• Preface

    I always knew that I would find my way in life. I’d just always thought it was going to be easy. Little did I know that I was in for the journey of a lifetime, and that it would be a tough one. But I guess I can’t say that it was a bad thing, since there was someone else along for the ride, too. Ah, yes. He is the reason I’m alive. Not only did he save me, but he also gave me something to live for; love.

    I always used to dream of falling in love with the perfect guy. But I got my wakeup call. Oh I fell in love all right, with a not-so-perfect guy, though. But that’s alright with me. He’s better than the “perfect guy” could ever wish to be. What’s funny is that it had all started with my favorite class. Study Hall.

    Chapter 1

    The first thing I notice is the strange darkness that seems as if it’s enveloping me. I feel like I’m suffocating. I blindly step forward trying to move around in this weird darkness. Where am I? I can’t breathe. I try to take deep gulps of air, and I start coughing, I can’t breathe! I don’t want to die in this darkness! I start running to try and get out of it. I run straight into a wall. Wait, it isn’t a wall! It’s a person! I grab the person’s arms in hope of gaining their attention.

    I open my mouth to talk, but all that comes out is a cough. I still can’t breathe. The invisible band around my chest is tightening, making it impossible to drag air into my lungs. Then, the person grabs my shoulders and says to me, “Open your eyes, Clarissa.” As soon as I hear his voice, the band around my chest starts to loosen, making it possible for me to breathe again. Wait, open my eyes? My eyes are wide open! It hit me at once. I had to be dreaming. This is way too weird for my life. My life is boring. I don’t know very many guys, either. Besides, this guy’s voice is way unfamiliar. If I knew that voice, I would’ve recognized it. It was extremely distinctive. Who could this guy be?

    I try to talk to him, but once again, no words come out. He chuckles and says, “Look down, sweetheart.” I did as he said, and as I did, the last thought to register in my head before the darkness moved swiftly up to meet my face was that he called me sweetheart.

    * * *

    I sat up in my bed, willing myself not to scream. I had no intention of waking up the rest of the house, too. I took a few deep breaths to steady my racing heart. I looked at the clock and groaned. It was 6:30 am, and I was going to be late for study hall. I threw off my blankets, and stumbled to my bathroom. I’m the only one in the house with a personal bathroom (my little brothers have to share the other two with my parents). I splashed cold water on my face, hoping that it would help me collect my composure. I sighed. I was going to need a lot more than cold water to help me get through the today.

    You’d think that being the “new girl” at a fairly large school would wear off after about two months. Especially at a school the size of mine, with about 600 students enrolled currently, but not at Fredonia High School. I can’t even remember my first day here, it was all just a fast blur, but everyone else seems to remember it like it was yesterday, and brings it up frequently. Ever since then the days have been going by even more slowly than usual. I feel as if my feet are dragging on the ground and everyone around me is being fast-forwarded, while I stay at the same slow, boring pace day in and day out.

    I took a quick shower and threw on some clothes. I wasn’t too worried about my appearance; people should accept me for me, not my outfit. I brushed my teeth in a rush, but stayed true to the two-minute rule. I may not care about my clothes, but my breath is another thing altogether. I slipped on my shoes and grabbed my backpack, slung it over my shoulder and headed downstairs.

    My dad was up, making breakfast for the boys, as usual. They were still in grade school, and they’re school started about an hour after mine did, so I didn’t have time to sit and eat. Grab and go for me. I said good morning, and took a package of Pop-Tarts and headed off for school. When I am capable of buying a car for myself, I will do so, but until then, it’s not so bad driving the families old Station Wagon. I groaned. Who was I kidding? I hate that car. But I didn’t want to walk a mile just to get to school. It wasn’t worth it.

    I pulled up in the school parking lot, and drove around trying to find a spot for about 5 minutes. I finally got one, and pulled into it. I cut the engine off, and sat there and took a deep breath and held it, readying myself for the next few hours. I blew it out in a gust, blowing my bangs out of my face. I opened the door and hurried inside. At least they kept the school warm in the winter. I made my way through the mass of people crowding the halls, and finally got to my locker, where my best friend, Alyssa, was getting her books for study hall, too.

    “Hey Lyssa. Man, I don’t think I’m ever going to get used to the amount of kids here. Compared to my last school, this place is gigantic! At least I have you as my map!” I winked at her, and she smiled back. I grabbed my books, and we headed for study hall.

    “So, I heard that there’s a new student here! Finally, there’s someone other than you for people around here to talk about!” She laughed at her own joke, I joined with her so that I didn’t hurt her feelings, but I had a feeling that people would still talk about me, and try to get to know me, but this new student would be a bigger discussion topic than I ever was. I had this feeling that a big change was about to happen. I just didn’t know how or exactly when.