First day at school: Blackwell Academy.
I’ve heard so much about this school.
The teachers, the best of the best of Arcadia Bay.
I look around as I walk through the halls of Blackwell, looking for my first class: Photography.
Mark Jefferson, what an honor it is to learn from such an amazing photographer.
Holding my books against my chest, I head to class.
My arm itches.
I feel the red torn flannel sleeve as I scratch it, clinging to life by a couple threads.
Man what a night that was.
Never go into a mosh pit with Chloe Price.
As I near the door, I notice a boy sitting alone by the lockers.
“Hello,” I said.
He didn’t answer.
He looks disturbed, but friendly.
“I’m Rachel Amber, what’s your name?’
“Nathan,” he mutters.
“Hi, Nathan,” I said with a smile on my face.
He kept looking around, as if everyone was out to get him.
His arms wrapped around his knees, in an almost fetal position.
He looked scared.
I offered to hang out with him later that day and he accepted.
He mentioned being a part of some club.
“The Vortex Club.” Cool name.
That night, I met Nathan in the parking lot of the school.
He still looked uneasy, as if someone was watching him.
We walked toward the entrance of the swimming pool and went inside.
We entered the Vortex Club.
Bright strobe lights blinded my vision.
Loud music filled my ears.
I couldn’t tell where I was going.
I felt a hand grab mine.
It was Nathan’s.
He led me to a small room with several others sitting around a table.
The smell of alcohol was intoxicating.
Nathan began introducing me to them.
One by one, I met the members of the Vortex club.
Hayden, Taylor, Dana, Logan, to name a few.
It was difficult to see from the lights emitting from around the room.
The embodiment of the word “Snob.”
As my eyes got adjusted and my vision returned to me, it was like I was in another world.
Victoria was drinking some concoction of Vodka and Grape soda.
It looked disgusting, perfect for her.
While everyone began partying, Victoria grabbed my shoulder and said she wanted to talk to me in the bathroom.
We walked to the bathroom, closing the door behind us.
I could still hear the music from beyond the walls.
“What’s up, Victoria?” I said as I watched her pacing back and forth in front of me.
“Stay away from Nathan,” she said as she looked straight into my eyes with a cold glare.
“What do you mean?” I asked taking a step back.
“He’s mine,” she said.
My gut told me I didn’t want to piss off Victoria so I said “Okay.”
Her two-faced attitude went from terrifying to friendly.
“Good,” she said.
As we returned to the party, I tried to enjoy myself with this new group.
We danced, we laughed.
Logan even dove into the pool headfirst, fully clothed.
Fun crowd, but not as crazy as me and Chloe.
She would make Logan look like a pansy.
Nathan came up to me and offered me a drink.
I wasn’t much of a drinker but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings so I took it.
“Thanks,” I said.
I took a drink and forced myself to swallow it.
It tasted bitter and burned my throat.
I hated it.
Nathan looked a little different.
He didn’t seem so scared.
Suddenly, I felt a little uneasy.
The room started spinning and I felt my legs collapse.
Fading in and out of consciousness, I could only feel the cold hard ground wet from the nearby pool.
I heard laughter and commotion, as if no one had even noticed what had happened.
I felt someone approach me.
My hands on their shoes, I muttered for help.
Everything turned black.
I could see a white light coming closer to me.
Closer and closer.
Soon the light was the only thing I could see.
I couldn’t move a muscle.
Was I dreaming?
All I could hear was a faint clicking sound.
A voice emerged.
“Raaaacccchhhheeeellll……,” the voice whispered.
I immediately woke up to Chloe shaking me.
“Dude, wake up!” she screamed.
“Wha…what?” I mumbled.
“You’re going to be late for your first day!” she exclaimed.
Her trashed filled room filled my sight.
I searched for an alarm clock.
“Shit!” I screamed.
Chloe began throwing my clothes at me while I struggled to get out of her bed.
I frantically got dressed and ran downstairs.
Joyce, Chloe’s mom, was making eggs and bacon for breakfast.
I grabbed my backpack from the living room and bolted for the front door.
“Bye, Rachel!” Joyce said as she cracked open a few eggs into a bowl.
I barely made it to the bus stop.
I quickly got on and found a seat.
“Come on, come on.” I said to myself as I watched the bus reached closer and closer to the school.
The bus halted and the doors opened.
I jumped off the steps, nearly bumping into other students.
I ran as fast as I could to class.
I finally reached it.
Out of breath, I opened the door, everyone stared at me.
“So you must be Rachel, right?” The professor asked me.
“Ye..yeah..” I replied, still trying to catch my breath.
“Please have a seat.
Students, my name is Mr. Jefferson, your new photography teacher,” he said proudly.
“I would like to start off by showing you a different form of portraiture.
Rachel, could you help me?” He asked kindly.
“Uh..sure,” I replied.
“Perfect,” he said.
He pointed a camera at my face.
“Be still,” he said.
He put his hand on the shutter and slowly pressed down.
I couldn’t move again.
My hands and feet were tied.
The room was filled with white.
I could only hear the camera’s shutter.
“Where am I?” I asked.
A dark figure appeared in front of me.
I felt a sharp pain in my neck.
The room began to fade to black.
Darker and darker.
Losing consciousness, I could only hear one thing.