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We pulled into the circular driveway of Beckman Academy and my dad stopped the car. I told myself I could do this. It wouldn’t be that bad. Anything was better than my old school full of people I didn’t want to think about. Both my mom and my dad unbuckled and climbed out of our old Volvo station wagon. I slowly unbuckled, staring out the window at the looming school above me. As I opened the old rusted door I grabbed my small bag. Both my parents were standing outside the car with smiles on their face. They were so excited for me to be going to such a high esteemed school. My dad had already gotten my beaten up brown suitcase out of the trunk. It was sitting lonely on the pavement by itself. I noticed the girls around me exiting their cars. Piles of suitcases surrounded each of them. I already knew I wasn’t going to fit in at this school. If anything I would stick out like a sore thumb. But this move was for the best.
“Come here my big high schooler!” My mom said pulling me into a hug and kissing me on the cheek.
I pulled away and immediately my dad wrapped his muscular arms around me. “You’ll do fine, pumpkin. I know you will.” He kissed the top of my head and let me go. I turned and grabbed hold of my suitcase, adjusted the strap of my bag back onto my shoulder and turned to face the school. This was going to be an interesting experience indeed.
“Bye mom, bye dad.” I called waving back at them.
“Bye sweetie.” My mom called as I walked away into the wrought iron gate that led into the school. Down below was the giant hill that approached the school. As I made it past the entryway my jaw dropped. The place had looked huge in the glossy brochure pictures but they did no justice to how big, not to mention how beautiful, the school actually was.
“Wow.” I whispered taking in my surroundings. Girls were gathered around in groups screaming and rejoicing in seeing each other again. The boys were gathered around throwing footballs and secretly checking out the girls.
I pulled out the paper I had in my bag that told me what to do the first day. I was staying in the freshmen dorm, called Everard, but I had no idea where that was. I walked up to a nice looking girl about my age, she had blonde hair that fell halfway down her back. She was pulling a fancy looking suitcase behind her.
“Hey, do you know where Everard is?”
The girl looked over at me and smiled.
“Hey, no I don’t. I am so lost. I was trying to look for my sister but I can’t find her. She’s a junior, she would know where it is.”
“Oh, I’m Annalise, Anna for short.”
“I’m Izzie, short for Isabelle.”
“It’s nice to meet you.”
“You too. So we have to go to the deans office…any idea where that is?”
“Not a clue.”
I laughed and she did too. I could feel the start of a budding friendship, I didn’t expect that so soon. But it’s great, so I can’t argue.
We walked around searching and we finally found it. We both headed in together and walked up to the receptionist sitting behind a large wood desk. Her name plate read Mrs. Castille.
“Excuse me,” I said breaking the dead silence in the room.
She looked up at me and lowered her glasses. “Yes, may I help you?”
“Yes, we need to see the dean. We are new here.”
“Oh, okay. You can go right on in. I think there might be someone in there but you can wait until she’s done.”
“Okay.” I said walking away and sitting down in a blue chair right outside the dean’s office. Izzie sat down next to me. After a couple of minutes a stunningly tall girl with long straight black hair walked out. The term, girl, didn’t do her justice, goddess would have suited her better. Her perfectly proportioned face was held high, following after was her expertly yet effortlessly planned outfit. The way she walked fit with the whole picture. Elite and privileged were the first things that came to mind. She acted as though she owned the place. I wouldn’t be surprised if her father actually did. There was no mistaking her air of superiority.
She glanced down at us as she exited the dean’s office, smirked and walked on by. There was no way to explain the deep feeling of sinking dread that she caused by that one look. I made a note to myself to never cross her the wrong way.
“Who was that?” I asked Izzie.
“I don’t know. But I’m sure we will find out sooner or later.”
“Yeah I guess.” I said getting up and heading into the dean’s office.
As I stepped inside, shutting the door behind me, the dean focused his brown eyes on me. He was very good looking in my opinion and couldn’t be over thirty.
“Hello,” He said, “Annalise Price, right?”
“Yes,” I said surprised he knew my name. “That’s me.”
“Good, here’s your schedule for this year. Are there any changes you would like to make? This is your only chance to do so.”
I took the schedule from his hands and looked down at it. Honors Geometry, Honors Biology, Honors English, French 2, and Art 3. It all looked right.
“I hope you know that taking so many high level classes is a risk? Our honors courses are way above your old school.”
I bristled, what did this guy know about my old school. Maybe I didn’t get along with the people there, but that didn’t mean that the school wasn’t good.
“I’m sure I can handle it.” I said through my teeth.
“And I hope you learn to control your attitude as well. We don’t tolerate that here like they did.”
My whole body shook with anger but I controlled it like he said to.
“I know. Thank you for your time.” I said practically tripping on the carpet on my way out.
“We will be watching you Ms. Price. One slip and your scholarship is gone.” He said and then changed his tone, “I hope you enjoy yourself here.” And then he smiled a smile that made my blood run cold, this man was not the nice, understanding individual I had first mistaken him as.
“Thank you, sir.” I said and shut the door quickly.
I walked out and almost forgot about Izzie sitting in her seat waiting.
“Anna!” She called out as I walked by.
I looked back about to snap and then I stopped myself. “Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” I said walking over and sitting down.
“It’s okay.” She said as she got up and headed into Dean Bowman’s office.
I waited quietly for her and then we headed over to Everard together using the map she had asked for. It was an old building made out of brick with vines crawling up the sides. It was beautiful. We headed inside through the wood doors and headed to our room which it turns out we were sharing. What a coincidence.
As we stepped inside I marveled at how nice the place was. There were two wood single beds covered in simple green and white comforters along with two desks and dressers. There was a bathroom on each floor for all the girls on that floor to use. I had been expecting this; it’s too much for every room to have their own bathroom, though it would be nice.
I started unpacking my single suitcase while Izzie unpacked her two huge ones. I pulled out my clothes and stashed them into the drawers; I had never been a neat person when it came to my clothing. They were so cheap that it didn’t matter what I did with them. I then unpacked my toiletries and left them onto of my dresser in an old cosmetics case I had had forever. Lastly I pulled out my textbooks and brand new Macbook. It had been my 14th birthday present and I treasured it so much. I needed it to, going away to school where I wouldn’t be able to use my mom’s old Dell computer. I organized all my items on my desk. When it came to school, I did everything I could to be organized. If I didn’t, things went downhill. I moved over towards my bed and stored my suitcase underneath and sat down, looking over at Izzie.
“You’re done already?” She asked looking at me with surprise.
“Yeah, I didn’t have a lot.”
“Wow,” She said pulling out one colorful top after the other and folding it neatly into her dresser.
“Hey!” An unfamiliar voice rang out into the room from the doorway.
Izzie looked over and squealed, dropping a green tee on her bed and running over to the petite girl with beautiful curly strawberry blonde hair standing in the door way.
“Oh my god!” They both said jumping up and down.
“Alli, this is Annalise.” Izzie said gesturing to me still sitting on my bed.
“Hey, I’m Allison.” She walking over.
“Hey.” I said shyly getting up.
“We’re all going downstairs to watch a movie, do you guys want to join?” She asked looking to both Izzie and I.
“Totally, come on Anna.” Izzie said started to head out the door.
I contemplated meeting the girls and bonding but I didn’t feel like it just yet. I was already starting to feel kind of home sick.
“Actually I think I will stay here.” I said sitting back down and opening up my macbook on my lap.
“Are you sure?” She asked.
“Yeah, you go ahead.” I said waving my hand.
“Okay.” She said hesitantly.
“Really,” I said looking up. “I am just feeling kind of home sick.”
“Okay, but if you feel like it, head on down.”
“Okay, I will.”
“Alright then.” She said closing the door and walking away with Allison.
I opened up my email and smiled when I saw a new message with my older brothers name next to it.
How’s the fancy posh academy? I’m still stuck up here at Yale, fun fun fun. Yeah mom and dad are so happy I’m here but you and I both know I don’t want this. After getting kicked out of Brown… well you know. ;)
But I could never tell them that. And you could never tell them that you don’t like Beckam, especially after they pulled out all the stops to get you there. But I know you can do it little sis! You’re smarter, stronger, better than me, if anyone can make it through, it’s you!
I, on the other hand… well, we’ll see how this one goes. ;)
Love you like a dog,
I found myself smiling as I finished reading the email. I hit the reply button and sent a simple message of my own.
Yeah I don’t really know what this place will be like. My roommate is cool but everyone else looks iffy. I don’t think I will be fitting in any time soon. But you and I both know that that’s nothing new for me. I’ll just focus on my studies, like always.
Love you too big bro,
I pressed send and closed my email. What was I going to do now? I was tempted to call my parents but then I didn’t want to. I didn’t feel up to explaining my day down to the very minute detail. I sat there looking out my window and then I got myself up, combed my fingers through my straight brown hair and headed downstairs. I might as well start to get to know these girls I would be living with.
I entered the common room right off the stairs and looked around in the dark. Izzie was snuggled into the corner next to Allison and she had an open space next to her. I silently made my way over there and sat down.
“Hey.” I whispered.
She looked over and smiled.
“Hey, I had a feeling that you would finally show up.”
I smiled, sat back, and enjoyed the show. Half way through the movie one of the girls in front got up, paused the movie and called everyone’s attention.
“I’m going to make snacks, would anyone like to join me?” The cute brunette asked, she was wearing a purple strapless dress that looked great on her. I would kill to be able to pull that off but I never will be able to. I accepted that fact a long time ago.
When nobody raised her hand I had the sudden urge to raise mine and I did.
“Oh great!” She said with a smile on her face. “Come on.”
“Um, excuse me?” I searched for the voice and found it over on the opposite side of the room. I tried to make out the girls face, but the room was too dark. “We want to continue the movie so can you please move your butt along? Thanks.” She smirked and stared down the brunette.
I kept looking, but then I placed her voice and I didn’t need to look anymore. It was the girl from the office earlier. How could I have mistaken that?
“Yeah, sure,” She stuttered back, I was in the middle of standing up and hurried my way over to her. “Anything for you, Paige.” She scurried out of the room before Paige could catch her sarcastic tone.
“Hey, thanks for coming with me. I’m Riley by the way.” She said once we were safely in the mini kitchen.
“No problem. Who is that girl? Oh and I’m Annalise.”
“Yeah I guess.”
“She rulers over everyone and everything here. If there’s one person you don’t want to mess with. It’s her.”
“But it’s only the first day…” I started.
“We all know each other from our old school. I’m getting the drift that you didn’t go there.”
“Yeah, no I didn’t.”
“Where did you go?”
“Um, I went to a public school around here. Maybe you heard of it, The Heights Middle School.”
“Oh... um no I haven’t. I’ve been in private school my whole life.”
“Yeah so don’t get on Paige’s bad side. It won’t go well for you.”
“Okay, I’ll try.”
She laughed as she popped bags of organic microwave popcorn. I had never heard of organic popcorn. It seemed like a weird idea to me. But I found out that everything comes in an organic version as I opened the few cupboard doors. There was organic pasta, organic crackers, and organic cereal. It went on and on. The elite like their food healthy obviously; they wouldn’t want to ruin their image. Their skinny as hell, shiny hair, full lips, and designer clothed bodies. Of course they have to have special food as well. I was used to eating home cooked meals made by my mom that consisted of meat and sauces and lots of carbs. Her food always seemed delicious to me then and it still does.
As I opened the refrigerator to check out what was in there I found nothing that resembled red meat. It was all turkey and soy products, whatever that is.
“Do we eat our meals in the dorm?” I asked looking over at Riley who was preparing some cheese and crackers on a platter.
“No, they have a dining hall where everyone eats breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is just for us whenever we’re hungry. It’s too small for us to eat here.”
I looked around. It might be small to them but this kitchen was the same size as mine was back at home.
“You coming, Annalise? Or are you going to dissect the kitchen more?”
“No I’m coming.” I shut the fridge and grabbed the popcorn bowl, following Riley out the swinging door.
“Finally!” Paige exclaimed as we walked in. “It took you forever!”
Riley silently handed her a bowl of popcorn and then started passing them to everyone.
“Is this fat free with no preservatives?” Paige asked picking gingerly at the popcorn in her bowl.
“Yes, Paige, it’s organic too.”
“Yeah, whatever.” Paige dismissed her and started eating popcorn slowly and daintily.
I returned to my seat with my bowl of popcorn and started to eat it like Paige was. I couldn’t keep it up though. I ended up eating my whole bowl and getting seconds. I think I was the only girl who did.