Chapter 1


TV lies. All those years of watching reality TV and those Disney channel shows really were a waste of my life. In those shows, they tell you that high school sucks and that kids throw you in dumpsters, or there are separate tables for the "cool kids" and the nerds. Or that every high school looks the same with wooden doors and glass in the middle for you to see your crush at the last five minutes of class, or that detention has a teacher sleeping at the desk and all the other kids in detention can play music, write on desks, wrestle, smoke, and just about anything else that could possibly wake up the teacher, but somehow didn't And let's not forget the ever present, spitball.

My high school days were nothing like this, thank God, but this was the picture I carried around with me as I entered the breezeways of San Fran High.

Today was the first time in fourteen years where my mother hadn't taken a "first day of school" picture. It was also the first time my mother had let me drive in my brother's car. She had always thought that just because I was in the car, my brother would go insane and get into a car accident. Mothers. But today was different. My brother didn't even talk the entire drive to school He didn't even so much as glance at me as we cruised down the road. It was a good hours drive to school--why we went there I will never know—and Knight normally had a lot to talk about in the morning. Why? No one will ever know. But this particular morning, he was quiet. He had dressed rather casual then he normally did, jeans with a brown belt and a Hollister tee shirt, and for some reason he seemed a lot more serious then he usually was.

My brother was a very good-looking guy; I'm not going to lie. He wore the popular clothes, knew all the trends, had the best blond head of hair I think a guy could ever have, and he was friendly to almost everyone, which kind of freaked me out more then the whole perfect clothes thing. He was that popular, hot, captain of the football team stereotypical high school movie guy. He was on the football team, the swim team, and the track team, going to state in each sport. He was the vice president for ASB, freakishly involved with DECA—whatever the heck that was—he was with the LINK leaders, in the Honors Society, the drummer in Jazz choir, and with the SHAPE group. He was as involved as a cheerleader, but... the only thing that was different from him and the stereotypical high school guy was that he hated all the cheerleaders and drill girls with a red hot intensity of 1000 suns. He only hated them because his girlfriend was a cheerleader and he didn't want to become a snob, even though he had the goods with two out of the three vice principals and Mr. Green, the actual principal.

I didn't even like his girlfriend. She was to perky—probably because her blood was actually coffee—she was too pretty—fake blond hair, fake nails, fake nose, fake boobs—and she was way to perfect. She was more involved then Knight, if that was even possible. And the worst part about her was the fact that her name was Katie. Ugh. The most common popular girl names ever for a cheerleader.

I always wondered if my brother knew how good-looking he was. He seemed to know, but he was to humble and modest to even care. I also wondered if he knew how much I thought about his life. I thought about him constantly, only because his social life was a complete mystery to me like an Agatha Christie novel. Yes, he was always there, and yes he cared about me deeply, but everything he did away from school and home was a mystery. I couldn't wait until I got a car so I could do the things that he did.