Chapter One

"Christina, Janice, Michelle, time to wake up!" The one thing that was more annoying to wake up to than an alarm clock that you couldn't. Or in other words, my mother, my anal retentive, obsessively neat mother. The type of mother who would be convinced that if I left a towel out on the floor that I was spiting her and it meant that I hated her. I groaned, rolled over, and put my pillow over my head. I closed my blue eyes tighter and prayed that I locked the door the night before. My door was the only door that had an actual key lock on it and that was because I bought it and put it on myself. I was sick and tired of my twelve year old twin sisters coming in my room and going through all of my stuff. They would touch things, move things, and it was the last straw when they broke my clay angel sculpture that took me months to sculpt and paint. It was two feet high and used to sit in the corner of my room, watching over me. After that my room became off limits to everyone. I was the only one that had a key to get in.

I listened as my mother's high heeled footsteps climbed the stairs and walked across the hardwood flooring of the hallway. She opened the door to each of my sister's rooms and I knew she was going to shake each of them and then kiss their foreheads to wake them up. She used to do that to me until I put the lock on my door. Then after she was finished with them, she would come knock on my door until I opened it. By then I would be awake enough to start getting ready for school. I heard little feet moving around and giggles in my sister's rooms. A whiff of perfume seeped through the cracks of the doors and played with my senses. I curled up into an even tighter ball and hugged my knees to my chest.

"Christina." My mother said through the door. She knocked and tried the knob. She always tried the knob even though the door was never unlocked anymore. "Come on Christina get up and get ready for school."

"Mom leave me alone. I don't want to go to school today, I don't feel well. Cramps, you know? I want a mental and physical health day." I cried from my spot on my bed. My stomach muscles clenched and I gritted my teeth together. The Midol was in my bathroom, but that seemed too far away. I heard my mother sigh and I could imagine what she looked like on the other side of my door. Her arms would be crossed and she would be tapping her foot against the floor. My mother would be in a fancy Channel business suit and her hair would be up in her normal French twist.

"Christina Louise Cambell, you open this door right now and get ready for school or there will be no hanging out with Luke this evening." Leave it to my mother to play the boyfriend card. The only good thing that was going on was my boyfriend Luke, and our eighteen month relationship and my mother used that to get me to do what she wanted, whatever it was. It was a low blow but it worked every time. Clutching my stomach, I stumbled out of bed and shuffled over to unlock my door. Glaring at my mother for just a second, I turned to my vanity and started to comb out my ruby colored hair. My hair was the best, and most unique part about me, well the color at least. My father has dark brown hair, which was inherited by Janice and my mother was a natural blonde, just like Michelle. No one really knew how I got the color hair that I had, it being completely natural and all. No one in my family, immediate or extended, had the same natural hair color. "Good morning sweetheart." My mother kissed my forehead and I stuck out my tongue at her.

"Yeah, yeah, good morning." I muttered. I pulled my hair to the side and secured it with a scrunchie. "Now do you think you can leave me alone so I can actually get ready?" I asked her. She pinched my cheek before stepping out into the hallway. "Thank you." I closed the door and immediately went into the bathroom to do the woman thing. I went to the bathroom and groaned when I saw a brown stain in my underwear. Figures that now I would get my period. Why couldn't it come next week, when Luke and I weren't planning on having a romantic night? I took a tampon out from under the sink and put it in when I was finished. I brushed my teeth and then put on deodorant. Walking around in just my bra and a new pair of underwear, I went to my closet and took out a pair of short shorts and a mid-drift tank top that laced up in the front. The only good thing about living in Florida was the fact that it never got cold. The coldest days temperature averaged around the sixties. Making sure my newly polished hands and feet didn't chip, I slipped my feet into my new Steve Madden sandals and grabbed my coach bag along with my books for school. After checking that my make up was perfect I headed downstairs. I passed the hall bathroom and paused when I heard retching sounds coming from it and knew that my mother was in there. Rolling my eyes, I continued down the stairs. If my mother wants to kill herself by throwing up well then that's her own prerogative. I'm so sick of this family. When I got to the kitchen my father was sitting at the table, the paper in front of him and a cup of coffee in his hands, which I was sure was laced with some type of alcohol. Greetings everyone, meet my family. My father the borderline alcoholic and my mother the bulimic. So much for being the all American family. Janice and Michelle were fighting over the last of the frosted flakes, each of them tugging at the bowl that held the cereal.

"Give it to me, it's mine!" Janice scream, her high pitched voice sounding like nails across the chalk board.

"No I had it first. I poured it in there first!" None of them seemed to notice that there was enough cereal for them to split and each still have enough to satisfy them for lunch. At the same moment a car horn beeped outside and I was getting ready to leave with Luke, the bowl flew out of Janice and Michelle's hands and landed on the floor, breaking into little pieces, and my mother came waltzing into the kitchen. Her eyes were bloodshot but no one except me seemed to notice. "See look what you did now Janice. You are such a baby!"

"Am not!"

"Girls please stop screaming, mommy has a headache." She looked at the mess on the floor but made no move to clean it. She also didn't make a move to yell at my sisters for breaking one of her fine pieces of china. If it was me when I was there age and I did that, I would have gotten smacked on my behind and punished for a week. But the twins were my parent's pride and joy. They could do nothing wrong.

"I'm leaving." I told everyone as the car horn beeped again. "Luke is waiting for me."

"Bring your sister's with you Christina. I have to clean this up before I go to work and I won't be able to bring them to school." My mother ordered and I bit my lip.

"But mom!" I argued. "I'm going to be late then and it is so un-cool asking Luke to drive them again. This is supposed to be my time with him and I'm not the mother. I shouldn't have to bring them to school. Get daddy to do it, he works from home." My father glared at me before going back to his paper. God help us all if my father actually did something for this family once in a while.

"Don't argue with me Christina Louise. You're taking your sister's to school and that's final." The twins gave me identical smirks as they got their bags and followed me to the front door. I grabbed my cheerleading uniform that was waiting for me at the front door before opening it to go outside. I saw Luke's smile fall when he saw them behind me and I mouthed 'I'm sorry' to him before we got into the car.

"My mother made me bring them." I admitted to him as he backed out his banana yellow mustang from our driveway. He shot down the street towards the middle school. I squeezed his hand that was resting on the divider between the drivers and passengers' seats. He gave me a smile as his hazel eyes looked over what I was wearing. I leaned over a little to give him a better view while I ran my hand up and down his leg. We got to the middle school and Janice and Michelle hopped out of the car. "I'll see you guys later. Have a good day."

"Wait, mom forgot to give us lunch money." Janice told me and Michelle nodded.

"She was supposed to but she was in the bathroom all morning. I think she might be pregnant, I mean I heard her throwing up and you only do that when you're pregnant." I suppressed a laugh and reached into my purse to hand both my sisters each a five dollar bill. "Thanks Christina. We love you." Michelle said as they ran towards the door. Janice waved before they disappeared into the school.

"Finally." I breathed. "Come on let's go to school. I don't have my first two classes so we don't have to go right away." I gave him a wink, running my hand over his leg again. "We could go to Hectors pole and hang out there for a while." Luke shifted and his face was flushed.

"I thought sophomores were supposed to be good girls." Luke stated. "What happened to you?"

"I think they're only supposed to be good if they don't have sexy senior boyfriends. If they do then they can be good or bad." Luke rolled away from the middle school and back on the road. I took off my seatbelt and started kissing Luke's neck. "And right now I think this sophomore girl wants to be bad."

"Christina stop, I'm going run us off of the road." Luke said but I knew he was just joking. Not once had Luke ever lost control of the car, not even when things got hot and heavy between us in the past.

"So why don't we go to Hectors pole…it will be nice and quiet there." Luke made a sharp left, causing me to stumble a little, and we headed up a hill. All around us was nothing but grass and trees. It was completely secluded from the rest of the town, perfect for high school kids to come up and have a little fun. He drove until he reached the top of the hill and then pulled the car into park. Hectors pole got it's name because there was a single street lamp illuminating the whole wooded area and on the metal was carved the name Hector, thus 'Hectors pole'. "I got my period." I admitted before anything happened. I didn't want Luke to get an idea in his head of what he wanted to happen if it wasn't possible. "So we can't…you know."

"I don't care, come here." He pushed the driver's seat completely back and pulled me onto his lap. His blond hair shone against the morning sun and his hazel eyes glazed over as we started to kiss. His hands expertly unlaced my top and he gently tugged it off my shoulders exposing my pink lace bra. My head tilted back and my eyes fluttered shut as Luke kissed my neck and played with the front clasp of my bra. "Damn bra." He muttered and struggled a little more before he finally got it opened. I wasn't exactly big chested but I wasn't small either. I was a comfortable 'b' kind of dipping into the 'c' section. I guess I could thank my mother for my size because she was a curvy woman, or at least was until she started throwing up. Now she was become skin and bone and her chest was barely there. Luke cupped one of my breasts in his hand and I gasped in pleasure. More, more. I brought his other hand up to my other breast, hoping he would get the hint. He did. Luke dipped his head and I was lost.

When we got to school, I checked my hair to make sure it wasn't too messed up and I used my cover-up to cover the hickey Luke left me. I kissed his cheek and made sure that my shirt was laced up correctly before I got out of the car. People were looking at us and whispering behind their hands. Some smirked, but most of them had frowns on their faces and looked at me strangely. Are they giving me the pity look? That's…that's the pity look! It is! Why the hell would they pity me? I probably have a better life than any of them and they're looking at me like that? Apparently they forgot that not only am I a cheerleader, but I am dating the most popular high school senior. I bet that they're just jealous. I took a hold of Luke's and he twitched.

"Are you okay?" I asked him. "You seem really jumpy all of a sudden. Did something happen?" Then I remembered the party that Luke went to the weekend before. The party I couldn't go to because I was too busy babysitting my sisters. "Did something happen at the party? Is that why they're giving us looks?" I thought the looks were for me but the more I thought about it, the more I realized they were probably for Luke. "Did you get embarrassed or something?"

"Christina can you just stop with the questions for like two seconds? Jesus!" Luke snapped and I was so shocked that I did shut up. I closed my mouth and just walked with him, wondering what was going on with him.

"What's wrong with you?" I asked after he still didn't say anything. "Why are you snapping at me? I didn't do anything to you and I was just concerned. Way to appreciate my concern." I crossed my arms across my chest. "I'm going to class. Later on if you're in a better mood you can talk to me. But if you're not, don't bother. I don't want to deal with you." I walked in front of him and headed into the school building. Still people were giving me looks and I couldn't figure out why. I wasn't walking with William but people were looking at my sadly. I walked past them, my head held high, and walked to my locker. My best friend Julie was standing next to my locker, her books in her hand and a smile on her face. But the smile didn't reach her eyes and I could tell that something was bothering her. "Hey girlie girl, what's up? Why do you look so sad?"

"Me sad? No I'm not sad at all." Julie said with a little more enthusiasm then normal and I looked at her skeptically. "Why would you think I'm sad? Do I look sad? I hope not because I'm not sad at all." My eyes narrowed and I stood there twirling the combination lock on my locker.

"Okay what's going on? Luke is acting all weird and so are you. If I didn't know any better I would think that you two had the same problem or something." I laughed but when Julie didn't laugh along with me something clicked in my head. If the party over the weekend was anything like the other parties that I've been to, there was drinking and random hook-ups. I couldn't count how many times I accidentally walked in on more than one couple in the act. It wasn't a pretty sight. I knew how friendly Luke got after having too many drinks and I knew without me there anything could happen. "Wait a minute…you went to the party this weekend didn't you?" I asked her. When she didn't answer I clenched my jaw. "You were…weren't you?"

"Yeah I was." Julie said and hit her head against the locker. "Listen Christina it wasn't supposed to happen, we didn't mean to it to happen."

"You didn't mean for what to happen?" I questioned. "Julie what are you talking about?" I slapped her arm. "Julie talk to me." Julie rubbed her arm where I hit her and avoided my glance at all costs.

"Christina we were both drunk…I didn't realize it was him until it was over and by then it was too late. We didn't plan it…we just started kissing and one thing led to another and I wasn't a virgin anymore." One thing led to another and I wasn't a virgin anymore. The phrase rang in my head.

"You…you had sex…with Luke?" I took a bunch of deep breaths and tried not to throw up the muffin that Luke bought me on the way to school. "You and Luke had sex, at the party this weekend? I think I'm going to be sick."

"Christina you have to know that it meant nothing. We didn't mean to do it and if I could take it all back I would. Neither of us wanted to hurt you." Julie went to put her hand on my shoulder but I moved out of the way. My hand curled up into a fist and I had to retrain myself from punching her. I stood in front of Julie, my former best friend and all of a sudden she seemed dirty to me. She wasn't the same girl that I had sleepovers with, or the one I gabbed all night to when I got my first kiss. The Julie that was standing in front of me was like a stranger now. "Christina, I'm sorry."

"Sorry? You're sorry?" I exclaimed. "Is that all you have to say? You slept with my boyfriend Julie, my boyfriend. This isn't some little argument or problem that we have…this is something big." I said, my chin quivering. "Are you aware that in that one moment that you and Luke had, you ruined a life long friendship? A life long one."

"Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?"

"For something like this? I don't think so." I slammed my locker door shut and held my books close to my chest. "You screwed up Julie and you screwed up badly. I don't think I can ever trust you again." I turned to leave and came face to face with Luke. Oh God this is not happening. This is not freaking happening.

"Hey baby." Luke said, oblivious to the change in my mood.

"Don't you dare hay baby me." I hissed at him. He looked at me and then looked at Julie who had tears in her eyes. "I can't believe that you did this to me Luke. I can't believe that you could do this to me." I tried to laugh but it came out as a strangled sob. "I should have known, once a cheater, always a cheater, isn't that what people say? You promised me that you were done with cheating on people. You promised me that I was the girl that was changing you for the better and I was the only one you ever wanted to be with. I should have known that it was all a bunch of lies just to get me into your bed. I should have known that you would never change your ways, especially not because of me. I can't believe that I actually had sex with you because I thought you loved me. I must have been completely retarded to do that." I ran my hand through my hair and dug my sandal into the floor. "I can't deal with this anymore…I'm out of here." My stomach was in knots and I felt dizzy.

"Christina wait." I heard Julie call out behind me. "Please wait, let me talk to you." Doesn't she get that I don't want to talk to her? Like hello, earth to Julie, you screwed up and ruined the friendship…it's never going to be the same again. I ignored the stares as I went down the hall and tried not to listen to the whispers that weren't so much like whispers. I wanted to run down the hall and get away form people. I wanted to run out of the school and as far away as I could. But if I ran then everyone would know that the news of Julie and Luke affected me and I didn't want them to know. I didn't want anyone to know how this affected me. With my head held high, I walked into my English classroom.

I couldn't go to cheerleading practice. I just couldn't go into that gym filled with basketball players and cheerleaders, all of which were either Luke's friends, my friends or both. But I couldn't go home either. If I went home I would have to face my family, who would no doubt want to know what happened and everything. I didn't want to answer a million questions about why Luke wasn't with me. What I wanted was a time machine to go back through the weekend. I wanted to go back to Saturday night, telling my mother that I couldn't baby sit so that I could go to the party and stop Julie and Luke from being together. All I want is my life back…I want the one thing in my life that was perfect was to be perfect again. God how can things get so screwed up? What did I do to deserve all this drama? I threw my duffel bag with my cheerleading outfit over my shoulder and headed out the school doors. I needed to escape somewhere, anywhere. I looked both ways when I left my school and then headed towards the left, away from my house and the school.

"Christina, hey Christina wait." A voice called out from behind me. I rolled my eyes and then turned around to see who was there. I waved and tried to smile when I saw my friend Anna coming towards me. Although Anna wasn't popular like I was we were still friends. It used to be Julie, Anna and I all together. When we got to high school Anna joined the artsy crowd while Julie and I became popular but we still stayed good friends. "Hey I heard what happened." Anna said when she got closed to me. "I wanted to see how you were holding up."

"Well I haven't slit my wrists yet so I'm not too horrible. But I'm not exactly little miss sunshine either." I told her. "I just wish that everything would just go back before this weekend so I could stop everything."

"It sucks I know." Anna said. "Luke isn't worth it and neither is Julie. She obviously isn't your friend if she did this, drunk or not." We headed down the sidewalk together. "Listen I know you and I haven't really talked much with my art lessons and your cheerleading practice but you know I'm here if you need me right?"

"Yeah I know."

"Do you want to go to my house and hang out for a little while?"

"That doesn't sound like a bad idea actually." I told Anna. "I really don't want to go home right now and obviously there's no where else I can go."

"Well now there is." Anna said happily. She linked her arm with mine. "And if you really want to, you can sleep over. It will be like old times."

"Except that Julie won't be here. She'll probably be out somewhere with Luke celebrating their new status as Keller High School's new hot couple."

"I doubt they are. Come on I don't even think that Julie likes him."

"Well she liked him enough to have sex with him last weekend." I reminded Anna. "I mean it wasn't just sex Anna…she gave him her virginity. Her virginity. Obviously you know that's really big for a girl to do, it's not just something you do casually."

"Well considering I'm saving myself for marriage, yes I know that virginity is very special."

"So how can you think that Julie doesn't like him?" I asked her. "I mean I wouldn't lose my virginity to someone I don't like. Therefore on some level, Julie likes Luke. And therefore, Julie is a back stabbing bitch." Anna shrugged.

"If you say so Christina." Anna said. The next few minutes were a blur to me. I stepped out into the street and heard tires squealing. I turned just in time to see a car coming straight at me. I tried to move but my foot was stuck in a pot hole. Anna screamed and I closed my eyes as my body made contact with the car. The last thing I heard was class breaking and then nothing.