"Fuck you," I mumbled at my younger sister. She likes to call herself Lindsay. I like to call her annoying. She has a way of bugging me, she's actually quite talented when I think of it. I don't think I was ever that annoying to Tahnee, my older sister, when I was 12. I mean I never took her iPod in the middle of a Dave Melillo song. But then again, Tahnee didn't even have an iPod. I don't think they even made them.

"I heard you," she said, referring to my curse word. I meant for her to hear me, and I knew she would most likely tell my mom. But I didn't care, I just grabbed my iPod and car keys. They were next to our family picture. If you could even call it that. My dad's not in it, but he isn't in any of the pictures in our house. Except one; the one of him and Mom at their wedding. That's in my room though, so no one ever sees it.

My parents are divorced, and Lindsay isn't even my real sister. She's my stepsister, along with Sam. Tahnee and I are blood related though. Too bad she's in college, five hours away. I can always count on her to talk to about stupid shit. Or at least I could, last year when she lived at home. Now I can only talk to her over the phone, or on Myspace. She's the best sister anyone could ever have. I cried when she left for college.

Now I'm stuck in a house with the Little Blonde Child (a.k.a. Lindsay) and my mom. Doug, her new husband, is here sometimes, but he's usually somewhere on business, doing who know what. And Sam comes home on college break a lot. But living with her is almost as bad as living with Lindsay. Not in the annoying department, she's just…her. And I am woman enough to say: it's jealousy. She's so beautiful, I can't help but be jealous. It's not like I'm ugly or anything. Actually, I am kind of pretty, but nothing like her. She's got chin length, blonde hair, green eyes with specks of brown, and a huge chest. Every one of my guy friends likes her, but that's nothing new. I was expecting it the first time I met her.

I guess I can't really complain though. I'm tall, which makes me pretty thin, but not too thin. My chest is bigger than most, but nothing really special. My eyes are a bright blue, and my hair is crazy. It's a pale blonde with chunks of black and hot pink. I love it. My mom did it instead of giving me my pay check since I work for her as a shampoo girl. I also have the exciting job of cleaning tanning beds, sweeping up hair, answering phones, and folding towels. It's just a joy to do.


So anyways, I'm in my car, not knowing really what to do, right? Right. So I pull into Freddie's (Fred Meyer's) and get out, hoping to get a new book. But right when I walk in, I get practically bulldozed by a very large guy.

"Watch it!" I yelled at him. I stood up and brushed the dust off of my rear, before looking up to see who he was.

As much as I hate to admit it, he was hot. Tall, taller than me, maybe 6'2, and dark. Obviously handsome, which is a bit of a cliché, but whatever, it's true. He wasn't too dark. He looked Italian. I looked around to make sure nobody saw that embarrassing show; nobody did.

"Sorry," he said, looking around as well. "I'm in kind of a hurry. Have you seen a girl that—" He looked down at me and his eyes widened in recognition. "You!"

I was confused. "Me?" He nodded his head vigorously. "What about me?"

His face that was at first very serious, broke into a huge smile. "Nothing. I was just wondering if you wanted to get a coffee with me at Starbucks or something."

"Um.." I could feel my cheeks burning. I blush easily, a humiliating trait of mine. "I don't know you…"

He laughed. "My name's Dex. Short for Dexter, but that names too geeky." I almost laughed at the irony. He was definitely not a geek, I could tell just be looking at him he was a jock. Probably with a cheerleader girlfriend. A blonde one with huge fake boobs. I could almost imagine it.

I mentally slapped my self at my stereotyping.

Dex stuck his hand out for me to shake. I noticed his tan, toned arms, but I didn't get to enjoy them too much. He was wearing a long sleeved shirt, with the sleeves pulled up to his elbow. I slowly put my hand in his. "I'm Ryan." He shook my hand with a little too much force; I was relieved when he let go.

"So…" He said, suddenly seeming shy. "About that coffee, you up for it?" I shrugged. "Great! What's your number?" He pulled a black razor out of his back pocket, and I couldn't help but imagine my hand being there. Again, I mentally slapped myself.

I told him my number. It surprised me, normally I would be too shy and make up an excuse to leave. But I was suddenly bold. I even flashed him a smile after telling him my cell phone number.

Then remembered something. "So, you said you were looking for someone… Was that me?" He nodded slowly. "Why?"

He smiled. "I'll tell you when we get coffee."

"How 'bout you just tell me now?" He shook his head. I was, again, feeling bold. "If I give you a kiss will you tell me?"

His smiled slipped of his face and was replaced with a frown. "That's not fair."

I shrugged. "That's too bad."

The earlier smile, found it's way on his face easily. Somehow it looked bigger. His teeth were big and white. And straight. I was jealous, I bet he didn't need braced for three years. "I'll just take my kiss when we get coffee. But don't worry, I'll tell you why I was looking for me." He walked away, toward the plants section, before disappearing.

I stood there for a few minutes, most likely looking like a fool. Then I remembered why I was there: A book. I needed to read a book to get the stupid Blonde Child off my mind.

I headed to the book section slowly. I watched a little girl begging her mom to buy her make up. I remembered when I did that. I smiled at the memory. I always told my mom I was a big girl, and deserved to look like one. She told me I was too pretty for make up and it would ruin my face.

That's when my parents were still married.

After buying a book—Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen—I decided to take a trip and see dear old dad.

I nearly ran out of the store, I was so excited. It had been weeks since I'd seen him. I quickly unlocked my yellow, VW convertible and hopped in. Starting the car, I noticed a note on the passenger seat.

I quickly opened it, curious to see what it said.


I can't wait to have coffee with you. I'll call you tonight.


Honestly, I was a little creeped out. It was flattering, of course, but how did he know which car was mine? And why was he looking for me in the first place? Quickly putting my thoughts behind me, I noticed what I was listening to. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Ugh. I changed the station and heard Welcome to the black parade by My Chemical Romance. I quickly perked up, I loved that song.

I drove faster than necessary home, excited to see my dad. I went to my room, ready to pack for the weekend, when Lindsay stuck her head it.

"Whatcha doin'?" She said in a voice meant for a 4 year old. I ignored her. "I asked you a question."

"What does it look like?" I turned around in time to see her shrug. I pointed to the bag and then my clothes. "Bag plus clothes equals…?" She shrugged again. "Gosh, you are so fucking blonde. I'm packing, now leave me alone."

She ignored me. Now look who's ignoring who. "Where ya going?"

"My dads."

"Why?" I ignored her. "You're ignoring me again."

"No shit, Sherlock."

"Why are you going to your dads?"

"To get away from you."

"Why?" I walked over to where she was leaning against my door frame and slammed the door in her face. "Hey!" She shouted. I locked it, barely in time. She kept jiggling the handle until I threatened to cut her hair while she was asleep. She left me alone.

After I packed two shirts, some pants, and underwear, I unlocked my door. I went upstairs, to the front door. "I'm going to Dad's!" I shouted to no one in particular.

I left the house before anyone could object and got into my car, turning the radio up as high as it would go. Nickleback. Another great band. I pressed the button to make the top go down and put my curly hair into a messy bun.

I quickly tore out of the drive way, going above the speed limit by at least 20 mph. Freedom.

My phone vibrated in my purse, I could feel it against me leg. I, somehow, managed to get it out without crashing. Looking at the caller ID I couldn't recognize the number. I slid the top of my Strawberry Chocolate phone up to answer.

"Hello?" I shouted; it was loud in my convertible.

"Ryan? This is Dex! How are you?"

"I'm fine," it actually sounded more like a question.

"That's cool. So, about our coffee—"

I cut him off. "Sorry, Bud. I'm driving right now, and I really don't feel like crashing at the moment. I'll call you later." I hung up without letting him reply. It may seem kind of bitchy, but I'm a responsible driver, even if my answering the phone that was in my purse says otherwise.

After driving for forty-five minutes, I finally made it to my dads. I knew he would love to see me without notice, it would be a great surprise. I hoped.

What wouldn't be a great surprise would be walking in seeing your dad sniffing something white and powdery. But I never get good surprises.

He was at his kitchen counter, with my step mom, Connie, sniffing what I guessed to be cocaine. My jaw fell open, but I remained quite. He didn't notice me come in, or slip out.

I didn't know where to go exactly, I couldn't go home, they would suspect something. I could go to a friends, but I didn't want to tell them of my problems. They thought being emotionless what cool. That's one thing that bugs me about them. They would've just laughed about how upset I was.

But really, who wants to see their dad doing something illegal? And with their step mom, whom they hate, on top of that.

I didn't realize what I was doing until I heard the first ring. Then the second, and then, "Ryan?"

"Hey, Dex. Sorry for hanging up on you earlier. I was driving and I get sidetrack easily. I didn't want to crash." I was nervous, what was I doing? Why call a guy I just met over my friends? He would probably think I'm pathetic.

"It's no problem," I let out a sigh of relief. "What's up?"

"Um…" What was I supposed to say? I just caught my dad sniffing cocaine and I have nowhere to go? I just met him, why would he want to help me? But since I was still in my dad's driveway, I decided I needed to spit it out before he saw me. "I was wondering…" I kicked some rocks by my feet. "Are you busy tonight? I just… Something happened and I have nowhere to go."

It's almost like I could hear him smile. "Not a problem. You can stay at my house. In my sister's room, I doubt you'd want to sleep with me." How wrong you are. Oh, God no. I did not just think that!