Brittany POV:

"Help me please, Brittany, I don't know what to do," my friend Jessie said. Sure—for any other 15-year-old, it would be weird starting the New Year off with your friend pleading for your help, but I'm not a normal teenager. I'm Brittany Greene, and my friends come to me for advice and whatever problems they need to talk about.

"Well, Jessie," I replied, "I can't help you if you don't tell me what the problem is. By the way, happy New Year!!"

"Okay, yeah, I should tell you, huh… oh, and happy New Year," she replied. "So you know how I was going out with Michael, right?" I replied that I did. "Well, apparently, he only asked me out to make Beth jealous and…." That was when I tuned out. Most of Jessie's problems involve boys, and they almost always have the same solution.

"Jessie," I said interrupting her story, "are you sure he only did that to get Beth jealous? Because you are BEAUTIFUL, Jessie, and he would be crazy to not see that!" It's shocking that Jessie, who stood nearly 5' 8" with heels, had the most beautiful eyes, and had guys fawning over her would have self-esteem issues, but she does, and I know just the right things to say to make her feel as gorgeous as she looks.

"You're right, Britt—I'm the best he's EVER had, and it's his loss if he doesn't see that," Jessie replied, instantly feeling better. "Thanks, Britt, you always know what to do to make me feel better. I've got to go, but I'll see you later!" she exclaimed, giving me one last hug before she got pulled back on the dance floor. I waved bye and started dancing again. As soon as I felt that nothing could go wrong the rest of the night, I felt my cell phone vibrate. Mary, the only one missing from the party, texted me saying she needed my help and to meet her at our spot. After waving bye to everybody and texting her back saying that I would meet her at the rock, I walked over to our favorite hangout, the park.

"So what's up?" I asked when I reached the park.

"What's up," Mary replied, almost screaming, "is that I'm moving and my parents told me I couldn't tell ANYBODY!!" As soon as she said the word 'moving,' I completely spaced out of Mary's ranting. It reminded me of my ex, Teddy. He moved about a year ago and we broke up because we didn't want to try the long distance thing. Well, that's not exactly the truth—the truth is, tuning out of Mary's story, was that we DID try the long distance thing, but we only lasted 3 weeks after that. My friends don't know the whole long distance thing because they thought the world of Teddy, and if they found out we broke up because he met somebody else and wanted to be with her? Well, that would ruin their image of him; I know it already ruined mine. They would hate the fact that I lied to them, that I never told them, and especially that Teddy broke up with me for someone he liked better!

My friends think that they know everything there is to know about me, that I have no secrets that I wouldn't tell them. Well, they are completely wrong. They know the 'good' me—they don't know the girl on the inside, and she's the one who would ruin everything I've worked for, my friends, my life, and who I am. She's the one people are always wondering if I have, she's the 'bad' side of me. If she ever got out, my life would break up right before my eyes, and there would be nothing I could do to stop it.

"Brittany, Britt… helloo, are you there?" Mary demanded, waving her hand in front of my face. "Did you hear what I said? I'm moving like next week!!"

"Next week? Isn't that the week of the party?" I asked, finally getting what normally drama-free Mary's problem is.

"Yeah, it is, that's the thing—since I'm moving, my parents said I can't help anymore," she said, looking down.

"Ohh," I said, trying very hard to sound nonchalant. Even with Mary's help, there were a lot of things that I needed to do. "Great, that's just another thing to stress about. I should go, you know how my mom is with curfew," I said, getting up off the rock.

"Oh, okay… bye," Mary replied, looking disappointed. "I'm really sorry, Britt. I love you, okay?"

"Yeah, I know. I love you too," I replied, giving her a hug. "Good luck and everything, okay?" She nodded her head.

I left the park with another thing on my mind, another problem to deal with. This is a new year, I thought to myself. I'm going to change.

"Mom, are you home?" I screamed when I walked inside the door. I walked a little bit further and I found the note:


I went to work and your brother is at his friend's house. Go back out if you want to, sweetie. Happy New Year, honey, I love you.


That's yet another thing my friends don't know—my mom always leaves me home alone and they can't know it.

"Well," I said, speaking to myself, "what a way to start a new year—home alone, stressed, and lonely." I walked up the stairs to my room, glad that I finally had a room to myself. I guess I must have fallen asleep as soon as I got to the bed, because next thing I know, I'm waking up to my cell phone ringing in my ear.

"Ugh… hello?" I asked groggily.

"Well, good morning, sleepyhead," said my enthusiastic friend Daniel. "What are you still doing asleep? Come down to the mall, Beth and I need you!"

"What's wrong? Did you hurt her?" I asked, instantly sitting up.

"Ugh—of course not, Brittany, gosh. What kind of guy do you think I am?" he asked, offended by my accusation. "Just meet us at the fountain, okay?" He hung up before I even got the chance to reply.

"Mom!" I yelled, coming down the stairs. "Are you here?" Sadly, yet again, all I find is a note saying she's at work and my brother's at a friend's. "Some things never change," I said, sighing.

After breakfast, I took a quick shower and went into my walk-in closet. "Ugh," I said aloud, looking at the scars running up and down my arms. "This is a new year—I'm going to stop doing that, I have to stop wearing sweaters soon enough." I hate myself for doing them, but my friends would hate me even more. They count on me so much it's like they wouldn't know what to do if I hurt myself so bad that I was in the hospital. "This is a new year," I said aloud, covering up the ugly scars. "I'm going to change; I need to stop doing that."

As I walked over to the mall, I started wondering why Daniel and Beth needed my help so bad—I mean, they practically hated each other! Hmm, I thought, maybe they are secretly going out and they need someone to tell. Nah, that can't be it, I'm pretty sure Daniel is gay no matter what he says.

I approached the fountain where I was supposed to meet Dan and Beth to only be stopped abruptly by someone I thought I would never see before, or at least in this town again. There, sitting on the fountain like he didn't have a care in the world, was Teddy, my ex, my first love. Wow, I thought, looking at him from afar, he looks just as good as I remember him. Even though it's been almost a year, Teddy still looks the same. His jet-black hair was styled to cover his piercing blue eyes, and of course, ever-present is his beautiful smile—I get weak at the knees just thinking about that smile. He still had this bad boy thing about him that had made me fall for him in the first place. Maybe I should just tell Dan and Beth to go to my house, I thought, not wanting to see Teddy—not yet, anyways. Just as I was about to make a run for it, who came out of the mall and saw me standing there like an idiot? Of course, it had to be Daniel and Beth, of all people.

"Brittany, you better get your ass over here!" Beth screamed, seeing that I wasn't planning on moving from my spot anytime soon. And of course, just my luck, her yelling brought to Teddy's attention that I was there, and I saw him before he got the chance to see me. "Oh my freaking gosh… is that you, Teddy?" Beth asked, curious to see who or what I kept staring at.

"Um, yeah… hey Beth, hey Dan," Teddy replied in his irresistible voice. He continued to stare as I walked over, cursing myself for not running away when I had the chance.

"Hey guys," I said, speaking only to Dan and Beth, trying hard to ignore Teddy and his blue eyes staring at me.

"Hey Britt," Teddy said, urging me to look at him.

"So what's up?" I asked, turning my back on Teddy as he had done so many months ago.

"Brittany, can you not see who's behind you?" Beth asked with Daniel looking at me like I was crazy. "So Teddy," Beth said, forgetting that THEY were the ones to call ME over to them and not the other way around, "are you just visiting, or did you move back like you promised you would?"

"I moved back," he said, not even paying attention to them. "Britt, I know this is a surprise, but we really need to talk."

"Yeah, um… sorry guys," I said, ignoring Teddy and his request. "I kind of forgot that I have something to do. I got to go… um, bye." As I backed away, I felt my heart being torn in two yet again when I saw Teddy's expression. It was like he just lost his life or love. Whatever he lost, I don't know why he came back here looking for it, I thought as I walked away from the mall and away from teddy—for today, at least…