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"Stay away from Mira Simpson."

Umm… okay.

This school's principal is weird. Who the hell enrolls in your school, and you tell them to stay away from someone they don't even know? What happened to Don't Get into Trouble? Do your homework? work hard and control your hormones?

I was told this school was strange, but I never knew how strange.

I guess this is just going to be the beginning of it.

Principal Raymond—I think that's his name—looked at me with wide, red eyes. You might think I am exaggerating, but he looks traumatized. And I'm not talking about the way his eyes seemed to stare straight into my soul, or the fact he had huge dark bags beneath them, or the fact that he looked nothing like a principal in his dirt-covered, unbuttoned shirt with baggy pants.

Never in my life have I seen such a unique pair of shoes.

No, I'm talking about the fact that he was trembling. It was almost thirty degrees out there so I wouldn't say he's shivering, I could see his effort of trying to act stoic but his effort wasn't good enough.

Maybe I made a mistake picking this school.


Tilting my head to the side, my eyebrows began to knit as I asked, "Who?"

Even if the bell hadn't interrupted me, I knew he wouldn't have answered my question. His gaze didn't waver from mine when he said, "Get to class."

Then he walked away.

Apart from that weird encounter with the principal, everything else about the school appeared normal. The hallways were colorful and bustling with students. Some had happy smiles on their faces while others looked beyond depressed. But that was one of the normal aspects of high school. Not everyone was excited about education.

But even I knew that the students with bright smiles weren't excited about it either. There were other aspects of high school that teenagers looked forward to on a Monday morning: the gossip of who kissed who at the party on Saturday, or a big prank they were going to pull on a teacher or the school nerd, or just being in the company of friends.

You are probably wondering what category I belong to.


My deep blue eyes looked around to find everyone rushing to their various classes. I doubted any of them would stop to give me direction. Plus, I was terrible at asking for them. It's a boy thing.

I pulled out the school map from my bag and found the class where I would be having my first period. I was only able to catch a second of their chatter before the entire class went silent. All eyes were on me.

Now, I wasn't the type to get nervous when I was the center of attention. Actually, I loved it. It didn't matter to me what they looked at me with—it could be admiration, curiosity, envy, or even hate. I loved it all.

Don't get me wrong, I am not an attention seeker. But I am…. What was it my ex called me? Oh yeah, arrogant.

Pushing away some of my black bangs from my eyes, I settled down on an empty seat. Some people were still staring at me, and just before I was about to snap at them, a teacher came in. She was more on the chubby side and wore a suit that did nothing to hide it. The rest quickly got into their seats, and the teacher didn't even bother to welcome us into a new session or introduce herself before she began writing rubbish and pointing at images on the projection screen.

"Pst! Hey!" The whisper came from behind me, I rotated my torso to face the direction of the voice when my eyes were aligned with a pair of striking amber eyes.

They were the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

Her face was outlined by the straight strands of her golden hair, and I couldn't stop my eyes from going to her hypnotizing pink lips. They stretched into a smile after she caught me staring at them.

"My eyes are up here, buddy," she said with a small laugh.

"Nah, I prefer to look at these," I blurted but didn't regret it. Her eyes widened at my bluntness and I could hear the guy sitting next to her mutter "smooth."

"Shut up, Raph," the girl hissed before focusing her attention on me. "I'm Clara."

I introduced myself as Jake, sliding my tongue over my bottom lip before meeting her eyes.

"I'm Raphael," the guy sitting next to her whispered, and I met his eyes. I didn't find his attractive the way I did with Clara's. Not because I was straight or anything, but they just weren't.

He had dark brown eyes and acne above his nose; his hair was full, brown, and curly, and it seemed he had trouble sitting up straight, judging by the way he arched his back towards his table.

"And it looks like we have our first team!"

The three of us turned to face the funny-looking teacher who was glaring at us through her thick-rimmed glasses.

Did she say team?

"I'll make sure to give the three of you a project you'll never forget. "Maybe next time you'd think twice before choosing to gossip in my class," she hissed, and as she spoke, I couldn't take my eyes from her gap tooth.

I should be commended for my effort in holding back my laugh.

Raphael and Clara didn't speak to me again for the rest of the period. And sadly, it was a double period of technical drawing, but I heard that we would be having a break afterwards. I'll need it after sitting down for two hours straight listening to this gap-tooth lady spill formulas and equations I've never heard of in my life.

Once the bell signalling the end of the period rang, I think I was the first person to stand up and leave. I didn't miss the glare Miss Gap's tooth gave me as I strolled right past her.

"Jake, wait up!"

Turning on my heel, my eyes fell on Clara and Raphael walking up to me. Clara was so small, I had to tilt my head down so much that I think my chin was touching my chest.

She was really cute.

She waved a bunch of papers in my face as she said, "You forgot our project. I think we should head to the cafeteria quickly and get started."

I couldn't stop the groan from living on my lips. "Can't we do this tomorrow?"

"Miss Rodney gave us till the end of the day to turn it in."

I knew she was a witch.

"Alright, let's just get it over with," I said with a roll of my eyes. The three of us headed towards the busy cafeteria and sat on a table.

"I'm gonna get us our food," Raphael said, leaving Clara and me alone. I found myself staring at her as she poured out the contents of her bag on the table.

"Shit, I didn't bring a ruler," she said, clicking her tongue.

"Why do we need a ruler?" As the question left my lips, I realized how stupid it was.

It's a technical drawing.

"Sorry," I quickly muttered, and she groaned with frustration. It was actually pretty cute.

"What are we going to do now? Break time is only an hour, and then we'd probably have separate classes after then." I could tell she was the type of girl who couldn't afford a C in her report, judging by the way she was panicking. But she didn't look like a nerd.

My eyes scanned the vicinity before falling on a ruler that laid perfectly beside one girl. "There's a ruler over there. I'll go ask if I can borrow it."

The second I stood up, Clara grabbed my wrist and yanked me back down with a force I didn't know she could produce. I looked at her with bewilderment, but when I saw the horrified expression she had on her face, I was immediately worried: "Do not go over there." Her voice was suddenly a whisper, and it was then that I realized her hand on my wrist was trembling.

"Why?" I asked with perplexity.

"That's Mira Simpson."

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