|02|

After putting finishing touches to the edges of my hair, I grabbed my black school bag and walked out of my room, closing the door gently behind me.

Today was going to be the first day in my new school and I prayed everything will go well, with no issues with the students, especially my classmates because most students in school tend to pick on the new student and if you're beautiful and from a wealthy family, you'll be saved from all that because everyone would want to be with you.

Which is just hypocrisy…

I got closer to the dining room, drawn by the aroma of toast bread and bacon when I started hearing giggles and chuckles, making me curious as I walked into the dining room single-mindedly interrupting my mum and stepdad who were kissing and tickling each other as I coughed lightly and avoided their gaze.

“Good morning, Hailey,” My mum chirped, nervously moving away from my stepdad when she noticed my presence.

“Morning,” I replied flatly.

“I'll get going to work, see you later,” My stepdad dressed in a black suit told my mum as he gave her a quick peck on her lips and made his way to walk out of the dining room before he stopped and gazed at me.

“Have a nice day at school, Hailey,” He smiled at me while I nodded in response.

“So, I see you're ready for school,” My mum smiled at me while I drew out one of the dining chairs and sat down while she served me toast bread with slices of bacon with a cup of orange juice.

“Thanks!” I muttered quietly, picking up the toasted bread and slowly bringing it up to my lips before taking a bite.

“Eat fast, so, I can give you a drive to school,” Mum announced as I glanced at her.

“Where's Ryan?” I asked, staring at the entrance leading into the dining room.

“He left early and besides he has an apartment of his downtown,” My mum revealed as my heart sank, making me drop the toasted bread I was eating back on the plate.

“Oh!” I murmured sadly, briefly remembering our encounter last night as I grabbed the orange juice and gulped it down my throat instead.

“Is anything wrong between you two?” My mum asked as I glanced at her while she stared at me calmly.

“Nothing, I guess he wasn't too happy to see me yesterday, “I shrugged and picked up the toasted bread and began chewing on it.

“I think he is. You know he was having quite a bad day yesterday, so, I think he would calm down when you both meet in school today,” My mum said moving closer to me and patting my back gently, I felt uneasy when her hands touched my back… It's been quite a long time since I've felt mum's skin against mine, so I just let her be with a shrug.

Mum parked the new model Lexus Jeep, Ryan's father recently got for her in the school's park and I hopped down from the car, tugging the strands of my chocolate brownish hair behind my ear, and stared at the big building in front of me.

It was a private school, and students passing were dressed in a check blue pleated short skirt, a white buttoned shirt with a navy-blue tie, and navy blue blazers making the student look reasonable and unique.

In my former school, we dressed casually in any clothes we want as far it wasn't indecent and exposing.

'I guess I need to adapt to countless things here,' I thought.

“Come on! Let's go,” Mum smiled as we started making our way towards the school building, I nervously glanced at the students passing by us who seemed to be more interested in speaking to themselves and hugging each other since they just resumed.

~~~

“Okay, Miss Owen,”

“Colton,” I corrected the bald head aged man with a potbelly, which I presumed was to be the principal of the school, and stared at me when I said, 'Colton' before gazing at my mother who smiled awkwardly and nodded in approval at him.

I wasn't going to change dad's surname when he's alive and even if he wasn't, I'm still not going to change it.

“Okay, Hailey Colton, right?” The man asked, placing the ridge of his glasses on the bridge of his nose as he gave me a scrutinizing look.

“Yes, sir,” I answered as he continued checking my former school documents and past grades.

“She's good,” The principal nodded, impressed, and mum smiled.

“Go meet the secretary out there and tell her to give you directions to the staff's office. So, you can be placed in your class,” He informed, giving me a document that he just stamped on.

I nodded and stood up from the seat clutching the straps of my school bag and made my way to the entrance of the door while my mum followed behind me after having a quick conversation with the principal.

I turned to face mum, who smiled at me, “Do you need help with anything?” She questioned.

“No, mum, thanks for accompanying me, I guess I can continue from here myself,” I told her, and she nodded.

“Okay dear,” She beamed and started walking away as I watched her walk smartly in the low black stiletto heels before she stopped and turned around to face me. Now at a distance level.

“Have a great day,” She hollered, waving at me, while I just nodded at her before she turned back and continued walking until she was out of sight.

I sighed and walked over to the lady in a red gown, with her hair high in a neat bun as she typed her way on the keyboard.

“Good morning, ma'am,” I greeted the lady as she looked up at me with a smile.

“Morning, dear, how can I help you?” The lady asked warmly.

“I'm new here and the principal said you should direct me to the staff's office,” I told her, handing her the document the principal gave me earlier, she scanned through it immediately.

“Okay, dear,” She said, handing me back the white document and standing up.

“This way. Please,” She gestured while I nodded, following behind her.

We finally got to the staff's office, but not with students I met in the hallway, stopping with what they were doing to stare at me before they whispered to themselves.

“Literature, right?” The secretary asked me.

“Yes, ma'am,” I answered immediately trailing behind her as we entered the staff's office, the school was massive and well-structured with most sections and classrooms well spacious as I glanced through them. 

“Good morning, Mrs. Hudson,” The secretary greeted a young lady dressed in a white chevron shirt and gray suit pants.

“Good morning, How can I help you?” She asked sweetly before glancing at me, I nervously looked at her before glancing at the other teachers busy with one thing and another.

“She's a new student, Hailey, meet your literature coordinator,” The secretary introduced, gesturing me to her.

“Good morning, ma'am,” I greeted, bowing my head slightly and making my hair fall over my shoulder.

“Good morning, dear, can I see your document?” She requested, as I nodded quickly and gave her my files.

“I guess, I'll leave you two alone and Hailey make sure you do come during the break for your uniform,” She said while I nodded as she walked away.

I turned back to my literature coordinator as she glanced through my documents with a nod.

“You have such good grades from your previous school, why did you leave?” She asked.

“Uhm! I came to live with my mum,” I told her quickly.

“Oh!” She said, obvious, she still wanted to ask more questions.

“She got remarried here, and I have a stepbrother in this school too,” I told her, answering her unquestioned questions already.

“What's his name?” She asked.

“Ryan, Owen,” I said as she snapped her gaze to me.

“You're Ryan's stepsister?” She asked surprisingly like she didn't hear when I mentioned he was my stepbrother.

“Yes?” I shrugged, wondering if there was a problem with that.

“Then I see your issues will be quite lessened here, you know your Stepbrother is popular among the students, and luckily, he is in the same class as you,” She burst out the news.

It wasn't the popular part that got me, someone as handsome and rich as he will surely be popular, but him being in the same class as I am made me feel more anxious. 

How was he going to treat me among his peers, especially when he told me he wasn't the same Ryan he used to be anymore?

“Follow me. Let's go to your class,” She smiled, standing up as I nodded while I sighed.

Mrs. Hudson opened the door to my supposed classroom, as my palms felt sweaty, and my feet starts to get cold… I was going to face about 30-40 students I'm not familiar with, and also I'm going to face Ryan again.

I breathed out as Mrs. Hudson gestured for me to come in, I clutched my hands tighter on the straps of my bag.

The students were chattering and immediately became quiet when Mrs. Hudson was in front of the class while I followed behind her like a lost puppy.

I stared at the ground, refusing to look up. Shit! All this is so awkward to me…

“Good morning, class,” Mrs. Hudson greeted.

“Good morning, ma'am,” The class responded in their seats.

“Well, I'm excited to tell you guys, you have a new student among you,” Mrs. Hudson announced, and the whole class began clapping and cheering.

I wasn't expecting that.

“Hailey, come forward and do a little introduction about yourself,” She said as everyone became quiet.

'What!?' My mind screamed.

'What!?' I screamed as I looked up and stared at her with pleading puppy eyes that silently begged she should do the introduction for me.

“Come Forward,” She said softly with a warm smile as I finally left the straps of my bag and clasped my palms together awkwardly while walking forward.

I finally looked at the full class, and it felt like I time zone for a while…you know how you feel when you're new to a place and the full audience just fix their gazes on you like what's she going to say, and you wished you could vanish into thin air.

“He-Hello everyone,” I stuttered trying as much as possible to avoid the students' gaze on me, then I remembered something from my previous school… If you feel shy to speak with a large audience, just avoid their stares and focus your gaze on the ceiling or whatever thing that caught your interest and keeps you calm.

So, I just stared at the ceiling instead, “I'm Hailey Colton, recently back from the United Kingdom to come study here, and it's a pleasure to meet you all,” I said as the class began to clap while I heard 'Nice to meet you too,' from some people.

“Okay, thank you, Hailey, and just so you all know, she's the stepsister of Ryan,” The teacher said, and I almost felt like stabbing her.

Why would she say that?

The whole class started shouting and clapping, especially the girls.

“Go, have your seat,” Mrs. Hudson told me and I nodded, making my way among the students.

“Hailey!” I heard someone chirping, making me turn my head in that direction.

“Come seat with me. I have an empty seat here,” A cute girl with black curly hair and blue eyes said to me, and I immediately nodded and removed my bag from my back and placed it on the table while sitting on the empty seat beside her.

“Thank you!” I told her, and she smiled at me, showing me the silver brace on her teeth.

“Please, everyone keeps quiet and waits for your subject teacher to come to teach you,” Mrs. Hudson as everyone replied with an 'Okay!' then she nodded and walked out.

“I'm Shirley,” The cute girl introduced herself to me, offering me her hands.

“Nice to meet you, Shirley,” I reciprocated shaking her hand which was so soft and smooth as I smiled.

Maybe it wasn't a bad thing Mrs. Hudson told the whole class, I was Ryan's stepsister.

I brought out my book and pen and glanced around wondering where Ryan was but didn't see any sign of him.

Soon, enough a young man with glasses walked in, and the entire class became silent as they brought out their books and class commenced, I thought perhaps Ryan was the type who skipped classes.

3 hours later,

We were done with 4 periods and still no sign of Ryan in class, and I began to get worried about him.

'Why does he seem angry with me?' I thought, with no answer to that.

I just collected my school uniform and was making my way to my locker in the hallway way… It was break period and I wanted to keep my school uniform in my given locker before going to the school canteen to have lunch.

I saw some group of girls and their school skirts that were extremely short, they wore long black socks that reached to their knees and up their thigh while one among them wore black pop socks.

I was passing by them when I overheard them talking and giggling about Ryan, when I stopped in my tracks and thought they might know where he is.

Likewise, I wanted to speak with him and sort things out with him.

“Hi!” I greeted, finally mustering courage when I got closer to the girls as they all stopped and stared at me.

“I'm Hailey, and I heard you talk about Ryan, I was--”

“You're Hailey, the stepsister of Ryan?” A beautiful girl asked, eagerly cutting me off.

'How news flies so badly? The whole school now knows I'm Ryan's stepsister,' I thought with a sigh.

She had lovely chestnut eyes with very long blonde hair that almost reached her waist, her pink lips, and perfectly straight nose just looked great on her face and she was the only one wearing black pop socks among the group of girls, and we were almost of the same height.

“Yes, I am,” I answered.

“Do you know where Ryan is? I haven't seen him in class today,” I inquired, gazing at her as she smiled at me.

“He told me he won't be in school today, by the way, I'm Brielle, girlfriend of Ryan,” She disclosed proudly while the other girls giggled behind her. I blinked severally after she said she was his girlfriend.

“Wo-wow! That's great,” I told her, still trying to believe Ryan had gotten a girlfriend… I wasn't expecting that, but it's good anyway, and I'm happy he has a beautiful girlfriend.

“You're beautiful just as he said,” She chimed in, taking my hands suddenly while I rose a brow at her.

“You know he always talks about you,” Brielle pouted at me.

“He did?” I asked surprisingly and felt happy that at least he talked about me to his friends.

“Yeah, so I'm inviting you to come to the party, Ryan will be there too,” She told me and I nodded as I accepted the invite.

“Come on, let's go have lunch,” She told me as she began drawing me while her friends followed behind.

'I can't believe Brielle is such a nice girl,' I thought as I followed her, forgetting I was supposed to keep my uniform in the locker.

I'm going to go to that party, and I will make sure to talk to Ryan at all costs and settle things between us.

Comments (2)
goodnovel comment avatar
Grace Stephens
Also have bad feeling about the step dads comments towards her.
goodnovel comment avatar
Grace Stephens
Back away from the GF she gonna get yah Hailey. Lol Ryan will too lol
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