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Fierce

By´╝ÜClarissa Wild

Chapter 1


Embarrassing Moments



Geeks at new schools are like boats trying to sail on dry, uncharted land. They never fare well.

I draw in a huge breath and blow it out before stepping out of the bus. The driver behind me chortles at my reluctance to leave the comfort and safety of the bus. Of course, he isn’t used to people actually preferring his bus over the outside world. I’m sort of an exception to the usual people he deals with, and that’s not a good thing.

On the contrary; I’m chicken-shit, and it’s even worse that I know I am.

Seeing this gigantic campus and college in front of me is terrifying. My legs are shaking, my heart is pounding, and I wish I could just step back into that bus and get as far away from here as possible.

But that would be sad. So sad, I think I might cry from laughing at my own cowardice.

It’s really pathetic that these new things scare me so much. Most girls would love new schools, getting to know new people, experiencing the boys.

Just the thought of it makes my heart race.

Nope, that’s not for me.

But I have no choice, either. I want to do this. I always wanted to study. I need it. My family needs it.

I just have to stop whining, stop thinking about it, and just go for it. Just do it!

Shaking my shoulders a little, I take a deep sniff to smell the trees surrounding me, and march forward.

Suddenly, a cold jet of air surges toward me from the left and catches me by surprise. I shriek as the waft of air tangles my hair in front of my face and blows up my skirt. There’s a loud noise coming from the thing blasting air at me. Holding down my skirt so my panties aren’t exposed, I use my other hand to keep my glasses straight and try to see what’s happening.

“Sorry,” someone yells, and the turbulence is turned off.

I’m left gasping while catching my breath. A leaf blower had been pointed straight at me.

“Sorry about that,” he repeats as I pat down my skirt.

“Thanks,” I mutter.

Great. What an awesome start to the first day at college.

“You all right?” he says, directing his leaf blower somewhere else.

“Fine,” I say.

“Uh … You might want to take a look at your hair,” the guy says, clearing his throat.

“What?” I say, grasping for my head. Crunchy leaves are coiled up in my hair.

My eyes widen as I start plucking all the leaves out. I work to unravel the knots, trying to get it to go down again, but my frizzy hair never gives in.

Oh, why does this always have to happen to me?

Looking around I can see people staring at me, hiding laughs behind their hands. I feel like I’m in the center of attention, the focal point of the show. This is making me sweat like crazy.

My eyes narrow as they catch the gaze of one person in particular. A long, lean guy wearing a black leather jacket, who’s standing a few feet away from me with a couple of other guys. His flaring gray eyes narrow as I catch myself staring right back at him. I blush when his plump lips slowly curl up into a cheeky smile.

I smash my lips together to prevent a squeal from escaping. He’s hot, but I look like a mess. No, correction, I am a mess.

I’m like a fully decorated Christmas tree in the middle of fall.

Embarrassing. I can’t believe this is his first impression of me.

Well, it’s not like I have a chance with guys like him. They don’t go after nerdy types like me.

Straightening my glasses, I try to ignore everyone looking at me. I put up a horrible smile as I walk toward the dorm halls, trying to pry the last pieces of leaf from my hair that just won’t come off. It’s like they’re glued to my head or something. I couldn’t have imagined a worse time for my hair to turn into its usual giant magnet, attracting and attaching to all kinds of strange things, because it’s as sticky as spider legs.

Sometimes I think I’d better just cut it off and be rid of it. Maybe I could donate it to science, so it can become the new-and-improved Velcro.

I smirk from my own jokes, which are terrible, I know. Still, they make this day a little better after that scene.

My dorm’s at the end of the campus, a ten-minute walk from the bus stop. I’m glad my parents helped me move in my stuff last night so I wouldn’t have to do it alone today. As I enter the door, a deafening squeal makes me plug my ears.

“Autumn!” Evie yells.

She throws herself against me and wraps her arms so tightly around me that I can’t breathe. Wheezing, I wriggle myself free from her hug so my lungs can expand again.

“I can’t believe we’re going to be roomies,” she says, squeezing my arms.

She bites her lip and looks at me with big eyes, like she’s about to explode into her usual happy dance. “Isn’t it awesome?”

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