Chapter One

Nelly thinks she should have been an only child...

At least then I'd get some bloody attention now and then. Between my two sisters, I'm just ignored all the time. I don't blame clueless Heather so much, she's the baby (even though she's fifteen), she's adorable, she can do no wrong etc etc blah blah. It's Freya. Freya is 19 and she's the -star- of the family. Freya is the perfect shining example of what we're meant to live up to.

I guess I fall short of the standard but Heather's got it pegged because she's Dad's doppelganger instead. Freya takes after Mum apparently but I take after noone. Freya. Popular, pretty, funny. They called her a dumb airhead at school but she proved them all wrong. She has rose scented auburn hair which she inherited from Mum. That's how she actually describes it- she calls her's auburn and Heather's "golden wheat" but mine is just brown, apparently. My hair is not brown. I actually can't remember the exact colour of it because I've been dying it since I was about 12, and I'm seventeen now. It's currently... okay, it is brown right now, but I was considering dying it again. I'm not going to be "tragic" and dye it black, I won't be adding green or pink highlights because I'm not really into the emo/goth scene- sorry, but get over it- and anyway I went through that stage ages ago. So I was thinking blonde. Preppy is back in fashion anyway.

Nelly does actually care about how she looks.

"Nelly! You're too fat, I can't breathe- get out and walk," that was Freya. We were in my mum's tiny cramped and messy car because my dad had hijacked the big jeep that morning for some unknown reason.

"Why don't you get out? You're the oldest."

"Exactly, I'm the oldest, so what I say goes," Freya shoved me and I shoved her back and Heather- who was the one who was actually getting squashed in the middle called out wearily.

"Please stop fighting, you're hurting my head," she said softly. She says everything softly, she's that kind of person.

"Listen to your sisters, Nelly, stop arguing. We're almost at the school, and then you can kill them all," Mum said looking over her shoulder briefly.

I scowled at Freya who smiled smugly. I hate Freya. She was coming to the school to give a speech that afternoon in a special assembly. Everyone knows them- where they bring back old successful students and give them a pat on the back. Yes, you can do it too, kids. You too can be a successful cashier. Haha. Well obviously Freya's not a fulltime cashier, she studies Psychology at university and even though she's only just starting her second year she's deemed a success. They couldn't wait to bring Freya back for a speech, everyone loves her. Except me obviously, I hate her- see above.

Mum pulled the car over and we all got out. We had to go through my side because Mum really has put her car through the motions and only the drivers door and the behind it open properly. What this meant is I got out first and Freya got out last in her billowy white skirt which reached past her ankles. She looked like a princess. She always did. It wasn't fair.

Mum said bye and drove off so me and Heather followed Freya into the school where she was going to talk to the Principal before the assembly. Heather meandered off to join her group of vegan activist "weed saves the earth" and "I wear hemp" but "child labour isn't cool" and "niether is food with a face" or "I'll give up meat for you" buddies. Freya lifted her nose when she saw Heather's friends but didn't say anything, you know, because it's Heather. I personally like "The Green Gang" as I like to call them because they talk so much shit but at least they're honest.

Nelly doesn't actually like them, she just hates them a little less than everyone else.

While Freya walked she did annoying things like wave at people who didn't really know her or smile heroically at all her little fans and groupies who came rushing up to her. I didn't get the Freya hype but there you go.

"It's so nostalgic being back here," Freya said with a simpering smile. "So many memories..." she sniffed. She's such an actress.

"Yeah like the time you stole all my school uniform when I was at swimming practise," I recalled. I had to sit in the office wrapped in a skanky towel until my Mum dropped off a spare uniform later in the day. I refused to wear any off the disgusting "lost and found" clothes they had collecting mould in the cupboards.

Freya pretend she never heard me and to compensate I (yes, stupidly) made faces to the back of her. That was when I noticed a small tear on the back of her silly skirt. It occurred to me that that was the type of material which tore very easily, and that the skirt trailed close enough to the ground for me to just step on the hem and then ruin her stupid outfit.

Nelly would like to make it clear that this was not malice or spitefullness, it was just revenge, therefore not technically "wrong"

I did it, and tore a long strip out of the back of her skirt so that there was now a ridiculous split. The skirt was only held together by the waistband. You could see her pink and black dotted knickers through the tear. I'm not stupid, I knew it would hav consequences and I fully expected her to turn and around and slap me or something, but it would be completely worth it. She didn't though. She didn't even notice. That vexed me, a little. Pranks only work if the victim realises. I glared.

"I'm going Freya," I said moodily. "See you at the assembly."

I turned and headed in the other direction, stopping at the end of the corridor to watch Freya publicising her knickers. She passed crowds of people outside of the classroom. When they all pointed to her, she waved and smiled like she was the fricking queen and they were there to admire her. It was until she turned the corner I heard a distant cry of "Freya, your skirt!" I punched the air in satisfaction and grinned. I could just picture her face turning bright red. To match her rose scented auburn hair. I even did my quick happy feet shuffle which I only do when I'm in my happy modes. They do happen occassionally.

My good mood quickly disintergrated once I realised that the class I was heading to was Double History. I don't know why I elected to do History. I think it was because I had read about the Terrible Tudors and I thought the whole thing was as bloody and gory as that. It isn't unfortunately- or fortunately I suppose, depending on how you see it. King Charles I was beheaded. That's about it after that.

There was a new boy though, so that was interesting. My friend Chase Starfield (her parents were former hippies) said it was fate really. That I should meet the person who would change my history, in History. I disagree, because I didn't know who he was until the whole "running away" escapade, so therefore I didn't meet him. Chase Starfield, the eternal optimist.

Rumours spread very quickly in school, as everybody knows. My sister's flashing of the panties was well known by lunch. I felt bad, naturally, but I didn't see Freya before the assembly so I couldn't even pretend to apologise. Anyway, she'd be plotting something equally evil for me. That's life.

Heather caught up with me just before we went into the assembly hall.

"What you did was really bad Nelly," she said reproachfully, her big blue eyes focused on me.

Nelly thinks Heather is beginning to remind too much of her dear old Dad.

"I'm talking about Freya. And I know it was you. You've ruined Freya's day-"

I scoffed, "Ruined her day? Freya's like a celebrity around here, it doesn't matter what I do."

"None of them ever respected her though, this was her chance to come back and show them that she's going to be something. You spoiled it," Heather gave me a serious look before heading back to The Green Gang. I hate when Heather's disappointed in me. But not as much as I liked revenge! So there.

We were all seated for about 20 minutes before anybody came on stage. There was obviously a problem with the first speaker, and the crowd was getting restless. The Principal came out in an attempt to pacify the audience, and we did, until the first speaker was practically shoved onto the stage.

It was Freya. Still embarrassed out of her wits. The audience saw her and then erupted in laughter. It was pretty terrible, if you were her. She went the exact bright red I had expected of her and stood frozen on the stage. I noticed She had fashioned some sort of Bohemian style out of the torn skirt by tieing knots. The tear looked like an intended slit. Grudgingly, I had to admit she looked really pretty. She had changed her hair too, so that it was up in a loose bun, but some of her loose curls from earlier had tumbled out. She seemed to snap out of her public humiliation petrification and strode forward to the mic.

"Alright. Hello." She said to the still laughing crowd. "Hello." She said more loudly. She was getting fierce now- she used to run this school, remember, these were all her under subjects. The audience quieted. My respect for her increased- they still listened to her. There was a boy, sitting a few seats away, who was still in silent convulsions. I turned to him and told him to shut up. He did, for a while.

"Well obviously you all recognise me," Freya was saying. "If you don't... which is probably unlikely after what happened today, then I'm Freya Redcloak. I'm an ex-student. It sounds strange to say it but I used to be one of you. I used to be the girl that sat at the back and laughed at all the other students. I never focused on anything and nobody believed in me, nobody thought they would see anything come out of me-"

"WE SAW YOUR ASS!" Some guy shouted from the back.

Nelly is starting to think her little joke isn't so funny from Freya's perspective.

Freya flushed but carried on talking, "I'm old enough to realise that incidents like that aren't the end of the world. What's important is ambition. Everybody, erm, all of us, I mean every one of us is capable to be, of being something, of going somewhere. The whole "high school mentality" is inconsequential because, you know, what matters, what er, really matters is you." Freya looked down and arranged her notes. She was flicking through postcards for her next point. I could see how nervous she was.

"And uh, what matters is inside you. You have to believe in yourself," Freya looked up. She looked at the audience, her eyes passed over me briefly. She could tell no one was paying any real attention, "yeah, so, what's inside you..."

"CAN WE SEE INSIDE YOUR BRA?" The person shouting this time was the one who hadn't stopped laughing earlier. Stupid jerk. I took out a text book from my bag and threw it at his head. Everyone laughed. Freya's eyes snapped in my direction, and that's really why she did what she did. She probably regrets it now, but in hindsight it led to some better things... and she was angry, and nervous and she was Freya, Uberbitch... that doesn't die out.

I was still smirking from throwing the text book but to Freya it must've seemed as if I had said something about her to all those laughing around me. As if I was causing her more humiliation when she was trying so hard. She grabbed the mic with both hands.

"What I WANT to say is this, we shouldn't hate or judge other people, or ridicule them," her eyes were blazing and she was staring straight at me. "We should embrace their differences, and learn to except them. Race, colour, age, gender, sexuality- like my sister-" she pointed directly at me, and the whole student body turned their heads to face me. "If you don't know her, her name is NELLY-MAY ELIZABETH REDCLOAK and she is a LESBIAN. She likes other GIRLS. She also has NO friends and NOBODY likes her, but, it's OKAY, she can still succeed, even if she is a FREAK!" Freya put the mic on the stand and calmly walked out while everyone started pointing and laughing at me.

There's public humiliation of two kinds. There's the reasonably accidental kind which hurts someone more than you realise and then there's the vicious spiteful kind which nobody ever, ever, forgets. Oh dear.


A/N: OOOH I'm enjoying writing this so much its great. It doesn't matter if nobody likes it I DO so there haha no I'm joking i want you to like it lol. Imagine being called Nelly May. How unfortunate. I like to give my characters names which don't match their personalities, es muy interesante... i don't know why actually. The third person italics was just an idea I thought of to add more depth to Nelly, but they're not regular, so don't expect them in every chapter. I hope you enjoyed! tell me what you think

AntiFlagJoe88: Thank you for your review, I try to put feeling into everything! (hence the exclamation marks haha)

hoeeerotic: pretty great name in my opinion. thank you for your review :)

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