Chapter One


The day I met his was probably one of the worse days of my life. I remember being extremely angry that particular day. You see, it was a Saturday morning in November. I was curled up nice and snuggly in my warm bed, about four blankets draped around me as I slept, having pleasant dreams…That was until my lights were flicked on. Angrily, not caring who was in my room, I threw the covers back over my head and rolled over trying to sleep. The lights flicked on and off. I peeked my head from under the soft covers and looked at my alarm clock. It was 10:00a.m. exactly and I had probably gone to bed not even three hours prior to that. Normally, I dedicate Friday nights to staying up as late as possibly, then on Saturday morning I sleep in 'til afternoon. But not this time.

"Get up, we've got to go soon." I hear my dad saying to me as he tries to pry the blanket over my head. He's not being mean…yet, he's just trying to get me up. I rub the sleep from my ears and wearily look up at him squinting from the bright light. He's dressed up for some reason. "Why are you wearing khakis?" I prod, normally my dad is a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy.

"I told you Monday, we're going to the Smith's. We haven't seen your cousins since last July." he says, a hint of irritation added to his voice. I scowl. I hate going to the Smith's house. It used to be fun when I was little and actually got along with my second cousins, but now we were all grown up and in that awkward stage. We no longer talked to one another like we used to, before when we were younger we'd play hide-and-seek for hours and if you didn't play that was okay, you were still incorporated somehow, and everybody made sure you had somebody to play with. Now it was like everyone avoided each other, still hiding, but not wanting anyone to find them. Normally the packs of kids now consisted of siblings and close cousins. I was not included in the "close-cousin" part. You see all these kids were my age and lived in a different district than I. Also they were Catholic, they hated me partially because I didn't' accept their God and didn't go to church. So like I said, it was awkward.

"Five more minutes." I say trying to grab the blankets yet again. My dad yanks them off of me and I shiver. My basement room can get quite chilly in the winter months.

"No, get up now. We're leaving at eleven." he said before he turned away and walked up the stairs. I figured that it was best not to argue at this point. The inevitable future was ahead of me and there was nothing I could do about it. I groaned loudly and made sure that I was heard before I hopped out of bed.

Upstairs I could smell my mom's hairspray and saw my two little sisters, already dressed and ready to go. They were playing a game with the cereal boxes and I glared at them for being noisy. They stopped what they were doing and looked at each other. After I walked away I could hear them giggling.

After I got out of the shower I quickly soaked up excess water with a towel before I threw it on the floor and walked downstairs. I figured I'd just let my hair air dry like I did every morning. I hadn't even bothered to change my clothes, I was still in my same black t-shirt, with the same holy jeans that I had worn the previous night before. When my mother saw me she stopped. "Are you going to wear that?" she said quizzically as she finished applying her lipstick.

"Yeah, I might change my shirt or something…" I trailed off knowing that she would want me to get into something classier.

"Well honey, I laid out your nice clothes for you on your bed. I would really appreciate it if you could wear those today." she said…it was more of a demand then a statement. Sure she had said it in a nice tone, but if I refused she would've made me anyway.

"Fine whatever." I say before I go to my room. "Wait where's Derek?" (Derek is my older brother). I just realized that I'd seen everybody in the house except him. Normally he was loudest so I always heard him first.

"At his friend Ryan's house." she said simply as she added a few more finishing touches to her hair.

"Wait…what? You're not making him go, but yet I have to?" it was unfair and I wasn't going to give into my dressy clothes without getting some answers first.

"He went last week to visit your cousin Nate." she says simply. Oh yes how could I have forgotten. Derek went and got high with his best friend last year and lied about it to mom. Stupid asshole…I thought before I jogged down the stairs, making sure to stamp my feet loudly as possible. I was in a pissed off mood, and Derek had just made it worse by weaseling his way out of another situation again.

I looked at my bed, expecting maybe some sort of casual pants, or a blouse but instead to my horror my mother had laid out a dress. A yellow dress for that matter, which made it all the more worse. I hated the color yellow, it was right next to my dislike for the color hot pink. Don't get me wrong, I like pink every once in a while, heck I even have pink converse, but I absolutely detest hot pink, right next to the color yellow. I grimaced as I took it in my hands. Not only was it a dress, it was a short dress with spaghetti straps. I was going to be freezing.

"Mom!" I shouted up the stairs angrily.

"Just put it on and don't complain!" she yelled back down at me already knowing what my complaint was going to be. I swear it was like they wanted to torture me. I begrudgingly put on the god-awful yellow dress. Honestly…who wears a spring dress in November. Poor girls whose mothers make them wear them that's who. After I put it on I felt so awkward and out of place, I slipped on some shoes that I didn't even know that I owned and I walked up the stairs. But before that I grabbed my ever prevalent black sweatshirt and threw it over my head to keep me from freezing to death.

When I got to the top of the stairs my mom was about to open her mouth before I stopped her. "I'll take it off before we go in." she still looked disapproving.

"Are you going to wash your face?" she said looking at me quizzically.

"No, I just put on make-up." I said referring to the black eyeliner I had traced around my eyes.

"Doesn't match your dress." she said disapprovingly.

"Well…I can go change then." I said with a hint of hopefulness. Yeah nice try, my mom grabbed me and took a wet cloth to my face wiping off my eyes. I looked like a raccoon when she was done. "Yeah, that's much better." I said sarcastically before I went to walk away.

She grabbed my shoulder and made me sit down on the toilet seat. I went to stand back up again and she pushed me down. "I'm doing your make-up today." she said before she grabbed her back. I whined. Today truly was going to be painful.

After what felt like a year, my mom was finally happy with my appearance. It was about 10:45 and my dad was pacing around back and forth like a caged animal. He was impatient with everyone since he thought we would all be running late. When I looked at myself in the mirror for the first time I wanted to throw up. I looked like a fairy princess, my mom had curled my dark brown hair and put sparkles all over my green/hazel eyes. Looked like someone had thrown a disco ball at my face.

I went to go wipe it off automatically and she snapped my hand down. "At five you can change."

"Five?!" I said completely shocked, a few hours weren't so terribly, I could tell with one or two, but not six.

"Yes five, now come on let's go." My dad looked relieved as my mom said this and he hopped out to start our mini-van. I grumbled the whole way to the car as I walked as fast as I could without tripping in the heels. I felt like a moron. I wish I would've known sooner so I could've packed. I could've lied and said I was hanging out with Megan, like Derek did with Nate. I could've brought some games like my litle sisters did. They were both playing their Nintendo DS in the back seat laughing at whatever it was. They had a whole bag-full of toys and I had nothing but my sweat-shirt. Today was going to be just great…

When we got there I was quickly abandoned by my parents and so were my sisters. My dad rushed off to greet his cousins, grandma's and aunts as I stood awkwardly by my two sister's sides. I could spot my second cousins, they had secluded themselves in a corner, and like I predicted they were only talking in their comfort zone. They looked to be in no mood for another person.

My Great-Aunt-Jeanne came to greet me. She had always struck me as crazy. I didn't like her very much ,she smelled like soap and was overly nice and generous. Plus she always looked frazzled with her poofy brown hair and horn rimmed glassed. I had never really liked anyway her since she was a big gossip and talked bad about everyone in my family. She tried to escort over me over to her casserole. Another thing bad about Jeanne, she was a terrible cook. Her casseroles reminded me of baby throw-up.

I slipped away and retreated over to my younger sisters who were still playing DS. I tried to talk to them and seem really interested in their game, but I wasn't. They were playing Nintendogs or something like that and every question I asked they just answered with a giggle. They were obviously ignoring them, I didn't blame them though since I was mean to them every waking minute of every day. Guess that's what I get.

I sat down on a sofa next to where my sister's were and surveyed my surroundings. I suddenly envied my second-cousins. Not only did they have their actual first-cousins, they had some of their friends there also. I noticed that my cousin Sean was sitting with an extremely tall and burly looking guy that I had never seen before.

He looked way older than the others. His height made him look a lot taller, but his voice didn't quite match. It wasn't the deep voice that you would expect, it had more of a arrogant, brisk way to it. I didn't like him, he annoyed me. He was too boisterous with his actions. That and he looked to confident. My girl second-cousins were giggling at everything he was saying, they obviously thought he was very cute. I couldn't help but chuckle at their shallowness. Sure he was indeed attractive, with his dark brown, almost black hair, and he had smoldering green eyes, but I could already tell that he was a prick. Just by seeing him.

"How are you liking the sophomore life?" I heard a voice from behind me. In my staring I hadn't even noticed that my other second-cousins Diane was behind me. She was tea in her hand and was sitting with her arms crossed besides me. Diane was twenty-two but she was always really nice to me. But she was kind of uptight.

"Oh I'm a junior this year." I said adverting my eyes to look at her. I could still hear the tall boy in the background's loud voice from in front of me.

"Oh a junior…You're getting really big." she said smiling at me as she squeezed my cheek. Like I said Diane was nice, the only problem I had with her is that she was always acting like she was my grandma and not my second-cousin.

"Yeah I guess. One more year and I'm done." I said trying to sound like I was excited.

"Oh, that's wonderful…that's wonderful…" she said trailing off. That was the bad thing about small talk, it ran out quickly and before you knew it you had no one to talk to again. I made a nervous laugh and thankfully Diane started talking again. "You look gorgeous in yellow, you know that. Really brings out your olive skin tone." I blushed. Good 'ol Diane. Always knew how to give a compliment that made you feel awkward in your own skin. I didn't even say anything. If I'm correct I believe I just scowled. Diane and I sat in silence for a few more seconds before she walked away without saying bye. I didn't blame her though I was boring.

About at four o'clock I was bored out of my mind. We had to play some weird card game that I lost at, then we had to eat Jeanne's nasty cooking and now we had to stay and chat with everyone. My parents always stayed later than necessary. I swear it was almost like they wanted to have an hour conversation with everyone at the party. Which was a lot. I resorted to coloring in my youngest sister's "Hello Kitty Coloring Book" on the floor. Don't make fun of me, when you get stuck at a family reunion you do crazy things. But who am I kidding, I actually like coloring, it makes me feel relaxed. I was about to color her bow pink when I heard somebody laugh.

I saw a large shadow over me and I grimaced. I hated when people bothered me. I assumed it was probably my great-uncle-Dan wanting to tell me about how great conservatives are. But it wasn't, it was worse. It was that boy from across the room, the one I didn't like. Of course I had no reason to, but still, he looked like a prick.

"Having fun there?" he asked. It wasn't necessarily a question but more of a mock.

"Yes, yes I am." I said not letting him phase me. "If you want I can tear you out a page."

"No, I prefer the Power Rangers kind….but seriously, are you kidding me? Are you five or something?" I heard him laugh and I just scowled deeply as I pressed the pink crayon down on my paper. "Are you going to pout like a five year old as well?" he laughed at his own joke.

"No I just think it'd be pointless to answer your question." I said before I grabbed another crayon. I felt extremely vulnerable in my yellow dress and crayons. He crept down next to me.

"How come you're so shy?" I didn't like the way he asked questions. He just sort of asked without caring what others thought.

"Because I don't feel like socializing with idiots." Which was true I didn't like talking to old people, and kids who hated me ever since we hit puberty.

"Oh I get it, not enough kindergartners here for you." he said in the most serious voice that he could muster up.

"Don't you have anything better to do than bother me?" I asked irratably, looking up at the clock. It was 4:50. I had ten minutes left of this unbearable "reunion".

"I wouldn't leave right now if you wanted me to." he said slyly as he peered over my shoulder, I assumed he was looking at the picture I was coloring, but hey. Anything could go.

"I would like you very much to leave." I said picking up a yellow crayon. I laughed a little bit, I had just realized that I had grabbed my two least favorite colors in the past couple of seconds.

"I can see it in your eyes. You want me. Don't think I didn't see you looking at me earlier." he laughed, he was sitting to close to me, and I was getting uncomfortable. Seriously though...who did this guy think he was? I knew from the first second that I met him that he was the typical arrogant and conceded jerk that I had suspected. I had nothing to answer so instead I just sat, my arm moving furiously across the paper. I was trying not to look at him.

"You went out of the lines." he said. I ignored him. I was through with this crap. Today was not to day to make fun of me.

I looked at the clock. It was five. I stood up and grabbed the crayons before I walked off. I would walk home if I had to but I didn't want to stay in a foreign place coloring with a prick breathing over my neck all night. My parents got the hint and decided that my suffering had been prolonged enough. We left and I didn't have to see or hear from the prick…well not for a week