I hate being the new girl.

My brain kept repeating the same mantra over and over because yet again my father had to drag us off to some remote town – this time in freaking Pennsylvania - so he could climb the cooperate ladder even higher. It seemed like since I started high school I moved at least one a year. It was so hard to try to keep up between having friends, different curriculums and of course the thing I adored the most…swimming.

I can't get a top spot on any swim team because I'm never at a one specific school long enough! I yelled silently to myself.

That didn't mean I wasn't good – I was damn good…I mean, my father always pushed me to be better…but that's good right? It is a father's job to push their kids. Though sometimes I'd wish he'd just back off but I'd never tell him that.

I looked at my phone – 7:20am. Ugh. I stepped out of my dark green Jeep Wrangler and walked begrudgingly towards the main office. This school was larger than my last – not by much, but still larger is larger. I looked around the inside of the building as I entered through the double metal and glass doors.

Rosewood Sharks. Classic.

Blue and white colors were streaked throughout the inside walls and a large mural of an angry looking shark was centered between the streaking colors.

Well, just add in red and we'd be the freaking USA team! I thought bitterly. I shook my head to try to shrug off my poor attitude and set out to find the door I needed.

I found the administrative office quite easily. The woman sitting at the desk was young – probably mid-twenties. She had long blonde hair that hung down her shoulders in a light wave. I could see only part of the Sharks Polo shirt that she was wearing as she was nearly hidden behind a large desk with a large, full blown PC.

"May I help you?" she asked kindly.

"Uh… yea. I'm Paige McCullers. I'm new," I replied handing her a piece of paper that my mother had given me earlier that day before I left for school.

"McCullers…." she mumbled to herself as she typed something into her computer. "Ah! Right here."

She slid her black, wheeled office chair quickly over to a printer, grabbed a couple of papers, got up off the chair and walked to the counter I was standing at. I shifted my book bag higher onto my shoulder so I could look at the piece of paper she was showing me without my bag falling off onto my arm.

"Here is your schedule. This is the class, the room number and the teacher." She picked up a small stack of papers resting on her desk below the counter. "I need you to have each instructor sign their respective paper and bring it back to me before school ends or first thing tomorrow morning before school begins…"

She trailed off. "And here," she handed me something that looked to be a spiral notebook, "is your agenda. It contains all the rules, policies and procedures. It is also your hall pass, your calendar for homework assignments and your overall guide to Rosewood High. There is a map on the last page if you get lost. Do you have any questions?"

I just shook my head lightly.

"Okay, well you better get to class. Best way to get to your first period is through the double doors you just came in from, go up the half-stairs on your left and it's the building on the right."

I walked out of the office and through the double doors as she had suggested. So far, I was not impressed. I have been in at least 6 different schools and this one appeared to be just the same as everyone that preceded it. I took a moment to clear my head and stare at my schedule. AP Biology, AP English, Calculus, US History, PE, and Psychology. I rolled my eyes at the paper.

This is going to be an interesting senior year, I thought. Starting tomorrow I have swim practice in the morning – which means I'm up at 4:30. As much as I adore swimming…they couldn't make it like…a class or something? But, I have to get good grades in order to get into college…. Jesus. One more thing I have to think about.

I shook my head trying to rid the overwhelming thoughts. I walked up the "half stairs" as the receptionist had called them and into the building where my first period was located. Biology was not exactly my best subject but supposedly my father thought I did well enough last year to sign me up for AP. I walked into the standard lab classroom and found an older man sitting behind a master lab desk at the front of the room. He was going bald but I could still see some of the remaining black hair on his lower head. He wore roundish glasses and at first glance reminded me of a balding, younger Santa Clause. He had a beard that hung down towards his chest just above a very round belly. His eyes seemed kind but I've learned with teachers that can't always be trusted.

"Hi," I said lightly to the man as I handed him the form that I needed signed.

"You must be Miss McCullers. I'm Mr. Zatezlo, but most around here just call me Mr. Z. As this is the second week of class, most of the seats are already taken by there is one seat open by…" he trailed off looking at his seating chart, "Miss Fields." He finished pointing towards the back of the classroom. I looked to where he was pointing and there were two empty seats. I had figured whoever 'Miss Fields' was, she was obviously not here yet.

"Here is your book, Miss McCullers…"

"Thanks," I interrupted him.

He glared at my interruption, but continued quickly. "We are currently working on Chapter 3. If you talk with Emily, she should be able to give you her notes to copy," he concluded waving me off to go sit down in my designated seat.

I picked up the Biology book that he had laid on the lab table, shuffled my bag onto my shoulder once again and turned to walk to the back of the room. When I looked up to see where it was I was actually going, I lost my breath for a minute as I saw the girl who was sitting at the lab table I was directed to sit at. She had dark hair pulled back in a low pony tail with a few wisps contouring to her face. Her skin was tan – almost as if she was Puerto Rican or Italian…but not. She was sitting at the desk with her head resting on one hand, appearing to be looking over notes from a spiral ring notebook.

I continued towards the table and set my book down on the tabletop while reaching into my bag to retrieve a notebook and a pen. I set my bag down under the table and took a seat as the girl looked up at me and smile.


"Hi" I said in response.

"I'm Emily."


She smiled sweetly at me.

"I…uh…" I cleared my throat. The way she was looking at me was very unnerving…it made me sort of tingly. "The teacher said I could copy your notes from last week's lessons?"

"Oh, sure," She replied handing me the notebook she was looking at before class started. "O, I guess you won't have time to copy them before class starts, huh?"

I looked up towards the front of the class to see Mr. Z prepare to begin lecturing the class.

"I guess not," I confirmed.

"Did you want to take them with you after class and you can just bring it with you tomorrow? I mean, it's not like I'm not going to see you in time for class," she laughed lightly.

"That would be great. Thanks." I mumbled lightly as flipped my notebook open and prepared myself to take notes for class.

The teacher began his lecture and as I was taking notes, I let my hair fall covering my face. I allowed it to become a shield as I looked over towards my new lab partner. She was breathtakingly beautiful. No one on Earth should be that gorgeous. I saw her tilt her head to look at me and I hurriedly pretended to be looking at the board. I prayed to everything holy she didn't notice…if she had, I knew that the coming year would be a very long one.

As class ended, I heard her voice again.

"What else do you have this year?"

I looked over at her unsure of exactly what she had said. "Huh?" I replied – my uncertainty showing.

She smiled at me widely. "I said, what else do you have this year? You know…classes?" She questioned again.

"O..umm… I have…" I trailed off as I reached for the schedule I had put in the front of the agenda the receptionist had given to me earlier. I handed her the paper and watched as her eyes intently scanned the text.

"Awesome!" She said eagerly.

I looked at her bewildered. "What is awesome?"

"We have like 2 more classes together – history and psychology. Why do you have PE your junior year?"

"Oh…umm… I swim, so I guess it is mandatory or something?"

She looked at me with a confusing look on her face that I couldn't quite make out. It was mixed by what I believe was excitement and shock but since I didn't know her well - hell at all – I couldn't be completely sure.

"What?" I asked.

"You swim?"

"Yea, since I was little. I've been on like three teams. My last school told me that I could have made swim captain if I had stayed, but I had to move," I replied as I looked down at my closed book.

"You must be really good. I am on the swim team here too. Practice starts tomorrow. I can't wait," she said excitedly.

Her giddiness was tangible. Her dark eyes sparkled when she talked about swimming. I wish I felt the same way… I mean, I adored swimming but it was lately becoming more of an 'I need this for a scholarship to college' than an 'I was born to be in the water' thing.

The bell rang signaling that first period was over. I gathered my belongings and placed them haphazardly into my backpack.

"Here," the brunette said handing me her notebook. "Just bring it back tomorrow."

"Okay, sure, no problem," I replied.

"I'll see you later then."

She stood up from her seat and made her way to the front of the room. My eyes kept shifting to look at her as she walked out the door.

This can't be happening. And I have to see her in a swim suit starting tomorrow…How in the world am I going to pull this off?

All I knew was that I had about 2.5 hours to figure out how I was going to deal with this. I couldn't be attracted to girls. My father would have had my head on a platter. I was the star swimmer. I was here to swim and to get a scholarship and get the grades. That is all.

I am the straight, all-star, national honor roll daughter of the Vice CEO of a global company.

But why can't I stop picturing her brown eyes?