Herrington High School hadn't changed too much over the summer. A paint job here, the sign fixed, the hedges trimmed, but it remained the same at any rate. As the two hopped off the bus and onto the campus, Casey tensed up as a few football team members walked by. Zeke, Gabe and a few others walked passed him, but only nodded. A year ago he would've been greeted with an up close and personal meeting with one of their fists. He sighed and smiled at the thought of a year without much bullying. He also saw Zeke walk directly toward Delilah, wearing a new blouse and sweater with jeans and mary janes.
"Hey, are you ok Casey?" Christina asked.
He shook himself for a second back into reality. "Yeah, totally, wanna come meet my friends?"
She nodded her head with an eager yet charming smile.
Sitting at a picnic table in the courtyard was Stokley, or "Stokes", with a few other members of the Sci-fi club. Since Casey had devoted more time to the Photography club, Stokes was only joined by three other girls at the table.
"Hey Stokes, do you remember Christina? She went here back in middle school…" Casey said.
"Your hair used to be a caramel brown, that you would wear a bit below the shoulder with a headband that matched your shirt each day." Christina interrupted.
Stokes nodded with a smile. "Yeah, I had forgotten about that. And of course I remember you, Christina, we did that project in English class together with Mrs. Campbell."
"That's right! You made the poster and I built the miniature model of Huck Finn's raft!" Christina exclaimed, remembering her 7th grade year. The girls giggled a bit then proceeded to bid each other goodbye so Christina could get her schedule, homeroom assignment, and locker. As she approached the secretary in the main office, she inquired what she needed since she just transferred, and received a folder including what she needed. She went to her locker quickly, then reported to her homeroom. Thankfully, she discovered that Stokes was also in her homeroom. But, so was Delilah. Christina remembered Delilah…
It was the first day in school that Casey was out sick. He had a terrible case of pneumonia from being out in the cold, rainy weather. It was a cold November day in 6th grade, the week leading up to Thanksgiving break. Christina was sitting alone in the cafeteria, quietly eating her carrot sticks, when a group of popular girls came over and sat in the seats around her.
"So, your friend Casey isn't here today, huh?" asked one, a taller dark-haired girl.
"Yeah," Christina said quietly.
"Are you and Casey…a thing?" Delilah said maliciously. "Because, if I had the chance, I would date him and…"
"But you don't even talk to him!" Christina yelled out to her.
"True, but dear, I'm far more appealing to a guy like him than," she laughed for a moment "you are. But even if we did go out, I'd probably just use him to buy me things and then break his heart…you wouldn't mind, would you?" she said, sneering her grin in Christina's face.
But that didn't last long.
The next thing the whole class knew, there was a loud sound of a hand hitting across a face, and then another. A second later, there was a roar of thunderous talking, and the footsteps of a teacher walking in to escort the girls down to the principal's office.
Fortunately, the principal was busy dealing with another fight that had broken up in the high school between two guys, so the girls were told to sit there for a period of detention. But, since Delilah's mom was a "close friend" of one of the administrators of the school, only Christina served the punishment. The rest of the day was filled with boys criticizing her, and the next day it was as if nothing happened.
"Hey, you're Christina, right? I never thought you'd come back to Herrington…" said Delilah.
Then, Christina looked at her as she was now. Still as cruel as ever, but still a pretty-faced queen of evil…
"Yup, I'm back." She said, looking back down at her schedule.
"So, you know, Casey and I, were a thing last year."
Christina took a breath in, trying to control her temper, but then released it as a comeback. "But you discovered he was too nice for you, huh?"
Delilah's smile went away, as she realized how different she was than how she was in middle school. "Sure, you can say that. I suppose you wanna go after him next, huh?"
"We'll see…won't we?"
The bell rang.
Her schedule was pretty simple: Economics, Health, PE, Precalculus, Physics, Lunch, Chorus, Study Hall, and English. The only problem was figuring out how to get to each of the classes.