"What do you mean," Rain asked as she sat up in her bed. It was storming outside and it was the beginning of the last week of summer before school. She was on the phone with her boyfriend, Lamont. She scratched at her head as she waited for his reply. Rain did not like how this conversation was going.

He cleared his throat. "Look Rain. School is coming up and I just don't see us together when we get back to Clarke Central. We're different people. You know that, right?"

"Are you serious," Rain asked but not really looking for a response. Her head was spinning. Was she really breaking up with Lamont after only two months?

"Don't be like that," Lamont protested.

"Be like what Lamont? Here you are trying to break up with me and expecting me to be okay with it!"

"It's not like I'm breaking your heart. You knew this was gonna happen sooner or later, right? We were just having fun."

"Yeah," Rain snapped, "but we just got together at the beginning of the summer. Now you're dumping me because of whoever you are at school? I don't mean anything to you do I?"

"Of course you do. I just don't understand why your tripping like this."

Rain paused. She couldn't believe this was happening. Why was everything going wrong now, when Rain felt like she could have been falling in love? She won't let this happen, not without a real explanation. Subsequently, she realized what was going on. How could she have not seen this before? Alicia, her supposed best friend, kept hanging around him lately. She could sense the lies behind all of his words, knowing that both of them were capable of doing what Rain thought they were doing.

Rain took a deep breath. "Lamont are you cheating on me…with Alicia?"

Silence fell on the other end of the phone, and that was all Rain needed to know. A knot formed in the back of her throat and her stomach felt like it was going to burst. There was no use in trying to hold back the tears. She couldn't stop them now. "How could you?"

"I'm sorry…."

It was too much for Rain to take in. She hung up the phone before Lamont could go on. As far as she knew, it was over; and that's what mattered. She didn't want to speak to him, see him, or think about him again. But she couldn't help but think about him. He was her first love. Rain collapsed on her bed to heated and distraught to think anymore.

Rain sat on bed, in her towel staring at her lilac walls. Her bulletin board was covered with pictures of Lamont and them together. She remembered that happy sun shining day when they hung out in the park. She couldn't stand looking at him anymore, remembering what he did to her. She walked over to them and began tearing them down with force. Angrily, she tore the whole bulletin board down off of the wall. She sat on her floor, with the mess of pictures all around her, crying.


Rain's door opened and her mother's head popped in. She quickly tried to dry her eyes and catch her breath as he mother walked into the door. "Um, yeah?"

Rain turned around to look at her mother. She was only about 5 foot 3, and she has short brown hair. She didn't look like a conventional mother with four holes in each one of her ears, and wearing jean cut offs with an old Bon Jovi Shirt on. In a way, Rain and her mother were a lot alike in having weird tastes.

"Are you going to be okay sweetie or do I need let you sleep in," she asked Rain.

"No ma," Rain sniffed. "I've got to register."

Rain finished dressing 20 minutes later. She wore her favorite pair of blue jeans and black wife beater. Her mother was already in her red Ford Taurus. Rain carried her Pop Tart and the David's Bridal book he mother received in the mail. Rain closed the door behind her and her mother started up the car.

"So are we going to our dress fittings today?" Rain flipped through the book for wedding gown styles.

"Yup. I'm so excited. Only about a month and two weeks to go and your mother will have a new husband."

Rain smiled weakly. "I like Zack. He's cool. He kinda reminds me of Vin Diesel or Channing Tatum."

"Do you really like him?"

"I guess. He's always on my side when you want to get mad at me. He gives me money-."

"No," Rain mom laughed. "Do you like him enough for him to marry me? Maybe enough for him to adopt you?"

Rain looked at her mother. "What?"

"After we get married, I won't be Sharon Rose anymore. You'll be the only one in the house with that last name. Zack wants us all to be a big happy family."

"But he's not my father," Rain said matter of factly.

"You're right. Forget I ever asked. I understand," Rain's mom said as the car fell silent.

Rain tried to picture her father's face, but lately it was getting hard. Zack was extremely nice to her, always trying to make her be fond of him. He was constantly making her mother happy. All he wanted was for her to change her last name. What was so hard about that? But she still loved her father and her last name was like her tribute to him. How could she give that up? Rain looked over at her mother, who looked placidly as she drove. She was so beautiful.

"I'll think about it," Rain heaved a sigh.

"Cool!" Rain cringed at the sound of her mother saying 'cool'. "Zack will understand any choice you make. I really appreciate this."

"Yeah, ma," Rain whispered as she shook her head at her mother's jubilee.

Minutes later, they pulled up in front of Clarke Central High School. The old school building loomed in the distance against the dark trees. Seeing her school sent chills down Rain's spine as she shivered. She looked over at her mother who reclined in her seat, as if she was not going to come in.

Rain gave her mother a looked that said get-out-of-the-car written all over it. "Come on ma."

"You're a big girl right? You can do it." Rain's mom shooed her away.

"Great." Rain murmured as she walked up to the opened oak wood doors. Not too many people were registering and there wasn't a big crowd. Rain walked briskly down the hall to the Cafeteria. She noticed that the lockers on freshmen hall were painted navy blue and wondered why they decided to paint with 3 days left till school starts.


She spun around to see who called her. Down the hall, looking incredibly miserable stood Alicia. Rain resisted the urge to start an argument, so she just stood there. This was the reason why she didn't want to come in on her own, so she could avoid people she was fuming at. Rain turned around and continued to walk down the hall, away from the idle standing Alicia.

"Rain wait!" Alicia cried out loud.

"What do you want?" Rain huffed irritated. She stopped in her tracks.

Alicia's eyes began to water. "I'm sorry about Lamont."

"I can't get a 'hello Rain how was your summer' without bringing up Lamont," Rain inquired sarcastically.

"I don't know how it happened. I just really liked him-."

"And you never once thought it would hurt me," Rain sighed with little enthusiasm. "Yeah, look, Alicia. I've heard this bull before. Remember Thomas. I forgave you then, and I'm afraid you don't have another Get Out of Jail Free cards." She could feel others watching.

"Come on Rain. I really didn't mean for all of this to happen," Alicia tried to look hopeful but it wasn't working.

"Neither did I," Rain shook her head and stepped further away from Alicia. "It's not going to be that easy. I'm not going to continue to let you walk all over me and pretend everything's going to be alright."

"But, I'm sorry…"

Rain turned and walked away from the crying Alicia. Her heart was pounding in her chest. Tears began to well up in her eyes as she now turned the corner to get away from everyone. She slumped up against the wall and broke down. How could Alicia be so selfish making her feel so small and worthless? All she wanted right was to disappear and never be found again. She slid down to the floor, burying her face in her knees.

"Are you okay?"

Rain looked up blurry eyed, and into deep ocean blue eyes. She wiped her eyes quickly and stood up. The person helped her up. She opened her eyes to see a tall 17-year-old boy. He had thick shaggy blond hair with highlights. Rain nearly choked when she realized he was white.

The boy chuckled. "I guess you're good."

"Um, yeah," Rain sniffed.

"I heard everything," The boy said as he shook his blond head. "Sorry about that."

Rain shrugged. "It's fine…or it will be fine. I just don't know anymore."

"I think everything will be fine," the boy stuck his hand out. "By the way, my name's Cody."

Rain smiled faintly and shook his hand. "Thanks. I'm Rain."

"That's a pretty name," he smiled. "Nice to meet you Rain. Hopefully we might have some classes together."


"Class," Cody grinned. "This is a school right?"

"Yeah, but this is Clarke Central High," Rain argued. "You're white."

"I am?" The boy asked surveying his hands, holding it up to the light innocently. Then smirked as he shrugged. "I guess you're right."

Rain shook her head. "Wow, I've met a real life maniac."

"Get use to it. There's a lot of more people like me in the world," Cody winked.

"Right. I'll keep that in mind," Rain said as she began to walk down the hall.

"Guess I'll see you later?"

Rain turned around to see Cody with his hands in his pockets looking adorable. She smiled. Either this was a dream or she was delusional. Either way, she was feeling better, all thanks to the mysterious Cody. She shrugged her shoulders and laughed. "Sure. Why not."

Rain watched as the mother twirled around in a long flowing white wedding gown. Lace was nowhere to be found on the bead and rhinestone sequins of the neckline or on the train of the dress. Rain loved it. The dress was perfect for her mother.

"Mom it's wonderful," Rain smiled.

"You think so," He mother asked a she looked into the mirror.

"It's perfect. Zack will love it," Rain replied as she walked over to her mother in her maid of honor dress. "But this dress you're got me wearing is not going to work."

The two of them looked at the catastrophe Rain was wearing. The dress was a nice peach color, but there were puffed sleeves and a high frilly collar. Rain felt like a depressed school teachers attempt to add color to her life. She hated her maid of honor dress. Her mother shrugged innocently.

"What's so bad about it," She joked.

"This is not funny!" Rain countered her mother's sarcasm.

"What do you want me to do about it?"

"Let me pick the maid of honor dress," Rain said as she picked at the sleeves. "Nina, Brooke, and Kay have different prettier dress as bridesmaids. I'm more important than them."

"That sounds pretty obnoxious," her mother joked again as the tailor began placing pins in various places on her dress.

"Please ma? I saw the perfect one outside. It was peach too!"

"Fine," her mother said giving in. "But no low cuts or your grounded after the wedding."

"Aye Aye Captain!"

Rain dashed out to the front and grabbed the dress she had been eyeing ever since their first trip for a wedding dress. She entered the dressing room just as the tailor finished. Her mother stepped down off of the stool. "Is that it?"


"Try it on real quick. Go."

Rain headed back into the same dressing stall she had before. She heard her mother head into the stall next to her to undress as well.



"Guess who I saw at school?"


Rain sighed. "Yeah. She tried to beg for my forgiveness and act like everything was going to be alright."

"I guess you turned her down," he mother asked wisely.

"Yes. She's done this before and I blindly forgave her once. I'd be an idiot if I forgave her now."

"I wonder what happened? I use to always like Alicia, she very respectful. Remember, back in 3rd grade, you invited her over for a

Sleepover and she couldn't sleep? You two decided to stay up the whole night watching Disney movies, until you both fell asleep on the couch."

Rain remembered that well. She always thought of that night as the night they became best friends. They were inseparable until they got to High School and Alicia began to hang out with different people and started to change. Rain didn't want to believe it at first, but every time Alicia kept proving the opposite. They began to drift apart.

"Yes, but she's different now. She's not that Alicia girl we knew a long time ago." Rain walked out of the stall in the spaghetti strapped calf-length peach colored maid of honor dress. She walked over to the mirrors.

Her mother came up from behind her. "I like it."