Chapter 1

Sitting in fashion class should have been fun. But flipping through an issue of Cosmo for the fifth time while Tess chirped on about Joey, her oh-so-amazing boyfriend, made me want to tell her all the atrocities that I knew about him. She adored him. Probably as much as any girl could adore a boy at our age. Right now, she was in the early phase of the relationship—the good first few months when everything was just blissful and when you just couldn't find any faults with your significant other. But I could find plenty for Tess, although she would just ignore it all. It was like she was in a bubble or something; she hadn't even bothered to match her shoes with her outfit today. Instead, she was wearing her sparkly red Dorothy flats, as I liked to call them, with her puce shall. It was absolutely appalling and I had to make a strained effort not to stare horrifically at it, instead trying to focus on the coherence of the Dolce and Gabbana ad in front of me. The white vibrancy of the shirt's sharply contrasting with the sweet coffee color of the model's skin.

"And he did the cutest thing yesterday, Amber, you just wouldn't believe it."

"Oh, I bet I won't," I said. My sarcasm never did get the best of me.

"Well, let me tell you. We're sitting on my porch yesterday, after school, right, and we're holding hands and just smiling at each other and all of a sudden—"

"Ladies," hollered , interrupting the pivotal point in Tess's story, "do you have any idea what you're doing for the fashion show?" Of course, the semester was winding down and I should have had at least an inkling of what garments I wanted to produce for the fashion show, but I had no clue. I was at my wits end with ideas; nothing just seemed good enough anymore. Especially after looking at ad after ad of seamless clothing there was just no way that my work would compare.

"Sure, all my material is at home though," I said which it actually was, though I had hardly started anything.

"Just remember that the show counts as half of your grade for the class."

"We know," said Tess, shooing her away from the table as politely as possible while she continued to hem her scarlet red dress. She, of course, was a model pupil and Ms. Becker adored her. She had been in the class since she was a freshman and her progress and dedication certainly made Tess a 'model' student.

"Anyways," she continued when Ms. Becker walked away, carefully eyeing her garment, making sure that there were no imprecision's. "We were sitting on my porch holding hands, and it was just so nice Amber, you really should get a boyfriend because, ya know, it's just fun and I really do think that you would look cute with Conrad—"

"Jeez, what's your point already?"

"Well anyways, Joey gave me this." She stuck out her hand in front of my face, wiggling her little fingers to show me the promise ring that was placed delicately on her wedding finger.

"So I guess you two are pretty serious now, huh?"

"Yeah, I mean five months may seem a little fast to be giving each other promise rings and what not, but this is serious Amber. It just means so much."

"I'm really happy for you," I managed, although I didn't smile. Truth was, I didn't think that Joey would ever be ready for a commitment like that. He was a juvenile high school junior who I doubted actually thought about respecting Tess or any other girl for that matter. But she had her head in the clouds and although I had tried to pull her down before, it was completely impossible and I just couldn't do it. It would be better for her to realize her errors on her own, unless this actually was something serious, which I highly doubted.

"Why don't you seem happy then? Smile, will you?" And it was moods like these that brought her down too, but she knew that I had never approved of Joey as boyfriend material and she had never forgotten about that.

" careful, okay?" I asked, more for my own reassurance than hers.

"It's a promise ring, Amber, not an engagement ring. We promised to be monogamous and committed."

"And you honestly believe that he'll be committed?"

"How can you say that?" There was hurt in her chocolate brown eyes.

"How can I not?" I said, flustered. "He cheated on you the second week in your relationship. He obviously doesn't understand your standards." Tess shook her head, wanting to make me understand.

"But that's why it's going to be okay now. This ring is his promise that he won't do that ever again. I trust him."

"Did he promise or did you?" I asked, knowing that she probably hadn't thought along those lines, but instead symbolized her ring as a promise that they both made.

"Well he gave me the ring, obviously that's a promise."

"No," I said slowly, "that's a promise that you won't hook up with any other guys. Unless he said it back or for some odd reason is wearing a ring of his own, he didn't make a commitment to you."

"God, Amber, can't you just be happy for me once in your life?"

"Unbelievable," I said, throwing my magazine away from me with disgust, as if they were the words Tess was tossing at me.
"What's unbelievable is that you always seem to hate the guys I'm with. You're so jealous all the time and then I go ahead and try to set you up with someone else and you refuse! I don't understand what goes through your head." I stood up abruptly and shouldered my bag; I was not about to deal with her looking down at me like I was at fault. How did she not understand that I was always there for her? I walked away without saying anything back, it hurt too much to think about her disregarding me the way she had.

"Just walk away," she hollered after me, my face turning bright red and the girls in the room turned and looked. "That's exactly what I'm talking about—you only think about yourself." And she knew those words hit home so hard that it took all the energy and determination I had not to turn around and slap her in the face or yell at her for being the worst friend in the world. But I didn't. I focused on the door handle in front of me, drowning out her voice. I would not be the one calling her with an apology.

Second chapter should be up in a few days. If you have an suggestions to the chapter please let me know.