Sweet oblivion (sweet se.., p.5
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       Sweet Oblivion (Sweet Series #1), p.5

           Bailey Ardisone

  After being awoken yet again from the same nightmare I had every night, reliving my eighth birthday from hell, I finally rolled over and opened my eyes to look at the clock. I wondered how much time I had left before my first day of school began. I decided yesterday that skipping wouldn’t be such a good idea after all, realizing it meant risking Ray's wrath.

  I didn’t even know what my schedule was. He somehow lost, or threw away, or who knows maybe set fire to all my papers that the school mailed to me two weeks ago, including my class schedule. I had no doubt in my mind he did it just to spite me.

  Upon finding with no surprise that it was only 5:13, I threw my arm over my eyes and bit my lip. Great, this was going to be a long day.

  Rydan said his first class started at 8:05 a.m. so I was just going to go by that. Granted, he would be going to a completely different school than me this year and he didn’t even start until tomorrow, but I just couldn't seem to bring myself to care if it made me late or not.

  School had never really been the highlight of my life, thanks to my ever failing social career. I was apparently a social pariah; a leper, who if you came anywhere near could catch whatever contagion I had, making you just as much an outcast as I was. It wasn't that I was some awful looking troll. I mean, I wouldn’t call myself vain, but I at least had enough confidence to say I wasn't ugly.

  I was okay with it though. I didn’t care that I got made fun of ever since my first day of kindergarten or that I was consistently called a freak. I was determined to not care. It was the only thing I could do in order to get out of bed every morning and march up those stairs into that torture chamber others refer to as school, year after year. It was the start of my senior year. Finally – I was almost done.

  And with that thought, I reluctantly slid my legs out from under my covers and over the side of my bed. I would get through this. Without Rydan, it was going to be very difficult. But there was nothing I could do about that. His parents enrolled him in some fancy private school for the musically gifted and so now I had to attend the last year of high school alone.

  Since I woke up so early, I ended up getting to the administration office of Port High School just as they were opening for the day. Well, at least I was nowhere near late.

  A spry elderly woman with snow-white hair pulled up into her signature bun that I immediately recognized as Ms. Darlene, rushed out of an office behind the large wooden counter. She was all in a tizzy, hands full of papers, and didn't notice me or apparently hear me. She jumped a little, as I finally caught her eye.

  “Oh! Nari, you scared me. You’re here so early, I wasn’t expecting anyone to be there,” she breathed, papers now pressed to her heart.

  For a moment I wondered if I could have given the poor old woman a heart attack. I made a note in my head to be more careful next time. The last thing I wanted was to be responsible for the death of our long time school administrator. That’d be the cherry on top an already iced cake of my social suicide.

  She let out a small laugh before she asked, “Whatcha need, sweetie?” She looked up at me then, a natural smile was already placed on her face, and expectantly waited for my answer.

  “Sorry, for um, scaring you. I just need to get my class schedule. I don’t have it,” I quickly shot out. I couldn’t hold back rolling my eyes. It irritated me beyond all belief. I tried not to let it get to me because that is exactly what he wanted. Still, I couldn’t help it.

  “Sure, just give me a few minutes, okay?” Ms. Darlene didn’t even give me time to answer as she set down the papers she was carrying and grabbed a new stack before she hurried back into the office.

  I turned around and sat down on the hard chairs that outlined the back wall. I let my eyes roam over the room as I tried to patiently wait. I think you could call me anything but patient, so I had to try my best to distract myself. The room was eerily quiet, almost too quiet, that it hurt my ears. It was too early for kids to be out in the halls making noise.

  The room was extremely outdated. The walls were a faded yellow wallpaper of some sort, too old to decipher if there was an actual design there when they were new. Brown wood paneling stretched across the bottom half of the walls, continuing all around before seamlessly blending into the over-large counter that they connected to in the center. I kicked my shoe at the worn-out, dark gray carpet.

  Finally, Ms. Darlene walked back in and went straight to her also outdated, dinosaur of a computer that sat on her desk. I listened to her clicking and typing away, then the sound of the printer running just before she stood up. I idly wondered what I would do after I received my schedule. I had way too much time to kill.

  “Here you go, sweetie. Try not lose this one now,” she said sternly as she set it on the counter and walked back to her desk.

  “Thank you,” I mumbled, ignoring the reprimand and started reading what my first semester was going to be like as I walked out into the hall.

  I was still looking down at my schedule, so instead of turning the corner out into an empty hall like I expected, I found myself running straight into another person, knocking us both onto our behinds.

  “Oh my gosh! I am so so sorry!” I gushed as I quickly scrambled to my feet. I reached out to help who I saw was a petite girl with the prettiest dirty blonde just above shoulder length loose curls I had ever seen, and flawless golden tanned skin. She made a just as surprised as I was face.

  The sound of barked laughter drew my attention just as I reached for her hand, because it certainly did not come from her.

  I quickly turned toward the source of laughter, ready to give them a piece of my mind, while I helped the poor girl up. How dare they laugh at our expense! Who did they think they were?

  “Ahhh, thank you so much for providing a great start to my day!” Clearly amused and with a curious accent, the much taller boy than both of us held his arm around his stomach and let his head fall to the side of his shoulder, as if the very idea of myself and this girl falling to our butts gave him complete and utter satisfaction. His reaction shocked me, so although I intended to rebuke him, the words got stuck in my mouth, and I ended up just staring with my mouth hanging open.

  “Des! It is so not funny!” the girl shrieked in the same curious accent as the boy. She moved to punch him in his bicep, but he deflected, causing her to try and kick him instead, clearly determined to cause some sort of injury. It didn’t work.

  “Uhh…yes. Yes, it very much was funny. Hilarious actually,” he purred through a grin, waggled his eyebrows at me, and let out another chuckle. I stood there dumbfounded, not entirely sure what to say. My anger had already dissipated though as soon as I realized the girl was trying to hold back a laugh. It immediately made me feel better and I too started laughing.

  “I’m Zaylie and this is Desmond,” she said through light giggling. She looked at me straight in the eye, and a look of amazement crossed her face. Before I could offer my name in reply, she grabbed my arm with wide eyes. “Your eyes! I bloody love them! I’ve thought about wearing colored contacts before but couldn’t get over the thought of having to stick my fingers in my eyes,” she finished sheepishly.

  “Thank you, I’m Nari.” Fully embarrassed now, I self-consciously looked down at my feet. I didn’t actually wear contacts, but everyone always assumed I did once they saw I possessed bright purple eyes. I had no reason to deny a perfect explanation to an otherwise unexplainable anomaly. They could assume whatever made them comfortable.

  “Well, Nari, you can push my sister down any time you want—just make sure I’m around so I get to watch,” the boy I now knew as Desmond joked. It was clear he was trying to get Zaylie riled up. She snapped her head in his direction, the smile that had once painted her face now turned into a scowl.

  “No, definitely not. I feel horrible that just happened, are you sure you’re okay?” I tried to sound confident and not like a shy coward I knew I could sometimes be. That was the result of being labeled a social outcast. I wasn’t used to interacti
ng with too many people.

  “Yes! Yes, of course I’m fine, please don’t worry ‘bout it. How ‘bout you?! Are you okay?!” She truly sounded concerned as she laid a gentle hand on my arm. It felt nice to be treated so kindly. I could already tell I was going to like her. Her brother on the other hand—that might take some more time.

  “Oh yeah, I’m good. That was nothing.” I played it off like I was much stronger than I looked, feigning confidence. “Um, siblings huh? Do you mind if I ask where you’re from? I love your accents!” It was so intriguing. Who didn’t love foreign accents?

  “Australia, mate! Nice to meet you,” Desmond said proudly. He had the same golden skin tanned to perfection and dirty blonde hair as Zaylie; only his was much shorter and with not so prominent curls. It still fell around his head and ears though, reminding me of a surfer dude.

  “I’m so jealous. What on earth could make you leave and come here?” I asked seriously, musing on the idea of living in Australia. I’d never been anywhere outside my home of Maine. I was convinced any place would be better than here.

  “Our father. We had to relocate because of his job. It will always be home to us, but we’re actually excited to be here and try something new.” Zaylie smiled as she clutched her notebook to her chest and bounced on her feet. She truly did seem excited.

  “Well welcome to Port High! Maybe I’ll see you guys around school. Let me know if you have any questions or need a tour guide or something…anything.” Hoping not to sound desperate at the chance of making friends, I smiled and nervously pushed my long hair behind my ear as I began walking to who knows where.

  “Yeah, thanks!” Zaylie called at the same time Desmond said something sounding like “hooroo” ………………..huh?

  Hope began to blossom in my chest. Perhaps my year didn’t seem so bleak without Rydan if I had them around.

  Chapter Two

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