"I was inspired to write this story after I decided to rewrite diary entries into fiction events...
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I believe I will always remember my sophomore year at Rillian Hansen Academy. It feels like it was only yesterday my mom was helping me pack my clothes and Somehow, though, I couldn't process that I was really going there until I got off the plane in San Francisco at eleven o'clock at night, and was loaded into a dark “bullet bus” as I heard the driver call it, a dimly lit bus with no seats—just handrails; and the walls of the bus were windows. I was worried that there would be jerks running back and forth in the bus, but once we were all shoved in there was barely room to move. The door to the bus crashed shut, and I held my breath. Was I entering a prison to survive for a school year? I never exactly was ever popular with the girls at my old school, and the guys? No way would they ever have liked me, but at least they left me alone. Now I was stuffed in a bus without knowing a soul, but I could be anyone I wanted to be here—finally, a new start. Okay...new friends...
Lights of passing cars flashed by in the dark bus. I turned to my left. A girl with long orange hair was rhythmically tapping her glowing phone. I turned to my right. An Asian-looking boy was talking rapidly with his group of friends. Everywhere I looked, I was surrounded by a population of interacting stranger teens. I gazed at the streetlights sliding away from me through a bunch of moving heads. I felt lost. Would I ever be able to call Rillian C. Hansen Academy home? Or was going to be one lonely girl for my whole sophomore year? I had been home schooled for all of middle school. Would I fit in...I didn't remember much about going to school, and nothing about a boarding school. Plus, most of the kids were returning students...I just happened to be starting school here in 10th grade instead of 9th. I yawned and shifted. What if—
I whipped my head around. “Sorry! I—”
“Watch it!” snapped the platinum blonde girl.
Wouldn't you know it...I'm having a record start already, I thought. I inched away from her, and I felt my shoulder bash into somebody's arm. I heard a grunt.
“Sorry!” I whirled around to the point of contact.
“Nah, it's okay.” said a mid-tone deep voice.
I raised my head. Deep, dark brown eyes in a cute guy's face looked down back at me.
“Are you new?”
“Yeah, um, actually.” I laughed at myself, embarrassed. “Can you tell?”
“No, I just...never saw you before. I mean...from last year.”
“Oh, okay. That's good, I guess.” I was squirming inside for space (and a hiding spot). “It's crowded in here.”
“Yeah. It was this way last year, too.”
I was too embarrassed to continue, but he didn't stop staring at me. “So, what's your—”
The brakes of the bus squealed to a stop.
“Alright, guys. Out!” yelled the driver.
Kids started piling out of the hot bus faster than 60 mph. I saw him blush a little, and he motioned for me to go ahead of him. I climbed down the stairs and raised my vision to the docks we landed at. I stopped in my tracks. I read the side of the humongous ocean liner—Sirienne.
“Huh. Whatever that means.” I said under my breath. I thought of all the luxurious names of cruise ships like the Coral Princess and the Island Dream...I even wrote a short story about a romance on a cruise ship, and then the ship sank in the end. Maybe I shouldn't think about that now, I thought.
“HEY!” A girl yelled. I caught sight of a tanned girl with a high black ponytail started galloping toward me like she knew me since preschool. Oh boy. She skidded to a stop in front of me. “How's it going, girl?” She held up her hand for a high five.
I high-fived her thinking Oh no. She thinks I'm somebody else... “Um, good.” I answered, not knowing what to do.
“Cool. You new?”
“Yeah.” I felt really shy.
“Awesome. What's your name?” She said. Her face had sharply defined features and a thin jaw, and she was obviously no stranger to the sun or exercise.
“I'm Sylvania; most call me Syl or Sylvi. Nice to meet ya. Are you a freshman?”
“No, I'm a sophomore.”
“NO WAY! So am I. Welcome to RHA, kid.”
“Around here we call it RHA—ya know, for Rillian Hansen Academy? Ya might wanna remember that.”
“Got it. Thanks.”
“No problemo. What team were you assigned to?”
“Um, I think I was assigned to Dolphins...but I'm not positive.” I remembered something about the teams in the handbook, but never finished reading it on the plane. I looked behind me and saw the cute guy pass by, and look at me. I blushed and turned back to Sylvania, hoping she didn't notice. She gave me a funny look, and quizzically examined him as if she knew who he was, but seemed to ignore the incident.
“Get out! I'm a dolphin too. Rock the house! Wanna bunk with me? On the ship, I mean. Ya look lost—no offense or anything.”
A girl pounded up to us.
“Hey, Krystal.” Sylvania said.
“Hey. What's up?”
“Met a new Dolphin sophomore. Name's Megan.”
The dark-skinned girl had long black braids in purple and blue beads, and a big smile. “Hey, Megan. I'm Krystal. I'm a Dolphin chick too. Nice to meet you.”
“Hey, Krys—wanna be roomies?”
“Sure.” A boy came up behind her. “Oh, hey Lee.” She hugged him and they walked away together.
Sylvania tossed her long bangs out of her eyes, and whispered, “In case ya wonderin', that's Lee. If you hang with Krys, you're gonna find out ALL about that dude.”
A guy with a bullhorn announced, “J!”
“That's me, Krystal Jones!. See ya 'round, guys.”
“See ya. Pick a cool room close to a bathroom!” yelled Syl.
“Will do.” Krystal yelled back.
Syl then swished her black ponytail to me. “What's ya last name—I don't mean it personally.”
“Then you'll go when they call out the K's. I'm a V—Valiran. Just hang out on the deck until they call the V's, 'kay?”
A blonde girl in all pink leaned an arm Sylvi's shoulder. “Well, hi Syl. Thanks for saying hi back. Hey, thanks for the intro the new girl. We can't all keep up with the social life in the next five minutes. But, you know, I heard from Michael, oh and Chloe said—”
“SLOW DOWN, Claire. Geez.” Syl knocked off the arm covered in bracelets. “This is Megan. Megan, this is Claire.”
“Hi, Megan. Hey, Syl—seriously I gotta tell you this. Mike said that this chick from Atlanta said that—”
“Tell Krystal.” said Syl.
“Hey, isn't she sleeping with you? Then do you mind if I lounge with you guys?”
“I'm pretty sure I'm not your type, shorty.” said Syl, but with a grin.
“Very hilarious, Sylvania. But thank you so much for your kindness. And I brought a buddy so I won't be lonely.”
“Oh, great. Who?”
“What?” Sylvania mock whined.
“HEY JACKIE!” yelled Claire. “I found us a group!”
“You ain't paintin' my nails.” muttered Sylvi, and she turned to me and shrugged.
A hispanic-looking girl with long black hair and red highlights ran up. “You found us a room? Wait—who are you?”
“Megan. Newbie sophomore Dolphin.” introduced Syl.
“Nice to see a new face. Figures Syl found a new buddy before she got on board—are you ever shy?”
“K's!” yelled the guy with the bullhorn.
“See ya Megan.” Syl waved with a smile as I ran up to the staff to show me my ID. I waited on the deck, keeping my eyes peeled for my new friend to come up. I looked over the ocean...the portal to a new world to me. There was winds kicking up my short blonde hair and clouds in the dark sky. Even though I couldn't see any stars, the sky was colored deep, impenetrable hues of greens, blues and grays. I didn't know what lied ahead beyond those mysterious masses, but I felt ready to face them. I felt a strange peace...I wondered if sailor's blood was in my veins, because I felt almost electrified by the winds trying to blow me over and the waves below me ready to take me down. I was going to do this—victory goes to those who stay for the fireworks.
A staff member interrupted us. “Are you five together?”
“For better or worse.” stated Syl flatly.
He smiled a little. “Room 212.”
“Thanks, man.” Sylvi gave me the handle of my luggage and whispered to me “I would have said sir, but he's like, 17.”
I nodded with a smile, as I heard Claire loudly whisper “He's sooo cute!”
“I don't know. I go for blonds, personally.” said Jackie.
“Oooooooo, like Donovan?” giggled Claire.
“Oooooooo, like Donovan?” Sylvania mocked in a chipmunk voice.
“No denying that dude's got some looks!” giggled Jackie back.
“Who's Donovan?” I asked.
“Enlighten her, Claire.” said Syl.
“Well...he's a Dolphin sophomore. He's got short blondish-brown hair, these gorgeous brown eyes, a long nose, long jaw, and...”
“Oh, geez, Claire.” said Syl.
“Okay, fine. He's also the star basketball dude on the team, and a really nice guy...which is pretty much why every chick falls for him. He got SO CUTE over the summer.”
“Does he like the girls?” I asked.
“Who knows. No one can really figure him out.” said Jackie.
“Is all you two ditzes talk about is boys?” asked Syl.
“Oh, come on, Syl. Even you must have somebody you like.” said Krystal.
“Oooooooo, I bet I know! Is it—”
“212, here we go. Whaddaya think? Stinks we couldn't pick our room.”
“I call top bunk!” squealed Jackie.
“Hey, hold it!” Syl blocked her way. “Newbie goes first.”
Once we were all settled in, Syl asked in a spooky voice, “Wanna hear a ghost story?”
“No way—not before bed! You'll give newbie nightmares.” laughed Krystal.
“Hey, Syl...do you think the Dolphins will like me?” I asked.
“”Well, they might bite your toes if you're wearing the wrong sunscreen, but...”
“Okay, well let's do this logically. I like ya. That's a start. And everybody loves me, so...” she joked.
“I like you!” chimed in Jackie.
“Me too!” said Claire.
“Yeah. You're cool.” said Krystal.
“Really Megan, the only person whose likely to give you crud is Chloe—with of course, the assistance of Jasmine and the gang.” said Krystal.
“And maybe Ryo.” added Claire.
“Nah. Ryo's cool. She's just not a people person, unlike you two.”
Then Jackie remembered something. “Oh Claire! Did you see Dominic—”
“YES!” giggled Claire.
“Oh, and I figured out something, Syl.”
“What in your little genius mind did you figure out?” asked Syl, obviously at the end of her patience.
“Mike likes Syl-van-ia! Mike likes Syl-van-ia!” Jackie chanted.
“Yeah, right. Are you 2 years old?” said Syl, but in a different voice.
“Who's Mike, and Dominic?” I felt clueless.
“Oh, no worries, Megan.” said Krystal. “You'll get to meet them all at the dance.”
“Oh yeah—you probably don't know what that means. Well—”
A lady opened our door, and said “Time for silence, girls. Go to bed. If you keep talking you'll get a demerit.” and she turned out the light and slammed the door.
“Goodnight, newbie.” whispered Sylvania.