Chapter One:

Cookie Anybody?


Hear it, I'm screaming it

You're heeding to it now

Hear it, I'm screaming it

You tremble at this sound

You sink into my clothes

This invasion makes me feel

Worthless, hopeless, sick

I'm so sick, infected with

Where I live

Let me live without this

Empty bliss, selfishness

I'm so, I'm so sick. -- I'm So Sick, Flyleaf.


"Welcome to the World of Cookies, how may I help you on this cookietastic day?" I asked the group of little kids accumulating at the counter.

Gods I hate my life….

"Umm….what kind of cookies do you have?" The Asian brat asked me.

The blond brat followed him with, "And what kinds are good?"

I, unfortunately, didn't hear a word of this as I was focused totally on the clock as it slowly ticked away the last thirty minutes of my work shift.

"Hello?" The little girl brat asked, shifting her weight and putting a hand on her hip.

'I know that little girl is not giving me attitude. I'll throw cookie dough in her hair...'

Asian brat then decided to interrupt my internal monologue. "Why is your hair so long?"

"And why do you have on makeup?" Little brat girl continued.

"…are you going to get any cookies, or are you just here to torture innocent workers?" I asked them, glaring daggers at the three little brats.

I took the job at this cookie shop at the mall expecting to be able to sit on my ass all day and eat filch cookie dough from the stores. Obviously, I neglecting to think upon the fact that most of the customers would be preadolescent brats with their bitchy parents.

"Hmm...get us a chocolate chip cookie!" The brats shouted gleefully.

"Just one?" I asked, eyebrow raising.

"Mm-hmm," little girl brat replied, index finger wrapping in her blond curls.

"Okay, then..." I sighed, reaching below the counter to get them their cookie. Their one cookie. The singular cookie they were buying for the three of them. I handed to little blond girl in exchange for the dollar and seven cents that she owed me.

The three brats then skipped off with their single chocolate chip cookie, giggling incessantly about something.

Immediately after the children left, my next customers walked up to the counter. I stifled a rather large, self-pitying sigh at the sight of them, a fat, balding middle-aged man and his wife, both of whom were looking at me like I was pond scum.

"Excuse me...umm…Iris?" The woman questioned, squinting at my name tag, forcing more wrinkles on her already sagging face.

"That can't be your name, you must have on the wrong name tag," walking middle-age crisis informed me.

"No, I don't," I told him, praying to the Gods that I could keep a smile on my face without twitching.

"So your name really is Iris, then?" The woman, probably named Sheila or Sandy, asked with a disbelieving look on her face.

"Did I not just say that I'm wearing the correct name tag?" I said slowly to the woman, my eyebrows now at my hairline.

"Don't patronize my wife!" Walking middle-age crisis cried, now indignant.

"Oh, but there is. She obviously didn't understand that since I was wearing my name tag, the name on said tag is mine," I said, seething in anger, "Now, welcome to Cookie World. How may I help you on this cookietastic day?"

Yes, my name is, in fact, Iris. Chalk it up to a flower-child father and an Asian immigrant mother who didn't know the language yet.

"I'm not sure I like your attitude," the man said to me, now looking down his overlarge nose at me.

"I'm not sure I like your toupee, but we'll both deal; now, how may I help you?" I replied, desperately restraining my desire to bounce a cookie off of his face.

"I don't think you can," he said. "We'll just take our business elsewhere." He then dragged his wife out of the store, grumbling the whole way about teenagers and fairies. Honestly, who the hell says fairy anymore!?

"Hey look, it's the fairy!" Came an easily recognized yell from just outside the store. I looked outside the window to see Aden Jacek, the bane of my existence, and two of his goons.

Oh, yeah...forgot about him...

"Hey, fairy!" He yelled at me, walking into the store with a massive smirk across his annoying, read: gorgeous, face.

"What the hell do you want. now?" I asked fuming at the object of my hatred. As much as I hate to admit it, Aden is probably the single most gorgeous human being in history. His skin is a dusky, coppery tone, showing off his father's Arabic background, but his hair is a golden blond, and his eyes are a bright blue, showing off his Barbie doll mother's British roots.

"Aww, can't I just hang out with my former best friend?" He sneered, blue eyes narrowed dangerously. I stiffened a little at the taunt and he smirked, knowing that he'd hit home.

I merely sniffed and turned up my nose at him in response. "No, you can't. Can I help you today?"

"Such disrespect, I'd hate to have to tell your mother about how badly you treat your customers..." He said to me, tsk-ing.

"What's she going to do, fire me?" I shot off, becoming hostile. "She isn't my, anyways."

Did I forget to mention that his mother and my mother are best friends, and thus don't believe anything I say about Aden? Yes, it's true, Mr. Perfect over there was once my best friend. Actually, we were inseparable until 2nd semester of our freshman year, but then he suddenly found popularity and lost the little Goth hanger-on. Our parents, however, refuse to admit there was ever a split between us, regardless of how badly he treats me.

"Someone's in a bad mood," he said to me, making an over-exaggerated, cutesy frown. I almost smiled…almost, and you know what they say, almost only counts in horseshoes and grenades.

"Do you want any damn cookies?" I asked him, irritated because he almost made me smile, "and where are your goons at, I thought you were talking to them earlier."

"I do want some damn cookies, and I was talking to them, but I told them to wait outside until I was done. Their stupidity is too much ammo for you" he replied, smiling at me.

"What's up with the complements and such? You're being way too nice, and it's creeping me out a little bit." I questioned, eying him suspiciously. He merely turned out the smile a little bit more, perfect white teeth now nearing corona-of-the-sun brightness.

"Nothing's up, I just felt like talking to someone with half a brain," he informed me nonchalantly, blue eyes focused on his nails idly.

"What kind of cookies do you want?" I asked him, very wary of his sudden personality shift.

"You already know the answer to that," he replied, looking up from his perusal of his nails.

"I suppose I do," I replied, and got him three peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. "That'll be all?"

"Yep, and you remembered; how sweet of you," he replied, yet again turning up the golden boy smile wattage. I felt myself break out in a slight sweat, and wondered idly if someone had turned off the air conditioning. It definitely wasn't Aden's megawatt smile and undivided attention that were affecting me so heavily.

Not at all.

"Should I expect this to be a permanent change?" I asked him, cursing the glimmer of hope that flashed through my eyes.

"It's a distinct possibility," he countered, giving me a look I couldn't really decipher.

"Hey, it's the queer boy!" I heard, as two rather imposing guys walked up behind Aden, flanking him to the left and right.

"Hey, it's the amoebas!" I replied, "What're two big strapping young bacterium like you doing out here?"

"What?" The goon on the left asked, cocking his head stupidly.

"Nevermind," I sighed, "here are your cookies Aden." I said, handing him the bag and collecting his money.

"What, are we on a first-name basis now queer-boy?" He asked me, albeit with a strangely pained look in his eyes.

That one actually hurt a little…just a little though. I can't believe that I fell for that slimy bastard's tricks again, I should know better by now. I completely ignored the stinging in my eyes and immediately went about restocking the cookies under the counter.

"Come on, let's go," he ordered his two morons, and the three of them left.

I allowed myself a pained sigh as they left the shop, closing my eyes and taking some deep breaths to re-center myself. I then proceeded to busy myself with cleaning until the end of my shift.

"You can go now Iris, your shift is over," my boss told me, walking out of the back room shortly after I finished the exchange.

I changed into my normal clothes and left the mall. It's mid-December, and there's snow everywhere, but I walk home anyways because I've had a thing for snow ever since I was a little kid. My apartment isn't very far from the mall, but I have to walk through the park to get there. I had made it to the playground in the park when I saw the swing set. Strangely enough, I found myself drawn to the swings, and I sat on one and started swinging, higher and higher. It'd been a long time since I'd been here. Actually it'd been since that night, 2nd semester freshman year. The last night I had contact with Aden that didn't involve insults of some sort.

I stayed on that swing for about a half an hour, until I got too tired to keep swinging, anyways, so I jumped off and landed on the ground, rolling a bit before I came to a stop. I got up and brushed myself off, only to find the two goons waiting for me. I turned around quickly to see if Aden was behind me, but I didn't see him.

"Where's your leader?" I asked goon on the left from earlier. He was still on the left, oddly enough.

"He's not here, we've decided that your attitude needs to be dealt with," the goon replied, sneering nastily at me.

"Yeah!" The other goon barked, appearing very self-satisfied.

"How I hate it when you batter me with your clever repartée.." I drawled to the goon on the right, leaving him dumbfounded.

"Shut up!" Goon on the left interrupted, "We're going to get you out of Aden's hair once and for all now; you've been bothering him too much lately."

I was actually pretty worried now, that once and for all comment did not sound good. I looked warily from one goon to the other, and when I finally got up the energy to, I bolted. I was vaguely aware of the two following me, but I just kept running, hoping they wouldn't catch me when all of a sudden one of the goons grabbed my hair, and whipped me around in time to see a fist coming at my face.

I didn't see anything after that.


A/n: Umm...I re-read this story and wanted to cry from how bad it was. So, now I'm re-writing it to fix the horrifying-ness.

Leave me some lurve, s'il vous plait.