Summary: Juliana never had time for boys or any kind of social activity and only knew how to eat, sleep and excel academically. Everything was running smoothly until Derek Wyatt popped up, courtesy of a bet. Life as she knew it, will never be the same again.

Disclaimer: Everything which isn't familiar is mine.

Artificial Lust

Written by Amirah K.

Chapter 1: I Might As Well Be Carrie

Juliana's Point of View

My pencil danced across the page, solving algebraic equations, one after the other. In an exactly thirty minutes, prep will be over and Mikey will be home, I thought to myself. I creased my eyebrows and caught a glimpse of beads of perspiration rolling down my temple from the corner of my eye. I hastily readjusted my glasses sliding down my nose. A hot afternoon seemed like the perfect way to end a perfect summer.

Note the sarcasm.

The tip of my pencil pressed hard against the paper so that if I had applied just the teeniest amount of additional pressure, I would have burnt a hole on my homework. I smiled gleefully to myself as I solved the last equation. All I had to do now was write Q.E.D. next to the answer and I'll be done and –

SCRATCH.

My eyeballs popped out of my sockets and the next thing I knew, I swore out loud in five different languages I never knew I could speak. My head whipped around to face the barred door that separated my room from the Devil next door.

'SHUT UP, FOR GOD'S SAKE!' I yelled. I was not one to use the Lord's name in vain. This was one indication that I was beyond furious, something I am not really used to. Why wasn't I the only child? Did the stork misplace me on account of a horrible mix-up? My pathetic excuse of a sibling's idea of a study prep was jumping around his room, pretending to be Taking Back Sunday's vocalist. I released my anger by banging my fist on the door repeatedly.

My father had thought that the idea of placing a joining door in between our rooms would make things more convenient for us. How wrong he was when he found out Jared planted fake cockroaches in my hair while I was asleep a good decade ago. At the tender age of five, I was scarred for life and the mere sight of those ghastly things sent me screaming. The door that separated our rooms has been boarded up ever since.

Stomp.

Bang.

Stomp.

Bang.

Stomp.

'IF YOU DON'T TURN DOWN YOUR STEREO THIS INSTANT, JARED, I'LL KICK DOWN THIS DOOR AND PLUCK YOUR BALLS, I SWEAR!'

The moment those horrible words escaped my lips, I knew I had it in for me.

'JULIANA DAVIDSON! How dare you use that language in this house! I shall not tolerate with it!' A shrill voice rang from the kitchen.

This is how mad Jared makes me. I wasn't one to say "balls". I know I am more cultured than that.It's all the influence I get from him, I swear.

3…

2…

1…

My door bursts open and I see my mother – flushed; her nostrils flaring and everything. So I stand up calmly, trying to regain my composure. "Upsetting Super Mom" was not part of today's agenda.

'How many times have I told you not to use such... such...' Take a deep breath, mom. 'Vulgar language under this roof!'

Enter "Evil Twin". Propped up against the doorframe, I resisted the temptation of thrusting my calculator in his face. But then I knew I could never hurt my Casio. It was my baby.

'And you!' My mom twirls around to stare at him. 'How many times have I told you to turn down your horrible, heavy metal music?In case you haven't noticed, young man, there are other occupants in this house! I am trying to bake a soufflé for your father's birthday dinner tonight, and your repulsive music is banging through the walls... and do you want to know something, Mr Davidson?'

Jared went white. The look was priceless.

'You deflated it! I- I- can't believe it! I tried so hard! You know how much your father adores it. Imagine the look on his face when he sees a de-fla-ted soufflé on –'

Okay, I shall skip the rest of the conversation. Basically, mother is furious with Jared because she never deflates her soufflés. It was like, an omen or something. Yelling at the top of her lungs was something she wasn't akin to either. Believe me, in this house, she never shouts. You could see by the way she's screaming at us that she really cares about her soufflés – one of dad's favourite desserts. We're celebrating his birthday tonight, and Mikey's even flying all the way from the Turkey to surprise him.

In case you're wondering, Mikey is the first descendant of this Davidson generation. Full name: Michael Jonathan Davidson. He got married to Angela Gibbons four years ago, and they've been traveling the world with their adorable two-year-old, Abigail, ever since. I nearly squeezed the life out of her last Christmas.

Eight long years later, however, Jared and I came along. Yes, we're twins. It's hard to believe, isn't it? I still think it to be life's greatest mystery – surpassing even the existence of aliens. Both of us will be seniors in Sherwood High this fall, nevertheless – something I am not looking forward to. We're actually sixteen but we skipped a grade. The operative word being: we. I was clueless to the fact that he had a decent brain under all that hair, as it was a surprise to everyone. I honestly thought all his brain cells were destroyed on account of the horrible music he listens to everyday. As much as I hate to admit it, my brother's your typical skateboarder who enjoys his stupid punk rock which is a sorry excuse for music, if you ask me. I have no idea how he turned out like that, but he did.

We may be fraternal twins, but we both have hair black as coal. He recently had blue streaks done, however. I have to admit, it does look "cool", or whatever his cronies call it. Funnily enough, he hasn't pierced his ear, nor has he poked a hole through his eyebrow or anywhere else, for that matter. This really surprised me as his "friends" had every inch of their body pierced or tattooed. I only have two holes pierced, thank you very much. I do not intend to go through that grueling ordeal again.

Our unusually fair complexions are topics of most conversations at icebreakers but we're pretty used it. But now that I think about it, I admit I look relatively dull in comparison to him. I suppose you could say my features aren't as prominent as his and the only thing I'm actually proud of is my button-like nose. My raven hair is almost always tied up in a ponytail, which my mother claims will eventually be damaged.

But in terms of my spontaneity, I'm just as square. I haven't done drugs or drank in my entire life... that is if you exclude the time Uncle Harry forced a glass of champagne down my throat last Thanksgiving. My life consisted of only three rules; to eat, sleep and get good grades. An A- for me is like an F for you. I prefer to be bespectacled most of the time, even if I have a pair of unopened contact lenses hidden inside my medicine cupboard. As stupid as it sounds, I think wearing spectacles makes me look sophisticated. My newest ones are black and square-framed which Jared fondly calls my "emo glasses".

Another random fact? I hate my name. It's unbelievably long and four syllabled that I no longer introduce myself as Juliana, but rather Julie or J. Jared, on the other hand, takes pleasure in calling me Ju-Ju which annoys me like a splinter in my hand.

Speaking of family, Mikey, Jared and I were raised by our two loving parents – Jonathan and Josephine. My father's hair turns shades of grey faster than Jared eats a Whopper, and that's saying something. As I mentioned previously, we're celebrating his fifty-eighth tonight with our annual birthday dinner. He's your average dad who enjoys his Strawberry Poptart and kisses me on the forehead before he leaves for work every morning. Contrary to popular belief, he's nothing like how most lawyers in high-powered attorneys are made out to be on television – ruthless and cold. His recreational activities include carving lawn gnomes and collecting miniature cars, after all. I kid you not.

My mother, however, is the epitome of Super Mom. She was Prom Queen, Valedictorian, and Cheerleader Captain in her days. Too good to be true? I know. I nearly barfed when she told me. She's a fantastic chef and has already published numerous cookbooks that are available in the market. New York Times Best Seller? Yeah, been there, done that. Is your mouth hanging yet? It's normal. She was the one who everyone loved in school, the goody-goody two shoes, the one who the preps couldn't hate. It was hard for me to believe that a woman such as herself actually give birth to a girl such as myself.

My parentals sound seemingly flawless, don't they? I wish they were, honestly, because if there's something that irritates me beyond belief is my mother's constant nagging about boys. Hang on a minute, what's that you say? Do I change boyfriends as frequently as I change my bed sheets? No, I do not. Quite the opposite actually. If I were to earn a penny for every time she urged me to date, I'd move out and buy a castle for myself in Scotland years ago. I never saw the point in dating or mingling with boys with intentions of bringing it to the next level when I struck puberety and by the time I did, it was too late and I never really bothered.

I'd like you to try growing up with two testosterone abundant guys? It's quite devastating. I don't have an elder sister to ask about womanly issues (even if I don't have any), nor do I have a younger sister to pick on. Even though I am three minutes older than Jared, I'm practically treated as the youngest!

But if you haven't noticed the line of J's already, you're probably the first. By the time my parents thought it was cute to J-name (that's what I'd like to call it) their whole brethren, Mikey had already arrived. He's the only M in the family. Though personality-wise, Mikey's never the black sheep. He's a natural Davidson. I think I'm the odd one social-wise. My parents started dating in high school, Mikey's been with Angela since sophomore, Jared's dating a girl named Roxanne, and me?

I've never been on a single date and I'm sixteen. You can forget the time I was forced to go to my Junior Prom with Cousin Francis. But that doesn't really actually count because we ended up making a beeline to the nearest Barnes & Noble to listen to a reading of John Steinbeck's East of Eden. My mother thinks otherwise, obviously.

I still wonder, though, very secretly, at the back of my mind: who will I be going to the Senior Prom with? I may not display interest in boys nor do I make the effort to, but my levels of estrogen seem to say otherwise. Deep, deep down inside, I secretly want to spend my last – Scratch that. I secretly want to spend my only high school social event not bitching about how proms are so clichéd with other people who turned up dateless. Francis already has a girlfriend, and I'm not going to get an escort to go with me. I guess I'd just have to go alone this year. To my Senior Prom, as a lone ranger. The supposedly going-to-be best night of my life.

I might as well be Carrie.


Author's Note: Edited. I've changed their names, added a little more here and there, I hope you enjoy.

Amirah