posted on 15-Feb-2002 6:46:21 PM by ZooBoo
Title - Enters One
Author - ForOnce
Category - Young Americans/Other
Disclaimer – Me no own, got it?
Spoilers - The first eight episodes.
Summary - A new student shows up in town for the fall semester.
Thanks - Those who know me for me, I thank you for everything you do for me, day in and day out. This is for my little fam.
Author's Note - I like to think that the gang was starting off their Sophomore year of high school, so I'm playing off of that thought, mind you.




I couldn’t believe how small the town was when I finally stepped off of the bus. Have you ever been to a place where the local hang out is this tiny diner, that’s just down the street from the town convenience store...the only place within thirty miles to buy groceries? Well, that’s exactly what this place is like. I don’t think the diner here would even stay open if it weren’t for the fact that it seems to be the traditional ‘after the game’ spot of the entire baseball team.

Small towns and me, It’s not that we don’t get along...it’s that we simply don’t mix all that well. I know they all have their quaint charm and all that, I guess It’s just the thought of walking ten feet from the edge of town and being in the middle of nowhere. It doesn’t exactly strike me as being a pleasant one.

I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Willis. Who in their right mind would name their daughter Willis you ask? Well, I guess you’ll have to put that one passed my parents.

You see, I’ve never been one of those conventional people who act polite, although they really want to tell you to shut up. Or pretend to be interested in a conversation, although you can tell they’re not even listening. I guess I’m just of the opinion that if you ask...I’ll tell you. Well, that’s certainly not the way it is here.

About two months ago my parents started getting really busy at work, and they were traveling a lot more. So, they popped the question on me; could I handle going to a boarding school? You have to understand my parents, although sometimes a little flaky, have always tried to be there for me...and I have to tell you, I seriously needed a vacation.

Most kids that go to boarding schools are always complaining about how their parents are never around...never pay attention to them. Me? My parents have been there every waking moment of my life. They’re great and supportive and completely...claustrophobic.

So, when they gave me the chance to attend a boarding school for a while, I jumped on it, giving them the excuse that if I were to go they’d have a little bit of time to get things calmed down at work, and it certainly wouldn’t change our relationship. Well, not for the worse anyway. Now here I am, good ol' Rawley Academy.

I can’t believe my parents actually picked a school like this. It’s probably because it’s pretty close to home, but I wish they wouldn’t have stuck me with such pansies. Okay, maybe going with pansies is a little harsh, but if you spent a day here you’d know what I mean. Could any group of kids be more pathetic? I swear their world would come crashing down if they got a pimple! Well, I shouldn’t say all of them.

A little over a month ago was when I actually came to RA. It seemed like a decent enough school when I arrived, besides the fact that they don’t have a proper music program. All these snobs and not one of them have any musical talent. Walking onto campus with my bass guitar certainly turned quite a few heads, the first one being Ryder Forrest.

One thing I don’t understand; how can someone be so gorgeous and such a prick at the same time? I mean, what kind of guy uses an opening line like, ‘You sure you can handle such a heavy piece of equipment, love?’!? Which, of course, provoked a round of snickers from the other guys just standing around. Man I felt like pushing him over onto his smug, cute, British butt.

I might have too, if I hadn’t had my guitar in one hand and my amplifier in the other. Instead I just came back with, “I know the concept may be a little hard for you to grasp, but arms are used for carrying things.”

The next thing that happened took me totally by surprise. He actually got up, walked towards me and said, “I guess I should give it a go then.” I swear I practically tripped over my feet. “Ryder Forrest, and you are?” he said to me, then extending his hand to relieve me of my guitar case.

I looked at him suspiciously for a moment before saying, “Chrys Sorensen,” …then handed him my amplifier.

I must say the trip up to my room was a bit more pleasant than I had expected it to be. He grilled me about where I was from and what brought me to Rawley, and I, in no uncertain terms, told him what I would do to him if he dropped my amplifier.

“This your room, precious?”

I don’t know if it was the phrase itself, or because the smirk on his face was all too inviting, but I had to say something, “Call me precious one more time, and I won’t wait for you to drop that amp.”

Right then I could swear that sideways grin grew even wider as he set it down inside of my door and stood up, just inches from me. “Anything you say…precious.”

I immediately felt my blood boiling, and I think I would’ve done something I would have regretted if my roommate hadn’t shown up just then.

“Still having a problem with that personal space thing, Ryder?”

“Caroline, it’s so great to see you.”

“You too Ryder. As long as I can barely make out the details.”

“Still a little upset, are we?”

“You know Ryder, these are the girls’ dorms...I’d hate for you to get caught being here.”

I’d only known her for five seconds, but I could already tell we were going to get along just fine.

“Well, we wouldn’t want to get in trouble now, would we?”

That crooked eyebrow is going to give me a heart attack one day. Not that I’d really mind, but I do still have my pride.

I think I have this problem with always doing what I say I’m going to do. So, you can probably imagine what happened next. That’s right...I punched him. It wasn’t that hard. Well, at least I didn’t think so. But, I manage to hit him square in the gut.

I didn’t even stick around to see what happened next, I just headed straight for my room and flopped down onto my bed, looking directly at the ceiling. Caroline probably thought Ryder was about to explode, because she was right behind me...locking the door.

“Did I just punch him?”

“I’m not sure...do you think I could get a recap?”

Right then I cracked up. She just had such a serious look on her face that I couldn’t help it. It was like a classic ‘deer in head lights’ look! I know the phrase is used all too often, but that’s truly the best way to describe it.

“If he ever calls me precious again, I promise you’ll get a recap.”

“For your sake I hope it never happens again. For his sake...I hope it does. Caroline Bus.” she informed me, and then sat down on her bed.

I figured I was probably safe sitting up, so I shifted out of my position and got up to move my equipment. “Willis Sorensen, but I’d prefer it if you called me Chrys.”

“I can see why. Is Chrys your middle name?”

I sat back down after sticking the amplifier at the end of my bed, and my guitar right by my feet. “Nope, my parents never gave me a middle name. They thought it would be too torturous.” I think I’ve been asked that question by so many of my friends that I’ve learned to just let it all play out.

“So, why Chrys then?”

I just shrugged at her and smiled, “Why not?” She obviously didn’t mind my explanation, because she didn’t push it further.

“So, what’s the deal between you and that Ryder guy? Besides the obvious.”

“Boy, you’re pretty good at picking up on the subtle, aren’t you?”

I couldn’t help but crack a tiny smile. It’s not that I’m nosy, I just prefer to know what’s going on so I know what to avoid.

“Well, Ryder would be an ex-boyfriend of mine.”

I was a little shocked by what she said. I’d just figured that he’d been a torment or something. I hadn’t expected that they’d actually dated.

“Wow, and the happy relationship just simmered out? Who would have guessed it?”

“Yeah, well when you find out a guy’s cheating on you, it’s been doomed from the beginning.”

I could tell she was a little uncomfortable with the whole conversation, so I tried to change the subject. “So, did you just get in, or have you been here for a while? I didn’t see any clothes and what not when I came in.”

“Yeah, I just got here this morning. There was some mix-up with the airport and my luggage got lost. Needless to say, I’ve got a free shopping spree, if I can find some way to get to Carson. It’s the only place within forty miles that actually has a shopping mall.”

I looked at the floor for a second. There wasn’t much for me to do around the dorms yet, except for unpacking, so I figured what the heck, “I’ll take you this afternoon if you’d like. I just have to get some unpacking done and a little practice in and I’ll be set.”

“That would be so great, thanks!”

~~~~~

"Turn left at the stop sign just ahead."

It took me a little longer to unpack than I'd anticipated that afternoon. So, as soon as I'd finished we headed for Carson.

"So, Will, how long have you and Caroline known each other?"

After getting my keys and heading out to my car we ran into Will, Caroline's boyfriend for...

"About two months."

"Really? The way you two act I thought it had been longer."

I seriously don't think I've ever seen a brighter shade of red on a guy's cheeks before.

"Uh, no. Just since about the middle of summer session."

I really, really haven't seen a shade that red before.

"So, Chrys, what classes are you taking?" I think Caroline was changing the subject so she wouldn't start laughing.

"Well, I haven't gotten a copy of my schedule yet. My parents told the secretary that I'd pick it up at the office on Monday. But I think I've got AP Psychology, Chemistry, Trigonometry, World History, English 11, and a few other classes my parents decided I should take."

Most kids would insist they pick their classes, but I've always let my parents do it. I guess I like to see what kinds of things they want me to learn. Plus, it's not like they'll be picking my classes in college. At least this way I get a good idea of what I'm capable of.

"Wait, you're a junior?" Caroline seemed a bit confused, and I really didn't understand why.

"Yeah..." Then it struck me, "You're not?"

"No, I'm a sophomore."

We all just sat there in silence for the next few minutes. It was a little odd to think that they'd stick a sophomore to room with a junior.

Finally I just up and said it, "Well, looks like we're getting the best of both worlds. You keep me informed, I keep you informed..."

Okay, so Caroline wasn't the quickest girl, but I guess living around these people can do that to a person, "Informed?"

I looked at her with perhaps a bit too much disbelief on my face. "Don't tell me no one ever pulls pranks around here. That's just not natural."

"Well, I did get dragged into the middle of town in my underwear at the beginning of summer session." Will mumbled, then shot up his head as Caroline and I both started cracking up. By the look on his face, he clearly didn't mean to say that particular thought out loud.

"I mean uh...that, that is..."

I don't think I had a coherent thought in my body. "Red!" was the only word I could even choke out. There's just something about a guy sitting there in total embarrassment that is so hilariously adorable.

After I got my laughter under control I looked back at Caroline and Will. I swear sometimes that men are even more sensitive than women. He looked so embarrassed, which just made me feel bad. "Well, looks like we're almost there," I said, glancing back and lightening the mood in the back seat a bit. "So where do you want to start first?"

Caroline sat for just a minute, contemplating our first stop. "Well, I guess the Carson Valley Mall would probably be the best place to stop at first, and then we can head over to 'The Shop and Drop' after that if we need to."

The Shop and Drop?! "There's actually a store called the Shop and Drop here?" Call me naive, but I seriously didn't believe there would ever be a living person tacky enough to name a business that. "Who in their right mind, or otherwise, would ever name a store 'The Shop and Drop?"

"Someone entirely desperate for imagination." Caroline laughed as a response.

I turned the corner into the parking lot of the mall, or should I say what they referred to as a mall. It couldn't have been larger than two convenience stores stuck together, and they had the nerve to call it a mall.

Pulling my keys out of the ignition and shutting my door I headed for the building. "Guess we've gotta start somewhere."

~~~~~

"Dang it! I'm so late." All I could do was glare down at my watch. I know that I shouldn't blame inanimate objects for my problems, but when it comes to time...I always do.

Shopping with Caroline had been a lot more fun than I had anticipated, considering the complete lack of decent store choices. Carson may have been a small place, but at least they made up for it in style.

"I can't believe I forgot!"

"Maybe they'll still be there." Will's a bright kid...just not very logical.

I was just pulling into the parking lot, but since it was already fifteen minutes past the time I was suppose to be there I was positive I could count that option out. "They'll already be gone. I'll just have to get a map and try to find my way around Monday."

Why is it that it's always the ones I'm trying to discourage that tend to be the ones that latch onto me?

"Lost track of your local tour guide?"

I thought after I'd punched him in the stomach he would have made short work of avoiding me altogether.

"We're going up to drop off my stuff and then we're heading over to Friendly's in about an hour. You're welcome to join us Chrys." Caroline was already heading towards the dorms, and I really wanted to look around the school grounds.

"I think I'm just going to take a walk around the lake, but I'll meet you there."

Okay, so I really can't stand it when people are just staring at me, and although I didn't mean to, I glanced back at Ryder. He was just sitting there, with this smug statement on his face, leaning against a tree. There was something about his eyes that were...

"Alright, see you there then." I turned back and hoped that Caroline and Will didn't see me staring at him. They probably wouldn't understand that I was just looking because of...

"Sounds good! Friendly's in an hour."

After they walked up the steps I started towards the lake. I could tell he was right behind me. I guess he thought that me looking at him was some sort of invitation. Then again, Ryder comes across to me as a guy who never waits for an invitation. He's a lot like...

"So, your mum and dad dropped you here because they didn't have enough time for you?"

Here we go again, right where we left off.

"I chose to come here because they had to leave on a few business trips during the school year, and because I didn't mind seeing some place new."

He was right beside me now, as we made our way towards a dock that stretched over the lake.

"No friends at home to keep you there?"

He was standing awfully close to me with his hands shoved inside his pockets. Well, close considering I enjoy my personal space.

"Well, my best friend at Concord moved away last year with her parents, and I have a lot of friends there. But I don't really plan on being here next year, so I can still graduate with them."

"You honestly think your parents won't stick you here again once they find out how convenient it is to put you here?" he asked me, then pulled out a cigarette from his pocket.

I stopped walking for a moment. "If you want to keep talking you won't even think about lighting that." Then I took the last few steps down the pier. "My parents always keep their promises, and they certainly won't break that one."

When I sat down I wasn't really surprised that he was at the middle of the dock, taking a drag when I turned back to look at him. At least he was decent enough to stay a few feet from me while he did.

I turned back to the lake and took a long look at it. It was rather nostalgic, with the small twists and turns the water took, flowing into crevices and shadows.

"You're lucky then."

I practically jumped off of the pier. He'd sat down right next to me and I hadn't even noticed. As I watched him he took one last puff of his cigarette, then put it out, blowing the smoke into the wind away from me.

He looked at me right then, and as much as I wanted to I just couldn't bring myself to look away. It was as if I couldn't believe his eyes were so much like hers, and no matter how much it hurt to look at them, I had to.

It took a few seconds before I noticed that he was only a few inches away from me now, leaning in. Without thinking I put my hands on his chest and shoved him...hard. His flailing hands grabbed hold of my right arm and we both went down into the water. It was like falling in slow motion and I landed right on top of him with my hands gripping his arms for support. Boy does he have nice arms!

"What in the world did you do that for?!"

It didn't take a genius to figure out he was mad.

"What did I do that for? What do you do that for?!"

I tried pushing off of him, but being someone who didn't spend a lot of time in the water when I was a kid...I really can't swim.

"I was falling into the water, what was I suppose to do?!"

About the only way I could even keep my head above water was by holding onto his shoulders.

"Not that! Why did you try to kiss me?"

Now I had my arms wrapped slightly around his neck because holding onto his shoulders wasn't working. Why wasn't he swimming towards the dock already?!

"That's why I'm in this lake?! Because I tried to kiss you?!"

I was guessing right about then that going into my room after I punched him that morning had been a good idea. He was ticked.

"AND WHY ARE YOU STILL HOLDING ONTO ME?!"

Alright, so I admit that this wasn't exactly the best time to start laughing at the guy who was literally keeping me afloat, but I just couldn't help it. He looked so completely flustered. At least it lightened the mood a little because he smiled and started chuckling with me.

A few minutes later, after our laughter died down, I found him staring at me again. He pulled me a little tighter to him and I was about to close my eyes when reality set in.

"I can't swim."

He pulled back slightly with his eyebrows furrowed, "Huh?"

"You...you asked me why, um...why I was still holding onto you," I told him as an explanation.

"Oh."

Call me crazy, but I couldn't stand the weird tension lasting another second. So, like a fool, I pushed off of him a little and did my best to tread water. I must have looked like a complete idiot because he grabbed ahold of my hands and started pulling me back towards the dock. As soon as we reached it he pushed himself up and then turned back towards me, squatting down.

"You know, this all could have been avoided if you just would have let me kiss you."

Oh, he was an arrogant one. I don't know if there's anything that bothers me more.

"Here we go," he said, as he pulled me up out of the water and to my feet. He was so close to the end of the pier that I had to shimmy over just to get around him without falling in again.

"It wouldn't have happened if you hadn't tried to kiss me either." There was no way I was going to take the blame for this, even if I was partially responsible.

"And what would be so terrible about that, precious?" he asked, bending slightly and ringing out his shirt.

That was it! I turned back around and shoved him again, only this time he didn't have the chance to grab me again. I didn't even wait for his head to break the surface. I just turned back around and quickly headed for my room. When the obscenities reached my ears I knew pushing him had had the desired affect on him.

I looked down at my watch. It was quarter to, and I still had to get changed. I hate being late to things, even if it's just meeting friends for dinner. Ryder would pay.

~~~~~

I was still staring at my watch when I pulled into Friendly's at seven o'clock.

"Well, better late than never."

That's the phrase I always try and convince myself of when I'm late. I, of course, don't believe a word of it, but it's about the only thing I can do to keep myself sane.

"Hey Chrys!" as soon as I walked in the door Caroline was making room for me on the seat by the window.

"Hey."

There were four other people beside Will and Caroline sitting around the table.

"Chrys, this is Scout, Hamilton, Bella, and Sean." she said, pointing to everyone respectively. "Guys, this is Chrys."

After a round of 'hellos' from everyone I sat down and we all ordered our food.

"Hey, Will and I passed Ryder on our way out of the dorms just before coming here. He looked like he'd fallen into the lake."

Okay, one subject I was really hoping wouldn't come up...Ryder. It didn't help that Caroline had a huge grin on her face either. I knew where she was going with this. It was so completely obvious by the way she was looking at me.

"What happened after we left you?"

"Well..." Mentioning the whole almost kiss thing just didn't seem like a good idea right then. "I'm sorry to say that you missed your recap."

"Recap?"

Yeah, Hamilton and Will are definitely friends. I sure hope this whole explaining everything wears off soon. I think the look on my face said everything because he finally caught on.

"Dude, I am so sorry I missed that!"

Changing the subject was about the only thing on my mind at the moment.

"So, what do you guys do for fun around here?" I figured a little push off of the subject wouldn't hurt.

Bella was actually the one who spoke up, to my astonishment. She had been rather quiet the entire time I'd been there.

"This is about as entertaining as it gets around here, along with an occasional party on the weekends." She had to be joking.

"You're kidding me."

Yep, I had just stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone. I guess things could have been worse. At least there were parties on Saturday.

"Nope, it's a pretty small town so there's really not much to do around here unless you head up to Carson."

"So what do you do for fun?" Hamilton was addressing me now, so I turned to him to answer.

"Well, back in Delaware I started taking some tae kwon do classes, but I don't think I'll be able to find another instructor here. I also play the bass guitar in my spare time. It's too bad there aren't any good music programs at Rawley."

"Really?" Hamilton suddenly sounded a little more interested. "I play a little guitar myself. I've always wanted to get a band started, but I haven't ever found anybody else that would be interested."

Boy was this kid dying for a hobby.

"Well, we could meet up some time and figure out if our music’s compatible. Then, if we can find a drummer, maybe we could get a band put together."

"Cool!"

Please tell me I was never this giddy about the idea of starting a band.

Just then the bell above the door sounded. I figured it must have been another friend of the groups’ since they all looked over.

"Hey Jake."

"Hey."

It couldn't be...

"We thought you'd never make it."

I think Will was the first one to notice my face flush. There was a huge lump forming in my throat and I could barely breath. Slowly turning around I prayed it wouldn't be her, prayed she wouldn't really be there.

"Jakie." It came out as a hoarse whisper. I hadn't even realized I'd said it until she looked at me, her face draining of all its color. I turned back to the table and cleared my throat just then. "Thanks for the evening guys, but I just remembered that I still have a little unpacking to do. I should probably go." I knew they all felt the tension, and I left without a word spoken from anyone.

When I stepped outside I had to force the tears back. This certainly wasn't the time to break down. Forcing my resolve, I hopped into my car and drove back up to Rawley Academy.

~~~~~

When I was a little girl I use to run outside every time it rained. My mom use to get so upset with me and tell me that I was going to catch a fever, but I never got sick. I'd play and play out in the puddles until I was soaking wet, then I'd watch the lightning from our back porch until the sky calmed. It was probably the one thing that could always soothe me when I was upset.

When I got back to campus I was glad that the light sprinkle had turned into a downpour. It was a lot easier blaming the rain than admitting to my tears.

The lake looked so alive when I approached it, every trickle of rain being consumed by the waters' lips. I could stare endlessly into it if someone let me.

Finding a tree that was decent covering, I pulled out the one thing I carry everywhere with me...my journal. I know it probably wasn't the smartest thing to do out in a rainstorm, but I seriously needed to write, and being out in the rain was the best place for me at the moment.

I always read the last sentence of what I've written in my previous entry before I start a new one. It’s like a ritual thing to me, reminding me of how everything changes in just a matter of minutes. It said; 'Tomorrow I start the next day of the rest of my year.'

Sighing deeply, I put pen to paper.

Dear JJ,
Today was the day...the day I found out whether or not I could spend my year here. It was an interesting day, to say the least. Probably the first time I've ever pushed someone into a lake.
Ryder Forrest. British, blond, tall, muscular, rude, obnoxious, cigarettes, smug, calm, collected, mocking, outsider, trouble maker, great swimmer, strong, annoying, persistent. First impressions can always be deceiving...I don't think his was. Remind me to pull the power plug in his room on Monday.
I saw Jacqueline today. I don't exactly know how to face her yet. It's been two years, but the pain hasn't stopped. Having me here is just going to make it harder on her. I think my parents knew she was attending this school. They're always trying to get us to talk. I'm just not ready yet.
This is going to be hard, isn't it? I'm not leaving though. I promised myself I'd stay, no matter what happened, and I'm going to.
I was right, this really is the first day of the rest of my year, and it'll have to do.
~Willis~




The End

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 16-Feb-2002 9:07:42 AM ]
posted on 9-Aug-2002 6:34:55 PM by ZooBoo
So yeah...this is the first one...