Chapter One: The Other Side of A Locked Door

It was to my intense annoyance that the bathroom door was locked.

I silently cursed under my breath, running a frustrated hand through my messy hair, and resisted the urge to start tapping my foot impatiently. I was late dammit – how long could that infuriating person take to have a simple shower? Having come back home last night at one o'clock after a late shift at the supermarket, I had collapsed on my bed, utterly exhausted and lacking the energy to have a shower.

Now do I so terribly regret that decision.

I sighed and leaned against the wall, my bleary eyes too heavy to open much longer. The morning sunlight streamed in bright torrents through the window, hitting my eyelids with such ferocity that I could feel the heat and see the light despite closed eyes. If I had pushed away my exhaustion last night and taken a shower, I wouldn't need to be waiting for this particular bathroom, the only one in the house with a shower. I could have used the one downstairs to brush my teeth and wash my face, then I would have had a quick breakfast before rushing off to catch the bus to school.

Which reminds me…

I glanced down at the wristwatch on my hand. 8:15. Damn, my bus just departed. The disadvantage of very late night shifts was that in 99 percent of the cases, it resulted in sleep-ins. And I had become another unfortunate victim of statistics. I looked at the clothing I was wearing and recognized with mild surprise that I had donned a plain red t-shirt with faded jeans – in the rush and panic of realizing that I had slept in, I had grabbed random articles of apparel without as much as a second glance at them. I was never really into fashion and my wardrobe basically consisted of plain shirts, jeans and plain pants. No brand names, no flashy dresses, nothing. So different to my sister.

My sister. It had to be my sister in the bathroom. She was the only one in my family that took over 20 minutes to have a shower. Besides Mother that is, but my parents had their own private ensuite. The thought of Lorraine combined with Mother did not improve my mood, creating a dark storm over my mind. They were so alike, with their flowing perfect blonde hair (a result of expensive haircare products), perfect figures and green eyes. And of course, their infamous fashion sense and hatred of me. I was the odd one out, as I was so constantly reminded by their beautiful yet cold stares of loathing, the unwanted ugly duckling. Only in my case, the ugly duckling won't turn into a beautiful swan.

My hair was a plain dark brown and, having been denied the privilege of L'Oreal and Garnier, I used simple shampoos and conditioners. I took after my father in looks, inheriting his sepia-colored eyes, slender jawline and slightly thin lips. I was taller than the other females in my family, past 5 feet 6 inches, and Lorraine was very touchy about this, seeing how she was a year older than me yet barely managed 5 feet, high heels included.

Lorraine was the sole reason for my lack of friends at school. She despised me, as much as Mother, for my birth destroyed her status as an only child and she saw this as a great insult to her dignity for now she was associated with an invisible 'freak'. Freaks and her do not mix well at all, being the Head Cheerleader and Most Popular Senior as she is. It's like oil and water, and Lorraine's the oil that floats above the rest of the student population, the epitome of perfection, the Queen Bee of Hillside High's Hierarchy. No one messed with her, and if she teold you to ostracize that loner at the cafeteria, you do so or risk an instant social death. Though there are people who ignore Lorraine and throw insults at her instead – the outcasts and rebels– but I cannot hang with them because of my relationship with Lorraine. They judged me before they know me.

Which was fine as over the years I had developed the ultimate solution to stop feeling the deep pang of rejection every time a person turns their head away from me – a wall. Yep, a wall and it worked every time.

I was becoming increasingly agitated as the minutes quickly ticked by and at 8:40, I had built a threatening volcano of frustrated anger that I vented out on the door.

I banged it hard four times, the hollow sound echoing along the quiet hall.

"Can you hurry up?" I yelled, adding a bang with each word just for emphasis. "How long does it take for you to have a shower?!"


More silence.


"Are you-" I started but was abruptly cut off by a soft click, which was followed by the door being swung carelessly open. A person stepped out.

It wasn't my sister.

Instead, I was confronted by a tall Goth that was casually drying his black hair on towel. He sneered at my shocked expression, sadistic amusement dancing in his black eyes.Were theyeven black? It was an unique shade of dark blue, so intense that it appeared black. A coat of black mascara covered his eyes and I realized that his right eyebrow was pierced twice along with his bottom lip. The silver glinted in the sunlight, standing out from his black clothing, which completed his gothic look. He was devastatingly handsome, but this was lost on me as I felt like wringing his neck and wiping off that arrogant smirk on his pretty face. Then I realized that towel that he was drying with was MINE!

"What the hell?" I growled, snatching my towel from his hands, of which he had coated his fingernails with a layer of black nail polish.

'What the hell' was the biggest understatement of my life. I might as well described Hitler as "not nice." My head was exploding from questions: Who was he? Why was he in my bathroom? Why was he even in my house? What was happening???

I opened my mouth to angrily voice those questions, contemplating on resorting to violence if necessary, when a high-pitched exclamation echoed down the hall.

"Jay!" my sister cried, running up to him – the excitement all too evident in her tone. Her immaculate hair flew past her and after a blur of expensive silk pajamas, she was standing by his side.

I looked from 'Jay' to my sister in surprise – did they know each other? My sister was the preppy type, and she only hanged out with jocks and cheerleaders, never Goths. I barely caught the flicker of irritation in Jay's eyes.

"I thought you left after last night," my sister was saying. "I didn't expect you to stay after-"

"I took a shower," the voice was deep and sexy, I mean, husky. There was a trace of boredom.

"Oh what?" Lorraine dismissed carelessly, still enraptured with his face. "That's fine. But can I take a lift with you to school? In your Porsche?" She added hopefully.

He nodded. "Yeah whatever."

Jay turned around and started to head down the hall, only to be blocked by me.

"What the hell Lorraine?" I hissed to my sister. "Do you know him?"

Lorraine gave me one of her fake, sickly sweet smiles – her full strawberry-glossed lips curving upwards. She maintained my gaze, piercing determinedly with her emerald eyes as she took Jay's arm and led him away.

"Come along Jay," she continued, ignoring my question and raising her voice so I could clearly hear her as she walked down the hall. "She's just the maid – nobody you know." And with a parting smile, she left with the Goth.

So what are your thoughts on the beginning? Review and let me know!