'Well, here goes nothing.'
Paige Fox stepped through the stone gatehouse into the green at the center of Tanzenfuchs Academy. She stood for a moment with her hand wrapped around the strap of her bookbag.
Paige looked too late to see the other girl coming. Nicole ran right into her, and both of them fell to the ground.
'Nicole! It's great to see you!' Paige exclaimed upon seeing the girl's face.
'Yeah, it's amazing that we both got in to this place! It's supposed to be really preppy!'
The girls stood up, and Paige took out a small piece of paper from her pocket.
'This note says I'm staying in the Lucke Dorm,' she said.
'Oh, that's too bad!' Nicole replied. 'I'm in the Nahe Dorm. C'mon, we can walk together!'
Paige and Nicole began to walk, passing students sprawled on the grass, some eating, some listening to music, and some idly watching the sky. Paige was stoic, but Nicole bounced around, telling Paige everything she knew about the school.
'There's 18 dorms. Nahe and Lucke are, like, on opposite ends of the campus! That sucks! The food is awful, too. Well, at least that's one thing we're familiar with...'
Nicole looked to her right and saw no one beside her. Paige had stopped in her tracks. Her expressionless look was now gone, replaced by a mask of confusion. Nicole looked at the subject of Paige's gaze. Two boys stood in front of them. One was an upperclassman, his brown hair being blown by the wind. He had an almost smug air, and one of his hands rested against his hip. The other was much shorter, and he was blond, with opaque glasses resting below a set of messy bangs.
'Long time, no see,' said the taller one, addressing Paige.
'Indeed,' said Paige, her calm tone betrayed by her clenched hands.
'Who're these clowns?' Nicole whispered in Paige's ear.
"Clowns?" The tall one spoke again. 'I'm hurt. I suppose Paige never mentioned us to you?'
"Last I checked," said Paige, "there was only one of you."
"Ah, yes." The taller one patted the shorter one on the head. "This fellow is named Jason. He's our biological brother, though he never met our parents."
"'Brother'!" Nicole exclaimed.
'Yes,' the tall one said, facing Nicole. 'I am Peter Fox, Student Council President.'
'And I'm Jason,' the short one said, 'Student Council Secretary.' Checking his watch, he added, 'We'd better go, Peter.'
'Well, we'll be seeing you around, Paige,' Peter said, as he and Jason turned and walked away.
Once they had gone, Nicole spoke to Paige. 'You never told me you had brothers.'
Paige looked at her, her confusion gone, replaced by bitterness.
'You never asked.'