Chapter One – First Day of School

I awoke with a start to the sound of my alarm clock going off. First I frowned. I had been having an amazing dream about me and Troy getting married. But then my frown slowly turned upside down as I remembered.

"Today is the first day of school!" I sang to myself. Now, I know only geeks are excited about the first day of school. I mean, come on, right? But that's ok. Because I am a geek!

I hopped out of bed and ran to the bathroom. Then I got in the shower. I shampooed my hair and washed my body with my new Satsuma body wash from the Body Shop. Yum. I quickly shaved my legs and conditioned my hair, then got out of the shower. I wrapped my hair in a towel and walked out to my closet. What to wear, what to wear? I tried on about five different outfits before finally deciding on a denim skirt, flip flops, and my pink ribbed tank top. I quickly did my makeup, and then blow-dried my hair. I had plenty of time to spare, so I started daydreaming a bit. I looked around my room, and my bulletin board caught my eye. Well, not so much my bulletin board but one of the pictures on it.

It was a picture that I had looked at many times before. It was fuzzy, and it was really worn. It had creases and cracks but I kept it nonetheless. After all, it was the only picture I had of my father.

I had no memories of my dad because he had died when I was only a baby. He had gone fishing with some of his friends and they hadn't worn lifejackets. The boat capsized and even though he was normally a strong swimmer, he didn't make it. The waves were rough, the water was cold, and his heavy clothing weighed him down. My mom rarely spoke about my dad. It was just too painful for her, she told me.

Troy was already waiting at the bus stop. The bus was nowhere in sight so I ran up to him and gave him a gentle kiss on the lips.

"That's a nice way to say good morning," he flirted. I just grinned.

"So what makes my favorite girlfriend so happy on the first day of school?" he asked.

"Well," I replied, "It's the first day of school!" He laughed. So I gave him a little shove.

"Hey, what was that for?" He whined.

"I think you know," I responded.

Just then the bus pulled up. We got onto the bus. I looked around, but there were no seats left with room for two. Then I heard someone calling my name. I looked around.

"Gabi! Over here! I saved you a seat!" I made my way over to my best friend Taylor, who was very eager to see me that day. She had this smile on her face and I could just tell she was bursting to say something.

"What's the scoop, Tay? You look like you're about to explode! Just spill already!"

"Fine!" She exclaimed. "Oh my gosh, you'll never believe this ever in a million years!"

"Well, you'll have to tell me before I'll believe anything!" I exclaimed. "Just spit it out!" I was getting frustrated.

"Okay," she whispered, "but keep this to yourself for now. No one else knows yet. Well, last night…Chad asked me to be his girlfriend!"

"Finally!" I exclaimed. Just as I said it, I heard Troy saying the exact same thing too. I turned around and saw that he was sitting next to Chad. Troy and I gave each other knowing looks.

"What do you mean, finally?" Taylor questioned.

"Come on, Taylor," I replied. "Everyone knows you two have the hots for each other. It's so obvious. I'm surprised you two didn't get together sooner!"

The color drained from her face.

"It's that obvious?" She squeaked.

"Uh…yeah…so what?" I responded.

"Well, it's just a bit awkward knowing that the whole school can read your face like a book. That's all." She sighed, and turned slightly. I could tell she was secretly (well actually not-so-secretly) admiring Chad. So I decided to let her daydream and I started daydreaming myself. Troy was in the process of proposing to me when the bus screeched to a halt outside our school.

I was so happy that I got to be in the same homeroom as Troy, Taylor, Chad, Kelsi, Sharpay, Ryan, Jason, and Zeke for my junior year. According to our schedules, we had Mr. Johnson. He was a new teacher. As we walked down the hallway to class, Troy and Chad discussed ways to practical joke him.

"Well, we could put tacks on his chair."

"Chad! That's so old! Come on, be creative. How about if we pour processed cheese powder into his coffee?"

"You are obviously a few crayons short of a box, Troy. Won't he sort of notice if his coffee is ORANGE!"

"Uh…well…not if he has one of those travel mugs with the lids!"

"Ok, well, I guess that's a possibility. Oh! Wait! I know! We could put super glue on his chair! Haha! When he got up, he would either bring the chair with him or reveal his tightie-whities to the world! Ha! Ha! Haha!"

"That's dumb. I think we should sneak into his house and put pink hair dye in his shampoo!"

"Geez, dude, do you want to be arrested or something? That little prank would involve breaking and entering! And that, my friend, is illegal!"

As the boys argued, we came to Mr. Johnson's room. We all walked in and sat down. I was next to troy and behind Taylor. Troy and Chad stopped talking about the pranks since we were in teacher territory.

Taylor and I were discussing our boyfriends when Mr. Johnson walked in. He went to the front of the classroom and introduced himself. Then we went around the room and told him our names. He asked us about our summer vacations. He seemed pretty friendly, but there was just something about him that I didn't trust. Everyone else loved him though. I thought for awhile, then leaned over towards Troy.

"Does Mr. Johnson look familiar to you?" I asked.