• September 12th, 2007. The 28th of eighth grade. The day to remember as The Day of New Beginnings. The day that I will never forget.

    My morning routine navigating through Mountain Trail Middle Schools’ campus was always the same; arrive, eat breakfast in the cafeteria, nap at the table until the cafeteria lady loses her mind (again) and kicks me out, sneak past the duty aids, search the buildings and explore the campus for vacant out-of-sight spots where I couldn’t be bothered, and they remained unknown. . .for about a month.
    I believe that was the morning I discovered the broken lock on the abandoned girls’ bathroom, which was my “main base” of refuge throughout seventh grade, was replaced by some new shiny, up-to-date lock that needed a code in order for it to open.
    Wow, I thought, I really am the biggest pain in the a** to deal with if they have to install this on an abandoned bathroom. I played with the buttons until the warning light flashed, then laughed, but at the same time I was kind of sad. Oh, how I’d miss my place of refuge.
    As I turned away, the blinding rays of the autumn morning sun burned into my eyes, making little spots dance before me. Fantastic, I thought as I shielded my eyes, brilliant wake up call. After sitting in the shade under the stairs, the spots eventually disappeared, and I continued with my morning routine.
    It was about 7:30 in the morning, way before the duty aids usually got there, giving me the advantage and time to explore almost the whole campus for new spots to hide. I marked the shaded spot on the map on the back of my planner with an ‘X’ and moved onto my next target: the F building hallways.
    I was about halfway there, passing the armadas, when I felt a sudden yank on my backpack. “Hey, I kept calling for you!” I whirled around, ready to throw a bunch of curse words, expecting some obnoxious seventh grade guys to make remarks about my height.
    Well, I was right about the seventh grader part. Instead of some guys, I was face-to-face with a girl, her strawberry-blonde hair reached her shoulders. Her eyes- my lord, her eyes-they were an intimidating blue, but still held some friendliness. She grinned, “I see your hiding place has been locked up.” I felt the corner of my mouth twitch; I don’t even know this girl and I already want to hit her, I thought. “Yeah, I guess,” I muttered, my eyes glued to the ground. “Well, since you have nowhere to go, come sit with us!” Before I could even protest, she snatched my arm up and hauled me to a filled picnic table. She crammed me in a spot between an older mustached boy with black spiked hair and a girl with short auburn hair. The short haired girl seemed a bit surprised with my entrance, but gave me a smile. “Hi!” she said, giving me a big hug as if she had known me for years. I felt my cheeks flush; Bold, I thought, very bold.
    “Okay, so welcome to the Clan of Awesomeness!” my attacker said with enthusiasm. “I’m Audra Allen,” she said pointing to herself.
    “I’m Audra Carlisle.” the short haired girl said, “You can call your crazy fan girl over there Mikey.” She laughed. The spiky-haired boy thumped his chest. “And you can call me Noe. I’m awesome.” He said with a stupid grin. The corner of my mouth twitched again. I can see I’m going to get along fine with these people, I thought sarcastically. One of the girls sitting across from me spoke up; she was about the same height I was (thank God) with black hair and heavy eyeliner. “I’m Taline,” she pointed to the goth girl wearing a ton of black and bright red lipstick next to her, “this is-“
    “Amber?” I finished. I knew her, she was in my study skills. Amber smiled and nodded wordlessly. Taline moved her finger to the wavy haired brunette next to her who was rocking out to her iPod, which was so loud I knew exactly what band she was listening to and what song it was. “Ashley!” Taline shouted, trying to get the brunettes attention. She jabbed a finger (ironically, her middle finger) into Ashleys rib. Ashley cursed and demanded loudly (without stopping her music) what Taline wanted. Taline merely pointed in my direction and she knew what she missed. She laughed and waved. “Hi!” she shouted over her own music. She continued with her air drum solo, oblivious to everybody else once again.
    Taline rolled her eyes, and moved on. “This here,” she said motioning to a pale freckled girl having a quiet conversation with Audra, “is Gracie.” Gracie stopped in mid-sentence and looked around, puzzled. “Did someone say my- oh, hi!” she said, waving obnoxiously at me. She resumed her hushed conversation, both of them leaning forward.
    Suddenly, Mikey shrieked in surprise, making everyone but Ashley jump. Two girls, one frizzy haired and the other wearing heavy eyeliner, and a tall boy who looked like a sophomore, burst out in hysterical laughter at her reaction. Mikey growled, “What the hell was that for?!” Her face was a bright red. Taline giggled, and continued with introduction, “The guy is Caleb.” She noticed my dazzled stare, leaned towards me and whispered, “He’s cute isn’t he?” I nodded wordlessly. “Bad news girly; he’s gay.” Nooo! I thought, defeated, EPIC FAIL. She cleared her throat and moved on, “The raccoon is Genna. . .” Genna was having a giggling fit, leaning against the table for support. She waved at me and said something I totally misinterpreted. “Did she just say “Pie, I want to eat you’?”
    Audra laughed and said, “No, she said ‘Hi! Nice to meet you!’”
    “. . .And the girl with the hair is Emily.” Emily had collapsed onto the cement, taking Genna down with her, which made them only laugh harder. Caleb had gotten over his laughing fit, shaking his head at the hysteria. Just then, the bell rang. Before I could take off, Mikey and Audra had me in a tight hold. “Well, it was nice meeting you, err…” Mikey stuttered. “Lauren.” I finished. “Yes, nice meeting you, Lauren! Where you headed?” I pointed towards the C building, and Audra piped up, “Yay! I’m going there, too!” She yanked me in the direction of the C building as we all parted and headed to our classes.
    Okay, I think I’m being serious now, I thought, I know I’m going to get along fine with these people.