“So I walked in hoping that no one would try to include me in any type of heart-to-heart discussion at all.”


And So It Is...
Shanna South

Shanna South likes to read and write and observe life. Multi-talented, her choices in life are many, not few. She’ll use her writing talent to help her to forge a good future for herself doing whatever it is that she decides she wants to do. And she’ll make a difference.

I'm a teenage girl living in a city where people think if they meet the right "somebody" all of their dreams will come true. I live in a city where they tell you being unique and an individual is what gets you noticed. However, on TV everyone looks the same. I live in a city where people worry more about what the rich and famous are up to than what the poor and unfortunate are up to, although they do take up about a mile-long block in the downtown area. I live in Los Angeles, the city of dreams.

Actually I like to call it the city of nightmares, because ever since I moved here from Wichita, Kansas, my life's been nothing but a nightmare. Here in Los Angeles it's polluted, over-crowded, and the people... well, let’s just say there's a big difference between city folk and people from small towns. I just want to go home, and I don't mean to my 3.3 million dollar mansion in Los Feliz that my parents just bought because my dad finally made it n the world of showbiz. I want to go back to my friends, my grandma, my horses, my old life. I mean what are the odds that his screenplay for a movie would've gotten picked up any way? It’s not that great. I don't know what the nut jobs in Hollywood were thinking; maybe that's just it: They don't think up there. All I know is their lack of brain cells is the reason why I'm here in the first place. The worst part is my first day of school is tomorrow.

There's nothing worse than walking into a roomful of strangers and to feel them staring at you as you walk to the seat that’s coincidentally empty in the middle of the class. I swear if looks could kill, I would've died 30 times that day. I just wish this day were over, or better yet my life. Okay, maybe not my life, but this chapter of my life where I'm miserable and unhappy. This school – no, this penitentiary – is called Royal Arts Academy. If you ask me there’s nothing "royal" about this school except how it can be a royal pain in the... well, you know. It's only lunchtime, and I already got detention because I was late to French class. So instead of getting out at two-thirty I'll be here until four o'clock. At least I have a car here; back home I had to bum a ride or walk two miles back to my place. The only good thing about all that walking I did was I stayed in shape and have killer legs. I guess that's why the guy in my ceramics class asked if I ran track and said that I should try out since it’s not too late in the year. But I would rather be dragged by my hair through mud than to join a team. That means I would have to be nice and make friends, and I definitely am not trying to do that in this hellhole of a city. I looked at my cool new cell phone; dad bought me a Blackberrry; he said everyone whose anyone has a Blackberry Smartphone, and just for your information, when he said that, I did throw up in my mouth. Anyways, I was looking at my cell phone to see if this boring economics class was over, and something happened. I heard the door open, and I looked up, and there he was, and no he wasn't a jock, or the lead singer of the band looking type. He looked like a beautiful angel; okay, I know that sounds corny, but the guy was really handsome. I mean, when my eyes met his, it felt like time stopped, and it was only him and me in this room. It felt like everything else just simply disappeared. My heart started to beat faster, and I honestly couldn't tell you if I was breathing or not because I went numb for that one minute. I was only snapped back into reality when Mr. Zirkowitz asked me a question and the bell rang, which was a relief until I realized I still had detention.

I never had detention before, but on TV they make it seem like it’s cool or something, and it brings people from different social groups together, and they get to know each other a little better. So I walked in hoping that no one would try to include me in any type of heart-to-heart discussion at all. Because like I said, I'm not interested in making new friends. Even if I were, they wouldn't find me interesting anyways; I don't play sports, I'm not into fashion, and I just became rich no less than a month ago. I just want to go in, tell the teacher I'm here, and hopefully this will be the fastest hour of my life. Maybe I'll just sit in the back and see what kind of stuff my new Blackberry Smartphone can do. As ten minutes go by the teacher is reading off our names on the list, and right before he calls my name, the door opens, and there he goes again. This time my heart was beating so loud I couldn't even hear the teacher say, "Ms. Haze…Ms. MATTIE HAZE." I blink a couple of times, and I raise my hand and let him know that I'm here. The guy looks up at me, and he smiles, and not just a I'm-going-to smile-at-you-because-you’re-looking-at-me-weird kind of smile. But a smile only an angel can have. Of course I don't smile, so I just blink and look away, so now he probably thinks I'm a jerk. Which makes it even more nerve-racking when he sits behind me, and I can feel him staring at the back of my head. So I get up and ask the teacher for the pass to the restroom. He says since I'm new and he's feeling nice he'll let me go just this once. I decide I am going to take my time and go to the restroom on the other side of the courtyard. As I'm walking I hear footsteps behind me, so I turn around and it’s him. He was following me; I didn’t say anything, nor did he, so I just kept walking. Until he grabbed me by my arm, and asked, "Your mother never taught you any manners?"

I grinned and said, "No, she taught me to never talk to strangers."

He laughed, "Well, she must be a really good teacher."

"So are you part of the welcoming committee, or are you a part-time stalker?" I said.

He stopped smiling, and he pulled me close and said, "I don't know what it is, but something is drawing me towards you."

I said, "Well, I guess you’re just going to have to find out what it is then."

He grabbed my hand, and we began to walk farther and farther away from the detention room. I had this feeling that I'll be back there again tomorrow. I couldn't believe this was happening, that I actually spoke to him and I didn't sound stupid. Maybe this city does bring out the sassiness in people after all. We kept walking for about five minutes without saying a word until we came across this little hole in the gate, and we crawled through. He held my hand the whole time. We hiked some more along this path, and there were bushes and trees everywhere. If I didn't know any better I would've thought he was taking me somewhere so that he could kill me or something, but I wasn't afraid; I knew he was harmless. We walked and walked till we came to a cliff-like spot, and at the bottom were all the other mansions of the Hollywood Hills. The sun was lowering behind the mountains, and I sat down on a tree stump. He sat right next to me, and we talked until the sun was gone and little tiny specks of stars gleamed in the night sky. I told him everything from the movie deal, to the move, to how I hated it here, and that I feel like a misfit toy among the Valley dolls or something. He told me about his rich parents, his alcoholic brother, and that sometimes he wishes he could run away. I realized I just spent three hours with a guy, and I didn't even know his name. So I said, "Hey, what’s your name?"

He looked into my eyes and he said, "My name's Cali."

I said, "Nice to meet you, Cali, and I think you’re about to change my life."

He smiled, and said, "Really? Because you already changed mine."

That night I knew I wouldn’t go out looking for friends, and that I wasn’t really interested in living in California, for that matter. But it felt good knowing that there were a million girls in the world, and yet he saw me.