Well guys here you are the long awaited sequel to Lessons…I hope you all enjoy it. Sorry its taken too long to write I've been trying to get a few chapters written so I can stay ahead and try and update regularly….

The Hardest Lesson!

Prologue –

Have you ever stopped to think about the people that society has deemed crazy or insane? The people who are so different from the majority of the world that they end up in institutions, highly medicated or just plain shunned from society. People that are just trying to find a place in the world to belong but can't because most of us are too scared to believe that their differences are what sets them apart, that makes them special and just can not accept them.

But are these people really crazy? Do some really here voices from a higher power, telling them how to live their lives? I mean we believe that some people are psychic. That some people have the ability to speak to the dead and see their ghosts surrounding the loved ones they left behind. So why, when some individuals claim that they hear voices, do we run scared or lock them up for our own protection? We seem to be letting the past repeat itself, look at Joan of Arc, she claimed that she could hear god talking to her, see visions and she lead the French army to many victories until she was captured by the English who were too scared to believe her, they labelled her a witch and a heretic and had her burnt at the stake. Many years later she was proven innocent but by then it was too late and the damage had been done, the murder had already occurred. A young girl had been brutally murdered for no good reason other than she believed that god was with her.

Then you have those people who believe that they have more than one personality inside them, that this other person or people can take over their body, their lives completely before allowing the dominate personality to return without any recollection about what happened while their other personality was out to play. But are they the only people who share their body with someone else? Or are they the only people who are brave to admit it, to embrace it? I believe that everyone has more than one personality, you see it every day. You see the kindest person go into a complete and uncharacteristic rage when someone they love is hurt, or threatened. The toughest person breaking down and crying in pain over the smallest thing like a paper cut or the birth of their child.

We all tend to project a fake image, sometimes more than one, an image we think others want to see. Sometimes it may be close to who we really are but majority of the time we only show a tiny part of or true personality. We do this because we want to be accepted, we want to be loved by the people around us and we will do anything to get it. But at the end of the day we can only keep up an act for so long because eventually we will get tired, our walls will start to slip and the people we have worked so hard to keep in our lives, will catch a glimpse of the person we have hid from them for all this time. But the question is whether or not they will like the person we have been keeping hidden or whether they only liked us for the person we pretended to be?

For many years I have lived a double life as two very different people, so many call it crazy while others may call it stupid, but for me I felt like it was something I needed to do. I think the hardest lesson you could ever learn in life is be happy with who you are. To not let other people influence the person you are, or the person you are going to become, because life is too short to be living someone else's dreams. My name is Claire Amanda Mason and this is my life, my story about breaking past others expectations and becoming the person I was born to be. It hasn't been a easy journey, believe me when I say I have been through so much to get to where I am. I have scars, both physically and emotionally and after hearing what I have to write you may not believe me, hell half the time I don't even believe it myself. But it really did happen and whether you believe me or not I know the truth. So sit back and enjoy the ride because this was one hell of a rollercoaster or events.

(10 months earlier)

I smiled as I approached the baseball field, hearing the familiar sound of cheering and yelling that I had missed so much. I adjusted my baseball cap, making sure my shoulder length dark brown hair was securely held in place underneath it. As I got closer I determined that the game was nearly over and it was very, very close. Closer than I had even seen these two teams get in my entire life.

As I approached the dugout someone jumped in front of me. "Well, well, look who finally decided to grace us with her presence." The smooth male voice joked.

I grinned, leaping into his arms and giving him a huge hug. "Well you know us girls, we are always fashionably late. My mum needed a few last minute things for the barbeque so I was running a little behind."

He chuckled as he placed me back on the ground, "Speaking of which shouldn't you be home helping in the kitchen instead of out here with the boys?"

My mouth dropped from utter shock before I managed to recover and firmly smack his arm. "That's a horrible thing to say to your best friend Mick!" I exclaimed in my best stern tone which ended up causing him to laugh more.

Yes ladies and gentleman you heard me correctly, the guy who just insinuated that a girl belonged in the kitchen was indeed my best friend. Michael Dollan, known as Mick by the few who he considered close friends, had been my closest friend since I was six years old. Our dads worked together and we just clicked. I was a tomboy at heart, more like one of the boys when I was out and I could hit like one too which is why Mick was currently rubbing his arm. And he wasn't exactly a small guy, he was 6'1 compared to my shorter 5'7 stature with broad, muscular shoulders that tended to drive most girls, yours truly not included, crazy. His dark brown shaggy hair gave him that, I just got out of bed look, no matter how much it was combed and his hazel eyes and broad smile made him a real ladies man and he definitely took advantage of it.

Mick doubled over in laughter as he rubbed his arm, "Has anyone ever told you, you hit like a girl?"

I poked my tongue out him playfully, "I so don't but just for the record in case you haven't noticed I kinda am a girl."

He looked me up and down, "Trust me Claire, I've definitely noticed."

Heat rose in my cheeks as I blushed slightly, I didn't like him as more than a friend/brother type figure and the feeling was most definitely mutual but any guy looking me up and down like that was going to get me to blush.

Mick pinched my cheeks, "You're so cute when you blush Claire."

I swatted his hand away while backhanding him in the stomach with the other hand winding him. "Remind me again why I put up with you."

He smiled broadly, "Cause you love me and because I saved the final hit for you."

I returned his smile as I rubbed my hands together, "Yay."

Mick wrapped his arm around my shoulder and pulled me close, "We have never been this close before Claire, so I hate to add extra pressure but we need a home run or we won't hear the end of it."

I gave him a wink and went to select a bat, "Sure no added pressure there. But just for the record it's totally in the bag"

I gave him a high five before I finally selected one of my favourite bats and gave it a practice swing. But just as I was about to head to home plate someone else stepped in front of me. He was a few inches taller than me with a muscular, athletic build that could even rival Micks' and a frown on his face, drawing attention to his lip ring. His backwards baseball cap hid his hair style but from the few bits I could see it was jet black. His brown eyes looked as if they were critically evaluating every fibre of my being, an eyebrow piercing raised as he arched his eyebrow at me.

I raised my own eyebrow in retaliation, "Can I help you with something?"

Piercing boy rolled his eyes and looked towards Mick, "Yo Mick! You seriously can't be thinking on letting this chick be the final batter."

I glared at him, "Chick?" I hated being called chick, it was almost as bad as being called woman.

Mick stepped in before I could take a swing at the soon to be dead boy, "Blake trust me you want her to take this hit. Sorry where are my manners? Claire this is my cousin Blake, Black this is my best friend Claire."

Blake eyed me up and down again, "She's a girl."

I rolled my eyes at him, he sure knew how to state the obvious, "Yes Sherlock I am a girl. I have boobs and other female parts, none of which stop me from hitting a ball with this bat or smacking you across the back of the head with said bat if you don't get out of my way right now."

He smirked and stepped aside to let me pass but as I walked past him he brushed against me, "You've got a nice ass as well as a violent streak."

I flipped him off, "Pervert!"

Blake chuckled, "Feisty aren't we."

I shrugged my shoulders, "Pretty talkative for a dead man walking aren't we."

He returned my shoulder shrug, "We all have to go some day and might as well die young and handsome at the hands a hot, ill tempered girl."

Mick stepped between us just when I was about to make someday, today and introduce his face to my bat and visa versa. I think they would form a great bond, become the best of friends and it would make me very happy to see the two of them connect repeatedly.

Mick place a hand on each of our shoulders, "Now, now children how about we save the insults and murderous thoughts for later because we have a game to play and need I remind you that this is the closest chance we have ever been to winning this game. So Claire my bestest friend in the whole wide world! Can you please get your cute ass on the plate and hit a home run and Blake, I love you, you're my favourite cousin. But if you don't sit your ass down on the bench now I'm going to sit your ass down for you or disown you it's your pick."

I stepped up to the plate swinging my baseball bat over my shoulder as I walked. Once I arrived at my destination, I adjusted my baseball cap to shield my eyes from the glare of the sun and blew a bubble with my chewing gum. As the bubble popped I stared down the pitcher trying to figure out what pitch he was going to send my way. It's not the first time I had faced this pitcher and I was sure it wasn't going to be the last but I was determined to hit this one out of the park.

I glanced around and saw that the bases were loaded and it was up to me to hit a home run and bring my team to victory. The first two pitches were no good and the third ended up in getting me my first strike which I was less than pleased about. By the time the fourth pitch was thrown I was more than ready to get this over with.

The pitch was good, a nice fast ball that was perfectly thrown. I swung my bat as hard as I could which resulted in an all mighty CRACK as the bat connected with the ball, sending it soaring right into the outfield. I grinned as I watched it fly, before dropping my bat and tearing around the bases as fast as humanly possible.

By the time I rounded third base the ball was on its way to home plate, the rest of my team were already at the home plate cheering me on. I knew I would have to do something drastic if I was going to win this for us. As the catcher got ready to receive the ball I did a running slide into the plate, accidentally knocking over the catcher before he had a chance to catch the baseball.

My grin grew as I heard the umpire yelling that I was safe, I jumped up and brushed the dirt off my pants. I took of my cap and threw it in the air shaking out my shoulder length dark brown hair, as the rest of my team celebrated the win around me.

I watched the other team's pitcher stride over to me, his glove loosely hanging in his hand at his side. He was 6'3 with an athletic, strong build and broad shoulders you would expect to find in someone who played baseball as much as he did. He was in his late thirties with dark brown, hazel eyes and a kind smile.

He extended his hand out towards me, "Well done Claire about time you guys won one of these."

I shook his hand and laughed, "What can I say you guys must be getting old. Reflexes not as sharp, eyes sight not as good as it used to be."

He chuckled and ruffled my hair, "Watch it kid."

I wriggled out of his grasp, "Aw dad." I whined, "Not the hair."

I wasn't lying when I said I had faced the pitcher before, I knew him very well being as I shared half of his genetic code and all of his baseball skills. This was the yearly forth of July baseball game that I had been part of since I was ten years old. My dad was a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants baseball team and had been for the past twelve years, he doesn't play as much as he used to due to numerous shoulder operations but he still loves the game as much as he did the first time he picked up a baseball bat, which was about thirty years ago if I remember correctly. We were pretty similar in that respect I first picked up a baseball bat when I was six years old and had never looked back since.

So when I was about ten I was part of a little league team, perfecting my skills, when I found out about the father son baseball game that was played every fourth of July between my dad and his team mates and their kids. Straight away I wanted in, I thought it was very sexist that it was a 'boy thing', not that many of the teams daughters wanted to participate, too afraid they were going to break a nail or actually sweat for the first time in their lives. But considering I had been around all the boys since I was six years old I wanted to join in and from that day on it was known as the father kid baseball game, it didn't have the same ring to it but at least this way it was politically correct.

My dad smiled, "Do you need a ride home Claire bear?"

I rolled my eyes, my dad was the only one who got away with using my old nick name. "Nah it's cool. I'll catch a ride with Mick and meet you there."

As everyone was leaving I searched for Mick and found him over by the few girls who actually come out and watch the game every year. Apparently they liked looking at the young guys and spent the whole time wishing that they would take their t-shirts off because of the heat.

I shook me head in disgust as I jogged over to him, jumping on his back when I was close enough, causing him to stumble slightly under the surprise of my weight.. "Mick can I catch a ride with you?"

The three girls glared at me, the one in the middle with the perfect body, boobs and blonde hair even did that whole hair flip over the shoulder before all three spun around and walked away. Looked like I spoiled their flirting fun, such a shame…..not.

Mick groaned, "Claire, did you have to do that?"

"Save you from a group of skanks? The future bimbos of our proud nation?" I enquired.

He nodded, "They were cute and all found me very humorous and attractive."

I laughed, "Thus proving my point that they have no brains."

I tightened my grip around his neck as he freed one of the hands that was supporting me so he could smack my ass, "Keep talking like that and I won't take you home."

I rested my head on the back of his shoulder, "You know you will take me home no matter what I do and say because I'm your best friend and you love me plus I know you never miss out on those marinated chicken wings my parents cook every year."

My parents had been hosting a fourth of July barbeque for as long as I could remember, it was a way for the whole team and their families to get together and just chill out and have some fun. My mum always made enough food to feed a small army, the men would watch over the grill while the women stood around and chat and the little kids ran around the whole back yard, leaving the inside of the house for me and my friends. It was the one gathering I looked forward to every year especially considering the majority of my dad's old retired friends come too so it was a reunion as well.

I felt something wet drip on my hand causing me scream and jump off Mick's back, "Eww!" I exclaimed, "Did you seriously just drool on my hand."

He wiped his mouth and pouted, "Not my fault, you're the one who brought up the chicken wings. You brought it on yourself, you know what they do to me."

I wiped my hand on his already sweaty t-shirt, "That was just gross man, as gross as your sweaty t-shirt. You so need a shower." He rolled his eyes before a small smirk appeared on his lips, I was confused until I finally realised I had seen that smile before. I slowly backed away from him, "Mick, don't even think about it."

He stepped towards me, slowly but surely. "Think about what?" He asked innocently.

I quickly turned and started running away from him as quickly as possible but he had a slight height advantage on me and his stupid legs were longer than mine and within a few seconds he caught up to me and was rubbing his sweaty body against mine. Yes I had been playing the game too but I was only there long enough for one go round the plates. Mick had been playing all nine innings and was completely soaked with his smelly odour.

"Yuck!" I whined, trying to wriggle out of his grasp, "Mick if I wanted to smell like you I would have run around the block several times or even rolled in dog crap."

He laughed and picked me up off the ground, swinging me over his shoulder, "What can I say Claire since you were late and couldn't play an entire game I decided I would share mine with you and I do not smell like dog crap thank you very much."

With another slap on the ass he carried me towards his car, a black monstrous Range Rover which I had fondly named Betty when he had brought it over to show me the day he got it. He had had it given to him as a sixteenth birthday present, the same day he had gotten his licence. He spent, what felt like several hours droning on about the special features, the size of the engine etc while I slowly feel asleep on the comfortable backseat. Cars weren't really my thing, I knew how to change a tire, check my radiator and oil levels, it did put me in front of most girls when it came to car maintenance but after that I was lost.

I giggled as he finally set me down, "Yay, you gave Betty a wash, she looks so pretty and shiny."

He cringed, "I really hate that name, it's a manly car, it should have a manly name and all I get is Betty. I'm sure you could do better than that!"

I tapped my chin while I thought about it, "Nope sorry I like Betty. Now come on thanks to you I need to go home and have a shower."

Mick laughed loudly as he wrapped his arm around my shoulders and gave me a squeeze, "You know you love me."

I lifted my leg behind me and kicked his ass as we walked, "Depends on the day!"

Well there it is the first of many chapters….. I hope you all enjoyed ad it was worth the wait I should have an update in the next couple of days. Just remember reviews = motivation and motivation = quicker updates.