The alarm woke me at 7 am. I quickly got washed, dressed and headed downstairs to have breakfast with mom. I was nervous about my first day not knowing anyone.
We got to the school early, well about twenty minutes early. Mom wanted to meet the other teachers. I went around to the back of the football field and lit a cigarette. I took my first pull when I heard a voice; some guy was stepping out from behind the bleachers.
"I know you!"
I took him in, bit taller than me, maybe five foot ten or eleven, dark brown hair, and blue eyes, well built and dressed all in black.
"Sorry, but I just moved here yesterday. I don't know anyone yet!"
He smiled a stoner's smile at me, "Yeah I know. You moved in next door from me. I saw you yesterday from my window. My name is Jeremy Gilbert."
He stuck out his hand. I couldn't help but smile back, I shook his hand. "My name is Jessica Bird. But you can call me Jessi. It's nice to meet you Jeremy. I was afraid I wouldn't get to know anyone here." He smiled again.
"Well now you know me. What year are you in?" he inquired.
"I'm a senior. What about you? Maybe we share some classes?"
He laughed, "Nah, I'm a junior. I guess you're a year older than me. But hey, I'll introduce you to my sister Elena. You'll love her. She's a senior, so she can show you around and stuff. But don't tell her I smoke." Now I laughed, "Thank you, and don't worry. My mom doesn't know I smoke either."
We finished our cigarettes and headed back to the school. Jeremy led me to a group, three girls and a guy. They looked up as we approached. Jeremy introduced me first to the brunette closest to me.
"Elena this is Jessi, Jessi this is my sister Elena," he turned to Elena, "Jessi just moved here yesterday. She's living in the house next door to us. This is her first day and she's a senior like you, so I thought you could show her around."
The whole group smiled at me, Elena spoke, "Of course, what are neighbours for?"
Suddenly she stopped speaking and sniffed, looking at Jeremy, "Have you been smoking?"
I could tell he would be in a lot of trouble, so I held up my pack of cigarettes. "I'm sorry, that was me. I've been trying to quit. But with the move and losing all my old friends, I've been stress smoking."
Elena turned to me, "Oh that's ok. Of course I understand. Who knows, maybe we can help you quit once you get to know us and we become friends." Now she turned to Jeremy, "Sorry Jer, I'm just on edge a bit."
He told her it was ok, and then snuck me an appreciative smile, then spoke to the group. "Right, well I have to get to class, so I'll see you all later." And with that he took off.
Elena introduced me to the rest of her group, the other brunette was Bonnie Bennett, the blonde girl was Caroline Forbes and the guy was Stefan Salvatore. His eyes looked so familiar but that was it, weird. I then realised Bonnie was speaking to me.
"Have you got your class schedule there?" I handed it over. She read through it, and then looked at me in surprise. "These are nearly all AP classes."
I shrugged, "My mother is the new English teacher here. And growing up with a teacher for a mother you spend a lot of time studying."
"Well, I have one of these classes, so does Caroline, Elena has two of them and Stefan has the rest so at least you'll know some-one in all of your classes."
I thanked them all and we headed in. First class we had was history, and we all shared it. I took the only empty seat; it was in the front row. Of course it was. The teacher came into the class then, his name was Mr. Tanner and I knew immediately that I wouldn't like him. When he started the class by insulting the students I knew I was right. He faced the class.
"And now for some questions and answers, in what year was the battle of Willow Creek?"
Stefan's hand was the only one to rise, but Mr. Tanner just looked at him and spoke sarcastically. "How about giving someone else a chance to answer Mr. Salvatore. Or will you be doing everyone's work from now on?"
Everybody in the class was watching Stefan to see his reaction; I raised my hand and coughed. When Mr. Tanner turned to me, I spoke softly, "The battle of Willow Creek took place in 1865." He looked at me in surprise, and then resignation. This man really didn't like students to actually know the answers.
I smiled politely, "Miss Bird."
"Well all right Miss Bird. How many casualties were there?" he sneered the question at me. I sat straighter in the seat as I answered.
"Well there were 346 young soldiers killed in battle. Of course that's not counting the civilian casualties." Now he smirked, "And there we go, wrong! Of course I'm not surprised. There were no civilian casualties." He started to turn away from me but my voice, although low, stopped him.
"Actually, you're wrong Mr. Tanner."
He quickly spun around sputtering, and I could gear gasps from the students behind me. Mr. Tanner was almost on top of me, "Excuse me?"
Looking him straight in the eye, "I said you're wrong Mr. Tanner. Soldiers came across a small church, which they believed to be housing enemy weapons and supplies. They burnt it down to the ground. However they were wrong, inside were 27 of Mystic Falls civilians praying. It was considered to be a great loss for the town. It's all in the history books of this town, which I'm sure are available in the local library, should you wish to brush up on your facts."
He started sputtering some more, I could hear a few laughs from my new classmates but before Tanner could say anything the bell rang, I grabbed my backpack and got out of class. All I was thinking was mom was going to kill me when she heard about this.
Elena and the others came up to me; Caroline spoke first, "Oh my god Jessi that was awesome. I've never seen Tanner speechless like that before."
I shrugged, "Yeah well I hate teachers who bully their students." Stefan looked at me, and spoke quietly.
"How did you know about the church? It's not in the school history books. "
I shrugged again, "like I said, I grew up with a teacher for a mother. I take after her in some ways. I like knowing things. When I knew I was moving here, I learned all about this place. Although I have to admit that most of what I learned about Mystic Falls I learned from my ancestors journals. See what you might not know, is my mother's maiden name is Fell. My great great whatever grandparents were Tomas and Honoria Fell, they helped found this town. Well I found these old journals that belonged to them. I mean the history of this town is in those journals, although I'm pretty sure they were crazy. Some of the stuff they wrote about, kinda cooky."
I didn't miss the concerned look that passed between the group. And then I realised why their names had sounded familiar. "Hey in the journals, Honoria spoke of the Gilberts, Bill Forbes, and Emily Bennett and..." I had turned to Stefan, but then I remembered what it said about the Salvatore's. I snapped my mouth shut, but it was obvious to Stefan and probably the others that I had been about to mention his family. I also remembered that one of the Salvatore's mentioned was a Stefan Salvatore, along with his brother Damon. I noticed the group was staring at me,
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have mentioned anything. My mother is always telling me that I should stop talking a sentence early."
Elena smiled at me, "Don't worry. I have journals from my ancestors as well, John Gilbert."
"Hey, that's the Gilbert that Honoria was friends with. He invented the..." Again I trailed off. The stuff he apparently invented, well I didn't want to tell this girl I just met that her ancestors were possibly just as crazy as mine. She just laughed.
"You should read John Gilbert's work. He had a lot of fiction books published."
Oh, that explained a lot. They could see me making the connection in my head. Stefan spoke now, "Actually if you wouldn't mind, could I borrow your journals. My own ancestors didn't keep journals, and I'm always interested in reading about the man I'm named after."
I hesitated, "Well if you really want, I'm not finished going through them yet. But you can have the ones I've already read." I pulled two very old books from my backpack. "Just before I hand these over, I have to warn you. I don't think my ancestors, or quite frankly the Gilberts, liked anyone but a Giuseppe Salvatore from your family very much, even before they got the crazies they talked about a Stefan and Damon Salvatore and their involvement with a woman name Katherine."
I didn't miss the look of contempt on Elena's face, but Stefan was talking so I turned to face him, "Don't worry. I've read the Gilbert journals. I just would like to see another side."
I handed them over the books and told them I would meet them after I had a cigarette.