"I hope you all enjoyed your final year at Mountain Heights High. I certainly did." Mrs. Rostrum, who wasn't exactly stable most of the time, collapsed in her chair almost as soon as the bell rang. Almost everyone else rocketed out of the room, but I took my time, gathering my books and zipping up my backpack. I patted my desk one last time and rose to leave the room.

"Thanks for everything, Mrs. R. I had a really great time this year." I was rewarded with a smile. What's another white lie after an entire year of them? I had practically been pretending to miss Senior Year since I first started. I mean, who wants to go through Senior Year? Everyone knows it's just one big holding pen. If your grades aren't good enough to get into college by Junior Year than they're not getting any better, that's for sure.

By the time I reached my locker my ear buds were firmly planted and I could hear the beginning strains of Tom Petty's "American Girl" buzzing through. I was humming- practically singing- along, but I didn't care. After a day like this no one could make me feel any worse than I already was. As I cleaned out my locker, the only thing that kept me from belting out the lyrics was my proximity to my fellow students. They shouldn't have to be exposed to the horror of my singing; no one should.

"Oh my God! I can't believe we're going to the same resort this summer!" I could hear the nasal tones of the "popular" girls as they passed me by. I crossed my fingers, hoping they would just keep walking. Courtney Carter must have heard my silent prayer, because she and her little party of clones were almost out of the double doors before another voice called them back.

"Wait, guys! Just a sec!" I was so, so close. Liz had almost caught up to her vapid group of Courtney-stalkers when she turned around.

"Oh. My. God. Do people actually wear clothes like that? You practically match the school's décor!" As if sensing a member of the pack hopping on fresh meat the group of girls trailed back inside.

"Are you wearing orange with…brown?" Courtney joined in and the group tittered.

"I didn't even know they made pants in that shade of brown. Did you just roll in something on the way to school?" While Courtney may be the normal "Queen of the Populars," Liz's ability to find the bad in everything is simply astounding. She should be on a reality show.

"They're just pants. Lay off."

"Oh, what are you going to do, wine to your Mommy?" Let me tell you something about this girl. Liz Medina is the biggest bitch in the world. Liz Medina is also my stepsister.

"No, I won't tell my mommy, but I might tell the guidance councilor. Didn't she threaten to withhold your diploma if she gets another conduct case?" Liz's face went a vibrant, unhealthy red. Her mouth opened and closed. I don't think I had ever seen her that mad, and trust me, I had seen her pretty damn mad. The time our parents announced that she would have to give up her walk-in closet to move into our craft room? Priceless.

"Come on, Liz, let's go. Some things aren't worth our time." Courtney led her entourage out of the school for the last time.

I watched them go and held my head high until the door slammed behind them. Then, I turned back to my locker. This time I was moving at warp speed. It wouldn't do me any good if I burst out in tears in the middle of a not-quite-empty hallway.

By the time I got out to my car the first drops of rain were beginning to splatter on the concrete. The lot was full with students; no one really felt the need to run home on their last day of school. In my haste I accidently tapped the panic button on my car's remote. The siren started me, and I dropped my keychain. By the time I stood up again it felt like the entire parking lot was staring at me.

"Uhhhhh. Woops?" Nobody laughed.

I practically threw my heavy backpack in the seat beside me. When I turned the key in the ignition I was assaulted by two seatbelt alarms: one for me and one for my backpack. I threw my bag in the backseat, barely managing to wedge it between the passenger's head-rest and the ceiling. Oh the joys of the Toyota Corolla. You never know what sort of mischief you'll get up to next.

Before I even dreamed of putting the car in reverse I carefully pulled the ear buds out of my ear and plodded my MP3 Player into the car. "American Girl" was over. "Learning to Fly" was on.