Molly was a good girl and she knew the reasons why

In our group, Elspeth is the reliable one. She has confidence, self-esteem, a sense of humor, a great attitude, and she's persistent almost to the point of annoyance. Almost. She's too likable to be annoying.

As my mother loves to point out, I am the opposite. And I'd roll my eyes at her, with my grade-A approved Kayden attitude, because despite some uncomfortable moments brought on by my standoffish ways, I had fun. I was fine.

Before now, I never wanted to be Elspeth. Not really. I mean, not in that "Gods, I'd sell my very soul for a moment of your life!" feeling, but kind of a "There are some things I really hate about myself, and you, sadly, have all the traits I want" way. I could pretend that I still feel that way, and I sort of do. Sort of.

Right now, I'd give anything to be like Elspeth, or at least have her here with me. You can't rely on me, but you sure as hell can depend on her. Except now. Now, I can't rely on her helping me to save her.


Oh god. What was I going to do? I couldn't decide something this epic on my own. If only I could call someone... My eyes strayed to my cell, which sat there in all of its naked, componenty, broken glory. The little temptress.

Why didn't I use the house phone? Oh, yes. I relied on my cell to keep all of my numbers straight for me. Should I be worried about a hostile electronic takeover, which would render me totally incapable? Maybe later.

For now, I surveyed my clothes critically. Tonight, Elspeth was throwing a huge party for her brother, who was leaving in the morning for college. This seemed really stupid to me, but I guess I'm not popular enough to understand the appeal of an eight hour car ride while dealing with a hangover and hazy memories of regrettable deeds.

On second thought, I'm not stupid enough to understand it. Does that make me feel guilty, considering my best friend is part of the popular crowd?

Yes. Yes, it does. It's also true. At least she's not as bad as them.

Since this was a party for Redford, the boy who watched me go through the embarrassing ordeal of changing from a clumsy, awkward child to a clumsy, awkward teenager, I would wear my normal baggy jeans and a t-shirt. Since this was a party Elspeth organized, I had to dress up. Oh yes. For the sake of the supposedly extraordinarily gorgeous boys that would also be in attendance, she informed me seriously.

Why didn't I just throw on something slightly nice and shrug off her whines, you ask? How very little you know. If my attire does not meet the very specific checklist she has in her head, then she will bring it up all night, long into the morning, and until I make it up to her by going on some sort of public excursion in something "cute".

I suppose if I gave a bit more of a damn, she wouldn't be like that. Sadly, I have wrecked her mental health, and she's determined to "release my full potential to knock some boys dead, break some hearts."

Oh yes. I'm so very enthused to get on to that wonderful part of life. Giddy little twits everywhere, unite!

Finally, I gave up on ever making a decision and dragged my sister in. Annie browsed my collection slowly, like she didn't already know everything in my small wardrobe, hadn't winced over the sheer unattractiveness of it all. From the very back, she dragged out a wife beater, a green blouse, a skirt Elspeth gave me for my birthday, never worn, and a pair of high-heeled boots that I'm pretty sure weren't in there last week.

"Kaydie, I order you to wear this, feel sexy and confident, and kiss some boys. Don't come back until you have, or I swear, you are cooking for yourself."

This was the same thing she said every time I went out. Yet here I was, still stuffed with her food.

"Tell me, are you going to stalk me, watching for any romantic interludes? No? Yes? Creepy." She got an annoying smirk.

"Trust me, I'll know. You still got that kissing virginity glow about you." I left as soon as I changed, avoiding Annie like she was death. In a way, she really was.


"Extraordinary, aren't they?" a voice whispered against my neck, uncomfortably hot. "I wonder what it's like to be born with that kind of ability. Sent to the very throes of glee at the mere reunification with friends." My hand flew back and cuffed Red lightly.

"You're like that when you're drunk, too." He grinned good-naturedly and tipped his beer at me. "Then again, boys always seem to try their hand at murder every time they talk to their friends."

"A guy thing. You wouldn't understand such manly ways, what with your brain coursing with estrogen." He threw his dark hair back, swaggering a bit. If I didn't know he was kidding, I'd say he gave a pretty fair imitation of a real boy talking to a real girl.

It's kinda nice to not be real if this is the conversation I get.

Another round of excited squeals burst from the corner. Elspeth spoke to a group of girls, their hands flapping around uselessly. Oh gods, is that what girls really do? Do I do that when I'm excited? Or were they really trying to fend off some invisible predator?

'Cause I'll tell you, that'd scare guys off pretty fast. Or maybe not, as there they are, shooting the girls second glances.

These thoughts are interrupted as Red's arm snakes around my waist, dragging me over to a couch, which immediately makes room for his very presence. He's considered as somewhat a god by his fellow college-bound hopefuls. I guess he's pretty good-looking if you like that nice guy with a small edge look. Which, believe me, many do.

Of course, they fail to see the mortal their god has claimed as his companion, and I'm forced to sit halfway in Red's lap. Next to me, a girl with small dreadlocks and a nose ring sipped a beer, looking halfway between stoned and dead.

"Look what we have there," Red murmured. I followed his gaze to watch a tall, and, I will admit, a very attractive man, talking to Elspeth. She looked a bit dazed as she twirled her hair absently.

"Are you gonna break up their happy little party?" He shot me a look. "Look, the sooner I talk to her, the sooner I get to leave. I don't want to sit in your lap all night. Don't you have some friends you need to get some last-minute bonding with?"

He looked a bit hurt, and I started to regret mentioning that. Every time anything related to school or friends was brought up, he got that same wistful, depressed look. If it got too bad, he'd start drinking more, and complain to me about how he wouldn't be able to handle leaving.

"Fine, I'll sit here, looking for all the world like some bimbo you picked out of the crowd." I snatched his drink, and before he could complain, drank half. Grimacing, I handed it back. No matter how I abhorred the substance, I couldn't last much longer without some sort of buzz.

His grin returned, but faded slightly as his eyes slid back to his sister. She looked really weird, her eyes all big and... gooey, her whole expression filled with adoration and something I couldn't exactly recognize.

Oh gods. Not again.

Flatly, I told him, "She's in lust again."

"Aren't you supposed to say love?" Red asks, faintly amused with my word choice. Really, he should be worried about his sister, shouldn't he? Bad things happen when girls look like that.

"She's been talking to him for all of five, ten minutes tops. How well does she really know him? No, her disease is simply love of the flesh." He snorted and chuckled, calling me a preacher.

Okay, so I can sound a bit stuffy. Whatever. It's the idea that counts.

We sat there another hour, then two, then five. It was nearing midnight, and surprisingly, half of the guests had already left. Maybe they had to head out to school tomorrow, too.

I lounged against the armrest, while Red's head lolled in my lap. Initially, we'd been making fun of weird people, stopping every few minutes to listen to drunk ex-classmates sob about missed opportunities and good times before moping off.

I deserved some sort of award for managing to keep Red as cheery as I did.

As the partygoers dwindled away, so had our conversation. And yet, across the room, the mystery guy and Elspeth were talking as animatedly as ever. At this point, I decided to sleep over. As the designated annoying friend, it was my duty to break up any and all relations that would end upstairs, or worse, in the back seat of someone's truck.

Suddenly, the silence seemed oppressive instead of comforting. Red seemed perfectly comfortable with lounging there, in a drunk daze. Too bad for him.

"Shouldn't you be going to bed soon? Or, y'know, going to bed with someone else? It's your last night. Do something fun, while you can."

"I'm going to college, not prison," he mumbled. I snorted. Same damn difference. "I'm through with the high school scene. Done. Over it. Bring on the college guys." He sighed and sat up, rubbing his forehead. "What about you? Almost a month into your sophomore year, and what haven't you done yet? Or before school started, for that matter? Drugs? Sex? Scandal?" His mouth made a sarcastic 'o' of surprise.

He deserved the flick I gave him, despite his innocent cry of surprise.

"Think. Think clearly, because you need to get used to this now, before your brains completely dribble away." He put his hands on my shoulders to cut off any response I may have had. And yes, I had many.

"Youth is not the only time to do crazy, fun things. As long as you don't always try to drop the activities to a later time, it's okay to do things at your own pace." The glance he gave me was surprisingly clear. "We don't have much time, but it's still there, waiting for us to use. It doesn't all have to be destructive."

There was a long, soulful silence, where I just stared into his eyes. Instead of that look I'd seen only moments earlier, they were glassy and unfocused. So what, this was some deep insight derived from a brain-killing substance? Or, more likely, drunk ramblings. I wasn't sure what to believe.

The moment was ruined as he lurched forward and heaved the contents of his stomach over my lap.

She was a good girl, and it felt great to be a liar

-coughs and shifts uncomfortably- Uhm, okay then. I... uh... -throws her voice- Look, she's alive! -goes back to normal- Yes, people, she lives once again! I mean, I do.

The chapter title, as well as the lyrics in the beginning and at the end, come from the song Molly, by Mindless Self Indulgence. I don't own, I just worship.

So, not a lot of plot advancement this chapter, but for the plot I'm planning for, I don't think I should rush it. But you need to tell me if it starts lagging in the bad, boring, unsuspenseful way, because it is in this way that I learn. I like learning. I forget a lot, but I like learning.