She gave up.

Stop.

Drop.

Rewind.

That's all she did nowadays.

Summer. That name. It mocked her, with its sneering curves, its almighty attitude. She hated it.

Which was why she was giving up.

Summer would know that this was wrong. Summer would know better. Summer would not leave. Summer would do her best, give it her all, everything she had in her, knowing it could only come to good, knowing hard work was always rewarded, and the rest . . .was just to believe in yourself.

But that was the thing. She didn't believe in herself.

She hated with fury, boiled hard, and salty beneath that pretty surface of hers. She was bitter, like last year's 30% cacao dark chocolate, ready to crumble into dust. She wasn't going to let that happen though. She was broken, yes. Those million pieces scattered on the ground, she would only hurriedly mop up, not caring for anything left behind, for, how could you care for what was already gone?

But she would let no one see her fall. That kind of weakness would be un. ac. cep. ta. ble.

Unacceptable. She'd heard that word from her teachers' mouths so many times lately, always surrounded by words of disappointment. Well, now, who wouldn't be disappointed, Summer Landings, only daughter of Peter Landings, of Landings Firm, ending up like … this? It was funny, though, to hear that same word fall from her own mouth, on her own standards. But then again, she made her own morals now.

She stared at those jagged pieces she used to call her heart. They didn't look like much now, just dangerous shards used to cut, and cut herself.

She laughed bitterly; is this what she had been reduced to? Making metaphors for her heart referring to the blood she'd never spill; she'd lost too much of herself already…

What was she doing? Standing here, in this strange, unfamiliar room? One of the many in their new house, she could have left by now,... but she was thinking.

Maybe that was brought her down. Not the fact that she couldn't act like the innocent strawberry-blond she should be. Not the fact that she wanted to be passionate about the things that she cared about, but of course, couldn't. Not the fact she'd seen too many riches that it had ceased to mean much to her anymore. It was the fact that she thought about it all. Maybe that was her poison.

This made things harder. But she had begun realizing, or maybe she had known from the beginning, that there was no such existence as a simple thing in this world of theirs, and still, regretfully hers. There was always a complication. Maybe that was why she had always gotten straight A's in school. Not because she had studied, or had been a responsible student. It was because she had been born, and had grown up in it. Calculation; mathematically, methodically, strategically, came like a second nature to her.

Maybe she could stay. Maybe if she stopped thinki—she stopped right there. She knew that was impossible. Already had tried, and had failed miserably. It was funny—well, maybe funny wasn't the correct word, but.. it was.. curious, that she should possibly find the … answer?—No, she decided, it couldn't be, when that had never been the question to begin with— to her self-torment, on the day she was ready end it. Not completely, but to some slightly noticeable level, she hoped.

She looked around herself. There, in the corner was the duffel bag she had bargained for, a first in her life, at a flea market, when she had managed to sneak away from her parents during their stay in Santa Fe, last summer. She would finally be able to use it, that, not of particularly good quality bag with its design from the desert, which was quite beautiful in its own simple way, but still one that her mother had upturned her nose whenever she had seen it.

The door was slightly ajar, as if someone had left, but was soon to return. She sighed. There were too many signs, too many pointers leading to completely different destinies, and she was tired of trying to follow them.

She was ready. She got up, and grabbed her bag, slinging it purposefully over her shoulder. She strode out to the hall, ready to bail, but realized just how easy that would be. Too easy. And as neither Summer nor her (one of their few similar qualities) did anything the easy way, she marched right back to the kitchen table grabbed her mother's signature pen, and wrote,

"I'm off to

--Summer"

It was no sort of closure, or even a coherent statement, but she was not looking to give that here; the note said it all. She was unsure what she was looking for, or if she was even looking for something. She was unclosed, undefined right now, just as in confusment as her parents would be when they saw this letter, but that was her, that was her at this moment, and she was giving them more of herself, right here, in this note, than she had, truly, for her whole life. Maybe they wouldn't see that. Maybe they would.

She took one step. Maybe out there, away from the lies, she would find herself. Maybe, out there, by herself, and her thoughts, she would drive herself insane. There was only one way to find out though.

So she left.