I Should've Kissed You

August 26, 2012
By AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
More by this author Follow AndSoItGoes01
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson


Author's note: Yes, this is based off of a One Direction song. When I hear music I tend to write little stories in my head. I thought that this one was worth showing you guys. ^_^ Please rate/comment! Tell me what you guys think!!!

The author's comments:
Hope you guys like this story! I wanted to write another one with two perspectives. Tell me what you think please! :) ?

I slump out of my bed and contemplate whether or not to put on shorts. Should I just answer the door in my girl boxers or should I maybe get fully dressed for the first time in a week? That’s how everything is this time of year. When it’s really hot like this you don’t care if someone sees you butt naked if it means you’re NOT steaming. As the doorbell rings again I try to dodge the warm light that is filtering in through the window lying above my bed. Last time I checked it was a raging hundred and two.
So, hearing the doorbell ring for the third time I think harder because I need to hurry up. Gosh, I am so ready for winter to come. This weather is absolutely killing me. Hey! You never know what it will turn into when you’re living in Nevada though. It changes on a whim, as if it were just as indecisive as I am when it comes to clothes. I pull a bathing suit top on and just wear that with very short shorts (Don’t judge me it’s hot out there!). My hair is down and I’m not wearing makeup. To tell you the truth I don’t exactly care about how my appearance is doing because whoever is at a person’s door on a Sunday isn’t that important.
Walking down the stairs, I try not to notice how my feet drag from lack of sleep. They threaten to fall out from underneath me at any moment and this only makes me try to be cautious. Why do girls always over think things and lose sleep over it? Why do they think about guys so much or do anything they do?!
The doorbell rings again. Does the person not hear my shallow stomping noises that I make so that I won’t have to scream “Coming!” like a house wife? Do they not understand that I am too tired to even speak? I hate how I just call whoever is there “They” it’s as if it will be a crowd of people waiting. It could be a purple unicorn for all I know! From now on I am just going to call it a purple unicorn at my door.
I can only imagine what my older brother would say if I yelled at him to answer the ‘purple unicorn’ that is at the door through the wall that separates our rooms. He would probably get really excited because the last time I remember seeing him not high was when I was seven and he was ten. Now he is twenty and hasn’t even glanced at college as an option. He also has a tendency to wear underwear on his head and sing along to Justin Beiber & One Direction at odd hours of the morning, but you can’t throw your son out over silly stuff like that right?! Maybe that’s why my parents have been procrastinating, because they love the constant singing of our dearest Jeremy!!! And all this time I have thought it was because they were worried he would die of an overdose on who-knows-what while being alone and broke!!!!
Finally I get to the door. The purple unicorn rings again before I can open the large wooden thing though.
A frown is stuck on my face because I am hot and irritated and this unicorn must have pressed that damned bell twenty times by the time I got here. I sling the door open. Propped up on the edge of the wall opposite of the door’s hinges, I look to see who the purple unicorn is.

I suddenly wish I had just stayed in bed.


***

She looks the same as always, normal yet beautiful. Gorgeous and average, is what I always thought. Well, not always but ever since that one night, the same night that I messed up for the both of us. The question is if she thinks I messed it up.
“Hey.” I say, giving her a large smile that I tend to give people in awkward situations. This is one of those times, so I smile.
“Hi.” She says in a quiet voice that I didn’t know she had. Amanda has always been the type of out person who is very out spoken. If I wasn’t the one that showed up at her doorstep would she be louder?
“Hello…” I say equally as quiet and instantly feel stupid. We have gone over this already, I remind myself, raking my mind in search of new words to say.
“I’m not unhappy you’re here or anything, but um…” she says, and fiddles with her fingers. Her dark brown hair is wavy and cascades down her slender frame, ending at a little below the shoulders. Her bikini top is white with a lacey fabric that looks great on her and enhances her natural tan even more. Her shorts are blue denim daisy dukes. Gosh, Amanda, are you trying to give me a heart attack? She never used to wear them before she started hanging out with Natasha, I think to myself. Would I like her if she hadn’t started to? I question. Am I that shallow? I watch her mouth move. Would I have noticed that inside of a strawberry color that looks completely kissable? Or how when she pronounces the letter O she opens her mouth in only half of the shape, unlike most who make the full circle?



“Drew?” she says a little bit louder and I focus on her face, realizing I had just zoned out. I was watching her mouth and how it moved instead of the words coming out of it.
“Yes?” I ask and smile some more because this is just getting awkward.
“What are you doing here?” she asks and I shake my head, trying to forget her gorgeous, full lips that are taking over my mind right now. Instead I look at her eyes. Oh those beautiful chocolate brown eyes that are outlined with a black ring that some people don’t notice. Now they are all I can think about. Oh lord, help me.
“I have to talk to you.” I say and she squints at me questioningly.
“I don’t think I have the time…” she says and I just shake my head no, looking at the ground. I continue to look at the ground when I speak because if I look up I will be mesmerized with her lips and her eyes. I will not be able to drag myself away from the curve of her waist sloping gracefully to her hips or how her left foot leans up against the right one without her knowing.
“Please.” I beg and I lift my eyes. I will just think about all these things looking at the ground or not! That’s why I am here right?! I’m here because I can’t get this girl out of my mind, am I correct?
“Ok.” She says and I swallow.
“Can you come outside? I kind of feel weird just standing out here.” I say, finding my words finally. Maybe I CAN do this with my pride still intact! She nods and walks out. Her shoulder brushes against mine while walking out, making a shock of energy go trough me. I’m suddenly overwhelmed with this growing emotion. Never mind, pride I will have to let you go.

***

I never thought that I would have the one and only Drew Jeered at my door. His broad shouldered presence and milk chocolate skin has only belonged at school for me, not home. I have never seen him so vulnerable. I have never seen him like he is now.
His big brown eyes attack me with their kindness. Since when is Drew nice?! Is this the same intolerable and rude JERK that I was stuck in class with only a few weeks ago? We are sitting at an old picnic table that is in my front yard. What he is doing here is still a mystery to me, and I frankly don’t feel like solving it. I haven’t talk to him since Friday night. It’s Sunday! What is he doing here?!
Is it because I heard what he said the last time our ‘group’ was together? Or was it because I forgot something at his house and he is bringing it back? Who knows? All I know is that I want to go back to bed, not over think about Friday (once again), and sleep.
That’s what I WANT to do, but my mind won’t seem to let me. All I can think about is how this school year started only three weeks ago.

The author's comments:
First Hand Invitation. <3 :)

It was a new year. It was a new couple classes the school board allowed to give us for options of electives. It was a new beginning. Yet, it was the same old school with the same old people.



“Let’s just consider ourselves thankful we have more to choose from this year.” Natasha reminds me with a smile while she is turned in her seat, looking at me with enthusiasm.
“Yeah, I guess so.” I say and she smiles wider because she is right, as always. “I still don’t know why you made me take this class though. It isn’t exactly the best time consumer.” I say and Natasha just shrugs. She made me sign up for support in math. I hated math, but it didn’t mean I was bad at it. The lowest I have ever gotten was a B- in the subject. So that makes me one of the “helpers” which means I have to help the students who DO have trouble with a simple algebraic equation.

“It is a class for the smartest and dumbest people in the school, isn’t it? You aren’t dumb for taking it. Maybe you can teach a guy to be intelligent. You would be a first.” She smiles back at me and turns back around to whisper something else. “Plus there are hot guys in this class.”
“Tasha we are juniors and you are whispering like a little girl about a few hot guys.” I say rather loudly to prove my point that it doesn’t matter if you whisper anymore. Even if you do, your “secrets” will eventually get out. This is high school.
“Just because you ditched the glasses and let me put makeup on you doesn’t make you Ms. Always Right.” She says in a matter of fact way.
I am surprised she brought that up actually. My glasses bothered her more then me. We have been friends for officially three months. If our parents didn’t work for the same company we wouldn’t even say hi to one another. I had always thought that Natasha was a stuck up rich kid, but she proved me wrong, because when she isn’t having her ‘I’m always right’ moments she’s incredibly nice. At the end of the summer we had bonded over, she gave me a make over. Cheesy, right? Yet it wasn’t all bad. Not having to worry about getting scratches on your glasses is a bonus, I’d have to say.

At the moment I’m not seeing anyone cute, just a bunch of morons with attractive faces. Nobody with my definition of ‘cute’, as in somebody I would date AND show my parents. There are a few guys that have let their eyes linger just a second longer when they hit me, which I am perfectly fine with by the way! I just don’t need another ignoramus of a crush. Now that I’m “hot” I guess (by the way I’m saying this in the most respectful way possible) I will just have to deal with the ones that I have to step over to get to who I really want. Do I know this person yet? No, but does that stop me from waiting for him, of course not!

Right when all hope seems to be coming to a close for finding “Mr. Right” in this class, someone walks into the room. Drew smiles at the eyes that meet him, which is every pair this room owns. Not only did that hope come to a close, but the door just got slammed in its face.

*****


I walk into the classroom and am brought to a pleasant surprise. First, this class isn’t going to be just a bunch of nerds. Hallelujah! Second, the only empty seat is next to a not too bad looking girl. Lucky me! When I sit down I wink her way, being flirtatious as always. I don’t think I have ever seen this girl around before.
“And where have you been all of my life?” I ask and her face turns my way. It sparks familiarity in me, but I am sure I don’t know her.
“Hum, in all of your classes since kinder garden if you don’t count fifth grade where you were put into Ms. Harkins and I was in Mr. Tosco’s.” she says, biting the end of her pen while avoiding my eyes to look down at her paper. Her shoulders face me but her head is tilted in the hottest way so that I have a perfect view of the arch in her neck. No way have I known this girl. She smiles at my smirk that I hold.
“No way.” I say and she turns her head back to look at me, but still shows her neck perfectly because her hair has flown to her back.
“Yes way, and I actually don’t like you.” She says in the cutest little way, smiling and turning forward in her seat. Does she know that she is silently killing me with how her lips curve underneath that pen? Then I remember that I can get any girl in this entire school! Why do I feel the need to impress this one? I make the joke anyways; I don’t like being disliked anyhow!
“Is it because I am black?” I ask and her laugh is gorgeous.
“Oh, so you’re using the black card on me?” she asks, looking at me for an instant. This is just a game I like to play. It’s called cat and mouse. Usually I am the cat, but I am curious to see if she thinks the same about herself.
“Yes, I am.” I say and smile wider then ever. This is interesting. I have never had a girl call me out on using that move.
“That is a pretty weird way to make conversation.” She says in a way that I can just barely tell she is interested in this game also.
“So is telling someone that you don’t like them.” I say and she looks at me full on now. Holding out a hand, I take it and shake.
“I’m Amanda Kolbe, since you obviously couldn’t remember that.” she asks and I let go of her hand to pick my jaw off of the floor. Amanda Kolbe!
“Yes, I remember you. I was just messing around, I knew it was you.” I say and she looks at me with a ‘Yeah right’ look in her eyes. Should I just play along with the lie I just made? Make it seem like there might be a connection between us? Sure, why not this could be fun and she looks like she wants to play along.
“Oh, were you?” she says, a wicked smile coming to her perfect lips. How could I have not noticed Amanda? She was the same girl who sat in the back round while I dated all of her friends and ‘broke’ their hearts.
It has to be the fact that I have never seen her in a pencil skirt, with her hair down, and without braces/glasses. Yes, this has to be the only reason.
“Yes I was in fact.” I say, joking around and altering myself from ‘very huge flirt’ to, ‘hey you’ve turned cute flirt’ which are on two very different levels to play on.

“Drew? Want to announce something to the class?” Mr. Hilling stands up at his desk. When did he get here? Since when do I not pay attention to when teachers enter the room? God, Amanda you really distracted me.
“Sure, sir.” I say and he looks a bit surprised.
“I am having a party at my house tonight, a bonfire if you will. Anyone is welcome to come. I was just telling Ms. Kolbe that she has a first hand invitation from me if she wants it.” I sit down and Mr. Hilling only looks at Amanda. Is he wondering where she turned hot from too? At that thought, I immediately hate Mr. Hilling. She is younger then he is by a lot and his eyes still linger as mine did when I saw her. What a pervert.


“Well, then the two of you can stay after class and discuss the party plans while grading papers and taking staples out of the board. Thanks, it means a lot that you guys care about keeping this place orderly like I do.” Mr. Hilling says and Amanda rubs her temples, showing her irritation. I still can’t get my mind off of those lips. I have no excuse for remembering those.
I give him a meaningful stare, angry because I don’t want to spend my free period watching him stare at Amanda.
“So that would be for the rest of the week also?” Mr. Hilling challenges.
“Mr. Hilling I was only joking, it wasn’t Amanda who was talking it was only…” and before I can finish Amanda is standing up with me, because the rule of this classroom is that you stand when you feel the need to speak.

“We would love to stay in.” she says.

I shoot her eyes of daggers, releasing the ones I shot at Mr. Hilling to put on her.
“Ok then.” Mr. Hilling says and I sit back down with a thump of anger. She got us stuck in her for thirty minutes while I could be having free period with all of my friends. “Class you may leave, except for the two of you.”
Wait, what? The class is over? But I learned nothing! I didn’t even see the teacher come in! This girl had me completely off track.
“Ok, you guys can start pulling the staples out of the boards. I will be back after I copy some papers.” Mr. Hilling leaves us in a matter of seconds once everybody has left the room.

“I could’ve talked him out of it.” I say madly towards Amanda. Who does she think she is? I could be doing something worth my time. This flirting game is fun, I will give her that, but I have a real life.
“Used the black card?” she asks and I laugh. Ok, that was a good one.
“No, he is a teacher.”
“That card works on everybody, even teachers. I said that we would stay in so that you wouldn’t have to make yourself look bad. You’re welcome.” She says as she plucks staples out of the wall using her fingers.
“How would I make myself look bad?” I ask her and Amanda only smiles and continues to pick staples from the wall.

“Nobody likes a black teenager trying to make everybody feel racist.” She says in a genuine way. How is it she could make it sound that way though?
“I’ll keep that in mind.” I say and she smiles.


~~~

“You should.” I tell him. I’m not sure why I started flirting back, but I did! Hey, I’m not all bad at it either. Drew has shown me that I am correct in thinking that too, by flirting back even more. He has a tendency to look at my lips a little longer then most too.
“We should hang out some time.” Drew says, finally picking up on the hint that he should do some work too and taking out some staples himself.
“Yeah, ok maybe. Sure.” I say and he smiles. “So you’re having a bonfire.” I say, in an attempt to make some form of conversation that isn’t about black people or us having to stay in here.

“Yeah, you’re welcome to come.” He says, throwing away all the staples we have both taken out.

“Because I have a first hand invitation?” I ask and he smiles wider at my joking around.

“Yes, of course you do. You should come.” Drew say, and then takes a seat on a desk right by the board.
“Why is that?” I ask, turning away from him to take more staples out of the board.
“You could have fun.”
“It’s Monday.”
“It’s just the beginning of the week, why not start it out right?” he asks.
“That’s not what I call starting my week right.” I say and he smiles at me some more.
“Now it’s my turn to ask why that is?”
“Because I would rather sleep a full night, thank you very much.”
“Hum, well I’ll see you there anyway.”
“No you won’t.” I say because this guy is missing the point.
“Yes I will.”
“No, you…” I say but we are interrupted by someone clearing their throat out very loudly.
“You two will be coming in after school for the rest of the week.” Mr. Hilling stands at the doorway with his hands filled with copies.

~~~

“Yes sir.” Amanda says with a smile. She’s probably just saying that because of fear of me speaking and keeping us in here longer.
“Now go get lunch.” He says. We each nod and make our way out of the room. God, I hate math support. I’m supposed to be the undercover genius kid, not the one who helps everybody else!

“Thanks for not saying anything.” Amanda says as we walk down the hall to the cafeteria.
“You’re welcome.” I say and then we stop because of my hand being held out.
“So I’ll see you tonight?” I ask for about the millionth time.
“No.” she says before pushing past me and going through the lunch room’s door. When it closes quietly I laugh.

~~~

After walking into the cafeteria to see everybody’s eyes land on me, I walked to the table where Tasha and a bunch of other people I barely know are sitting.

“What happened back there?” she asks, but I don’t answer. All I can think about is how I heard a happy laugh before I closed the door and Drew saying: “Yes I will.” For some odd reason, this makes me smile wider then I already was.

The author's comments:
I'm starting to like writing this story. Just finishing the second book to the A Walk in the Woods trilogey was a little bit diificult for me, so it's nice getting a break and writing this. Please comment/rate and tell me what you think! :)

I swish around the golden essence that lies in my cup. Small bubbles protrude from the surface, surrounding the red plastic perimeter. When I should be having fun, I’m just worrying. Why isn’t she here yet? Does she even know my address?
“Can’t even enjoy your own last minute party, Drew?” Kylie slinks up by my side and slides a warm arm around my waist. Her plastic cup swishes with cheap beer that I had bought a few hours ago too.
“What makes you think that I’m not enjoying myself?” I ask her, smiling down with a large all toothed smile. She looks up at me, her blonde bangs tilting slightly off of her forehead, revealing a huge pimple. Nice job trying to cover that up Kylie, I think to myself.
“You’re sulking, what’s the matter?” she asks me, inching closer and closer.
She’s only been here a year, coming into Reno High as a sophomore. Some people say that it was her ‘start over’ because at her old school she wasn’t the prettiest. Now she’s… well, not ugly that’s for sure. She’s confident, gorgeous, and has jumped into my game in no less than her junior year.
That’s all this is, a game. Maybe Kylie doesn’t or hasn’t realized it yet, but she is just another girl that I will kiss at just another party.
“I’m just tired; planning a quick party is harder than movies make it look.” I wink at her and she smiles, showing off her white straight teeth. She’s good at this game, but not as good as Amanda. At least Amanda is, or at least pretends to be, hard to get. If I were to ask Kylie if she wanted to sleep with me her clothes would be off in a Nano second. Amanda would slap my face if I asked her out of nowhere, and maybe if it weren’t out of nowhere she would still hesitate.

“You’re so funny.” She giggles some more, making me smile. How idiotic is this girl, that joke wasn’t even that funny.
My arm falls over her shoulder, hers slides behind my waist tighter and her fingers twirl themselves on my belt loops near my hipbone. Our free hands hold our beers that slosh with the beat of the music. People dance in late-celebration of the last day of summer, or maybe they’re celebrating the first day of school. Who knows anymore?
“Want to dance?” Kylie asks me, letting go of my waist and turns to face me. Not an inch separates us, not a centimeter, or even millimeter, not even air. She is suction cupped onto me, unbreakable.
“Sure.” I say, smiling down at her hopeful eyes. We set our drinks down on my mother’s mahogany coffee table that I had pushed to the side earlier. I swear I can hear her yell at me all the way from Boston: “Drew Jeered!!!!! What do you think you’re doing? Drinking beer without putting down a freaking coaster?!!!” Yes, she would say something like that.
I can only wonder what my dad would say, because I haven’t seen him in years.
Only now do I notice what Kylie is wearing, as I willingly let my hands course the side of her skin tight baby blue dress. High heels swirl around her manicured toes and perfect feet. I’m surprised I didn’t notice her growth, because she is usually a foot smaller than me, and now my eyes only have to travel down a few inches.
It kind of bothers me that she’s so dressed up; because I’m nowhere close to her standards. My hoodie is loose and baggy and my pants are wrinkled as usual. I feel out of place, at my own party.
Maybe Kylie sensed that, because once we start dancing she tries to make me feel right at home.

***

I’m right at home, not at Drew’s stupid party, or at the movies with Tasha (which she suggested could be our celebration of becoming juniors). My bed seems like the best place to be. It’s just comfortable, that’s all I need. That’s all I want!
If I didn’t I wouldn’t be in baggy non-flattering sweats or my raggedy gray tank top that’s falling apart string by stray string. If Natasha saw me she would be in complete shock. “That’s not on your fashion diet!” she would screech, pointing at my hideous outfit. I hate how she calls it that, a ‘fashion diet’. Makeover is a better way to put it then fashion diet. Diet, that’s what I can’t stand. My change in clothes isn’t going to help thin the chunkiness that I (like every other girl) see in my thighs. So why relate it to food?!
Lord knows what she would say if she saw me exactly like I am right now. Not only is my outfit ‘cheating in my diet’ but so is my retainer and glasses combo.
“Pick one or the other at night.” She told me once while giving me all these helpful tips on looks. “You don’t know who could show up at your door out of nowhere.”
Tasha doesn’t understand these things, because she doesn’t know what it’s like to have to wear a retainer to bed and want to watch a T.V. show at the same time. She just doesn’t understand that I can’t be a picture perfect image all the time and that nobody is going to knock on my door at ten at night.

Somewhere in the middle of my blanking out, thinking about how Natasha changed me so much, Drew’s name ambled across my mind. His smooth skin image in my mind makes me smile which causes the plastic of the retainer to cut into my gums a touch more.
“You will have fun.”
“Yes I will see you…” his words ring into my mind.
I wipe my eyes and take off of my glasses to return them to their rightful place on my nightstand.
Drew doesn’t even remember. Who knows, maybe I was the first girl he ever played or showed ignorance to, and he just forgot about me to move onto his next game. I consider this. Am I back in his game now? I’m not sure, but if I am I do know one thing. This time I will win and Drew WILL remember me.

***

Dancing with Kylie made everything a little bit better. Her grinding made my smile widen, even though I’m sure it was only because she was drunk and slipped a few times. Nothing like a hammered blonde girl falling while dancing!
My mind still swerves back to Amanda every now and then. I guess tomorrow I will just have to ask her why she didn’t show up. I bet the game will be worth the agonizing truth that she probably would rather sleep then party with me, dance with me. Hey! What really matters is that by the next time my mom is out of town, I WILL persuade Amanda to come. I WILL win this game.

Natasha called me at five in the morning.
“Hey, get up you have to get ready, Amanda.” She said, loud and obnoxiously in my ear.
“Ever hear of five more minutes?” I asked her, my voice sleepy.
“No such thing. Hey you should wear those white shorts with that top you like so much.” She said, forcing me to get up. I strode over to my closet and pulled out the clothes as ordered.
“Got it, hey how did you do your makeup yesterday?” I asked her, knowing that would make her talk for a while and give me a chance to set the phone down and get dressed.
It does, and when I’m done getting dressed I pick the phone back up.
“… and you have to remember to go from dark to light shading, never the other way around. The regular black to white shadow would look good with your brown eyes.” She says and after another minute of hearing her talk about colors that would be good for me I put the phone back down, clicking speaker, and poke a pair of contacts into my eyes.
“Are you there?” Tasha finally says.
“Yeah, I just had to put my contacts in.” I say, making her laugh.
“That time you didn’t whine about how it hurt to put them in, congrats.”
“They still hurt.” I lie, because the truth is that sometimes I don’t want Natasha to know that she has changed me completely. “Should I curl my hair?” I ask, and I can hear her nod through the phone when she says, “Yup, sounds good.”
“Ok, I’ll see you at school Tasha.” I said and she agreed, hanging up on me.
I look into my new vanity’s mirror. Not seeing a large amount of acne is surreal. Now I only have one zit. One! Lucky for me, cover up will make it invisible. Invisible. That was always me. It still is me; I’m only getting out of that label slightly.

***

Getting out of labels is hard. People expect something from everyone. For Kylie they expected a quiet ugly girl who wouldn’t break out of her shell, now she is dancing at parties and abandoning her old quota of being unconfident.
For Amanda, people expect her to be a smart, quiet, and sort of frumpy girl. A few people, including me, didn’t expect her to be consumed with pencil skirts and tight clothes. Nobody has really notice yet. Like Kylie, it will take time for Amanda to become noticed too, or maybe not as much considering how much Garry is talking about her.
“Did you see Kolbe yesterday Drew?” he whispers to me as we sit in homeroom which we both have first period.
“Yeah and why do you call her Kolbe? Her name is Amanda.” I say, trying not to sound defensive. “It’s annoying.”
“Well sorry.” Garry says, shrugging his shoulders. “Habit I guess.”

Yes, it has been his habit for quite a while now. To call people by their last names unless he’s face to face with them is just something Garry likes to do. I’m guessing he got it from his dad, who manages baseball and calls all of the players by their last names. Life is just a huge game to him, not my kind though.
“You wouldn’t like it if people called you Frisker when they were talking about you.” I say, writing down some math notes off of his notebook. Luckily we have the same math support class, one that Garry actually listens in.
Garry’s face turns a bright red. He has always hated his last name. How do I know this? Being a guy’s best friend has its advantages. One of those advantages just so happens to be that you know how to make the person shut up. He hates his name from being made fun of because of it. Think this through, what bad word does Frisker sound a lot like? Yeah, you get it.
“They have before, remember?” Garry says than gulps down a lump in his throat and his slender face turns back to its normal color. “As I was saying, what do you think about Amanda?”
“I think she’s very pretty.” I say, continuing to write so that I will be prepared for class, and because I don’t want to make eye contact with Garry. If I know anything about him, it’s that if you look at him he can practically read your mind! He usually knows when I have a crush on a girl before I do!
“Yeah, gorgeous actually.” He corrects.
“Who’s gorgeous?”
Natasha makes me jump a little.
“Where the hell did you come from?” I ask and she shrugs.

Ignoring my question she asks again, “Who’s gorgeous?”
Garry hugs Natasha, saying a faint hello. They’re close, but aren’t dating either. One time I brought up them trying to be friends with benefits and Natasha spewed her milk all over us from across the table. “We’ve been neighbors since pre-school, Drew. Garry and I are just friends.” She told me. That had to be extremely awkward for her considering I had dated her once, in eighth or seventh grade, somewhere in there.

“Who’s gorgeous?” she prods at me now, asking repeatedly.
“Amanda Kolbe.” Garry answers for me.
“Oh, so you guys like my work?” she smiles at us. “I gave her a total make over during the summer.”
“Really?” I ask, and she nods.
“Yup, now we’re best of friends and boys are going to be crawling near her feet in no time.” Isn’t that the truth, I think but don’t voice.
The bell rings just then. Garry’s hands fumble around his notebook that he stuffs into his binder.
“Thanks for the notes. Mr. Hilling would go ape sh** on me if I showed up today without them. I guess I just got distracted.” I tell Garry. Natasha uh hums to my lie and winks at me.
“Distracted huh?” she asks once Garry is out of ear shot and we are walking to our next class, math support.
“Yup, is that a problem that concerns you?” I ask her. She just shrugs.
“It is if that problem is my best friend.”
“Amanda isn’t a problem.”
“Just a distraction?”
“Yes… wait no.” I say, and this makes her smile at me.
“So you do like her?” Natasha asks. We stop at Mr. Hilling’s door, so that we don’t go in talking about Amanda.
Speaking of which, she is sitting down at the same seat she was yesterday. Her long brown hair flows down her shoulders in large spiral curls, and her white shorts make her tan legs even tanner looking, and her striped black and pink half shirt lays over her black tank top. She’s writing down today’s assignment in her agenda, like everybody is supposed to do before the teacher walks into the classroom.
“No, I don’t like anyone.” I lie. “Not like that.”
“Not like, well, love you mean?”
“Exactly!” I say and she smirks at me. “I like everyone, but I love no one.” I wink.
“Cheers Drew, for you have officially realized that you are a player.” Natasha says as she walks past me to go and take the seat in front of Amanda. It isn’t long before she turns around and they start whispering.

***
“Why are you whispering?” I ask Natasha.
“So that lover-boy over there thinks we are talking about him.” She says with a smile, nodding over to a guy I recognize to be Drew in the doorway. I look over at him, when he sees me his expression changes and he smiles back, heading over.
“Why?” I ask Tasha before Drew is all the way over here with us.
“I want him to feel bad about Kylie.” She tells me.

Kylie. Lord help her, please. She is an attention seeking girl that just wants to be viewed as pretty. I feel bad for her, no, I pity her. Because of Kylie’s actions guys look at her like a piece of meat. Kylie and Natasha have been friends ever since she moved here, and I think Tasha has a need to help the ‘less fortunate’ as she would call it.
“What did Drew do to Kylie?” I ask.
“He danced with her at that stupid party last night and ruined her chances with Caleb.” She says as if I were supposed to know this already.

“Oh poor, Kylie.” I splurge out as sympathetically as I can.

Drew takes a seat next to me after what seems like a million years.
“Hey.” I say, smiling at his droopy eyes. “Did you get any sleep last night?”

***

“Is it that obvious?” I smile. She nods, looking at me with those beautiful brown eyes.
“Just a little.” She says and now it’s my turn to nod.
“So where were you last night, everybody missed you.” I say, smiling wide and large.
“Even Kylie?”

Crap. How does she know about Kylie?!
“Yeah, everyone. It was really fun you should’ve been there.” I smile at her, making her drop the subject of Kylie. Damn, how does she know about that?!

That’s when Mr. Hilling comes into the room and starts lecturing us on who is going to help who in this classroom.
Somehow I’m not surprised when Amanda’s name is matched up with Natasha’s and when mine is matched up with Cody’s, who just so happens to be the dumbest of us all.

Amanda goes straight to work with Natasha, showing her how to do the problems that Mr. Hilling wrote up on the board. Every time and again though, I catch her looking at me. This only makes me stare more.

***

“You have got to stop staring.” Tasha tells me, snapping back into reality I look up at her.
“So now all you have to do is graph the parabola and make a situation that it can stand for in words.” I go on in teaching, but of course Natasha doesn’t let the subject drop.
“Do you like him?” she asks me.
“No.” it’s all a game, Tasha, why don’t you see that?
“Ok. Well, I think it’s almost time to go. I have to drive by science to pick something up, can I just meet you in the lunchroom?” she asks and I nod along to the bell ringing.
Not long after the bell rings Mr. Hilling yells.
“Drew and Amanda, I will see you after school, am I correct?”
“Yes.” We both answer together.
Just as we’re leaving Drew nudges past me through the door, winks at me and says, “See you after school?”
Somehow I go weak, I can barely speak. The most I can make out is a small:

“Yeah, see you after school.”
And he smiles.

The author's comments:
Tell me what you guys think? :)

“You never did tell me where you were last night.” Drew smiles at me as he wipes down a desk with a rag that looks like its a couple seconds away from falling apart. Mr. Hilling has just left us alone to go make more copies of who-knows-what, he probably said something about a meeting too but I wasn’t listening very well. Luckily for us, when he’s gone his “If I catch you talking, you get more time in here.” Rule doesn’t apply.
“I was sleeping, like you should’ve been.” I tell Drew.
“Your loss, the party was fun and worth the bags under my eyes.” He winks at me, and then goes back to cleaning.
I take my own rag and start to clean the white boards. The markings fade slightly, but I have to go over them a second time to make them disappear.
“Did you hear the part where I said that the party was fun?” he asks me again. Did he seriously expect me to reply to that? Do I want to?
“Did you hear the part where I said I was happy to get sleep?” I ask him, sort of irritated.
“Sure you got sleep?” Drew asks me. I can hear his voice surging closer towards me. I can feel him edging closer and closer to me.
I don’t turn around though; just continue to squirt the same spot on the white board over and over, wiping it again each time. Finally, Drew’s chin comes down on my turned shoulder, his hands finding the metal expo holder just below the whiteboard. He frames me with his arms and when I look over his smile is waiting.
“You’re kind of grouchy today.” He whispers.
“How do you know I’m not like this every day? We don’t hang out much.” I tell him which makes him laugh. Drew takes his arms away from both sides of me and his chin off of my shoulder.
“Because, believe it or not, we have connections Ms. Kolbe, if you were a mean person I would know about it by now.” His white smile shines my way. “And we should change that, you know, by hanging out some time.”
“I don’t know about you, but I like partying with people I trust. I have to know people to trust them, and I don’t know the one million people that you usually invite to your parties.” I say, turning back around to find Drew going through one of Mr. Hilling’s drawers.
“Maybe it can be just us two.” He says, but I don’t focus on his words. I focus on his fingers rummaging through Mr. Hilling’s papers! Mr. Hilling the monster’s papers!!!! He is going to eat us alive!!!!
“What are you doing?!” I ask him worriedly.
“Seeing what is up this guy’s butthole, he’s constantly irritated.”
“Irritated is big word for a kid in math support. Oh wait, I forgot. You are the one who is tutoring Cody.” I say, tapping my finger on my chin like I haven’t a clue about his smartness.

***

How does she know that I’m the one tutoring Cody? You know what, scratch that, Cody is the dumbest one in our class. Dumber then I pretend to be even, so it isn’t exactly rocket science to put those pieces together.
“So you figured it out?” I say more then ask her, winding up my old rag that I have been using for the last twenty minutes, and then swinging it at her lightly. Mr. Hilling’s drawer closes as I lean back on it.
“No, I just remembered. You obviously don’t like to do such a thing though.” She says, turning away from me to go back to her white board. Does she know that she has cleaned that same spot more in the last two minutes then that board has been washed in its life?
“What do you mean you remembered?” I ask, sitting on top of Mr. Hilling’s desk. I’m happy that he’s in a meeting right now.
“You mean you don’t remember beating me in the science fair a couple times? Always being the one to get a hundred percent with me in math?” Amanda asks and the memories come flooding back into me.

I remember her name being laced with mine in teacher’s speeches. I remember Mrs. Lansing standing before the class in first grade, holding up our art side by side in comparison, then exclaiming in her large teacher voice: “Look at these little artists! If you all put more effort into your work you’ll get better grades in the future.”
“Yeah, I do now. How is it you remember all these things?” I ask her, and she shrugs.
“I don’t know.” She says and a smile creeps to her lips. She saunters forward, ready to pounce on me with her words. When she seems only a foot away I speak.
“You have to have some sort of reason.” I put my elbows on my knees and lean forward, making our eyes the same height.
“Well, truth is I had a little, teensy, bitty…”
“Crush, on me?” I finish for her. Her laugh comes out gorgeously from those lips. A natural laugh, ha-ha when’s the last time I heard a normal, untouched laugh?
“Yeah, I guess I did.” She smiles at me, and her eyes sparkle. They literally light up with joyfulness and this makes my smile more sincere.
“You don’t anymore, so when we hang out Thursday we will be just friends.” I say, hopping off of Mr. Hilling’s desk.

***

“Thursday?” I ask Drew, because for a second I thought I had dreamed up the whole telling him that I liked him thing.
“Yes, Thursday, two days from now, after school. You, me and some ice cream.” Drew says, and then reaches into my pocket for my phone. “Just in case you try to ditch me,” He says, winking. “I am putting my number in your phone and getting your number.” He then calls his own phone and saves my number under ‘Memory Keeper’.
“What makes you think I will answer you if I do end up ditching after all?” I say and he shrugs.
“I’ll track you down.” He winks at me, once again.
“Why do you always do that?” I ask him. He ALWAYS winks. Even at the weirdest times it’s like his signature to add a ‘wink’ at the end of everything.
“Do what?”
“Wink, do you have something in your eye?!” I say and he laughs.
“I’m not sure,” he steps closer. “Check for me?”
Looking up, Drew allows me to look into his eyes.
“I think you’re good. That only leaves one thing to make you have eye spasms like that.”
“What would that be Ms. Kolbe?” he asks and I laugh.
“You’re insane!” I yell.
He laughs loudly, making it echo off of the walls. It isn’t over done or made to sound a certain way, it’s natural. The last time I heard that laugh was when Jerome yelled back at a substitute teacher in seventh grade and everybody had laughed when Jerome and the teacher left the room. I never thought I would hear that laugh again from Drew. This makes me smile, really happy to remember why I liked this guy for so long. It made me remember how much I USED to like him, and almost made me forget why I decided to stop liking him at all. Almost. That’s another word that is a synonym for “Not completely” as in I will always remember why I hate him now.

***

Amanda’s eyes go cold and dead. They were sparkling just a moment ago and now it’s as if there was no such firework there to begin with. Her smile stays though, but something is wrong.
I choose to ignore it. I choose to put it off to the side, pretend not to notice it.

***

He doesn’t notice it. He doesn’t notice how sad I am over remembering so much and wanting to forget so much in return. All of this makes me want to remember the good, only the good! I can’t though, because the bad ceases to leave my mind.
“So Thursday?” Drew double checks.
“Thursday.” I smile as a conformation of his thoughts. We walk out of the front doors of our schools building and as he waves a goodbye to me, I wave back. I wave back because for once in a long while I want things to be back to how they were.
When Drew knew I existed, was even my friend for a while, and made me feel special for one moment. One perfect moment. But as we all know, special doesn’t last forever, and eventually I’ll have only the air to wave to.

The author's comments:
Tell me what you guys think of the whole 'game' type aspect to my story. Soon you'll find out why Amanda wants to win so badly. I promise, just keep reading ;]

Thursday couldn’t have come quick enough. For once I was so excited to see a girl. Genuinely excited, I should put it. I know this because goose bumps are covering my arms, and it’s probably a hundred degrees outside. That makes them ‘nervous goose bumps’ as my mom would put it. She always told me stories about how she got them when she saw my dad for the first time, “His presence made me anxiously nervous, and he was all the way across the room from me!” She said while tucking me in when I was little. That was when my dad was still around, and when they were happily married to one another.
That makes me think about marrying Amanda, which is a little awkward but brings a smile to my face anyhow.

“Why so quiet?” she nudges me with her elbow. Her binder and a few books seem to over flow in her arms, and a less filled backpack persuades her shoulders to come upright.
I look her over. She’s wearing blue daisy dukes and a white tank top that has a heart design on it, gorgeous as always.
“Just thinking.” I say quietly. Her eyes sparkle when they land on me and her smile widens.
“About what?” she asks, nudging me again.
“Nothing…” I tell her and she giggles a little bit.
“Uh huh, I bet you’re thinking about how you want to dance with Kylie at your next party.” She winks at me and I laugh.
“Why do you keep bringing that up?” I ask her with a smile covering more and more of my face as the conversation continues. “Are you jealous Ms. Kolbe?”

***

Jealous? Yeah right! I feel bad for Kylie!!! I feel like she got taken advantage of by Drew, in a way. The fact that she ruined her own chance with Celeb is her fault completely, I will admit that. But when she was twisting and falling and getting laughed at, Drew should’ve told her to go sit back down.
“No, I actually feel bad for her.” I say and he laughs.
“So does that mean I won’t have to save you a dance for the party tomorrow?” Drew asks and I laugh.
“What makes you think I’ll go?” I ask him, edging a little closer to him on our thin line of sidewalk. Natasha is surprised enough with me being here at all, what would she say if I told her that I wanted to go to the party? What would she say if I told her that I wanted to dance with Drew?!
“Oh, I just assumed buying ice cream for you would be a good enough invitation, but I guess not!” he yells, acting super offended.

His jeans are a dark blue, and match my shorts a little bit. You know, if they were all the way up to his thighs. His black, gray, and white plaid shirt lies over a black undershirt and his Nikes boy high tops match his outfit.
“It is! It is!” I say, jokingly.
“So does that mean you will be dancing with me?” he asks, nudging me like I had nudged him before.
“Possibly.”

“I’ll take that as a yes.” He says, then holds a door open for me to walk in. I do, and then I go sit down at a two person table.
“What do you want?” he asks before even thinking about sitting down.
“I was just going to get chocolate,” I say, setting my binder and books down so that I can reach back into my backpack for the money to pay, “Just let me get my five bucks and…”
I look up to see that Drew is shaking his head no, holding his hands out in refusal.
“I invited you, I’ll pay.” He smiles and when I try to refuse and give him the money he doesn’t take it. “Cut it out, I’m getting it. You can’t stop me; I already know what you want.”
Then he just walked away!

***

I get to the counter after about five minutes of waiting.
“Busy day?” I ask the guy who looks no much older than me on the other side of the counter.
“Yeah, that and I’m getting a bit distracted.” He winks at me. Gay?
“What?” I ask him, looking bugged eyed and taken aback.
“By that girl over there, I mean, damn look at her.” He says, looking over my shoulder. I know exactly who he means, Amanda. MY Amanda!
When I look back my thoughts are confirmed. He is talking about my Amanda.
“I know exactly what you mean.” I say, then hand him the money I took out of my wallet. “One three scoop bowl of chocolate and one three scoop bowl of strawberry mixed with mint chocolate chip.”
“Coming right up.” He says, and then he turned back to me. “You know her right?”
“Yeah?” I ask him.
“Feel like hooking a friend up?” he winks at me again. Is that what I look like when I wink at people, really? No wonder Amanda joked about me being an insane person.
“I do,” I say after I grab our two bowls of icecream, “but you’re not my friend and she’s mine to get.” I say, winking back at him. He laughs and nods in approval as if he would do the same thing.

When I get back to the table Amanda is sitting there, hot as always.
“Hey, thanks and next time it’s on me.” She says then takes her bowl.
“Are you asking me out Amanda?” I ask her and she laughs, covering her eyes in a tingle of embarrassment I’m sure is coming over her.
“No, I mean as friends.” She smiles and then takes a bite of her ice cream.
“Sounds like an amazing plan.” I tell her.
“So tomorrow you’re having a party?”

***

I want to go. It would be my first real party, and with Natasha already mad at me for being here it’s like, what the hell?! Might was well go to Drew’s party as well!
“Yup, as always.” He says with a huge smile that I’m becoming accustomed to.
“So you’re going to save me a dance?” I say, playing around with his emotions, ping ponging with his mind.
Does he remember doing the same thing with me? Setting me up for such a large fall?
“Of course,” he tells me, smiling some more, “one dance all for you.”
“There’s only one problem.” I say, taking another bite of my rich ice cream and then looking back up. “I don’t have a ride.”
“I’m sure I can drive you over there. My brother will probably let me use his car.”
“Really, that would be great!” I exclaim as he smiles some more.
“Yeah.”, he says in conformation of my plans that have recently formulated.
“So you’re going to drive me home tomorrow and we’ll just hang out at your house and get the party together?” I ask him, seeing how many questions he can answer at a time.
“Yes, that’s the idea.”

“Cross your heart?” I test. I want his mind to be reeling the next time I leave him. I want him to be so flustered it hurts to think. I want to win.

***

“Cross my heart.” I tell her, and when she smiles, I do too.

I’m totally winning this game.
***

This game isn’t yours to win this time Drew Jeered, it’s mine.

The author's comments:
Drugs and acohol ARE NOT ok. This chapter isn't saying they are, I promise. I just want to make a realistic high-school party, I am sorry. Hope you guys enjoy it :) Thanks for your views!!!!!!

“Black one or the pink one?” Natasha asks me, holding up two options for me to choose from. Surprisingly, she wants to come to Drew’s party. She’s been deciding what to wear for the last half hour and now she is on scarves.
“I’m not leaving you alone with him.” She told me, “Plus it’s a party and we both need to get out there.”
‘Out there’ being the partying group of people I wouldn’t hang out with unless I completely went crazy. Natasha will be there though, so I guess I will manage to survive and maybe have a little bit of fun too.
“Both.” I tell her now, because her black and pink scarves look good with one another. She smiles, considers my words then sets the black scarf back in her closet.
“I think I’m just going to go with the pink one tonight.”

Tasha is always this way, asking for advice and never taking people’s words in fully. Opinions of a person other than her just go in one ear and out the other, so if the day she actually takes my takes my advice comes, I’ll be surprised. That’s only if she takes my advice though. Ha! Like that will ever happen!!!
“So are you ready yet?” she asks me, waving me off of her bed.
I have been ready!!!! From the moment I walked into the door and hour ago I have been ready. I took a shower, shaved my legs, squeezed into a lacey blue pencil shirt and a black flowing blouse. Then, I waited an hour for NATASHA to get ready, and this is after the fact that I told her that Drew would be there to pick us up in an hour. Now I no longer have time to talk to her about certain issues. Issues such as what she shouldn’t say to Drew in the car.
I love Tasha, I really do. It’s her enormous mouth that I’m not so fond of. Not to mention its unpardonable habit of saying things it shouldn’t. At the moment I feel screwed, because I know she will ask about Kylie while we are driving over to Drew’s.
In his car, with him there, with just us three sitting there, bathing in awkwardness. For now I don’t voice my obvious troubles but instead roll over onto my side from my stomach and swish my legs to the side of the bed. Maybe I should try and talk to her, I think.
“Hey, Tasha…” I start but before I can talk anymore a horn honks loudly, grabbing Natasha’s attention and pulling it from me towards Drew’s silver convertible.
***

I pull up into Natasha’s driveway. The girls come out of the door gracefully, dressed nicely yet casual enough for a party.

Amanda isn’t just graceful though, or pretty. She is beautiful. Her blue lace pencil shirt presses tightly into her legs, but not too tightly and her black blouse allows her curled hair to get enough attention as it flows down a little bit lower than her shoulders. Her shoes are regular black flats that make me smile, remembering her wearing flats at a fifth grade music performance way back when. She isn’t that same little girl she was six years ago, I remind myself. She isn’t the same girl she was ONE year ago! But of course it isn’t Amanda who opens the door and sits on the passenger side, it’s Natasha.
“Hi.” She hisses my way, winking at me as if she knew I was thinking about Amanda.
“Hey,” I say, taking the gear off of park and pressing my foot against the gas petal. “So I was just thinking we could all go to party city. Get some streamers, balloons, paper plates. You know? Actually have an actual party this time.”
I know this may sound strange, but I have had many parties, just no actual parties. Yeah, I get my older brother to buy me cheap beer out of guilt of leaving me with our now deranged mother and I play music, but other than that I don’t decorate! I don’t usually even have fun. Well, fun that doesn’t consist of laughing at drunken girls dance.
“Sounds like a good time.” Amanda says, propping her elbow on the side of her door. Her deep brown eyes drift off into the distance, watching tree’s leaves blur together as we drive by.

One thing I like about Amanda is that while she may be sarcastic, she definitely isn’t doubtful of people as some other girls I know can be. Girls like Natasha for example, always asking questions and whining her little head off. There is a reason I don’t hang out with that lady, and that reason is one of many.
“Why? I mean, your parties are always perfectly fine!” Natasha whines now. Looking into the rearview mirror, I get another glimpse of Amanda. She’s looking at Natasha now with hate filled eyes. She seems as annoyed with Natasha as I am which is strange. When she catches me looking at her she smiles, and then goes back to her day dreaming.
“I want to try something new, something different.” I tell Natasha, who is now ignoring my statement and searching for a radio station to listen to. Meanwhile Amanda is smiling like a fool in the back seat. I watch how the wind whirls through her hair and how her white teeth shine along with her eyes.
She closes her eyes for a moment, taking it all in I’m guessing.
“Watch it!” Natasha screams as a car passes in front of us in a flash of black, making my eyes dart to the stop sign I hadn’t noticed.
“Sh**!” I yell as I screech to a halt. The three of us lurch forward at the stop, causing our heads to bounce back, hitting the seats with a loud thump. We all sit there for a few moments of silence as we gasp for breath.
After about a minute, the silence is broken with Amanda’s laugh. LAUGH! She’s laughing!
“What’s so funny?!” Natasha snaps at her, turning in her seat viciously. Amanda’s smile is wide and doesn’t sink at Natasha’s violent looking eyes.
“You, your funny Tasha.” She laughs again, looking back at Natasha happily.
“I don’t see how I am that funny.” Natasha says in an angry tone. God, this girl is mad at me for that almost car accident.
“I think it was funny that we all took in a big gasp of air and still haven’t let it out.” Amanda tells her with another giggle. “Breathe, Tasha, god.”
Amanda goes back to her day dreaming, and Natasha turns around with an angry vibe to her attitude.
Then we all take a deep breath.
“Ok, ready to continue?” I ask and we all laugh now, even Natasha.
Next thing you know, we are at Party City to get supplies and I am closer to Amanda then the backseat had allowed me to be.

***

“Come on hurry up Drew!” I say, holding the streamer in place. He comes over a second later with the masking tape and sticks it into place.
“Perfect.” He whispers over my shoulder. Turning my head in his direction, I make it so that there’s almost no room between us. If I wanted to I could make my lips meet his that are an inch away.

“Are you two ready to party?!” Tasha yells happily as she walks into the living room. Drew backs away from me. She has pressed play on the huge radio system that is taking up Drew’s living room wall. ‘Whistle’ by Flo Rider is bursting sound through the house. A little inappropriate song choice, Natasha don’t you think? That doesn’t matter though because Drew seems fine and so does she.
“Hell yeah!” Drew says, hopping off of the first of thirteen steps that he had been standing on in order to help me put up the last streamer.
The house is beautiful. Purple and white streamers dip downwards and back up again from the ceilings tilt and curl around the stair’s banister. Balloons cling to the walls and lye in corners of the room and kitchen. A table is filled with tons of snacks, soda, and (this is off the record) beer.
“It looks great.” I smile and step down the few steps that come before my feet can plop back to the ground.
“Yeah.” Drew and Natasha say in agreement. We all take a deep breath and look around at our masterpiece.
Then a knock at the door interrupts us in our short happy moment.
“I’ll get it.” Natasha volunteers. This gives me a spare moment to look at Drew. In that spare moment I see that he has decided to spend his time the same way. He’s looking at himself in the mirror.
Why did I think he is any different than he was in eighth grade? Drew will forever be conceded and rude.

***

While Natasha is at the door I look into the living room mirror that hangs opposite of our stereo and just by the entrance. I look happy, and for the first time in a while I feel happy. It’s never been like this. I usually just let people in, point to the beer, press play, and go sit down somewhere to watch the madness unfold before me. Sometimes I dance and sometimes even laugh louder than anyone else in the room, but now I think it will feel correct for me to do so.
“Now you can get this party started!” Gary yells loudly and lifts up his hands, showing his stash of Corona that he gets from his parents abundance of alcohol.
Gary is like me in a lot of ways, this being one of them. His parents are absent a lot, more mentally then physically most of the time which gives him the advantage of stealing things from the house they don’t miss. My mother is often the same way, but the difference between Gary and me is that he takes it for granted. I don’t steal from my mother, wouldn’t dare look at her jewelry to sell for who knows what like Gary does. I don’t take her Markers Whisky like Gary does from his dad. I don’t give my mom any reason not to trust me other than the parties I usually have. So maybe I am different from Gary in this aspect, but we can definitely relate with the whole parent absentia thing.
“Yeah, man!” I yell, and then give him a guy hug. “You saved us.” I say, taking the beer and setting one case on the table and taking another to go put into the kitchen (just in case we run out and need extras, but we don’t need beer thieves). Amanda, Natasha, and some other girls that were trailing behind Gary stay in the living room. He decides to follow me into the kitchen.

“So how did you get Amanda to be here?” he asks in a shocked whisper.
I set the beer in the fridge, pushing aside some of mom’s asparagus. She’s always on those weird diets, eating all kinds of gross vegetables and fruits twenty-four seven. Why? Who knows, she is one of the skinniest women I know but she refuses to be unhealthy.
“What do you mean?” I ask him, not understanding why she wouldn’t come.
“Well, I should say how did you convince Natasha to let her come?” Gary pokes at me with this question.
“Amanda has her own mind, Gary. Natasha doesn’t own her.”
“Well she sure took full credit for re-making her when I talked with her on the phone the other day.” Gary says, picking up and apple and taking a bite out of it.
“Well she can go wherever she wants, she doesn’t belong to anyone. Especially not Natasha.” I tell him, smiling at his ignorance to Amanda’s brilliance. She has her own mind, that’s a fact.
“So who does she belong to Mr. Jeered?” Gary says, challenging me to say my own name, add it to my last.
“No one.” I stare at him then leave the kitchen to go turn up the music and pop open a beer for myself. It’s time to have fun.

***

It’s dark now. People are all over the place, hustling to get to what’s left of the food or to the other person they want to dance with. I’m happy though, just sitting on the couch by Gary and some girl named Hilary that I happened to meet while Gary and Drew were in the kitchen. I’m on my third cup and I’m not planning to stop right now.
“So where have you been in this partying scene?” Hilary asks me, laughing as she lies down on my lap. She’s pretty drunk, all giggly and bubbly. I think she may be high too, considering her eyes being a little glazed over. I laugh at how she just lays there, like we have known each other forever and it’s perfectly fine that she’s laying on me.
“I’ve been studying, but I guess I got tired of that so I joined you guys.” I giggle as she pokes my face in examination. I take another sip. I wonder for a second about where Natasha could be, but just decide that she’s probably dancing and I can’t see her.
“Why DID you join us?” Gary questions. He’s not too far from me, maybe a half of a foot. It seems uncomfortably too close though. I laugh at my stupid thought because I can’t feel uncomfortable with him who’s so far away from me, and be fine with a perfect stranger putting her head on my lap.
“Just got bored I guess.”
“Bored…” Hilary hums, continuing to poke my face. “Well I like you Amanda.” She tells me, and stops poking my face long enough to look at me was she says this, “You are one cool chick!” she says, but slurs chick so that it sounds more like slick.
“Chick?” Gary asks her, laughing a joyful laugh that makes me more comfortable around him then I was before. “Now I know you’re high!” he laughs some more, and I do too. Suddenly, the three of us are just bursting out laughing, at nothing other than the simple word “chick”.

Finally there’s silence as the music stops in the changing of songs. As it starts up again, a smile spreads on Hilary’s face.
“I LOVE THIS SONG!” Hilary screams in joy, sitting up to face me, “LET’S GO DANCE!” she says and I just shake my head no, but she doesn’t take my words as an option.
“Just give me a second I, I need to get my story straight!” she starts singing along to the much overplayed song, “We are Young.”, and then grabs my hands, pulling me up to my feet. Gary raises his glass bottle up to me in a salute, as if to tell me good luck.

“MY FRIENDS ARE IN THE BATHROOM GETTING HIGHER THEN THE EMPIRE STATE!” she sings some more and soon enough we are dancing and every single person is singing along too. We are laughing and having a great time. A great time. Yes, I did call it that, a great time.
Soon that “great time” is over though.

***

“Everybody’s almost gone. When is Hilary going to get out of there?” I ask Amanda, knocking on the bathroom door. Natasha is beside me, rubbing her head in confusion.
“Amanda, are you in there?” she parrots after Gary asks the same question.
“Yes! I’m in here you guys.” Amanda screams on the other side of the door. I can’t tell whether she screamed from irritation or fear of not being heard, but I just guess that it’s both. “She’s really not feeling good.”
“Well tell her to finish up,” I whisper through the door after a second of puking noises. “Then I can give her some Aleve, you know something to help the hangover headache.” I say and then leave the bathroom door alone, making Natasha and Gary follow behind me towards the kitchen.

“Since when does Amanda hang out with Hilary?” Natasha asks Gary, as she goes to sit down on a stool.
“Ever since you ditched her for who knows what.” Gary says while he lays his arms over one another then uses them as a pillow. “What time is it?” he whines.
“Two o’clock in the morning.” Natasha says after a quick check of her watch.
“Damn, we need to start picking up. My mom is going to be here Sunday.” I say, and then start to frantically pick up plastic cups. Uhhhhh this is going to be a long cleaning process.

***

“I’m so sorry that I’m making you hold my hair back.” Hilary huffs with her head in the toilet. Her dirty blonde hair is in my left hand and I’m rubbing her back with my right.
“It’s ok, I don’t mind.” I lie, because I know that if I were to look into that still un-flushed toilet I’d probably puke alongside her.
“I owe you one.” She tells me as she wipes the back of her hand over her lips. Her fingers wrap around the handle and at her pull the yellowish liquid twirls down the drain.
“I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well.”
“Nah, it is fine. Every party ends this way for me.” She laughs, but I have a feeling it’s not that funny to her.
“Well…” I start, but I don’t know how to respond to that. Should I tell her that it shouldn’t be that way? Should I beg her to get her life on track and get it together? “I think everybody’s waiting for us. Drew can probably give you a ride home.”
Why didn’t I ask her to get it together? Why did I just change the subject? Why can’t I face anything, including Drew?! If I could it would be so much easier for me, to just look Drew in the eyes and ask him what I’ve been waiting to for so long. I can’t do that do, something stops me. That same something made me stop now and not tell Hilary what she desperately needed to hear.

“Oh…” Hilary barely whispers. It is as if she is disappointed that I didn’t slap her and scream “GET IT TOGETHER WOMEN!” Her gorgeous blue eyes dart away from mine as she clears her throat then says in her usual strong confident voice, “Ok.”

***

“Brandon! Get up!” I yell as I flip a blanket that he’s lying on. He grunts angrily and stumbles to the floor. When he slowly sits up I can’t help but try to hold back my laughter.
“What time is it, Drew?” he asks me as he scratches his head in contemplation. He’s probably trying to remember what he did last night. Little does he know of the black lace bra that he’s wearing at the moment, and that once Gary sees it he’s never going to let Brandon forget about it.
“Dude, take that thing off before Gary sees it, you’ll never live it down and it’s seven in the morning.” I tell him, and then continue to pick some stuff up. Brandon looks down, startled at the bra he realizes has appeared there. Amanda and Hilary walk into the room before he takes it off though.
Hilary’s laugh echoes off the wall and Amanda just smiles at him.
“I have the same one.” She winks at him, making Brandon’s cheeks turn a bright pink. I laugh harder than I was laughing before.
Brandon shuffles to get it off and when he can’t Amanda helps him.
“Your mom never taught you how to put your bra on sweetie?” Hilary asks him, all wide eyes.
“Shush, Hilary. He was just drunk.” Amanda says, and then flings the bra across the room. She yawns, covering her mouth with her hand. Amanda then goes and lies down on the couch.
“Whatever, I think it is just stupidity.” Hilary says.


But Amanda doesn’t answer, she’s asleep.
“Someone’s out.” Brandon says before he exits the front door. Hilary fades away too. That just leaves me with an asleep Amanda.
Her breath comes out in deep sighs, and her face seems so calm. Brown loose shredded curls lay around her tired eyes. I walk over to her, and brush the hair from her unknown terrible vision. My fingers trace the side of her face. When she sighs I cover her with a blanket.
I’m tired too, and decide to lie down next to her. When I do her eyes open.

***

“Tired?” I ask him as he snuggles up next to me. One second I’m asleep, the second I wake up Drew is lying by me!
“Yep.”
“Me too, so I hope you don’t snore.” I say, and then I close my eyes. I’m not sure how, but it’s extremely easy to fall asleep next to Drew Jeered.
For a second I consider my poker face cracking, but I push that thought to the side. This is all part of the game.

***

Amanda drifts back off to sleep, her beautiful brown eyes hidden by her soft eyelids.
“Goodnight.” I whisper and then I fall asleep too.

Maybe I don’t want Amanda to be part of just any old game, is my last thought before I go to sleep.

***
I’m winning.

The author's comments:
Enjoy, keep reading! In the next chapter you get to find out why Amanda "hates" Drew.

I wake up to Amanda’s head lying on my chest. Her silky brown hair tickles my neck, making a smile come to my face.
She’s one of those beautiful sleepers that you barely see in life. One of the few people who look so at peace with their lives and look so happy with the dream they’re having. Her eyelids are still, her smile small but true, and her heart beats steadily.
Should I wake her up, or get up and leave her to sleep peacefully alone?
I shake that thought off, because if I get up I would wake her up anyways. I would nudge her hands that are set on me, one on my chest and another lying underneath my back. How did we even get to this point of sleeping? It might just be my terrible memory (which I hope you’ve realized I have) that has caused me to forget when Amanda wrapped herself around me then went to sleep. No, that can’t be. That’s something I would never forget, right?
***

What time is it? I ask myself as my eyes peak open, but close just as quickly. Sleep has been so nice to me, and I don’t want to stop sleeping now, because I feel so comfortable. My body is warm, from some sort of blanket I suppose. My heart is slowly pounding which is something new for me, and I can feel myself smile.

I sigh, because now I can’t go back to the deep sleep I was having. All I can do now is close my eyes. My mind isn’t allowing me silence.
“Amanda?” a sweet whisper comes from somewhere above my head. I want to keep my eyes closed though. I just want to fall back asleep, back into warmth.
I’m not sure if I want to play this game and hurt Drew like he hurt me once upon a time.

***

“Yes?” she whispers up to me, finally opening her eyes to look up into mine.
“You awake?” I ask her quietly.
“No I’m sleep talking.” She says, laughing.
“No need for sarcasm.” I tell her, and then get up. I stretch, raising my arms above my head and flexing my fingertips so that an electric shock of energy goes through me. Something is missing. Music! That’s what I need to fully wake myself up. I walk over to the radio system on the wall and turn it on.
“Let Me Love You” By Mario filters through the speakers.
{This is where you go to YouTube and look up the song then play it while reading}

“Care to dance?” I ask Amanda, holding out a hand. “You didn’t seem to want to last night.”
She slumps up and stands. Taking a hand to pull a knot out of her hair, she sighs. “I never did dance with you did I?”

***
“Nope.” He tells me. Sadly, I feel guilty. I DID promise him a dance after all. It’s just the song that is playing that I’m not so sure of. I mean, listen to it. It’s probably the mushiest love song of them all.
“Fine.” I say and drape hands around his neck. “let’s dance.”
His hands go to the small of my back and he pulls me close. We sway to the music and just dance, without words. I put my head on his chest and his cheek lies on my head. I listen to the soft thump of his heartbeat.
I can’t do this.
I can’t hurt him.
I can’t play this game.
I don’t have a chance of winning. Even if I did, would I want to?

Drew sighs as his hands pull me even closer. We turn as the swaying continues and my eyes land on an asleep Hilary.
She has found a Lazy Boy chair and is now resting herself. I’m going to tell Hilary to get it together eventually, if we become good enough friends that is. Sometimes I wonder how some people do it, pretend to be so happy. Am I pretending to be happy with Drew right now? No, I can’t be. Smiles don’t lie and the smile that I hold now tells me everything. “You like him,” it whispers joyfully into my ear, “you really like him. He likes you back! Why not be happy?!”

The song is fading away but just before it is finally over Gary and Natasha walk in.
“Woe there!” Gary yells and Natasha gasps, looking at me in disapproval. She will never let this go. She will never let me fall for him, or even pretend to in this case. The music stops, Drew is still holding my waist but now my hands are at his shoulders instead of his neck.

That’s when it starts. The song I will never forget, but desperately want to. “I Choose You” comes on. Dammit Mario!
I let go of Drew and face Natasha. Biting my lip, holding back tears I ask her “Ready to go?”

“No.” her eyes cut into me, but they grow softer after a moment, “Gary is going to give me a ride home later. I thought you’d want to say.”
“I actually have homework to do.” I lie to Tasha, Gary, and Drew, who I can’t even look at right now. We all have the same classes so they can easily see I’m trying to get out of this situation.
“Want a ride home?” Drew asks.
The music still plays.

“No thanks.”

It continues.

“I think I’m just going to walk.” I tell them all, and then pick up my purse that I carried here.
“See you.” Natasha says as coldly as stone. Gary waves a warm goodbye and Drew nods in my direction.

I walk out the door, into the freezing Nevada morning air.
And the music still continues in my head, along with the memory.

The author's comments:
Please tell me what you think! :)

I stumble into my house, ignore my mother who asks how the party was, and head straight towards my bedroom. When I finally reach it I throw myself on the bed. My veins throb slightly faster from my quickening heart.
The last time I thought about this I forced myself to close up and forget as much as I could. That was back in our freshman year though so now when the memory comes to me for the millionth time it hits me like the first.

It was seventh grade when he first talked to me in an actual conversation.
“Hey, do you understand any of this?” Drew nudged me. I could barely see him considering the lights were off so that the students could all see the projection on the board better.
“Yeah you did it correctly you just need to subtract x sub one by x under y sub one minus y.” I explained the algebra to him. You know, the whole finding the slope of a line thing that is so very difficult?
“Oh yeah, I get it. Then you have to divide the outcome?”
“Yep.” I told him and his smile shined with the glow of the yellowish white light beaming from the front of the room.
“Thanks Amanda.” He whispered. His smile turned lope sided and he went back to his work.
I didn’t even know that he knew my name. Yeah, we were always put in the same sentences by the teachers, “Look how amazing Drew and Amanda have done.” Or “Look at Drew and Amanda’s work.” Yet I never thought he would remember my name.
Butterflies flared in my stomach, my cheeks turned a bright red, and my fingers sputtered making my pencil drop. The bright yellow stick flew from my hand onto Drew’s workbook.
“I think you might need this.” He whispered while he handed it to me.
“Yeah, I think so too.”
That’s all how it started.
With those few words I had become hooked. I had developed a crush on the one and only Drew Jeered.

***

Natasha didn’t stay long after Amanda went home. She had lied about “hanging out” with me and Gary. Wait, no, I worded that incorrectly. She lied about hanging out with me because she took Gary home with her. To do what, who knows? I certainly don’t.
I wish Amanda were still here. I wish I could talk to her. I should’ve convinced her to stay.

***

My hands clench into fists. This is where the memory gets hard for me to handle.

We became friends, Drew and I. I started to hang out with him more than I thought I ever would. We’d spend weekends just talking on the phone or walking around his block talking about whatever popped into our heads. Before I knew it we were in eighth grade. Drew and I still hung out, but not as much as we had in our seventh year of school.
One day he called me, asking me to meet him at “the corner” which was the halfway point between our houses. It was the time of year where spring is slowly morphing into summer. The air was warm, the flowers had already bloomed (the lilacs that covered my neighbors fences were and have always been my favorite), and the sidewalk was hot under my bare feet. I met him at the corner.
“Hey.” Drew smiled at me when I walked up to him. He took a quick look at my feet and laughed. “Where are your shoes?!”
“At home.” I explained to him.
“Why?” he asked while we had started to walk.
“It seemed warm enough.” I told him.
“You are so weird.”
“I prefer strange. Did you ask me to meet you at the corner just to comment on my lack of shoes or do you actually have something important to tell me?” I was honestly a bit annoyed. At the time all I could focus on was how much I had liked Drew, and how he hadn’t talked to me in a full week. We had been inseparable for a year after all. I ducked my head under a branch and continued to stride forward.
“Yes, I do in fact.” He said and we ambled further. “I think I like someone.”
My eyes bulged and his smile widened.
“Who?!” I poked at him with questions and a shaky finger. Was it me?! Was that the reason he hadn’t talked to me in a week, because he had the same feelings for each other finally?
All of these questions surged through my mind and we strolled faster.
“Well she has dark gorgeous hair, and these eyes. Oh my god you would not believe her eyes Amanda!” he yelled with joy and I laughed. I have dark hair, I thought. Some people have told me that I have pretty eyes, I pondered some more. Was this really happening?
“Who is she?!” I asked and he laughed.
“You’ll see at the party.” He told me, and then I stumbled from a sharp sensation stabbing into the front pad of my left foot.
“Crap!” I screamed and he laughed at me.
“I told you that shoes are important.” Drew joked.
“This isn’t funny, Drew.” I yelled. “It really hurts.”
“You’re bleeding.” He pointed to my foot and I lifted it. He was right. I was bleeding from glass I had stepped on. “Come here, I can carry you back to my house and we can patch that up.”



It’s late now and I’m trying not to end my memory. I’m trying to stop it dead before you will ever find out why this all started. Because I just got out of the shower I decide to put lotion onto my legs. I rub it in and move farther down until I get to my foot, and then I look at the bottom of it. Five small patches of puffy skin remind me of it all over again.
Drew placed me on his counter as he patched up my foot.
“So who is she?” I asked him again. Hope fluttered within me. I really thought it was me and I was feeling all bubbly inside. I felt happy. I was so sure.
“Youuuuuuu’llllll seeeeeee.” He teased.
“Ooooook.” I replied.

My hope disappeared that night. At Drew’s party everything changed. He changed. I changed. And maybe it wasn’t for the better.

***

Hilary lies still asleep on my mother’s Lazy Boy. Her blonde hair sticks to her face in an unattractive way. Her shoulders slump down as if she were angry. A frown is stuck to her in a way I have never seen before, like it is so used to being there when people aren’t looking.
I think of Amanda who is always so perfectly imperfect. I want her back on my chest, sighing that weird breathy breath that she did earlier. Now I can only lie down and watch Hilary who I am afraid to wake up. If I do what will I tell her? Hey, Hill, I’m sorry for letting you sleep all day while I cleaned, but I didn’t feel like telling you that you had to go back to your terrible home life. Sorry!
No. I can’t do that. I guess that for now I will just have to let her sleep, and drift off into a bottomless sleep.

***

I lay in bed, clenching my fists.

The night had gone on. The party had started and I sauntered around aimlessly. Gary was new to the school then, and took a quiet refuge on the couch in the very corner of the room. My throat was dry. I hadn’t spoken to Drew since he reminded me how stupid I had been for not wearing shoes.
A shushing noise sounded every time I’d move my left foot that had a gauzy material wrapped around it. I picked my foot up higher than the other so that it would be quieter but that just made me look like I was imitating a galloping horse. Voices came from the kitchen and when they sounded familiar, I listened.
I know what you’re thinking; this is the part where she hears people talking about her.
No, this wasn’t the case at the time. I WISH they were talking about me, actually.
“Hey Drew.” A hallow sort of squeaky voice said. “Are you going to finally ask out Irene tonight?”
Irene. It was Irene Hernandez. The beautiful, intelligent, and respectful Irene Hernandez herself. Not her!!!!!!!!! HER! Not me!!!!!
My heart leaped up out of my throat. My arms began to shake. My heart raced and tears came to my eyes, but I quickly padded then away with a sweep of the hand under my glasses.
“He didn’t talk to you in a week because he was hooking up with Irene!” I thought to myself.
Then I heard feet shuffle, warning me to get out of there, head for the front door before I had a chance to let a tear fall.
I couldn’t reach it quickly enough, because when I turned around for a final glance I witnessed Drew’s hands wrap around Irene’s waist protectively. I wished it was my waist. Her hands positioned themselves around his neck. Those were supposed to me my hands. His lips whispered into her dark chocolate brown hair, and her blue eyes shined. That was supposed to be me.
The doorknobs metal felt cold as I twisted it, and when I walked out “I Choose You” by Mario leaked through the windows. He chose her. Not me.
Drew never talked to me again. He forgot all about me, and as he forgot, my remembrance fueled my anger and wanting to get him back.
I just wanted to be remembered, and chosen by Drew.

That’s how I got to the background. Drew dated all of my friends, every last one. He never talked to me. He didn’t even look at me. I hated him with all of my heart. So why is it that when I was dancing with him today my heart slowed and a smile came to my face? How come when I look at those puffy scares on my foot happy tears threaten to let loose? Why is it that I still like him so much after he completely forgot about me?

The author's comments:
Here you guys go! I haven't written in a long while! Enjoy because this story is going to end very soon.

Sun peaks through my bedroom’s blinds. My hands search for my sleepy eyes in hope to rid them of slumber. My fingers, after finding my eyes, stretch above my head taking my arms with them.
I haven’t seen her in four days, making it Wednesday. For some reason I think she’s avoiding me. Why is Amanda putting me through this? I have asked myself more than once. It’s like she won’t even look at me. In math support she dodges my eyes like they send venom through her veins. I don’t even know why she dislikes me so. Yes, she did tell me that from the beginning, but I thought we were cool now. No, I thought we were more than cool even. I thought she might’ve been falling for me like I was for her. Like I still am!
I slip on a navy blue dress shirt over my black undershirt, some pants, and spray on some Axe that my mom bought me yesterday. Today is the day I will talk to her, I think. I will tell her about my growing feelings for her. My backpack lifts easily with the up of my hand as I walk out of my room.
“Are you going to eat anything?” a sweet wispy voice comes from the end of the hall.
“I was thinking of eating at school. That whole Breakfast Buffet thing is happening all this month.” I lie to my mom like it’s the most normal thing in the world.
“Are you sure?” she asks again, stepping forward into the pale light coming from our hallway’s huge window. Her curls are frayed at the tips and she’s wearing makeup for the first time in a couple years. She is trying so hard. She wants to apologize for scaring our dad away with her disorders, I whisper to myself inside my head.
My mom continues to advance forward. When she does I notice the bags under her eyes. Was she washing her hands all night, or counting from her OCD? Maybe she was overthinking my dad’s abandonment or mumbling to herself for hours. I will never know. That’s what I hate about this disease that has over taken her. She used to be so calm. Now I can hear her counting when she becomes nervous. Now I watch as she bites her fingernails to the stub while she is anxious.
“You have to eat something honey.” She almost begs once she reaches me. Her outstretched hands start to button up my shirt. “One, two, three,” she orates as she buttons upward.
“Mom.” I whisper and grab her hands. “Did you take your pills?” When she shakes her head no I grab her hands tightly yet lovingly and pull her to the kitchen. Then I place two small baby blue pills within her palm.
“Please.” I say before I close the door behind me. I don’t bother to check if she took them though, because I know she didn’t.
She never does.
I don’t know if she ever will either.
***

I sit in my homeroom class, tapping my pencil on the hard wooden desk. Little did I know that Hilary had this same class, but on Monday I had of course found out by her screeching in joy and saying: “I didn’t know you were in here!”
Speaking of Hilary, she’s walking in the door right now. I tuck the pencil away in my binder. From the first day of sitting by her I learned that she doesn’t enjoy tapping noises. If I keep my pencil out I will be tempted to tap all of my thoughts of Drew away. Who I have been avoiding since Monday morning and today’s Wednesday so as you can see I’m still having a little trouble.
“Hey.” She says as she takes a seat by me.
“Hi.” I reply.
“Cut it out!” she quietly yells.
“What?!” I yell back. She smacks my fingers that were tapping with her pen.
“Sorry, I didn’t notice.”
“Something’s up with you, you seem so distracted.” She whispers and I smile. Hilary is smarter then she makes people assume.
“It’s nothing.”

If nothing means Drew, then I wouldn’t be lying to Hilary right now.
“Ok, sure.”

***

I am silent. I don’t want to speak to anyone, especially Gary and Natasha. They are both extremely lovey-dovey with each other right about now. I’m not sure I have seen Gary so head over heels (or in his case head over vans) for a girl like this. Little did I know that he had liked Natasha this much all this time, all this time that I have wasted falling for a girl who will never like me back.
I can’t make my eyes leave Gary’s hand as it circles around the small of her back. I imagine my hand stroking Amanda in such a way, and that just makes my heart want to cry more. Gary’s eyes hold so much love for a girl he’s known for almost all his life. If I remembered knowing Amanda, would I love her as much as Gary loves Natasha? Would she love me?
Ha! The word love makes me want to puke right about now. “You don’t love her…” my brain whispers to me in an angry tone as if I shouldn’t have to be told that.
While my angry brain yells “STOP THINKING ABOUT HER YOU STUPID PERSON!” something deep inside me is persuading me to talk to her in Algebra Support. Gary is the third voice that is calling me out of my day dream, or rather nightmare.
“Drew. Drew? Drew!” he says and I finally snap out of it.
“Yes?” I ask him, my voice coming out very hoarse and scary sounding. I cough the scary voice away and as I do Gary scrunches his eyebrows up in confusion.
“What’s up with you?” Gary whispers, probably so Natasha (who is talking to a couple other girls a few feet away now) doesn’t hear. Since when does he care what she thinks about ME? Is it the whole association thing? Like if she knows Gary is friends with me he won’t be good enough for her?
“What’s up with me? What’s up with me?!” I say a little louder. Photos of my mom flash before my eyes, why didn’t I check and see if she took her meds? An image of Hilary plays through my mind, why didn’t I take her beer cup away? Why didn’t I tell her to stop? Lastly I see Amanda. I watch the way her hair swoops bellow her shoulders and how her smile shines, that is until her eyes land on me. She looks upset, but I don’t know why. What did I do wrong with her? What could I have fixed? Do I still have a chance to fix whatever it may be?
All of these questions bombard my mind and I can barely speak, because if I do I am bound to say one of these things aloud and embarrass myself further. Gary is already staring up at me since I had decided to stand up for some unknown reason. His face is crushed up in a mix of confusion and possible anger.
“What’s up with you man?” he says. Everyone is staring. Everyone is watching. Everyone is watching me make a fool out of myself.
“You’re what’s up with me. You are dating a stuck up, air headed, conceded b****! It’s only a matter of time before you become completely brainwashed by her crap Gar!” I yell and everyone listens. Natasha’s eyes shine with crystal-like tears. Why am I saying this? I know exactly why now.
I can’t fix anything. I can’t fix Hilary, or Amanda, and I sure as h*** can’t fix my mother who is probably so out of her mind by drugs (medical drugs of course) or head deep in obsessive compulsive disorder. She’s drowning in it actually, just like Hilary is drowning in beer and drugs and Amanda is drowning in hate. Hate that’s aimed towards me like a loaded gun ready to blow. My mouth keeps running and spewing these hateful words because I want to ruin everything if I’m not able to fix anything.
“Can’t you see what you’re doing Gary! You’re sacrificing everything you have ever worked for! She is going to suck every ounce of inspiration out of you! She will never be anything worth trying! You’re wasting your…”

And then she slaps me, a warm slap straight across the face, leaving a red mark for sure. When I turn back to the source of the slap, I half expect Amanda to be standing there, but its Natasha. Her face is red as a tomato and tears streak down her face.
“Please. Just leave me and Gary alone.” She says and at her words I turn and head for the door.

***

I tap my fingers on my locker. Ms. Fairland let my homeroom class out ten minutes early because she was in such a great mood, and now I don’t know what to do with myself. In fact, lately I’ve liked to stay busy on anything other than thinking about Drew. Now it seems to be the anything I can do. I open up my locker and look into the mirror. My finger follows a loose curl that ends at my shoulders. When is the last time I wore a pony tail?
Eighth grade, I remind myself of the answer and immediately relive the first year of middle school. I remember how happy Drew made me. I put my hair up into a ponytail.

***

My feet trail along the hallway aimlessly. I don’t want to go to math support. I don’t want to see her and be reminded of the hate she has toward me. Why can’t I remember why she hates me? I raise my fingers to my face and feel the red hot mark from where Natasha hit me. Why am I this incredibly insane and memory-handicapped?
I keep walking until I see her. All of my confusion lifts away, and I forget about what I had thought before. Amanda, you are exactly who I need to see right now.


***

“Amanda?!” I hear a familiar voice yell and I turn around to see him.
***

She turns around slowly. Her loosely curled hair flows in a pony-tail and when her eyes land on me, her smile doesn’t disappear like I thought it would. Her brown eyes shine and so does her stable smile and all I can think is, “I think I like her, I really really really think I do.”
Her gorgeous body fits perfectly into the yellow sundress she’s wearing right now, the top half being a shirt like material and the bottom half fanning out with the curve of her hips. It’s not too tight, but just tight enough to make me smile like a foolish child. Once we are feet apart she smiles wider I watch her lips as she speaks.

“Hi stranger.” She says in a breathy whisper.
“Hey.” I say and suddenly her smile dips downwards. The soft pads of her fingers touch my cheek and the flesh burns. I bring my hand up to hers in a reaction and cover it.
“What happened to you?” she asks.

***

“I had to fight this huge bear and I think I might’ve gotten hurt along the way.” Drew winks at me. His hand is warm over mine and a smile crosses his face.
“Hum, well I hope you’ll be ok.” I follow his joke and he laughs, and then pulls his hand off of mine. I put mine back down by my side. “Want to go to Algebra support with me super early?” I ask him and he laughs.
“Nah, I think I’m just going to ditch today. Not in the mood, you know, fighting them bears really took the energy out of me.” He tells me with a huge sarcastic grin, but I can see there’s some sadness behind all of his fake smiles and sarcasm.
“Oh, so now it’s bears as in plural?” I ask him and laugh.
“Yeah, I didn’t mention that before?”
“No.”
“I’m pretty sure I did.” Drew nods and smiles a goofy smile.
“Want to go for a walk?” I ask Drew. He looks into my eyes and I swear he knows that he has something he needs to remember. Why, Drew, can’t you remember?

***

We are walking around my block at the moment. Amanda is all smiles and joy.
“Do you remember how we met?” I ask Amanda, and at her shocked look I can see that she didn’t see that coming. Her eyes shine bright.
“Yeah.” She smiles. “You asked me how to figure out the slope to an equation. Something like that.”
I remember it now, with that slight reminder. I had wanted to talk to her so badly. She was always the goody two shoes to teachers and I wanted to see how she really was.
“I remember.” I say and laugh. “And your pencil hit my book.”
She looks at me with amber cheeks, and laughs.
“Yeah, I think I was trying to forget that part.” Her right hand goes behind her neck. She looks at me and smiles wide, and I look back at her. She tumbles a bit and I catch her fall.
“Never had good luck with this sidewalk, huh?” I say and Amanda laughs loudly.
“So you do remember that day?”
It is all coming back to me, the memories that my mother had caused to leave so long ago.
“Your foot was bleeding soooo much!” I yell because up to that point I can remember everything clearly. Our corner, the stitches on her foot, and the way she would be so stubborn. Nothing else though, just that.
“Yeah, I remember that.”

***

I always have, but he is just starting to. And that is perfectly ok with me.

The author's comments:
Hope you guys enjoy! Anybody happy they finally kissed?

Once I caught her fall, I never let her hand go. Her fingers haven’t asked to be released yet either.
“What made you forget?” she asks, her thumb rubbing the side of my hand ever so tenderly. Her pony tail sways with the steps in her red, open toed high-heals. Her smile is happy and for a long moment she holds her breath, as if my answer decides the moment of her death.

***

I want to know. I want to know why he forgot about me for such a long time. The tension is slowly killing me, a swift stab of the knife to my heart. This game we have been playing isn’t sincere, I know that, but this moment right here is probably the truest moment of my entire life.
I want to know why he forgot about me, and why it was so easy for him to do so.

***

For a second I question whether or not I should tell her about my mom’s OCD and how worry for her overpowered my memories to the point of making them nonexistent. I consider lying, but what good would that do at a time like this?
“My mom was really sick. She was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder the summer before seventh grade. That doesn’t just mean she had it then though. She’s had it ever since I could remember, but that year in particular was the worst of it all.” I say and a bulge clumps up in my throat, making my eyes get very watery.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know…”
“No.” I stop Amanda before she can tell me that I don’t have to talk about it if I don’t want to. I want to get this out of my system; I need to talk about it. “I have to tell you why I forgot about you. You deserve to know, don’t you think?”

***
I’m not sure I want to anymore. I never knew it was his mom. Yes, I had heard rumors. “Did you hear about Drew’s mom…?” and “She went crazy because of his crashing grades!” Drew continues though, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have a choice in whether or not I want to hear it.
“She had been battling with it for a very long time, but she had always been so calm before, you know?” I don’t know, but I shake my head yes and that makes him smile. “You should’ve known her Amanda! She was the most gorgeous women, inside and out. When she couldn’t help but to count and she had to have everything perfect, my dad lost it. He couldn’t be her kind of perfect.” He coughs to clear his throat, and stops.
I stop with him and he looks at me with those big brown puppy dog eyes. They look so sad, and my heart wants to cry oceans because of how miserable they are. How miserable he is right now. With a blink of his eyelids a tear falls and he looks away from me. I have never seen him so vulnerable and weak looking, and that makes me feel all the worse.
“I hated her for so long because she chased my dad away Amanda.”

***
“I hated her for being sick.” I say. Amanda plunges into me, hugging me by the waist. I put my cheek on top of her head and just let the tears fall.
“I don’t think she knows.” I whisper.
“Knows what?” Amanda whispers back up at me.
“That I love her so much.”
“She knows, Drew. I promise you she does.” Her arms squeeze around my waist. We stay like that for a long while, hugging one another and just breathing each other in.
A car honks and Amanda lets me go. An angry man waves his hand at us, motioning us to get out of his driveway.
“Come on.” Amanda says, smiling and grabbing my hand. “I have the perfect place for us to go.”
She takes off her high heels and throws them behind a bush as we remain walking.
“Haven’t you learned that you should wear shoes around here?”
“Yes, but those were torture devices, not shoes. I would rather have glass in my foot then those things!” she jokes and I laugh. “I can always get them later. This is my house anyways.”
I look over to it. A huge wooden door and white trim on a brown, ordinary two-story house. “It’s nothing like you though.” I whisper and she laughs.
“What am I exactly Drew Jeered?” she smiles at me and as the sun bounces off of her hair I come up with a million adjectives. Gorgeous, I want to tell her, and interesting and smart and funny and well, just Her.
The only thing that comes out though is: “Funny. You’re really funny.”
“Aw, how heart felt.” She laughs and grabs my hand.
Then she starts to run along the sidewalk, pulling me along with her while she laughs her absolutely beautiful laugh. Once we stop we are at a park and Amanda’s under-feet must be black from the tar of the streets.
“Come swing with me.” She says as she treads on the soft sand of the playground. Hopping on a swing she smiles at me.
“Need a push?” I ask, following her small footprints that she left behind.
“Yes please.” She whispers. I grab her waist and push her forward. She swings high up and laughs. “Higher!”

***

He pushes me higher with each drop and the wind gushes past me
“I’m going to jump.” I say with a smile, and he asks me not to.
“Amanda…” he begs but I am going to.
My fingers uncurl from the metal links and my feet fly in front of me. I land with a thump and start to laugh uncontrollably, because my dress came up showing my denim shorts and I look crazy with my hair being a wreck also. Drew comes over, running to see if I am ok.
“Amanda, I told you not to…” but when he sees that I’m laughing, holding my mouth with a happily shaking hand he stops and smiles an incredibly sexy smile.
“It’s not funny, you were swinging very high and you could’ve gotten really hurt.” He says in a serious voice, but at my giggles he can’t help but laugh too.
I grab at his foot and he tumbles over, laughing and yelling at me to cut it out. He throws sand in my direction, spraying me with the floury substance. I throw some back at him and before I know it we are flinging sand at one another and laughing.

***

“OK! OK, I call it quits!” Amanda says, smiling. Surprisingly, she doesn’t have sand all over her face. I can’t say the same about her hair though. Her curled strands are speckled with the light brown spots. She takes her pony tail out and starts to comb through it.
“Here, let me help you.” I say and take her hand, pulling her closer. At a closer look I can see that sand does slightly shade her face. My fingers comb through her dark chocolate hair, removing dirt. As I do so, she looks at me with big brown stunning eyes. She’s so elegant even when covered in sand!
My hand skims over her dirt tinted cheek and she smiles. Her hands go to my waist and press lightly into my hipbones.
The sun is starting to go down, and a sunset is casually taking its place. Amanda’s skin turns orange as the sun reflects down on her and I take my hand off of her face and she takes hers off of my hips. She doesn’t need to be pulled into my drama filled world, one which I created.
“Drew?” her caramel words lure me to look back at her. “I’d forget about me too if that happened to my mom.” She whispers and then smiles to show she isn’t mad at me one bit.

***
The game has disappeared from his eyes, and I’m sure I’m just about done with this crazy game also. I don’t want it to be a game.
“Can you just promise me one thing, Drew?” I whisper and his eyes tell me all I need to know.
“Anything.” He tells me in a breathy whisper.
“Don’t forget this.” I say before I grab his neck lightly and pull him into me. His lips feel like sandy velvet when I kiss him, and his hands are warm as they press into my waist with a slight wanting sensation.
He stops kissing me for a moment to look me in the eyes. He’s thankful and he shows it by his emotions.
“I will never forget you again Amanda.” He says and I believe him. I truly do.

***

I kiss her lips again, and then kiss her cheek and then her jawbone and then her neck. She lightly moans and then laughs. I look up and she smiles down at me.
“What’s so funny?” I ask her and she laughs again.
“I have sand in my mouth…” she giggles and I kiss her again.
“So do I.”
I am falling for this girl. All I can say is that I hope the fall is never ending, and that Amanda feels the same way.
Oh, Amanda I don’t think you know just how much you’re winning right about now.
***
I’m winning, I know this. The only problem is that I don’t know if I want to win anymore, and hurt Drew in the process.

The author's comments:
Enjoy while it's going good for them!

“If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?” Drew asks me the simple, yet very difficult question.
We are lying on the park’s very cold field of grass and playing a little game of twenty questions. My head is on his chest and my arms are curled into him also. One of my hands is holding his and the other just lies there without a purpose. His other hand isn’t without purpose and decides to play with my hair that’s still all over the place and curly beyond control.
“I would still be here, but I think I would add a blanket into the equation.” I say as my teeth chatter. Fall is coming sooner than I expected, but then again we are expecting a small heat flash next weekend.
Drew laughs lightly and nods.
“That would be nice, wouldn’t it?” he whispers.
“Yes, yes it would be.” I say and his finger gets caught in a knot of my hair and he tugs at it stubbornly.
“What if I never changed, Drew?” I ask him and he smiles.

***
“Then I would still like you.” I say, not sure if I’m lying or not. Would I remember her if she were the same old Amanda? The one I had forgotten about for years? I sincerely hope I’m better than that.
“Uh, huh.” She smiles up at me and I laugh.
“I’m not sure, to be honest. At first it was the tight pencil skirt that pulled me to you. In the end it was your smarts, and beauty, and…” she cuts me off with a laugh.
“And my funniness.” She giggles some more in remembrance of my stupidity and stutter of a compliment from earlier today.
“Yes, that too.” I tell her.
“So you wouldn’t like me if it weren’t for the change?”
“To be honest no, but I stayed for you.”
“Then I am happy I changed.”

***

At least he told the truth right? Shouldn’t I be thankful for that? He remains to comb through my hair and as he does so I start to doze off.

***

Amanda’s eyes shut closed with a flutter and she breathed a sigh, falling asleep on my chest. I kiss the top of her head and whisper into her hair, “I really like you Amanda.”
And with that, I close my eyes too and drift off into a soundless, drama-less sleep and thank god for letting me remember Amanda.

***
I wake up to my phone ringing. I fumble for my short’s pocket in hope to hush the annoying tone and not wake up Drew. It’s Natasha.
“Hello?” I whisper into the phone, but I don’t hear anything but rumbling and I just assume she slept called me like she usually does. It’s not that hard you see, when you fall asleep while texting people like Tasha often does. I hang up and check the time. Two? As in, two in the morning?! How late have I been here? I turn into Drew who is still sound-asleep.
“Drew.” I say, shoving him slightly.
“Drew!” I yell.
He startles awake, pawing the grass around him.
“What time is it?” he asks and I show him my phone.
“Crap!” he yells with an angry yet happy smile.
“Why are you so happy?” I ask him, a little teensy bit upset.
“Because I got to wake up to you screaming my name.” he winks at me and I have to laugh. I punch him playfully, making his smile even larger.
“How sweet of you.” I say while standing up. “How am I going to explain this one to my parents?” I ask myself.
Then again, I can always say that if they don’t care about my older brother Jeremy smoking harmful fumes then they shouldn’t care about me taking one small day and a half off.
“Well, if you want to get away for a while I still have my house and a gas-filled car.” Drew says, propped up by his elbows. I laugh when I see sand still stuck to his face.
I drop to my knees and wipe my hand across his face, taking the sand off.
“You’re so sandy.” I laugh some more and Drew smiles wider.
“Maybe we need a shower.” He winks at me again.
“Separately.” I wink back and he laughs.
“Whatever floats your boat, beautiful.” He says and stands up next to me, while grabbing my hand he whispers in my ear. “Where are we going exactly?”
“I can’t go back home just yet, my parents need time to simmer down if they are, in fact, mad. Do you mind if I come home with you?” I ask him with the squeeze of the hand.
“Oh, Amanda! It may be too soon in the relationship!” he jokes and I laugh.
“Oh hush up.” I tell him with a swift hit to the stomach. “I was talking more of a nap and shower situation, by myself of course.”
“Sounds like a smart idea.” He says and I yawn. “Come here.” Drew says, motioning for me to get onto his shoulders. “I can carry you home.
“You aren’t serious are you?” I ask him, but of course he is and I end up getting a ride to Drew’s house, via his shoulders.

***

I lead Amanda towards my bedroom. It’s around three thirty right about now and my mom is fast asleep in her bedroom upstairs. She asks me where the bathroom is and if she can borrow a pair of basketball shorts and a t-shirt.
“Of course, my lady.” I say and she smirks.
“So I’m your lady now?” she asks and I nod.
“That is if you want to be.” I offer her the chance to say no, but she doesn’t she only shakes her head yes and says,
“I think I can get used to the sound of that.”
I hand her the blue shorts and white tank top, and she goes her way to the bathroom for a shower.
While she is gone I start to make my bed, tucking in corners and ruffled edges. I just straight everything out so that it all looks nice enough for Amanda to sleep in, cuddle in, kiss me in. Oh gosh, don’t start thinking about that Drew, I think to myself even though really deep down all I really want to do is think about her more. I have to remind myself that I am only seventeen and don’t need to get anyone pregnant anytime soon, and especially not ruin Amanda’s life of all people. So instead of crawling into a shower with Amanda I crawl into the shower upstairs and clean myself up.

***

Sand is absolutely everywhere, in my hair, on my legs face and arms, just everywhere. I shave and put conditioner in my hair before I finally get out. I smell like guy shampoo and shaving cream, but what was I supposed to use, the invisible Aussie shampoo? Oh, and what about flowery pansy bath soap? No, I didn’t have any choice in the matter. I needed to be clean, smelling of a boy or not I don’t care anymore.
I climb out with my mission accomplished. I’m sand free and clean. I brush through my hair, dry up, and climb into the pajamas Drew gave me. Underneath the white shirt I can see my black bra and I decide to cover it with my hair as best as I can.
Once I walk back to Drew’s room he’s already there, clean and sleeping quietly. I sneak into the bed and wrap my arm around his waist, falling asleep too.

***

She breathes shallowly and dreams what I hope are pleasant dreams.
“Goodnight.” I whisper, not knowing that she’s awake.
“Without a goodnight kiss?” she says, startling me. I turn around to see her tired eyes look at me. Her wet lips are soft against mine and I smile.
“Happy now?” I ask her and her amusement comes out quiet and soft in laughter.
“Yes.” She whispers before she pulls me back into her soft wet lips. She kisses me in the perfect way, letting me do some of the controlling while still luring me into her in the absolute cutest way. My hands search for the small of her back, and when they find it I pull her in close to me.

***
I kiss him softly one more time before I finally cuddle up to him in preparation of going to bed.
“Goodnight.” I whisper and he sighs. With a crush of my hand he replies.
“Goodnight, have sweet dreams.”
This time, we really do fall asleep.
***

She has won.

The author's comments:
Almost overrrrrrr. Love you my readers, and i'm sorry that there has to be a problem, but it was needed.

Sun leaks through Drew’s blinds in thin streaks of gold. I look over to see him sleeping silently. His long eyelashes curl while his closed eyelids stay closed. He looks confused though, with a straight line taking a form on his lips. I wonder for a moment if I’m the source of his confusion. My wondering doesn’t last long though, because a vibration from my phone cuts off my thoughts.
I click a button to show me my wallpaper, but a pop up takes its place.
‘TWENTY NEW MESSAGES’ glows on the little screen and when I click ‘Show’ I see they are all from Natasha.

1.)
“Where you at girly?” sent during homeroom yesterday.
2.)
“Amanda, something happened.” Sent after homeroom.
3.)
“Meet me in front of Hilling’s class, yeah?”
4.)
“Please Mandy, show up.”
5.)
“Drew broke me and Gary up…”
6.)
“He called me a stuck up, air headed, conceded b…”
7.)
“Why aren’t you answering?”
8.)
“Drew isn’t here either…”
9.)
“Are you with him Amanda?”
10.)
“YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!”
11.)
“ANSWER YOUR EFFING PHONE!”
12.)
“Please, answer. I won’t be mad I just need to talk to you…”
13.)
“Amanda… what did I do?”
14.)
“Gary won’t talk to me…” sent last night.
15.)
“He says Drew was right.”
16.)
“I guess he likes someone else anyways…”
17.)
“Are you happy?”
18.)
“Tell Drew he can go jump off a bridge.”
19.)
“You know what?”
20.)
“He can take you with him. Never talk to me again you over achieving sl**.” Sent as of a few moments ago.

My hand goes to my mouth and my eyes get watery. Why didn’t Drew tell me? I drop my phone and shove Drew. His eyes pop open as he hits his bedroom floor.
“Good morning to you too.” He says, scratching the back of his head. When he looks up his face turns serious.

***
Tears stream down her face. Her striking brown eyes are blazing with anger and her hands are clenched into fists.
“What’s wrong?” I whisper, sitting up on my knees. Her jaw tightens and she sighs.
“Apparently to remember me you have to forget some things.” She says and stands up. Amanda goes to the opposite side of the bed and takes off my basketball shorts. She throws them at me, hitting my face with more force then I could’ve thought possible. She shimmies into her black shorts, and then takes off my white shirt. If she wasn’t incredibly mad at me right now, I would take this as a good sign, but of course it isn’t. After she pulls her dress over her black bra she throws my shirt at me. This time I’m smart enough to doge it.
“What are you talking about?!” I scream and she looks me in the eyes finally.
“Natasha knows I’m here with you. She doesn’t want to see me ever again, you know, unless it’s my lifeless corpse she’s staring at.” Amanda says quietly but angrier than a scream could ever allow.

***
“Why didn’t you tell me?!” I scream at him.
“I thought you would be like this!” Drew screams back at me, his hands are behind his head as he stands up. The shirt and basketball shorts are on the floor now, a worthless pile of nothing just like our pretend relationship that has lasted less than twenty four hours. This game is over, I think to myself, and it will never start back up again. We will never speak after this, for good this time around.
“You know what the funny thing is Drew? I think the same thing about Natasha.” It’s true. Natasha can be very much conceded and I know that. It’s the fact that he didn’t tell me. His face lightens slightly.
“Then why are you so…”
“Mad?” I finish for him, “because you didn’t trust me enough to tell me what happened yesterday. You didn’t give me a chance to consider not being mad at you! I thought we were good now. Better than good even!” I yell in an ironic way.
“If we were so good than why did you not talked to me for four days?” he asks and I sigh.
“I didn’t want to like you. You don’t remember anything do you? Irene Hernandez, the party, anything?” at his unchangeable expression I take that as a big fat no.
“Of course you can’t remember the one thing that changed everything.” I say as I storm out of the house.

***

I burst through my door, following a curly haired, furious Amanda out the door.
“So that’s what it is then? I kissed Irene and not you and you still can’t get over it? That was years ago and you can’t let it go now when it matters most. You are so stuck in the past that you can’t just smile and be with me now? Are you serious?!” I yell and grab her arm. She whips around and sucker punches me straight in the nose.
“You always remembered. You just chose not to when it came to me, huh? That’s not why I’m mad at you. I’m mad because you didn’t tell me that my best friend wanted to slit your throat.” She says as more tears slip down her face. Meanwhile I try to contain my bloody nose she created.
“Don’t talk to me. Just leave me alone and just, please Drew don’t tell anyone anything.” She tells me simply.
“Tell anybody what?” I say, pretending like nothing ever happened. I pinch my nose to keep in the blood as I look her in the eyes.
“Thank you Drew.”
And then she just walks away. She doesn’t make some dramatic exit screaming her way out, she doesn’t even run. She just walks down the road towards her house.
Why did I just lose her all over again, and do nothing to stop it?

***
He had the memories kept up in little boxes along the walls of his mind. Drew just chose not to unpack the boxes labeled with my name, and that’s probably the worst part of it all.
He didn’t want to remember me.

The author's comments:
The story is coming to a close. Hope you guys like these last few chapters!!!

The first thing I did Monday morning was talk to Tasha. It was hard to get her to stop at all though. I had texted her about a million times and lost complete track of how many times I called her all together, so it was obvious that she wouldn’t want to talk to me when my chance came along. I didn’t think she’d have me running like I am now though.
“Natasha!” I scream, chasing her down the street towards our school. When she finally comes to a halt she sits up against a bus stop’s plastic surrounding. I take the opportunity to sit next to her for possibly the last time.
We sit there for a long time, panting and gasping for much needed air. She wipes her tears away over and over, making the skin around her eyes puff around the striking blue color.
“Want to know what the worst part is?” she asks me as I gasp for breath. My elbows sit on my bent knees and my hair is all over the place in messy tangled curls. Her blonde hair is no better as it sticks to a sweat covered forehead.
“If I didn’t want to hear you talk, would I have sprinted a mile?” I say. Natasha smiles which shows me that the ice between us is slowly thawing down to nothing. I’m grateful for her forgiving posture and slight hint of a smile. I’m happy she stopped.
“The worst part was that he’s right. I am self-centered, and Gary does deserve a lot better.” Natasha admits, and then swipes a tear out from under her eye once again. “I didn’t even think about where you were. I didn’t think, ‘Hey, Many could be hurt and I wouldn’t know it because of I’m so focused on my own problems.’”
“Tasha, don’t say that. You’re not…” I start to tell her but she cuts me off mid-sentence.
“I told you to jump off a bridge.”
This shuts me up, because I know she’s right. That was incredibly severe considering she wasn’t sure I was with Drew.
“I told you that, and then you called me a few minutes later.”
What is she talking about?
“I should be really mad at you for being with him, but then I heard you yelling at him. I heard you screaming, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?!’ and all I could think was that I told my best friend to die and she didn’t do a single thing wrong to me. Other than not turn on her phone and answer in time.” Tasha tells me all of this with a slight ironic smile on her face, like this is all her fault.
“He still shouldn’t have said what he did to you and Gary is stupid if he thinks that Drew is right.” I promise her. She only looks at me with tear filled eyes.
“I’ve lost so many friends because of how mean I am. I ran because I thought you were going to scream at me like they all had. We’ve only been close since this past summer, but I couldn’t take YOU screaming at me Amanda. I couldn’t lose a good friend like you in so little time. So I ran away. My parents yell all the time,” she starts, but a sob chokes out her words. “I forget about them yelling when I hang out with you.” She finishes. “You’re just so happy and without your optimism I don’t know where I’d be.” She sighs, and then asks me something I swear I will never forget. “Will you forgive me?”
And what else do I have to say other then, “Yes, of course I do. Natasha, I’ll always be around, ok?” But I do have one question, “How much of the conversation did you hear?”
Did she hear the part about eighth grade, the party, or me saying that she was a little self-absorbed?
“Only you screaming that, and then I hung up because I didn’t want to believe it was my fault.” She says. My arms wrap around her neck and squeeze in a hug. She hugs me back.
“I’m sorry I didn’t answer.”
“I’m sorry I told you to jump off a bridge.”

***
I walk to school with a bag of ice on my nose. After Amanda’s punch I let go of my nose and blood flowed everywhere. It got increasingly worse and I ended up with a broken nose and two black eyes from to upward impact. That girl has one swift yet hard punch. God, I miss her already though.
My heart aches when I remember her sauntering into my bedroom in the early morning. I remember her walking close next to me on the sidewalk when we went to get ice cream. I remember her foot bleeding and her pencil flinging over and hitting my book. I remember it all now, but I wish I had remembered it sooner.
Was Amanda right? Did I forcibly not remember her? My mom was never the problem, it was me. I should tell Amanda that I am so sorry for hurting her. I can’t though, because I made a promise to never talk to her again.
I promised to forget her all over again.
The difference between this time and the last is that I don’t want to forget Amanda. I’m not sure I could if I tried.

***

Natasha and I walk to math support hand in hand. She hasn’t said a word since we hugged and left the bus stop. I feel closer to her then I ever have before and we’ve spoken less in two hours then we usually speak in two minutes.
We sit in Mr. Hilling’s class for a while, waiting for the teacher to arrive. The door creaks open slowly and in walks Cody, the not too smart kid that Drew had been tutoring. I breathe a sigh of relief because it isn’t Drew himself. Right at moment I think this Drew walks in right behind him. A splint is on his nose and I gasp, looking away quickly.
I broke his nose! I, Amanda Kolbe broke Drew Jeered’s nose! The tough guy of the school! The tough guy I kissed a couple nights ago… I feel absolutely terrible. Yes, I was slightly proud I made him bleed and hurt like I hurt, but a broken nose? That’s not ok.
Natasha flings back in her seat to look at me.
“Don’t tell me you…” she says, waiting for me to tell her what she wants to hear. When I nod while holding a sad expression on my face she nods in a reply. She has to bite her lip not laugh and then turns around.
I have to hold myself to my desk to not go over to him and say sorry.
Drew’s eyes come back to mine eventually. He’s sorry; they speak through the chocolate brown color. Then he looks away, as if remembering he can’t talk to me anymore. His remorse is shown in the sagging of his shoulders and the posture of holding his pen. He’s exhausted.
I don’t go over to him. I don’t say sorry. I don’t tell him I love him, and I surely don’t look at him. I know that if I did I would do all those things without question.

***

She doesn’t even look at me.

***
I want to so badly though.

The author's comments:
Second First Hand Invitation <3

The next two days are the same. Amanda doesn’t look at me, doesn’t speak to me. My nose stays broken and swollen, although my black eyes have died down slightly. I need to go back to my normal, Drew self. I need to drink and have a good time like I used to. I need to stop thinking about her, even if it takes bottle after bottle of whatever alcohol I can afford.
That’s what I’m going to do. Throw a party. A party with an actual theme would be even better. I start to right down a list of them. Black and white, masquerade (girls in tight dresses could help me get over her, right?), under the sea, and many other very corny themes incline down my paper. Mr. Hilling doesn’t notice, thinking that I’m just taking notes. It will be this Friday, for sure. I think to myself.
I look through the themes and pick out masquerade. I need to see some sexy girls, or at least ones that are masked and won’t be comparable to She who must not be named. It is sad that Amanda Kolbe sounds like a girl Voldemort when I say it like that way.
I write a note to pass around and get the word around.
FROM: DREW JEERED
HEY EVERYBODY, I KNOW THIS IS MATH CLASS AN ALL, BUT I THOUGHT MAYBE I COULD GET THE WORD OUT EARLY. FEEL SPECIAL, NO ONE KNOWS ‘BOUT THIS YET, SO HELP ME OUT AND TELL YOUR “PLUS ONES”! MASQUERADE THEMED PARTY. GUYS BETTER BE IN AT LEAST A DRESS COAT AND LADIES HAVE FUN FINDING THOSE SEXY A** DRESSES!!! ;) EVERYONE MUST BE IN A MASK!!! BEER WILL BE PRESENT!!! HAHA ISN’T IT ALWAYS?! SEE YOU THERE! SIGN THIS IF YOU IN! EVERYONE’S WELCOME!!! STARTS AT FIVE!!! ENDS WHENEVER YOU CRAZIES DO!!!

I finish the note with my famous swirled signature and tap Cody’s shoulder.
“Pass it on dude.” I nod to him and he smiles, knowing what’s coming up. This is usually how it starts. One big note, and then it just explodes. I’m not exactly sure if it will blow up as quickly though, considering my yelling at Natasha last week. Who knows, because me and Gary are cool now. For all I know Natasha doesn’t want to kill me anymore. She’s paying me less attention then Amanda is.
As the note continues smiles uplift people’s faces. So far it doesn’t look like anybody isn’t signing. Then it lands on Natasha’s desk. She looks back over to me hatefully and squints. She smirks meanly and mouths, “Seriously?”
I just make a hand motion for her to pass it and she does. Not before she makes a show of not signing and rolling her eyes though, so much for not hating me. The note has gone through the entire class, everyone except Amanda, has seen the plans. If I didn’t know any better I’d think Natasha would throw the note away, but she doesn’t. She just drops the folded note on Amanda’s head, which is lying down on her desk. She’s seemed to be very tired for the last three days, and I can only wonder why. She holds the folded paper without reading it and looks to Natasha with question filled eyes.
My own eyes watch Mr. Hilling slither towards Amanda.

***

“Ms. Kolbe.” Mr. Hilling hisses my way. I sit straight up and hide the note under my binder. Why wouldn’t I? I don’t need to snitch on my best friend who I JUST made up with! “Not passing notes of course.” He says, “are we?”
His little old man eyes burn into my own brown ones and I shake my head no.
“Of course not.” I whisper and he nudges my elbow.
“Then may I see what’s under your binder?” he asks and I think quickly. My notes that I was taking a few seconds ago!

***

“Just notes on the subject, Sir.” Amanda says slyly. She hands Mr. Hilling the crumpled up binder paper that’s about the same size as the note was.
“Now why would Natasha be passing you this, I wonder?” he asks her and I just pray that her inner genius comes out with a quick retort.
“I have been napping. She’s just looking out for me, Mr. Hilling. I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.”
***

Natasha looks at me like I made the wrong choice by throwing myself under the tumbling, steaming, frightening bus called Mr. Hilling. She isn’t made, just disappointed for whatever reason.
Once I read the note once over I realize that she is mad at Drew. She shows it by sending him daggers for eyes throughout the rest of class. That’s after Mr. Hilling scolds me for the note.
“Well, I sure hope so Amanda. You were one of my most hardworking students.” He tisks.
“Past tense?” I ask him and he shakes his head yes.
“You heard me correctly, Ms. Kolbe.”

***

Why did she not rat me out? Natasha and her were in the clear, they had nothing to worry about.


***

I read the note over and over. Some parts stick into me like knives. “Sexy a** dresses? Dress suits?” is he seriously making a themed party? To tell you the truth, it sounds fun but it’s not like I’m really invited.…
I go over all the names. Everyone has signed except for me and Natasha. I ponder scribbling in my name, but decide against it. Didn’t I tell him to not talk to me anyways?

***

At the end of class I take a longer time packing up all of my stuff because I have to get the note back to whoever it ended with. Surprisingly Amanda lingers too, swiftly waving Natasha away from her.
“I have to talk to Mr. Hilling. I will just see you after school, ok?” she says and Natasha nods and then scurries away after giving me a look of pure hatred. So much for not knowing whether or not she was still upset with me!
After a long two or three minutes Amanda walks over, holding out the crumbled note.
“Thank you.” I say to her and she smiles sweetly. Her eyes hold sincerity and I can’t help but think about why. Does she ever think about the softness of my lips or my hands on her waist that night? Can she taste the slightest bit of sand in her mouth?
“So everyone is invited?” she asks with a small smile. A flowery blouse slopes down and ends a couple inches down her shoulders and black skinny jeans cling to her legs, not too tightly but tightly enough to make me remember her in my shorts.
“Yeah.” I say and turn around to start walking out. The last thing I need is to be led on by a girl who broke my nose and better yet my heart.
“Does that include me?”
I turn to face her, anger blazing within me. I want to smack her, shake her and tell her how much she hurt me, but I can’t. Her big brown eyes look up at me calmly and her long eyelashes blink slowly and her pink velvety lips are upturned in a small smile. How on Earth can I hate or be mad at her?

***
“Of course, you will always have a first-hand invitation remember?” Drew whispers, and then walks away. I gasp for breath as if I had been submerged in water while waiting for his reply.
Part of me wishes he had said no. That he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “No, Amanda, you aren’t invited. Why does that surprise you?” yet the other part of me is jumping around with joy in remembrance of that first day he talked to me since eighth grade.
I take a breath, and plan to apologize. Sooner rather than later, I will have to admit to myself that this was a game I never should’ve started. Countless hours of sleep have been wasted on thinking about Drew.
Last night, I decided something that took longer than it should have. Drew makes me happy. Yes, he forgot to tell me about Tasha and the incident. He did forget about me, but it was probably not on purpose. The fact of the matter is that he made a mistake just I like I had with hurting him the way I did. I will tell Drew I’m sorry for braking his heart, and spirit.

The author's comments:
Trust me, if you listen to the songs while reading it helps the imagery. :) Please tell me what you think! Only a couple more chapters!!! <3 Love you all for reading so far!

“Why are we going to this again?” Tasha asks me as she sits on my bed. Wait, no. She’s more laying upside down with her legs laying on my wall right next to my bed. Technically she’s sitting on the wall.
“You’re going to get a headache if you do that long enough.” I tell her and she only rolls her eyes.
“I’m going to get a headache if you make me go tonight.” She whines and I shake my head in annoyance.
“Come on Tasha, we already bought the dresses and the masks!” I say loudly.
Meanwhile Jeremy props his elbow up on my door’s frame and looks at us both arguing stupidly.
It’s Friday which means he’s higher than usual. “Beyond the clouds and exceeding heaven!” I heard him sing once. He may not be a good singer while under the influence, but his vocabulary improves. I’m sure he doesn’t know what exceed means when sober. That’s not to say being high is a good thing though. Hugs not drugs kids!!!!
We are each just staring at Jeremy, who is spraying canned cheese into his mouth in long swirls. I crinkle my nose in disgust and Natasha laughs. She thinks it’s absolutely hilarious when he’s in this fuzzy state of mind.
“Maybe you guys can just wear the sl**** dresses, let me take a few pictures, and I can make some mad money.” He winks and walks over to the bed. His yellow cheesy teeth widen in a smile when his eyes land on Natasha. He has always had a little crush on her. “What are you doing you little monkey you?” he says. His hand goes to her stomach, tickling her. Tasha laughs her extremely loud heart filled laugh that she only exposes when she’s around those she trusts.
“No thanks.” I say, answering Jeremy’s question. I also steal his spray cheese while he’s busy tickling Natasha. He really doesn’t need to puke up orange pudding-like vomit and get mom and dad all upset tonight. No, they haven’t kicked him out for using, yet they do get angry when he pukes all over the white carpet in his room. “You don’t need any more money for who knows what you buy.” I say, even though I know exactly what he buys. I just choose to pretend. For his sake and my parents, who still think that Jeremy keeps it in his room. Little did they know that while under the influence he creeps over to my room, tickles my best friend, and eats everything out of the fridge raw. Especially spray cheese, which has been his favorite for the last couple months.
Jeremy’s dirty blonde hair is cut just above his topaz blue eyes that light up while looking at Natasha. In a way it’s kind of weird, seeing your brother who’s a couple years older than you flirt with your best friend. She flirts back to display normal attraction.
They laugh and flirt. Meanwhile I try my best to pretend that they will never date and curl my hair in loose wavy spirals.
***

Black and white streamers curl around the stair banister and along the ceiling. Punch spiked with vodka sits on a table with many other nice treats (cough-cough beer).
I’m wearing black Levi jeans and a dress coat with a silver mask, and who could forget my silver and black high top Nikes.
My mother is visiting my aunt, thankfully after much time spent on my hands and knees from begging my aunt caved in and agreed. She just handed me a small white pouch and said that she didn’t want any lil’ Drew’s running around. It was very awkward, I have to confess, but not as awkward as it will be when Amanda walks in. Probably beautiful as always she’ll be. Maybe I can dance with another girl in front of her, to prove I have gotten over our short lived romance. Hopefully I am a better actor then I have been so far.
***

“Do I have to go?” Natasha whines, still not dressed. I’m, on the other hand, fully dressed with curls falling on my shoulders and a few strands held to the side of my head with a bobby pin. My dress is white and is corseted in the back with gold-trimmed dress string. A design of symmetrical flowers bloom on the top half, and their leaves fall down the ruffles that end maybe four inches above my feet. Tasha gasps. My mask is white and covered once over with golden lace flowers.
“You look gorgeous, Amanda.” She says. “But I can’t see Gary tonight. Please, go. I don’t think I can, but you need to sort things out with Drew.” She says and I nod, because it’s true.
“Thank you, Tasha.” I give her a hug and she sighs.
“Mind if I stay here though? Don’t feel like going back home tonight to mom complaining about my deadbeat dad.”
“Of course if you don’t care about smelling bad quality weed from the next room over.” I wink and she laughs. Jeremy looks at me angrily.
“Bad quality?” he says with a mock-laugh. “I only smoke the best.”
“You shouldn’t smoke at all it’s terrible for your brain and health.” Tasha complains. If it weren’t for the whole smoking issue, I’m sure that she would date him, but he’s the worst to date in this respect.
“Oh really? Well, Amanda, have fun at your party. Be good, and wish your friend luck because she will be trying to prove to me all night exactly how bad smoking is for me.”
I nod and walk out of the room, trying to forget how terribly close Jeremy and Tasha were on the bed. Gross!

***

People started to fill the room a little while ago. Every girl (except for a few) is wearing fake, dress up Halloween masquerade dresses that end at the knees or even farther up. Even more are wearing plastic masks and I don’t even want to start on the guys’ attire. I would laugh, but that would be rude. I have to remind myself that this is a high school party, not a ball.
I have been sitting at my couch, or rather the edge of it with a cup of spiked punch. Girl’s arms fall on jocks shoulders and their guys wrap their arms around the waist of girls. I miss Amanda. I know the original plan was to forget about her, but this isn’t helping. Watching others fall in love for the night just reminds me that I fell for her for weeks at a time, and am still falling.

“Drew?” I hear someone say my name, and when I look up I see Kylie standing above me. She’s wearing a very short and tight purple dress, but is wearing a matching plastic purple mask from the table where I laid out about a hundred cheap masks just in case. Seems like the party-goers need them.
“Yes Kylie?” I ask her and she smiles like she did that one night.
“Can’t even enjoy your own party?”
“I’m enjoying it just fine right here.” I say and take a big swish of my fiery punch.
“Oh come on.”
“I’m good.” I say, shooting her eyes of hate considering she threw me under the bus the last time we danced, telling everyone that I ruined all of her chances with some other guy.
“Oh please?” she begs and I tell her about ten more times NO before she finally leaves, scampering away like a wounded animal.
“Some people just don’t know how to take a hint.” Someone says in a long, incredibly beautiful voice. I shake that thought from my head, thinking only Amanda can sound that way. Amanda can’t be here.
“Yeah, I guess so.” I laugh, trying not to be rude to this seemingly nice girl.
“You’d think that she had promised a dance to someone else anyways…” the girl continues.
“Yeah, I guess so.” I say, repeating the same thing I had said last time.
“I promised a dance to someone once. Never got to full-fill that promise though. Not completely. We never actually danced at a party.” The girl says.
“Who did you promise?” I ask her, wondering if Amanda ever realized that we never really danced.
“You.”
I look over to the girl. My breath catches in my throat.
It’s Her. Of course it was. How could I have been so stupid?

Her, Amanda Kolbe in a silky gold and white that silhouettes her stunningly and her mask enhances her silver shaded brown eyes and long eyelashes.
“How did you know it was me?” I ask, remembering I am wearing a pretty reasonably covering mask.
She motions with her finger to come closer. Her lips come within an inch of my ear.
“You’re the only one here with a busted up nose.” She whispers and we both laugh. I smile because it’s the first time in a week that we have both talked to each other without yelling. She looks at me and smiles.
“So I thought I could actually dance with you for longer than two seconds this time?” she asks more than states.
“I thought you didn’t want to talk to me.”

***
I thought he would bring that up, but I have a plan. Telling the truth might work for me, yes?
“Did you honestly think after all of that I couldn’t at least be friends with you?” I tell him and he nods.
“Friends?” he says.
“Friends.” I confirm and when I smile so does he.
And then we get up and head towards the big mob of dancing people.
“Killer” by Ready Set plays and we dance, even though it’s completely inappropriate for this moment, because at this point Drew is completely good for me. We dance in a weird, awkward way. We take turns embarrassing ourselves with dance moves people haven’t seen for ages. The cabbage patch, the disco fingers, cupid shuffle hands, and lastly the Macarena are all added into our humiliating dance off. Our laughs combine and smiles are permanent on our faces. Metro Station comes on with the unforgettable song, “Shake It” and Drew grabs my hands and twirls me around. I smile as he twists and I’m in his arms suddenly. He moves side to side before unspinning me. I laugh and so does he.
More music beats out of the system and after a while it gets really intense. People start grinding while Drew and I are still fixed on twirling. “Strip” by Chris Brown blasts suddenly. Drew stands there, looking at me with blushing cheeks.

***

“I’ll see you in a second. I have to go do something.” She says before walking off. She grabs a guy sitting alone on the couch. He’s probably a Freshman who was dragged here to look cool by his brother.
Amanda takes his hands and starts to dance with him. Luckily, the Freshman knows how to dance. He turns her around and she bends, coming back up incredibly close to him. His smile is huge. I can hear him talking and she laughs, while she rubs her back up against him. He’s lucky to be such a tall Freshman. She rubs closer and his eyes light up. She laughs at his astonishment, but when she turns to face him, taking his hands, his electricity cuts out, as if not being close enough to her hurts him. “Move Along: By The All American Rejects” is playing now and she puts his hands on her waist and places her own on his shoulders. I see her whisper something into his ear and when the music cuts out she points back behind her to a cute (not for me, but as in awe sister cute) girl. Amanda tells him something and at her words her heads towards the girl. With an accomplished look on her face she walks back over to me, putting her hands on my shoulders for now.
“I’m yours” by Jason Mraz plays slowly and calmly.
I hold her waist and sway back and forth. Her mask is off, sitting over on the couch. I see the boy swaying with the cute girl and laugh.
“You taught him how to slow dance with a girl, didn’t you?” I ask her and she nods her tired head on my chest. We’ve danced for hours now; I can see why she’d be tired.
“Teaching Fresh Meat to dance is tough work.” She explains and I laugh more. When she looks back up at me I take her delicate fingers and twirl her around. She lands back on my chest, looking up at me. Her fingertips touch my nose gently, and with sorrow.
“I can’t believe I did that.” She whispers and I smile.
“I know.” I tell her, “You have one hard fist little girl.”
“I’m so sorry…” she says, holding a hand over her mouth.
“Am I breathing?” I ask her, and when she nods I laugh. “Then I am fine, Amanda.”
***

My name off of his lips melts into me like butter on warm pancakes. I want to spend more small moments like this with Drew, just swaying and smiling. I want to be just friends with him again. I want my seventh grade back.
Time goes by fast, I think to myself. Like tonight, tonight went by very, very fast. Thinking of time, I remember that I’m supposed to be home by one.
“What time is it?” I ask him and his smile slightly wavers.
“Twelve.” He whispers, his cheek on my head.
“I should be going soon.” I whisper back, unworried.
“Oh.” His voice hints regret of fast going time. “Not yet please?”
“I have homework to do.” I lie to Drew because of the fear of the growing warmth in me. “I’ll see you Monday.” I say and then let go of his waist which I was holding.
“Monday.” He says as I pick up my purse to go.
“Bye, friend.” I say, just so I can hear the certain reply of:
“Bye Amanda…. Um friend.” He says, and waves goodbye.

Why is it that I didn’t like the sound of my name and friend in the same sentence?

The author's comments:
Hope you like this one! I only have a few more. Please tell me if you liked the way I made the book start! Thinking about making another one that way. Love you all!

I make my way to Natasha’s mom’s SUV that she let me borrow tonight. Replaying the sound of “friend” dripping off of Drew’s lips, I walk down the street towards the big red van. It’s down quite a ways, considering Drew’s parties are always massive. My high-heals clack on the pavement and after a while I get annoyed with the constant clicking and take them off of my poor feet. As I walk farther along, with my shoes in my left hand, my other open hand feels empty. This makes me realize that I left my mask on Drew’s couch.
Angrily, I turn around and start to walk back. I made that stupid thing! I put in some effort for it to look as good as it did! The last thing I need is Drew bringing it back tomorrow too, and calling me his friend again. Uh, that gave me an unnecessary revolting chill.
My bare feet grow cold within about a minute. More shivers from the actual temperature are killing me and this just makes me want to get there faster. Because of my speed, I barely hear when a women calls out, “HEY YOU!” I stop after a few seconds of realization and whirl around.
“Yes?” I ask, hugging myself which is slightly painful due to the high heels digging into my arm that’s being squeezed by my opposite hand.
“May I ask why I can’t get into my own driveway?” her voice is caramel like and seeps out of her mouth in a soothing way. I could recognize that voice from just about anywhere. She’s Drew’s mother.

It’s not just the voice, but the chocolate brown eyes as well that remind me of him. Her hair is a black brown with slight slits of gray, like pale light finding its way through dark shutters.
“Um, are you Drew’s mom?” I ask, laying my arms by my shaking sides.
“Yes, but I don’t understand… am I at the wrong house? Where am I?” she asks herself the question and I look at her face more closely. Her eyes are blank, and wrinkles form on her head from confusion. She’s drugged out on something, I just can’t tell what. Her breaths quicken and her hands get extremely jittery.
“No, no, no Mrs. Jeered you’re alright. You’re at the right place, don’t worry.” I say when her eyes start to water. I place my hands on her shoulders and her breaths slow down to a steady pace. When she finally calms down I hug her, my arms wrapping around her neck. She squeezes my waist in return and nestles her face in my hair of which the curls are slowly but surely sinking out of.
“Take me home?” she whispers and when I nod she takes my hand. She’s like a little lost five year old who has forgotten the path to her own bedroom and living area.
We walk for a minute until we reach the front door.
“I’m going to cover your eyes ok?” I ask her and she only shakes her head shyly yes. My hands meanwhile cover her already closed eyes. The party is just about dead, but loud enough for no one to notice as I persuade Mrs. Jeered to the upstairs rooms.
Thankfully, no one is occupying her room. Once we enter I shut the door.
“There is the bed.” I say, pointing to it like it was a foreign object to her and it needed some type of explaining.
She walks over to it alone. Reaching what I assume is her regular side of it, she flips open the covers. I walk over and take her coat from her. Instead of thanking me, she snuggles into bed and pulls the covers up to her neck and smiles for an instant. Mrs. Jeered looks like one of those little kids who are anxious to hear a bedtime story. Her eyes are light yet very tired.
While she’s busy looking like a happy five year old I check her pockets in search of a clue to explain why she’s acting this way. When I find a circular pill bottle filled with anti-depressants I figure that she probably just took a couple more then she needed to. My worry is lessened by that, because it’s very difficult to overdose on only three pills (yes, I counted) unless there are very harsh chemicals in one pill alone, but there isn’t in this particular mixture. I put the cap back on the cylinder and stuff it back into her coat pocket.
She’s just sitting there, staring at me with huge puppy dog eyes and paleness to her dark skin.
“Can you sing me a song?” she whispers as I sit at the end of her bed, weighing down the comforter that’s by her small chilled feet.
I nod and laugh a very quiet laugh. “But I. Won’t. Hes-i-tate no more, noooo more it can-not wait, I’m yours.” I sing gently to her. “Open up your mind and see like me, open up your plans and damn, you’re free.” I continue, “Look into your heart and you’ll find love, love love love.”
Her smile widens as her eyes close. “Listen to the music of the moment, people d-ance and sing. We-are just one big fam-ily. And it’s our god-forsaken right to be love love love love loooooooveeedd.”
When I can’t remember the next part of the song she smiles up at me. I can’t take that sad, sad smile anymore. I look elsewhere, which is really code for the wall next to her bed. Canvases cover the beige paint. I’ve never heard of an artist with obsessive compulsive disorder.
“You paint?” I ask and she laughs. The sanity in her voice is starting to come back to her, I can hear it.
“Paint, draw, you name it I can make art. It’s the only thing I can do that’s close enough to perfect in my opinion.” She says in a pain tinted murmur.
I spot a realistic picture of a baby Drew Jeered and smile.
“What’s your name?” I ask her, realizing that I have been calling her Mrs. Jeered this whole time.
“Mary, and yours?” she says but I zone out after she says Mary. I’m in a trance while looking at the picture of Drew. His black and white baby drawing makes a smile curve along my face. His black eyes shine and his chubby baby cheeks puff up because he’s sucked in a bunch of air.
Mary notices me staring.
“That’s my favorite too.” She says, startling me. I think about asking “What?” as if I don’t know what she is talking about, but I guess we are past that point of lying to one another.
“Why?” I ask her, because her own eyes are lite up from talking about it and I’m curious why.
“Because he loved me then.” She says. A tear shaped white flag flows down her nose in a silent surrender as if to say, “Please don’t ask me to talk about it.”
“He still loves you.” I admit in remembrance of Drew’s statement a week ago. “He told me so himself.” She smiles.
“You promise?”
“Pinky promise.” I take hold of her out stretched pinky with my own and smile.
“I think your name is Angel.” She whispers and drifts back to sleep.
While her breathing grows heavier and minor snoring starts I decide to leave the room. It’s time for me to go.


***

I lay on the couch, holding Amanda’s mask that I found an hour ago. It lies on my chest in tired hands. The party sounds like a distant whisper, in the background of all of my thoughts.
I still love her. Yes, love her. I just don’t know how to voice it.

***
As soon as I reach the couch I see Drew with my mask. Well, so much for avoiding him until Monday so that I might’ve had a chance to figure things out. Things like my revulsion towards him calling me “friend”.
“Drew?” I ask and he looks up. Ricky, a friend of Drew’s who is sitting up against the couch snores loudly. Drew, still wordless smiles down at Ricky and pats his curly brown hair.
“I thought you had to leave.” Drew says, a smile sincere on his face.

***

Here’s my chance, I can tell her now. “Amanda Kolbe, I think I may, no. I know that I love you.” I say… in my mind to test the words out.
“I forgot my mask, made it myself you know. I wanted some memorabilia for the party.” She says. Her brown eyes glitter. I toy with the gold lace flowers on the white mask. What happens if she takes it and never comes back?

***

“Breathe By Paramore” plays and I take in a sharp breath. Drew stands while the piano ruffles through the speakers. With ample fingers he takes my mask and places it properly on my face. His fingers brush the side of my cheek, making me sigh. I remember the way he brushed the dirt off of my cheek and I want him to kiss me, right there. I want to apologize to him for all of the mind games. I want to be his girl even if it is just for one more night. I don’t need anything else. Just one more night is all I’m asking for.
“One more dance?” I ask him and at his nod I take his hand and place my opposite hand on his shoulder. His own left hand falls on my waist.

***
Her eyes close and for that instant I pull her closer into me, and she collapses perfectly into my chest. A small smile plays like beautiful notes on her pink raw lips. I notice the few freckles on her bare shoulders and want to kiss each one of them. I want to kiss every inch of her skin, fall even more in love with the slope of her neck and the curve of her waist. I want her to be mine one last time. One last night that is all I am asking for. That is all I need.

***

The music drifts off into nothing, but Drew and I don’t pull apart until a few long seconds after. We’re inches away when we finally do unglue. His brown eyes are dazzling with happiness and I don’t know if it’s from me. When he leans in closer I remember hurting him. I never ever want to do that again.
***
I open my eyes to find my lips landing awkwardly on her forehead.
“I have to go.” She says, hurriedly pulling away from me. As she runs out of the house she yanks off her heels and starts to sprint. Following her, I watch as she cascades down the street’s sidewalk. I don’t chase her.

***

I drive home with tears in my eyes. I whip the mask off of my face and throw it at the passenger seat. Banging the steering wheel, I scream.
“WHY! WHY! WHY!” I yell and all I can think of is that baby picture of Drew. His innocent eyes, his air filled mouth and smile and his adorable way. Why did I start any of this?
I punch the gas, flying backward in my seat. I take a screechy turn onto my street and halt in front of my house. My parents aren’t home, as usual. I grab my “memorabilia” or should I just admit that I wanted to see him again? I chuck the piece of fabric into the green garbage that stands next to my garage. After I do so I stomp up my walkway, past my picnic table, and through my front door.
The wooden ton hits the wall, cracking it slightly. I turn my eyes from the new crack in the wall to the couch where Natasha’s shirt is inside out and Jeremy didn’t even bother to put his back on. Their eyes are both wide, Jeremy’s looking more sober then I’ve seen in years. Their mouths hang open, as if to find words to say but after a minute of nothing coming out they close again. Natasha sighs and stands up, getting ready to leave.
“It’s fine.” I say, holding up a shaking hand.
I’m not mad. I saw this coming, even though I truly didn’t want to.
“I’m going to make popcorn,” I say looking away so I don’t see two little something’s poking through her shirt. “You’re putting a bra on and turning your shirt back to normal,” I turn to my brother “you’re putting clothing on, and I’m going to go put in a movie, ok?” I don’t wait for an answer, but instead run upstairs to get changed.
Later we watch Shrek in utter silence, and for once I feel thankful that my mind decides to be quiet too.


Natasha and Jeremy are on either side of me, Jeremy sleeping noisily and Natasha holding my hand as if to reassure me that everything will be alright. We are watching Amityville Horror now, witnessing a little girl stick a babysitter’s finger inside the bullet hole located on her forehead. A bullet hole created by her brother, I mind you, which just proves that brothers are good for nothing. Da** Jeremy.
“So why him?” I whisper to her in the darkness. Although it is dark in the room, the flashing from the T.V. screen shows me the sparkle in Natasha’s eyes.
“I can trust him.” Natasha whispers.
“I love him and all, but I’m not sure that’s completely true.” I confess to her.
“I’ve told him so much. It used to be just passing Hellos like you’re supposed to say to your best friend’s siblings. Over time it grew. He started asking me how I was! Gary and I have been friends since kinder garden and I never once got asked by him how I was doing! I just never noticed that Jeremy asked me every day. He cares Amanda, and if you’re not ok with me dating him then I won’t break my word I’m making to you now. If you aren’t ok with this then I will stop, but I won’t hurt him. I swear I won’t. He cares about me, Mandy. He really cares.” Tasha is just about finished with her heart wrenching monologue when she gulps for air. “I think I love him.”
What am I supposed to say to that?
“Whatever you decide to do, I’ll be ok with. If Jeremy hurts you, I won’t have anything to say but told you so though.” I explain to her. After she nods and looks at Jeremy for a while I stand up and release my hand from hers.
“I’m going to bed. You can sleep wherever you want.” My eyes drift to Jer. “I suggest you two figure out what’s going on.”
I leave her sitting on the couch, staring at him. I can only wonder what she does, because by the time she’s probably woken him up I’ve cried myself to sleep.

The author's comments:
Enjoy! Yes, Hilary and Drew DO love each other, but only like siblings. Don't go freak out!

It’s four in the morning. Ricky lays on the couch, snoring still. I slump over in my mom’s Lazy Boy chair that Hilary had once slept in. My head is aching and once I get out of this fuzzy state of mind I realize that music is still playing. Moaning, I get up to turn it off. It’s still dark, but everybody is either at home or sleeping at random places in my house. I continue my tired zombie walk into the hallway towards my bedroom. Don’t start thinking about her! I warn myself, before Amanda can fully control my thoughts. My feet slide on the floor cautiously, because if I don’t focus on walking my feet might stumble over themselves. I keep walking until I hear singing.
“Breathe, for love tomorrow. Because there’s no love today.” I follow the voice, Amanda’s freckled shoulders, pink lips and gorgeous eyes vivid in my mind. Once I reach the kitchen I see Hilary over the coffee pot she’s starting up. I stand there, listening to her voice trail on throughout the song.
By the end of it she turns around, and jumps at the sight of me.
“Dammit Drew! How long have you been there?!” she yells as she leans up against the counter with bent elbows.
Black stains the skin just below her bloodshot eyes. Her hair is a scrunched up, teased mess and her makeup is hanging on by a thin thread of red lipstick.
“What’s wrong?” I ask her, but she only bobs her head and goes back to making coffee.
“Want creamer?”
“What’s wrong?” I’m beginning to get annoyed. Hillary and I have always been friends, and pretty open with each other. Not only are her sealed lips bothering me, but the image of Amanda dancing doesn’t exactly help the situation either.
“No creamer, alright. Want a bagel or something? I have a couple bucks left over from last night I can go down to Save Mart or something.” Hilary continues, but refuses to look back at me.
“Hilary! What is the matter?!” I scream and she spins around.
“MY LIFE! That’s what is wrong Drew. I have nothing together. I’m supposed to be going to college in a couple years and I have barely enough money to buy you bagels! I’ve been going to your parties since eighth grade and I can’t remember one time I didn’t make coffee in the morning to get rid of a hangover quicker.” She holds a hand to her check, and then spreads it through her hair. A tear drips from her eye by the time she’s done combing through her hair and she doesn’t try wiping it away. “My parents threw me out.” She sighs and with those final words she crumbles against my counter’s cabinets. Her hands cover her eyes as if to shield the imperfect dripping makeup. I walk over and sit by her. My fingers loop around her shoulder and I pull her close into me.
“You always have been around, haven’t you?” I ask her and she nods.
“Your parties are always the best.” Hilary smiles whimsically as if all the good times are a distant, very distant, memory. We’re quiet for a long time before she starts to sniffle. “Where am I supposed to sleep?” she sobs some more and I hold her tighter against me, her palms limp against my chest along with her shaking head.
“You’re always welcome here.” I whisper and she coughs away her cry as best she can.
“Would your mom be ok with it?” she asks and I nod.
“I can always ask.”
“Thank you Drew.” She says and hugs me. I hug her back. “, but I couldn’t do that to Amanda.” She lets me go remorsefully. “She really likes you, you know.” She admits and then cuddles back into a sobbing position.
“Ok, whatever you want to do. I’ll be ok with anything.” I say and she smiles weakly. In the long silence I think about Amanda, a million memories replaying soundlessly.
“Will you be ok with buying me bagels?” she laughs quietly and when I get up to go to the store she whispers another quiet, ‘Thank you’.

***

I wake to Natasha’s hand pushing my face away. She’s taking up five fourths of the bed. Gosh. Maybe I shouldn’t have invited her up here last night. Last night. Jeremy. Tasha. Drew’s kiss.
Once I roll out of my bed I stretch my arms out in front of me and take a breath. I can’t think about him. I won’t, because I know that if I start I won’t stop. Drew and I JUST made up, why do I feel the need to ruin that with a relationship?
I’m steaming right now, literally. It’s maybe a hundred degrees outside and it’s all clogged up in this house without a single window being opened. I pop my bedroom window at the thought. This wakes up Natasha.
With a snort, she reaches above her head and sits up. Her gold hair is in knots and tangles on the back of her head, which I’m sure she will complain about when she starts brushing it out. For a moment she gets that, “What the hell am I doing up this early?” face that we all know we get. Then she smiles.
“Why so smiley?” I ask her while brushing out my own mess of dark tangles.
“Oh nothing…” she says modestly. I have never seen her so happy. We have gotten close over the last year, and not once have I seen her smile like she’s smiling now.
“Jeremy?” I ask and she nods.
“Him and the fact that I have an amazing friend that will allow me to have him in the first place.” She says. Tasha stands up and runs over to me at my mirror. She hugs my waist, laying her head on my shoulder.
“I sure do love you Mandy.” Her words sink into me and I tear up faintly. I do love her, as crazy and self-centered as she may be.
“I love you too Tasha.” I reply and she gives me an over-exaggerated kiss on the check with smacking sounds and everything. Signaled by the sound of kissing, Jeremy appears in my doorway covered in a baby-blue robe that reaches his ankles.
“I made breakfast beautiful little ladies!” he says, smiling wide at Natasha’s morning hair-do. “Well aren’t you gorgeous?” he smiles at her as she wraps her arms around his neck. His lips meet her neck lightly and she laughs, kisses him back, but then remembers that I’m in the room and pulls away.
“Let us get ready and we’ll be right down.” I tell him, pointing towards the stairs through the wall.
“Ok, whatever you say.” He holds his hands up in surrender and retreats towards the staircase.
Tasha, now that my brother is out of earshot asks me about the party.
“Did you tell Drew you’re sorry?” she whispers. “You seemed mad when you walked in last night. I mean, before you even saw Jeremy and I.”
“I DID tell Drew I was sorry.” I explain to her while drawing on eyeliner and plopping in my contacts. She stares intently at my emotions through the mirror, hanging on my every word. Every syllable.
“He didn’t accept.” Natasha assumes, and her eyebrows sink with mutual disappointment.
“No. He did. We are…” I can’t say it, “good again.” I assure her, but she looks at me weirdly.
“Then why are you so upset.” She asks, tapping my purple bristled brush on her palm.
“I’m fine. I’m great, amazing actually. I’m glad we are ok with each other.” I choke out the words, every single one a lie I’ll have to go over in my mind later I am sure.
“Then say it.” Natasha demands.
“What? Say what?” my voice is stern but quivers at the end.
“Say that you guys are friends again.” Her voice doesn’t shake. It’s hard but loving, as if whatever I may say doesn’t truly matter because she will support me.
My eyes grow teary. I feel his lips on my forehead, the blush on my cheeks, his arm brushing mine as we walked to go get ice cream. I feel his warm breath on my neck as he kissed me.
“Amanda, whatever may have happened that night you obviously can’t forget it. I’m not sure if you want to. Maybe you do, but it sure doesn’t seem that way. I don’t want to be the reason why you two aren’t together.” Natasha’s eyes are glazed with tears.
“I ruined it. Not you. Tasha, don’t even worry about it. I will be alright.” I lie again, but my words are more stable.
“Ok.” She looks in a different direction and then coughs a cry out of her throat. “I’m going to go see what Jeremy is making,” she looks back away and wipes a tear that had dripped from her eye “I’ll meet you down there.”
Once she’s gone I wipe my eyes and sigh. I miss him so much, but I know that if I do anything I will just end up hurting him… for a second time.

The author's comments:
Before it's finally over I want to say goodbye to my characters! I'll miss Hilary, Tasha, Amanda, Drew, Jeremy, and even Gary. I'll miss my readers of course too!!! Thank you guys for standing by me and continuing to read my work! Love you all so much!!!! <3

“Drew. I don’t understand why you didn’t just let the poor girl stay.” My mom pesters me from the kitchen. I’ve told her all about Hilary and her ongoing problems with her parents.
“Mom, I already explained to you that she needs to patch this up with her mom and dad.” I say while I set the table. It’s just me and her tonight. I put the tan plates on the wooden table with a knife and fork on a napkin by the right side of each of the placements.
“Well if you see her again, tell her that she is more than welcome.” My mom’s sweet voice chirps as she stirs the pasta. The smell from the delicious concoction drifts into my nostrils and I don’t refuse inhaling deeply.
My mom is humming. Her fingers tap on the wooden spoon she’s stirring with. She’s humming. Her hair is gorgeously curled. She’s humming. She’s smiling. She’s humming. She’s closing her eyes. She’s humming. She is humming. My mother is humming. My mother, a women who believes in the beauty of perfect singing is humming noisily and unevenly to a familiar tune. After a moment she starts to sing quietly.
“But I won’t hesitate no more. No more, it cannot wait. I’m yours.” She sings and I smile. The song Amanda and I had danced to.
My mother sings louder, as if sensing my happiness towards this song. I walk over to her after setting down the last spoon. I make her set the spoon down and spin around. I take her hands and dance with her.
“I’ve been spending way too long checking my tongue in the mirror, bending over backwards just to try and see it clearer, but my breath fogged up the glass, so I drew in a face and I laugh-ah-ahed.” I sing along with her and laugh as we sway imperfectly. Her smile is large and her eyes are bright with curiosity. We finish the song off with her twirling and landing back into me.
“Open up your mind, and see like me. Open up your plans, and damn you’re free!” we continue to sing and soon we are both crying salt tinted tears because this is the closet we have been since I was a child. We finish soon after the crying starts.

“Mom?” I ask once we are halfway through our meal. “Where did you hear that song?”
I’m half expecting her to tell me that she heard it downstairs from last night’s party. A party she was not supposed to be at in the first place (thanks Aunt Meghan). “Was the music really THAT loud?” I question.
“All I remember is this really weird dream from last night. I don’t even remember getting home.” She says before taking a bite of creamy pasta.
“What does that have to do with my question?”
My mom smiles. “Here’s the thing. All I DO remember is this weird dream of this angel girl taking me home, tucking me in, and singing that song to me. She was really vivid, so vivid that I was able to draw a picture of her early this morning.” My mom smiles. “You should’ve seen her, she was gorgeous.”
I wonder why my mom doesn’t remember anything from last night.
“You know I love you. Right mom?” I say and she chokes on her pasta for a moment before a few large coughs and a huge gulp of air. “Is it that surprising?” I ask her and she laughs, covering her eyes with her hands.
“No. I mean, yes, but not in a bad ‘I don’t believe you’ way.” She says and I laugh.
“Then why did you almost asphyxiate over me saying that I love you?” my eyebrows crunch together.
“She told me that you did. She promised that you still love me.” My mom’s eyes drift away, and I suddenly want to see this angel.
“Can I see your drawing Mom?”
“Sure.” She shakes her head yes and screeches away from her place at the table with a squeaky chair.

***

I lay in bed, thinking about Jeremy and Natasha, my barely here parents, and even Mr. Hilling. I think about how protectively, as I saw from hiding behind the living room’s corner this morning, Jeremy was holding Natasha as she attempted to flip a pancake. I think about my parents being upset with my brother over everything other than his drug use. I think about Mr. Hilling’s evil glare towards Drew and me. I remember Drew. I remember his black joke and how I told him he wouldn’t make any friends if he continued to make them. I think about Drew and algebra. Drew and ice cream. Drew and our first dance. Drew and his warmth. Drew and the swing set. Drew and the sand. Drew and sand. Sand, covering my body, my hair, my brown eyelashes. His hand wiping it away like unwanted sins that he’s be happy to make disappear for me.

***

She is the angel. Her gold lace pattern waterfalls down the silk white gown. She’s sitting on the side of a stone wall. Wings are embedded into her back, every feather glistening with the contrasting light. Her dark curled hair hangs behind her face, showing off her jawline. My breath catches in my throat. Amanda sang the song we danced to, to my mother. I was on her mind. I know I was.
“Isn’t she stunning?”
“I know her.” I whisper. My mom looks at me with curious eyes.
“I….” I start, but my eyes are beginning to water up. “I mean, we dated.”
“She is real?” my mom asks, awe struck.
“Yes. Very.” I admit to my mom, my eyes glued to the impressively realistic picture.
“I think I need help Drew. I didn’t even remember coming home last night.” My mom’s voice shakes. “I’ve been put on this medicine, and I think I might’ve taken too much of it last night.”
My hand meets hers and I coil my fingers around her frail ones.
“We’ll get you help.” I squeeze her hand and she sighs.
“I want to get better Drew.” She promises. “I want to try.”
“We can go to the doctors’ first thing tomorrow morning.” I tell her. “but I have to say a quick thank you first.”

I wake up to the doorbell ringing.

I dodge the sun leaking through my unblinded window.

I squeeze into a bathing suit top and shorts because of the scorching heat.

I walk slowly down the stairs, sleep almost overpowering me.

***

I press on the doorbell for the fourth time.

***

I open the wooden hulking door, and see the living reason why I haven’t been able to sleep.
***
I can’t take my eyes off of her.

***

I can’t force the words out of my mouth.

***

I ask her to come out, to talk for a moment.

***
And I do.

The author's comments:
The end. Love you all! Thanks for reading! I'll miss all of my characters and readers so much! Please give it your final ratings and comments! <3 Love you guys!!!!! And thank you so much.

Drew is only inches from me on the picnic table on my front lawn. We are both sitting on the top of it, laying our feet on the bench part of the wooden mass. His hands are balled up and fidgety. He hasn’t looked at me since he showed up at my door.
I’ve tried to grab his eyes, ask them if they hate watching me mouth the word “friend” toward him like my very own do. I want to ask him why he came here.
“So,” his words come out hoarse which make him force cough, “how has your morning been?”
His eyes still don’t swerve in my direction.
“It’s been fine.” I inform and Drew just sits there, nodding shyly. Since when has he ever been shy?! “Is that all you came here to ask though?”
***
Her eyes are digging into my fiddling fingers and hunched shoulders.
I cough again, trying to rearrange the words in my mind so that they make sense. Freckles. Kiss. Sand. Love, too. Yes, I’m sure there’s supposed to be love in there somewhere, but right now all I want to know is why she helped my mother. All I need is to say thank you for caring about me enough to help my mom. All I need is to hear her tell me that she sang that song because I was on her mind. Because I had danced with her to it, and because I had made her smile while we swayed to the calm music.
“My mom told me how she got home Friday night.” I tell her, and I can feel her tense through the picnic table.
“Oh.” She sighs. “That.”
“Thanks for getting her home. She wasn’t completely… there.”
“It’s ok Drew… thanks for appreciating it and everything.” Amanda takes in a sharp breath and stands up on the bench. Her tan legs are inches away from my face and I fear the fact that I may start drooling. She hops off of the bench onto the yellowing grass and starts to walk to the door.
She’s leaving, for the fourth time now. I’m letting her slip out of my fingers like the last three times. She walks slowly up to the door, walks inside, and is about to close the door before I jump in front of it and.
“AMANDA!”
***

I turn around to see Drew being squished to death by the thousand ton door. He’s now a huddled up mess on the metal slit where my door is supposed to be placed.
“Drew! I am so sorry!” I yell and he smiles weakly.
“It’s alright.” He chokes out, pawing his chest cautiously. When he finds the point of pain he winces.
“Come in, I’ll get you ice.” I offer. At his quiet nod I take his hand to lead him into the kitchen. Once we arrive there he takes a seat on the stool by the counter. I ruffle through the ice as he rubs his now sore chest.
“I am so, so sorry that I did that. I didn’t think that you were following me and…” soon enough I’m babbling. Sorry this, sorry that.
Drew laughs at my stupidity.
“Amanda, I jumped in front of the door. Don’t make yourself feel bad.”
“But I totally slammed it on you,” I gather more ice into the bag, “and…” I turn around and he’s right there, standing behind me. He smiles as he takes his velvet hand and holds my chin to tilt my face upwards to kiss him. My lips move with his like it is the most natural thing to do. His right hand is holding my jaw and his left hand is pulling me closer into him by my waist. My own hands are lying limp on his still pained chest, and the ice is now scattered all over on the tile floor.
We pull apart after a long while, and I stare into his eyes looking for an answer.

***

“Amanda, I should’ve kissed you like that back in seventh grade. I should’ve danced with you instead of dumb Irene. I should’ve bit my tongue when I found out that Gary was dating Natasha. I should’ve told you about what I said to her when I first saw you that day in the hallway. I should’ve noticed you sooner. I should’ve stopped you when you left, however many times there were.” I laugh as happy tears stream down her face. She’s smiling and nodding and trying to hold back the happy tears. “I should’ve done a lot of things Amanda, but I should have told you that I love you a lot sooner.”
Amanda tumbles into a hug at my words. I hug her tightly around her shoulders.
“I hope you can accept my ‘I love you’ this late.” I whisper.

***

Salt water drips from my eyelashes, splashes onto my cheeks and runs down my collarbone.
“I love you too. I love you too.” I whisper into his chest.
He tenses at the pain I know I’m probably causing by nuzzling my head into the spot where I had smacked him with the door. I back away.
“Sorry, I really didn’t mean to.” I say, poking at the soft purple bruise I know lies beneath the hoodie and plaid black and blue shirt.
“You really need to stop saying sorry.” Drew whispers and I laugh.
“Sorry…” I start but he holds his hand over my mouth.
“Amanda, shut up. Don’t say it anymore.” Drew smiles that same dazzling smile that I thought I would never see again. I lick his hand and he yelps while shaking it off. With a whining tone, he wipes my spit off on his hoodie. “You are such a pain…” he moans, and I laugh at his still present smile.
I’m still hugging him tightly, afraid that if I let him go he will float away. Drew hugs me back for reassurance. While he continues to hug me, Jeremy’s eyes peek from behind the staircase’s wall. They widen, he smiles and at my shocked look he runs back up the stairs giggling. Drew laughs, but doesn’t stop hugging me.
“Hey, Amanda.” He says after a while of silence.
“Yes?”
“I can feel the love and everything, but the ice is melting all over the floor.” He laughs, finally letting me go. But he doesn’t float away. Instead, he helps me pick up the ice and we both fill a new pack for his bruised chest.

***

Her eyes are glistening with that old joy I knew to be there once upon a time.
“Want to go for a walk?” I ask her and she nods.

***

His warm hand holds mine and we walk out the door.

***

We don’t talk as we walk to Our corner. She just holds my hand firmly, not daring to let go even the slightest bit. Once we sit down at the Stop Sign and dying honeysuckle bushel that officially marks our corner, we unravel our hands. Amanda is still in bathing suit top and very short shorts. It didn’t bother me at her house, but it does now.
“Um, can I ask you something?” I say, tapping my finger on her hand that is curved along the edge of the sidewalk we’re sitting on.
“Yeah?” she whispers. “Please just promise it’s not going to be anything like, ‘I changed my mind, I’m not dating you. I’m going home.’” She says, her shoulder bumping against mine.
“Oh, so we are legitimately dating?” I ask her with a raise of the eyebrow. For a moment she looks shocked as if I might mean it, but at my smile she calms down.
“Jesus, you scared me. That wasn’t funny.” Amanda gives me a swift, soft punch to the arm.
“My goodness, are you trying to kill me in the time span of two weeks. The broken nose, the door to the face, and now more punching?” I joke.
“I said I was sorry!” Amanda yells, hugging my arm. She kisses it. “Better?”
“Much.” I promise her, and then laugh at her big brown eyes that brighten up.
“So what were you going to ask?”
“Would you mind putting on my hoodie? If we’re going to date I don’t need to have little kids seeing my girlfriend half naked.” I say, pointing to the little kids across the street from us who are staring timidly from their tricycles and stubs of chalk.

***

“Sounds good.” I tell him and he pulls his warm hoodie over my tangled hair.
Drew’s hand has found mine again and as I lean up against him I can feel his thoughts tumble over in his mind.

***

“What are you thinking about?” she murmurs.
“Don’t ever change. Ever. I mean, no more clothes you don’t want to wear and makeup you don’t want to lather on again.” I tell her. “Promise?”
“Yes.” She nods, smiling weakly. “I promise Drew.”
Her hand squeezes mine once more before we stand back up, uncramping our butts that have grown fond of the heated pavement.
We start to walk down the sidewalk. As we do elementary girls point and giggle at us when Amanda kisses my cheek and a few middle school boys whoop and whistle at Amanda’s shorts.
“She’s mine buddy!” I yell at them, and Amanda laughs at my protectiveness. She laughs when I pick her up so she doesn’t have to cross the street barefoot. She laughs when I give her a piggy back ride to the field of Greenly Park. She laughs when I throw her an invisible baseball at pitcher’s mound, and she laughs even harder when I run after her fake outfield hit.
I would say she’s laughing a little too much, but I can’t say that because I love that laugh. I love her squinted eyes, huge over-done smile, and her killing dimples. I love her.
I, Drew Jeered, love Amanda Kolbe. I just wish I had admitted it so much sooner
THE END

The author's comments:
Thought you guys needed a better author's note. :) Love you guys.

Thanks to everyone who ever took a chance on a piece of my writing on this glorious website. All of your support and love was shown in comments, views, and rates brought upon by this book. Without you guys, I wouldn’t have the same respect for writing that I do now. I love it, almost as much as I love my readers. I have written many things but ‘I Should’ve Kissed You’ has been the best of the best for me. Amanda, Drew and even Tasha all became my special family. They allowed me to escape my own friend and family drama. While writing this book, I had been in the middle of a hard move. My old home was very important to me (if you’ve read my article “A House is Not a Home” then you know what I am talking about) so moving struck me with an unbelievable force. Writing took that train track full of pounding emotions off my chest. What is a book without someone reading it, though? That’s right. It is nothing. That is where you guys come in. You read my stories, and many of you cheered me on. This gave me tremendous hope.
When you didn’t give me positive criticism, you inspired me to write better work. In turn every correction and encouragement you guys gave me helped me in creating greater stories. More magnificent getaways, I always told myself. I cannot possibly thank you all enough. You all let me get better. I love you guys.
Love,
Atley



Similar books


JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This book has 29 comments.


on Dec. 28 2014 at 2:31 am
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

This is some of my earliest writing! It's gets easier, trust me. You'll grow and learn. Especially if you're on a site like this. You will grow exponentially. (:

on Dec. 28 2014 at 2:27 am
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

You are such an absolute sweetheart. Thank you so much. Writing seems to help me a lot with life, because as we all know it gets hard, but it's people like you who appreciate it that are the cherry on the cake.

on Oct. 20 2014 at 2:20 pm
JoyousCelly BRONZE, Amritsar, Other
4 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
Happiness was but just a brief episode in the general drama of pain (life)

Looooooooooooooooove this, I wish i can write something half as good as this...... looove mandy and drew:>

on Sep. 25 2014 at 4:53 pm
EmilytheBelleofA. DIAMOND, Athens, Georgia
81 articles 5 photos 1492 comments

Favorite Quote:
To love is to be vulnerable; Triumph is born out of struggle; We notice shadows most when they stand alone in the midst of overwhelming light.

I thought this was amazing and sweet. I love it. You have such a talent and greatness in you; and I hope you believe that, because you do. Thank you so much, for sharing this. 

on Aug. 2 2014 at 2:14 pm
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

Thank you. That really means a lot. :)

J. said...
on May. 15 2014 at 8:14 am
first love always hurts... but the way u brought thnings up in the story is awsum!!!

on Jul. 1 2013 at 6:12 am
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

Thanks :) haha it's one of my older stories but I thought that i owed all my readers that note at the end. 

on Jun. 30 2013 at 3:37 pm
Ms.PeytonLovesHP GOLD, Rancho Cordova, California
18 articles 0 photos 184 comments

Favorite Quote:
“We are all a little weird and life is a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” - Doctor Seuss

OH MY GOD, NOW IM CRYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD. I just loved it so much, I couldn't stop reading it! You should bring like a sequel or something, because this is amazing! *wipes face* But really... pulling at my heartstring!

on Mar. 24 2013 at 1:21 am
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

Thank ou so much! I haven't posted anything on Teen Ink for a while but I'm happy I decided to check the comments to check for new ones. I have started posting some of my new stories on Wattpad because that website doesn't take forever to upload stories :) So if you want to read those then just look up PrettyFaceUglyHeart :) Thank you soooo much for your comment again! 

kebs72890828 said...
on Jan. 9 2013 at 9:51 pm
Now this is what i was looking for.. great story i felt like i was watching a favorite movie of mine... Excellent! no need for me to say you will be a great writer some day because you already are .. keep up the good work

on Jan. 3 2013 at 2:21 am
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

Thank you for your comment :) it makes me happy to know that someone likes the ending. I was actually debating on whether or not to make Amanda forgive Drew. Or vise versa. Happy to see someone liked my choice. :D

CAgirl BRONZE said...
on Jan. 2 2013 at 9:37 pm
CAgirl BRONZE, Glendale, California
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
This book was amazing <3 I'm so glad that Amanda and Drew got back together in the end :)

on Dec. 30 2012 at 3:31 pm
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

Just finished <3 hope you like it! :) 

on Dec. 30 2012 at 3:29 pm
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

You just made my day! Thank you!!!

on Dec. 30 2012 at 3:28 pm
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

All finished <3 Hope you love it!

on Dec. 30 2012 at 3:27 pm
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

When i was adding the chapters i pressed the 'ADD' button two times instead of one because I'm impatient. I fixed it though, so enjoy :) 

Eniola said...
on Dec. 10 2012 at 3:46 pm
Eniola, Okota, Other
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
There are three rules for writing a novel:
1.
2.
3.
Unfortunately,no one knows what they are. -W.Somerset Maugham.

This book is absolutely the BEST! Finish the book,PRETTY PLEASEEE...

Eniola said...
on Dec. 10 2012 at 3:38 pm
Eniola, Okota, Other
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
There are three rules for writing a novel:
1.
2.
3.
Unfortunately,no one knows what they are. -W.Somerset Maugham.

Ha! Probably hiding his/her face in shame :)

on Nov. 3 2012 at 2:31 pm
AndSoItGoes01 GOLD, Reno, Nevada
10 articles 0 photos 149 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

Thank you so much for your comment! A new chapter is coming soon and it will explain A LOT about why Amanda is the way she is. I just have to edit it and than all we have to do  it wait :) thanks again! Hope you like the next chapters!!!

kebs2908 said...
on Oct. 31 2012 at 10:07 pm
what happend to the number 9 it keeps showing the same thing as number 8


SciArc

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!