I woke up the next morning to the obnoxious sound of Todd's so-called 'singing' accompanied by Spencer's guitar

I woke up the next morning to the obnoxious sound of Todd's so-called 'singing' accompanied by Spencer's guitar. It was loud; it was annoying; it really wasn't that good.

I moaned and rolled over to check my alarm clock for the time. 6:18, it read.

"Look, the princess is awake!" Spencer cried out, throwing his guitar on Todd's bed in thrill. He leaped onto Todd's bed next to his guitar and started bouncing up and down like a five year old child.

"Grow up. And go back to bed, brat," I hissed, shoving my face into my pillow to drown him out.

"But it's morning!" He exclaimed.

"Dude, she's right. It is still pretty early. I kind of want to go back to bed myself," Todd said, setting a hand on Spencer's shoulder calmly. Spencer scowled and slunk out of our room to go watch TV in the living room.

"You're welcome," Todd said after Spencer was safely plunked in front of the television.

"I didn't say thank you," I lifted my head out of my pillow and turned to look at him. His dark hair was stuck to one side of his face, and pluming out on top like a peacock, the knots just adding to the wave. His face looked flushed and his cheeks were rosy.

"But you were thinking it," He replied, laying back down and resting his head on his crooked arm.

"How would you know?" I asked brashly, not pulling into check my irrational morning personality. I knew that I was a bitch in the morning, my parents and sister had been telling me so since the moment I hit puberty. I'm just not a morning person, never will be.

"I can read minds, didn't you know?" Todd's sarcastic mockery won out over his never-before-seen good side when he answered me.

I couldn't help but feel relief over the fact that he couldn't and never would be able to read minds. Especially not mine. What he'd find there would be extremely embarrassing on not only my behalf, but his as well.

"You're an idiot, you know that?" I said, rolling over and resuming my negative slump of behavior. I couldn't let him think I liked him. That would ruin anything. For God's sake, Amberleigh, what are you thinking? You don't like him. How could there be a risk of Todd finding out something that isn't even true?

The pause in the room is like a thick milkshake with a whole cup of salt added in to make it not taste so sweet. The silence is almost unbearable, and I can hardly contain the tears threatening to erupt from my eyes. I'm facing the wall, so no one would be able to see either way, but you can always tell when someone's crying by the gasps and gulps they make. I highly doubt even Todd is oblivious enough not to notice.

"Amberleigh, you could really use an attitude adjustment," He says, his voice exponentially tighter and more wound-up than it was only thirty seconds ago. His words hurt, but I can't let him know that. I'll just repeat the words in my head for hours on end when no one's around, and I've let my thoughts run free. Isn't that what always happens? I sigh, accidentally let out a breath much louder than intended.

"What is your problem?" Todd asks. I hear the whoosh of his legs swinging over the bed and planting with a thud on the gray carpeted floor. "So much for getting more sleep," I purse my lips, holding in the rage bubbling up in my chest, and hear the door creak open and slam closed as Todd plods down the hall to join Spencer, away from yours truly.

I can't hold the tears any longer, and as soon as the door is closed I convulse, letting the salty wetness pour from my eyes. My body heaves as the tears are wracked from me. I curl my legs up to my chest under my blanket, and huddle against the wall, waiting for the fit to end. The few moments it lasts feel like painful, emotionally-heavy hours. I don't stop until I'm completely exhausted, and the tears are drying, sticking to my cheeks and chin uncomfortably. I gulp down breath after breath, trying to calm myself down, and finally manage to contain myself enough to close my eyes and make an attempt at going back to sleep.

I awake again at half past seven, and consider myself lucky. The apartment, oddly enough, is devoid of any noise or presence, and I'm alone. I haul myself out of bed, against my longing to snuggle up under my blanket and go back to sleep, and head down the hall, searching for the bathroom that Duncan told me was there. I open doors as I search, uncovering a linen closet containing only two towels and an old, ratty sheet that looks like it was left behind by who ever lived here before Duncan, Spencer, and Todd. I shrug and pick up one of the towels, and continue to the next door, which I find to be the bathroom.

The door swings open with ease and I brace myself for what I know to be a waking nightmare. Judging by the rest of the apartment's state of cleanliness, I don't expect the standard for the bathroom to be much higher, and my expectation is not wrong. There's a lining of toothpaste in the sink, and gunk stuck to the walls in the shower. I shudder, and step through the doorway gingerly, avoiding contact with anything suspicious-looking.

In my entire life I have never experienced such a disgusting living quarters. It's all I can do not to turn on my heel and run right out of the apartment, vowing never to return. But, of course, I have no where else to go. It's here; or the streets. And I think I can make do here a while longer.

I set aside the longing to shower, knowing that in that shower, it won't make any difference. I'd exit just as dirty as I'd entered. Instead, I took a deep breath, and plunged into the first task of the day: cleaning the bathroom.

I opened the cupboard underneath the sink, searching for evidence of some sort of cleaning products, and finding nothing of the like amidst the shave cream and untouched soap and hair gel. I back out of the room, and go back to my room. This is going to be a long, long day. I pull a hair-tie out of my purse and brush my hair back into it with my fingers, and changing into something slightly more presentable than my pajamas. I can't exactly clean a bathroom without and cleaning products. To Wal-Mart it is. I need cleaning products.