~Chapter One~
"An Honest Mistake"

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"Lanie, they're gonna be here in a few minutes." My twin sister said, resting on the beanie bag in the corner of my room.

She had a magazine perched on her left knee, and she was gazing at me with a somewhat funny smile. I was in my bathroom, looking at my hair with disgust. Seriously, what was that? Had my luck run out? I mean, the one day I need to look nice I look like shit . Suddenly, I wanted to jump out my bedroom window and make friends with the pavement. Permanently.

"Yeah, I know. My life is dark." I muttered, pulling on my bangs. They were staying straight for the moment, but I knew once I looked away from the mirror they were going to disobey. I sighed, and lugged myself back into my room to grab my shoes. My sister was bored with my frenzied actions, and was now reading her stupid magazine.

"Jill, you're supposed to give me encouraging words, or something like that." I said, looking for the perfect pair of shoes. Hah, right.

"Ugh, I don't even know why you like him. He isn't very hot." She remarked, and flipped a page in the magazine. I glared, though she couldn't tell, and put on my simple black flats. I assumed people wouldn't be gazing at my feet or anything. Besides, if they were, I'd be seriously creeped out.

"Okay, fine. Whatever. Let's just go." I mumbled, and pulled open my door. Downstairs I could hear my mom messing with the pots, while the television played some idiotic variation of Jingle Bells. I smelled something akin to pork, but I never really knew. My mom liked to experiment with food, which sucked, because she usually ended up with something purple-ish and chalky tasting. I prayed to God she wouldn't mess this up. Please, not tonight.

When I entered the kitchen, my mom looked up and gave me an expression of relief, which scared me. Crap, she wants me to do something. I sighed softly, and waited as she pulled open the freezer to take out some cookie batter. Why she didn't put it in the oven when she made it, I'll really never know.

"I want you to make some cookies, Lane. They're going to be here soon, and I want the house to smell good." She said, as if that was the only reason we should have cookies. I nodded, albeit reluctantly, and pulled out a baking sheet to put the batter on.

Quietly, my mom must have left the kitchen, because when I asked her where the parchment paper was, she was gone. I froze.

Okay, if she's gone, that means she's upstairs fixing her hair or something. Jill is missing, staying in God knows where, and I have to finish these cookies. They're coming any second, which means I have to answer the damn door. Crap.

Whenever I think about the Rossi's, I can't stop the thought process. But now I'm thinking of them, and so now I'm doomed. The Rossi's are a beautiful family of five. When I say beautiful, I really mean all of them, (which my sister adamantly disagrees on.) Mr. and Mrs. Rossi have great jobs and both graduated from Harvard (yeah, I know, what the hell) and have three children. Philip is eighteen as of three weeks ago. He's a weird kid, I have to admit, (meaning he smokes cig's and snorts crack). There's Kelly, who's eleven and blond and innocent, and then there's Kurt.

If I could define wonderful it would be perfectly done so with one word: Kurt. As little kids, since we were both the same age (heck yes), our parents would let us hang out together. When I say let, I really mean they'd put us together in the sandboxes and things. That's about it; but I still knew we were soul mates since our first sandcastle building moment.

Upstairs I had his gift, neatly wrapped in a somewhat masculine color of red, and waiting on my bedside table. I figured that just in case we had a gift exchange, I'd be prepared. My sister called me an idiot when I bought it--but I digress.

"It's called love, sister. You would know nothing about this feeling." I'd said, as I whistled an un-named tune that had been stuck in my head. She'd smirked and left my room, once again calling me an idiot. I'd replied saying she lacked interesting vocabulary, and that she needed a brain. Her answer was to ignore me. Good one, Sister, good one.

I had a nagging anxious feeling in my stomach, as I spread the now found parchment paper over the baking sheets. My mom was still upstairs, even after minutes of useless thinking on my behalf, and I wondered if I'd have to entertain them all while my sister and mom were upstairs giggling at my torture.

I could only imagine the glares I would be getting from Philip.

While I set the thirteenth cookie down, (yes, I was counting) the doorbell rang. I muttered a string of obscenities, silently begging my mom to come back. I was seriously unprepared for this social situation. I set the spoon down, and made my way over to the front door, (my heart was doing its own little dance, something close to the Macarena). I paused, smoothed my bangs down, and opened the door.

I wasn't at all prepared for the damn wind. It blew up my hair, and I could only assume my facial expression looked like I was constipated. I heard a small giggle to my right, and I immediately looked in that direction, afraid it was Kurt. It wasn't, though, as I caught sight of curly blonde hair and a pretty red dress. Right, Kelly's here. Heh.

"Hello." I said, and smiled at them. Behind Mr. Rossi, Kurt stood, looking smoldering and beautiful as always--I'd occasionally done my spying from the guest room window. Philip stood next to Mrs. Rossi, gazing at our lit up reindeer which were bending at an awkward angle. Jill and I had gotten irritated setting them up, and Jill kicked one of 'em in the stomach, so now it was bent weirdly. Everything was Jill's' fault. Honestly.

"Hi, Lane." Mrs. Rossi said warmly. They were all holding a gift, so I was glad I had one as well (my mom and Jill had the other presents). I realized quickly that I was obnoxiously standing in front of the door, and that is was freezing outside. "Oh! Um, come on in." I said, stepping aside. Mrs. Rossi smiled, and so did Kelly. The three men didn't really react much. I inwardly sighed. This sucked.

I led them into the living room, and stood there with my arms folded awkwardly, having absolutely no clue what do in this situation. "Um, my mom should be down any second. And I have no clue where Jill is." I said, as they all sat down on the couch and the chairs. Thankfully, I heard thundering footsteps on the staircase, and my mom's face appeared over the banister.

"Hi! Merry Christmas!" My mom shouted, her sweater a bright red. She looked pretty, in a subtle kind of way (sarcasm) .

They all turned in her direction, and shouted various greetings. I wondered where the hell Jill was, and why she was hiding out.

Following my mom, Jill came bounding down the stairs, answering my unasked question. I watched as she made her way over to us, in a beautiful golden dress with her hair curled. So that's what she was doing this whole time. Fantastic.

I glanced in Kurt's direction and frowned when I caught his interested look-over. Oh no.

"Hello, Jill." Mrs. Rossi said, smiling largely. My mom sat down on the couch, and I sat on the floor. We assumed family story-time position (I was pretty used to it) and we all had our specific places…though somehow Jill's spot happened to be next to Kurt. Damn.

I remembered that I hadn't finished the cookies after Kelly finished one of her stories. Quietly, I slipped out of the room and into the kitchen, where they were still waiting, sitting on the tray like the lonely pieces of cookie batter they were. I stepped up to the tray and resumed my cookie placing, feeling sort of lonely. I had this funny feeling in my stomach. I didn't really know what it meant.

"Those cookies are huge." I heard a voice mutter from behind me. I screamed, as was assumed, and the cookie batter I had in my hand flew up and then down onto the floor. What the hell was that?! For a split second I thought it was Kurt, and my heart thumped harshly against my chest. But when I turned around, the thumping stopped as soon as it had begun, and returned to a soft drum. I stared at Philip with the saddest frown. This was disappointing. "Oh." I said, and bent down to pick up the cookie batter.

"Shit, you have the loudest voice ever." He said, scratching his ear. Okay, like scratching it is going to help. Really, dude, is that all you can do?

I stared at him with subdued disdain. He stopped scratching, and the silence in the kitchen escalated to awkwardness. "Uh, why..." I began, but then I thought that finishing my sentence would be pretty rude. I changed my mind. "Why are you here, exactly?" I asked, and leaned against the counter.

He was wearing usual teenage guy clothing, and his hair was a light blond color. I remember that he'd gotten his lip pierced, and when I checked it was still there, (don't know how I missed that). He scared the crap out of me, and had this stare that made the hair on my arms stand. I didn't like when people's stares made my hair do that.

He shrugged in response to my question, and dipped his finger in the batter to eat some of it. "Whoa, that's completely unsanitary," I said, watching as he lifted his finger to his mouth. As I stared, I noticed his lip ring, and then his eyeballs, which were this weird green color, and that he was smirking and he was watching me. I'm pretty sure he just caught me watching him. And not in that normal way, it was more of a 'I'm a rapist watching you eat batter' kind of way.

In the back of my mind I wondered what Kurt was doing in the next room over, but when Philip reached for a second helping, I couldn't help but stop all thought and smack his hand.

"Hell no. This is my damn cookie batter. Go home and eat your own." I said, and took a new spoon out, since the other one had fallen on the floor. He laughed softly, and shook his hair in that stupid male model way. I thought it made him look bad, but apparently he thought it was the next best thing. "You didn't answer my question, by the way..." I mumbled, adding three more cookies to the cookie tray.

"My brother likes Jill." He said. I paused, afraid to look at him. What?

I heard soft shuffling beside me, and then he was next to me, grabbing the spoon out of my hands to finish the job. I stood there, looking into the counter and listing off the various colors in the granite. Brown, black, Kurt likes Jill, white, shit. Shit.

The world stopped. "Oh?" I choked out, watching as things began to spin. Faintly, I heard Philip place the spoon down, but I didn't register that in my mind at all.

"I thought that--" He started, but I touched his hand.

"I don't want to know." I said, and left the kitchen. Suddenly, I hated Christmas so, so much.

I kept an eye on Jill and Kurt and studied their movements discreetly. After I'd left the kitchen, Philip followed out around two minutes later with an interesting look on his face. I didn't know what to call the look, so I didn't. I ignored him completely, and instead watched my sister.

I wondered when my sister had discovered her new-found love for Kurt. Had it been when she was taking a shit? Or perhaps it had stemmed at the same time my own crush had begun. She had pretended to hate him. But now, as I watched them, I noticed the small blush that stained my sisters cheeks, and the blissful smile on Kurt's face as he watched Jill. It hurt, but in the back of my mind, I knew that I shouldn't--couldn't stop this. If she was happy, and he was happy, then wasn't that good enough?

Wouldn't that be the best Christmas gift to her?

I smiled sadly, and nodded to myself. Right. Yeah, okay.

I went to the backyard.


"I'm sorry." Philip said. He was on the porch, squinting to see me in the dark. Outside I sat on a swing, and listened to him, though he didn't know it too well.

"I thought you sort of knew that. If I thought you didn't know, I wouldn't have said anything." He mumbled, and made his way over to where I was. His expression became surprised as he caught me watching him with interest; not staring at anything else. Just him.

"Why do you smoke?" I asked him, waiting as he settled himself onto the swing. I would've have thought this to be a weird situation an hour ago. Now, I wasn't so sure.

"I don't know." He said. That was it. Could it really be all that simple? I knew he was lying. I asked him again.

"Why do you smoke?"

"I don't know, Lane. Maybe because I want to? I mean shit, why do you read those stupid self help books? Because you like to, right?" He said, swinging slowly.

I paused, shocked. How did he know that? He would only know that if he paid attention. It's not as if we were in the same classes. He was a senior, and I was a junior. Besides, I only read those books when I thought no one was around. Apparently, though, I was wrong. I felt this weird warmth creep onto my neck, and suddenly my back was itching.

What the heck?

"Well, why do you do drugs?" I asked. I thought that maybe these questions were a little personal, but I was still angry at him, and I didn't really care. He frowned, and turned to look at me. "I don't do drugs. Where'd you get that from?" He interrogated, standing from his swing. He sifted his fingers through his hair, messing up the carefully crafted Mohawk he had going.

I lifted an eyebrow, confused by his actions. Why did he care so much? This was weird.

This was really, really weird.

But I still had that warm feeling on my neck. And my back was still itching.

"Look," He began "I don't know where you heard that, but it isn't true. I can't believe that you'd even think that." He said, turning to look at me. In the dark, I could see his frown, and that surprised me over many other things. Had I disappointed him that much?

I stood up from my swing. "I've heard a lot of things about you that seem true. I mean, I thought you did cocaine. You smoke, right? So why not do coke too?" I accused, too harshly. The words sounded ugly, and I felt guilty from the moment they left my mouth.

He stared at me, and stepped closer. The heat in my neck increased. His expression became impassive, and he stepped back, away from me and towards the house, as if I'd physically hit him. "Well, that was a very stupid, low thing for you to assume, Lane. Merry Christmas." He said, and threw a gift at my feet. He left before I could say anything else.

Slowly, I bent down to grab the present at my feet, too guilty now to open it. I waited another minute or so to enter the house, where the Rossi's were preparing to leave. Once I did, I scanned the room for Philip. He was already gone.

You're horrible. My conscience whispered. A horrible, horrible, little girl.


A/N: I've got half of the second chapter already typed up, so the next one should be out in a few days. :) Thanks for reading!