Have you ever had one of those dreams where nothing you did was good enough? Where, regardless of how hard you tried, you could never hope of measuring up? Well, that was my life. It wasn’t always that way. Up until last semester I’d maintained a 4.0 grade average, was a shoe in for valedictorian, and had elite colleges beating down my door with scholarship offers. I’d also been the captain of our softball team for two years—both state championships—and had been taking college level classes since my freshmen year. Of course all that was before my mom uprooted our family and moved us to the middle of someone-please-shoot-me-now Texas.
I glanced at the Mid-term exam my teacher had unceremoniously dumped on my desk, as if his disapproving headshake didn’t tell me everything I needed to know. Another D+. Wonderful. I was now officially failing ALL of my classes. You might think a 94% would be a solid A, but it placed me well off the tail end of the class curve. And after being voted All-state the last two years, I’d been cut from the softball team on the second day of try outs. The worst part of it all? I couldn’t even argue with their decision—there wasn’t a player on the team that wasn’t a hundred times better than me. Somehow I’d crossed over into a redneck twilight zone, where everyone except me was a world class athlete and Mensa material.
“That’s it,” Jenna declared, coming up behind me and placing her hand on my shoulder. “You’re coming to our new student assimilation tonight—even if I have to drag you.”
Out of all the people here Jenna was the only one I’d even remotely consider a friend. And that was a stretch. She’d been hounding me to attend her stupid assimilation since she led me around during orientation. I probably would have that day if she hadn’t mentioned the dress code. When someone tells me to show up at an abandoned warehouse wearing all black, every instinct I have tells me to run like hell. But at the rate I was going I was destined to rip tickets at the local Cineplex for the next forty years. With a resigned nod I rested my head in the palms of my hands and sighed. “Fine. I’ll meet you there at eight.”
Her wicked smile sent shivers up my spine. What the hell was I getting myself into?