High-school freshman Nerissa Blane has problems. They're not exactly the same as your average teenage girl's either. Nerissa is adopted and on a quest to find her birth mother. But this story isn't quite so cookie-cutter. Why is she finding her biological mother? Oh, because the voice inside her head is telling her to. Not to mention the fact that Nerissa makes water fountains explode. On accident, of course. Is she just plain mad, or is something bigger really going on?


2. Searching

     Okay, so now you've witnessed... one of them. One of my *episodes* we'll call it. Sadly, this isn't one of my worse. Most end with my sink turning into a geyser or even entire storms dissipating. I don't know how I do what I do it just, kind of, happens. I'm drawn to the water and it's drawn to me.

     I was adopted. My parents adopted me when I was still a baby, around nine months old. I've asked them about my real mom. They say they really don't know and, honestly, I believe them. I could tell, even when I was younger, that my asking upset them. I don't think it was because they thought I wanted her though. I think they were just upset because they couldn't tell me anything.

      I've tried doing some research on the internet. A lot, actually. The only thing I have to work with is my last name: Blane. When my mom left, the only thing that announced that I had belonged to someone once was the bib around my neck. In a fancy, curly golden script it said: Nerissa Blane. My mom and dad don't even know my mother's first name. I couldn't find anything! 

      Let's see, I've hacked some guy's (Frank Blane's) Facebook, gotten into the mainframe of an orphanage, and checked medical records. Yet, I couldn't find a thing about a woman with the last name "Blane" who gave up a baby in '98. At one point, I completely stopped looking. That lasted about an hour. That voice, ya know, the one I mentioned earlier? Yeah. It popped up again, chanting in my mind "Find her. Find her. You must FIND HER!" As if that mantra could do anything to help me. I had to get it to stop before it drove me crazy.

Unless it already has.

* * * *

      School today. Thank. God. "The Voice" is courteous enough to leave me alone during school hours. Because, naturally,any thing I learn in school is connected to finding my mother. (You guys caught the sarcasm there, right?) Whatever, though. Any excuse not to hear it is welcome. So, off to first period biology I go!

     Dr. Beck is a complete bore. He loves lecturing and reading articles that he and his other nerdy, balding, middle-aged buddies find interesting. I fall asleep in his class almost everyday, without fail. But do you really blame me? it's a little hard to fall asleep every night with someone else in your head! On one of my off days, when I feel bad about sleeping in class, I usually just doodle on a blank piece of paper with my iPod cranked all the way up.

      Today, we're testing though. That means I'm being forced to stay up for half of the period. Onlyuh oh. Mayday! Mayday! Dr. B is at his desk, which is right next to my table. Oh gosh. Okay, maybe he'll walk around during the test or something. Okay, focus. Question 1: What atomic number is hydrogen given on the Table of Elements? Let's go with C...

     Alright, I'm done. There's about 20 minutes left and Dr. Beck is totally staring me down. I look around, wondering what to do now. Almost everyone is still testing... I scan the room some more and notice Artie, a shrimpy boy with glasses that could have belonged to Harry Potter himself, (Though, they were kind of pointless. His stringy black hair covered his eyes.) was scribbling away on the homework he didn't do last night. Theo, a studious-looking, Asian girl had her nose in some book. I think it was Anne of Green Gables from Mrs. Caddy's reading list. Light bulb!     

       Almost instantaneously, Dr. Beck calls on me. "Yes, Nerissa?" I put my hand down.

      "Can I go to the library?" I ask.

     "I don't know if you can, but..." He so wittily rebuts, correcting my grammar.

     I shoot him the are-you-serious? look and through gritted teeth say, "May I?"

    "Yes, but hurry back."

    Just as I exit the classroom, I realize that I have never actually been to the library. How do I even get there? Luckily, I spot a pair of blue doors that are labelled the magic word in big, block letters. "LIBRARY" I open them and see a pretty normal-looking library. Lots of books. The walls are beige and adorned with recreations of classic paintings. Ya know, van Gogh's "Starry Night" and the like. In the far left corner is a cluster of computers sitting adjacent to the librarian's desk, to which she quickly returned. With a face like a raven, hooked nose and hair just as black, I half expected her to fly there.

     I sit at the computer that is farthest from her view and stare at the keyboard, wondering what to do next. Am I allowed to go on my email? I check to see if the site is blocked. It isn't. I log in and the words "NerissaB123, you've got mail!" float onto the screen. One new message. It's from a people-search site I found, called "Zapplo's"

     They found another Blane.  Her name is Seraphina. "Find her, find her, find her!" the Voice chants. I jump, startled by the sound. Is this her? Or was the Voice giving me a warning to keep me from wasting time? What was the Voice doing,  I'm here at school anyway!

     I click on her name. I figured it would show me a picture of her, but I'm not that lucky this time. I get the "picture unavailable" icon instead. It still lists a few things about her though. She's a Caucasian female, brown hair, brown eyes. Like me. I wonder if it's genetic? I silently laugh at my own thought; lot's of people have brown hair and brown eyes. I keep scanning the information and then all of a sudden, my heart sank. She had just enrolled at Northridge High.

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