I look up at the building that looks very similar to a prison with the pasty color with blotches of darker concrete from the sun and collection of dirt over time. The block letters display at the top of the new school that I'm being forced to attend for my senior year because my dad got a job offer about two hours away from his previous one.
I sigh and look over at my sister, who looks extremely nervous for her first day at the school as well. She's starting high school in a completely new town, with absolutely no friends, and no idea where she's going or what to expect. I reach over and grab her hand as I put the car into park. "Everything will be okay, just figure out where to go and go from there. Don't stress too much, alright?"
She nods her head, swallowing the lump in her throat before looking over at me. "Alright."
I watch as she reaches in the backseat to grab her backpack and her hands are slightly shaking, telling me that she's still extremely nervous which isn't surprising because this is a very nerve-wracking situation. If I had to have to start at a new school while also starting my first day at high school, I would've never left the house.
I take the keys out of my car and get out with my sister. I see teenagers coming out of their cars to scream and hug their friends that they probably saw just last week because our new neighbors told us that there's always parties the week before school starts back up to mourn that summer is ending and school's back.
I make sure to lock my car before walking with my sister through the parking lot and up the sidewalk into the school. I notice Emilie fidgeting with her hands as she looks around at the other people talking with their friends as they walked in.
"So I have dance after school, so Dad said that he'll pick you up from work. It might take him some extra time to find his way here, so if he's late, don't worry about it," I tell her to try and take her mind off of everything that she was thinking of right now.
"Okay," she tells me as I hold the door open for her before following her into the office that was connected to the main hallway as soon as you walk into the school. I walk up to the desk first where a blonde woman wearing a lavender blouse is typing on the computer loudly with her fake nails.
"Hi, how may I help you today?" She says, looking up at me with a big smile.
"My name's Kade Brooks, my sister and I are new here and we need to get our schedules and we were also told we could get maps too," I tell her before she nods her head and starts typing.
She looks over at the lady sitting down a few feet from her before looking over at Emilie. "Sweetie, you can go over to Ms. Jennifer and give her your name and she'll print off your schedule for you."
Emilie walks over to the lady before giving her her name and I take a second to look outside the office windows to see people walking in and down the halls. I watch as the lady in front of me prints off my schedule and a map before picking up a highlighter and circling things for me.
"Okay, I circled all the halls where you have classes today. Your first one is upstairs, so go out that door and go to the right and that's where the stairs are. All the hallways are labeled so you should be able to find your way with those," she tells me and I nod my head as a thank you before waiting for my sister.
Once she's done, I take her schedule and notice we both have to go upstairs so I lead the way. As soon as I find her first room, I turn to her and set my hand on her shoulder. "Take notes, try to talk to the people next to you when you can, and text me if you need me whatsoever."
"I will, thank you, I love you. Have a good day," she says, giving me a quick hug before walking into her classroom and finding an empty seat. I watch as one of the girls that's sitting in the desk next to her looks at her before making a small comment, surprising my little sister. I walk away, not wanting to seem too weird and embarrass her if anyone notices.
I find my classroom after circling the entire upstairs once and walk in, successfully finding a seat with not too many people around it before pulling my phone out to text my mom that Emilie was doing fine because my parents were both worried about her since she was definitely the more nervous one.
Some blonde girl wearing a floral high-waisted skirt and a black tucked in t-shirt walks over and sits in the desk in front of me. "Hi, I'm Jenny, who are you?"
I continue looking through Instagram, not wanting anything to do with this girl that probably only wants to flirt with me with the way she's staring at me. "I'm Kade."
"Are you new here?" She asks, reaching out to grab at my arm before I pull away to not let her get her hand on me.
"Well, you haven't seen me around, have you?"
"Hey, Jenny, why don't you leave the poor kid alone? It's his first day, let him adjust before you make your move on him," some girl with curly brunette hair that's wearing a light pink maxi skirt that goes over her stomach and a tight, white crop top to match with it.
"Why do you care, Melissa? You already have a boyfriend," the Jenny chick says with a vicious look on her face before she crosses her arms to look at the other girl.
"Because I don't particularly want you to scare the poor guy on his first day," I look over at the Melissa girl who is sitting next to a cute Hispanic boy with dark hair spiked up while wearing black jeans with some rips by the knees, a black t-shirt, and some red shoes that look expensive. The other boy sitting next to him is probably the prettiest boy I've ever seen.
He has light brown hair with piercing hazel eyes along with tan skin. He's wearing some tight black jeans along with a white t-shirt, jean jacket, and a pair of Adidas shoes. He looks up and as soon as our eyes meet, I get the most intense chills run through my body and can't take my eyes off of him. He looks shocked for a second before he forces his eyes away from me.
"I think he's perfectly fine with me being here," Jenny says, giving me a soft smile.
I scoff, setting my phone down. "I don't think that's necessarily true."
"Well, why not? You have a pretty girl sitting in front of you that you can do anything you want to, so why not want me here?" She says with a small smirk.
I sigh, leaning forward and setting my hand on her arm. "Because I don't like girls."
Jenny immediately sits back before standing up and walking back over to her desk. Melissa and the two guys chuckle a bit before Melissa comes to sit in the chair that she's just abandoned. "Sorry about her, she's a little desperate."
I chuckle, nodding my head. "No, it's fine. Thanks for having my back though, it means a lot."
"Yeah, of course, I'm Melissa by the way. I know we didn't introduce during that whole thing," she says with a giggle.
"Oh, yeah, I'm Kade," I tell her with a smile. "so is she always like that?"
"Yeah, basically, she toys around with a boy for a week or two before she gets bored with them and moves on to the next one. Whenever someone new comes here, she's the first to introduce herself to them."
"Well, glad I got someone who could tell me that before she was able to get too close even after I tell her no," I say with a chuckle.
Melissa laughed, covering it up with her hand. "Yeah, glad I could help. I would hate to see another boy hurt by her just because they didn't realize all she wanted was their dick."
"Well, I would never be hurt because she isn't coming anywhere near mine," I said, leaning back in my chair as Melissa giggled again. The warning bell rings and I see kids in the hallway rush to their classrooms while a few of them come into this one to find an empty seat.
"Oh, sorry, this is my boyfriend Cody," Melissa says, pointing towards the boy with the dark hair who gives me a small wave before she motions towards the pretty boy. "and this is our friend Joey."
Joey gives me a tense smile before avoiding my eye contact. I give a small wave to Cody since he was the only one of the two paying attention. "Nice to meet you."
"You too, man. Why'd you come here your senior year?" He asked me.
"My dad got a job offer and he persuaded my mom that this was a really good opportunity, so here we are," I say with a chuckle before checking my phone for anything from Emilie.
The teacher walks into the room and sits down at her desk to set up her laptop before the final bell rings in a few minutes. I look out the door to see more people rushing around the hallway and a few of them are staring at their schedules while looking very confused.
"So do you know how the dance team is here?" I ask Melissa who immediately perks up when she realizes what I had just asked her.
"The dance team is amazing. Coach Erixon runs it all by herself with some help from her wife, who is a professional dancer that has been in a few Broadway shows. You're in it?" She asks me.
"Yeah, I signed up when my parents applied me and my sister for the school."
"We don't have too many boys interested in dance, so this is incredible news. We focus mostly on contemporary and jazz because that's what Erixon is qualified in and she always chooses two people to do a duet dance of music to their choice so maybe you'll get chosen," she says.
"Maybe," I comment before the teacher starts teaching after the final bell rings.
Once school is officially over, I walk Emilie out to see how her day has been. I had walked her to class whenever our classes were close together and she made a few friends in some of her classes and others, not so much. I think she overall had a good day and she looks happy even though she's stressed about the amount of homework she has to do as soon as she gets home so she can come to dinner tonight.
I make my way to the nearest bathroom and change into some black joggers, a black t-shirt, and a pair of Converse since I'll probably end up taking my shoes off anyways because I like that better. I make my way to the auditorium since that's where dance team practices because the back wall is lined with mirrors and a dance bar, at least that's what my mom was told.
I walk through the doors and see some people on the stage doing some stretching in their leggings, shorts, or sweatpants. I go up the stairs to stand on the stage and an older woman with short, curly hair in yoga pants, a t-shirt, and some ballet shoes walks up to me.
"Hi, you must be Kade, I saw your name on the roster and knew I didn't recognize it. I'm Coach Erixon," she says, holding her hand out for me to shake it.
"Oh, hi, it's super nice to meet you," I tell her.
"So have you danced before? I just want to see what your skill level is at and go from there," she tells me, holding a clipboard in her hands as she prepares to write whatever I say on it.
"I've been doing dance since I was nine. I also have done gymnastics for the last three years to focus more on my flexibility to better my dancing," I tell her.
"Well, that's great! I 100% love suggestions and opinions on the routine me and my wife come up with, so never be scared to speak up and tell me something," she tells me.
"I won't hesitate to do so," I tell her.
Melissa comes in just as Erixon starts us off with team stretching before showing us the first routine that we'll be working on for months perfecting for the recitals they hold here at the school four times a year to show off what we've been working on.
"We're going to start with a contemporary dance that will have two groups basically having a conversation between them with two center focuses. It's inspired by Black Swan, so there will be an evil side and an angel side, like black and white."
Everyone gets excited when they hear this, but I'm too preoccupied by feeling like someone is staring at me. I turn around to stare behind me to see who and I'm met by the eyes of Joey, who is sitting in the audience with Cody next to him with his phone between his hands. Once Joey sees me staring, he immediately averts his eyes and whispers something to his friend before getting up to walk out.
"How will we decide who is on which side?" Some blonde girl asks, bringing me back to everyone else that's standing on the stage. Melissa comes over and links her arm with me as we all walk up to Erixon's computer where she's displaying the dance.
"We'll separate everyone equally once we figure out who our two leads will be. We'll do what we do every time when I have to make that decision, which is I'll teach everyone the dance and you'll all do it together and I'll pick two of you out," she says.
They all nod while everyone spreads out for her to start teaching us. After about an hour and a half of dance, she dismisses us and tells us to be ready to perform in groups next time. I pick up my bag and make my way to the nearest bathroom to change into some khaki pants, a white t-shirt with an orange and blue flannel, and some Vans.
Once I walk out of the bathroom, Melissa, Cody, and Joey are waiting for me there. I give them a confused look. "What're you doing?"
"We wanted to walk out with you," Melissa says as we start to make our way towards the parking lot. "so how was your first day here?"
I nod my head. "It was okay, not the worst, not the best."
"Did you like the dance team?"
"Yeah, it was good. I like the ideas Coach Erixon has and I think the routine will look amazing if it's executed correctly," I tell her.
"Why'd you get all dressed up?" She says, pulling at my flannel a bit with a small smile playing along her face.
"I'm going to dinner with my family to celebrate the first day, I guess. I don't know too much about it," I chuckle as we walk out the doors and into the parking lot.
We stop at a black car that looks pretty new and expensive, telling me that Cody must be well off when he pulls the keys out of his pocket before throwing his bag in the back. Melissa reaches over and gives me a small hug before walking over to the passenger side.
"I'll see you tomorrow, alright?" She tells me with a questioning look.
"Yeah, of course," I tell her and I guess I could say today was successful because it seems like I made at least one friend since I don't exactly know how Cody and Joey feel about me just yet.
Cody and Melissa get in the car as I start to walk towards my car that is deeper in the parking lot and I notice that Joey's walking a few feet behind me. I realize that he hasn't said even a word to me today even though I've caught him staring at me a bit and even right now, he seems very tense.
"Why are you so tense?" I ask him as I slow down to be at the same pace as him and his shoulders freeze up even more from us just being so close to each other.
He looked up at me. "Since when am I tense?"
"Like the whole day," I say with a light chuckle. As I get next to my car and pull the keys out my bag, I see his arm reach out to grip at my neck as he slammed me against my door.
His hazel eyes shift into a bright, electric blue color and my eyes widen as I notice how unbelievable that actually is. I reach up to grip his arm to try to pull it away from me, but I feel his metal grip tighten as I touch him, so I pull my hand away and try to kick him, but his free hand catches my leg to throw it down.
"What did I ever do to you?" I gasp out as his grip tightens on my throat, cutting off my oxygen supply even more.
"Don't spread your nasty ass gayness on me," he snaps into my ear before taking his hand away and starting to make his way to his car that seems to be a few rows down from mine.
"It's not a f*****g disease, you asshole!" I scream at him as I feel my throat start to throb and tears start to come to my eyes as I watch his retreating form tense up even more at the sound of his voice.
"f**k you!" He screams as he gets in his car before speeding away and out of my sight.
I unlock my car before getting in to set my forehead against the steering wheel to calm down my beating heart that's still reeling from the panic that that man, that homophobic asshole, caused me. I sit there for a few minutes before I get the courage to start my vehicle and pull out of the parking lot to fake a smile at my family's dinner and try to understand what the hell just happened.