It's cold here in Boston in the middle of March. I sit here on a bus stop bench in the industrial part of town, wearing one of Irish's hand-me-down all weather jackets. Its faded green plastic bubble exterior is hardly enough to keep me warm from the swirling winds. My faded jeans haven't been washed in days and the black t-shirt and thrift store vans aren't in much better condition. I'm waiting on Irish to meet me so we can go to school and start the hell that is soon to follow. It's our first day of school since both our worlds completely feel apart and we found ourselves homeless. But maybe I should back up about two months so you understand.

2 months prior

-ring- the first bell rings signaling that student can enter school.

I can't believe it's finally here! The second semester and last 5 months of High School. It's been a blast, I have been privileged enough to come from a wealthy family and due to my smarts, good looks, and athletic prowess gain instant popularity. It doesn't hurt that my older brother graduated here 5 years prior and still holds numerous athletic records and won his homecoming court every year following it up by going into the marines. I accomplished the same feet excluding this year where Sam beat me, but I'll win Prom King so I'm not worried. This semester is going to rock and then after I graduate I'm headed off to Duke where my father and his three brothers all went, and where my other older brothers went. Boys in my family go to Duke and girls in my family hail from Princeton. I guess you could say I was lucky. I greeting numerous people and shoved a freshman out of my way spilling his books all over the floor. I'm headed to 1st period English where the fun can really begin.

I walk into Ms.Blackthorns class and see my friends sitting in the back holding me a seat in a section of 7 seats we have almost reserved. I sit down in between Casey H the cheerleading captain, and Ami K the debate team president and drum major. I know what you're thinking that these two girls cannot possibly be friends, but at my school popularity is based on three things: money, looks, and most importantly talent and you have to have all three to be in the top crest instead of one of the still popular but lower two crowds. Ami may be involved in nerd activities but as a state winning debate participant and a classically trained concert flute player she has the talent that merits her in this group and she knows it. Ami is also my on again off again girlfriend of the last year. Our off again period is what cost us both homecoming, but we have and understanding that we will be together and stay together if only in appearance for prom king and queen. The bell rings and Ms.Blackthorn starts here opening rant for her lecture.

"Class, today I am very excited to be doing a self discovery less....."

My mind tunes her out. This is one of my easier classes despite being an AP class. I'm a great writer and my mother also made us kids read saying "a young person who is not cultured is not a young person who can rise to the top." So most of the things we read in school I had completed during my youth. This assignment sounded just a boring as the rest. My eyes scan the classroom, moving from clique to clique and loner to loner until my eyes fall on one loner in particular. Irish. With his dingy black hoodie hood pulled up over his head and face lying on his arm on the desk. Somehow I end up looking at him a lot these days. Idk why, I tried to fight it and would get mad at myself, I almost got caught a few times, but yet here I am still looking at him. We used to be friends, actually best friends in Middle School, but when we got to high school the poor Irish boy, despite being handsome and a junior state wrestling champ, was not deemed worthy for the top level of popularity like I was and the pressures of keeping a reputation up quickly drove us apart before the end of first semester of our freshman year. I move my eyes from him and let them rest of my desk while I twirl my pencil around.

"Shit this sucks"

"I know I am not looking forward to this, maybe if we are lucky we will all draw each other, and then the stray person will hopefully draw the new guy Antonio he would fit in with us don't yall think?"

"Meh"

"What do you think Aiden honey?.... Aiden?"

I recognize my name and look up to six ever so confused faces. "Huh" I know my face looked a bit startled, I hope they didn't notice me looking at him.

"Dude, did you not hear about the latest assignment we have to do today?" Taking a cue from my blank stare Steven goes on to elaborate. "We have to each write down something about our heritage and relate it to something were good at and then relate that what our 5 year goals our that we worked on over the break, and then we trade with our partners and"

I had to cut him off, Steven was a nice enough guy, but honestly if our Parents weren't friends we probably wouldn't even talk in our own circle, he rambles... a lot, but I see him a lot at functions both of our parents attend and host so here we are. "What's the big deal? It sounds like a busy work assignment, but what's the big deal? We will all trade and then the odd man out will trade with Antonio; we should probably get to know him any way since normally we would run in similar circles as him and I know he has some sort of ties with Jamison's parents company."

-Sigh- "There you go again honey, speaking before you have all the information again." Ami knows I hate when she calls me things like honey, I think she did it earlier and I didn't notice. She also knows I hate it when she tries to act smarter than me. "The problem baby is that we have to reach in the hat sitting on the desk and draw out partners names."

I grown both internally and externally, this could make class tedious, in all honesty most of the students in this class but my friends, the new guy Antonio and a few others who might accomplish something once at College are far beneath the level of people I'd ever even mingle with if not for this school.

The teacher begins to collect the left side of the classes names in her ugly black magicians hate and then has those of us on the right draw one when we walk to the front. How did it work that my friends all draw each other except Casey who drew Antonio to both of their delights. That boy has no idea she is a predator. I'm hoping that luck holds out and that I draw Nicky, my best friend in the world, same upbringing, same church, parents all executives as the same fortune 500 company, living in mansions on the same street in the same gated community.

Luck did not hold out.

"Mr. Chambers who did you draw?" Ms.Blackthorn asked me while smiling brightly; she really loves what she does... even though it pays nothing.

I look down at the paper and my heart skips a few beats. I begin to feel hot and I know I'm about to lose control of myself so I take a long slow breath. Why am I freaking out?! I lay the paper on her desk and storm off towards my desk. "Alroy 'Irish' O'Doherty" Ms.Blackthorn reads for me. Everyone thinks I'm going back to my desk in a huff because I'm angry at this, but I actually do not trust my voice to not betray me as I am gripped by numerous emotions.

 

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