Chapter 1-returning at recess

The girl looked back at her old friends feeling some kind of regret- she knew they were moving on for the better. She couldn't stay with them forever no matter how much she wished for it. The gang had been there for her no matter what happened. She could be the biggest bully on the play ground and they'd still call her over for tether ball or pranks. But that was all Childs play. She wasn't nine or even ten anymore- she wouldn't be a child much longer and no matter how she could try to keep up that pretend it'd never work. Her friends were already growing apart anyway. It was about time she grew up too.

As her parent's car began to pull away she saw five figures waving from the school windows. Five old faces that would soon become strangers. The girl forced herself to raise her hand up to the window as the school moved away from her into the distance. It was all over.

Ashley Spinelli rested her head against the window of the car, feeling the cool glass and small bumps of the road stopped the tears. At age 11 she waved goodbye to everything she knew and moved almost half way round the country.

'Don't worry, you'll see them again. You don't just forget friends like them.' her mom turned round from the passenger seat to hold her daughters cheek. She merely pushed her hand away and closed her eyes. She felt tired and just wanted to forget all of it.

I grew up, simple enough. There's not much to it apparently. When you're younger it seems like such a big deal, so big we even went as far as to idolise kids just a few years older but it's not that big a deal after all. Really when I think back to it all it all seems like a joke. Those happy school memories reminded me of a circus and not a school at all. There was always rumour and fads to follow, always a friend to find and a game to play but now...asking for friends is like asking for the sky to fall. Things that came simply by standing still were out of reach. Growing up was easy but everything else became so hard.

I start this story in the same way I left the old one. In a car. Yes this was very original and I almost hated myself for it but there was one very important difference. I was driving. The power was all in my hands and although I was disgusted by myself for this cliché opening I was liking the control of my hand behind the wheel. This was something you couldn't get as a kid, control was reserved for your later years and only now was I beginning to get it. Still I wanted those days back. I trove alone down third street- it was school time and so, just as I remembered, kids were running round as I passed my old school. My stomach twisted the longer I looked, it was making me feel ill. I was forced away from all of that just at the end of it all; I never got to see how it all ended. I never got to find out what everyone's real names were. I never got to see my own friends fall apart-I knew that would happen. Gretchen was trying to get early scholarships with more "challenging" schools. Vince was of course the master of sport and so schools and teams were lining early to recruit him. Mickey just started focusing on helping others- the younger kids and soon became some kind of peace symbol round the school, weather that stuck or not was yet to be determined. Gus...well Gus was awesome, he studied all day and night, hell if I could do that...but he was always tired. In the end I didn't really know him anymore. He didn't really speak. And then there was TJ, he was meant to be the glue that kept us all together...that didn't really work, did it? He just got pissed off at everyone, especially when I said I was moving. But we were kids, kids growing up and so thing had to change.

I drove right past the school, even speeding up to rid the painful feeling in my gut. I didn't need that right now, not when I was about to go though something more painful; high school. All the problems and exams of old school with...just multiplied a few times and the added problem of social dilemmas. But this was the last year of all of it, after this year I could rid myself of all of it forget. Who really keeps in touch with their old school friends anyway? I didn't. I moved to a new school every year because of my parents work. We travelled all round America and just as I made friends we moved...I now know just how Gus felt exactly. The social aspect of my teenage years had been practically non-existent. I was always the new girl that arrived late and growled at people. The bright side of not having any social life was that I could focus on the things I actually cared about. Fighting, boxing, karate, judo, fencing...then dancing. Ballet was something my mom never let me give up. She said if I'm so bent on fighting I'll end up looking like a man and she didn't want me to end up like that. No way, my mother wanted a princess. What she got was a princess once a week for three hours and then a fighting champion. They never let me go for competitions though, not that I had time with all the moving anyway. It was just one of those things.

I drove past the school and into the part of town I had never went before, you never really explore the older part of town as a kid. It was all about school in our own little world. You don't think of what the rest of your life's going to be like. You don't because there's no need to worry yourself with the future but now, ironically, in the future it's all I can think about. I stopped at lights rubbing my arms looking round for some other form of life. I could only see adults in nice fancy cars. I had a truck with a rusting bonnet and a broken window. I carried on driving till I saw it. my new prison- the white gleam of the windows and intimidating large grey bricks. I was surprised there wasn't actually bar on the windows but that would be asking for a bit too much. I drove round into the car park. I needed to act cool, collective. I had grown up a lot since I had left. I wasn't little spunky Spinelli anymore. I was Ashley...or Ash but no one had really got that close to me to call me that before.

I climbed from my car looking round; there was a lot more old and broken looking cars here (so it wasn't just me who looked like a total loser). I took a deep breath taking an unsteady step closer to the school.

'You probably won't even see them. It's not like you care anyway.' I growled down at my shaking foot, it wasn't like me to be so pathetic. I growled again slapping my face. 'Come on, wake up!' I growled marched forward and pulled my bag onto my shoulders. I wouldn't be beaten by a school- not this school and defiantly not the by the people I chose to forget.

I strolled right up to the main reception of the school, now this was like a prison, a woman behind what could very well be bullet proof glass. There was a metal bench cemented to the hall opposite her and a large heavy grey door separating this small entrance and the rest of the school. The woman looked up from her book as I approached. She looked me up and down obviously disapproving my whole appearance. And I tried this morning. I wore my best demine skirt and plain black tights- nothing to draw the eye or bring any unwanted attention. sure I was wearing my old boots but I've been wearing them since I was a kid, I didn't grow much and they were kinda like a security blanket. my top was again just a black t-shirt, nothing extravagant yet I didn't look like some thug. I left my leather jacket at home- I had made the wrong impression before with that. Instead I wore a very large dark red "dad shirt" (thankfully my dad still had fishy fashion taste) open as a light weight jacket. I looked completely normal and there was defiantly no way I'd draw attention to myself today.

'And you're Miss A. Spinelli?' she had a very nasally tone as she focused on my face she gave a toothy grinned as I nodded. 'Well aren't you a darling?' I wanted to vomit. 'I looked like you at 18; of course I was much taller.' I didn't want to know, I just didn't want to know. 'Well...' she coughed, I waited in hope that it would turn into a choke but it didn't. 'I'll give you a time table but it's almost dinner so just start going to classes after.' she passed a sheet a paper under the glass. 'You better go eat something, it looks like the wind could blow you away.' she nodded as I looked down at the paper. Normal classes, normal times.

'Yhea, thanks.' I turned to the giant grey door heading away fast. I just wanted to get through this day. I had to focus.

The hallways past the doors weren't much better than the outer appearance- in this case you could pretty much judge this book by its cover, dark and dingy outside and cold and clinical inside. People were covering the locker covered walls everywhere I looked. They didn't seem miserable- it was just like every other high school I had been to. There were circles of friends all together, laughing, doing homework, gossiping- basically doing all the friend things I miss out on all cus I showed up late. It was naive to believe that I'd find a click and fit in now. I had been to enough schools to find this out. I wasn't being cynical- it was realistic but what did I care? I was getting good grads, not an A+ student but I was going to be one anyway. What I excel at was fighting and competing. The best chance I got for fitting in was to join a team...but that was again out of the question. It would be all my luck to join a team, train up and then have to leave again. The story would repeat itself. So no, this time round I was just going to work, focus on working and keeping my head down.

First item on my list was Art. This was by far my best subject. I was not one for words, not one for numbers but give me a brush and I could paint a beauty...or throw it at you with amazing force or accuracy- it depends on how I'm feeling. The art department was easy enough to find, it was actually in the basement which was easy enough to find due to many painted arrows round the school (I kinda loved it when the subject spills out of the class room- it wasn't s neat or tidy). Since they were the only actual decorations in the school it wasn't hard to miss any signs. The problem was the stairs- I had to go down five flights of stairs to reach the basement. It was of curse still lunch so a sat outside the door of the classroom looking threw my school bag for my sketch book. Drawing had always been my stress relief. Sure punching and kicking was all well and good but when I was staring down at a piece of paper nothing could distract me. I picked up my pencil and began sketching. This was how I'd make it though till four o'clock.

'Thanks for letting me use the space down here.' I pursed as the art room door opened. 'You just don't get the space up in the science labs.' the voice was a males. 'Projects are such time wasters.'

'Don't worry about it. I know how class projects pile up.' the second voice was older, maybe the teacher? I bent my head low over my book drawing faster. I didn't want to be seen, and I knew it wasn't normal to be sitting on the floor drawing but who would have thought that someone would be down here? And LUNCH too! This was meant to be the time for everyone to slack off and mess around.

'Yhea, and I mean it, I really appreciate It.' the voice got lower. I couldn't help but stop drawing altogether at this point. What was I about to over here? The boy stepped through the door. I scooped my hair over my face. 'Oh...' his voice lost its low mumble. I looked through the heavy curtain of hair to star at the boys trouser legs. Jeans, worn down jeans with a series of holes left around the knee. 'Is lunch over?' I looked down to my paper.

'no.' the second voice came out of the door. A pair of long legs in a light brown suit skirt appeared. 'Lunch has just started, why is there a girl on the floor?' I looked up to the woman. Long blond hair tied back into a lose plat. Paint specked across her face, she looked stunning. Was she a teacher? Blond, tall, blue eyes- three things you wouldn't expect of a teacher in this school. She wore a lilac blouse tucked into her skirt and an apron which looked like it was once clean but instead was covered in a mixture of clay and coloured inks. It seemed that the art teacher had found me.

'I'm the new girl.' I explained standing up brushing off the dust from my skirt. 'This is my next lesson and...Well I don't know where else to go. Shouldn't I be here?' I looked coolly at the teacher. I wasn't going to judge her but I didn't have to act like I didn't hear anything. She flushed looking away from me.

'No, you're allowed. The art departments aren't that strict.' she hummed looking round. 'But I'm kinda cleaning up in here still.' I raised my brow. I wonder what exactly she'd have to be cleaning up in there.

'It's ok. I'll come back later.' I picked up my bag heaving it onto my shoulder. 'Guess I'll see you after lunch.' I didn't even wait to see her response. I just kept heading for the stairs.

'Hey! New girl, wait up!' I didn't stop. I rushed up the stairs taking two at a time to charge up the levels. Stairs were easy after years of continues training, the boy still in the basement had no chance catching up.

I reached the top of the stairs taking a deep breath; I was not looking forward to the art lesson now. So much for living peacefully, I could just tell that teacher would bear some kind of ill will from now on. I carried on walking along the hallway, no people were there to see my flushed face. That was a good start.

'I said wait.' a large chest moved in front of me. I stumbled back to the ground just to stare at a pair of ripped jeans. I growled clenching my fists. My sketch book sliding across the floor. I gritted my teeth jumping up from the floor growling at the boy.

'What's the big Idea?' I glared up at him, he was smiling. A sly half smile that told me all I needed to know. 'Never mind.' I growled stepping past him to gather my bag and book.

'You're new, aren't you?' a large hand got to my book before mine. I straightened up to looked back at the culprit. He was still smiling, a ridiculously confident smirk. 'We don't get many new kids round here.' he rolled my book in his hands.

'Give me that back.' I calmed my voice as I ordered him. I didn't need to raise my fists today. I didn't want to start off badly. The boy towered over me still smirking.

'This? Don't worry, I'll give it back.' he turned to start walking away flicking through the pages of sketches.

'Hey!' I grabbed his shirt pulling him back. 'Hand over the book.' I ordered again. He was still looking down at the drawings.

'These are pretty good new girl.' he snapped the book closed straightening up. 'Who would have thought?' I let his shirt go glaring up at his piercing blue eyes stab down at me. This boy was a demon.

'So where did you come from?' the boy started interrogating me. I made a snatch for my book. He just raised it into the air. 'No, I'm trying to be friendly.'

'Give back the book.' I snapped jumping up for it but it was no use, height would always be an issue. He still held it into the air. 'Fine.' I growled stomping hard into his foot. He yelped moving back but still he held the book.

'What was that?' he yelled back at me, his smirk gone.

'That was a little warning before I cram my fist down your throat!' I charged at him grabbing my book, he still held onto it. He pushed my away backing off near the lockers. I looked round for witnesses. No one was here; I could pound this guy then run before anyone found out.

'What the hell? Who do you think you are?' he growled still keeping the book far out of my reach.

'Me? Who the hell do you think you are? Oh...wait, you must think you're better because you're having it with a teacher. Of course you'll get away with stupid shit like this.' now that looked like it hit him.

'Take that back.' he growled. I readied myself for him.

'Make me.' I spat as I ran at him. 'And give back my book!'

'STOP THAT RIGHT THERE!' I pursed holding my fists in front of his face. I looked to see a man in the hallway glaring at is. a large bold headed man- you could have mistaken him for a gorilla but you know , he was talking English and wore a suit. Either way he was a very large man walking angrily in our direction. 'MY OFFICE, NOW.'

As it turns out...the gorilla was the principle. Wait a go Ash, first day and you're already getting pulled up for some crappy incident. I kept my head down at the chair I was seated all the time I was being "reprimanded" about fighting in school. What made it worse was that I just had to be told off with the demon boy. The office was back in the reception, as it turns out I didn't explore very far on my first day. The woman at the desk winced at me as I passed. Yes, I was already a trouble student. the boy following me into the office and sat next to me on the other hand seemed very relaxed.

'How many times do you actually come to my office?' the principle paced round us. 'It's not good when the principle get to know your name.' he glared at the boy for a moment. 'And you, girl, what were you thinking?' his face snapped to me. I didn't answer, it was best to just let him rant. If he was anything like other principle they just wanted to give a good warning and scare us not to do it again.

'You don't really need to get in her face like that.' the boy spoke up, the principle turned back to him. I frowned catching his eyes, what was he doing?

'And why's that? Wasn't she about to hit you?'

'Yes but she's new.'

'I don't need him explaining for me.' I sighed. 'I won't do it again. Sorry for misbehaving, sorry for almost hitting you but you're a prick so really you should learn to control yourself too.' I folded my arms as the men watched me.

'New...' the principle stared at me in thought. 'Oh yes...Ashley...oh, OH.' he folded his arms sitting back at his desk. 'I was warned.' he huffed staring at me before smiling. 'You're going to be interesting.' I waited for him to explain. 'Got a bit of a temper...yes, I was told. But you're gifted...Humm...' he looked back to the boy. 'Did you meet her near the art department?'

'Yes sir.' he relaxed. 'I'm missing something.' he looked back to me.

'Yes, but it's not for you.' the principle grinned at me. 'You're a good student to have on the records.'

Not long after that we were let go with just a slap on the wrist, as it turns out this principle was a tool. Well most were now that schools were merely businesses. No one whose left school actually comprehends that the kids in them just want to go through it all as easily as possible. We didn't want to get mixed up in their world. It was school. The important thing was that I wasn't getting a call home, a detention or anything that could automatically label me as some target. I had calmed down. I held my bag breathing deeply; I wouldn't let my anger rule me. It was always getting into trouble.

'So you're a good student.' I looked up at the boy, so...apparently he was following me. 'a good new student.'

'Yhea.' I muttered 'it really looks that way.' I wasn't but I knew what had happened, every time. It was my parents messing with my papers, for some reason whenever I got into trouble the teacher telling me of suddenly gets a look at my papers and smiles. Something fishy must be on it, a lie that made me look like some kind of genius. Well I'd give that a month before it wears off.

'Well, sorry for getting you into that.' he gave me a goofy grin. 'What can I say? I get the people around me in trouble, I'm a terrible person.' I narrowed my eyes watching him smile away.

'You don't need to tell me that. I know.' I looked around the corridor, more people were showing up. Lunch must be coming to an end by now. The hour did just drag on.

'Yhea well I guess...' he looked away scratching the back of his head as I walked back towards the stairs. 'I guess I should give this back.' he held out my book as we reached the stairs. I looked down at the book. I had put so much effort into that book. It was more than a sketch book to me now, it was a collection of achievements I've drawn and the anger and stress I put into all of that would be enough for about ten homicides. I'd be completely lost without it. I grabbed it trying to pull if from his grip but his hand wasn't realising. He was just staring at the cover, his eyes glazed over.

'Let go or I will actually break you fingers.' I muttered finally retrieving the book form him. I ran down the stairs. I wasn't about to get into another fight. Not this soon anyway

ok please please review! But if you're someone that just hates don't...constructive criticism is ok but if you're just going to insult me I'm sure you have better things to do. Thank you !