“Get your butt out of bed, Brooklyn Hart,” Avery Collier, Brook’s cousin yelled, jumping atop Brook’s bed, a beaming smile on her face.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Brook mumbled, groaning, before brushing the rest of the sleep from her eyes, as she squinted up at her cousin and best friend.
“I’m here to escort you to your first day of school,” Avery announced, her brown curls bouncing as she bounced on the bed rather excitedly.
Brook shot her a confused look. “Who in his right mind is excited about should?” she asked.
“Me!” Avery yelled. “We get to see all the hot, se—”
“Yeah I get it,” Brook cut in, raising her hand to stop her cousin’s rambling. “So you’re excited to go to school because of the hot guys there?”
“Hell, Avery, I never thought you were the kind,” Brook choked on her laughter.
“Oh yeah?” Avery challenged, smiling slightly as she leaned toward Brook. “Let’s see what you think once you see those tall, muscular, drop-dead gorgeous football players walking toward you.”
This time Brook exploded into a fit of laughter. “You seem infatuated by them,” she managed, still chuckling. “Besides, I hate football players and football for the matter.”
Avery’s blue eyes widened considerably. “What? Why?” she shrieked. “Are you out of your mind?”
“No, I’m not. They think they are on top of the world and the girls around them will offer themselves like a tasty meal which is disgusting. They think they got the looks and everyone will do as they say. Basically, they think they are everything.” Brook glanced over at her cousin. “Got me?”
“Uh huh,” Avery mumbled still shocked. “But . . .”
“No buts!” Brook exclaimed. “Get out!”
“Okay.” Avery scrambled off Brook’s bed, rushing toward the door. “Hurry up. It’s almost time for school.” She closed the bedroom door gently, and seconds later, Brook heard her descending the stairs. She groaned, knowing that Avery was right. It was time for school.
She hated football and football players for that matter. They had violated her friend, after making her drunk at a party, and her friend had committed suicide because of this. They posted the video of raping her on the web, everybody being able to see it. She remembered her friend’s broken face. A hot blare of anger tore across Brook when she thought of the memory. She would avoid the football team at all costs, but now school was calling.
It was going to be her first day of school, and she wasn’t looking forward to it. The last year had been Brook’s worst year ever. She had been in juvie for a few months for shoplifting and she had lost all the great friends she had had. It was her fault, and she regretted having done what she had. She used to be a soccer player, the captain of the team. Her reputation had been ruined. She had been so guilty and depressed over her friend’s death that she didn’t care what she did.
Her mother had sent her to live with her aunt, saying it as for the best, and that she could have a fresh start, but deep down Brook knew her mother was embarrassed and disappointed of what her daughter had done and how it had hurt her family’s reputation. Brook knew her mother knew that if Brook was to leave, the news would simmer down.
With a curse that Brook knew her mother would disapprove of, Brook slid out from underneath the warm covers, her toes touching the icy, hard floor. She shivered, staggering into the bathroom connected to her bedroom. It was time to get ready for school.
After dressing in a casual outfit which consisted of dark jeans and a dark gray top, Brook plodded downstairs, yawning all the way. She was surprised to see Avery sitting at the kitchen table, gobbling down a bowl of cereal. “Seriously?”
“What?” Avery mumbled behind a mouthful of cereal.
“You aren’t gone yet?” Brook asked, plopping down on one of the kitchen chairs.
“Nope, I was waiting for you. I’m giving you a ride,” Avery replied, pushing her empty bowl away. “You ready?”
Brook nodded. “Yeah, let me grab an apple first though.” She stopped. “Oh, where did your mom put my backpack?” Avery wordlessly pointed toward the door. Her backpack was set near the door, ready for Brook to grab and go to school with.
“Let’s go then,” she said, grabbing her high tops and slipping them on. She glanced behind her, and Avery was gone. “Avery?”
“Right here, red,” Avery replied, smirking, as she held her car keys in one hand, her backpack in the other. Brook rolled her eyes at the nickname red. Her hair was indeed a burnished orange-red color but not really red, but she let the comment slide.
Her car was parked right outside, and Brook couldn’t help but admire the red convertible Mustang. “Nice car,” she complimented her cousin, before starting to walk toward the passenger side.
“Wanna drive?” Avery offered, holding up the keys, and it was sorely tempting for Brook.
“Really? Are you serious?” she asked, not knowing if Avery was just pulling her leg.
“Dead serious,” Avery replied, throwing the keys at Brook, which she caught easily in one hand.
“Wow, thanks!” Brook exclaimed, jogging around the car to the driver’s seat. She tossed her backpack into the back, before opening the driver side door, climbing in. She glanced over at her cousin. “Let’s do this.” She shut the car door, before putting on her seatbelt, as Avery was doing the same.
She put the car into reverse, backing out of the driveway, before shifting into drive. The trees and houses sped by, as they drove down the lane. “I don’t know the directions,” Brook announced.
“Drive a half-mile and then take a left,” Avery instructed. “You’re a great driver.” Brook glanced over at her.
The rest of the drive flashed by, and soon the two pulled into the school parking lot. They drove back and forth a few times, trying to find a good spot. “Take this one,” Avery said, pointing out an empty space between an old car and a gorgeous black, sleek, black-rimmed Hummer. She’d always wanted to drive one like that, but she’d never gotten the chance.
“Whew, we are here,” Avery proclaimed, brushing stray strands of brown hair from her face. “You have your schedule?”
“Yep, picked it up after school Friday,” Brook said with a nod. “I’m all set.” She grabbed her backpack from the backseat, slipping it on over her faux leather jacket. It had been a gift her mother had given her before she had left. She was thankful for that.
“Later, red!” Avery called, waving at Brook, just as one of her friends called from the school entrance. Avery was a cheerleader, so the whole squad was her friends. Brook was glad that Avery had friends. She knew that she herself was not going to make an effort because she wasn’t going to be here forever. She watched Avery bounce around beside her friends, and she had to smile. That girl was a ball of energy.
She walked toward the school, glancing around. The school was surrounded with students who were chatting or hovering by themselves. Many were talking on their phones. Typical high school morning. Kensington High. That was the name of the school. She saw a banner that said Kensington Warriors was the name of the football team.
Just then the bell rang, and students fled up the stairs, pushing their way past each other, trying to get to their classes on time. Brook kept at a leisure pace, not really caring about the time.
By the time she entered through the front door, the hallways were pretty much empty. Brook shrugged her backpack from her shoulder, zipping it open, before grabbing her schedule. She zipped her backpack close, before once again slipping it over her shoulders. She looked at her schedule. Geometry first. She hated math and most of all geometry.
With a groan, she made her way toward her class, following the directions her map indicated. She finally saw the door at the end of the hall. Letting out a heavy sigh, Brook hurried toward the classroom. It was going to be a long day.