Chapter One

I feel like a hypocrite. I once said that I am only antisocial to shallow people. Only, now I have become one of them—or I am in other peoples eyes. Even though, I know I'm not shallow, is that enough? Or do I need other people to think it too?

Although, I can't say the people got this idea on their own. I did contribute and I knew what I was doing. I just couldn't stop. I think it's like an eating disorder. Where you know it's bad for you and you should stop before you seriously hurt yourself, only you're addicted to it, because it makes you feel good about yourself. Because you have this good self-image of you, other people are going to have too. What I didn't realize though, is that I was only seeing one angle. What I see can be completely different from what someone else sees.

What I saw, was a girl who had fun without hurting anybody. A girl who loved all things, but just had a shell cover. A girl who could be a bitch, but in the end always had a good heart. A girl who would give anything for her friends and be there when they needed her, and hoped they'd do the same.

Other people saw, a girl who was vicious and malicious to the people she loved. A girl who's attention was always focused on herself, and not observing her surroundings. A girl who, as long as she had daddy's money, would be content and self centered. Not my friends, though, strangers. My friends knew my situation.

How they got that conclusion, I do not know. Once or twice, I would pull out a mirror, like every other girl in my school, to check my reflection, but that's it. Only, unlike the other girls in my school, they weren't being watched constantly. It's a shame someone can be watched so closely, yet still remain a mystery. That's what I was—am to them. Just a simple girl turned into a mystery.

Someone could have guessed I paid attention to my surroundings, by my quiet nature most days, or by my quick arrival at a friends side when they needed help. Some people probably did, just afraid to say it out loud. Afraid to break the mystery of the girl they've watched carefully for the past four years.

I could have said something, but what was the point? I knew the truth, and that's all that should count, right? Of course, it sounds simple, but in real life its not. In real life, I yearn for someone to know the truth about me. You'd have thought that my friends would have defended me, as many times as I jumped to their side when they were in need, but they didn't. Instead, they created distance. A lot of distance.

Before, I often wondered why people were so curious about me. Why I was the center of their attention? Could it be because I had that certain aurora that leaders give off? Or was it because I had the looks, only not really? No, it wasn't those things. I had been naïve before, or just avoiding what I knew deep down it was, but now I know. It was because my skin color. I was always one to jump and defend against people being prejudice against people, until it happened to me.

At this point, I don't know whether to thank my mother, for trying never to let me experience such hate, or be mad at her, for trying never to let me experience such hate. Maybe she thought she was protecting me. In the long run, maybe, I'll feel different, but now I feel it was a mistake. A small piece of a bigger one, but still a mistake.

I was always in the best schools; minorities were scarce, so most of my friends were white. I never saw anything different between us, I always seemed to miss, the apprehensive glances their parents gave me when we played together. I was clueless, to the hesitation the waiters at expensive restaurants gave me, when I was about to order. I didn't think anything of it when people were always asking me how I got into this exclusive private school. All those little details somehow bypassed me, until now.

All it took was for me to become pregnant by the most popular boy at my school, who also happened to be my mothers' boss's son, for me to realize all these things.

School Life

They think I seduced him. People were quick to come to his defense, that I took advantage of his curiosity. I was in such close proximity with him, and totally virginal, that I wanted to know what sexual encounter were like, and I coaxed him into it. Behind my cold exterior, I still wanted every girl's fantasy: to have the popular boy at school fall for me.

Isn't it funny, how I broke up with him right after I found out I was pregnant? And, how I'm staying as far away from him as possible, considering we live together? Also, how I wasn't the one to announce it was his baby, but he was. Our parents still don't know who the father of my child is—and I don't plan on telling them soon. I'm just praying to god that these babies don't come out with, green eyes and blonde hair like their father.

Here Charlie Daniels comes, he's weaving threw the crowd, even though they've parted for him and he doesn't need to make the effort. He's coming for me. He wants to talk. I know it; I haven't talked to him in four months. I can see today, the determined look in his eye. Today is going to be a hard day. I'm going to have to dodged the main hallways, and skip some of the classes he's in with me; my lunch will be eaten in the girls' restroom on the second floor, instead of the library on the third.

He doesn't know very many details about his children, only the vague answers I gave Mr. Daniels when he asked me. He knows that I'm due June 1st, a week after graduation. He knows I plan on moving to Europe once the summer is over, to pursue a career as an author. However, he doesn't know I'm having twins. I don't know the sex of them yet, but I have a strong feeling, ones going to have the name Charlie Jr. and the other is going to have the name Bailey Marie.

As I turn in the opposite direction to head to the nearest restroom, I feel my old friends' stares. I hear the low hiss of one of my old good friends, Bridgette, say, "slut." I feel my throat close and then open with a substance creeping to come out. I want to chalk it up to morning sickness, but I know it's not; it's because of her words. As much as I don't want it to be, it is.

Before this whole thing, Bridgette had a crush on Charlie. We all knew, I knew, and my pursuing his advances, I broke the silent code. The code that says: never mess with a guy your friend has a crush on. At the time though, I didn't see a problem. She was currently dating Paul Walker and gushing about how she was in love, I thought she was over him. Obviously, she wasn't.

I don't get sick often, even though I'm talked about, they do it quietly. Behind closed doors, or closed lockers in some cases. I have concluded there are two reasons that they don't talk about in front of me, and they both deal with Charlie Daniels. The first reason is their thinking they don't want to disgrace Charlie by talking about his affair, with a black girl, and their baby. The second is; they see it in his eyes, his love, his devotion, his willing to kick anyone's ass that talks shit about me in public along with blacklisting them. I can see the frustration in his eyes.

He wants to stop the talking behind closed doors; he wants to set things straight. Only he can't. As much power his words hold, he can't, for he is one person and he need another person to help him, but not just any person, he wants me. I can't do it. I won't do it.

I see the familiar sign of the girls' restroom up ahead and I take a right. I feel his presence right behind me; I make a dash for the door and make it before he can catch me. I hear a loud "SHIT" and I know it's him. No one else has that voice, the voice that so many times before, compelling me into listening.

I duck into the nearest stall as the vile stuff that was clogging my throat threatens to come up, I manage to pull back my hair and position my face a second before it does. The restroom door opens, I'm hoping and praying it's not him. However, I cannot look up at the moment, so I have to wait for five minutes to see whom the arrival is.

I get up from the ugly teal tiles I was kneeling on. Turning around, I carefully wipe my mouth with my sleeve. There she is standing in all her five foot seven glory. She's just watching me with a sick, pained, and haunted expression. I walk past her, not saying a word, just trying to arrive to the sink as quick as possible. I wash my hands, and rinse my mouth out, before she speaks to me.

"He's worried about you," Amber says. She was my best friend. My other half. I was evil, she was good. She understood what the others in our group could not. Maybe, that's why I was so hurt when she sided with them. She actually didn't take sides. She just remained neutral. I could have gone to her; I should have gone to her. But now, the moments past, and our friendship is left broken.

"Oh," I simply say, heading for the paper towel dispenser.

"I know the rumors aren't true," she responds to me in a small voice before walking out the door as quickly as possible. In my mind, I think she's running away like she's made a vital sin.

My classes pass slowly. I am watched in every one of them. Both teachers and students give me disapproving glances, and continue on with their work. The bell rings signaling the end of fourth period and the beginning of lunch. I get up slowly, careful not to give my back more pain than it already has. I slowly make my way out the classroom. I am definitely the last to leave.

It takes me the whole ten minutes of break to get to the restroom. Once I'm there, I wish I weren't. Ten minutes after I settle into my favorite position—crossed leg with a good book in hand or at the moment Cosmogirl—my old group walks in. They don't know I'm in here because of the way their talking and plus my feet are on the toilet. It isn't too icky we have toilet lids.

"Can you believe she actually has the nerve to come back here? I mean after she deemed herself a total slut I would have thought she'd walk by now." That was Terry, she never really like me. I didn't make an effort to like her either, she, in my opinion, was too shallow to even be said hello to.

"Well Mia has always been strong. A little too strong if you ask me. She probably thought she was strong enough to make it on her own, without us, when she came out about her relationship," that was Bridgette. I could see Lydia nodding her head in silent agreement. She was always a bit quiet, but I could tell she'd jump at the chance to take my spot, and fully be accepted into our group. Well, not my group anymore.

"She should have known, we turned the attention people gave her into good attention," Bridgette continued. She was currently looking in the mirror reapplying mascara. "Amber what do you think?"

All this time Amber was there and I didn't realize it. She had been standing in a corner wisp of her blonde hair fell around her face. She didn't look happy with the conversation. "Why are you asking me? You don't want my real opinion. You just want me to agree with you," that's why I loved her. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind, and sometimes she spoke my mind too. We had the special bond best friends and sisters were granted with.

"You have a different opinion?" Everyone turned to look at her after Bridgette asked.

Her face was stoic, not giving off any emotion at all. I knew her too well to not know that her indifferent act was silent agreement.

"Yeah I do. We all know Mia wouldn't hurt anyone on purpose. She probably didn't see any harm with it since you were with Paul. And now, when she needs us the most, we aren't there. I don't know about you guys, but I feel guilt." You could see by the slightly down turned arch in her eyebrow that she was angry now.

Bridgette applied lip-gloss and more eye shadow before answering, the whole time my breath was hitched anticipating her answer. Finally, I saw her turn to Amber and say, "Get over it. This isn't the movies Amber, its real life," she said it like she believed it.

I always gave people the benefit of the doubt. I always thought that they weren't as shallow as they always led on, as my throat filled with an intoxicating substance and my head felt light, I found out they weren't. It's a horrible way to find out, but like Bridgette said, its real life, and in real life, there isn't a perfect moment to find out. It just happens.

"Whatever. I'm out," Amber said before swiftly walking to the door and not looking back.

Shortly after she left they swished out, taking their time, making me hold the bile in my throat for a lot longer than necessary. After they left, I was free to puke until the bell and the signal of fifth period. I did not need any more encounters today, whether I was hidden or not, I just wanted to be left alone.