Memories That Fade Like Photographs,

Chapter One.

I fiddled with the locket around my neck as I watched the clock tick by slowly. Whenever I'm impatient, bored, nervous, furious, worried, or any other emotion like that, I subconsciously twist it between my fingers. Right now, I'm impatient and bored. In exactly thirty four more ticks, school will be over... forever. No, not really, but it will be over for three months. Three whole months of sleeping in and doing whatever I want because it's summer. I can't wait!

I sighed and shifted in my seat. Everyone in the class is doing the same thing, except for the few that fell asleep. I think the last day of school is actually worse than the first. Only because at my school, we take our final exams on the very last three days.

Five. Four. Three. Two. One.

"FINALLY!" I yelled and scurried out the door, no one gave me weird looks or anything. They're pretty much used to my random outbursts. And on the last day of school, it's pretty much expected.

"Cade!" A voice called out from behind me. I turned around and saw a short, brunette walking through the crowded hall towards me.

"Hey, Ally," I said as she reached me. "How were your finals?"

"Horrible, yours?"

"Same, same."

"What are you doing tonight?" She asked

"Oh, my mom's having some business people over and she's making all of us children stay home. I even have to wear a dress. How icky is that?" I replied, sitting on the hood of my brother's car.

"Well Tyler's having a bonfire tonight. You should see if you can come," she said.

"Oh definitely. I'm sure those people will be gone early and I'll be able to go."

"Great," she smiled. "See you later."

"Peace," I said. I leaned back against the windshield and closed my eyes. My brother always takes his time getting to his car. Some days I'm just tempted to walk home, but by the time I start walking he finally arrives.

"Cadence," a voice sung out, "isn't that car burning your butt?"

"I'm wearing jeans, silly," I said, smiling at Tyler. If there is one thing you should know about Tyler, it's that he is extremely good looking. His hair is shaggy and light brown, and his eyes are the lightest shade of brown.

"Why is it that when it's twenty degrees in the winter you're wearing booty shorts, and when it's eighty degrees now you're wearing jeans?"

"Man, stop talking about my baby sister in booty shorts," my brother, Andrew, said. I rolled my eyes at my brother's over protectiveness.

"Whatever," Tyler muttered, "Are you coming tonight?" he asked me.

"I might. Bye, Tyler." He smiled and waved 'goodbye'. "Wait, wait, wait," I said, as Andrew started opening his car door.

"Yes?" He asked with his eyebrows raised.

"Can I drive?"

"Oh, hells no."

"What?! Why not?"

"You're gonna wreck my car. I don't trust you."

"But, I got my license. How come no one lets me drive their car?" I pouted.

"Yeah, and no one knows how you even passed your road test. Get your own car."

"Maybe I will," I stuck my tongue out.

---

My mom's the kind of mom that could care less about her kids. She thinks we're useless, she even said that to our face. She complains about how she has to go to work; how she has to feed us; how we ask for too much stuff. But when guests are around, she acts like she's the perfect, single, working mother of two.

That's why I'm stuck fidgeting uncomfortably in this dress. It's pretty and everything, but dresses just aren't my thing. It's a plain, pale yellow, sleeveless sundress that reaches just above my knees. It's lacy too. Thankfully, I wasn't forced to wear heels. She settled on white ballet flats since it's a barbeque.

"I'm bored already and they aren't even here yet," Andrew said sitting down next to me. We were sitting on the steps of the deck in our backyard; it faces the woods a couple hundred feet back. It's where I sit whenever I think about stuff.

"I know," I groaned. "Why do those stupid business people even care about meeting her children?"

I turned around and saw figures standing in the doorway connecting the kitchen to the deck. My mom walked out with a great, big smile on her face. Following her was a woman about the same age as my mom, holding a little girl. Then a man, about the same age as the other two, walked through. And so far each of them were smiling and talking their butts off as they sat down at the patio table.

What interested me was the person sitting next to the man. It was a very cute boy. He was tall, but not extremely tall. His hair was dark, longish (it covered his eyes), brown, and there was a white, folded up bandana tied around it. His lips were formed in a straight line, and he seemed set on staring at the floor.

When he looked up, his vibrant, green eyes met my blue ones. His eyes were so familiar, they reminded me of someone. We had a staring match for a few seconds until my eyes widened with realization. I was staring at Matthew David Kane. A.K.A. my childhood best friend, my childhood neighbor, the one that said he'd be here for me, the one who left, the one who never called.

I stood up quickly and started walking towards the door.

"Cadence Leigh Watters, where do you think you're going?" my mother's screechy voice interrupted my getaway.

"Oh, I just... have to, you know... I have to go... clean my hippo," I stuttered. My mom just nodded and everyone made a face that said 'she clearly has major issues.'

Calm down, I told myself. Just because he decides to come back after four years, doesn't mean I have to acknowledge him. I refuse to. If he hadn't left, then maybe my life would be totally different. Maybe my freshman year would've been fantastic, instead of turning out the way it had. Maybe I wouldn't have this reputation.

Now before you say anything about how people lose their best friends all the time, maybe you should understand the whole story.

I've known Matt since the day I was born; he's only three days older than me. The longest I have ever been away from him was only a weekend, when he had to stay at his grandmother's house. We were literally inseparable. We'd spend the night at each other's house almost every night. Our parents didn't mind. In fact, they thought it was cute.

When we were eleven, our friendship really took on a new meaning. It's hard to explain what that meaning was exactly. We both matured and our friendship strengthened, if it was even possible. My dad died, that was part of the change. He left right before the one year anniversary of my dad's death and I had to deal with it by myself.

My mom was so heartbroken and depressed; she just altogether stopped taking care of Andrew and me. She would sit in her bedroom all day and watch TV. She's still not over it; she just learned how to put on a fake smile. And Andrew was 'too cool' for his little sister. Matt was the only person I had.

So maybe now, you can understand the significance of me and Matt's relationship and how I felt when he left. He was the only one who understood me, the only one who listened to me, the only one who cared about me (at least the only one who showed it, besides his parents).

Seventh and eighth grade, the two years after he left, were the worst ever. I was just a lonely, quiet girl who lost her best friend. I didn't really have any other friends, just the few that Matt and I would hangout with. But after he left, I didn't want to hangout with them. I became a loner; I wore baggy clothes and tied my hair up everyday. I'd come home everyday after school and do my homework, and when I finished, I read.

By the time the summer before high school started, I realized how boring and depressing my life had become. I realized that I wanted to have friends, I wanted to have fun. I decided to make myself get over the fact that my best, and only, friend moved away. I decided that I'd change myself.

I learned how to use my blonde hair and blue eyes to my advantage. I got my hair cut and learned how to style it. I learned the proper way to apply makeup. I traded my loose fitting clothes for tighter, more girly ones. Andrew didn't like my new look, but I didn't care. It was his problem; not mine.

I was nervous as hell as I took my first steps as a freshman into Roosevelt High School. I didn't know what people would say about me or if they would even accept me. I remember wearing black leggings and a bright blue sweater that went down to my mid thigh. It brought out the color of my eyes (which were covered in thick black eyeliner and mascara).

That's when I met Erin Stevens. She has platinum, bleach blonde hair, with some of her brown roots showing, and blue contacts. She tanned so much she was literally orange. Talk about fake. I still, to this day, cannot believe I was 'best friends' with her. I had blonde hair and blue eyes, but it was natural and natural looking.

Like I said, I met her in my freshman year. We became best friends. Together, we ruled the school— well, the entire ninth grade. We were the leaders of the popular crowd. Every girl wanted to be us, every guy wanted to be with us. We tried out for cheerleading and made it onto the freshman team. Erin was never my real friend though. I knew I could never trust her, and I didn't.

Erin changed me more than I wanted to. She introduced me to the party scene. Whether it was a lame freshman party or a 'crazy cool' senior party, we were there. I got my first kiss and my first boyfriend that year. We were eventually known as sluts, and nothing else. The only difference between Erin and I is that she let guys in her pants, I didn't. Despite all the rumors, I am a virgin.

By the time March rolled around, I hated the person I became. I hated how when I looked in the mirror I didn't see the same person. I hated all the stupid rumors about me. I hated the parties, the pointless drinking, and the heavy make out sessions with what's-his-name. I hated this lifestyle worse than being a loner.

So I saw the perfect opportunity when John, Erin's boyfriend at the time, started flirting with me at a party. I saw Erin walk in the room so I grabbed John's face and kissed him and he kissed back. The rest after this could be summarized as disaster. Erin slapped me, than started to cry, claiming that she loved John.

The Monday after that incident, no one would talk to me. Well, at least my old 'friends' wouldn't. They all took Erin's side, which I was happy about. It meant that I didn't have to deal with all the drama and parties that came along with being 'popular'.

For about two weeks, I just kept to myself. A few people would talk to me, but I never really talked back. John, on the other hand, claimed to be in love with me. He thought that I actually did like him back, because of what happened with Erin. He was basically my only friend for awhile, and that's saying something right there. But, he just so happened to have a stepsister named Ally Young.

I was bored out of my mind one day and decided to accept John's offer of hanging out with him. We went to his house and watched a movie, or something I don't really remember. I just remember that he was being a douchebag. So I ditched him and hung out with Ally. I think she was a little wary about it at first. I honestly think that she still is, considering my past and all.

Ever since that day, I've been the normal Cadence Leigh Watters; the real me. Yeah, people still spread rumors about me, but not as often as they used to. I haven't had any form of alcohol in over a year, I haven't kissed anyone since John that one time, I haven't smoke a cigarette in three weeks. It's a lot harder to quit smoking, but now I only smoke when something is on my mind. It calms my nerves, you could say.

But, just think, if Matt never left, what my life would be like. I definitely would have never been known as a slut, I would have friends that trust me one hundred percent, and I wouldn't be so lonely.

Okay, now that my life story is done, let's get back to the real story at hand. I took a deep breath and walked back outside.

"Is your hippo nice and clean?" Andrew asked, smirking.

"Fernando's squeaky clean," I replied, playing along. I awkwardly took a seat at the patio table across from Matt, avoiding his gaze.

"Oh, look how gorgeous Cadence's gotten," Mrs. Kane exclaimed, patting my shoulder and smiling.

"Er, thanks," I mumbled, playing with the hem of my dress.

"The Kane's moved back to the neighborhood, Cady, isn't that great?!" My mom said enthusiastically.

"Um, yeah. That's awesome."

Awkward...

The adults started chatting about their partying days in the eighties. They seriously need to move on, high school ended more than twenty years ago. I took this as the perfect opportunity to go over to the swing set that my dad built for us. It faces the woods in the back, too. It's another good thinking spot.

"Hey," a voice sounded from behind me. I turned around and saw that it was Matt.

"Hi..." I said. What are you supposed to say to someone you haven't seen or talked to in four years? Especially when you're extremely mad at them?

"It's been awhile, hasn't it?" He asked, sitting on the swing next to mine.

"Four years," I stated. We sat there in silence for a few minutes. The only sound was the adults talking, Andrew's attempts at barbequing the food, and the little girl (I need to find out her name) humming softly.

"So..." Matt sighed suddenly. It startled me, just a little.

"Listen. I know we used to be, like, best friends and all, but honestly, it's been fours years and I'm over it. Okay? Just 'cause you're back in town doesn't mean we have to go back to being besties. We don't even have to be friends again. I really don't even think that we can go back. It's impossible; a lot of things have changed. Okay?" I said. I stood up and walked away, leaving Matt gaping like a fishie.

---

If this seems familiar, it's because I posted this two years ago! Hahah it's a little childish I guess (I wrote it when I was 14 :P). But I really wanna finish it. So I blended two chapters together and changed them a teeny bit. Next chapter will be up soon! :)