Sixty seven, sixty eight, sixty nine. Sixty nine books on troubled teens, and still he knows nothing. I rolled my eyes. I had been sitting in this room, stuck between both parents, for exactly the past 73 minutes. I had counted every pencil (13) every square tile (546) and every time Mr. Galaspi said, "You're going to love it here" (15). I already hated it here and had at least another 217 days left; and that was if I was lucky enough to go home for the summer. God, this must be bad when going home is considered lucky.

"Bella?" I snapped into reality. Everyone was standing around me waiting for my next move. I grunted in acknowledgment. I may have no choice to be here, but I certainly had the choice to participate nicely, or not so nicely as the case may be.

"Are you ready for the grand tour?" Mr. Galaspi asked. I stared in response.

"Isabella!" my mother nudged me in the ribs.

"Ow!" I rubbed my side dramatically, so everyone knew the kind of abuse I had to endure.

"No worries, Renee," he smiled. "I'm sure you'll notice how much Isabella's going to love it here in no time". 16. I rolled my eyes again.

Last stop was my dorm room. Wonderful. Sharing a room.

"I love you, Isabella." Renee engulfed me in a hug. "Your dad and I are going to miss you so much." I shrugged out of her embrace.

"Take me with you if you're going to miss me so much."

"You know we can't honey. This is the best place for you right now. You'll see, you're going to love it here."

"Ah! Just leave already!" I seriously was going to have a melt down if i heard 'you're going to love it here' one more time.

My mom gave me a sympathetic look. Like she could ever understand. Like she had ever been abandoned.

My father put his hands on my shoulders and looked me in the eyes.

"I know you're strong, bells, you just need an environment that will push you to your full potential." my eyes were about to roll out of my head any minute now. I took a deep breath, walked to the door and held it open. When they didn't budge I lifted my eyebrows towards them.

"Don't you have a flight to catch?" and with that they were gone. Out of my life forever. Well at least right now it seemed forever. I should probably look on the bright side; I never really liked them anyways.

I was suddenly exhausted. I had no idea what bed to choose. All four were the same. Twin bunks, ugly muted green blankets. I chose the closest bed and fell face first into a deep sleep.


"Eh hem." I stirred in my sleep.

"Excuse me, but you're sleeping on my bed," I finally opened my eyes.


"I said, 'you're sleeping in my bed!'" I starred up at the girl glaring down at me.

"Oh," I swung my legs over the bed. "Sorry."

"Ugh," she stomped out of the room mumbling something that sounded like 'disrespectful bitch' under her breath. This was no way to start out.

"Don't mind her, she's always grumpy right before dinner," I looked up to see a tall pretty girl with dark hair and glasses. "I'm Angela, you must be our new roommate Isabella." She extended her hand.

"Bella actually," I shook her hand. "It's nice to meet you. I guess I didn't make a great first impression huh?"

"Don't worry about Jessica. She thinks it's her job to be rude to everyone. She'll come around, probably after she eats." Angela laughed at her joke, and I smiled. Maybe this wouldn't be as bad as I had expected. Then again, who was I kidding?

"I was just about to head down to the dining hall, do you want to join me?" I contemplated telling her no thank you, and that I was still tired, but I decided to at least attempt to act normal.

"Sure," I smiled.

"Good! But you'll have to change. We have to be in uniform outside of the dorms." Angela made a face indicating she disliked this rule as much as I did. I grabbed a uniform from my suitcase.

"Give me one sec!" I turned to head towards the bathroom, then paused to look around.

"If you're looking for the bathroom, it's down the hall. The whole floor shares one." Horror struck my face. I had forgotten, shared bathrooms. It kept getting worse.

Angela smiled at me. "You get use to it, it's not nearly as bad as it sounds."

"If you say so," I quickly stripped out of my jeans and hoodie and put on the blue plaid skirt and white button up shirt. Angela snickered.

"What? I can't possiably look worse than anyone else." I frowned smoothing out my top.

"It's not that," she was practically crying trying to hold back her laughter now. "You're wearing a hot pink bra!" I looked in the mirror. I laughed with her too, I did look ridiculous. I grabbed a matching blue cardigan and we were on our way.


The dining hall was huge. Actually huge would be an understatement. There had to be at least four dozen large round tables, each table sitting at least twelve. That was 576 seats. Last I had checked the school only held 324 students and 35 faculty.

"This place is huge," I whispered to Angela.

"It better be nice for six grand a month!" she declared.

"Oh, ya. i forgot how much it cost to ship your kid of for the year," I sighed.

"Oh, I never asked, why are you here? The higher education?"

I shrugged. "Something like that." She seemed to sense I didn't want to talk about it.

"That's all you're eating?" Angela starred at my bowl of mixed fruit.

"Um, ya. I had a big lunch. Kinda a farewell to-do thing. I'm still full from that."

"Oh, that makes sense," she said, already losing focus as she searched across the sea of heads. "ah, they're over there." She nodded her head in the direction to walk since both her hands were busy juggling a tray of food.

I groaned when i saw we were sitting with Jessica, and about eight other people I didn't know. So much for staying under the radar here.

"Bella, you remember Jess, and then there's Taylor, Mike, Rebbecca..." I nodded and smiled to each of them as she said their names. I had already forgotten them though.

"Hey Bella! Sit here," The boy named Mike pulled out a chair for me. I smiled and thanked him. "That's all you're eating?"

Angela chimed in, "She had a huge lunch, sort of a farewell and good-bye before she got here!"

"Lucky, I've been eating the same old boring dining hall food for almost 2 months now" Mike complained.

I tried to just concentrate on my food. Counting the bites it took to eat a melon piece, trying not to call attention to myself. No one really seemed to care that i wasn't participating in the conversations, maybe they just thought i was shy.

"Bella, are you going to come with us?" Angela asked.

"Ya, you can sit by me!" Mike was overly enthused, I rolled my eyes to myself.

"Where are we going?"

"Movie night, every Sunday they play a movie in the student center." Mike didn't seemed phased that I didn't seem to have a clue what was going on. I noticed Jessica glance towards me, probably annoyed by the attention Mike was giving me.

"Oh, I think I'll probably just go back to my dorm, I'm still kind of tired from the drive today," I looked over to Angela. "That's okay right? The Movie isn't mandatory is it?"

"Nope, most of us go, but it's not required. Do you want me to walk back to the dorms with you?"

"No, I'll be okay, enjoy the movie!" I quickly got up, glad to have a reason to get out of there. As i was walking out of the dining hall I had the feeling that someone was watching me leave. I looked over my shoulder towards Angela and her friends, but they were already gone. I quickly glanced around the rest of the room but everyone was engrossed in their own conversations. I tried to shrug it off, but i still quickened my pace, a shiver running down my spine as I left the room.


Back in my dorm, I pulled out a folder and sat on, what I was now sure of, my bed. Inside the folder were old blue prints of the school. A friend of a friend's brother had once gone here and had somehow managed to hack into the computer systems finding old blue prints of the school before it was rebuilt.

I jumped when my phone vibrated in my pocket. I pulled it out and looked at the display.

"Jamie!" I practically shouted into the phone.

"Bella! I didn't think you would answer! They let you have phones in Hell?" My best friend laughed, God it was good to hear her voice.

"Surprisingly. Something about us being 'mature responsible young adults'" I mimicked Mr. Galaspi voice and Jamie laughed.

"I miss you so much Bella! Come home now! Have you planned your escape yet?"

I laughed, "I was actually just looking at Brad's blue prints. These things are friggin' hard to read!"

"Aw! well figure it out soon! I need you back here!"

"Ugh, I need me back here too!"

"So how miserable are the people there? All stuck up and bitchy?"

"Pretty much," I replied. "I've only met two roommates so far, one, her name is Jessica, she's a terror. the other, Angela, she actually seems nice, or at least sincere.

"Aw, Bella, I got to go. My mom's downstairs yelling at me to hurry up. Call me soon though okay? It's just not the same without you."

"I will I promise. Bye James."

"Bye Bella."

I sighed. Life here was definitely going to suck. I slid the blue prints back into my folder, slipped the folder inside my suitcase, and pulled the blankets over my head; dreaming of the day I would be far away from here.