

    "We will, honey. When your dad gets home from work next week, we're going back down to the V.A. hospital to see him. I'll tell him then. You best get to class now, darlin', and Harley, you have a wonderful day. Love you. Bye."

    Her mother hung up. Harley still had tears in her eyes as she slipped her phone back in her pocket and carried on, trying her best to put on a smile for her friend.

    After today, Helena was ready to torch this place and everyone in it to the fucking ground. She was ready to douse the halls in gasoline and light 'em up, then sit outside the school, smoking a joint and watching the flames devour everything, like the emperor playing his fiddle while Rome burned.

    She was done with school for the day, and was ready to go home and blaze it, just to forget about everything, about Jason, his bitch ass girlfriend, her dad and his new bitch ass girlfriend.....and...about her mom.

    Skating along, she stopped at her locker to grab her stash she kept hidden behind the horror movie poster in the back, tucked in a small hole she cut, but upon reaching into the tiny gap, her hand touched...not a plastic baggy full of weed, but a crumpled piece of paper.

    "What the fuck?"

    Helena grabbed it and uncrumpled it. With each letter of the note she read, her face grew red with anger.

    Yo Hel,

    Didn't have any hash, so I had to jack your stash. Hope you're cool with it, a'ight? Peace!
    -Tony \m/ >3< \m/

    Are you fucking cereal, brah? Helena tore the note to shreds, letting out a guttural growl as she slammed her head against the locker. Fucking Tony! Dude didn't even leave me a spliff! Fucker! At least there's my stash at home, if step-bitch ain't confiscated it yet.

    Beside her locker however, which now had a dent because of her raging headbutt...which gave her a raging headache. Helena noticed the pint sized nerdy looking chick. Amelia, she thinks her name was. The girl had obviously been bawling her eyes out, given the dark circles and her bloodshot eyes. Pretty eyes actually. It was none of the redhead's business, but now that she thought about it, she did see this girl always up Madison's ass.

    Maybe she was another fuckbuddy that got burned by the succubus slut.

    "Hey... you alright?" She didn't know why, but seeing the girl broken up like she was...it kinda tugged on the finite number of heartstrings Helena had left.
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 3, 2017 ---
    Natalia listened carefully to Harley's thoughts about Madison. Maybe the cowgirl was right about the pink-haired girl but life had taught the petite girl that when people craved attention it was a sign of a deeper emotional problem in their lives.

    Smiling from cheek to cheek after confirming that her friend would share another class with her, the blond-haired girl was about to ask Harley for the camera she had lent her before going to photography class when she heard a buzzing sound. It was her camera buddy's phone.

    The blue-eyed girl wondered about the identity of the person at the other end of the line and that the brown-haired girl needed to talk to so urgently.

    As she observed Harley walking away from her locker, she noticed her hands were empty-handed. "Oh no! I forgot to ask for the camera" On the bright side, that gave Natalia a good reason to wait for her friend so they could go to the Chemistry Lab together.

    As the petite girl waited for the cowgirl, she took a white coat out of her locker and put it on. After gently removing her hair from under the coat's collar, she placed her hand inside the small compartment once again and grabbed a small white hello-kitty handbag.

    As she waited for Harley next to her locker, the petite girl worriedly observed sadness in her friend's eyes. "Are you okay, Harley?", the blue-eyed girl asked with genuine concern in her voice.

    Amelia's thoughts were interrupted by a girl's voice. Lifting up her gaze from the floor, she timidly looked at the student in front of her. It was Helena. Madison had talked to Amelia about the girl. She had been very close friends with Jason during their childhood but during their last year of middle school, they had drifted apart.

    "Yes. I am okay". A shy and grateful smile appeared on her visage. "Thank you for asking!"

    She looked at the dent in the skater girl's locker and then to the redness on the student's forehead. "And you? Are you okay? I mean...that headbutt must have had hurt."
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 3, 2017 ---
    "H-huh? Oh! Yeah, I'm alright!" Harley managed to let a small smile form across her lips, though her voice was still shaky.

    "That was my mama- eh I mean- my mom. She just...wanted to see how I was doin' and all." It was still evident though her mother had some bad news to share, but Harley tried her best to dismiss it. She wasn't going to let it ruin her first day here, worrying about Jack.

    "Oh uh!" Harley just realized something. "I almost forgot! I need to give you back your camera!"

    Helena sat down on her board, rubbing the spot on her forehead where she faceplanted into cold steel. Not one of her brightest moments.

    "Nah, I've had worse." She said with a glum look. "Just...pisses me off when people go through my shit without asking, especially my stash..." She looked over at the nerd. "You're...Amelia, right? I usually see you hanging out with Maddy. So are you two like...friends or something?"
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 3, 2017 ---
    Natalia's sincere concern for her friend did not away after seeing Harley's smile and especially after hearing her shaky voice, on the contrary, she worried even more.

    "Ahhh...it was her mom", thought the petite girl to herself. Maybe the cowgirl missed her home and her family...still, the blue-eyed girl could not shake away the feeling that there was something more that was upsetting her friend.

    "Thank you", said the blonde-haired girl gently removing the camera from Harley's hands and putting it back in her locker.

    Closing the narrow compartment in front of her, Natalia turned around to face the cowgirl. "Harley...I don't think you are really okay". Her tone was kind and soft. "But I will patiently wait until you feel comfortable enough to talk about it." She leaned over and gave her friend a warm hug.

    She unwrapped her arms and mentioned. "Come on! Let's go to the Chemistry Lab!" A sweet smile appeared on her visage.

    Sitting on the floor next to Helena, Amelia paused for a moment before saying, "Yeah...I also hate when people take my stuff without asking." She had clearly heard the word "stash" coming out of Helena's mouth but decided to simply ignore it.

    She looked at the red-haired girl sitting beside her. "Regarding...Maddy..." A loving expression showed on her face. "She is my best friend."
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 3, 2017 ---
    Boy, did she ever need that hug from Natalia.

    No, Harley wasn't comfortable yet to talk about it, and she may never be. Jack, he was more than her big brother. He was her best friend. The two were inseparable as children, even as they grew into their teens, always racing each other on their horses or staying up late playing video games and watching movies. He was there to protect her whenever bullies picked on her at school or to tell a stupid joke to make her laugh.

    Just like her mom, she wished he didn't go into the Marines, but it's what he loved, and she couldn't deny him that. But still...she was afraid something like this would happen to him.

    With a sigh, she smiled, her voice a frail whisper.

    "Thanks...Natalia." Even if things were grim for her, at least Nat would be there to cheer her up.

    She followed her friend into the chemistry lab and sat beside her.

    Come on, Harley. Cowgirl up. Jack wouldn't want you ballin' your eyes out here. This is supposed to be a special day for you! I mean, you just met the sweetest girl ever, and your photography teacher's such a cool guy! You should be happy today, girl! So c'mon! Be happy!

    "Pft! Yeah. Your best friend..." Helena spoke bitterly in reply. Like Madison would ever have a best friend when she was too busy fucking anyone and anything within a square mile of her, including Helena's own best friend. Fuck it though, who needed friends if they were gonna stab you in the back one day? Not Helena. Sure, she had her group she liked to party with and get high, but that was it. Nothing more.

    "That's some friend you got, Amelia, leaving you all alone for a piece of ass, but fuck it. What do I know? I'm just a lonely stoner who prefers to be alone. Admittedly though...I do feel sorry for you. I guess you were crying your eyes out because of her, right?"
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 3, 2017 ---
    Amelia listened to Helena's words with attention. She could perceive a trace of resentment in the red-haired girl's voice.

    Looking at the row of lockers in front of her, the black-haired girl took a deep breath before expressing, "Madison was not always as she is now..." She was about to say something more about the pink-haired girl but she refrained from doing so.

    "About Jason..." Her tone of voice became less nostalgic and more thankful. "He makes Maddy happy...so I am glad he is in her life. "

    Turning her gaze to the girl sitting next to her, she continued with a low voice, "I was crying...you are right. I did something that made Maddy upset." She pointed to herself. "But it was my fault! Mmm... Maddy had all the reason for getting mad at me."

    It was weird, the green-eyed girl knew that if Madison were to see her talking with Helena she would break up their friendship at that very moment. But, she could not bring herself to stop talking to the skater girl. In fact, she was glad that she got the chance to talk to her.

    Returning her gaze to the lockers, Amelia asked unsurely and timidly. "Mmmm...mmm...I know you said that you are loner...mmm...mmm...but isn't Jason your friend?"

    Walking into the chemistry lab, Natalia was surprised to see that the room was half empty. A lab that could easily hold twenty students had only eight students inside of it. Two of them being Natalia and Harley.

    "Where are the rest of the students?", asked the petite girl to herself as she walked towards one of the workstations in the lab. Placing her white handbag on the table, she quietly sat down and waited for the teacher to come into the room.

    "Only eight students and the teacher is not here yet...", the petite girl pondered with concern. However, Natalia's worry did not last long.

    "Good morning, students!". A tall and slender woman entered the room, closing and locking the door behind her. "I am Ms. Kaori Maeda and I will be your Chemistry teacher during this school year".


    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 4, 2017 ---
    It wasn't much the fact that there were less than eight people in the class, but that they all looked so smart compared to the cowgirl, like a bunch of real scientists in their white coats, and here she was in her usual getup.

    Harley looked around anxiously, letting out a small whistle. "Dang. Sure looks like a ghost town in here. Guess not alot of people like this science stuff. Guess cause its either too hard for them or they think science is for nerds." Suddenly, her face went red as a cherry, realizing her faux pa.

    "Aww crap! I did not just say that out loud!" Quickly she ducked her head down covering her face with her hat. Maybe no one caught it...maybe.

    As soon as the teacher walked in, Harley slowly moved her hat down from her face. She was quite surprised. Wow! She looks like a movie star! Here I was thinkin' we were gonna get some ugly, Einstein lookin' dude!

    She looked over at Natalia with a sheepish grin, whispering, "So...you know a lot about this science stuff, right? Do the teachers always look like runway models?"

    "Friend... yeah...once... I don't really care much about him anymore. Besides, he's too wrapped up in Madison, so why give a fuck?"

    Helena could feel it...welling within her heart and swirling about like a big black tornado. She clenched her fists, shaking in a cold, almost deafening silence, as if the entire world around her was fading out of earshot, including Amelia.

    Jason and I...we were thick as thieves when we were kids. We did everything together, playing cops and robbers, building a fort in my backyard... I never had a more true friend than him... He was...hell...he was like my brother...

    Then everything changed when he met her...her...that fucking succubus! Suddenly, he quit hanging out with me. He didn't call or text me anymore. He was too busy with her...hmph...too busy fucking her, he and his fucking basketball bros! He never had time anymore for Helena! She wasn't part of the popular crowd!

    And then mom died... Where was he, huh? Where was he when I fucking needed him? Why wasn't he there...when I was standing beside my mom's casket...literally falling to pieces? He didn't care that I was alone now...that I lost everything... No, he had her that day!


    I...fucking...hate him! More than I hate her! He could have saved me, dammit! He could have been there the moment my life went to total shit, but no! He let me fucking drown in a sea of my own misery! If I could, I would grab him by his fucking throat and choke the life out of him! How could he fucking do this to me?! He left me, dammit! He fucking left me!

    Fuck him! FUCK EVERYONE!


    The scream echoed in her mind...and the tears began to flow. She wiped them away on the sleeve of her jacket and staggered to her feet grabbing her board.

    "Hey...I think I'm gonna go home..."She said to Amelia; her tone was hoarse and quiet. "I'm...not feeling too good, but hey um...thanks for chatting with me I guess. If you ever wanna, ya know, hang, hit me up some time. I won't tell your friend, trust me." Giving a small salute, she hopped on her board and skated away.
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 4, 2017 ---
    Natalia chuckled after hearing Harley's reason for the room being so empty. One of the reasons why the petite girl liked Harley was the brown-haired girl's frankness.

    Not able to contain the laughter anymore upon hearing the cowgirl comparing Ms. Maeda to a runway model, the blonde-haired girl giggled softly. Stopping her laugh, Natalia explained under her breath. "She is very pretty but she is also very smart. From what I read in her resume, she has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemistry Biology from Harvard University. Moreover, she was the student with the highest ranking among her graduating class!"

    As Ms. Maeda was about to walk away from the door, an almost inaudible raspy voice was heard. "Ms. Maeda, please let me in". Through the classroom door window, a black-haired boy wearing glasses and a scarf around his neck could be seen. "I was in the infirmary taking some medicine to help me with my cold."


    Not turning back to look at the poor student, the teacher continued walking towards her desk. In a firm and serious voice, the instructor expressed. "I am sorry, Mr. Williams but you know the rules of my classroom. Five minutes early is on time. On time is late. Late is unacceptable." Stopping halfway, the black-haired woman looked up at the clock above the whiteboard. It was 9:0 a.m. "And you sir, you are late."

    At this elite High School electives courses lasted forty-five minutes, whereas required courses lasted ninety minutes. The first period was always an elective course and it started at 8:00 a.m. which meant students had fifteen minutes between the first and second period.

    Knowing that Ms. Maeda would not allow him into the room, Samuel Williams turned around and began walking away from the chemistry lab.

    Amelia listened with sincere interest to Helena's reply. Even though the red-haired girl had said she did not care about Jason anymore, the green-eyed girl thought otherwise. Maybe she was wrong, but judging by Helena's reaction, Amelia had the feeling that the skater girl cared about the basketball boy waaaay more than she wanted to admit.

    As the black-haired girl watched Helena skating away, she said with a kind expression on her visage. "Take care! I enjoyed talking to you as well."

    Sauntering towards her locker, Amelia realized how wrong she had been about Helena. From what Madison had told her and from what little she had seen of the skater girl's behavior at school, she had always thought of Helena as a crazy stoner who dislike everyone and who only cared about making money selling drugs. Talking to Helena was shown Amelia that there was more to red-haired girl than what met the eye.

    "I hope I can talk to her again soon...", wished the glasses-wearing girl to herself.
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 4, 2017 ---


    Harley frowned slightly. This teacher might be pretty looking, and downright smart as a whip from what Natalia told her, but even if the boy was "late", it was just mean to lock him out. Even the many times Harley was late to classes at Celina ISD, the teachers didn't lock her out of the room or give her the cold shoulder. Plus it wasn't like the boy was being late on purpose. He had a cold for Christ's sake!

    Harley wasn't gonna let it stand. She couldn't believe what she was doing, but it seemed the right thing to do.

    "Uhh...Ma'am?" She mumbled raising her hand. [color=a187be]"I...I know it probably ain't my place to speak, but don't y'all reckon y'all should let that boy in here? I mean, I know he was late and all, but it ain't his fault he's got the sniffles. Shouldn't you be just a teensy bit considerate of your students? I mean not all of us are perfect little peaches." She ended with a nervous grin, pretty much expecting this woman to give her one hell of a tongue lashing.

    Aaaand I'm probably gonna get my ass whooped for this! So much for keepin' a clean record.


    Dead leaves crunched and cracked under the wheels of Helena's board as she skated down the sidewalk to her home, a quaint little housing project in the lower district of the city. It was a fairly decent neighborhood with the occasional break-in or civil dispute. Not a demilitarized zone like where most of her skater friends hung out. Sometimes you'd see a cop car blazing by with lights and sirens, but they were mostly going to where the real shit was.

    Skating up to her home, she noticed the blonde woman walking out the front door after giving her dad a kiss on the cheek.


    "Hi Helena. How was school today?"The woman gave her a bright smile.

    "Fine, Shawna. Just fine..." Helena answered with an indifferent look towards her then up to her dad on the steps.


    Her dad's smile turned sour towards her as he sighed and went in the house. Helena rolled her eyes, watching the door shut before climbing the steps and slinging the door open.

    Home sweet Hell... She thought to herself trudging into her house. Her dad was already at the kitchen table, one hand grasping a shot of Jack D. while the other had his face buried in it. He looked up at Helena leaning in the doorway, scowling at her.

    "What are you doing here?" He asked with a harsh, low tone to his voice. "You're supposed to be at school."

    "I'm sick. What?" Helena answered bluntly ambling over to the fridge and grabbing a soda. Her father sighed throwing back his shot and slamming his glass on the table.

    He stood up, grumbling,"I'm getting really tired of your attitude, Helena. For the sixth week in a row, you've skipped school. Your principal called and said your grades were slipping. He's considering expelling you."

    "Really? Great." Helena returned bitterly. She drunk down the last of her soda, crushing the can in her hand and turning to her dad with a glare. "By the way, what the fuck is she doing here, huh?"

    Her dad sighed gruffly, "Didn't I tell you? Shawna's moving in to help us while I look for a job. I told her she didn't have to, but-"

    "She's what?!" Helena nearly spit soda everywhere, choking down her last swallow with a coughing fit. "Oh that's real fuckin' sweet of you, daddy! Fuck the rich lawyer then mooch off of her!" She got up in her dad's face snarling. "Mom must be real fucking happy you've already replaced her when she's only been in the ground for two fucking months!"

    "We are NOT mooching off of her, alright?!" Her dad yelled red in the face. "And she is not replacing your mother! And furthermore, you will respect her and you will respect me! Understand?"

    "Respect you?!" Helena fired back seething with anger. "I'll start respecting you when you get off your lazy fucking ass and stop getting drunk all fucking day long!"She turned to walk away upstairs to her room

    Her dad stormed after her, his raucous voice pretty much rattling the walls, "Well it can't be any fucking worse than what you're doing up there in your bedroom! I know you're up there smoking pot! I oughta call the cops on you, bringing drugs into my house!"

    "Then fucking do it, bitch!" Helena whirled around snapping at him. "Maybe they'll gun me down in the fucking street so you don't have to bother with me anymore! You know what, fuck you!" She whirled back around stomping up the steps.


    She slammed the door in his face and locked it. Her father, he was about to kick the door right off its hinges, but instead, he sighed deeply and went back downstairs, falling into the living room couch with his head in his hands. With tired, bloodshot eyes, he lifted his face to the picture above the tv, the picture of his late wife and Helena's mother, a beautiful woman with flowing red hair...who was taken from him far too soon.


    As he looked at her picture, tears welled in his eyes. He buried his face in his hands, sobbing.

    "What happened to her, Juliette? What happened...to our little girl?"

    Beside the photo of Juliette, there was one of Helena. She had to have been around six or seven years old.


    In her room, Helena fell into her bed after putting on some music. She reached under and pulled out a plastic ashtray with a few rolled up joints in it. Taking one, she clenched it between her lips and lit it, taking a slow drag and exhaling a thick, white cloud of smoke into the cold, dead air of her room.

    Already, the drug took its effect on her. She was feeling pretty mellow despite yelling at her dad a few minutes ago. She continued to smoke and stared aimlessly up at her bedroom ceiling plastered with posters punk bands, horror movies, and a few crude drawings of hers, a dull, almost lifeless expression on her face...as she tuned in and dropped out.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 4, 2017 ---
    Kaori Maeda shifted her gaze from the clock on the wall to the student who had spoken without her permission. Her expression was a calm yet serious one.

    Even though Kaori was an extremely strict teacher and demanded just the very best from her students, she was also a very dedicated and devoted educator. Before teaching the first class of the new school year, Ms. Maeda always tried to gather and learn as much information as she could about her new students. She wished for every student in her class to excel in Chemistry and she wanted to assist them to the best of her capabilities.

    "You must be Ms. Harley Witfield." She paused for a moment before continuing. "You just transferred from Celina ISD in Texas."

    Ms. Maeda briefly looked at the door. Returning her eyes to her students, particularly to Harley she explained with a stern yet kind voice. "You probably didn't notice from where you are sitting but on my way here, I saw Mr. Williams before he went to the infirmary and I could easily notice that he was running a fever. That meant that his cold was not getting better but that was getting worse."

    The attractive educator took a deep breath and turned her head slightly to the right. "Mr. Williams needs to go home and rest, so he can properly recover from his cold and to avoid transmitting the infection to other students."

    Kaori began walking to Harley and Natalia's workstation. "Now, Ms. Witfield...according to your opinion...which one is more considerate...allowing a sick student who can barely walk because of a high fever into my classroom and at the same time putting the health of my other students at risk..."

    Stopping next to the cowgirl, she ended her question. "Or allowing the sick student to go home and rest?"

    With an air of someone who knew that it would happen for sure, the instructor proceeded. "Because Ms. Witfield, I can assure you that Nurse Allie already called Mr. Williams' parents to ask them to take him back home...and one more thing..."

    Her tone became more profound and severe. "I don't expect my students to be perfect little peaches...Perfection Does Not Exist...but I do ask from every one of my students to give their very best in my class."

    Meanwhile outside of the Chemistry Lab, Samuel Williams literally stumbled upon a familiar face.

    "Amelia...", said the black-haired voice with a faint voice as he walked unsteadily towards his cousin.

    Immediately after seeing the boy almost falling to the ground, the green-eyed girl rushed to rescue the fragile boy.
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 4, 2017 ---
    Maybe next time she decided to speak out against a teacher, she'll make sure to choose her words more carefully....that or have Natalia duct tape her big mouth shut before Harley decided to make a complete fool of herself.

    With every word of Miss Maeda thrown back at her, Harley sunk lower and lower into her chair as pale as a ghost and drenched in sweat like she had just run a marathon. Oh man, she must have definitely looked like an idiot in front of everyone, even the cute blonde beside her.

    Quivering in absolute embarrassment and dumbfoundedness at the end of her tongue lashing, the cowgirl uttered quietly a solitary, "Uuuhmm....y-yes ma'am. Sorry 'bout that." and averted her eyes down at the desk.

    Harley Jane Whitfield, you officially have gone from class hero to class zero! Ugh! What the hell was I thinkin' goin' toe to toe with Miss Brainiac here?! She's downright scary too! Kinda like if Walter White and O-ren Ishii had a baby![

    Not long after, Mr. Felton has returned to school and was walking down the hall to his classroom. Thankfully, the checkup at the doctor's office had gone well, and everything was okay with his wife and their son soon to be born. The movers were almost done moving their furniture from Seattle all the way to New York as well. Thankfully nothing was broken either. He was strolling down the hall blissfully, humming a tune by The Strokes, when he noticed the sickly looking boy and his sister in the hallway. Odd, seeing how everyone should be in class. With a concerned and considerate smile, he approached them. "Sam, Amelia. What are you two doing out of class? Is everything okay?" The kid looked like he was burning up and should've been home in bed.

    She must've passed out or something, as she tended to do after a good high. Helena awoke still lying on her bed, still dressed in her clothes from the day before, the same ratty T-shirt and leather jacket. The joint she had smoked was still clenched between her fingers but no longer burned, neither did her room smell like cheap marijuana. In fact, it smelled like...bacon? And...pancakes?

    Dad? Fuck...lazy ass can barely cook ramen, and I doubt step-bitch would cook him a nice, wholesome breakfast. So who was cooking downstairs? And also... who was playing music downstairs? Helena got up out of her bed, listening closely.

    Fleetwood Mac? This...this was mom's favorite song? How fucking high am I?

    And then...she heard the woman singing along...

    No, it couldn't have been real, she thought. She had to have still been baked out of her mind. Throwing her beanie over her messy red hair, she slowly crept into the hall and tiptoed downstairs. Something was definitely fucked up with her she assumed, but upon reaching the kitchen...



    There she was...standing at the stove cooking breakfast, wearing that tacky floral apron of hers.


    Helena's heart felt like it stopped and the world paused with it. Her mouth hung agape, barely uttering a word. She could feel the warmth of tears in her eyes, but quickly she wiped them away, snapping out of her trance.

    No... It's not real, Helena. It's just a dream...

    "Honey? Is that you?" Her mother turned around, holding in her hand a sizzling pan of bacon. The smell, it was so intoxicating to Helena. She couldn't remember when was the last time her mom ever cooked for her and her dad. She smiled warmly to Helena, like a ray of pure sunshine. "Oh, there you are sleepyhead! Come on, your breakfast is getting cold."

    Helena hesitated for a moment, then slowly she made her way into the kitchen, sitting down at the small table. She looked around while her mother continued cooking breakfast and singing to herself.

    What the fuck is going on? There's like...no alcohol anywhere! And the kitchen's the cleanest I've ever seen! It's like dad never even touched the bottle!

    "Hey...mom?" Helena stammered. "Where's dad?"

    "Hmm?" Her mother replied slipping a few pieces of bacon onto a plate of warm, fluffy butter pecan pancakes. "Oh! He had to leave out on a call early this morning. Something about a fire over on Henderson Street. I hope everything's okay."

    Helena went white. Dad still has his job at the fire station? Fuck...it is a dream...

    Her lips contorted downward into a frown, her eyes dull and heavy. She sighed, lowering her head to the table as her mother walked over with her breakfast.

    "Your favorite." She said with a grin setting the plate down gently in front of Helena. Then her mother sat across from her, pouring herself a cup of tea. "Remember when you were little and you always helped me make breakfast for daddy in the morning? You always wanted to make the pancakes, but you could never get the shape right."

    "Y-yeah..." Helena replied in a sad whisper. "Damn things always kept sticking to the pan... You had to help me scrape 'em off..."

    "Helena?" Her mother frowned. "Sweetie, what's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost."

    A ghost... Yeah, she did. Helena looked up at her mother, meeting those soft blue eyes with her dark brown on the verge of tears.

    "You...you are a ghost...", said Helena. "You're not real... It's just a dream...I'll wake up, and...everything will still be the same...You'll be dead, and...I'll be alone...Just like always..." She shoved the plate aside, burying her face into the table. Tears streamed down her face, soaking into the wood.

    Her mother stood and walked over to her, sadness in her eyes as she saw her daughter falling to pieces before her. She pulled Helena up from the table and wrapped her in a hug. Helena's face was now buried in her shoulder as her baby girl wept.

    "Helena..." Her voice was sweet and quiet. "You will never be alone, honey. Even though I'm gone, I'm still watching over you always. I wish I could be here for you now, because I know how much it hurts."

    "I hate it, mom!" Helena's voice was muffled somewhat by her mother's shoulder. "I hate it so fucking much! I wish you were here! My life...it's just... I wish I wouldn't wake up! I wish I would just stay here with you! Where everything isn't so fucked up!"

    "But sweetie," Her mother said lifting Helena's head up. "I'm sorry, but you can't. Believe it or not, there are people out there who still need you. Your father for instance. Don't be mad at him. I know he's...not who he used to be, but you have to realize he's hurting just like you, and though you may fight like cats and dogs now, he still loves you, Helena."

    "Yeah...I guess." Helena sniffled.

    Her mother smiled. "Oh, and what about that little girl you were talking with in the hallway at school?"

    "Amelia?" Said Helena. "What about her?"

    "Don't you think she could use a friend?" Her mother asked sincerely

    "Y-yeah, but..." Helena muttered. "She's already got one, and she's a total bitch."

    "Well, why don't you be her friend too?" Her mother suggested with a soft grin. "She could use a friend like you."

    "Pft! Yeah, whatever." Helena let out a small snicker. "A druggie with anger issues. Perfect friend material."

    "But you're more than that, Helena." Her mother replied. "I know deep down, somewhere beneath all the...well...scary clothes and music..." She paused for a brief chuckle. ]"There's still that sweet little girl who would be anyone's friend. I know the real you, Helena. The real you...that never went away."

    "Mom..." Helena slipped from her mother's arms. Slowly her mother began to fade from her vision along with the kitchen and everything else.

    She awoke hours later still in her messy bed, her stereo still on full blast, and a lit joint still smoldering between her fingers...and her room smelling of dirty laundry and cheap dope.

    It was back to reality for Helena, unfortunately.

    The "real" me... What the hell does she mean?
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 4, 2017 ---
    After hearing Harley's apology, Ms. Maeda returned to the front of the room. She looked at the teenagers before her with a serious yet kind expression on her face.

    "It is not wrong to express your observations..." Looking at Harley, she continued. "Like Ms. Witfield did a moment ago". Kaori turned around and wrote two words in capital letters on the whiteboard...EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE.

    "However, before you share them with the rest of the world, be sure that you verify your observations...rather than going by theory or pure logic."

    She sat on her desk and crossed her legs in a very lady-like way. "Chemistry is a natural science. It deals with the description, prediction, and understanding of natural phenomena. But all this is based on empirical evidence, evidence that is verified by accurate observation or experimentation."

    Kaori gave a small and gentle jump and returned to a standing position. She looked at her students and explained. "Ms. Witfield and I both observe the same phenomenon, Mr. Williams looking sick. Both of us expressed our observations." Placing her gaze on the petite girl sitting next to Harley, the teacher asked. "Ms. Saint Claire...which observation do you think was based on empirical evidence...Ms. Witfield or mine?"

    "I am sorry Harley", said Natalia in a very low voice before responding to her instructor's question. "Yours, Ms. Maeda." The blond girl paused for a moment before continuing in a clear and secure voice.

    "Before coming into the classroom you saw Mr. Williams in the hall and noticed he was sick. His flushing face showed you that he was running a fever and him going to the infirmary before coming to class showed you he was not feeling any better, in fact, he was feeling worse, which meant his fever was high. His tone of voice and way of speaking when he was standing outside the lab also denoted he was not feeling well at all."

    She stopped as she analyzed and gathered her thoughts. "You were very sure Nurse Allie already called Mr. Williams' parents...so that meant you also talked to the school nurse before coming to class and asked her how was Mr. Williams and it was then the nurse confirmed your observations. Mr. Williams was very sick and he needed to go home and rest. Your observations were confirmed and verified."

    With an apologetic look, the blue-eyed girl turned her gaze towards her friend. "Harley's observations were based on pure logic and were not verified."

    "Excellent answer, Ms. Saint Claire", said the black-haired woman in a stern tone. "Now please take out your books and open them on page six."

    "Hello, Mr. Felton", said Amelia using all of her strength to prevent the unconscious boy from falling to the ground. "A little help here with my cousin will be greatly appreciated."
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 4, 2017 ---
    Though yes, it did amaze her how smart Natalia was, it just rubbed salt in Harley's already open wound of embarrassment to be thrown under the bus like that. Nevertheless, she let it go, despite her damaged pride at the moment, and sighed. Man, did this class ever go south for her after she opened her big mouth.

    As instructed, she took out her textbook and opened it to page six. All the while, she was wondering what other trouble she might get into with Miss Maeda. Hopefully, none if Harley made sure to just keep her opinions to herself. Looking at Natalia, she gave the blonde a bummed expression, muttering quietly,

    "Really girl? Did ya have to make me look like more of an ass?"

    Oh duh! They were cousins, he thought, not brother and sister. Showed how much he paid attention to his new students. Hurrying over, Mr. Felton helped her carry Samuel to his feet. His brow furrowed as he could literally feel the boy's heat like a furnace emanating from him. "Good lord, Sam! You should be in bed by now! I don't know how you made it through school with this high a fever. Amelia, has he been to the nurse's office yet? Has anyone called his parents?" He hated to grill Amelia with so many questions, but poor Sam had no business being here this ill.

    Her dad was already passed out on the living room couch when Helena finally decided to go downstairs and return to school. Not that she cared about her grades or anything, but it was...somewhat better for her to get away before she and her dad got into another fight. He was sprawled out, a half-empty bottle of whiskey clutched in his hand, the tv remote in the other. Helena grimaced at the pitiful bastard, not saying a word as she turned and left the house.

    As she skated down the sidewalk, she began to think about her dream she had a few moments ago. Her mom...what did she mean by the "real her"? If you would ask Helena, she would tell you she's always been this way, a loner who wouldn't take shit from anyone, but....perhaps it was just another stoner dream. She was about a few blocks now from the school. That's when her phone buzzed in her pocket. She stopped her board skidding to a halt and read the text.

    The text...from her boss.

    <<From Darren at: 10:45 AM EST>>
    "Yo bitch! I ain't fucking around here! I want my fucking money TODAY!"

    Helena sighed gruffly, typing a reply and shoving her phone into her pocket.

    <<Sent to Darren at: 10:46 AM EST>>
    "Chill brah! You'll get your money after school! Okay?"

    She hopped on her board and started off again, but once more her phone buzzed.

    "Ugh! Fuck man!" Helena grumbled, once again reading Darren's text.

    <<From Darren at: 10:46 AM EST>>
    "I want it NOW bitch! I'll be in the parking lot. You better have all of it!"

    Darren's at East Kingston?! Helena shuddered a little gazing at her phone with apprehension. What the fuck is he doing there?! He's gotta be tripping balls, Helena! Dude better not make a scene or we're both fucked!

    Her hand shook as she slipped her phone back into her pocket, pausing a moment to take a deep breath and compose herself.

    If Darren was willing to go to her school to get his money, then he was dead serious.
    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 4, 2017 ---
    As Natalia opened her textbook on the page indicated by Ms. Maeda, she heard Harley's question. Turning her head towards the cowgirl, the blond-haired girl said in a low and sincere voice. "More of an ..." A genuinely concerned expression began to appear on her visage.

    "I said I was sorry before answering Ms. Maeda's question...I thought you heard me. She asked me a question and I answered." The petite girl paused for a moment before continuing with her reply. "I did my best to only focus on Ms. Maeda's observations...and I tried mentioning you as little as possible."

    Natalia could not believe Harley would think that she answered the question with the intention of embarrassing her more. Letting out a deep sigh, the blue-eyed girl proceeded. "I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, I did not do it on purpose. However, I won't apologize for expressing my thoughts with honesty and without any ill intention."

    The blonde-haired girl turned her gaze from Harley and placed it on her bag on the table. Pulling out her pencil case and a notebook, she got ready to take some notes about what the Chemistry teacher was explaining.

    "Thank you Mr. Felton", said Amelia as the teacher helped her support the weight of Samuel's body. "I don't know Mr. Felton", explained the braided-haired girl with a worried look on her face. "I came across him just a minute before you came."

    Mr. Felton looked worried. "Maybe we should take him back to the nurse and let him rest. I'll call his parents again and see if they're coming to pick him up."

    --- Double Post Merged, Dec 14, 2017 ---


    "Well I mean I wasn't expectin' an apology."

    Harley replied under her breath, merely keeping her eyes on her book so as not to draw any more attention to herself.

    "But...well...you did kinda scar my backside a little. It's alright though, Nat. You were just being honest. I ain't gonna get mad over petty shit like that. Oh and uh... Sorry if I'm bein' a bit moody right now. I'll uh...I'll tell you after class."

    There was a slight hesitation in her voice, as though she wasn't willing to tell Nat anything, but if she didn't, it was just going to bug her all day.

    Looking down at her book and reading along, she sighed to herself, a dull frown etched across her lips. Something was definitely bothering her and she knew it.

    Aww c'mon! First I get the call about Jack and now I think I done pissed off my camera buddy! This day cannot get any worse, can it?


    As soon as she skated into the parking lot, she noticed first off his crappy car. Darren was leaning against the driver side door smoking a cigarette, as always that crazy, pissed off look on his grizzled, sunken face. His eyes were bloodshot with dark circles underneath, rough, almost leathery skin pocked with several gross looking sores, some covered on his arms by sleeves of tattoos, and he was wearing clothes that looked like they haven't been washed in years. Helena knew he was already hitting the hard shit again, the bad shit.
    Slowly, and cautiously she approached, hoping the bastard wouldn't notice her, but too late as he flicked his cig away and turned to face her.


    "Well if it ain't Pipi Fucking Longstockings! What the hell took you so long?" His voice was harsh and raspy as he hacked a cough and spat out a glob of bile. That alone almost made Helena puke, coupled with his ratlike eyes glaring at her.

    Grimacing, she returned quietly, "I was on my way when you texted me, man. Cut me some slack!"

    "Tch! Whatever... Just give me my fucking money." Darren scoffed then held out his hand with an expectant look.

    Helena, at first she hesitated, slowly reaching into her pocket and pulling out a wad of hundred dollar bills, unwilling to just set them in Darren's greasy palm.

    Great... How the fuck am I gonna get out of this city when this dickhead is bleeding me dry?

    "Today bitch!" Darren snarled.

    "W-wait!" Helena drew her hand back. "What about my cut? You said I could keep at least half of what I got paid."

    Darren's eyes narrowed at her like two sharp slits, like the eyes of a viper coiling back to strike. He spat at her, "Cut schmut, slut! Now gimme that fucking money, NOW!" Forcefully he wrenched the money out of Helena's hand.

    Helena stumbled backwards, yelling, "Okay! Fine! Take it you fucking asshole!" She glared at him and turned to walk away, but as she did, she paused momentarily.

    Darren laughed, rather menacingly as he sauntered up to her from behind. Carefully, Helena turned around, her face ripe with worry.

    "What? What's so funny?"

    "You. Stupid. Bitch." Darren snickered holding up the five hundred dollars Helena owed him. "This it? This is all you got?" She didn't like that look in his eyes.

    Backing up slowly, she stammered a nervous response, "W-whoa! Wait a minute, Darren! You said I owed you five hundred! There it is"

    "WRONG BITCH!" Suddenly Darren grabbed her, slamming her against the side of his car. Helena heard a click...and there it was sticking in her face...mere inches from her eye.

    With one hand, Darren held her by her scrawny neck, his other holding the knife too damn close to her as he barked, seething with rage, "Interest! It grows over time! You owed me five hundred eight weeks ago! Now you owe me a grand! So where's the rest bitch?! Huh?!
    You holding out on me?!"

    "A grand?! That's bullshit!" Helena managed to spat despite her windpipe being crushed. "I...I only owed you five!"

    "You've got till fucking Thursday, bitch! THURSDAY to get my other five, or I'll gut you like a fucking deer! You feel me?!"

    Finally, he let her go. Helena fell to her knees on the pavement, gasping for air. She looked up Darren with eyes burning as he slipped his knife and the cash, all the money she had, into his pocket and got in his car and drove away kicking up a cloud of smog that stung her face.

    Fuck...this...place! She thought...

    Natalia listened carefully to the cowgirl sitting next to her. With a black pen in her hand, she began writing something on one of the pages of her "Hello Kitty" notebook.


    "Dear Harley,
    I am truly sorry for hurting your feelings by answering Ms. Maeda's question. And yes, maybe I could have done less with the explanation. I guess, I left the nerd in me take control of the situation and I let her run free so she could analyze every detail of the question.

    I consider you my friend and I will never hurt a friend on purpose. It deeply hurt me that you would think I would embarrass you or I would scar your back on purpose. You said you were not going to get mad over what happened but judging by your voice you definitely got hurt and for that, I am truly sorry. Could you please forgive this nerdy friend of yours?

    P.S. Being moody is okay, we are teenagers after all. ^^ And...if what you are going to tell me is related to the call you got earlier, please don't feel obligated to tell me anything....as I told you...I will patiently wait until you are ready to tell me."

    The blonde-haired girl ripped off the page from her notebook and folded it in half. She waited until Ms. Maeda turned her back to write something on the whiteboard and quickly placed the paper on Harley's notebook.

    As Ms. Maeda continued explaining about the Steps of the Scientific Method, the petite girl fixed her gaze on the whiteboard and resumed taking notes on her notebook.

    Suddenly, the bell rang. The second period was over, however, the class was not. This was a required course, which meant there were another forty-five minutes before the students could go to their next class.

    "Great idea, Mr. Felton", said Amelia. "Let's take him to the infirmary so he can rest."
    Her look turning into a dispirited one. "Although...I don't think Sam's parents can be contacted. My uncle is in England on a business trip and my aunt is on a cruise to the Bahamas with her friends..." As a bit of hope appeared on the green-eyed girl's visage, she uttered softly. "Maybe...she will come..."

    A few seconds had passed since Amelia's words when a kind-looking woman came rushing through the school entrance. Pushing the doors, the woman ran into the hall.

    "Sam...oh dear....I was right, you should not have come to school at all!"
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 7, 2018 ---
    Finally, the bell rang. Just a few more minutes and Harley could get out of this classroom. Closing her notebook and her textbook, she sat quietly with a slightly glum expression hanging on her face, waiting for Miss Maeda to dismiss the class. Meanwhile, she couldn't fight it as much as she tried. The pain of knowing her brother's life was hanging in the balance, it ravaged her inside. She tried not to let it show, tried not to let it bother her or the blonde beside her. She felt bad for being disappointed at her friend, and for an incredibly petty reason too.

    "Oh, hello there." Mr. Felton was a little taken back by the woman's sudden appearance, yet he put on a sincere smile. This must have been the person Amelia had mentioned earlier.

    Letting Sam down carefully, he approached the woman and presented his hand, "I'm Louis Felton, the photography teacher. You must be here for Samuel. I heard his parents were out of the country and I was just about to contact them after we brought Sam back to the infirmary."

    At that moment, Felton noticed behind the woman a red-haired student trudging through the hallway...pale as a ghost and with a troubled look. Helena was her name, a bright student she was in his class, but she never attended much, if any. "Ah, Miss Helena!" He tried to flag her down. "I'm glad you decided to join us for once. I haven't seen you in class lately. Is everything okay?"

    Helena looked at the teacher then to the kid Amelia was attempting to hold up. Jeez, kid looked like he was smoked. "Yeah. Everything's cool, Lou. Just uh...dealing with some issues." Helena's voice was quiet and kind of shaky.

    Mr. Felton frowned. "Well, Helena, I would love for you to talk to me about these um...issues, but right now might not be the best time. Do you mind helping Amelia carry Samuel to the infirmary?"

    Helena thought about it for a moment then shrugged, slipping her arm under Sam's and helping him stand. Sure Mr. Felton. I think I'll just carry Patient Zero to the infirmary instead. Oh no, I wasn't threatened at all by my junkie boss!
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 7, 2018 ---
    Chemistry class was finally over. Looking attentively at the whiteboard before her, Natalia finished copying the assignment for tomorrow.
    She closed her notebook and her textbook and put them in her handbag.

    "Something must be really upsetting her...", thought the petite blonde to herself as she gave a worried glance at the girl sitting next to her. "I hope she is still not mad at me..." After giving her the letter, the cowgirl had not said anything to her and had solely focused on Ms. Maeda and her class.
    Ending her class on the dot, Ms. Maeda looked at her students and reminded them of the assignment for tomorrow. "And one more thing", added the teacher. Her expression was softer than at the beginning of the class. "Please do not forget your white coats. We are going to do some experiments tomorrow!!".
    The petite girl got up from her seat and with a sweet expression on her face she uttered. "So what class you have next, Harley?"

    Gently shaking Mr. Felton's hand, the woman introduced herself. "I am Grace Lewis", said the woman with a caring smile on her visage. "I am Sammy's nanny."
    "No. You are not his nanny...", interrupted Ameilia with a sweet voice. "You are more than that." Letting Helene carry her cousin alone for a moment, the green-eyed girl ran towards the old woman. "You are his nanna..." She hugged Grace lovingly. "Our dear nanna."

    The gray-haired woman planted a kiss on Amelia's head. "It is great to see you, too my dear Amelia".
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 7, 2018 ---
    "H-huh?" The sweet voice of her friend seemed to have pulled her from whatever daze she was in. Harley, she could barely remember anything else before. There was something about an assignment and...lab coats?

    "Oh! Hang on! Lemme see!" She replied with a genuine smile of her own. Reaching into her back pocket, she pulled out her slightly crumpled schedule and smoothed it out on the table, skimming over it shortly. "Hmm, let's see here...Hey! Looks like I got a free period next! Y'all got anything?" Harley turned to Natalia sporting a grin.

    Phew! Good! I dunno if I can take any more classes right now! It'll be good just to take a break, get my mind clear. Hopefully, Nat's got free period too so we can hang out. Umm...that is...if she ain't mad at me still. I mean, I don't reckon she is, but...

    "Miss Lewis." Mr. Felton grinned shaking her hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm glad you have arrived on such short notice. I was worried nobody would be coming for poor Samuel here."

    It warmed his heart too to see how close Sam and Amelia were to this woman. It made him think of perhaps how he wanted to be to his new son. Admittedly, even for a man set for life, being a father was a tough responsibility, and he had hoped in this city, his son didn't end up on the wrong side of the tracks...like his brother.

    Adjusting his specs, the man smiled giving a nod. "Well now, I'm glad to see the situation is under control." But suddenly, his phone rang in his pocket. "If you'll excuse me, I need to take this. Again, Miss Lewis, thank you for taking care of Samuel. Goodbye now." He smiled again turning around and pulling his phone from the pocket of his blazer...but when he saw the contact name, he frowned and sighed bitterly.

    No...not him, dammit.

    Call From:
    Darren Felton

    Meanwhile, Helena struggled a bit holding Samuel up. Kid looked like hammered shit to her and felt like he stood in front of an industrial heater all day long. Hearing that that Grace chick was their nanny kinda surprised her.

    A nanny? Jeez, these kids must be loaded as fuck. Well I mean they have to be to be attending this fancy ass school. She'll admit too...it bothered her to see how loving the woman was.

    Turning away from the sight of Amelia hugging the woman, she grimaced, even listening to how saccharine her words were to the little nerd.

    Gag! Talk about a cuteness overload! I'd rather listen to my dad or Darry yelling at me over this shit...then again...

    "Hey, kid." Helena looked down at Samuel. "You feeling okay? You're not gonna turn into a zombie or start puking blood, are you?" Dryly Helena quipped. To be fair, she was a little concerned, especially when the kid pretty much looked like the walking dead.
    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 7, 2018 ---
    Pulling out of her bag a pink-leather Hello Kitty schedule book, Natalia placed the planner on the table.


    She opened the schedule book and pulled out a piece of paper. "I have a free period as well", said the blonde girl with excitement. "I am free until 11:00 a.m."

    Before saying goodbye to the teacher, Grace sincerely thanked the man for taking care of Samuel. "Thank you very much for taking care of my Sammy, Mr. Felton", said the woman as the instructor turned around and walked away.
    Observing that Helena was struggling to hold Samuel in her arms, Amelia rushed to the skater girl's side. She placed both of her arms underneath the sick boy.

    "Thank you for helping me carry my cousin!", expressed the green-eyed girl with sincere gratitude.
    The gray-haired woman looked at the red-haired girl and asked. "My dear girl, could you be so kind as to help Amelia move Samuel to the car waiting outside for us?"

    Getting up from the gymnastics mat in the room, Jason walked towards a nearby table where he had left his clothes on.

    "Do you really have to go?", asked Madison with a little girl's voice still laying on the mat. She was partly covered by a bath towel.
    Pulling up his shorts, the brown-haired boy replied. "Yes, babe." He put his t-shirt on and continued. "Coach is going to kill me if I keep skipping more classes...especially if I skip P.E....he is the teacher in that class after all."

    Kneeling down, Jason leaned forward and gave the pink-haired girl a passionate kiss. "Meet you after basketball practice, okay?" He stood up and finally put his letter jacket on.

    Looking at the captain boy with the eyes of a predator who had not finished eating her prey, the young temptress removed the towel from her body and revealed the alluring bare figure underneath.

    "Aren't you forgetting something?", the green-eyed girl asked in a sultry tone as she handed the towel to her boyfriend.
    As Jason got closer to take the piece of cloth, Madison pulled the tower towards her, making the captain boy get on his knees. She clasped the brown-eyed boy's head and French kissed him.

    Taking the towel in his hand, the tall boy gently removed himself from her girlfriend's grasp. "Baby...stopping turning me on or I will never make it to class."
    He put the towel inside his backpack and got on his feet. "I love you, Madison", declared the brown-haired boy tossing his bag over his shoulder.

    "Don't forget that is jacuzzi night at my place tonight", reminded the pink-haired girl to her boyfriend as he turned around and walked away.
    "I would not miss it for the world", assured her Jason as he closed the door behind him.

    Looking at the ceiling, Madison thought to herself. "I guess I should start moving and focus on school a bit, too...I mean...my homework won't do itself..."
    With a smirk on her face, she began to dress. Once the pink-haired girl had finished dressing, she grabbed her cell phone from her Gucci leather backpack.

    "Today is Monday so...", Madison said and she dialed a phone number. At the first ring, the call was answered.
    "Hi there~ We have free period now, right?". The green-eyed girl paused before continuing. "Let's meet there in five minutes".
    She hung up and put the cell phone back in her bag. Turning off the light before leaving, the pink-haired girl opened the door and sauntered to her next destination.
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