Another day,
It's she same habit she tries to break.
It doesnt go away.
Her thoughts still say
theres more to life than this.

Phone Calls From Home, "Coming Back To The World"

New Beginnings

Chapter One

Monday morning Connor McDermott walked to homeroom class after his usual pep talk given to him from his friend Tia Ramirez. Two weeks had passed since his transfer to Sweet Valley High for his senior year of high school after his former school, El Carro High was badly damanged in the earthquake.

"Ah, Mr. McDermott, I am so glad you're going to be kind enough to grace us with your presence this morning. Please take a seat and I shall mark you down as here along with the rest of the class." Mrs. Simpson gave a glum smile in Conner's direction as she ticked his name off roll call.

Conner didn't say a word. He merely shrugged his shoulder as he made his way toward his desk and plopped down in his chair, dropping his bag down onto the floor next to his seat. He wasn't one for many words or emotion for that matter.

As Mrs. Simpson began her daily notes-rollcall, excursion permission slips, assignment reminders-Conner's attention fell off of the teacher and onto something or someone entirely different. There she was. Conner was in awe of the stunning blonde haired girl sitting two desks away from him. He couldn't see her face as her full attention was given to the teacher but Conner had to assume she could have been an angel sent from heaven.

In the two weeks of school beginning, he had not seen her once in school or homeroom and figured she had to be some kind of transfer student otherwise he was sure he would have noticed a girl as beautiful as she was before now.

His mind conjured many thoughts of the blonde when before he realised it, homeroom had finished as the bell rang throughout the school.

Standing up with the rest of the class, he headed towards the classroom door. The stunning blonde haired girl stood up and stepped in front of Conner. She briefly turned around and flashed him a sweet smile and in return, he gave a slight smirk before she disappeared out the door and around the corner, but not before he took noticed of the walking aid she grasped onto for support with her hand as she walked out of the room.

Desperate to know a little more of this blonde beauty that had suddenly entered his world, he briskly went out the door in search for perhaps another vision of her or even better a name to the girl but became unstuck when she was no where to be seen. This girl had disappeared into thin air. Perhaps she was merely a pigment of his imagination twirling around in his head that was unnecessarily stirred up when he caused some what of a friend bust up when he got in the middle of two beautifully complied friends.

After that debacle, he vowed never to become involved in any relationship of any form regardless whether or not the girl was gorgeous. No one was worth the trouble to allow him to be in one. He had seen his friends juggle their rather dysfunctional relationships not to mention his mother's failed marriages. He was not one to down that same path. So why couldn't he get this unknown girl out of his mind?

Following class, Jessica had been called into Coach Laufeld's office to discuss the pep rally in which she in coincidently missed – no thanks to three girls on the squad.

As Coach continued her lecture to Jessica about how she missed it and didn't even bother to call to let her know she wouldn't be there, Jessica sat nervously as she was barely able to process what was going on and who on the squad would actually make up an excuse for her. She knew of at least three girls who would want to destroy her life and kick her off the squad.

"Hold on a second, Wakefield."

Uh-oh, she slammed back into her seat and turned to see what she thought could be a pity me expression planted on her coach.

"Is there anything you would like to talk to me about?" She asked. "Is there anything going on among you and the other squad members? If there is, please let me know because I will not stand for any backlash between the squad – not if it will affect the squad."

Jessica's heart was pounding. Gee, Lauder was either psychic or she knew too much already about her squad. She couldn't tell on her team mates. They'd really have it for her then – more so than they already do. It was enough as it was now; she didn't need it any worst.

"No, Coach," Jessica said with a straight face – she hoped.

Coach Laufeld narrowed her eyes for a moment. "Okay Jessica. I know I don't have to tell you this but I'm going to anyway," she took a deep breath and concluded. "If this happens again, there will be serious consequences."

"Don't worry," Jessica said with concern. "It won't happen again."

"Okay, go change your clothes and get warmed up. Taylor is returning to school today so we have to work Ms. Morris into our routines," Coach Laufeld dismissed Jessica. "And Jessica, you can always come to me if you need to talk."

"Thanks Coach," Jessica said. She practically floated into the locker room. After she'd dreaded the encounter all weekend, their meeting was simple. But coming face to face with the rest of the squad wasn't going to be easy.

The locker room was deserted which was the way she liked it. Grabbing her duffel bag, she started to change. Maybe when she joined the squad, she'd at least see some sympathy from someone or better yet on Taylor's face. It was her first day back at school; she didn't have a clue as to what was happening. At least she'd have at least one friend on the squad to talk to.