Chapter 1:

There's a pool on the roof.

28 million cows and a typewriter

It was a joy to be alone.

Every day, I hid in my personal little space during lunchtime. I at my personal little sandwich I made at home. I put on my personal little headphones, and I turned on my personal little phone to play a tower defense game, where the rules and goals were simple.

"Hey, Caroline!" boomed a girl's voice.

The door of my locker opened, and I poured out of it along with all of the loose paper and books. Yes, I could fit in my locker. Shut up.

The booming girl grinned 5 feet above me. Her name was Jessica. She had long brown hair made into a ponytail, freckles, and no concept of personal space or time. Six days ago, she didn't know of my existence, but now, I'm her best friend, according to her. She didn't have any friends from her middle school because it was in Alabama, and this isn't Alabama and will never be. Being new to the area didn't stop her from riding the cable car to the top of Popularity Mountain. Despite this, she still called me her best friend. She was as loyal as a dog.

I continued to play my game on the tiled floor, which was where I belonged.

"Have you eaten lunch yet?" she asked.

"Yeah," I said.

"Good. I heard that there's a pool on the roof."

"Which bird told you that?"

"Marie told me. It's a senior's only pool. Wanna check it out?"

"As a fish, I prefer to stay ignorant in my youth."

"You're a fish?" She tilted her head.

"It means freshman."

"Well, fish need water to survive. We must get to the pool immediately."

"I'm good."

"I'm not taking no for an answer."

With unreasonable strength for a 14 year old girl, Jessica picked me up from the floor and dumped me on her shoulders. I immediately wanted off of this ride.

"I want off of this ride," I said clearly and loudly, but with Jessica, there aren't any safe words.

This woman started running to the nearest exit. She rammed through the exit door. She weaved through all of the students who gathered in the shade. Now on the grass, she spun me around and staked my legs into the dirt.

"Also, here's your phone back." She handed back my phone, which I apparently dropped.

"Thanks," I said. I was too dizzy for a proper remark, and I missed my pocket when putting my phone away.

"There!" she exclaimed, pointing at a tree. The tree stood near the school, and its peak reached well above the one story building.

She grabbed my arm, and we ran the 50 feet to the tree. I stopped to analyze how to climb the tree. It was one of those thin trees whose branches hide behind its leaves. It was like a tall bush. Wait, was it a bush or a tree? I couldn't tell.

Jessica didn't give me any time to think of an answer. With her superhuman strength, she threw me on the tree. I held on to that tree for dear life. It felt like an eternity those couple of seconds.

"Hey!" a voice boomed from above me. I looked up, but it was noon time, and the sun shined directly at my line of sight. I only saw the black shape of Jessica with her arm extended out to me and a completely yellow background. Instinctively, I reached out my hand, and I was pulled upwards.

I was on the floor again. My head hurt, and my vision had those black blobs from the excessive light.

I quickly got up. "Where?" I said. My vision slowly returned to normal, and I saw the roof. The surface was a light gray and had plenty of rectangular prisms and cylinders I didn't know the use of, but there was no pool.

"There's no pool," Jessica said, "Someone must've made it up."

I looked out to the schoolyard. I've already gotten used to that place in the past few days, but it looked so different up here. Sure, it was just probably a 12 foot height difference, but it was different enough for you to notice. I would call the students ants, but we weren't high enough for that. Maybe badgers would be a better animal. I've never seen a badger in real life, so maybe that wouldn't work.

Either way, it was a nice view. I grabbed my phone for a picture, but my pocket was empty. I patted around my pants in a panic until I realized exactly where it was. It was sitting in the grass. My phone looked like an ant from here.

I looked at the field. I was so getting in trouble for this. So, I had to take it in as much as I could.

After a while, I looked at Jessica. She was looking at (and poking) one of the cylinders with a little cone hat.

"Hey," I said. She turned to me. "Thanks for taking me here."

She grinned.