per.fec.tion pər féksh'n

perfect nature

the quality of something that is as good

or suitable as it can possibly be

(see also: Jennifer Hart)

Years from now, my kids and grandkids will probably want to know what life was like back in the early 2000's, and how we could possibly survive without all of the technologies that are available to them. To make it relatable, I will describe, as best as I can remember, what my adolescence was like and what I was like.

Just a normal kid going about her life: going to school, hanging with friends. Nothing extraordinary there. I would tell them all about all of the crazy things I've done and fondly recall what fun it was.

I could tell them that—they weren't there, they wouldn't know the truth. But the only problem is, none of it would be the truth. Not a slight bit of over-exaggeration on my part. All lies, because nothing has happened to me. To be completely honest, I don't even have friends.

It's difficult trying to survive high school with no friends. Thankfully my school is relatively mellow as schools go but there is no escaping the wrath of my classmates. Admittedly they can't do much to me, but it doesn't stop the obvious hatred everyone has for me. But then again, maybe I deserve it. I'm different than my peers.

Not good different.

No one wants to be friends with the cast out. Especially not if you're like me. Top of the class because I fight for every single point I can get. Anything below an A will not be tolerated in my house. I'm almost on first name bases with many of the staff. Of course I don't call them by their first names, but even if I did, I would get in little to no trouble. I do many errands for them and help with lesson plans and therefore they all love me. Good relationships with teachers mean much better chances of getting letters of recommendation. Those ensure you a better chance of getting into a good college.

The better the college you get into, the better the job you most likely will get. That is my parents plan for me: dominate the Honor Roll, get accepted into Harvard or Princeton, and then 'take over' the world as a powerful and influential doctor/lawyer/CPA/engineer/… They did it. My father is a highly sought-after lawyer and my mother, with a Ph. D. tucked under her belt, is a professor at a nearby college.

No pressure, really. All I need to do is spend one-half of my life studying and doing research to get there. The other half is devoted to activities that will most likely enhance my brain power and making me look even better for college.

At the library, they have a whole waiting list reserved for me alone. I've gotten in excellent shape toting around large biographies and histories of ancient civilizations. Stuff like that. Upon my parents' insistence, I tutor lower classmen. (None of my classmates would want to willingly be in the same room as me). I don't get how they don't get it though; I was taking all advanced placement classes when I was their age. That stuff is a lot harder than learning fractions, or whatever else it is they're being taught. Very often I get frustrated with them.

Of course they don't have parents as driven as mine—so of course the standards for them are going to be a little more lax. My parents are living again through me. Correcting mistakes they feel were made in their own upbringings. Teaching me things that they both feel they missed out on. Consequently, I am fluent in both French and Spanish, in addition to English. I play both the piano and the violin and am extremely useful in the kitchen. Art lessons, horseback riding lessons, computer courses, you name it they've probably enrolled me in it at one time or another in my seventeen years.

I'm quite sure the bills they've racked up for private tutors and lessons are astronomical. Possibly more money than most will ever see in their lives.

As for a social life? Who needs one of them? That would detract from valuable studying time. Popularity is so over-rated. Besides, my parents feel that my peers are so beneath me. They consider them to be imbecilic and barbaric. ("What a wonderful way to ruin their lives. They're out destroying brain cells with liquor, getting sexually transmitted diseases, and crippling their chances of furthering their education by having children").

They might be able to find flaw after flaw after flaw with the rest of teenage society, but they could find nothing to rag on about me. (This was partially because I was their child). However, it went further than adoration of your child. They are positively convinced that I had all the makings to be a genius and have no doubt in my abilities. Hence all of the preening to make me desirable.

I'm not a genius. Einstein was genius. Newton was. Mozart and Bach and all the rest of them were. My IQ is plenty high enough and my SAT scores are good enough to please any college. I'm cultured without doubt. And lonely as anything.

Between all of the performances showcasing my talents, I feel like a trained animal. Performing at its owner's will. No choice in the matter. Just doing the same tricks over and over and over again.

Another reason why I'm different from the rest of the teenage world. They are able to live their own lives, do their own things, be their own people. I am a puppet, controlled by the whims of my parents. But the last thing I want to do is give it all up and let my parents down. They invested a lot in me and it would be downright ungrateful to throw it all away.

And so I continue with the lessons I received. This time it is acting. I act like I'm the person my parents want me to be. I act like there is nothing wrong and that I love every minute. I pretend to be someone I'm not. If I don't become the next Nobel prize winner, you will definitely see me in Hollywood.

I'm getting so good at it, I'm beginning to convince myself.

Author's Note: My first Fictionpress project and it's baa-aack! I plan to do a LOT of revising and/or rewriting. Hopefully, I will get several new chapters in, at least doubling the length. This time, I'm going to focus on fleshing the characters out and make certain situations seem more realistic and/or believable. (And adding more!)

Jennifer is totally different from how she was. Originally she was just the chipper little goody-goody who did all of that stuff because she wanted to. Because she enjoyed it. Now, she's more of a trained animal than anything else. Doesn't want to let her parents down, because they expect her to be this way. You may see conflicting Jennifers in later chapters, but I will get everything fixed.