She’d shown up at the high school out of the blue on that dreary Monday afternoon. It had been raining for hours, so no one thought anything interesting could arise from such a day Arroyo High School.
The classroom was alive with the chattering of twenty-six juvenile teenagers, all sharing the latest bit of gossip heard through the grapevine while throwing around crumpled tests or whatever else they could get their greasy hands on. The walls of the public high school were mostly brick with faint traces of paint which had once upon a time covered them. There was absolutely nothing remarkable about the room. No decorations, no bookshelves, just desks lined the stained linoleum floor.
“Ugh. Lovely weather we’re having, huh, Hannah?” a girl of German decent stated sarcastically.
“Very. I think I might even go out for a walk, it’s so beautiful.” Hannah replied.
“Yeah, of course. I totally want to go get drenched with ice water today and mess up my hair, even though I straightened it this morning. No, stupid, I was joking.”
“Oh, well, with you I can never tell with you…you always sound so serious, it’s scary. You’re hair does look good though.” She reached over to tuck a wayward strand of her own curly bleach-blond hair behind her ears. “My hair, on the other hand…”
Hannah gave her friend the old stink-eye. “You look fine, Michelle. Gosh. I wish I could pull off frizz like you could, but I would never let it get like that. I’ve got reputation to uphold”
Michelle looked down at the graffiti covering the scratched oak-coloured desk, now feeling self conscious of the crimpy hair she had inherited from her late-grandmother. Hannah’s idea of a compliment always made her feel like dirt.
“You know what else I wish? I wish it would hurry up and snow already. I mean, all the other schools in the area are closed because there’s been some blizzard, but not here. Here we’re getting buckets of rain…And it’s already December! Right, Michelle? Michelle?“
Michelle had stopped listening to Hannah’s recognizable complaint about the rain and snow; it was something she whined about every year. Michelle had learned to tune her out, it would’ve been foolish not to have. Besides, her attention was otherwise captured by something- or someone- else.
“Wow, who ‘s that?” She gawked at the stranger that had entered the shabby classroom.
Hannah looked towards the front of the classroom to see what was so fascinating. “Ew, and what is she wearing?”
Standing at about five feet, a girl looked around the room with big green eyes in a bemused manner. Her cheeks were round, stung bright-red from the cold winter wind. Her hair hung past her shoulders, down to her waist in soaked ebony ringlets. A fat Venetian-red parka of which hung down to her black tights clad legs, hugged her tiny frame. She was obviously sixteen, just like the rest of them, but there was something about her goofy smile and the awkward way she bounced from foot to foot that made her seem younger....