"First rule, always wear your uniform."
"Second rule, the Academy is never to get involved."
"Third rule, always support your sisters."
"Fourth rule, 'Don't get caught.'"
The New Girl
Chapter 2 - The Girls of St. Dymphna
Laura fidgeted with the hem of her jacket. She felt the eyes of her new roommates on her back, just outside the coffee shop she sat in. Caitlin's plan was a bad idea; there was no way Laura felt she could get close to these girls from the Academy's rival school. Laura tried to remember the name, St. Dainty, St. Dimples, St. D-something. She wasn't even sure she'd recognize them. Caitlin mentioned their uniforms, forest green blazers with plaid skirts falling mid-thigh, pink blouses, and white knee-high socks. For all Laura knew, the girls she was supposed to keep an eye out for could have changed to regular clothes before coming to the coffee shop.
A bell chimed as the door opened. Laura glanced over. Four girls walked in, each wearing the green blazer and plaid skirt that Caitlin described. They walked up to the counter to place their order. Laura drained the remains of her cappucino, then lined up behind the girls. Caitlin's request echoed in Laura's mind, "Find out what their plans are." Innocent enough, but Caitlin's tone and expression said something far more serious about the red-haired girl's plans.
The girl in front of Laura turned around to face her. The tiny girl, with metal-rimmed glasses and neatly cut short black hair, smiled. "Hello. Didn't hear you behind me. I don't think I've seen you here before."
"I'm, um, I'm new." Laura berated herself for stammering.
"I guessed that."
"Mackenzie, time to order." The authoritarian voice belonged to a girl of average height, even in her heels, with chestnut brown hair tied back in twin tails.
"Coming, Verity," the tiny girl called back. She turned back to Laura. "You look lost. I'll get Verity to let you join us for a bit."
"Thanks." Laura forced a smile. She turned her attention to the pastries available. The selection was few with most of the items having disappeared during the after-school rush. She heard Mackenzie place her order for a dragonwell green tea. When it was her turn, Laura asked for another cappucino and for a slice of chocolate brownie. Chocolate was her go-to when stressed, and she did, indeed, feel stressed.
Once she received her order, Laura started to walk back to her seat along the counter at the window. She saw Mackenzie wave to her, then motion to join the girls in green jackets. Laura nodded, then stiffened her spine before joining the group at their table. Mackenzie shifted her seat to give Laura room to sit down. "Hello, again!"
"Hi." Laura set down her cappucino and brownie on the table. "Mind if I join you?"
Verity only nodded. Mackenzie added, "Please."
Laura pulled an unused chair from another table. "Thanks. Hi, I'm Laura."
Mackenzie extended her hand. "Mackenzie. I was telling the others that you were new in town."
"You could tell?"
"We would have seen you before now. And you said you were."
"Where are you from?" Verity asked. She picked up her cup to sip from it.
"Toronto," Laura answered. "Well, Scarborough, but it's part of Toronto now."
Mackenzie's green eyes lit up behind her glasses. "Oh, cool! You must have gone to all the sights there."
Laura shrugged. "Not really."
Verity set down her cup. "What school, if you don't mind me asking?"
Caitlin's warning came back to Laura, "Don't lie, but don't tell the truth." While confusing at the time, it became clear to Laura now. "I didn't really go to school there. I guess you could say I was home schooled."
Verity's expression never changed. "I see. And your family moved here?"
"It's temporary. Just some confusion happening back in Toronto that should be cleared up in a few months."
"Oh, where are our manners?" Mackenzie said. "Laura, this is Verity," she indicated the girl with the twin pony tails, "Sarah," the broad-shouldered girl nodded, "and Caroline." The latter was a wire-thin girl with purple hair tied back in a braid.
"Please to meet you," Caroline said. She eyes Laura. "Home schooled, you said?"
Laura nodded. "Yeah. I get to learn about stuff I like, though. Chemistry, mainly."
"What sort of chemistry?" Verity asked. She leaned forward in her chair.
"Organic, physical, a bit of material, but it's not that interesting. I wanted to know what the food and drink I had looked like. Caffeine is a really interesting molecule."
Caroline blinked. "I guess? Does this mean you've never been to a dance before?"
"A school dance? No. No school, no dance." Laura shrugged her shoulders. "I've been to bars, though. Karaoke nights, though no booze."
Mackenzie snapped her fingers. "That's what we need! Karaoke night!"
Verity arched an eyebrow. "Really?"
"Get the teachers involved. You know that people would love to see Mr. Mosley up on stage singing. And you'd love seeing Kayla make a fool out of herself." Mackenzie turned to Laura. "Kayla's been a bit of a pain lately. A little full of herself. Give her encouragement, and she'll do anything, like sing in front of a crowd. Except, she can't sing a note." The tiny girl laughed.
Caroline smiled. "It'd be worth it, Verity."
Verity sighed. "Fine, I'll suggest it to the homecoming committee. Just don't expect me up there."
"Oh, of course not," Sarah said.
"Homecoming?" Laura asked.
"You've never--" Caroline cut herself off. "Right, home schooled. Homecoming is where alumni return to where they graduated for a reunion game. Around here, it's usually football, but St. Dymphna is an all-girls school, so it's basketball. Anyway, the alumni return, there's a big party, and we get a few extra privileges during the week."
"Plus the Homecoming Queen and Princess," Mackenzie added. "Whoever gets chosen gets paired with the Homecoming King and Prince of AM Farewell Collegiate at the Homecoming Dance." The bespectacled girl leaned in. In a lower voice, she added, "I've heard that Jay Whitaker is the early favourite for King."
Caroline's eyes widened. "Jay?"
Verity rolled her eyes. "It's too early to count on him or you winning, Caroline. Besides, don't you have to deal with a certain Unruly first?"
"Ah, yes, you're new in town. There is an all-girls school for troublemakers, hellions, miscreants, criminals both past and future, succubi, and reprobates. The Academy for Unruly Girls, well and truly named, really. They've been a thorn in the side of Oshawa and of St. Dymphna Collegiate for almost as long as there's been an Oshawa."
Laura blinked at the description. She felt the pit of her stomach drop. "Sounds like a school for nasty bitches."
"Yes, it does. You'd do yourself a favour by staying away from them. Though, home schooled, you might not cross their path." Verity picked up her cup. "What does a home schooler do on a Friday night?"
"Me, mostly try to sneak away to see what life is like." Laura took a drink of her cooling cappucino. "My folks tried to keep me away from certain elements. I kinda want to know what they're like."
Caroline laughed. "The more parents try to protect. Makes for a more devious daughter."
"Says a devious daughter," Sarah said.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Hey, whoa!" Sarah held up her hands in surrender. "It means you're devious. That's all."
Mackenzie set down her coffee. "Jeez, Caroline, calm your tits already. No more caffeine for you."
Verity finished her drink. "Yes, Caroline, save it for later." She checked the time on her smartphone. "We should be going soon anyway. It was good meeting you, Laura."
"Nice meeting all of you, too." Laura finished her cappucino. "I guess you have something planned already for tonight?"
Mackenize nodded. "We do. We can't invite you, either. Sorry."
Laura wave a hand in the air. "Don't worry about it. Maybe another time."
Verity got up. "Time to go, ladies. Laura, enjoy your time in Oshawa, and do remember what I told you about those Unrulies."
"I will." Laura watched as the four girls from St. Dyphna left the coffee shop. Once they were out, she leaned back in her chair. She let out a sigh of relief. Five minutes later, her roommates entered, approaching her. "Did you get what you wanted?"
Caitlin smiled. "You did well, Laura. Kept your cool, didn't tell them about us. I think you'll be a great addition to our team."
"I still don't get what's going on." Laura got out of her chair. She started picking up her dishes. "And what's this about 'unrulies' and 'miscreants' and 'troublemakers'?"
"Don't forget 'succubi'," Skye added. "Verity was getting creative today."
Caitlin rolled her eyes. "Ignore what she said. Verity has a grudge. Let's go. I have a few things to pick up."
Laura wrapped her brownie in a napkin before putting it into her purse. "We're not going to break and enter, are we?"
"No, no nothing like that. There's no need." Caitlin led the group out of the coffee shop.
Once past the door, Autumn pulled Laura close to her. "What did Caroline look like when she mentioned Jay?"
"Caroline. When she talked about Jay Whitaker, what was her expression?"
Laura only blinked.
"Anything you need, talk to Vamsi. It'll cost, and sometimes, it won't be cash."
"You're saying that it'd be karmic?"
"I was underage and the crime was in North Korea, technically."