Author's Note:

I'm not sure yet if I want this to be a short story, or if I want more chapters, I'll probably decide by the time I finish writing this. I'm not sure yet what this will be about, so we'll deal with that later also. We'll see how this goes. I will encourage you to review, and even if you don't really feel like telling me how you felt about this, you can leave a simple hi, and I'll feel happier cause I know you read it. Or not. (I'm very wishy washy if you haven't yet noticed)

I have an uncanny knack for congruent triangles in Euclidean geometry. Seriously, you give me any problem involving congruent triangles, and I'll probably start smiling and get to work. It's strange, because I hate everything else about geometry. I guess the thing with these triangles is that you have to look at them, look at your given congruencies, and figure out a strategy to prove whatever it is about the triangles that you're supposed to prove. And when you do prove it, you feel this rush of victory and superiority, and it makes you simply happy for about 10 seconds.

I love Central Park. Around 97th St. is the Dust Bowl, or more officially, the East Meadow. I once had a quadruple lunch (for those who don't know- my school Hunter College High School gives students free periods and allows us to go off campus as long as we return in time for lunch. So a quadruple lunch would be me with 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th period free, including the 30-minute "club time". It's confusing, so all you really need to know is that on quadruple lunch days Mondays and Fridays I can do whatever the fuck I want from 8:50 am until 12:30 pm. Hell yeah.), and I spent half of it in Central Park with my friend Laura. We lay on the grass, and the sky was so… I don't know how to say it, so… open. It was Raphael's sky, and I could almost fall into it, an endless azure that was more real than anything. I cannot even begin to describe how beautiful and quiet that day was.

And I've also had more loud times in Central Park- climbing trees with Eric, Sam, Ben, Stephen, and Laura after school on Friday? Nothing wrong could happen. We're young, funny, and beautiful. The beautiful do seem immortal. Models, I watch them closely, it seems like no harm could ever befall girls so perfect, long legged in hip-hugger jeans, heat never seems to touch them.

We're at Central Park again, BESS (Ben, Eric, Sam, Stephen) and I. We go to the customary rock, and as we climb down, Stephen grabs me, because there is a hypodermic on the ground.

Stephen and me had an unclassified relationship. Let me explain. That Friday, when we all went to Central Park, everyone had to leave at 5:15, except for Stephen and me. We stayed behind, and had one of the most amazing conversations ever. We talked for an hour in a tree. I knew he wanted to kiss me, I could feel it. I wanted him to also.

I looked him in the eye and asked, "What do you want, Stephen?"

He answered, "Right now?"

"Yes."

"I kind of want to kiss you."

Inwardly, I am smiling. Breathless, I say, "You can kiss me."

There was really nothing special about the kiss itself, but that might have been one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I liked him, I really really liked him. To be honest, I thought he wanted to be more than friends. That's why, when I asked him what happens now, and he told me we would probably go back to being normal and still friends, I was shocked. And a little bit hurt, and embarrassed on the inside.

We could talk for hours online. I told him almost everything. About my parents, about how I wanted to run away, about my crushing insecurity. I was so high when I talked to him; I was selling bits of myself, my secrets, in exchange for his smile and his reassurance. I wanted him to help, make it all better, and I felt happy knowing that he wanted to help me too.

Central Park again. It's raining. My shirt is stuck to me, I feel like a fish on land. Ben and Sam and Stephen are lighting up. No lighter, I volunteer to go get one. Running back, I can feel his eyes on me, to know that I'm beautiful in his eyes makes me beautiful. I've never felt this way before.

But he really doesn't have any tact. Standing by the tree, Ben is waiting for Sam. He looks at me.

"Do you want to make out?" he asks. Inside, I am laughing my head off at how ridiculous he is. But no matter, I really want him.

"Yes." We stick our tongues down each other's throats. Ben is walking back, and immediately we stop.

"I can't leave you two alone for just five minutes, can I?" he's laughing, and we smile.

After a while they are all high. Stephen's looking at me again, and I know what he's thinking. But I wish he could just be a bit more graceful about it.

"I've never made out while I was high before," he said. Holy shit, he's really bad at this. But he's so hot. This time I don't even bother to respond. I grab him and we do it again. Ben and Sam have walked off, pissed off, but I don't care. His hands wander my body, and it kind of tickles. Fingers through my belt loops, touching the strings of my bikini, he has no idea how much that turns me on. His hands try to get up my shirt, but they can't, either because my shirt was so wet that it became skintight or because he was so high that he had absolutely no coordination. Inside, I was still laughing my head off at him.

From a distance, Ben's voice says, "Guys, we're going to Famiglia's." Good, I'd rather be alone with Stephen.

But Stephen said, "No wait guys, we'll come with you."

"No it's fine, you guys are hooking up, we understand."

"No, we'd rather hang out with you. Just wait a sec we'll get our stuff." I didn't have any choice but to agree with him. It always bothered my that Stephen let his friends influence him so much, he would do anything for them. But of course, I'm a hypocrite, because I'm like that for my friends too. Only weeks later would I find out how pissed off Ben and Sam actually were.

I can understand why Sam was pissed off, I was initially making out with him first, but after I'd gotten to know Stephen so much better, I stopped with him. If only I'd known. These four guys, so close, I always felt bad because they didn't really have any other close friends. I hooked up with every single one of them. Once while we were smoking, I asked Sam to kiss me, and maybe because he didn't want to or because he was too high, he refused. Ben said, "When any girl asks you to, you don't refuse, man. Just go with the flow." So of course, I went with Ben. Not really any emotional connection, just a hunger in my body.

With Eric, it was like that too, passion and fire, but on a much larger scale. It was a half-day, and we all went to hang out at Ben's place, on 86th and Madison. For the privacy of other people that were there and what they were doing, I'll just tell you what happened between Eric and me. You see, we'd always had this sort of flirting thing going on, but Eric is so messed up. One minute, he'd be all over me, and the next, he'd be calling me whore, slut, bitch. And I couldn't resist. I could never resist what I couldn't have. I was sitting on his lap, and I could feel his desire. I encouraged it, even though I knew it would probably be a bad idea.

So we hooked up, no big deal. In the closet, in the bathroom, on the sofa. His hands on me, our heavy breathing. Once in a while, we would pull apart, and he would put my hair back, exposing my neck and shoulder. He breathed on my neck, and I could feel this unbelievable want for him to kiss me there. But he never did. He knew the power he had over me, he could give it or not. You should never let men feel power like that. But me, I'm so easily seduced, I give in so easily. So I succumbed, simply because I couldn't stand my own want for him. Slut. Whore, I think to myself. So what? So what if I am? What was wrong with loving the way men made me feel?

I was talking with Stephen online again. He was trying to explain to me, how another girl wanted to be his "friend". I felt like crying. I typed back, resolutely, "Yeah, that's cool. I was thinking that we should stop anyway."

Waiting for his response. Finally, "You know I could talk to her, I mean she wants us to be exclusive, but maybe…"

God, what I bastard, I never should have let him touch me in any way. "No, I think we should stop," I typed back.

"I'm kind of sad, because I really liked what we had," he typed. Yeah. Sure.

Initially, I'm so crushed that he could value this girl more than me. And I know I shouldn't be, because we were just friends. When I mentioned it to Laura, all she said was, "I was wondering if either of you would get… attached." She's right; I never should have let myself get attached. But it passed, and I got over it. Gradually, I stopped talking with him online. I just didn't feel like I wanted to anymore.

One day, I get up the courage to IM him once again. We make small talk, I ask him how things are with Leah (the girl he's hooking up with instead of me). And I finally tell him, this is so weird, I feel like there isn't anything to talk about.

He replies, "Maybe there isn't." I think about this.

"Yeah," I write, and then close the screen. Maybe there isn't. Now, I can understand. I didn't really expect what we had to last forever, and it was beautiful while it did. For some time, I could confide in him what I was thinking, what I was feeling. And even though he's truly kind of a bastard and arrogant, I love what we had. I loved him, and he was the first person to ever tell me he loved me and mean it.

Not all love lasts forever. And I don't need it to.