Welcome To Whisper Pines Part-5

Welcome to Whisper Pines
Part Five


After a tragedy, Charlie and his small family move from the West Coast to the East and to a small and idyllic, dairy community to start anew. Soon he starts to realize the town seems a bit odd and the things there not so right, including himself.



Author's Note: Monday again, new chapter again. This is the school chapter. Well actually Part one of two if you want to get technical because Ch.6 also takes place in school too. Some new and interesting things start to pop here. Also the picture I'm using for this chapter is what I envisioned the school mascot to look like :). I'd once again like to thank ashleigh for editing this tale for me :).



There was knocking again.

Groaning, I threw off my covers. Mornings and this town were never going to agree with me. Not after a rather restless night. I couldn’t even remember how much sleep I had. It was made worse by this strange dream that I could only half remember. There was someone shouting my name but not my first name, my last one. It was kind of weird really because the name was echoing like I was in a large room and the shouting didn’t sound too happy. Sadly, though, I couldn’t remember any more than that.

Sitting up, I looked around the room in confusion for a second.

Then I remembered where I was.

This was Mom’s room.

It was one of the strangest things actually. When grandma suggested Sara and I put our things in Mom and Grace’s room, I didn’t really think about it. I was just hoping for a non-repeat of the pink room. Thankfully my fears were lifted as soon as I walked in. Mom had a pretty gender neutral taste. Well it was clear two girls lived here once but it wasn’t a nauseating shade of pink. The walls were painted a light lavender and the carpet was blue. Most of the furniture was white with light blue accents. The focal point of the room though was the large window with the seat. It was kind of cool, like that show Girl Meets World that Sara swore she didn’t watch.

The rest of the room was typical teenage girl stuff.

There were a couple of dressers, two vanities and a large dressing mirror. The posters on the walls were boy bands from the late 90s and early 2000s. Most of those were covered up though thank god. It was clear that when Mom finally left the room, her photography was starting to take over. The walls on her side of the room were covered in pictures. Most of friends and family but there were lots of pictures of the town too. They were kind of nice in a way. It left like I was taking a peek into my mother’s soul.

Aunt Grace’s side of the room was covered in trophies, awards, and postcards.

Even back then she apparently had an adventurous streak.

Getting up, I walked over to the closet. Opening it, I found a lot of Mom’s old clothes hanging there. I fought back the urge to lean forward and smell them. That was the greatest thing about this place. It still smelled like Mom. Mom had left this room at eighteen to go to college and the room had frozen itself in time with her absence. She and Dad met on her spring break that year when she took a trip to Europe. They fell in love and he followed her back. He’d been taking the year off to help his father with their fishing business but my mother convinced him to join her. They were pretty inseparable after that. Mom got her journalism degree and didn’t realize it at the time but she was already pregnant with me. My parents didn’t get married until after Dad got his business degree.

Sara came while Dad was finishing up his MBA.

Thinking about it all left a hollow pit in my stomach.

I quickly stopped thinking and went through my morning routine. I was still wearing Connie’s borrowed bed pants because I didn’t really have anything else. I wanted to sleep in my boxers but seeing as I was currently sharing the room with Sara she vetoed that idea. Pop wasn’t too happy to see what I was wearing but he couldn’t really complain. They did try to give me some stuff my Uncle Kurt left but he was bigger than me so none of his clothes fit. Grandma was nice enough to wash the clothes I was wearing yesterday, though. Rebecca had washed my other clothes from Monday.

I’d only been stupid enough to pack one change of clothes in my backpack.

The rest of my clothes were in the boxes currently making their way across country.

A trip that was taking way longer than necessary.

Dad had called the moving company last night. Our truck had a broken axle. It was going to be another few days before they got it fixed. So either I’d be alternating my two outfits for school or else I’d have to go clothes shopping.

Yay me.

Pulling Monday’s clothes out of the pack, I tossed them on the bed before I opened the door and nearly tripped over Argos.

Man’s loyal best friend.

Dad wouldn’t let him in my room last night.

“Did you sleep out here all night, boy?” I asked, rubbing his head gently.

As I walked down the hall toward the upstairs bathroom, he followed. He stopped at the bathroom door, though, sitting there like a silent sentinel. He whined slightly as I started to close it but I reassured him I wouldn’t be long. Walking toward the toilet, I looked toward the little window behind me. It was still slightly dark outside, I couldn’t remember the last time I got up before the sun. Back home, school didn’t start until almost eight in the morning. I usually got up at seven and had plenty of time to get there. It was six now and school began in an hour.

Stupid farm people.

I peed then got into the shower. I took another quick one. I got out just as fast as I got in and groaned at the dweeb in the mirror as I passed. I made sure to wear my towel back to the room, though. Sara had still been sleeping when I woke up but now apparently she was downstairs. I could hear the sound of the other shower. It was decided that I would use the upstairs bathroom and she the downstairs one. She had spent nearly an hour in said bathroom after we got back from the mall, scrubbing off all the girly makeup that Connie had put all over her face. Unfortunately for her, though, she didn’t have any of her washable hair dye with her so her hair was still honey blonde.

The rest of the night she shot me daggers.

Hey, all’s fair in Sibling War.

Besides after Monday, she had it coming.

Argos came trotting into the room behind me. I patted him on the head as I walked over to my bed. On it, I found my clothes neatly folded. That was a little weird but not as weird as what I found sitting on them: the heart pendant. This time, though, it was on a new silver chain. Now how in the heck did that happen? I picked it up, turning it over in my hand. No one even knew I had it except Sara and I was pretty certain she didn’t know I’d been keeping it in my pack. I set it aside and got dressed: boxers, jeans, socks then shirt. I pulled on my zip up hoodie too. It was going to be my crutch for the day.

I wanted to make a manly impression on my new schoolmates.

No more of this girl garbage.

Argos followed me out of the room and down the stairs. I wasn’t even to the bottom of them before I smelt breakfast: homemade pancakes, bacon, eggs, and sausage. Grandma really knew how to lay out a morning feast.

“Morning, sweetheart,” she said as she was putting more pancakes on a plate.

“Smells delicious,” I said, dropping into a seat.

Sara and Dad were already there. Dad was wearing one of his overly expensive suits. The tie itself cost more than all my video games combined. Sara, on the other hand, looked miserable. Whereas the high school didn’t have a dress code, apparently the elementary school did. Girls were required to wear these hideous green vests and skirts. Add to that her knee high socks and black buckle shoes and she looked:

“So adorable” I gushed like an idiot.

“Die in a fire” she grumbled at me.

“I think your brother is right,” said Grandma with a smile. “You look darling.”

“Well, I feel like a damn idiot.”

“Don’t say damn.”

“Sorry, Grandma.”

It was funny because the outfit actually made her look a little bit younger. Not like an eleven-year-old at all, more like a little five-year-old. As soon as I thought it, I had another vague memory of a girl, long red pigtails, wearing the same outfit. I’m not sure who she was or where she came from. I’m not even sure why I suddenly remembered it. Ok so Sara’s outfit probably triggered it but still, it was kind of weird that I was remembering it now of all times.

“Now do you have everything you’ll need?” asked Grandma as she finally sat down. “Lunch money? Your backpacks? Do you know where your classes are and where the bus picks you up and drops you off?”

Sara and I nodded yes to all her questions.

“”They’re fine Judy,” said Pop from behind his paper.

What was it with grandfather’s and their papers in the morning?

Breakfast was pretty quiet after that. Well if you didn’t count Grandma trying to braid Sara's hair into twin tails. I couldn’t help but scoff at the image. It would have really made her look like a little kid. Sara refused of course and kept shooting me nasty looks as if she could read my mind or something. It didn’t stop me from having them, though.

It was really funny, though, the outfit really did make her look younger. Or more accurately it made her look her age for once. Mom had always been on Sara’s case about dressing too grown up. There had been no strict dress code at her old school and Sara had pretty much been allowed to go to school however she wanted, including with makeup and padded bra. Now the makeup was all gone and of course, there was no padded bra. Grandma had seen to that bit last night. I think she was about to have a heart attack when she saw it. She went so far as to throw it in the garbage. Sara went postal, there had been shouting and everything. It was great. Dad had to finally step in and that ended that.

Grandma made something clear, though. As long as Sara was in her house, she was to present as the young lady she appeared to be. She told Sara there was plenty of time to grow up.

Sara was growing, though. I’d seen the cami tops and training bras all over the house back home. I think Grandma was just a little set in her ways.

We finished breakfast just in time to hear the beeping of the bus horn.

Grandma kissed both of us on the forehead before we rushed out the door.

I was surprised to see an actual school bus. It was yellow and everything. Back home, the kids who took the bus to school usually used city buses. Rushing across the lawn behind my sister, I couldn’t help but feel a little like a dork. I mean kids actually thought it was ok to ride around in one of these things? Getting on the bus only made it worse. The bus driver grunted at me and all eyes were on the two of us. The bus I noticed was fairly packed. Sara and I ended up having to sit with one another toward the front.

“Don’t talk to me from this moment forward?” she said.

“I’m not the one talking.”

She didn’t have an answer for that.

I decided to sit quietly and look out the window as we drove to school.


Whisper Pines High was actually a lot smaller than I thought it was from the car. My school back home was at least three times bigger. This place could barely be considered a school at all, to be honest. Looking around, I saw a lot of kids my own age walking toward the building. I turned to say something to Sara as she stepped off the bus behind me but she was already on her way across the campus toward the elementary school. That place was small too. Was this what it was like to be in a small town?

Walking toward the building, I did notice they had a football field which was surprising.

I half expected them to send their players to another town to practice or something.

I also noticed that the field looked a little unused. The grass was unmowed and the field goal posts looked a little rusty.
Well, maybe they didn’t have a team anymore?

Walking up the large stone steps and into the building, the first thing I noticed was the mascot. Well, it was hard not too, his image was painted on the wall directly in front of me. I half expected it to be a cow honestly. I was more than a little surprised to see it was a Greek Soldier. No not Greek, Trojan I think. I tried to keep up with Greek myth as much as I could. My father always told me it was a good idea to know where I came from. I knew they were only stories but it was kind of cool to think that maybe some of them were true. I mean all stories had to have some truth behind them right? Who’s to say there wasn’t really a Jason or a Heracles out there at one time in history?

“Kinda out of place if you ask me,” said Rex as he came up beside me.

“Hey,” I said then nodded. “I thought maybe it would be a cow.”

He shrugged. “It might have been once.”

I was starting to get the impression that Rex was a little eccentric. It was how he acted and the things he said. Almost as if he believed that half the things he saw weren’t actually the truth.

“Yeah well it makes me feel right at home,” I said with a half laugh.

He nodded. “C’mon I’ll show you to the office so you can get your schedule and things.”

He waved me on and I obediently followed.

The office was right around the corner from the main entry foyer. It was separated from the rest of the school by a large glass partition with two doors. Rex pointed to it.

“Try to talk to Vice Principal Willis, she’s easier.”

I nodded. What did that even mean?

Rex started to walk off.

“You’re not going to wait to see if we have similar classes?”

“I’ll catch up with you in lunch.”

“What if we don’t have the same lunch period?”

He laughed. “Everyone has the same lunch period,” he said then continued down the hall.

Ok, so Rex was definitely weird.

I shrugged and opened the door. I walked up to one of the two desks. I made sure it was the one near the door that said Vice Principal Willis. The woman behind the desk was young, probably in her late twenties. Her dark hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail and she wore a charcoal gray suit and skirt combination thing. Sorry, I’m not too fashion forward, to be honest. Unless of course, I’m in the room when Sara and her friends were talking.

“Can I help you, sweetie?” she asked in a sing-song voice.

“I’m Charlie Kanenas, I just moved here a few days ago.”

She nodded and quickly started typing away at her computer. A moment later she looked at me.

“We have a Karolos Kanenas?”

“That’s me,” I said, rolling my eyes. “I prefer to be called Charlie, though.”

“I see,” she said, typing again. “There were ago, I put a note of it in your file. Go on through that door, I’ll let Ms. Willis know.”

I smiled and thanked her.

Then I took a deep breath as I stepped toward the Vice Principal’s office. I knocked on the door. My parents always taught me to be polite. I heard a muffled voice give me permission to enter. As soon as I opened the door, I was greeted by a neat and spartan looking office. There was a desk and some chairs, filing cabinets and a large bookshelf. There was nothing else, though. No sign of anything personal. The woman sitting behind the desk had a severe look to her. She was maybe mid-thirties, glasses, her darker hair pulled back like her secretary. She was wearing a gray pants suit. When she stood up, she was taller than I expected. Probably because of the heels she was wearing.

“Mr. Kanenas?” she said, raising an eyebrow.

I nodded. ‘Its the hair. I like to be called Charlie too.”

She smiled. It was actually a warm and welcoming one. It betrayed her actually. To look at her I was expecting some horrid woman. She surprised me.

“Well then have a seat, Charlie,” she said, pointing to the chair in front of her desk.

I quickly took it.

Ms. Willis looked at her computer. “It says here you’re from Portland.”

“Yes Ma’am.”

“Your father is Greek, hence the name,” she said, still reading the screen. “And your mother is...Penny Miller?’

There was a bit of surprise in her voice. She turned away from the computer screen and looked at me. She smiled as she did so.

“You look like her” she said softly. “Your mother I mean. She and I...” She lost composure for a second then regained it just as quick. “We were schoolmates together. Good friends. The best of friends.”

Her voice faltered a bit.

“I miss her too,” I said softly.

She smiled and gave me a gentle nod.

“You and your family are staying with the Millers then?”

“For the time being. We have a house at the new development I guess. Our moving van broke an axle so we’re staying with my grandparents until they get here.”

“They’re good people, your grandparents.”

I nodded. “I like them.”

“Now then,” she said “now that that’s out of the way. I can get you all situated.”

A moment later, the printer behind her sprang to life. A few seconds later, she handed me a few sheets of paper.

“The first sheet is your schedule, your locker location and combination should be right there on the bottom,” she said, pointing it out to me. “The other sheet is a quick list of school rules. Nothing too crazy or drastic. The Principal Mr. Carpenter likes to run a tight ship around here so make sure you stick to those rules. Now lunch is always 5th period, the vending machines in the cafeteria are for after school only.”

I saw that on the list of rules as I quickly scanned them.

“Gym is 7th period” she continued. “Boys and girls take PE together but separate locker rooms for obvious reasons. Each student has at least one study hall a day and the last period of the day is for an elective if you requested one. I put you in study hall again, though, unfortunately for you coming in the middle of the year like this, most of the electives are filled up.”

“Its ok,” I said and it was.

She smiled. “Well, then Mr. Kanenas” she held out her hand for me to shake. “Welcome to Whisper Pines High.”

I stood up and shook her hand. She had well-manicured nails I noticed.

She walked around her desk and showed me out of the office.

The secretary smiled at me as I walked toward the hall.

“Have a nice day?” she said sweetly before I left.

The bell must have already rung because the halls were deserted. I was stopped a few seconds later by an adult walking the halls. I’m guessing he was a Hall Monitor or something. When I told him I came from the office, he gave me a pass and told me not to do it again. Like it was my fault or something?

My first class of the day was thankfully not very far.

Algebra with Mrs. Gromley.

I stepped into the room and all eyes were on me.

“Can I help you young lady?” asked the portly, older woman in the front of the room.

“Boy actually,” I said, walking to the front of the room to show her my pass and schedule.

“Ah yes Karolos,” she said with little interest.

Several of the guys in class snickered.

I ignored them. I always ignored them when they laughed at my name.

“Charlie actually.”

Mrs. Gromley waved me off. “Sit somewhere and don’t interrupt my class again.”

Wow, this was getting off to a great start.

I found a seat in the back of the room. When I sat down, the girl from the mall was sitting next to me. She gave me a look, sizing me up maybe? She looked like she was dressed for a rave: ripped shirt, fishnet sleeves, lots of dark eye makeup. I looked at her legs, she was wearing a skirt. I found myself staring a little too long, though.

“See something you like?” she asked.

“Sorry,” I said, turning away, blushing.

Mrs. Gromley glared at us. “Girls, pay attention!”

The class snickered again.

And that’s how the rest of the morning went. I wasn’t late for another class again but it didn’t matter. Most of the teachers saw me as an annoyance somehow. Most of them also referred to me as a girl. I did the whole “I’m a boy and Charlie” thing three more times before I finally let out a sigh of relief when my fourth period Earth Science class let out. Being a Freshman was tough, being a new freshman at a new school was torture.

It didn’t help that my new Emo friend was in three of my four morning classes.

She was Miss Sunshine too every time she saw me.

When I got to the cafeteria, it was already half full. I fell into line like a drone, barely paying attention as I was given some semblance of a meal. I paid the lady, smiled and walked away to find a table. I scanned the crowd of people, looking for Rex. I spotted him in the far corner, sitting with a bunch of guys that looked to be about my flavor. They were all nerds of course but they were kind of my people I guess. Not that I really had a clique back home. I usually just sat with Fiona and her skating friends. They weren’t bad company and Doug often sat with us too. He drew most of the attention though because well “he was a hunk”.

According to Fiona’s group anyways.

I started toward Rex when someone slipped their arm through mine.

“Where you going?” asked Connie.

“Over with Rex,” I said, pointing.

“Sit with him tomorrow,” she said, steering me away. “Come sit with me today. I want you to meet the girls.”

I tried to protest but it was already too late.

Connie led me over to a table where three other girls were currently sitting. I was amazed at the beauties before me. Two blondes and a brunette, all of them absolutely gorgeous. All of them smiled at me when Connie brought me over.

“Guys this is Karrie, the boy I was telling you about.”

I groaned at her cutesy bastardization of my name.

“Karrie these are the girls,” she said and introduced me quickly. “That’s Britney, Amber, and Tracy.”

Britney and Amber were the blondes. I was not surprised. Of the two, Amber was the prettier one. She had a thinner nose and pouty lips. She was the kind of girl guys would crawl over glass naked to be with. She was also well endowed in the chest region if you get my meaning. Brtiney was no slouch, though. She just wasn’t as pretty as Amber. She did have these great eyes, though---sparkling blue. She also apparently painted her fingernails each a different alternating color: red and blue currently.

Tracy was the odd girl out I think.

She looked a bit out of place here, to be honest.

She looked shy. She kept looking at me and seemed to avert her eyes every few seconds. She was pretty too if you liked that whole girl with glasses thing.

I sat down in one of the two empty seats.

“Nice to meet you guys,” I said, trying to be polite.

I looked at the empty chair across from me.

“That’s Mel’s chair. She’s got student council today. You can meet her tomorrow” said Connie, taking my hand.

“So is it true that you guys were at the mall and all over each other yesterday?”

I rolled my eyes. I forgot how girls gossiped.

“Mall yes,” I said.

“I told you he has a girlfriend,” said Connie “stop trying to make something out of this when there’s nothing here. Besides...”

Amber scoffed. “The mysterious Mark again.”

“He’s not a mystery,” said Connie, annoyed. “You guys met him. He used to go to school here.”

Amber shrugged. “Sorry, doesn’t ring any bells.”

I studied her face. I couldn’t tell if she was being catty or if she genuinely didn’t remember this guy. Beth had said the same thing yesterday or something similar. That her sister was making the guy up to get attention. Maybe it was true but Connie really seemed to care for this guy.

Fake or not.

I was about to jump to Connie’s defense when I noticed something. Britney was wearing a low cut top. A very low cut top. Not that I was staring but it was kind of hard not too when she was almost directly across from me. It wasn’t her breasts that drew my interest, though, it was her necklace. More importantly, it was the heart shaped pendant. The very same one I found the other day at the diner.

“That necklace,” I said, “where did you get it?”

“Oh this,” she said, grabbing the pendant and lifting it off her neck. “We all have them. It's our little club.”


“Yeah,” said Connie, showing me hers. “The Heart Club.”

I nodded. Then I quickly rummaged around in my backpack until I found what I was looking for. I took out the necklace and put it on the table.

“Where did you get that?” asked Britney.

“I found it at a rest stop a few days ago.”

Connie picked it up, flipped it over and put it back down. “Well, it looks like ours but it's not.”

“How can you be sure?”

“Well, the Heart Club only has five members. Four of them are sitting at this table with you. Mel is the fifth of course.”

“Whoever that belongs too,” said Amber, pointing to my necklace. “It's clearly from some girl trying to copy us.”

“Well it could be...” said Tracy, looking around.

“No,” said Connie quickly. “She definitely burned hers.”

“Who?” I asked.

Connie shook her head. “It's not important.”

“Hey,” said Britney with a giggle. “If you want it, you can wear it. Be an honorary member. I mean you’re cute enough, you could totally pass as a girl.”

Britney and the others broke into a fit of giggles.

Then, of course, Connie had to tell them about how we met and how she thought I was a girl. There was more laughing. I tuned out the rest of the conversation. I quickly looked around the lunch room, wondering who the girl that Tracy mentioned might be. I scanned several of the people but none of them seemed to fit. My eyes finally fell on Miss Emo Sunshine, Clara. She was sitting by herself. I felt kind of bad for her in a way. I mean didn’t she have any friends?

I was tempted to get up and go over there but after this morning’s misunderstanding, I was pretty sure that wasn’t a good idea. So instead I stayed with the Heart Club for the rest of the lunch period. They laughed at me for a bit longer, joking about makeovers and things like that. I half paid attention. Then they switched topics to something else just as inane and asinine. Connie and the others didn’t bother to involve me in the conversation which was fine by me.

I made up my mind that tomorrow I was definitely going to sit with Rex.

Lunch ended a little while after that.

When the bell rang, I was more than ready to get the hell out of there honestly.

Author’s note: As I’m sure all of you know, comments are life blood to an author. I’m not begging or demanding, but I certainly would appreciate anything you have to say (or ask). It doesn’t have to be long and involved, just give me your reaction to the story. Thanks in advance...EOF

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