Kickoff written by DarkKupyd

The Friend of Collin McCormick

Collin is either really observant or supernatural.

I suspect my childhood friend is a mind reader. He always knows what to say to me or what I'm thinking before I even think it. Like out in the hallway a few minutes ago. I was reading a poster for theater auditions when-

"You should stick with the yearbook." Collin had magically appeared beside me from the throng of students. He rested his arm on my shoulder. I shoved him off.

"It's senior year. Let me do something fun. Something exciting!" I protested with glee.

Jasmine Kim, a notorious gossiper chuckled from beside me. I didn't like her. She chewed too loud and was flat-out mean. Her rudeness was often mistaken as sarcasm by everyone so she was a bit of a social butterfly. We bumped into each other freshman year and I haven't been able to lose her since. She says we are friends but I disagree.

I turned to Collin, wanting to explain more to him, but he had already disappeared back into the crowd. "Collin's right," Jasmine quipped. "You in a play would be a disaster. You are way too
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clumsy and unlikable."

"But you're in theater?"

Jasmine flipped her raven black hair over her shoulders. She pursed her lips as if thinking. "If you want to do something fun, get a boyfriend."

I scowled at her and walked off to my next class. I have no idea how the rumor had spread about me never dating, but it was false. Totally not true. I huffed to myself as I took an unoccupied seat in physics. The bell rang shortly after and I zoned out.

My daydream was interrupted by a neatly pressed uniform. Some poster child stood in front of my desk, blocking the board. The teacher carried on like normal. I recognized the black armband and SU to mean Student Union. I looked up at the student. His bright eyes and blonde hair made me wince.

The Student Union was exactly as it sounded. A group of teacher pets worried too much about their college acceptance letters and being top of the class. "You're Janet Ashbourne?" He asked with a disappointed tone.

I crossed my arms and leaned
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back in the chair. "Who's asking?"

"The principal. Let's go." He turned on his heels and headed to the door.

I jumped up, scooped my bag off the floor, and followed. "How did you know I was Janet?"

He had long legs. I had to half-jog to keep up. The look he gave me was that of pity. He stopped abruptly after rounding the corner of the hallway. I ran into the back of him and took notice of his broad shoulders. He glared down at me.

"I trust you can walk yourself the rest of the way." Without waiting for an answer, I was left standing in the hallway like an idiot. Or maybe I was one before this? I waved away this thought and continued to the principal's office.

The principal was not a person anyone enjoyed talking to. Too stern, too strict, and too bossy. A middle-aged black woman folded her hands on the chestnut desk. "Miss Ashbourne, so nice of you to join us." Her smile was fake but the murderous gleam in her eyes was real.

"Us?" I pulled back the chair across from her with a raised
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My homeroom teacher, Mr. Kim entered and stole the seat from me. "Yes, us." He said in a hurry and placed a stack of photos on the desk.

I reached over and picked them up. Principal Thomas continued the conversation, "I know we have had our differences in the past, Miss Ashbourne, but I am hoping you will help us with this."

The pictures were from surveillance cameras from around the school. I would know, I've been caught on them many times before. I didn't recognize the hooded figure from the grainy images though. The length was too far off. The person had to be about 5'11" and had a wide stance.

"This isn't me."

The principal grimaced but continued, "Someone stole something very important from my office and I want it back. You're going to help me with that."

"Why should I?" Pride welled up from my genius question.

"I'll let you date my son."

A blank stare.

"My adopted son."


"Collin?" The principal offered,

I snapped my fingers. "That's why you looked familiar."
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