Opening of St. Mary's Academy: G2
EST March 1, 2013

Located on the shores of Virginia Beach, St. Mary's Academy is a private school (9-12) and is home to the St. Mary's Knights. Recent successes have caused the school's athletic department and clubs grow and it has just been named one of the top ten schools in the country for academics, athletics and extra curriculars.

Here, students have a chance to live a life full of challenges, think critically, and act responsibly in a global society. We expect only the best from our students, and welcome all of our students to the 2013-2014 Academic Year.

But there's more...

 “Tell us a little bit about your life.”

My life is… Good. Really good, actually. I could go on and on about teenage angst and what not, but I really have nothing to complain about. Kyle Montgomery and I aren’t necessarily twins attached at the hip, but we get along. My parents are good to me and well- Mom’s famous, so I know I have it easier than most. I- wait, can I erase that? I don’t want people thinking I’m spoiled or stuck up or.. argh, damn it. I’m a Daddy’s girl, that’s for sure. I mean, I look nothing like my mom. She’s so blonde.. I’m so not. They both went to St. Mary’s when they were younger… I guess they’ve been inseperable ever since. Anyways, I’m here at SMA to settle. Growing up it was always back and forth from Nashville to LA. There were cameras everywhere, too. SMA is my piece of mind, and it’s by the beach. Dear lord, I’m rambling. Life. That’s all I have to say- I’m not complaining.

“So how would you describe yourself?”

Ugh, I hate this question. Whatever, let me just give you the generic answer. I’m pretty outgoing, you know. I’ve always loved new places, new people, and new things. Even though I’ve been everywhere. Unlike my mother, I’m actually pretty athletic. I’m absolutely in love with the water. It’s just- I grew up around it. Surfing and wakeboarding and even skateboarding… I love it all. I’m really into photography… That’s kind of where the nerd in me comes to life. School’s my main priority right now. Oh, and drinking or partying is out of the question. After seeing what it did to my grandfather- no way in hell. Kyle says I’m loud, but secretly he thinks I’m hilarious. I’m obviously the more exciting twin. I will admit that I have a bit of a temper. Dad always said he’d never have to threaten any of my boyfriends because I could do it myself. Mom always said ‘Well with the way she shuts people out, she may never have a serious boyfriend!’. I just- don’t like letting people in, I guess. It’s because I’m used to having fake friends. Anyways, despite the famous parents and not-so-normal life… I’m really just- what’s that cliche? The girl next door.

“So, Kelsey. What’s your secret?”

M-me? What makes you think I have a secret? Do I look like I’m hiding something? Okay… I’ll tell you… Just- never ever repat it, alright? I’ve… I’ve sort have been diagnosed with depression. It sounds pathetic, alright, I know… but it’s serious. It started when I was younger. I stopped going to the beach and I was always depressed and I even tried to- I tried to overdose, alright? Since then I’ve been on medication… and been seeing a psychiatrist. I’m just scared it’ll get bad again. That’s why I need the water- the waves are my therapy. If it gets bad again- I don’t know what I’ll do. I’m just terrified that I’m unfixable. Just- don’t tell anyone, please. I don’t want anyone to think I’m being dramatic, you know? It’s what I was so used to hearing… “Suck it up and stop being a drama queen…”

“Who do you plan on spending the school year with?”

Well, naturally I’m close to my brother. Not saying we’re like our parents were in high school… But we’re close. There are the Richards’ as well- those are our cousins. We’re pretty close. Um, Eva Bowen, believe it or not, is one of my good friends. Once you get passed that bad-ass attitude… she’s a really good friend. I can trust her with anything, you know? If I had to pick a best friend- it’d be her. Her or Hadley Hall. We’re like the three musketeers, you know?  We get in and out of trouble together. We put each other first, and we never really leave each other’s sides. I don’t know what I’d do without them. 

“What do you hope to accomplish this school year?”

Easy. I want to be able to get off my medication and not get…bad again, I guess. I want to be normal. I want to be…happy.

“Tell us a little bit about your life.”

Oh gosh, where do I even start with this? I should probably start with the fact that it’s just me and my dad back home. Not because my parents got a divorce or anything, but my mom uh, she died a couple weeks after my fourteenth birthday. I know what you’re going to say, you’re so sorry and things along those lines, but you can save it. I’ve heard it enough to last me for a life time. It’s not that I don’t care that she’s gone, I just don’t know how to talk about it. My dad and I never talked about it because we didn’t know how. I don’t think either of us really processed what had happened. I feel bad for leaving him back home alone, but I got offered a scholarship here and he wouldn’t let me not accept it. He pulled the ‘It’s what she would have wanted’ card on me, so I couldn’t say no. And now here I am, telling you about my life for the fourth year in a row.

“So how would you describe yourself?”

 I’m smart and sensible. I tend not to do things unless I have a good reason to do it. Everyone always does something without thinking and it just ends up screwing them over in the end. Don’t get me wrong here, I like thinking things through first, but I can have fun too. I still have my whole life ahead of me to be serious all the time and make good choices, so that doesn’t keep me from going to the famous SMA parties or anything. It just means that I’m not going to get completely wasted at one of those parties and end up doing something that’ll ruin my entire life. Do you get where I’m coming from here? Other than that, people usually say I’m nice. Even if I’m mad at you, I don’t think it’s possible for me to act on that. So there you go, Celia Dixon in a sentence or a few.

“So,  Celia. What’s your secret?”

It’s kind of funny, you know? You wouldn’t think the police would have to be very involved in one of the top ranked private schools in the nations, but it turns out they are. At least, that’s what I learned during my freshman year here. Apparently this school has quite the history of being a problem school. With all the parties, underage drinking, and fights going on around here, it’s like the police department is constantly waiting to get a call that there’s something going on at good old St. Mary’s. How do I know all of this? My dad’s one of the local cops that has to deal with all of it. That’s right, you’re talking to the daugher of the one and only Chief Dixion. Last year, a couple of students found out that he’s my dad and gave me endless shit about it. They would make plans right in front of me as if I was going to be invited, then tell me that I couldn’t come. It’s not that I wanted to really go in the first place, just that- I don’t know. The fact that if everyone knew my dad was a cop I’d be left out of everything makes me hate him like it’s his fault that I can’t do things with friends because of something as stupid as that. So this year I’m starting over and keeping it a secret. You can’t tell anyone I just told you that, okay? I want to be able to do something fun this year and my dad being a local cop won’t help that any.

“Who do you plan on spending the school year with?”

The person that I’m closest with here is Brooklyn Lewis. She was the first person I met here when we ran into each other in the hallways. Yeah, we did the typical running into someone and knocking everything out of their hands thing, but we did became best friends after that. Even though we’re polar opposites, you could count Kelsey Montgomery as my friend. We never got along freshman year, but you learn to tolerate people once you start getting to know them which is why we’re friends now. Well, that and she’s not as bitchy as she was before. Just don’t let her know I said that because I’d never hear the end of it. Then there are the guys, Michael Clarke and Ky DiLuca. Michael’s quiet and kind of a jerk sometimes, but he’s got somewhat of a nice side just as long as you’re on his good side. Then Ky is, well he’s Ky. He’s the perfect example of what a guy should be like. The kind of guy who will hold the door open for people and uses yes mam and yes sir when talking to anyone older than him. It’s nice to know that there are some guys left that aren’t total assholes.

“What do you hope to accomplish this school year?”

I just want to make it through this year. This is my last year here before I can finally get out and go start a real life. Not that it sucks here, but it just gets old after a while, you know what I’m trying to say? Sometimes it’s just nice to mix things up a little and the only way to do that here is by getting out of here.

 “Tell us a little bit about your life.”

You know the typical rich kid life? Yeah, that’s my life in a nutshell. You know those people who are literally just not meant to be parents, but some how end up being parents anyways, those are mine. Two rich parents that are too busy with work to spend time with their kid unless they need to drag them to some stupid charity event to act like they’re the best damn parents that ever walked the earth. They hired people to stay home with me and take me wherever I wanted to go and try and keep me out of trouble, but I think everyone knows how that turns out. Do I need to say anything else because that pretty much covers it all? I mean, besides the stupid facts like I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, I’m an only child, and baseball is basically my life.

“So how would you describe yourself?”

Most people say that I’m a trouble maker, and I can’t argue against that. It’s not that I go out with the sole purpose of looking for trouble, it just finds me and there’s no way in hell that I’m going to turn down a good opportunity for some fun. It’s not like having a little fun ever killed anyone, that’s the stupidity of the person having fun that killed them. I’m pretty good with the ladies too. If you know exactly what the ladies want to hear, they’ll be all over you in a matter of seconds. You just have to know where the line between smooth and jackass come into play, you know what I’m saying here? I’m not to great at this describing myself thing.

“So, Dean. What’s your secret?”

Why the hell should I tell you my secret? Better question; Why the hell would you want to know my secret? Whatever, I’ll just tell you so we can get this over with. I’m not here just because of the baseball team, okay? Back home, I had this small group of friends. They weren’t the bad type of people who went out and did stupid shit like bashing in windshields or stealing things just for the hell of it. Almost the complete opposite actually. We all went to school together since we were five and they were more of a family to me than my actual parents were. We’d always go out to these empty fields and start up a game of baseball, paintball, or football every now and then. Just the normal things that kids do. Well one summer we all got together to spend the Fourth of July together and got our hands on some fireworks. Our only intention was to set them off for fun, but something went wrong and…well, one of them didn’t work like they were supposed to. The firework started doing all of this weird shit and before we could even react to what was happening, there was this huge exploding sound and then a fire. Next thing we knew police cars and firetrucks and ambulances were showing up and we were gone like a bullet. The next day we found out that the firework had landed near someone’s house and ended up setting it on fire and someone had um, died. After that we all promised that it would go to the grave with us and that none of us would tell anyone anything. I stayed there for the rest of the summer, but as soon as the school year started, I was out of there. I  picked a random school and told my parents that I wanted to go here because they had a good baseball team. There. You happy now?

“Who do you plan on spending the school year with?”

You know how you promise yourself that when you leave a place you’re going to keep in contact with your old friends and talk to them every day? Yeah, that’s bullshit. Almost the second I got here, I met this kid, Jett Hale. I’ll admit that I thought he was a total dick at first, but you’ve just got to get to know him to understand his thought process. He’s actually my best friend here now. Then there’s Presley Stone. She’s a total babe. We’ve got like two classes together where I sit behind her in both of them, so we talk a lot and always get paired for group projects. That’s about it right now though. I mean, there’s tons of other freshmen like Hailey Peters, William Johnson, and Rebecca Porter, but I haven’t had a real conversation with them yet.

“What do you hope to accomplish this school year?”

What is this, like New Year’s Resolutions or something? I don’t know what the hell I want to do this year. Something like pass my classes and get a girlfriend. That’s an acceptable answer, I think.

“Tell us a little bit about your life.”

My life? Ha, where do I begin? Well, I’m the middle child. Or well, one of the middle children. With my new brother on the way, Frankie and I are officially the middles. If you can’t tell, I have a large family. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family to bits, but it was always hard getting attention from my parents while I was growing up. Even now, it still is. I make a phone call home, and Rhia’s into something, and now that they have Jack, they’re even busier. One year, they almost pulled a Home Alone moment, and left me here when we were headed to visit my auntie and uncle. To be honest, I hate most of my siblings, because I never seem to get an ounce of attention from my parents, without being interrupted by my siblings. The only one I can really stand is Frankie, because he goes through it too. Going away to boarding school is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, because I’m finally not just the forgotten child, I actually matter somewhere for once.

“So how would you describe yourself?”

I’m a little rough around the edges, even I can tell that. I find it hard to get close to people, and even then there are times when it’s too much. You spend your time loving people, only to get rejection in the end. That’s why I don’t really let people in. My secrets, and my problems are mine to bear alone. That doesn’t mean I don’t have friends, because I do, it’s just that they don’t really know as much about me as they may think. I laugh, and joke, and have a good time with my friends, but there’s… A lot more underneath. A lot that they don’t get, and I want to keep it that way. I’m a little shy when I first meet people, but if I decide that I want you as a friend, I will always have your back no matter what. Because I know what it’s like to deal with being ignored by the people you love, and it’s not a nice feeling, so I refuse to do it to others.

“So, Schuyler. What’s your secret?”

Oh…. Well that was sudden. A few questions and now you want to know my secrets? I, um, well I guess if it’s necessary for me to be done with this whole interview thing. Just don’t tell anyone, alright? I used to go to another private school, because I wanted to be as far away from my siblings as possible. I used to get in trouble all the time, because they’d call home and tell my parents, and they’d finally notice me. Everyone thinks I decided to come to St. Mary’s to be closer to my family but really… I was expelled from my old school because I thought it would be a good laugh to start a fire in the teacher’s lounge waste basket. Needless to say, my parents weren’t happy when they got a call saying I was expelled, and they thought some quality time with my siblings would help me out, so that’s why I’m here. It sucks, but there’s nothing I can do, unless I want to end up in some public school with second rate education.

“Who do you plan on spending the school year with?”

Well, I know it’s probably corny, but my cousins are my favorite people. Alexis Rivers gets me like no other, and whenever we go home for the holidays, we spend our days together watching movies in our pajamas. I’m close with Blake Rivers too, naturally, because he’s a goober and the Rivers feel like more of a family than my own. I’m also close with Hailey Peters. She’s so bright and chipper all the time, and it’s pretty nice whenever I’m feeling down. Then there’s Frankie Benson, who is the only family member I can stand, and even then sometimes I need to take a break from him. The only reason we’re somewhat close is because I get affectionate when I party, and he likes to party too so needless to say our bond has grown over the past year. Then there’s Jarrett Stein. He sold me some pot at a party, and I just… I like his eyes, and the way he’s kind of shady. Liking him is… Safe. I can do it from afar and not worry about loving and losing. It’s a win win.

“What do you hope to accomplish this school year?”

This year, I’m making a name for myself. I’ve got to work twice as hard to be the best Benson on campus, because my siblings are here too. I’m not holding back. I plan to party it up, make a ton of friends, and when I graduate in four years, there won’t be a single person who doesn’t know the name Schuyler Benson. That’s my goal.

“Tell us a little bit about your life.”

Only a little? How much time do you have? I’ve been through more than words can express. But whatever, I guess I’ll just go with the basics. My mum and dad are Roxy and Nash Benson who apparently were pretty popular here back in the day. I grew up in New York City with my five sisters. Yes. Five sisters. So, naturally I have a pretty good relationship with my dad since we’re the only guys in the family. He’s the one where I get my jock side from. He always grew up teaching me how to play any and every sport that he could sign me up for. It kept me busy and helped wear me down since I always had so much energy. My mum runs her own dance studio and she’s the one where I get my more… soft side, I guess you could say? But yeah, I’ve been dancing for as long as I can remember. I’m good too and I’m not afraid to admit it. From what I’ve said, you’d probably think I’ve had a pretty perfect life. I did - up until middle school. That’s when my parents work started to pick up and stuff started to get really messy. I got involved with the wrong crowd and with the more freedom I got as I got older, the worse it got. The girls, the alcohol, the parties - I loved it all. They was nothing I loved doing more than going out with a couple friends and drinking the night away and hooking up with a couple girls. So, because of this and an incident where my mum caught me hooking up with a girl, my parents decided to send me to St. Mary’s. To them, It was either here or military school. They really wanted me to straighten myself out. And through out freshman year, I guess you could say a little bit changed. I didn’t party as much as I used to, I didn’t drink all that much. But I’d say the most changed when I met Arielle Brooks. Her and I? Polar opposites. She was the first girl who was a real challenge for me. She didn’t just throw herself at me. Oh, and she also was my math tutor. And to her, it strictly was a tutor relationship. At the beginning, I’m not gonna lie, I just wanted to hook up. But as time went on, I really started to fall for her. She was the first girl who made me actually want to change. She made me see that’s there’s more to life than just partying and one night stands. I just - can you see where this was going? So, I fell for her. She did the same. And, uh - yeah. She’s my girlfriend now. 

“So how would you describe yourself?”

Carefree. No doubt about it. I have been ever since I was little. Even though I may have changed a little bit, I’m still the same Frankie Benson who goes out and parties and drinks his weight in alcohol. I’m young. What else am I supposed to do? I’ve gotten better at applying myself in school. But, man, when I’m at a party, you can’t stop me from drinking and having a hell of a lot of fun. I’m trying to watch myself a bit better, though. Ever since I almost lost Arielle because I was drunk and hooked up with a couple girls, I’ve tried to be more aware of what I’m doing. I don’t want to lose Arielle, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna stop doing everything I did before I met her and become this fucking perfect guy who never goes out and has some fun. That’s not me. 

“So, Frankie. What’s your secret?”

My secret? Well, damn. How much more personal are you gonna get? Whatever. So, Arielle and I have a great relationship. I love her, she loves me. We both know that. But still every time I talk to another girl I just have to flirt with them. It just happens naturally. And I don’t get it because I know that I love Arielle, I do. But when I get talking to girls, I start to speak before I think and stuff just happens. It scares me, really. I’ve already fucked up once when I was running my mouth drunk and almost lost Arielle. God knows if it’ll happen again. I just really feel like I’m gonna end up alone in the end. And I know it’ll be my fault. I’ve fucked up so many times that it’s bound to happen again. And that really scares me.

“Who do you plan on spending the school year with?”

Arielle’s a given, I guess. I always try to find time to be with her. She makes me really happy and I don’t want to mess this relationship up. But other than her, I’m close to Savannah Vega and Frankie Vega. Sav and I grew up dancing together and I can’t remember a day where we didn’t get in trouble. We have a good time together. And Frankie? I’m a pain in the ass to her. I will do anything and everything to push her buttons. I’d do anything for her though. It’s a weird relationship. Belle Reynolds and I are close too. We used to hook up before. Now we just have a flirty friendship, I guess. Sadie Wilson is someone I grew up with too. She’s someone I care about a lot. Oh, and I can’t forget about my boys. Oliver Clark, Parker Murray and I are best friends. They’re people I can just let loose and be myself around and now care about anything else. A party isn’t a party for me unless I’m with them.

“What do you hope to accomplish this school year?”

As much as I say I hate applying myself in school, I really want to. Ever since Ari helped me pass math this summer and I actually got a decent mark, I’ve wanted to keep doing it. I really want to prove people wrong. All the teachers, my classmates; they don’t really think I have the capability of getting high marks. But seeing what I could do in math with a little help, it makes me really wonder what I can do in my other classes. All in all, I really want to prove people wrong this year. Show them that I actually have some potential to do something good in my life.

“Tell us a little bit about your life.”

Well, I’m the newest DeMarco. Literally. They adopted me a couple weeks ago, so now I officially get to go here. I’d only been with them for about three months, maybe four. I guess they became attached to me pretty quickly. Before they adopted me, before they even became my foster parents, I was bouncing between foster homes and orphanages. Orphanages aren’t as bad as people make them seem, really. Sure, the staff isn’t always the nicest, but would you be if you had to deal with that many kids every day? I was on their good side, too, thankfully, so that made my, uh, stays a bit easier. ‘Course, I like foster homes better. I was lucky enough to always get sent to good families. The DeMarcos are hands down my favorite though, for sure. Not just because they adopted me, but because they’re just good people. They’re not in the foster family business for the money. They’re in it to help out the kids. Everyone that’s gone through this house has only had good things to say about them. And I’m glad they adopted me. So, I guess my life’s pretty great.

“So how would you describe yourself?”

I’m the quietest one of the bunch, including the ones back home. Most people don’t realize that I’m a DeMarco, just because I’m so quiet. Everyone else is loud and rowdy, even little Sophie, who’s not a DeMarco quite yet. She’s definitely making her way into the family permanently though. Right, I’m supposed to be talking about me, sorry. I’m a pretty respectful guy, I guess. I’m very nice, and almost conscientious of others. It’s hard not to be when you’ve got seven siblings, even if they aren’t all permanent. That’s basically it, though. I don’t have some secret personality trait or anything like that. I’m just the quiet DeMarco.

“So, Jake. What’s your secret?”

Let’s just get this over with, eh? Ever since I was little, about three, I’ve had sleeping issues. It started out with sleepwalking, and waking up in the middle of the night for no reason. It only happened in the foster homes, so I thought it was just because of the houses, you know? But then it started happening when I was back in the orphanage. And then when I turned nine, I just sort…stopped sleeping. I couldn’t fall asleep at night, and when I could, I didn’t stay asleep. So, sick of dealing with me wandering the halls at night, the orphanage took me to the doctor, who sent me to a therapist, who told me I’m an insomniac. It’s not some big secret, I know, but I just don’t want people thinking I’m weird. People can be judgmental and rude, and it’s easier for me to just keep quiet about it. Do you think you could help me out with that?

“Who do you plan on spending the school year with?”

Probably my siblings, Steven DeMarco and Georgia DeMarco. I don’t get along very well with Anthony DeMarco. He sort of, well, intimidates me. But Georgia and Steven, they’re great. They’ve been in the family the longest, since Georgia’s the original DeMarco and Steven was adopted first, so I can really count on them if I need anything. I really like having an actual family. But since I’m so new, there’s not really anyone that I’m friends with. I have seen Shaylin Richards around a bit. She’s always got her nose in a book, and she seems really sweet, so I’d like to get to know her a bit more. But that’s basically it. I’ll probably spend a lot of time in my room. Alone.

“What do you hope to accomplish this school year?”

I don’t know, I guess I’d like to make my new parents proud. It’s because of them that I’m here, and I know they have high hopes for me, so I don’t want to let them down.

“Tell us a little bit about your life.”

My life? Ain’t that a joke. My life’s a lot like God’s version of a horrible sitcom that should tank after the first two episodes but doesn’t because there are, like, two characters who make it worth while. (Me being one of them, of course.) I can’t really complain, though. We live in a nice house in Malibu, and the Pacific Ocean is, or was, my backyard. Nothin’ beats waking up in the morning to catch early waves before heading off to school. My mom passed away when I was about ten, and in the seven years since, m’old man has gone through at least three different trophy wives. Classy, right? Yeah, well. He can get away with it because he’s a big-shot movie director in Hollywood. The Amazing Spider-Man? Yeah, that’s Dad. It’s whatever, though. Not like it matters much. He’s never really home, so it doesn’t bother me too much. The way I see it: I got a shitty dad, but a damn nice place to live in and a hell of a nice car to drive.

“So how would you describe yourself?”

I’m that one main character of a shitty sitcom that keeps people watchin’, you know? I’m always cracking jokes and trying to get people to loosen up and laugh along with me. What’s the point of life if you’re not having fun, anyway? So I keep things lively. Especially on the field and on the court. That’s right: I do the sports stuff, too. Lacrosse, basketball, and soccer are my strong points, but, not to be conceited or anything, I’m pretty damn good at anything I put my mind to. I’m a natural when it comes to water, swimmin’ like a fish and surfin’ like a pro. So there’s that. Let’s see: funny and athletic… and clearly confident if you didn’t pick up on that. I’ve got this love for photography, and I think that comes from my dad, honestly… which is the only thing we have in common. Oh! There’s one thing I hate. One thing my friends call me back home is a womanizer, but that’s really not the case. I guess I can charm ‘em, but I don’t treat ‘em like objects. I know how to treat women right. Like if she wants the princess treatment, I can do that… but on the other hand, if she’d rather be Wonder Woman, that’s cool too. I’m an all around good guy, I think. I guess that’s really up to you to decide, though. 

“So, Luke. What’s your secret?”

Oh, the hell with that. Secrets are the reasons families and relationships fall to bits, you know? Alright, I’ll tell ya. Dad’s remarried pretty damn quickly after Mom passed away when I was younger. I wasn’t really… a good sport about it. How could he pull shit like that? You can’t just move on that quickly and marry someone young enough to be my sister. It’s appalling, really. So I did something about it. Every time, I’ve done something about it. I’d sabotage shit like crazy, telling Dad the first lady had an affair… that got the pool boy fired, too. I wrecked Dad’s BMW the second time he got married and blamed it on drunk driving thanks to the alcohol Trophy Wife #2 ‘provided’ for me. Trophy Wife #3 is smart, though. She’s been around for longer, and she’s wicked clever. She caught on to my sabotage plan and… and she just pouted and whined about me needing more discipline until I got shipped over here. I’m crazy pissed about it, too. My own father shipped me off because some blonde who’s half his age said it’d be ‘good for me’. Dad  and I aren’t on speaking terms, now. Honestly I just wish Mom was alive.

“Who do you plan on spending the school year with?”

People at SMA are something else, and with sports and being so outgoing and stuff — I’m kind of buddy, buddy with everyone. Michael Clarke and Adrian Thomas, being two of them. They’re my two main guys, the ones I spend the most time with them. Michael’s kind of a prick, and so is Adrian, but hey, we get along pretty damn well. And then there are my girls, god love ‘em. First, there’s Paisley Jane Hart. She’s so southern, it kills me. She’s a complete sweetheart, but if you get her made, let me tell you. It’s a scary sight. Then there’s Gemma Benson. She’s almost the complete opposite of Paisley Jane. She’s sarcastic, more often than not, and some people would call her, well, a bitch, but I don’t think she’s that bad. At least, not with me. And last, but certainly not least, is Kennedy East. She’s like the little sister I never had, you know? She’s really chill, so we get along great. Since we became friends, I’ve become pretty protective over her, so just watch yourself around her, alright?

“What do you hope to accomplish this school year?”

Well, I’d like to come clean to my dad, you know? Maybe accept the fact that he’s ready to move on from Mom? It’s been seven years, after all. I just have to get him to talk to me first. He doesn’t spend much time on me anymore, you know? He’s too busy with TW3. Other than fixing things up with them, I just want to live it up here at SMA. Why not have fun while I can?

“Tell us a little bit about your life.”

Please, this is my third year as a Knight. There’s no way you don’t already know about me. Seriously? C’mon. Fine, fine, if it’s for the record. I’m the third Benson of the bunch, nothing really special. I don’t have any great smarts, like Tia, or some great dance skills like Frankie Benson. I mean, yeah, I can dance a bit, but nowhere near as good as him. Little shit’s good. He’s goin’ places. Don’t look at me like that, I’m not off topic. He’s a part of my life. I mean, he’s my little brother, for Christ’s sake. But whatever, fine. I’m originally from NYC, and since apparently my parents had a such great time here when they were my age, she decided to send us here, too. I’d have less of a problem with it if I didn’t have to worry about all of my teachers comparing me to Tia and Taylor. They’re the two perfect Benson’s, you know? First day, every year. All day, all I hear is “Oh, are you Tia’s little sister?” or “You must be related to Taylor”. Sorta hate it, and I sort of hate them, too. But of course, I’ve got to act like I love ‘em to keep the happy little family facade going.

“So how would you describe yourself?”

I think the only way to describe me is independent. I tend to do things my way, no matter what the status quo is. I’m strong willed, and very sarcastic. I guess you could call me a bitch, but I’ve just got strong walls up around me. I’ve never seen a problem with it. It’s more of an asset. Plus, it’s easier for me to act like nothing’s wrong. If I’m always sarcastic and a bit bitchy, then there’s not much of a change when I’m actually upset. I don’t like letting it out, I don’t like asking for help. So, that before, me complaining about my sisters? Yeah, that doesn’t happen. Ever. Instead, I take it to the court. The volleyball court, that is. It’s the best place to take out my anger on, you know? The ball just takes it. It doesn’t ask questions, it doesn’t pry. It’s great. It’s also the reason why I’m actually fairly good at volleyball. I spend so much time in the gym, because honestly, I get pissed off a lot. People irritate me way too much. But hey, it ups my actual time on the court during games, so I can’t complain…that much.

“So, Gemma. What’s your secret?”

This is such a messed up question, you know that? Alright, fine, I’ll just get straight to it, I guess. I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m incredibly insecure about myself. You would be if you were me, too, trust me. But it goes a lot deeper than not being smart enough, or talented enough. My insecurities don’t just stop at the average level. If I see something I don’t like about myself, I do everything in my power to change it. Like when I was a freshman. I didn’t like the fact that I had a muffin top, so I practically starved myself for nearly two weeks to lose it. Or last year when I realized that people made faces when I complained about things, so I shut up. If something can be changed, I’ll change it. It’s all because of my body dysmorphia. At least, that’s what my doctor told me. I was diagnosed with it when I was twelve. Pretty young for such self hate, right? Welcome to the Benson family. Do you know how much it sucks having two perfect older sisters? And you can’t forget the adorable, younger ones. It’s like I’m stuck in the middle of a perfect family, and I’m not good enough. And I know I never will be. God, I sound like a whiny little bitch. Let’s move on.

“Who do you plan on spending the school year with?”

Well, I mean, the girls on the volleyball team, mainly Isobel Bennett. She’s my favorite girl on the team, honestly. She’s a riot, I adore her. Definitely Frankie. He’s the only one out of the whole Benson clan that I can stand. Aside from Rhia, but she doesn’t count. No one can hate Rhia. He’s basically my best friend, too. I listen to all of his girl problems, and he listens to me complain about, well, everything. It balances out. I love the kid. But then there’s Elliot White and Luke Webb. Both are great guys. Elliot can be kind of a dick, and Jake, well, sometimes he just tries to hard. But I love ‘em both. They’re my best friends, absolutely. Surprisingly enough, I’m friends with Arielle Brooks, Frankie’s girlfriend. She’s a sweetheart, honestly. My brother’s got good taste in girls. I don’t like that Trinity Weaver girl she’s with a lot, though. She’s a bitch to my brother, and that just pisses me off. Last but not least, Blake Rivers. He’s one of my cousins.I was actually named after his mom, so we were shoved together a lot as kids. But I mean, he’s pretty cool, so it’s all good. But I think that’s about it, really.

“What do you hope to accomplish this school year?”

I don’t know, improve myself some more? I think that’s the only thing I can ever to do. Yeah, I won’t be good enough to be a Benson, but I can be a better Gemma, you know?

 “Tell us a little bit about your life.”

My life? Isn’t that private? It’s not really something you need to know. Oh, I have to answer? Well, uh, it’s not horribly exciting. I come from a small family, living in New York. We were very private, you know. It’s, uh, just me, my mom and my dad now. It’s nice though. I like it back home, most of the time. But I like it here a lot better. It’s less strict. I don’t have to worry about getting in trouble for hanging out with certain people. No, my parents aren’t psycho, over controlling jerks, they’re just really protective of me. If you knew all about my past, you’d understand why. I love them and all, but it’s just time for me to get away from them for a bit. So I applied and here I am.

“So how would you describe yourself?”

I’m rather quite, not because I’m awkward or anything, I’m just really shy. People make me a bit skittish at times, so I tend to not talk to more than two people at once. But if you get me to open up, I’m actually rather weird. I do the most random things ever and I make dumb faces. But that’s just with my friends. In a crowd of people, I’m that girl that sits seperated from everyone, sometimes with a book and/or headphones, or sometimes just sitting and observing. I’m very good at that. I have a very fine attention to detail, and some people say it makes me a perfectionist, but I’m really not. I don’t mind when something’s messed up, I just always notice it. There’s nothing wrong with that, though.

“So, Danah. What’s your secret?”

Oh, m-my secret? What does this have to do w-with getting into the school? But, well, I guess if you swear not to tell. I’m not even supposed to tell. My home life isn’t exactly the greatest. For nearly th-three years, my older brother sexually abused me. It probably would still be going on if I hadn’t sh-shot him. It wasn’t on purpose, I swear, but we were home alone one night, and I was hiding in my room, and he, um, he found me. I ran through the house, but all of the doors were barricaded to keep me from escaping, except for the one to my dad’s study. He has this safe in there, and it’s filled with guns, and I grabbed one and I just…I just shot. I guess the neighbors heard, because they called the cops and my parents came home and it was sort of a blur. No one believed my story until…until we got the tests done. And I was off the hook, I guess. But I was known as the girl who killed her brother, and everyone just stopped talking to me. I was an outcast and couldn’t go anywhere without people giving me weird looks. It was…it was horrible. So I asked my parents to send me here, and yeah. That’s my secret. Can we move on now?

“Who do you plan on spending the school year with?”

I’m not exactly close with anyone, though I do have a few friends. The Zorn twins, Damon Zorn and Junior Zorn are really good friends of mine, they’re absolutely ridiculous. I love hanging out with them. There’s also Blake Rivers. We have quite a few classes together so we’re good friends. I’m also friends with Logan Walker. Honestly, he scares me sometimes, what with his constant energy, but he’s funny and I really like him. Not like that, no, we’re just friends. I’m actually pretty close with Lexis Rivers, too. She’s Blake’s sister and that’s how we met, and honestly, I sort of like her better than Blake. It’s probably just the fact that we’re both girls and she doesn’t really pry about my life. She’s not as nosy and stuck up as she seems, she’s actually rather sweet.

“What do you hope to accomplish this school year?”

I’d like to, um. I’d like to stop being so… so hard on myself. Every day I wake up feeling guilty about what happened with my brother, and my counselor says I need to accept that it’s not my fault. I also want to start trusting again. I swear the only person in the entire world I truly trust is Damon and… what if I lose him someday? Then what? I’d be so lost. So I definitely just want to start opening up…

“Tell us a little bit about your life.”

What? This is my third year here. C’mon, man. Do we really have to do this? Alright, fine. If we absolutely have to. I don’t know what you want me to say. I mean, everyone already knows that I’ve got a younger sister, Adelaide White. Everyone probably also knows that I’m really into acting. Oh, you didn’t know that? Sorry, I don’t mean to seem cocky. It’s just that the important people in my life know all this. But yeah, I’m an actor, a pretty good one, too. I’ve been the lead in a lot of SMA’s productions since I’ve been here. Not all of the productions though. There have been a few where I just sort of…choked. Of course, I started in supporting roles since I was just a freshman, but as time went on, my talent became more and more recognized, and I started starting in things halfway through my sophomore year. Not all of them were big productions, some just small skits for “publicity outings” as our group leader likes to call them. But I stared in last year’s spring musical, and this year’s fall play. Odds are, I’ll be starring in this year’s spring musical as well, so be on the lookout for that.

“So how would you describe yourself?”

Hell, I don’t know. I’m not some conceited guy that’s constantly thinking about himself. But I guess if I had I describe myself, I’d say I’m a pretty nice guy. I’m polite, fairly respectful, well mannered. I know when to hold my tongue, and when not to. I’m a good kid, honestly. At least, that’s the appearance I put out. I’m kind of a dick to people in my head. If I say something nice, there’s a chance that I mean it, but it’s also as likely for me to be completely bullshitting you. Yeah, you could say I’m two faced, I guess. Personally, I prefer to be told that I’m a good actor. No, I’m not conceited, just confident. There’s a big difference, honestly. What, you don’t believe me? Fine. Confident is well, being confident. Conceited is being confident, and an asshole about it. I’m not an asshole about, or about anything, really. At least, not to your face.

“So, Elliot. What’s your secret?”

I’d say you probably would know about this, but since you didn’t know I was an actor, then I doubt this would make it to your radar. I’ve got this problem. I don’t know what triggers it, but sometimes I just— stop talking. Not by choice, but I can’t talk. My therapist told me I’ve got this thing called Selective Mutism. I don’t know much about it, except that it’s screwed me out of plenty of roles, and I hate it. I can’t even explain it to people, because they just look at me like I’m a freak. Do you know how difficult it is to be an actor with selective mutism? That’s like being a runner with no legs. It sucks, and I don’t know how to fix it. I just— I don’t know.

“Who do you plan on spending the school year with?”

Obviously Addy. We’re not best friends or anything, but I’ve got to take care of her. It’s my job as her older brother. Fun, right? Besides her, though, probably Kaleigh Michaels. She’s into acting, just like me, and that’s hard to come by in a place like this. Everyone’s usually into partying or music, so us drama kids gotta stick together. You might see me with Aurelia Borello every now and then. I know, she’s a musician. It’s like betraying my drama family. But she’s just so sweet. How can you not adore her? So yeah, I guess those are my friends.

“What do you hope to accomplish this school year?”

Nothing. Oh, that’s not a good answer? Um, well, I’d like to work on the whole selective mutism thing. Like, a lot. It’s stopped me from getting all of the roles I’ve wanted, and it could stop me from making it big in Hollywood. And that just really suck.