I shuffled down the empty hallway, my footsteps echoing off the bare walls. Bulletin boards and the like had been stripped down hours ago. It was the last day of school and most of the students had stampeded out of the building as soon the final bell had rung. Now only a few scragglers lingered in the halls either chatting or cleaning out lockers. Smells of hand sanitizer and citrus carpet spray hung in the air from end-of-the-year cleaning sessions. I shifted my backpack to my other shoulder as I shuffled my towards my locker to grab a math textbook and my pencil bag which I’d forgotten. As I crouched on the floor stuffing them into my bulging backpack I heard someone come up behind me. “There she is,” someone whispered. “Look at her, she’s so ugly,” another voice chimed in quietly. My cheeks burned with a mixture of anger and humiliation; I didn’t even have to turn to know exactly who those people were and although I had only heard two voices, I was almost positive that there was a third person with them. The first voice had belonged to Ellen Briggs, sidekick #1 to the school’s most popular bitch: Bailey Fischer, owner of the second voice. And where you find Bailey and Ellen you always find Diana Summers. “Dude, wasn’t it her brother who got killed,” Diana’s lower tomboyish tone confirmed my suspicions as they continued of past me. “Yeah,” said Bailey, “It’s too bad; he was kind of hot.” “I heard the guy shot him because he slept with his daughter.” Ellen sniffed haughtily. “Seriously? I heard he slept with his wife.” Red hot anger pulsed through my body; I could handle it when they stood there and insulted me, but when they insulted my brother…that was a different story. Rising slowly, I cleared my throat. “Oh, hello Andrea,” Bailey turned and smiled at me sweetly. “My brother didn’t sleep with anyone.” I stated through clenched teeth. “My goodness, you heard all of that?” she threw her head back and gave a light musical laugh, “We were just joking.” “Bitch,” I hissed and flung myself at Bailey and her sidekicks. Suddenly there was flailing, screaming, hair-pulling, and scratching. Let me just say that I hadn’t considered the fact that girls fight dirty. I had fought with my brothers countless times and it was easy enough to dodge a fist, or wriggle your way out of a headlock, but fighting with girls was different. Bailey and Ellen were clawing at my face with their perfectly manicured nails while Diana yanked my hair from behind. This went on for a good three minutes. My head throbbed (somewhere along the way I’d knocked heads with one of them) and my throat was dry from screaming insults. For once in my life I wished that a teacher was around to hear us and save me, but I had no such luck. I’d finally reached the point of accepting that I probably wouldn’t live through this and that someone was going to find me dead in a janitorial closet or something when a most miraculous thing happened. “Andrea!” the sound of running followed and before I knew what was happening, Bailey and her cohorts were running away and gasping for breath, I found myself staring up into a familiar face. “Drea, are you alright?” Jordan Olestad, with his always uncombed brown hair and clear blue eyes has hovering above me with concern.
\"So that's how it happened.\" I sighed, having recounted the whole story of the fight to Jordan. We were sitting in his blue pickup in the school parking lot. He shook his head and smiled a little, \"You haven't changed a bit Andrea Cullen.\" There was an awkward silence between us for a moment in which I felt an I voluntary shiver go up my spine. I guess it's time to back up and start from the beginning of my story, so you'll understand just how I got into this uncomfortable situation. It started the first day of second grade when I \"fell in love\" with the cute little brown-haired, blue-eyed boy that sat in the corner by himself at school. The little boy who was too shy to speak a word but who had looked up and smiled at me across the snack table. His name was Jordan Olestad. From then on we had kind of a silent friendship until one day Jordan, myself, and my twin brother Chase were assigned to the same reading group. Chase was the kind of kid who made friends with everyone and it hasn't been long before he and Jordan hit it off. Since I had a tendency to tag along with my brother I'd inevitably gotten to know Jordan better over the next few months. For eight years the three of us were inseparable. We'd gotten into more scrapes, created more disasters, and caused more mischief than I ever thought was possible. That is, until something happened to Chase that broke up our incredible trio. \"Drea, did you hear me?\" Jordan asked. \"Hmm...?\" \"I asked how Maya's doing.\" I grinned in spite of myself. Maya was my seven-year-old adopted little sister. She was one-fourth Native American with enough charm and cuteness to melt anyone's heart. Jordan was no exception. \"Troublesome as always.\" I tried to smile again but somehow this conversation wasn't right. Being here with Jordan wasn't right. Nothing in my life was right. \"You know what?\" I made up my mind quickly, \"I should go home now. Mom'll be wondering where I am.\" I made a move to open the door but Jordan stopped me. \"Wait, I'll drive you home.\" \"But-it's only a fifteen minute walk.\" I protested, chewing my lip and wishing I hadn't run into him today. \"C'mon Drea, let me save you thirteen minutes then.\" With a huffy sigh I gave in, \"Fine...\" ....………………………….......................................................................
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