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“Have a great day,” Suzanna said.
I gave her my best smile anyway and started walking towards Red Dawn High school. Today is my first day as a freshman, oh joy. As I meander towards my life for the next four years I glance at the crowds of people. All of them being reunited after a summer that, to me, wasn't long enough. As usual, nobody gives me as much as a sideways glance. I don't exist.
It's been like this since 7th grade. My parents were very loving people, so the whole town loved them. My father was a firefighter and my mother was a teacher at my old elementary school. So when they died in an unexplainable fire, everyone was upset. But here's the catch, I was in the same house, but I survived with nothing but a haunting memory. Shortly after I, of course, was sent to a foster home, and the rumor spread that I had somehow caused it and did it on purpose. So I still blame myself for it.
Its not fair that they died and I lived, that people that everyone loved, died, and a girl that nobody noticed until that day, lived. I continued school but everyone ignored me, and I ignored them. Its always going to be like that. For most of 7th grade I was alone. Until Suzanna and her amazing family adopted me. She has 2 children of her own, and 3 that she has adopted, not including me. But, now they are all I need, because they are the only people who care. I guess I'm just fine with that.
The unpleasant bell rings and every single student starts rushing to the ancient looking building. I amble towards the enormous crowd of kids, all trying to fit through two giant doors. More eager to learn students come up behind me, and I am engulfed into the crowd.
After what seems like an eternity, its my turn to step into the packed halls of “the home of the fireflies.” At first I am very hesitant to move anywhere. But, I'm shoved from behind and I walk through the blood red doors and enter the high school. All there is to see is one never-ending hall, with tons of doors on the sides. Many teachers are standing outside their classrooms helping bewildered freshmans find the way to their first class.
With my school map in hand I make my way to room 704, math. Finally, after a minute, or a year, of slipping past people. I see room 704. I nod at the gray-haired lady next to the door, I can only assume she is my 1st hour teacher. The old woman gives me an encouraging grin, “You can sit in any seat you'd like.” I return her smile and walk into the room.
Only a few students are in the classroom. They give me a quick glance, but they just as quickly look away when they realize its me. I do my best to ignore them and pick the seat right in front of my math teacher's desk. In the exact spot I know that every student will avoid. My eyes flash to the white board where is said; Welcome to Math! - Mrs. Hale. So the elderly woman's name is Mrs. Hale.
The horrible sounding bell rings once again and a large amount of students enter room 704. Mrs. Hale follows quickly behind them. The old woman practically skips to the front of the room and the other kids take their seats. None of them seat anywhere near me. Mrs. Hale restates what is on the board but adds that we are going to have a “fantastic” year. She picks up a white sheet of paper off of her desk and begins taking role. I block out everyone's name. I know I'll never use them because I wont ever talk to them, and vice versa.
I can tell Mrs. Hale is getting close to the end of role so I listen for my name. Everyone is talking and laughing behind me.
“Mark Riggings?” said Mrs. Hale.
“Here!” shouts a male voice.
When Mrs. Hale said, '”Marielle Sanders?” the room goes so silent that you can hear everyone's breathing.
“Here!” I say. The whole room keeps the silence until she calls the next student.
Mrs. Hale sits down at her brown desk and enters the role into the computer. The entire time I hear people behind me talking about summer parties and events, none of which I was invited to. I got so mad but quietly continued to listen. I notice two things at once. One; its really hot in the room now, and two; Mrs. Hale is staring at my hands. So I look at them too. What I find, is not what I suspected at all.
The pencil I have in my hand, and both of my hands are on fire. I gasp, and look at Mrs. Hale wondering why she isn't freaking out, and why my hands don't hurt. Now in-front of my desk, Mrs. Hale said, “Just calm down.”
“What?” I ask her.
“Whatever is making you mad, doesn't matter, they,” and she points at the other students, now frozen in time, “don't matter.”
I begin to question her but she said; “Go to the front of the school and get in the car, don't ask questions because they will lead to more questions. But don't worry, they will all be answered.”
look at her and then at my hands, now completely normal, except for my charred pencil.
“Go!” my math teacher shouts.
I jump out of my seat and bolt out of the room. I go as quickly as I can back through the giant red doors and exit the building that I had entered only a few minutes ago. Outside, two men in black outfits grab my arms. I'm so scared that I don't argue. They put me into a black van. Inside the car is another man in all black gear. He shoves a cup in my hand and tells me to drink it. Again frightened, I do what he said. The man takes the cup back. I want to ask so many questions already, but, for some reason I trust what Mrs. Hale said. Then I fell on the floor of the van, and everything went black.
“Marielle! Marielle!” a deep voice was shouting.
I open my eyes to find the man that gave me the water was the one shouting at me. Why does he know my name? We were both still in the van.
“I'm Jack,” the knock-out-water guy said, “follow me.” he said.
Jack hopped out of the van and into, wherever we are. I got out of my kidnappers' car, and realize the two other men are gone. I hear the crashing waves of an ocean and the rumbling of what sounded like a volcano. I looked around me and saw jungle in-front of me, and ocean behind me. In the distance I could see a volcano and a mountain range. Immediately I have more questions. Where are we? Why are we here? But I kept thinking about what Mrs. Hale had said, and kept quiet.
I remembered Jack and looked for him. He had left me and was walking way up ahead.
“Hey!” I shouted which didn't help at all because my kidnapper just kept walking.
I began to sprint towards him. I was almost caught up to Jack when I heard that loud volcano noise again. The jungle ground began to shake, and graceful me, tripped. I stay on the ground until the shaking stopped. I picked myself up off the ground and once again, searched for Jack.
That good for nothing kidnapper was as from from me as he was before I had begun sprinting! I did my most dramatic sign and began to sprint once again. This time I caught up to Jack, who looked very bothered by me, so I decided my 20 questions game could wait.
After walking the Tour DE France, Jack and I reached a huge Multi-colored building. It has two large gray doors that reminded me of Red Dawn high school. Which again made me think of a billion questions all at once. I hoped whatever was in this building, or whoever, could help me answer all of them. Jack, right in-front of me, was about a foot from the big doors, and I was certain he'd walk right into them, but i was wrong. The doors automatically opened for him and he walked inside. Here I was again, hesitant to enter giant doors. But the look Jack gave me made me run through the doors.
Inside, well, it did not look anything like the outside, except for the repeating of colors. Its fancier than a 5 star hotel and resort. A dark blue carpet with light blue lace design. Olive green walls, and blood red furniture. These colors don't match at all, but for some reason in this room, they did. A woman with blonde hair and a light blue shirt sat at the red desk.
“Hello Mae” Jack said to her.
“Hello Jack, she replied as she looked at me, “and you must be Marielle!”
I questioningly glanced at Jack then when I looked back at Mae, her insanely big grin, just made me ask one question.
“How do you know my name?” I asked Mae.
“Oh everyone knows your name!” she said.
Mrs. Hale was right, an answer only leads me to more questions. Mae glanced at the green clock on the wall.
“Oh, Jack you better take her now! Goodbye Marielle, see you soon!”
I waved at her and smiled. Jack began to walk, again, so I followed, again. We went through an olive door out of the lobby. From there we went down a dark blue hall, we passed several different colored doors. All of the same four colors repeat, odd.
Jack and I entered a red door, and were led into a gray room. Inside was a gray table with 9 chairs, 2 dark blue, 2 light blue, 2 green, 2 red, and 1 gray. The same colors, again. There are people in the chairs, and the shirt they wore matched the chair they are sitting in, as if planned. Could this get any stranger? And I answered my own question, because when I looked at the empty gray chair, and then the man standing next to it, I had billions of questions.
Half of his face was unrecognizable, burnt I think. But the other half of his face, I knew very well, but haven't seen in about two years.