Chapter One

My first step in California. Ah, glamorous, glorious California. This is where stars are born. Then I tripped.

Can you believe it?! My first step (literally) towards fame and glory, I trip and fall flat on my face. How typical is that for me?

Not to mention that this fully is not fair, since I totally had an embarrassing moment on the airplane too. It involved walking on a man in the bathroom while he was relieving himself.

That's not even my fault! I mean, come on, how was I supposed to know that a guy was in there with everything exposed! How awkward is that? Then, it became even more awkward when he turned towards me in shock and embarrassment and I got the grand tour, up close and personal.

See, he had been mostly covered by his jeans when he was facing the other way. But then he turned to face me. At first it was awkward. Then it became one of those jump-off-the-plane-and-die-while-no-one-knows-what-happened-except-naked-guy moments.

Plus it didn't help that he happened to be the hottest guy I had ever seen. Seriously. He had long, soft, dark brown hair that I just wanted to run my fingers through. His haircut was amazing, it was messy but in a stylish way. His eyes were huge and they were framed by dark eyelashes. He had an adorable butt-chin, which I fell in love with immediately. And he was super tall. He was at least five inches taller than me, and since I am 5'11, that is pretty good for a teenage guy.

Not only was he super hot, I also knew this guy. His name was Brayden Samuels. He went to my school back in Arizona. He was the ugly guy, the gross nerd that everybody picked on during freshman year. He had to switch high schools because the teasing and tormenting were so bad. I'm not exactly sure why he was the target of everybody, but it had something to do with him being very fat, never showering, wearing glasses, and having mucho zits.

I'll have to admit, I was one of them. How could I not be? I was a cheerleader; all of my friends were mean to him. I never was cruel to his face, but I snickered behind his back as he walked by along with the rest of my friends.

I know, I am a conformist. I am also a horrible person because of it.

But anyway, Brayden was no longer fat. Holy crud, no. He was super slim with killer arms, and what I suspected to be a 6-pack under his shirt. Wow.

That was when he called me a "creepy pervert" and slammed the door in my face. Dang it.

Why do these things always happen to me?

I'm not even kidding, they do. It's probably because I am a conformist and I don't do what I think is right, I go with the flow, even if it's wrong. It's also probably because I am mean to people sometimes behind their backs, which I consider worse than telling them what you think to their face. And it probably had something to do with the fact that I was still staring at him.

I am such a hypocrite.

Stupid karma. I hate you.

So, after everybody turned around in their seats to see the creepy pervert, I ran into the adjacent cubicle-thing. Thank goodness it was empty. Or I probably would have thrown myself off the airplane.

Nobody would probably even care. They would just go, "Oh, look Ed. The creepy pervert is jumping off the airplane." And then Ed would say, "Can we see it from our window?" Then they would run to the opposite side of the plane to watch the creepy pervert fall to her death. And laugh.

My life sucks. And I am only 16 years old. I haven't even been an adult yet, and I already know that I will be unsuccessful in life. Unless I become an actress, which is the one thing I'm actually brilliant at. But my back up plan involves me living under the stairs of the A building at my high school. Aside from the rat poison under there, it looks like a pretty decent place to live.

I mean, if you don't count having the weather be a problem. In Arizona, it just gets so darn hot! And if you also do not count having teenagers seeing you everyday and throwing stuff at you at lunch.

Which they would probably do, just because teenagers, in general, are rude and mean to people, especially hobos that used to be backstabbing, conformist cheerleaders.

And all the counselors would tell all of their counselees about me. How I used to be popular and everything, but I screwed up my life, so popularity clearly must not be everything. They would only say that to their unpopular students that cut themselves because they want to be accepted so badly. To their popular students, they would say nothing, because popular people do not talk to the school counselors about their lives and how they feel and stuff. Sorry, but that is simply not done.

And honestly, if the unpopular people want to be popular, they should be social. It doesn't make you popular, but you gain friends. And friends make you more confident, so you talk to people you thought you couldn't talk to. They may still make fun of you, they may not. But it doesn't matter because you won't care. People with high self-esteem do not care about whether or not Sally Slutty likes them. Sally Slutty isn't even popular anyway. She just thinks she is. But she has self-esteem. Well, kind of. Not really.

Okay scratch that. I have a bad habit of monologing when I explain stuff. And I tend to go off on tangents. Obviously, since I started about tripping on the plane and I ended with Sally Slutty.

But, back to my embarrassing moment. The original one, where I tripped on my own feet and fell, which happened to be my first step in California.

So, I tripped and fell. Guess who was right behind me? Yeah, it was naked guy. Nice going Carlie, I thought.

And guess what else Brayden did? He fell right on top of me! What's worse is he said, "Nice going, pervert."

Then he picked himself up with his amazing arms and walked off. I, still in shock by his hotness, jumped up and ran after him. I had to talk to this hogtie, I just had to! Even though I had walked on him while he was peeing and he fell on top of me and he called me a creepy pervert and everything. I didn't care.

I have no dignity.

"Hey! Hey Brayden, wait!" Oops, I wasn't supposed to say his name. One of the unwritten rules of talking to people you haven't seen or heard from for a while, is to say, "Hi. Did you used to go to Alton High? Because I think I remember your face from there. What's your name again?" Even if you do remember their name, you do not use it because they might not remember you and then you feel awkward. So you kind of reintroduce yourself.

But, of course I didn't do that. I am so retarded.

So, after I made that first mistake, Brayden turned around. "How do you know my name?" He asked stiffly.

"Um, it was just a guess." Mistake number two.

"Who are you?" Perfect, I had just sealed the deal. Now he really thought I was a creepy pervert. He probably just added the word, 'stalker' to the list. Typical.

"Um, actually, I think I went to your school."

"Which one?" I could see him bristling.

"Uh, Alton High?"

His eyes narrowed. I saw a flash of pain in his eyes before he turned around and walked, this time very determined. To get away from me.

"Brayden! Stop! I need to talk to you!" I cried after him.

He whirled around, boiling with anger now. As I approached him, I saw him take a deep breath and then he said, "I don't know who you are, but obviously you know me. Yes, I did go to Alton High, but that high school brings back nothing but bad memories, so obviously you mean nothing to me. In fact, you were probably one of the people that made fun of me all the time."

I was speechless. I wasn't expecting former nerd, now super hottie to treat me like that. Actually, I'm not sure how I expected him to treat me. Certainly not with open arms and a gracious smile. But definitely not this.

But I do kind of deserve it.

"So," Brayden continued, trying to keep his voice calm. "Who are you and why do you want to talk to me so badly?"

"I, uh, my name is, Carlie Briston." I cringed, awaiting his reaction, which probably would have something to do with killing me. Or something like that.

"Carlie Briston." He paused. "Yes, I do remember you. How can I forget you?"

Uh oh. This cannot be a good thing. He remembers me. He could have remembered Tiilyre or Gracie, but he remembers me. Tiilyre, she was definitely the worst. But Gracie wasn't far behind. And he remembers ME?!?! Why, karma, why?!

"Carlie, I had a huge crush on you freshman year. But you were a cheerleader, I couldn't even begin to measure up to you. You were no match for me. I was the class freak and you were the class beauty queen."

I'll have to admit, this was very flattering. This sexy beast though I was hot! Oh my gosh, something good might actually happen in my life! But he was soooo wrong about me being out of his league. I had to do something to bring his feelings back.

"I still liked you when I switched out of Alton. It was so hard for me to get over you, even months after I left. It's a wonder that I didn't remember your face. How could I not? And…"

That was when I dropped all of my stuff and kissed him. I just stepped closer to him, grabbed his head and smashed my lips to his. For a second I thought he was going to kiss me back.

"Brayden? What is this?" We broke apart, he jumped back.

"Renee!" His face turned bright red. "Renee, this is not what you think it is. She went to my old high school, and we were talking, then she kissed me. It was nothing, I promise."

"Good." Renee lifted an eyebrow in my direction. It might have been my imagination, but she looked fairly amused.

"Carlie, this is my girlfriend, Renee." Brayden said, wrapping his arm around her shoulders.

Mistake number three.

Renee was beautiful. I was no match for her. I had dark brown hair, stick straight hair that when down to my waist. She had wavy, wind blown, sun-kissed hair that went to her shoulders. While I was tall, she was extremely small. I had an athletic, curvy body, she had a petite boyish shape. We were both thin, she was just petite. Easily the smallest person I had ever seen. I loved my dark blue eyes, but she had amazing emerald colored eyes that were framed by the longest eyelashes. She was tan, I was too, but hers was more bronze, I was pinker. And she was wearing an extremely short skirt with a skimpy tank top, both from Abercrombie & Fitch. Me, I was feeling glamorous in soffee shorts and a T-Shirt that said "Alton Cheer" on it, 2 sizes too big.

I was probably most jealous of her name. The think what I love most about myself is my name. Carlie. I think it is cute, girly, and trendy. Renee, her name was so sophisticated. My name sounded childish and immature next to hers.

I was still standing there when they turned around and walked away from me. Now my name was the Creepy Pervert/Stalker/Desperate Slut. He was probably telling her my bathroom incident.

I'll have to say, my summer vacation is getting off to an excellent start, wouldn't you say?