Chapter One- Welcome to John Adams

John Adams High school, the building that would hold my memories, my fate and my life for the next three years. I had been born and spent most of my childhood in Philadelphia. However, when I was four, my Mom and Dad divorced, which forced me to be relocated to Pittsburgh where my Grandmother lived. The anger towards my parents lasted a very long time. Being as young I was, I couldn't understand how two people, who had spent practically their whole lives together could have just fallen out of love so easily. I also wasn't able to understand why I had to suffer for it. It took me a while to realize that in the end, it was better for everyone, including myself. It felt strange to be starting more then half way into the school year, especially considering everyone already knew each other. I was in the tenth grade and also my third time being "the new girl". However, it was a semi-good kind of strange. The first day I moved away to Pittsburgh was also the very same day I swore to myself that I would go back to Philadelphia. I wanted to go back to not only return to everything I once knew and loved but to find myself as well. I was fifteen years old, yet I had no idea who I was or who I wanted to become. And I knew I'd never figure it out in Pittsburgh. Home is where the heart is after all, right?

So there I was, face to face with reality and for once, I actually wasn't that scared. Taking a deep breath, I gripped onto the strap of my backpack and then made my way cautiously up the stairs and into the school. Kids of all ages, shapes, sizes and even color moved past each other easily, like they had done a thousand times before. With a small sigh, I shifted my strap a bit and looked down at my palm. In a hurry, I had scribbled down my locker number messily; that way if I did forget it, I wouldn't have to ask anyone for help.

"O317, okay. That should be easy enough to find." I mumbled to myself. It took me a minute or two but I eventually found it. After apologizing to countless people for bumping into them, I stood in front of my locker. Pulling my locker from my jean pocket, I held it in my left hand as I tried to get the locker door open. Grunting, I let my backpack slide down my arm. I placed my lock on top of it and tried again with both hands. It was jammed shut so badly it was almost as if someone had super glued it to be so. With one last frustrated tug, I gave up. I had been there for less then five minutes and things were already starting to go wrong. Just as I went to walk away, a dark haired boy around my height strolled over to me. We made eye contact for a brief second before he hit my locker rhythmically twice.

Cocking my eyebrow at him, I continued to watch as he effortlessly pulled it open. He then grinned at me. "Had that locker last year," he said, his voice sounding smooth. I nodded slowly, not sure of exactly what had just happened. "Um, thanks?"

He then started to walk away. "No problem. Take 'er easy."

I frowned slightly and looked back and fourth from my locker to him. "Hey, wait a second!" I called out. My heart froze for a mere second. I had no idea what I was doing. It figured one of my biggest flaws had to be speaking out without thinking first. It may have been because he had just helped me and I saw a possible friendship in the air, it could have been because I was new and he was the first person to approach me, nicely. Or it could have been because I found him attractive. I didn't know but I didn't have time to think it over either. He stopped and slowly turned around, his light blue eyes staring into mine, as if reading my exact thoughts.

"The names Jason," he said. "See ya around, Sarah." Jason then turned around again and walked over to a much taller boy who had light brown hair and was wearing light blue jeans. And within seconds, they both disappeared down the hallway and around the corner.

Looking surprised, I just stared. How did he know my name and why? Was he a stalker? Did I know him from somewhere? So many questions ran through my mind, my brain actually hurt. I then shook my head. I had to focus on getting my things into my locker and finding my first class, not some strange boy who probably knew where I slept or something. I grabbed my backpack and lock and then began putting my books and binders inside of it.

"Sarah!" A familiar voice called. I turned to see my younger cousin, Topanga running happily towards me. She then reached me and pulled me into a bear hug. With the little air I had left, I giggled and hugged her back.

"Holy Pangers, you're acting like you haven't seen me in years," I said playfully. I had trouble pronouncing her name when we were younger and it had always come out as Pangers. So eventually, it stuck and oddly enough, it never went away. I was the only person allowed to call her such though. If anyone else even attempted it, it probably would have been the last. Growing up, she was not only my cousin but my best friend. Even to that day, we shared no secrets and she remained to be the only person I could trust, the only person who had never hurt me in one way or another. I was beyond grateful to have her.

Topanga squeezed me one last time before letting go. "Oh shush," she grinned. "How does it feel to be back in Philadelphia for good? How do you like John Adams so far?" She wondered excitedly.

I stuffed everything except my math book and purple binder into my locker and then locked it shut. We began walking, my books held tightly to my chest. Topanga did the same. "I really missed it," I told her. "I mean, we left when I was four and I've gotten to visit every couple of summers but it's not the same, you know?"

Topanga nodded in agreement. "I hear you, my parents tried to move me to Pittsburgh as well last year. That's why I live with Aunt Prudence," she said. "I couldn't stand the thought of being away from Cory or any of my other friends for that matter. It must have been very hard for you," she spoke softly.

I shrugged slightly. "It was but it's okay because I'm back now," I smiled.

"That you are," she smiled back. "And it's going to be a great year."