“Okay. Your next project is actually with partners.”
A small cheer erupted throughout the class as most students looked over to their best friends. Exchanging knowing looks. “Well don’t get to excite I’m going to be picking your partners.” Mrs.Garcia smirks and laughs as the class groans.
I scribble in my notebook the rubric and the rules Mrs.garcia rambles. My inner demon laughs as she hears we have to work with partners.
Hah. You work horrible with people.
“And to ensure you people don’t cheat you must take pictures of both make the dessert.” Another chorus of groans and I smirk.
Leave it to Mrs. Garcia to find the worst project before thanksgiving break.
Rolling my eyes I slip my entire book into my bag.
“Shara and Janie, Tami and Derek. Hmnnn let’s see.”
I sigh and cap my pen. Taking huge gulps of water.
“And mia and Kyle.”
Back up a second. Mia. Okay that’s me. Kyle?
As in Kyle reinfeild?
Even better. Now you have to work with your worst enemy. Well this should be fun.
I blink and scowl. Shut up I yell at her.
As the bell rings I walk over to her packing up her bag and papers. “Mrs.Garcia I think there was a mistake. I can work alone.” I plead but with a final shuffle of papers she walks towards the door and opens it.
“Partners are final. I make no changes.”
Yup. Just leave it to Mrs.Garcia.
Stalking out of school I zip up my jacket as rain starts to pour.
Damn you Mrs. Garcia. Damn you.


Shaking out my wet hair I tiptoe upstairs and check on Annalise.
She was sleeping. Her tiny body curled into a small ball. Music from her I pod playing softly.
Her pill bottle next to her bedside table. Closing her door I pass my parents room and pass the room my mom is in. Going up the stairs towards my attic bedroom I open my door and step inside.


How am I supposed to get this project done? I mutter as I walk into cooking class. Finding my seat I doodle on my notebook and wait for my partner to get here.
“Okay so I say we get together at my house bake the dessert and hand it in. how does Friday sound?”
oh look mr.hotshots talking to you my inner demon smirks.
I look up startled to my side to see Kyle talking but not looking at me.
“I can’t Friday.” I say. Liar.
“We need a title for our project. I don’t know. The baking experience.”
We plan for Sunday in all of two seconds. His title becoming the first option. After getting what he was after he stood up and stalked to his desk. His tall form looming over everyone else.
“Damn it. Baking with an asshole that should be your freaking title.” I mutter just as Mrs.garcia walks by.
She raises her eyebrows when I sheepishly look up at her and shrug.
Her heels click and clack as they make their way around the room.
Suppressing a sigh I start the worksheet she handed to us.
Damn you Mrs. Garcia.


Her foot was tapping against the chair and she kept chewing the eraser of her pencil.
Damn you’re Mrs.Garcia for paring her up with me.
I turn my attention back to Kelly and let her coax me into going to a party at her house on Saturday. Why not am I had to spend a whole day working with mia I might as well have fun on Saturday.
I look down to this sheet.
Starting to write in the correct measurements I look back towards mia to see her with her nose in a book, her glasses slipping off her face.
Damn you Mrs.Garcia.


“You have to come!” marina sequels. I look over to my best friend. Rolling my eyes. “No marina I’m not going to go to some stupid cheerleading party.” I bite into my apple.
She grunts. “But it’s your birthday on Sunday you have to go please!” She looks at me and I know I won’t win this argument.
“Fine.” She sequels again and jumps around in her chair. “….So on Saturday to help you pick out your outfit. Ohhhhh maybe the brown skirt and the white long sleeved or maybe…” She keeps rambling. I turn my attention towards the window.
And immediately regret looking that way. Leaning against a tree was cheerleading captain Kelsey and Kyle making out. Gross.
Grimacing I turn back to marina. “Okay I’ll just have to see your closet again.” She says shoving a couple goldfish into her mouth. She starts to text someone and I roll my eyes again as Kyle and Kelsey walk into the cafeteria holding hands.


Friday afternoon I walk into my quit house and don’t bother taking off my boots.
“Mom?” I call into her room and go in. finding her sitting on the bed. All dressed.
“Are you ready?”
She nods.


“Kelsey stops it. I don’t feel like doing anything.” I tell her pushing her off of me for the fourth time this afternoon. She huffs and scowls. “You’re so boring.” She whines her high pitched voice irritating.
“Kelsey if you actually did your homework maybe things wouldn’t be boring to you.”
“Stop being such an ass Kyle. I see you tomorrow at the party I better see you in a better mood” she gets up and walks to the door her short skirt rising up.
Shaking my head I concentrate on my math homework.
After rereading the same equation for the fourth time I grab my jacket and go for a walk.


Rearranging my mom on her bed I make sure the IV needle was still in place. Picking up the tray of pills I place them back and tiptoe out of the room towards the basement.
Grabbing one of the dumbbells I start working out letting all my emotions out.
Dripping in sweat I lower myself onto the cold floor and stretch. Putting on my toe shoes I put the music on softly.
My bones aching and my back wet with sweat I walk upstairs and check up on annalise.
“hey annalise what do you want for diner?” I ask as she reorganizes her closet.
Pinks too blacks. Following the rainbow.
“um I don’t know. Hey how about some cancer curing chicken! I bet mom would appreciate that!” her voice shrills and she starts to tremble.
“Annalise I was just asking. Watch your attitude.”
“I wouldn’t say that if I were you. Considering I have information you might want.” She looks over at me her thin body still trembling.
“what information?” I ask. But all she does is shake her head and fling a purple shirt off the hanger and onto a growing pile of clothing on the floor. “Annalise what the hell you are talking about?” she shrugged and continued organizing. I sigh in frustration and slam her door. I walk upstairs punch my pillow in anger.


“Pumpkin you look tired! Late night?” my mother asks. She passes me my orange juice and smiles as she kisses my father.
“Kyle your mother and I will be away next week. We leave on Sunday. We won’t be back until a couple weeks. Mara will be coming to clean and check up on you so you better behave.”
My father, a taller version of me, stands two inches taller than me.
His black eyes piercing into mine.
“Yeah whatever”
I hear my mother sigh and kiss my head and then their footsteps towards the door. The slam of the door shoots through me.
I stand up and get in my car. I have a party to attend.


The street was lined up with cars when marina pulls up and parks. I could hear the thumping of the music from inside. Kids littered the yard and the window panes shook with each vibration the music caused. The sounds of kids having fun made it to her ear and made me grimace.
Marina jumps out of the car falling into Tims arms. Immediately they start kissing and I look away disgusted. Walking up the sidewalk I enter the huge house and dodge people jumping and running. People all mingled around the stairs and the hallways. All to busy in their conversation to pay any attention to me.
Sitting down on the couch somewhere in the basement I exhale.
No one was downstairs except for some gamers who eventually go back upstairs leaving me alone. I take out my ear buds and listen to music drowning out the other music pounding upstairs. Grabbing my book I lie down on the couch and start to read.
I was just getting to a good part when a cold liquid gets spilled on me
“Oh!” standing up I immediately take the shirt off leaving me in a soaked undershirt and bra. My jeans were spared. Groaning I wring out the shirt.
I turn around and start to scowl. “Watch where you’re going next time!”
I stop when I realize im talking to a wide eyed Kyle reified. I scowl and push past him.
“Im sorry” he said clearly.
I look into his eyes. And then sniff my shirt.
Soda? “Why are you drinking soda?” I say accusingly.
He shrugs.
“Hmmn. You of all people should be drunk out of their minds.”
He looks at me. “Excuse me but what do you mean you of all people?” he challenges. His jaw set firm.
“Nothing” I say and stomp upstairs slipping back the wet and cold article of clothing over my head. Walking towards marina I grab my keys from her hands and leave.
Tim can drive her home.


People like us? What the hell does that mean?
I flop down onto the couch my soda sloshing in my cup. Why does she hate me?
I haven’t done anything to her.


Getting home I slam my car door and stalk upstairs ignoring my dad slurring at something on the TV. My brother was home.
I whisper and hug him. Inhaling his scent. He still had his uniform on. “Where have you been I’ve missed you and it’s been so hard without you know with everything?” I whisper holding him tightly.
I notice has not hugging back and pull back. “Andrew whast wrong?” my smile fades away when I see him taping a box marked stuff.
“What’s that?” I ask stepping around him and notice the huge boxes outside of him room door.
“Where you going?” my voice breaks.
“Mia I can’t stay here. I can’t stand to see mom like this. I’ll be dorming. But if you need me will be a phone call away. Im so sorry. Tell annalise I love her and please Tell mom I love her. Please” his gray eyes bore into mine as he walks backwards to his boxes and picks them up.
He leaves with a slam and not a look back.
He left me here.
Love you too Andrew.
I look up the stairs and see annalise hovering by the wall, hidden by the dark hallway behind her. “ Andrews gone.”
She shrugs and skips down the hall singing “ I know he told me.” she opened her room door and smirked at me and then slammed the door shut making me feel lonely and sad.


Waking up groggy I rub my eyes and stare at the green numbers blinking on my clock.
11 in the morning. Who’s knocking my firkin door at 11 in the frinking morning?
Opening my door I notice no one’s home and stomp downstairs.
I open the door. And guess who standing at my door?
…No seriously guess it hilarious.
If you said mia? You were fuking correct.
Mia highlander. Standing at my doorstep at 11:08 in the funking morning. On a Sunday.
“Before you yell at me remember we have a project we have to go buy stuff and I don’t want to be here anymore than you want me here. So let’s get started.” She pushes past me her, the scent of lilacs hit me and I stand there for a moment puzzled.
Oh right. Mrs. Garcia.
Rubbing my head I follow her to my kitchen.
“Well don’t just stand there go get dressed. U look like a hobo. We need to go out.”
Did she call me a hobo? Out? Im so confused. I shake my head as I run back upstairs and shower.
Slipping on a sweatshirt I grab my keys and wallet.
Let’s get this over with. Running downstairs I find her sitting on one of the breakfast bar stools swinging around her black hair flinging around. she stops when she hears me and straightens herself.
“What?” she asks. She rolls her eyes. “Let’s just go”

She went up and down the aisle grabbing boxes and bottles. I watch and walk with the car. The metal rumbling and the wheels making a sticky sound.
I couldn’t help but keep staring at her.
At how she laughed at things I said or smiled knowingly at something she just found.
Or how when she can’t reach something she goes on tiptoes and pouts her lower lip.
Or how when I pick out junk food she just shakes her head and keeps walking. Her short figure bobbing through the crowds.
or how everytinme she passes me the smell of lilacs hits me.
There it is again. I look back and see her reaching for a small container. Her hand is stretched outward and a strip of stomacke is showing as her shirt rides up. I stare at the pale skin and realize she was now in front of me.
“Kyle!” she waves her hand in front of my face and giggles as I grin and blush.
The fuck. Why am I thinking about mia highlander that way? What am I doing?
I try to distract myself with other things as we payed and brought the bags out to the car.
We didn’t speak and when the song lost in you by three days grace comes on we both reach over to turn it up.
“Oh sorry, it’s your car, your radio” she says her pale face blushing. She lets her hand fall away and looks back out the window.
She entwines her hands together.
“Uh no it good. I mean freedom of music right, ha ha um yeah.” I all but shout.
Nice Kyle. Smooth real smooth.
Inwardly sighing I pull inot my driveway and help her with the bags.
I stare at the clock as she organizes the things we got on my counter.
“Okay so were making the brownies first. “ she declares and stares at me.
“why brownies don’t I have a say? I wanted cupcakes.” I say teasing her. She laughs. “And why would I care, I want brownies.” Her hands are placed on her hips her eyebrow raised. I laugh and then laugh again at her face
It’s been a while since I laughed.


I was sitting on the counter chewing a piece of crust while Kyle tried to make the brownies cook faster.
“You know staring at them won’t make them grow faster.” I say smirking when he looks at me his black hair flopping on his face. I hop down the counter and place my dish in the sink. “so we are going to do a PowerPoint.” I declare.
“Again, I have an opinion you know” he says and I laugh.
“Again do I care?” I ask turning around and stepping back, my back hit the counter.
He was too close.
“You have flour underneath your eye.” He says and with his thumb he rubs the spot.
“Kyle?” my voice sounds high pitched and he smiles
“yes mia?”
I swallow. “ I think you should-“ my phone starts ringing and I push him away rushing to my phone.
Cursing I check the contact on my phone. Not looking at kyle I turn my back on him and press the green button. “Im on my way.” I say my voice coming out whispered and urgent.


Grabbing my bag I slip my jacket over my head and turn the oven off. Grabbing my keys I run after mia who bolted after answering her phone.
“Mia!” she is standing by my door. “ I need a ride somewhere.” Her eyes are urgent and I nod beeping my door open.
“so were we going?” I ask starting the car.
She looks out the window her lips trembling. “Greenwood hospital.”


I am sitting by mom her hand clutched in mine and Kyle fudging reinfeild is outside the door refusing to leave until everything was okay.
“mom?” I ask as she blinks several times.
“mia?” her voice is weak and I swallow back tears.
“it’s going to be okay mom. Your fine.”
My inner demon smirks. Liar.

“my god mia. Im sorry.” I stare at her tiny body and see her tired eyes.
I wish I knew.
“its okay really. I guess we’ll just have to finish that project like tomorrow. But I have to go. Go home and thanks for the ride.” She attempts a smile and backs away.
“wait who will take you home?” I ask. She shrugs. “ I can call a cab.” Her voice sounds tired. She walks back into her mom’s room and I sigh. Rubbing my eyes I sit back down.

When mom falls asleep and the doctor advises me to come back home and to pick her up tomorrow I give in to exhaustion and gather my bag.
I stand by the window a couple minutes and call annalise. “Annalise this is mia just calling to tell you mom is fine if you even care. Anyway call me back.” Her voice mail dings and hangs up on me.
Walking out of the room I walk down the stairs and out the front doors. Theres snow falling. I pull out my phone to call a taxi when I see Kyle’s car in front of me. The passenger door open.
“Need a ride?” his voice tired.
I roll my eyes and get in.


The silence was comfortable, the hum of the heater and the low background music filling the silence. She kept playing with a ring on her finger. Twirling it around and around over and over.
Instead of driving her to her house I go back to mine and she sits in the car hesitantly. “Why are we here?” Her voice quivers and I shrug. “We have a project to do.”
I get out of the car and I open my door and look back at her.
She stayed for a second but then unbuckled her seatbelt and ran up the steps and pass me into the kitchen.
Inhaling the lilacs I close the door.

I take out the last batch of brownie and put them on the counter next to the other ones. I put everything into the dishwasher and wipe everything down.
It quiet. Too quiet.
I walk into the den to see mia sitting with her laptop. She was asleep, her face calm.
The laptop light highlighting her sweet face and I smile.
I walk over to her and put the laptop on the table and hold back laughter when she sighs and slumps back her hair covering her face. I pick her up her small body and walk upstairs.
She mumbled things in her sleep and I tried hard not to laugh. As I start to place her on the bed she grabs on to my shirt and her face looks stricken for a moment before she relaxed and slumped onto my pillow but she keeps a grip on my hand. Looking around I finally decide to sit on the bed and pull her head onto my lap, her hand still griped in mine. “Stay with me don’t leave me here alone.” She mutters.
Well I can just sit here for a few minutes. Right?


I open my eyes rubbing them I sit up. Looking around I find myself in a blue room books and trophies scattered throughout the room.
Where the hell am I? I untangle myself from the light blue comforter and then I remember.
Everything washes up on me.
Oh god.
Standing up I find my shoes and slip them on and run downstairs.
Kyle was standing on the bottom of the stairs a cup of orange juice in his hand.
“Morning sleepy head! I would expect you to wake up later but I guess you’re just a morning person but me! No not me usually-“he keeps rambling as I kept walking down the sitars. I push past him.
“Whoa where you going?” he says following me into the den were I looked for my bag.


“Home?” I repeat. “Its 8 in the morning you can’t just go home. Plus your mom is coming home today let me at least give you guys a ride I feel bad.”
She whirls around almost bumping into me. “I don’t need your pity. So you can stop feeling bad.” She has tears in her eyes and stomps past me with her stuff. “ill be back tomorrow or whenever after school to finish the project.” She flings the door open and steps out onto the snow. Her black hair contrasting against the white snow.
I don’t go after her.


“Its okay mom. I’ll be a block away. Call me if you need anything. Dad will be home in like half hour so if you need anything I have my cell. Okay?”
She rolls her eyes and pats my hand gently. “ my little angel. Go. Go have fun Ill be fine.” Her voice lowers as she closes her eyes. A couple seconds later light snoring fills the empty silence. I close the door lightly after me and walk over the block to kyles house and knocked. The snow was falling lightly and I was freezing.
He opens the door and I catch his scent. He smells like outside.
Like the trees and the river by my house. I shake my head at the thought. i push past him and into the kitchen.
Let’s get this over with.

She marches into my kitchen and I follow. I set everything up in the kitchen, waiting for her to come and make all theses ingredients into something.
Something amazing.
She takes a picture of all the stuff and puts her stuff on the counter.
She looks sad. And tired.
But mostly sad.
I sigh as she starts preparing everything. Letting me help with the east stuff, while I take pictures. We didn’t talk. Except when she told me to do something.
We worked fast and efficiently. Getting everything done and cleaned by night fall. I could hear my stomacke rumbling as I watched her type on her laptop our presentation.
She had deep dark circles under her eyes and she kept yawning.
“Kyle?” her voice distracts me from my thinking.
“Where done” she sounds relieved.
I nod and we watch it. She packs up the brownies and cupcakes were bringing into class and grab all her stuff.
“mkay see you in class tomorrow.” She opens the door and starts down my driveway.
I cant seem to be able to follow her.
So I watch her go.

2 weeks later. First of December.

“Okay class now all of you know it charismas month so in the spirit I created a project!” I groan.
Hey Maby you don’t have to work with someone else. I roll my eyes. Shut up.
So little Mrs. Im in love with Kyle reinfeild, what are we going to do with the project?
I tune in and look at mr.horrin.
“…now to assign partners.”
Not again. Oh my. This just gets better and better!
“As director of your film let me see, marina! Okay now your actors, mia and kyle. Perfect. And your song to direct to.hmmmn lets see this ones tricky.”
I let my head fall onto my folded arms. Shitshitshitshtisthisthistshitshtishitshitshtishitshithitsthisthisthi.
Will you look at how fate plays. Now your stuck with kyle. Again!
Cursing internally I wait untill everyone leaves before going up to mr.horrin.
All he does though is lecture me about learning to play with others and all that crap. Just because you’re a drama teacher doesn’t give you permission to get all jerky.
Rolling my eyes I walk outside to find Kyle and marina talking next to each other. Really closely.
“Marina” I say, ignoring the weird feeling of butterflies I get in my stomacke when I see him look at me.
“Let’s just go okay? I need to get home.” I say trying to avoid talking. I grab her skinny arm and drag her down the hallway.
“Omg Kyle is so hot!” she sequels and for a moment I think she talking to me. “What?”
And then I notice the pink phone held up against her ear. Of course.
Rolling my eyes I get in my car and wait for her to climb in. she shuts her phone and looks over to me.
“omg Kyle reinfeild is my new boy toy. Or at least going to be. Hmnnn.” She laughs and I drive to her house. “why can’t you go out with someone because you care about them not just because their hot?”
She laughs.
“oh come on marina. I want to date a nice boy. One with feelings and rather hug me than get me in his bed.” I look over to her and she laughs.
“alright and when you met this boy you tell me.”
“what! Marina! There are lots of nice boys out there.” I say fiddling with the heater.
We drive to her house and she opens the door. “No mia. There are rude boys pretending to be nice and then there are jerks that are nice but are scared to show it.” Her blue eyes look sad as she closes my door and walks up her driveway.

Laying on my bed that night I try to figure out what mia tried to say. No nice guys?


“you want me to what?” mia says. Were in marinas living room preparing the project for Mr.H.
“Seriously mia. Come on! Im the director so if I need you to start on my bed well your starting on my bed.” She rolls her eyes and pulls up towards her parents room. She pushes mia down on the bed and she sits with a humph.
She looks good.
I don’t know who did her makeup but she is wearing makeup and a tight red shirt with jeans and a pair of black heeled boots. Her lips red look kissable.
Very kissable.
Mia puts her on the edge of the bed with a book in her hand and directs me to the side of the bed next to her.
How the hell am I supposed to sing to her?
And then she starts.

I really can't stay. She closes the books and stands up

Baby, it's cold outside. I stand up and follow her to the window.

I've got to go away. She walks to the door.

Baby, it's cold outside. I follow her to the door.

. I can’t think. The music soundtrack plays our recorded voices over some sound system marina has but I can only focus on mia.
On the way she flirts while singing.
Mind if I move in closer?

At least I'm gonna say that I tried. She looks at me and giggles

What the sense of hurting my pride?

I really can't say

Baby, don't hold out

Babe but it's cold outside

She walks over to the fireplace and starts playing with the ornaments.

Gosh your lips look delicious. They really do.

My brother will be there at the door

Waves upon a tropical shore

My maiden aunt's mind is vicious

Ooh your lips are delicious

now I can’t stop looking at her lips. Her red full lips. Singing to me.

You've really been nice

I'm thrilled when you touch my hair

But don't you see

How can you do this thing to me?

I really can't stay

Get over that hold out

I sit down on the couch pulling her with me. her hand warm in mine.
Her green eyes look into mine intently.

Oh, baby, it's cold outside
Everything is going fine and then I blow it by kissing her.

Her lips are soft and fit right with mine.
“Cut!” marinas shrill voice cuts me off and she jumps up.
Walking as far away from me she goes to stand by marina.
She won’t even look at me.


He kissed me. I avoid looking at him for the rest of the night. Marina tells us to leave after a while. She says she needed editing to do.
I saw her phone. Jeremy is coming over. The camera guys walk out talking about some pizza shop that just opened.
Rolling my eyes I grab my coat and start to walk outside. The snow was actually falling in small clumps. They kept sticking to me.
That’s when I hear the footsteps behind me. And then a car starts and slowly pulls up to me.
“Let me give you a ride home and explain everything to you.” I stare at him and he pouts.
“Please.” He says again.

She gets in the car and looks at me.
And then she kisses me.
I probably look shocked because she pulls away with a grimace.
“Oh my I’m so sorry I just. Oh god I don’t know what just happened.” She is hiding her face in her hands and is shaking her head.
I take a chance and touch her shoulder.
I start to drive and we end up at the park. “Uh you do know this isn’t where I live?” her voice is no longer muffled and I risk a glance in her direction to see that see pulled her hands away from her face and was frowning.
“I know” I cut the engine and get out walking towards the bench I sit down and look back at her still in the passenger seat and smile.
I pat the seat next to me.
I wait a couple seconds and she finally gets out of the car and walks over to me.
We didn’t talk but when I grab her hand and we saw a pair of swans swim into the small lake I looked over at her and kissed her softly.
Words were not needed.


“How’s your mom?” He asks as I play with his hair. I shrug. “Better” it’s not like she’s going to get any better.
“So did the treatments go okay today?” his voice sounds sincere and I know he asks because he knows I’m worrying.
I push myself down and lie down on the bed. “How much better can cancer treatments get?” I snap. Not caring for the moment that he only meant well.
The silence is immense and then I feel the bed dip under his weight.
“I’m sorry I know it’s hard I was just trying to...”
“Understand, I know im sorry I snapped. Its just im so tired and I have a social studies test and then AP chemistry test to prepare for and im so “I stop and blow at my bangs.
He wraps his long and strong arms around me.
I felt safe.
“It’s okay she will be fine I promise.” He smiles as I rest my head on his shoulder. “You know you promise me a lot of things.” And he starts laughing and I then I start laughing.
His laugh is just so contagious.
Falling back onto the bed I kiss his tattoo on the back on his neck and laugh when his skin gets Goosebumps. Hauling my textbook back into my arms I flip it close and shove it into my book bag.
“I better go” I whisper. Knowing we both hate this part of the day.
When it starts getting dark out. The last sparkle of light shining through the trees.
Standing up I open up his window. Throwing my bag down waiting to hear the thump of the impact before climbing out. “Bye!”I jump down and look up at him. He stands his head poking out of his window. “Call me when you get home!” I nod and grab my bag. Running towards my street I run the block and turn onto my driveway. Opening my door the smell of disinfectant hits me hard and I gulp down tears. I go into the kitchen I grab an apple.
I can hear the soft footsteps tiptoeing around upstairs and the soft muted voices.
Not wanting to be heard I go outside and pull my scarf tighter against me.
The wind is harsh. Walking back towards the river passing by the woods. The leaves crunching loudly underneath my shoes.
Grabbing a rock I skip a pebble over the small creek before hopping across the steps towards the other side.
A couple more steps and I get to a big boulder shouldered up against a big tree with branches low enough to climb. Making it up a couple branches I sit down my back resting on the hard bark.
Closing my eyes I let my phone play my special playlist. The music filling my head.
Sighing I drop from the branch and head back home. Over the pebbles and past the wooded area into our small backyard.

4 months later

Going downstairs I grab a soda and flop on my couch.
The doorbell ringing waking me up from my nap. A couple seconds later I hear my friend’s voices.
“Dude you need a girlfriend. Sitting here on a Saturday night and nothing to do!” Jeremy sits on me and I push him off.
They don’t know about mia.
“I don’t need a girlfriend.” I say as I take a drink from my soda.
They start playing with my game system. “Dude you need a date for prom.” Sam says shoving chips into his mouth.
I look at him. Prom.. Will mia go with me? Does she still want this to be a secret? It’s already April. We’ve been dating since December.
“Dude! Stop daydreaming and come beat Sam!” Jeremy punches me in the shoulder.


I walk up the stairs to be Kyle stood waiting for me. I walk up and stand on the step below him and try not to start crying.
He opens his arms and folds them around me. Enveloping me in his embrace.
I can hear his soothing words in my ears. His soft breath on top of my head. He soft kisses on my forehead. I hold his chest and cry silently into his chest for a few seconds, before forcing myself to stop.
I can’t let her do that to me. I kiss his neck and smile against his neck.
The image of us on the dark staircase the only light coming from upstairs and Kyle leaning on the banister by the wall, me being so much shorter than him pops into my head and makes me smile. He kisses my forehead once more before I push back to look down and fix my eyes, drying off the tears. I look up at him to see him closing his fists his jaw tensing.
I put my palm onto his jaw. “It’s okay” I whisper. He stares down at me his hazel eyes hard. Hey soften after a moment and I go on tiptoes and brush my lips on his. “I’m okay. I promise”


Sleeping at home alone is no different for me than sleeping with everyone home.
It’s normally so quiet because of mom I have gotten used to not hearing anything. While my dad spends the nights at the hospitals and most of the day too I let Kyle come over.


“so I was wondering. Do you have a date for prom?” I ask while I chop a couple pieces of carrots.
“Kyle, come on. Me at the prom?” she laughs and I smile at the sound.
“I rather spend the night at the zoo.” She stirs fry’s something and I pour the cut up carrots in the pan. She covers it and faces me. “So what about prom?”
I cock my head to the side and try to look innocent. “ well you see I have an extra ticket and no one to go with me so I really wouldn’t want my money to go to waste and go to prom all by myself that would be horrible for my social status..” she laughs and hugs me.
“Oh god I can’t believe im going to say this but fine. Oh my god you owe me so much.” I hug her back tightly and inhale her lilac smell. “You do realize that people will notice. Not only notice but hate. Omg. Those cheerleaders are going to kill me.” She shakes her head and tries to push off. I tighten my grip on her. “ nah. Ill bribe them with you amazing brownies. 100 calories of course” as she laughs and kisses my neck annalise ,mia’s twin sister comes walking down the stairs slowly. “Hey annalise! Whast up?” I ask. She shrugs and walks past me to her medicine cabinet. “Fine and you?” her voice was shaky as she poped the little pills in her mouth and rushed them down with water. Mia stiffens and pulls away checking on diner.
“I want to visit mom.” Annalise says her voice quiet.
“You know you can’t do that annalise” mia’s voice sounds suddenly tired.
“Why not. She’s going to die might has well see her soon. Or what you haven’t realized our mother had cancer?” her voice adds venom to the last words and sighs; she continues shaking and runs her hands through her hands again. Grabbing an apple she starts to twist it around in her hand and stare at me. “You really should talk to her. But yet again im her fudging twin and she won’t talk to me.” I stare at her and help mia set the table.
“Im going to the hospital after dinner weather you like it or not.” Her voice sounds stronger.
Mia turns around and puts the food on the table and I could see her lip trembling “fine annalise whatever.” She sits down and serves herself some food.


The hospital is white and clean. I remember my freshman teacher once told me while reading some book that white was supposed to be some sort of purity color. Of how it’s almost like a new start.
I think they should repaint.
The corridors are long the floors shiny the nurses sympathic and the doctors serious. The different emotions, the different options. So many different people.
Annalise walks next to me. Her black sneakers contrasting against the white of the tile floors. I exhale and roll my shoulders around a couple of times. Kyle seems to notice and automatically takes my hand and squeezes it. “Annalise, please don’t do this.” She nods her head stubbornly. “I have to.” Her short curly hair identical to me hit her face as she shakes her head.
C23 ICU cancer ward.
Here we go.


Mom was in bed. The iv plugged in and dad was sitting next to her. The magazine he was reading still open to the first page.
“mom” I close my eyes. I hear the shuffles of surprises as my dad hugs annalise.
“oh darling you came out of your room! How are you doing?”
“oh pumpkin are you feeling okay?”
“ sweetheart do you need anything?”
I almost roll my eyes,when I see my moms hand curl around the sheets.
“hey mom” I say as my dad fusses over annalise. I grab her hand and hold it.
It was cold almost like she was dead already. I hold it with both hands and blink back tears. “ what’s up mom? Andrew sends his hellos. Too much work and not enough time.” I cough lightly and she smiles. The unsaid question hangs in the air.
“yeah mom?”
“why is annalise outside the house, visiting me?” her voice is hoarse. I swallow back a sob.
“yeah mom?”
“Im so sorry”
I let a couple of tears escape and lay her hand back on the bed and pat it gently. Reaching over I hug her quickly.
“ I am too.”


I stand at the door watching her dad fuss over her sister. She was crying and I walked over to her.
“Hi, Suzanne” I ask. Grabbing mia I pull her up. “We really have to go but it was great to see you.”
I grab her hand and pull her out and then grab annalise and her dad sits down again to re-read the same page of the magazine he has been reading.
Annalise walks to the car and slams the door. I help mia in and try not to look at annalise’s smug face.


The ride home is quiet and i look back at the moon and then back at my hands, tangled into my dress as small tears form in my green eyes
Grabbing my shoes I climb back up the small hill and up towards the white house with one lonely light on in the second floor.
2 shadows walk by the window laughing.
My bare feet felling the cold of the wood as I climb back up the wood steps. Opening the door I close it gently behind me and walk back upstairs.
Passing the second floor I proceed up the stairs to the attics room.
Opening my door I duck my head form the low door hinge. Straightening I turn my side lamp on and the small light pools over my space. My bed by were the window was small white Christmas lights hanging over the small ark made from the walls.
My bed fit into a small nook surrounded by walls filled with books on built in shelves.
My desk and book shelves. Next to my bathroom door was a full length mirror and a small drawer. To the very left corner was a small rocking chair a small chimney infornt of it.
Sighing I throw my shoes in my closet and walk to my bathroom.
As I stand under the hot water I scrub away any evidence of what happened that night. My arms left red with the pressure I scrubbed.
The water at my feet by the drain swirled brown with the dirt and blood taken off my body. My mascara marking my cheek as it washes away from my eyes.
Once I realize that nothing that happened tonight can ever be scrubbed off with just simple dove soap and your favorite loufa, I stand there under the now running cold water and let the tears stream out as fast as the water streaming out from the faucet.
Were the cold drops hit it’s like a million shots sent to that point of skin and I start to shiver.
Turning off the water I get dressed and braid my hair.
My mind blank and my head throbbing I slip under my covers and turn off the lights above me.
The only light left was the moons yellow glow coming in from my window.
And I fall asleep with the light of the moon and the tree branches brushing against my window like an admirer knocking at a window.


There is a beeping alarm somewhere. It’s distant and irritating.
I try to turn it off in my mind, for it is interrupting my dream but I realize it’s not in my dream.
Flustering I open my eyes and rub my eyes, trying to fully awake.
The beeping continues and I sit up and look for the source of the sound.
I don’t have an alarm clock and it can’t be the fire alarm.
I look over to my desk to see my bag and my phone resting slightly on the bag.
A red light flashing indicating a new message, or messages.
Getting up I tug my phone from its charger and toss the phone on my bed.
Forgotten by the urge to pee.
Showering and getting changed I make my bed, staring at the drops of rain starting to splash onto my window. The sound of rain hitting the pavement outside was calming.
Throwing my phone in my bag I walk downstairs and tug an umbrella from the umbrella rack and rush outside.
Calling Kyle he and I agree to meet outside the coffee shop the next town over. I get In my car and drive there.
He is already there sipping coffee, a green cup in front of him says my name in black sharpie and I smile.
“Ready to go?” I ask wanting to get to the hospital.
He nods and holds my hand.


We were sitting in her mom’s room when her mom asked mia to get her some water. She gets up her face bright and happy and opens the door towards the cafeteria.
I smile and Suzanne and she close her eyes and nods off.
“Oh Kyle, honey, be a dear and take good care of my baby doll. Okay?” Her voice is low and I sit next to her,
“Yes of course. But you’ll be fine you’re going to take care of your own baby doll. Not to worry!” I try to sound positive but her sick stricken face worries me and I pat her hand. “And you get to come home today we just have to wait for the okay and well be outta here!”
She nods and pats my hand. Softly.
“Just make sure you take care of my baby doll. Okay promise me” she opens her eyes and I can’t help but nod.


The night of prom I walk downstairs helping mom down and then helping her into her wheel chair at the bottom I roll her out the living room.
She pats my hand “thank honey bun”
Kyle is talking with Andrew who came home this weekend because my mother called and asked him to come.
He was forced into coming by his girlfriend who believes in family communication and all that crap.
But at least he’s here.
We take our pictures. Mom smiling and laughing as she blinks through the better part of the pictures.
Annalise sullenly takes a couple and then storms back upstairs. Andrew following pursuit. Kyle carries my mom back to her room and I set up her bed.
“okay mom ill be back soon okay so I love you and im just a phone call away okay so don’t hesitate” I hover over her trying to help if needed.
Kyle coughs and I smile. “Okay mom” I lean in a kiss her fragile face.
She smiles and grabs my hand. “I love you my bunny cake okay. Go on have fun. I love you” I slip past her grasp and close the door firmly behind me. Saying I love you for the millionth time.
Not knowing that was going to be the last time.


The school parking lot was full and by the time we go inside the gym everyone was dancing and it was so dark we couldn’t find our table. Kyle keeps his grasp on my hand as we pass shocked faces and people who glared at me. I smiled and waved. A whole new confidence seizing me.

She looked beautiful.
Her dress ending way before her knees and shimmery.
Her hair was done in curls and something on her eyes made them look mysterious.
Her lips as always look kissable and it takes all my will not just pull her into my lap and start kissing her right in front of everyone.
We were dancing to a slow song and I pull her close.
“ you look beautiful.”
“oh do i?” she laughs and kisses me. “why thank you. Not so bad yourself.” She giggles.
The clock chimes three times and then it turns 12. She smiles and kisses me.
“Im thirsty. Come on”
We walk outside cups in hands as she fumbles around her small purse and pulls out her cell phone.
I look up at the night sky and let the cool spring air cool me down.
“omg Kyle we have to go” she is reading a text and listing in to a voice mail when she looks over to me.
I grab her hand and we run through the crowds and to my car.
“ were are we going? Hospital? Home?” I ask her.
“ I think home. No uh hospital.” She looks flustered.
Never have I seen her flustered.


My mother was dead.
Not part of the physical world.
Just dead.
I cant seem to move out of the way as the nurses move around me to unplug all the iv’s and medications.
My father and brother are crying outside and annalise is nowhere to be found.
And I am sitting here in my prom dress. Looking at my dead mother.
I feel kyles warm arms envelop me and I start to cry.
i look up and notice kyles eyes change color


Tag der Veröffentlichung: 09.11.2012

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