Chapter One: A Tree Hill Raven always keeps his or her guard up.
Haley James turned from the airport gate, her auburn hair shining from the light coming through the windows, giving her mother a sad look. "Do I really have to go mom?"
"Honey, it's for the best. You need to get away from California and all the drama that'll stay with it."
"But North Carolina? It's so far away. It'll be boring. Nothing like out here."
"It's where I grew up Haley, and I think you'll enjoy it. I just want you to have a fresh new start. Besides this boarding school is the best of the best."
"Which is why I shouldn't go. I'm plain Jane… there's nothing spectacular about me. Plus, the tuition has put our debt through the roof."
"Haley James you listen to me and you listen good," Lydia said placing her hands on either shoulder of her daughter. "You are not a plain Jane. You're special and spectacular. You have an amazing mind and are one of the most intelligent young girls I know. And as far as our money matters go, that's my concern not yours. You're here on partial scholarship anyway so paying the tuition is not as drastic as you think. Now cheer up and change your attitude. This is going to be an experience of a lifetime and something you will never forget. A lot can happen at boarding school you know."
"Alright," Haley said, a smile creeping across her face. "I guess you're right," she continued as her mom placed a kiss on her forehead.
"You're right I am," Lydia said embracing her before finally letting go. "Now have fun, and don't forget to call when you get there."
"I won't. Bye mom," Haley replied waving before boarding the plane, unaware at how true her mom's words would be. A lot can happen at boarding school.
Haley sat in her seat, several hours after take off eyeing the Tree Hill Prep booklet her mom had made sure she took with her. It was equipped with a map and listing of all the classes making it easier for her to find her way around. As she glanced down at the cover, portraying a scene of uncannily handsome looking boys laughing on the grass as a few girls sat on a brick wall, Haley couldn't help but feel as if someone was staring at her. And then she got her answer… someone was.
"Tree Hill Prep, eh?" A dark haired girl across the aisle questioned. She had her glasses atop her head and seemed to be wearing a plain lavender button down shirt with jeans and Old Navy flip-flops.
"Uh, yes actually. Have you heard of it?" Haley questioned skeptically.
"Heard of it? I got to it. GiGi Sylvares and you are?"
"Haley. Haley James."
"Nice to meet you Haley. So, what grade are you in?"
"I'm a junior."
"A junior? That's funny me too. How come I've never seen you before?"
"Well actually, this is my first year attending Tree Hill Prep."
"Oh I see. Why start now, there's only two years left."
"I guess you could say I needed a change of pace," Haley stated looking across the aisle at GiGi before glancing back down at her pamphlet.
"Cool. Well, I guess before anyone else says it I will… welcome to Tree Hill Prep."
"Thanks GiGi. It's so weird that I met you on this flight. I didn't think anyone else from California would go there."
"Two, or should I say three now actually," GiGi stated. "Lucky for us the third of our trio is not here. You don't want to meet her, she's bad news."
Just then a curvy brunette with a dimples and a signature smiled walked towards them from the bathrooms, her designer clothes looking a bit disheveled. As she made her way down the aisle her eyes locked with GiGi.
"Damn I guess I spoke to soon."
"Ah, GiGi," the girl smirked.
"Brooke Davis we meet again," GiGi stated sarcastically.
"It was bound to happen with school starting up again. You ready to do all my homework?"
"That would be a no because I'm not going to do it."
"That's not what happened last year," Brooke stated giving her an accusing look.
"I didn't do your homework last year. I helped Peyton with hers, key word is helped not did, and you copied off of her. Plus me and Peyton won't be roommates this year so you'll have to find someone else to survive off of."
"Whatever, I don't do homework. I'll find someone. Speaking of… who's this?" she asked pointing to Haley, who was holding her Tree Hill Prep pamphlet in plain view.
"This," Haley stated, "is Haley James. I'm new to Tree Hill Prep."
"I see. Well, if you're going to make it there then you're going to need a whole new wardrobe. We don't do tacky."
"Brooke!" GiGi snarled.
"What? It's true. That poncho isn't going to fair very well with our peers."
"Don't listen to her Haley. Not everyone is as shallow as Brooke over here."
"No, it's fine. I'm an individual, not a follower," Haley said pointing her eyes at Brooke. "Following the latest trend like a little lost puppy dog is not my thing."
"Burn!" GiGi cheered.
"Whatever Helen. We'll just wait and see what happens when you get to school," Brooke stated before moving to find her seat in first class.
"Oh and Brooke?" Haley called.
"Yeah?" She said turning around.
"Two things. One, it's Hay-lee," she said sounding out the syllables to make Brooke look like an idiot, "and two, you've got lip gloss smeared all over your face."
"Mile high club," Brooke stated rolling her eyes then giving Haley a smirk before going back to her seat. GiGi and Haley just turned to each other before bursting out laughing.
"Let me guess," Haley said between giggles. "She's the third part of the California students."
"You got that right. And man, you really told her."
"Eh, I'm just stubborn that's all."
"And totally going to make it at Tree Hill Prep. As long as you can keep your guard up, which you obviously can, school will be fine. Plus I'm sure you're already going to have a reputation by the time you get there."
"Yeah?" Haley said confused.
"Of course. You just told off the most popular girl in school," GiGi said holding up her hand for a high five. "That takes a lot of guts."
"Crap. That's not what I was going for. I wanted a fresh calm start… not a bang!"
"Relax Haley, it will all be fine," GiGI said soothingly.
"I hope so. I'm not even at school and drama is starting to begin."
"Haley calm down. We're teenagers. When does the drama ever stop?"
"You're right," Haley stated stifling a giggle.
"Please turn off all electronics, push your seat into an upright position and put on your safety belt," a voice chimed over the speakers. "Welcome to Tree Hill, North Carolina."
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