The move seemed to go very quickly and smoothly. Maya, Mr. Sanders, and Anthony packed up all their belongings and Lisa moved out of her apartment. Before Maya knew it, they had moved to their cottage at Howardson Bay.
"Maya, soon it's going to be Take Your Daughter to Work DayŽ at work, and I'm taking you with me so you can meet some knew friends," Mr. Sanders proposed to Maya one day.
"That sounds great, Dad," Maya replied, and it did.
Maya soon started tenth grade at Howardson Bay High School. The high school, like the town, had a very small population, so there were only about twelve kids in each of Maya's classes, and each teacher taught two subjects instead of just one.
Take Your Daughter to Work DayŽ rolled around soon, and Maya was thankful since she had no friends yet. As Maya and Mr. Sanders walked into Mr. Sanders' lab, a man and a daughter who looked about Maya's age greeted them.
"This is Teri," the man explained, "my daughter. I'm Mr. Scott. Your father works with me."
"Hey," said Teri. She had long, blonde hair, a lot longer than Maya's, and was wearing a short dress with lots of lipstick and nail polish.
"Why don't you two go outside by the dolphin tanks," Mr. Sanders suggested.
"Okay," the girls agreed, and went outside.
"So how old are you?" Maya asked Teri.
"Oh, you know," Teri replied casually. "How old are you? I haven't seen you at school."
"Fifteen," Maya told her. "Now come on, tell me your age."
"I'm turning fourteen in a couple months," Teri said.
"Oh, that explains it. You probably go to the junior high, don't you?" Maya was surprised at Teri's age. She looked much older than almost fourteen.
"Yeah. Well, I thought you did too," Teri admitted. "You look about my age, or a little younger."
Maya had to agree. Teri was about five feet, six inches tall. She towered over Maya.
"Look at this. It's beautiful." Teri gestured toward the dolphin tanks. It looked like a huge swimming pool, except three dolphins were swimming in it.
"Yeah," said Maya. She patted one of the dolphins that had swum up toward the edge of the tank. "I just moved here," she told Teri. "I was hoping to make some new friends."
"There are plenty of kids your age whose parents work here," Teri explained. "This is one of the biggest industries here, biology. In fact, I think I know a girl who you'd like. Her name is Summer Lipsiode."
"Great!" Maya exclaimed. "Is she here now?"
"Hm," said Teri, motioning for Maya to follow her inside. Maya let Teri lead her into a small room full of fish tanks. A short girl with glasses and chin-length light brown hair stood there.
"I'm Summer," the girl introduced herself.
"Maya," Maya replied.
"It's nice to meet you." Summer shook Maya's hand. Summer's hand felt cold, like she had just been putting her hand on ice. "Sorry if my hand's cold," she apologized. "I've been feeding the fish, and their tanks are freezing."
"I'll leave you two alone," said Teri, and left.
"Teri is a real brat. Stay out of her way," Summer advised. "I come here all the time after school, and she's always here, bragging or something."
"Are you fifteen?" Maya asked her.
"Yeah. Just started tenth grade at a private school," said Summer. "My parents are real strict. They don't like the schools here, except for the private ones."
"Oh," said Maya, slightly disappointed. Summer seemed like a nice girl, and Maya needed a friend at school. "Do you want to come over sometime?" she asked Summer.
"That would be awesome!" Summer agreed. "I'll have to ask my parents... they both work here, you know." She led Maya into the hallway and then into an office room where a blonde man sat writing something on a piece of paper. Two little boys sat on the floor, playing with trucks. "That's Cody, he's six, and that's Andy, he's four," Summer introduced Maya to the boys. "They're my brothers."
The man who was sitting at the desk looked up. "What do you want?" he asked Summer. Maya figured this must be Mr. Lipsiode.
"Dad, Maya wants to know if I could go over to her house sometime," Summer explained.
"Go ask your mother," he replied.
Summer asked her mother, who said that since it was Friday, Summer could spend the night at Maya's house if it was all right with Mr. Sanders. Maya checked with him, and he said of course it was all right.
At 9:30, Mr. Sanders drove Summer over to her house to get her overnight belongings, then drove back to the Sanders' cottage. Lisa and Anthony were there already.
Maya and Summer ran up to Maya's room. It was already pretty late, so they changed into their pajamas and got ready for bed. Maya found two sleeping bags tucked into a moving box and set them down in the floor of her room.
"Maya," Summer whispered in the middle of the night, after the lights had been turned out. "I have something to tell you."
"Yeah?" Maya asked.
"Something awful has happened. You might not care, but I do," said Summer. "When I went home to get my stuff, my dad told me. He's been fired."
Maya blinked in the darkness. "That's awful," she told Summer. "I'm sorry."
"And," added Summer, "your dad was the one who fired him."
To be continued in Chapter Three...