They Don't Know Us

Fifteen-year-old Isabelle grew up in California with her famous parents. Recently her parents decided they would move back to her mothers home town. Belle doesn't know what to expect from the small town. How will she an her family adjust to the move? And how does the town react to their presence?

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5. New Friends

    Science was similar to English. Everyone staring, and whispering about me. I was so happy by the time third hour came around. I made my way down the hallway Ashlyn had pointed to and found the choir room. The room was filled with other girls, and I searched for Ashlyn. 

    "Belle!" She bounces my way, hair flying like a cape behind her. "There you are." She grins. She takes my hand in hers and pulls me over to some seats. She sits and I follow her lead. A bigger woman waddles up to the front of the room. 

    "Good morning class, welcome back." She smiles. Ashlyn leans over. 

    "That's Mrs. Andre. She has been teaching her for like twenty years. She is a witch!" She whispered. "She acts all nice, but she is the devil in disguise." I let out a small giggle and the woman's eyes fall on me. 

    "Did I say something funny?" Her tone is ice cold. 

    "No ma'am." I shake my head and my smile disappeared. 

    "I didn't think so." Scowling, she turns back to the class. She continues her talk on the rule and what we should expect this year in class. Then she gets to attendance. She is just reading down the list, and when she gets to my name she says it nonchalantly. "Isabelle Payne."

    Her eyes scan the room. I raise my hand. "Here. I'd actually liked to be called Belle." When she looks at me, her face changes. 

     "Belle Payne, as in daughter of Tori Rossin?" She questions, her eyes squinting at me. 

     Slowly I nod my head. Her face brightens. "Tori Rossin! I had her in class back in the day. You're mother was always very talented, I knew she would do great things." She grins at me. "You should tell your mother to stop in sometime, I would love to see her." Her fake joy seeps out of her mouth. Five minutes ago, she wanted to bite my head off, now that she knew who my mother was, she was nice. This is what I was afraid of. I just nod and the woman continues with class. Ashlyn and I share an eye roll behind her back. 

     When choir ends, Ashlyn leads the way to the cafeteria. "I bet she doesn't even remember your mother!" She laughs. 

    "My mom never talks about taking choir. I don't even know if she did or not." I grin. "This year should be fun, she seems like a handful."

    "More than you know." Ashlyn gets us in the lunch line. We both get salads. "Nothing else here is eatable." She groans at a boys tray of what looks like slop. "From now on, bring a lunch." I nod at her advice. 

    We pay for our meals and she takes me to a table where a couple other people sat. "Hey guys, mind if Belle sits with us?" All eyes are on me and I try to hide behind my curls. 

    "Of course!" Said a chipper blonde girl. "I'm Autumn." She grins at me and pats the seat next to her. I slid in and Ashlyn sits next to me. 

    "Hi Autumn. Belle." I point to myself, though everyone knows my name already. 

    Autumn laughs kindly. "Well Belle, this is Jacqueline." She points to the blonde girl with pink highlights across from her. The girl smiles and nods.

    "Hey."  

    "And this is Charlie and Danielle." The identical boy and girl wave at me. Each had jet black hair and bright green eyes. Charlie winks at me and his sister hits him. He laughs and I bite my lip to hold back my own. "And lastly, but most importantly, Eric, our fearless leader." At the head of the table sat a boy with dark red curls and vibrant blue eyes. He had a splash of freckles covering his cheeks. I couldn't help but feel a slight twist in my stomach. He was adorable. "Eric is the editor for the school newspaper, which all of us are on." Autumn smiles proudly. 

   "Oh yeah, I signed up for that too." 

   "Really!" Autumn and Ashlyn both cheer. "That's awesome Belle." My cheeks flush and I catch Eric's gaze on me. I push my food across my plate. 

     Lunch passes quickly. Everyone asked me casual questions. They were a nice group of people and they didn't seem phased by my name.

     After lunch we all walked to Newspaper together. Mr. Henning greeted us at the door. 

    "Well hello Miss. Payne." He smiles. "I see you've already met some of the staff." He waves at Eric. "And of course Mr. Haberling here is our editor." 

    "Yes I have." I grin back at the elderly man. 

    Mr. Henning turns to Eric. "Eric, I would like you to teach Belle the basics." 

     "Yes sir." Eric saults Mr. Henning with a smile. "Right this way me lady." Eric bows and and points to two desks. Mr. Henning laughs before he disappears to his office. 

     Eric settles into one of the desks and I take the other. He pulls a binder out of his bag. "Do you know what the inverted pyramid is?" 

     Confused I shake my head, feeling slightly stupid. I had no idea how to write for a newspaper, what was I doing in this class?

    Eric just smiles kindly at me. "That's alright, you're new. We have lots to cover, let's get started." 

 

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