Chapter 1:

The lovely world of me

I knew it was going to be a crap party. And I did tell her. Oh, I did. But would she listen to me? Naw. She would just keep applying her lash-extension mascara, and say: "Oh for heavens sake, Hannah. Stop being such a bitch about everything and put on some make-up so that we can get the hell outta here."

Yeah. That's the wonderful life of me. I'm always the one getting bossed around by my cheerleader-twin, Karla. She can be such a skank when it comes to parties: "Oh but Hannah must come with. It'll be great!"

But what she really is saying is: "Hannah must come with because I don't wanna be alone like some dork. All my friends are grounded because they were caught smoking and drinking. And by the way, that's my fault."

So now I'm staring at my closet, deciding if I should wear tights or jeans. Really, there should be like seasons for that. Like a jeans season, a skirt season, a dress season, etc. Life would be so much easier that way, and then we don't have to spend half of the time we have on deciding what to wear.

I have flipped a coin, because I am majorly useless in the fashion department. Jeans are heads, tights are tails.

It fell on tails. Ugh, I'm not really in the mood for skirts, but at least I won't match with Karla, who is wearing a bright red cocktail dress with spaghetti straps.

So I decided on a super-short jeans' skirt with black tights and a huge black belt. That should do it. Now…… for the top.

Hmm, what about a tee? Nah, that's too plain, and everyone wear those these days.

A vest? Hmm, yes. With a thin, small sweater. Yes that should do it.

Okay, shoes…..

"Haaaaaaaaannnahh! Hurry up!" Karla yelled from downstairs.

"Coming, coming." I muttered while grabbing the first pair I could lay my hands on. Well, it had heels. Took my little blue make-up bag, hairbrush and headed downstairs.

I ran past mum, "No later than twelve!" she reminded us with her Italian accent. I've grown used to it by now. Really, it's been sixteen years.

I jumped into me and my sister's purple Volvo. It was our sixteenth birthday present, which was last month. My sister fainted when she saw it. Not because of it being such a big present and all, oh no. She wanted her own one. Which I can understand, 'cause of her popularity. Dating the football star of the school, having bitches for friends, being a bit of a bitch herself, being a bully, and being a girl jock. And getting a car for her birthday, which she has to share with her sister. That wraps everything up so nicely, she hasn't even forgiven Dad for it yet.

Karla started the car and reversed out. That was my queue to start grooming. I brushed my long, chocolate brown hair carefully, arranged my fringe and let my hair fall like a waterfall down my back. It had volume, which was good. Karla had the straightest blonde hair you could possibly come across. She uses her straightner alright, like, three times a day. I don't even have one. I prefer to spare my pocket money for collage (which no one really does, but, come on. I'm unique).

I smeared on some brown eyeliner and bubblegum lip gloss for a natural effect. And to wrap that up, a little coral pink blush. That would do it.

It really suits my eyes, this look. My weird brownish-greenish-goldish eyes.

I glanced at the shoes I've grabbed. My Jimmy Choos.

"Darn it." I cursed.

"What?" Karla asked, chewing open mouthed on Dentyne Fire (she practically lives on it. According to her, boys love it.).

"Got the wrong shoes." I muttered, biting my lip. She peeked at them,

"Nah, they'll look hot. Where'd you get them?" she seemed interested. I ignored her and slipped my size six feet into them and attached the straps. It felt good, but I know it would be killing me by the end of the party. Correction, by the time I start searching for Karla, which is usually an hour before we actually leave the party.

"Can I borrow them tomorrow night?" she asked while I was arranging my handbag. Cell phone, extra cash, lip gloss, concealar, pen and paper (you never know), house keys……

"Hannah!" I jumped.

"Oh, yeah sure. Where you going?" I asked, stuffing tissues into my handbag which I found lying around on the back seat.

She snorted, "None of your damn business."

I shrugged and popped a mint from my purse. Bad breath is a major put-off. Not that I'm gonna hunt boys or something, it's out of plain politeness.

We turned onto a street, filed up with mansions with filthy wealthy people. Looks like the party's going to be at some rich kid's again. How boring.

We turned onto the driveway of the hugest house I have ever seen. "Haven't been to this one's before." I mumbled to myself.

"It's Darren's cousin's. His parents are on some hike in Africa for a week. Very rich people. Father owns a business, very successful. Same with the mother." Karla filled me in. Trust her to know all the details.

Darren is Karla's boyfriend. The football star I told you about.

She switched off the engine and jumped out to grab her handbag from the back seat. I quickly checked my features. Make-up still acceptable. Check. Volumised hair. Check.

As I got out, I flicked my hair, licked my lips and tightened my grip around my handbag. There were plants, trees and flowers everywhere. It was like a nursery. Geez.

Karla linked arms with me as we headed for the front door. I unlinked my arm from hers and pushed her away. I am not one of her bitchy pals.

"Fine, fuck off bitch. I have some attracting to do." She said pushing past me through the front door. I sighed, shook my head, and entered the mansion.

Not a bad party. The music's cool (if you like dance-hip-hop), the snacks are good (dip's always finished when I get there), no alcohol (yet), lots and lots of rich, jockish boys, and to end things off nicely, I'm sitting on some counter in the kitchen, sipping a soda, alone.

Yep, another one of those nights.

I don't mind being alone at all. I've grown used to it. I have my casual friends I hang out with at school, but nothing serious or anything. They're just there, and I'm just here, you know that kinda thing?

I suck with the dating scenario. Really, if you think about it closely, boys are basically a sorry waist of time. You "fall in love" for about, what, two months? Then he comes up to you, with the whole, "It's not you, it's me." And drops you like worn-out bitch to start dating the girl he's been fancying while you've been together.

In my opinion, pointless.

Talking about pointless stuff, Droolee just walked into the kitchen.

We call him Droolee, because at school in class he looks at the teacher and drool through the whole period. Like, literally. There has been rumours that when he drools, he's fantasises doing stuff with the teacher. I'm sure you don't wanna hear the rest, I didn't want to.

So he comes up to where I'm sitting on the counter and joins me, then he sighs. It was as clear as daylight he was drunk.

"So, what's your name?" he asks, staring at his feet.

"Your pickup line sucks." I say slowly.

And he starts hooting with laughter, which is very unattractive. It wasn't even funny.

"Oh, I like it when a girl has humour. It makes stuff so much easier."

He says, smiling at the fridge.

"Oh yeah?" I taunt him. No way am I getting off with this gwell tonight.

He looked up at me. His head moved faster than is eyes, which is a very clear sign of drunkness. And gosh, he is so ugly.

"Who are you?" he asked with question marks written all over him.

"Jenna." I lied. The guy might track me down, you never know. Even though he's drunk.

"Oh. I'm Hugh." He mumbled.

What? Hugh? No, wait. That isn't his name. It's Gerald, if I'm right.

"What, like Hugh Grant?" I said sarcastically. Seriously.

"I wish." He snorted. Guy's very drunk.

"Oh, right." I muttered, finishing my soda.

"You want me to get you another one?" he asked, pointing at the empty can in my hand.

Think, Hannah, think!

"Um, yes please." I answered. And he wobbled off.

Now's my chance.

I headed out of the kitchen, out the front door, across the street, and into some huge open field.

Turns out to be a park.

There were swings, and I made myself comfortable in one. Breathed in the night air and exhaled through my nose. I closed my eyes and tried to concentrate only on feeling. A cool breeze swept my hair across my face. The crisp nip in the air tickled my skin, it felt nice. I smiled, and opened my eyes again, only to find someone looming over me.

_____________________________________________________________________

"Holy shit!" I screeched, jumping up from the swing. I was only about two feet away from the person now.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Didn't mean to frighten you." The person, a male voice, said gently. He had long hair, but that was all I could see. It's quite dark out tonight. It was fluffed all over his head. His hair, I mean.

I just stared at him.

"I…. I'm Tony. What's your name?" he tried, carefully. He took a step back to give me some space.

"Er…. You look pretty harmless. So I guess I could give you my real name. I'm Hannah." I said.

He chuckled, which gave me goose bumps. I wonder what this guy looks like.

He walked over to the other swing on my right and sat down, sighing.

"Party too much for you?" he asked.

"Nah, just getting rid of old Droolee who went to go get me a drink while I made a run for it."

"Really? The party has only started and the boys are already after you. You must be pretty." He said, turning to me.

"Um, really. You're gonna feel stupid for talking to me when you see me in the light." I tried to assure him.

He was quiet after that, but I swear he was smiling.
"Tony….. doesn't sound like someone I know from school. Do you know me?" I broke the silence.

"I'm new, I'm only gonna start attending Fridgewell High on Monday. Darren decided that I should get to know people before Monday, so we decided to have a party." He explained.

"You know Darren?" I asked, surprised.

"He's my cousin." He confessed. I gasped when the penny dropped.

"This is your house?" I asked, completely surprised.

"Yes," he laughed, "Darren's idea to have it here." He complained, as if he wasn't happy about it at all.

"Oh, right. So, your parents are in Africa for a week?" I asked, not making it sound like a question.

"How do you know about that?" He seemed surprised, but interested.

"You know Darren's girlfriend?" I said.

"Yeah, Karla. Why?" He asked.

"Yes, well, Karla is my twin sister." I confessed, biting my lip. Maybe he has seen me before.

"Oh! Well, what a coincidence." He said out loud. Just then, a freezing breeze swept across us and we both shivered. We burst out laughing.

"Don't you have something warmer here?" He asked after controlling his laughter.

"I do, but it's in me and my sister's car, and she has the keys. She's probably making out with your cousin by now, so I don't wanna disturb her." I complained, hugging myself to keep warm.

He was quiet for a moment, "I have an idea, come with me." He got up, and I followed.

We walked toward the side of the huge house, and he opened the side gate. We walked around the side of the house, where we were totally alone. Being alone always makes me shiver, so I shivered double as much as another breeze wound through the narrow pathway on the side of the house.

He turned around to look at me, and I really couldn't see any of his features. I wonder if he could see any of mine. I stepped closer to him.

The he suddenly wrapped his right arm around my shoulders, and led me around the house. It did feel better, his warm (and strangely muscular) and bare arm around me. I smiled at the feeling.

We were behind the house now, and I saw a single, wooden flight of stairs leading up to a door on the third floor above us. He led us up the stairs, with me slightly behind him.

When we reached the top, he dug into his jeans' pocket and pulled out a bunch of keys. He unlocked the safety gate and then the old-looking wooden door.

It was dark inside, and I shivered again.

"Be right back." And he disappeared into the darkness of the room.

I stepped inside, trying to get used to the darkness.

Lights flashed on, and I let out a gasp. It was a bedroom, and a king-size bed with deep blue covers and white pillows all over it, was a few feet away from me. On the wall, on the right side of the bed, were framed medals and certificates. There were even a few trophies on the book rack underneath it. I went toward it all to gawk. All the medals were gold, except for two silver ones, which were barely noticed. There were about seven trophies, I touched the biggest one. It was so shiny and, special.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you." A voice spoke behind me. He laughed when I whirled around, he had only been joking.

I let out a gasp when I saw him, he was simply beautiful. His hair was a dark bronze colour, just about reaching his thick, black eyebrows. His jaw was firm, but very manlike shaped. His eyes were the best of all, a deep brown. More like dark chocolate. It somehow seemed deeper than any eyes I have ever seen before. It makes me feel kind of weak, but like a woman. A smile crept across his face, revealing the most wonderful teeth I have ever seen.

"Brought you something warm." he spoke, turning me around to slip on a thick sweater, it was from Gucci. But men's wear.

"How long did you have braces?" I asked kind of frowning in an amused way.

He chuckled, "Two years, and you?"

I gasped, "I didn't have."

"Well, you've got stunning teeth!" he complimented me.

"You too!" I said too quickly.

He snorted, "Thanks to braces."

I looked around his room, it was so neat and expensive, and it felt like I didn't belong.

"You look nervous." He said, amused.

"No, it's just……"

"I know, very high class. But I can't really help it. My mom, she thinks expensive things last longer." He said, flopping down on the bed, looking up at me.

I turned back to the wall with all the medals.

"Geez, what are all these for?" I asked, totally gob smacked once again.

"Swimming." His voice came from next to me.

I nodded, quite impressed. I read one of the framed newspaper articles: "Tony Watson, breaking all New York's butterfly and freestyle records once again."

He snorted, "That was in middle school."

I moved to the next one, where it was dated, 07-04-2010, which is two months ago: "Tony Watson being considered in Olympics team for hundred metre butterfly."

I gasped, "Olympics?!" I nearly said too loud.

He chuckled, "They're gonna let me know in two months' time." He announced proudly.

"Jeepers creepers, you must be damn good. Are you joining the swimming team at Fridgewell High? Because our team sucks. You will really make a difference." I let him know, looking up at him.

"Well yes, but I won't be training with them. I train a lot more, or have to. I have my own personal trainer." He said, smiling down at me. My eyes widened, and I sat down on his bed, still gaping at all the medals and articles.

"These are only my national medals; I still have loads more in the drawer over there." He pointed to the book rack, underneath the trophies.

"I'd rather not look." I admitted. I have seen enough, this guy is good.

He sat down next to me, sighing. He was wearing a really tight t-shirt, and that's when I noticed his muscles bulging on his chest. Wowzee wow, I thought to myself. I wonder what it feels like if you touch it.

I looked up at him, he was like a god. I couldn't help thinking about it like that.

"Would you like something? Like a soda or something to eat?" He offered.

"Oh, I'm not in the mood to go back down there now. " I moaned, shaking my head.

"Not necessary." He said, getting up and walking over to the other side of the room. There was a little, light grey fridge in the corner that I haven't noticed yet. He opened it.

"Just a Cola please," I changed my mind, "thank you."

He came back with two cans and handed me one. I thanked him, and opened it to take a few sips.

"So, what do you do?" he asked after a while, looking interested.

"Well, I'm more of a musical person, but I also jog every second day. Helps me clear my head." I said.

"Musical?" He asked.

"Er, yeah. I, um, sing." I muttered, thinking about having the best voice at school. That's what I'm famous for.

"Sing? Wow, like solo?" He seemed impressed.

"Yep."

"Will you sing for me?"

"You'll hear what I sound like pretty soon." I thought back to what my music teacher said: "You're singing your eisteddfod song in assembly on Monday. Be ready to blow everybody's minds."

By the way, I got a Cum Laude for it.

He smiled and nodded, taking a sip from his can.

That's when the door burst open and in stumbled Karla sucking Darren's face really hard, and the other way around. Darren was already topless; he had one of his hands cupping her breast and the other on her butt. Hers was fiddling with his jeans, trying to unbuckle the belt.

"Ahem." Tony cleared his throat.

They separated and turned to stare at us, not letting go of each other's private places.

"The guest room is at the end of the hall, here's the key." He chucked the key at Darren. He dropped his hand from Karla's breast and caught it. "Thanks." They both mumbled and stumbled out again, shutting the door hard again.

"Well I guess my sister isn't a virgin anymore." I broke the silence, looking down at my hands disappointedly.

Tony smiled a soothing smile at me, like somehow telling me it's alright.