She pushed the door to her English class slowly, and slid in to her desk at the back of the class without a sound.

" Good Afternoon, Ms. Parker." It was 8 o'clock in the morning. Or rather, 8:10.

God, how did she do that? she thought, as she pulled her books out of her bag silently. She had learned a long time ago to not answer Ms. Griffins. It distracted her, and she hated being distracted. Of course, she hated everything that Carrie did, so it didn't really matter. Really, it was sad. Sometimes she looked at her teacher and thought that if she just wasn't who she was (Carrie), she could've probably gotten along with her pretty well. In fact, that's how Carrie felt about a lot of people; but that's another story.

Suddenly a sharp, irritating voice cut through her thoughts. " we're taking up lesson 6, on page 142," It hissed at Carrie.

Penelope. Carrie didn't care for Penelope. In fact, she hated her, but she didn't tell anybody that, because she didn't have any right to. Really, Penelope was perfectly nice to her, though a little on the eager, overachieverly side.

But see, that was the problem; she considered herself so smart that everyone else, especially Carrie, who never did her homework and always asked dumb questions in class, was stupid. She treated Carrie like a little 5 year old that needed everything spelled out for her. And that pissed Carrie off because really, she could spell quite well on her own.

So here was Penelope telling her what was going on as if she was to vapid to figure it out herself! Baaaahhhh! she thought. But of course, all she said was:

"Thanks, Pen." she'd rag on her some other day.

As Penelope smiled at her, Carrie had a bad feeling that she would try to engage her in some conversation about homework or such, so she turned towards the board and contorted her face so that it looked like she was concentrating hard (Isn't it ironic that when you concentrate on concentrating, your not concentrating on what your trying to concentrate on, but rather on your concentration?), so that Penelope would leave her alone.

Carrie found she did this a lot; avoiding human interaction by pretending to be involved with something, or distracted. This annoyed her about herself. What was so wrong with her that she didn't want to talk to perfectly fine people? What was wrong with being social? Why did she hate it sometimes? Why, when people walked down the halls that she knew, but not well, did her stomach tie in knots? Carrie used to think it was just her natural shyness, but sometimes it felt like so much more than that.

But also, sometimes she thought it was something she had had just made up, a product of her over-active imagination. When she was with he friends, she didn't feel like there was something wrong with her. That's why she liked them so much.

Carrie pulled down her headphones over her ears, and turned on her Discman nice and loud. Not loud enough so anyone on the bus could hear it, because she would be embarrassed, but loud enough so she could feel the chords right into her skull, so that everything went away. She loved that feeling. In fact, she couldn't believe she'd gone so long without a Discman, seeing as she only got this a few months ago, for her birthday. She loved it.

Unfortunately, like with any new toy, People always wanted to try it out, and usually didn't have a CD on hand, and therefore listened to her CD, and she hated people listening to her music. Not that it's an invasion of privacy or anything, but just that she was usually embarrassed about the kind of music she listened to. When she played it in the house, her sister would constantly make fun of it. It was boring, it was corny, it was gay, it was folksy. That's why she had stopped listening to music when other people were around; that is, until she got headphones.

Now people wanted to listen to what she had on, and she couldn't lie to them , or tell them to go away; but she wouldn't let many people listen to it. And if they did, she would warn them that they probably wouldn't like it, just so she could save some face.

It wasn't that she didn't like popular, current music. There were some that she really liked. But not many that she liked enough to buy their CD and play it everyday. She'd like a song or two here of there, and that was it. Everything she absolutely loved listening to over and over and over wasn't that popular.

But Carrie would never change her CDs. She loved them to much. She wasn't that desperate to be liked.

As Carrie walk the block from the bus stop to her house, she could smell the approaching Spring in the air, and it made her smile. She loved the smells of spring. It had to be her favourite season. Not to cold, but not to hot. She hated being hot.

She unlocked the door, went in, and called out to see if anyone was a home. No one, obviously. No one was ever home at this time. Not that it bothered her. She liked having time alone in the house to do what she wanted to do without feeling like someone was going to sneak up on her. It wasn't like she did anything bad or anything. She just felt more comfortable when she was alone. More free.

Carrie threw her bag down on the floor and headed down to the basement to get some food. She entered the main space just in time to see her sister and her newest guy making out vertically on the sofa, only partially clothed.

Now any normal person would hightail out of there right about now, but all Carrie could do was stand there, in shock.

"Carrie, what the hell! Get out of here!" it was her sister, yelling like a banshee, while franticly trying to put back on her skin tight shirt.

Carrie, woken out of her reverie, jumped and bolted up the stairs and out of the basement. She stumbled shakily into the kitchen, and sat down slowly at the table.

" Sorry you had to see that," Said Ash, sauntered into the kitchen in sitting down next to her.

" I called out, and nobody answered, " was all Carrie could think to say. She was shocked, which was stupid, really.

" Whatever. Just be more careful next time. Sometimes you walk around in this daze... You gotta look around sometimes, you know?"

Was her sister blaming this on her? " Where'd he go?"

" He left, he could feel it was a tense situation. He's sensitive that way." she said wistfully.

Yah, like he took off your clothes real sensitively, Carrie thought. But she didn't say it. She never did.

"That's good". Carrie said in her mustering-up-fake-enthusiasm voice. Her sister never noticed. Or maybe she just chose not to notice.

" you know, this one could last."

Why'd she always do that? Why'd she feel the need to talk about her boyfriends with Carrie? she'd never had a boyfriend before, and at this particular moment in time, she didn't really want one either.

But her sister kept on talking. His name was Jeff, and he was 2 years older than her (so really he was a bit young), they'd met at McDermott's, they'd gone drinking together ever since. What a beautiful love story.

They always were like that. She met guys when she was stoned or high, had fun with them, and for some reason stuck with them when she got sober. Sometimes Carrie didn't believe in love at all.

" Look, gotta go. love ya, bye!" Love ya too, thought Carrie bitterly. She had learned not to take things she said very seriously.

After Ashley left to do God knows what on a Tuesday night, Carrie went into the family room, and turned on the TV, but couldn't pay attention. The visual of that guy on Ash-it disturbed her.

Not that she hadn't been aware of her sister's ...ummm...activities. She just hadn't ever really pictured it, and it hadn't seemed real to her. In fact, up until lately, the whole sex thing itself hadn't seemed real to her. Yah, she knew a fair bit about it, and yah, it was everywhere. But still.. it had always been so far away, something other people did, in movies and TV shows and even across the street...but not here.

But now, her sister was doing it and her mom was doing it, and all that was left for Carrie to think was that sex was just expected - no - implied. And Carrie didn't like those implications. No wonder she didn't have a boyfriend.