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Thu May 26, 2011 11:46 am

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Corinne sat with her head pressed up against the window of the car. It was almost midnight and the motorway was empty. Her mother and three year old brother, Jake sat in the front, whilst she was squished in the back with all the suitcases and boxes that wouldn't fit in the trunk.

They were on their way to a new neighbourhood, far, far away from the city where Corinne had grown up. It wasn't an ideal move, but Corinne found herself unable to hold it against her mother who'd recently caught her dead-beat father cheating. God, did she hate him, though. If it wasn't for him, her family wouldn't be broken and she'd still be at home with her friends.

Now she was forced to face the unknown. In a couple of hours they'd be at their new house, and in a couple of days she'd be at a new school.

"Corinne, honey" shouted her Mom, "Can you please get your brother some breakfast?"

Corinne sighed and put down her mascara. After four days to settle in, it was a Monday - and time for her to face going to a new school. She'd woken up early today, made sure that her wavy black hair looked presentable in a cute messy-bun, and that her eye-liner and mascara was perfect. She'd been up half the night deciding on what outfit to go for, but in the end she just went for comfortable jeans and a pretty tank top.

What she didn't need right now was to have to take care of Jake on top of all this, but she couldn't really blame her mother - she was finding it hard to cope on her own. And today was a big day for her Mom too, she had a job interview.

She made cereal for herself and Jake, and then checked the time.
"Mom, hurry up! I don't want to be late for school!" she yelled, her mom had agreed to take her in on her first day.

Corinne got Jake dressed and strapped him into the backseat of the car. Her mom came down just as she was done, wearing a smart black suit.
"You look lovely, honey. Good luck at school," she said.
"You too Mom," replied Corinne. All too soon, the traffic started thickening as they got closer and closer to school. She could see the big building now.

"Can I just drop you here?"
"Yeah sure," said Corinne, stepping out, "See you tonight."

Corinne walked to her first class with butterflies in her stomach. This was so different to her last school, different but nicer! There were trees and flowerbeds everywhere and inside there were colorful displays, unlike her last school were harsh grey concrete had been everywhere.

She put on a brave face when she reached her room and knocked on the door before stepping in.
"Er.. hi, sorry I'm late," she said awkwardly to the teacher at the front.
She felt the all the eyes in the room swivel to look her way. She looked round at the sea of faces, trying not to make eye contact with anyone.

"Oh yes, Corinne Wood. Welcome to Greendale." said the man, he seemed nice enough. "I'm Mr Holmes. Take a seat at the front here."

Corinne sat at the desk to the left of him, glad that she now couldn't see all the curious pairs of eyes. She couldn't really concentrate on Mr Holmes's lesson, but at least he didn't seem to pay her any more attention after that. The bell went and she got up to leave.

"Hey, I'm Kate," said smiling blonde girl. She had perfect pink lips and straight barbie doll hair. Not someone Corinne would have usually been immediately friends with.
"Hey," said Corinne, she didn't bother to repeat her name - everyone heard the introduction.
"So, you're new, huh? How're you liking Greendale?"
"Erm, I've only been here for, like, an hour" Corinne said. A girl nearby laughed.

"Let her breathe, Kate," she said, "I'm Jem, by the way." Jem was tall and slender, with long brown hair and interesting green eyes. Corinne felt more relaxed around her than Kate.
"I'm just being nice, Jemma," said Kate, her voice a lot colder than it had been when talking to Corinne, "You know, as Head of the Student body, I do have responsibilities."
Corinne held back a smile when she saw Jem roll her eyes.

"Now," continued Kate, glancing back to Corinne, "If you need anything, just come to me, honey. I'm happy to be a friendly face around here, and I would offer to walk you to next lesson but I have a meeting. I hope you don't mind me leaving you with Jemma?"
"No, that's fine. Thanks," said Corinne politely. Kate looked her up and down appreciatively, before walking off.

Corinne made eye contact with Jem and the two girls laughed.

"So you've met Barbie," grinned Jem. She walked with Corinne to English. Corinne was glad to have someone friendly to talk to - who appeared to be on the same wavelength as her too.
"She's nice..." defended Corinne, "A bit intense, but good intentions."
"Hah, she has an ulterior motive no doubt. Probably counting on you're vote for Prom Queen."
The two girls laughed.

"So where you from?" said Jem, as they waited outside.
"A long way away..." said Corinne almost wistfully. Jem noticed the tone and thoughtfully didn't press the matter. Instead she went on to fill Corinne in on the school gossip. She sat by her in English, which Corinne was super pleased about, and the two girls talked the whole lesson.

"Right, so avoid 'Mike' at all parties, and steer clear of Tyler too," repeated Corinne at the end of the lesson. They had been on the topic of boys, and Jem had filled her in on who was hot and who was not.
"You're catching on," said Jem, "I have Biology now, what about you?"
"Chemistry." said Corinne glumly. She didn't feel as brave without her new friend.
"Don't worry, I'll meet you at lunch in the Cafeteria. You're pretty cool, Corinne," said Jem, waving and walking to her class.
"Not too bad yourself," smiled Corinne.

Her smile faded as she entered her Chemistry class. There was one seat left and that was at the back next to a slightly overweight boy. She sighed and sat next to him.

"Hey, mind if I?"
"Go ahead," said the boy, "You're Karen, right?"
"Corinne" she corrected. The boy blushed and apologised before turning to his book. The teacher hadn't arrived yet so everyone was talking.

"Hey, Corinne!" shouted a familiar voice. It was Kate, sitting a few rows ahead. Corinne smiled but didn't return Kate's embarrassingly over-excited wave. The boy next to Kate turned round slightly irritatedly to see what the fuss was about.

Corinne stopped grimacing at Kate and turned her attention to him. He had brown hair and soft brown eyes that looked dreamy even from far away. He had what Corinne's mother would call, 'Excellent bone structure', which for Corinne just meant he looked hot. Very hot.

She smiled at him, and was rewarded with a dazzling reply.
"Mr Longden and Miss Ashworth, please turn around."

As Kate and the boy turned back around, Corinne's attention snapped up to her new Chemistry teacher. However during class, she found her attention slipping back to the boy next to Kate. Damn, she thought, even from the back he looked fit!

"Good to see you made it through Science without me," joked Jem, as Corinne joined her at a table. She was with three other people.

"Guys, this is Corinne," introduced Jem, "And Corinne, this to my left is Summer, to my right is Eva and that's Johnny."
Corinne smiled at the girls and returned the cheeky wink from Johnny. She fit in easily to the groups conversation without awkwardness and was soon in on the private jokes.

"So, Corinne, what you got planned this weekend?" asked Summer. From the conversation Corinne had noticed that Summer didn't talk a lot, but the contributions she did make were thoughtful and quite often hilarious. She took an immediate liking to her, and Eva who seemed to be her opposite - chatting nonstop.

"Oh god yeah! I'm having a partaaaaaaay," said Eva, "My parents are out of town from friday to monday - gives me the perfect oppurtunity to have one; and clear up the evidence after!"
Corinne laughed, "Yeah I should be free."
"Awesome, you can come to mine before, yeah?" said Jem. Corinne was delighted at the invitation, she was glad Jem seemed to like her back.
"Ok. Sounds great."

The bell went and the group dispersed.
"Ugh, Geometry now. See you later," said Eva, walking off with Summer.
"See you guys," said Johnny,leaving too. Jem and Corinne walked to their next lesson chatting easily.

The day was over, and Corinne felt like a big weight had left her shoulders. She hadn't expected to fit in this quickly, and she had the bonus of Jem who she could tell was definitely going to be a good friend in the future.

She got the bus home, feeling the stares of other kids again, but she was too happy to care.

"How was you're day, honey?" asked her Mum as soon as she got through the door. Jake was in his high-chair, eating some kind of gloop.
"Great! It seems really nice"
"Make any friends?"
"Yeah, a few. How was the interview?"
"I got the job! There is a downside though, I won't be here in the evenings... Do you mind sitting Jake for me? It's only weekdays honey"
"Ok, as long as I get Saturday off."

Corinne went upstairs to her new room, and set about unpacking the remaining boxes. Maybe things wouldn't be so bad afterall...

The days seemed to fly by with an easy routine. Corinne had a new group that she'd fit so easily into that many people had simply accepted her being there. The stares and mix-ups regarding her name had definitely decreased. She was with either Eva, Johnny, Summer or Jem in nearly every lesson, excluding Chemistry.

She was sat in Chemistry now, next to the overweight boy; Cal. He was shy and introverted so conversation was very minimal. She spent most of the time taking notes and occasionally being drawn to the boy next to Kate. She still hadn't learnt his name - and it was Thursday now. She watched how overly-friendly Kate acted around him. Constantly making contact with him, touching him arm, hand or back. She sighed, they were definitely couple material.

The bell went but her Chemistry teacher, Mr Vaulster called her back.
"Corinne, can you stay behind please?"
"Sure," said Corinne, packing up her bag as the other students filed past her. She wasn't worried, she never misbehaved in his lessons; she didn't even talk.
"I'm just wondering how you're coping with the transfer? Are you up-to-date with this topic?" he asked.
"Oh, I'm doing ok. Cal's helpful if I get stuck," said Corinne, and she wasn't lying. Although Cal was awkward socially, he seemed to get Science just like that. He seemed to be happy to explain things to her.
"Oh good. Yes, I suppose you're seated rather well. That's all I wanted, Corinne. Is there anything else you want to say?"
"No thanks, I'm managing fine for the time being," she said smiling. She left the classroom and took the outside route to the Cafeteria. It was a nice day - all blue sky.

"Hey there," said a voice to her right. She turned around to see a boy sat on a fence. Her heart skipped a beat when she recognised his face. The boy from Chemistry.

"Er... hey," she said shyly. He jumped off the fence and took a few strides towards her.
"I'm Alex by the way, never got to introduce myself before," he said, holding out a hand.
"I'm Corinne," she replied, taking it. His hand felt warm and strong in hers. She held on for a little bit too long.
"Well yeah, who doesn't know that?" he laughed. She relaxed and joined with him, his laugh sounded good.
"What you doing by out here by yourself?" she asked, now she was a little bit more in control of her thoughts.
"Just come out here to get away sometimes," he said, "And I'm waiting for my friend to pick me up."
"Oh really," Corinne said raising an eyebrow, "Skipping last lesson, are we?"
"You could say that," he replied, giving her a guilty grin. He looked so sexy Corinne resisted the urge to touch him.
"Well, I'm late to meet my friends," said Corinne, "See you around?"
"Yeah, see you around."

Corinne walked on then, feeling half inclined to turn back. She shook herself, this was the first conversation she'd had with him and she was ready to make it physical already? What was with her. She couldn't get him out of her head though, after learning his name all she could think about was Alex.

"See you tomorrow, don't be late!" shouted Eva, to Corinne and Jem. They were sat on the field, outside the school, basking in the sun. Corinne was getting a lift home from her Mom tonight, as she was going to shopping straight after school with her.
"We won't, now beat it" called back Jem. She turned to Corinne. "What time you getting picked up?"
"Twenty minutes... you can go if you want - I know you're raring to go." Jem had a date to prepare for that night, with her crush Tom.
"No... it's fine," lied Jem. Corinne saw through it.
"Go. I'll see you tomorrow night, you can tell me all about it!"

Reluctantly Jem left, leaving Corinne sunbathing. After a few minutes she felt a shadow replace the warm sunlight on her face. She opened her eyes.
"Do you mind?" she said, in a friendly way. It was Alex.
"Charming!" he laughed, and flopped down beside her, "How you doing, beautiful?"
Corinne felt her heart squeeze at the compliment, even though it was more of a saying type thing than an actual direct compliment.

"Pretty good. It's Friday after all," she replied. "What about you? I'm surprised to see you though..."
"Oh?" asked Alex.
"I thought you didn't do last lessons?" she joked, turning on her stomach to face him. She found herself extremely close to his eyes. They were deep brown, gentle and enticing. He held her gaze and laughed.
"Sorry Hall Monitor," he joked, "It won't happen again."
"What are you two laughing about?" interuppted a high-pitched voice. Kate. Corinne resisted the urge to tell her to mind her own business. She looked at Alex and was pretty sure he felt the same way.

"Just talking," said Alex non-committedly. Kate sat down elegantly beside him. Close beside him, Corinne noticed.
"So, what are you doing this weekend?" said Kate. It was obvious the question was directed to Alex, Corinne was super aware of Kate's perfectly manicured hand on his leg, "I mean, I was thinking we could go see a movie or something. Maybe Saturday night?"

Something stirred inside Corinne. She didn't want to be the nice girl who sits by and watches someone else take the guy she likes. She purposely answered for Alex.
"Wait - you're not going to Eva's party on Saturday night?"
"Oh." said Kate, surprised, "Well yes, I had been invited but I was thinking of doing something with some close friends. I'm not sure if it's really our scene either..."

Corinne didn't miss the emphasis on 'close friends', or the way Kate said 'our' like she was talking for Alex. She was going to reply with something equally as bitchy.

"I'd love to go," said Alex, ignoring Kate's protests. Corinne secretly did a little celebration dance inside. Suck on that Kate, she thought.
"Of course, I'm not saying I wouldn't," said Kate quickly, "Is that ok with Eva?"
"Yeah sure... the whole 11th grade's coming, I'm sure you'll fit right in Kate," Corinne said, acting innocent now.

She heard the sound of her mom's horn behind her.
"Well see you tomorrow," she said, looking directly at Alex. He held her gaze.
"I'll be looking forward to it."



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