I was staring up at the white ceiling of my bedroom while trying to fall asleep. My eyes simply would not close. They had been wide open since three in the morning. I had way too much on my mind.
The next day, or should I say that day, school was starting back. It was going to be my sophomore year. Another year of the wretched but at the same time glorious days of high school. I was ready for it. At least I thought I was. I could never be too sure considering what all has happened in the past years. Starting with sixth grade and going on to now.
Finally, about ten minutes later I decided it would be best to get up and make myself tired. So, I got up out of my queen size bed, too awake to even attempt falling asleep right now, and walked down the stairs in the darkness of my house at night.
After I got into the living room, I flicked on the lamp on the table by the couch where I sat and grabbed my cell phone.
When I turned it on, it came to life make various noises and a picture of Brian and me was on the screen set as my wallpaper.
A small smile stretched across my face. Brian and I had been together for three years. Though, our relationship had a rocky start involving tons of drama. Now we were really close. I wouldn't exactly say he was my best friend because we don't see eye to eye on some things. But I had deep feeling for him now.
I dialed his number wanting someone to speak to even though it was early in the morning.
"Hello," he answered on the second ring, He didn't sound at all tired. HE sounded as if he couldn't sleep as much as me.
"Hey." I smiled at the sound of his voice.
"Can't sleep?" he asked nonchalantly. He knew things about me that no one else did. And that was not all because he had the ability to read minds like I could also, but because he knew me all too well. We never even invaded each other's minds anymore because we thought a true relationship should involve knowing each other's deepest darkest secrets.
"Yeah. It's just that I have way too much on my mind. You know what I'm saying?" I knew he knew exactly what I was saying.
"Yeah. I hear you. The same with me. I can't believe we are staring school back tomorrow."
"Yeah. Have you talked to Tyler or Josh lately?" He was very close friends with his cousin and stepbrother even though he rarely ever thought of Josh as brother by marriage. They were all just friends.
"Well, I talked to Tyler a few days ago. Actually, I was just about to call him, buy then you called."
"So you'd rather call your cousin than your own girlfriend?" I asked sounding so offensive it was hilarious. I sounded so much like one of those overly obsessive, 'why didn't you call me back?!' girlfriends. That was exactly my intention.
"No, no. What I meant was…was…" He was lost for words.
"Geez, Brian! I was just kidding!"
"Okay," he tried to laugh it off but was not exceeding very well. "Why didn't you call Leah or Chelsea, or even Laura?"
"I knew that they would be asleep. They don't have as much to think about," I told him. I was always one to put in too much thought over things but important things not anything stupid to fuss over.
"True. So are you excited about tomorrow? Sophomore year finally. It's not too far from senior you know." He sounded pretty ecstatic about being a senior in a few years. I was the exact opposite.
"Oh! Don't remind me! I don't even want to think about being a senior. That's just too much. Too many choices." Choices were another one of my dislikes. I liked one thing to keep me in my path. Not several thousands to make my head spin.
"Yeah. College, careers, relationships…" He drifted off.
We both went silent after the word 'relationships' was mentioned. We've been pretty steady now but that didn't mean anything.
"Anyway," I said shrugging off the awkwardness. "I guess I need to try to go back to sleep."
"Yeah, me too. Okay. Well, bye."
"Bye." I hung up the phone.
And I laid there on the soft plush couch staring up at the ceiling thinking about the events of tomorrow until I finally drifted off into the beautiful land of dreams.Chapter 1 : A New Year
I woke up of course on the couch to a beautiful day. My sister was banging around in the kitchen though.
I go up and walked in there.
"Adri?" I asked blinded by the light. "What are you doing?"
She grabbed a skillet from the bottom cabinet and placed it on the counter. "What does it look like I'm doing Ana? I'm making breakfast."
Adrianna was already dressed for work in dress pants and a baby blue blouse with her blonde hair already straightened and fixed just right.
I leaned up against the island. "Since when do you make breakfast for me?"
"Since today. I felt like I needed some practice," she answered turning on the stove and digging eggs and bacon out of our halfway empty refrigerator.
"Practice at what? Becoming America's next top chef? Or America's next blonde chef?"
She laughed. "Neither. I have no intentions on changing my career. I just am getting older everyday and well…one day you won't be living with me for much longer and…" She shrugged not finishing.
"And what? Are you kicking me out?! I'm sorry Adrianna for whatever I did! I promise I will start being home by nine thirty every night and will not listen to your phone calls with Jason anymore. But please don't make me live in a box in the street like a hobo." Maybe I was just a little dramatic but this was a serious matter at hand.
I was shaking now for some odd reason.
Adrianna came over and put her hands on my shoulders. "Ana, honey, I am not kicking you out. I'm just saying. You won't be living with me in a couple of years and I need to start a family and life on my own."
My mouth hung wide open. "Are you getting married?"
Adrianna blushed. "I don't know. Jason hasn't exactly said anything yet but… Maybe. I mean we've been together for about what three years. And…I don't know. It will probably not happen anytime soon. Maybe I'm just getting dumped…" Her face fell. "Oh my! I'm getting dumped!"
"Adri! You are not getting dumped! Now relax please!"
She took a deep breath. "Okay."
"Now after work today, sign up for a yoga class or something. You need it. You're turning into me."
"Now that's scary," she commented.
I smirked at her. "Better fun and crazy dramatic than you being all serious and…serious. That Adrianna Catherine Mayes Niles is what I call scary."
She raised her left eyebrow and put a hand on her hip. "You did not just say Niles."
I looked over at the clock over the never used counter space.
"Oh look at the time," I said backing out of the kitchen. "You know what. I'll get back to you about that later so that I can actually start my school year off with my head still attached to my body."
"You just wait and see," I heard her mutter as I started up the stairs in a sprint.
Jillian Carson being the great person she was gave me a ride to school. My permit was in my reach but I still did not have it yet.
I had known Jillian for a couple of years now. Ever since she showed up on my doorstep Christmas day and told me she was Brian's long, lost sister.
Then we became friends. And us becoming friends led to Jason, her older, also adopted brother, and Adrianna, my sister, getting to know each other and falling in love.
So everything of course leads back to Brian. Leah is with Tyler who is Brian's adoptive parents' nephew. Chelsea is with Josh who is Brian's dad's wife's son.
Confusing, right? But that is my life. Confusing.
But as confusing as it is, I still have to live it. One step at a time.
"Have a good day!" She put on her sunglasses and blew a kiss goodbye.
In the hallway I saw Leah and Laura standing by their lockers. I ran up to them and gave them a big hug.
"Oh, I missed you guys!"
"We missed you too," Leah smiled.
"Might I say, you are looking fabulous today." I pointed at her baby blue sundress and blue jean jacket.
"Might I say, you too."
I was wearing my new white flippy skirt and lavender frilly top.
"I know." I turned to Laura. "So Laura, I would like to say, happy birthday!"
She gave me strange look. "It's not my birthday. Remember. My birthday is the day right after yours. In November."
"No silly. I'm talking about your," I started to whisper, "Immortal birthday. You got your powers like a year ago."
She smiled. "Oh, yeah. Right. I didn't know that counted."
"Yeah. We're supposed to have two birthdays. One being the day we were born and the other being when we decide to become a full immortal. But since you're special, I guess that means you have three birthdays."
She nodded, satisfied. If there was anything that would make Laura happier after all these years in depression for not being an immortal, it would be her having more days about her than the rest of us.
"I'll see you guys later!" I headed to my locker.
While walking down the hall, I took in all the faces. Then I saw the back of a familiar head. The guy looked like he was texting someone.
I ran up behind him and put my hands over his eyes.
"Who is it?" I asked him.
"Um, let's see…soft hands, freshly manicured nails, eighteen carat diamond bracelet…Taylor Davis?"
I slapped him and took my hands off his eyes.
"No, you idiot."
"I was close," he said.
"Uh! I'm appalled! How could you compare me to her?"
He pulled me in. "I don't know. You two are extremely different."
He bent down and pressed his lips to mine.
"I missed you," he said.
"You saw me two days ago. And talked to me this morning," I reminded him.
"I did? Oh, yeah. Well I still missed you. It's hard to kiss through the phone."
I whacked him hard on the arm. "Is that all you guys think about these days? Kissing girls?"
Brian smiled and raised his eyebrows. "Sure. That's all we think about."
I whacked him harder. Could he be any more of a teenage boy? The answer was yes. Of course he could. What was I saying? He was Brian. There was always more.
The first bell rang signaling us to start heading to our first class.
"See you later." Brian bent down and gave me one last kiss.
"Bye." I waved him off.
It was finally lunch time and I was starving. I grabbed a salad and went to sit down at our table. Chelsea was already there with Josh and Laura with Jake. I sat down by Chelsea and started talking.
"So," I started. "What's been going on in your wonderful life?"
"Nothing. How about yours?" she asked picking at her grilled chicken.
"Nothing much. Just the same old, same old. You know. Shopping, more shopping, eating sleeping."
She smiled. "Classic Ana."
"Oh, yeah," I continued with a mouthful of lettuce. "Me and Adrianna got obsessed with that new soap opera. You know the one where they cheat and kill each other and try to find their long lost brother."
"Aren't al soap operas about that?"
"How would I know? I don't watch soap operas." I took another bite of my salad. "Oh, an Adrianna is either getting married or dumped."
Laura raised her eyebrows. "What?! What do you mean 'married or dumped'? Those are two completely different directions!"
"Well, it's none of my business! Geez!"
Right then, Brian came over and sat down by me.
"hey," I said snapping out of my previous rage.
"Hey." He bent down and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
Behind him were Leah and Tyler.
"Hey chicas," Leahsaid as she sat down by her sister.
"Since when do you speak French?" Laura asked dumfounded.
Everyone except for Leah laughed.
Leah glared at her. "It's Spanish Laura. And I learned it in Spanish class."
"Okay. Geez! My fault for taking French!"
Everybody went silent as heads turned towards the cafeteria doors. In walked Taylor and her 'posse' and Bianca along with hers. AS they went by our table, a million glares were sent towards us.
"What's up with that?" Brian asked.
Leah took a bite of her salad. "Over the summer, Taylor and Bianca decided that they would combine their two groups so that they could have even more power."
"Power?" I asked. "Why is that all high school girls can care about besides clothes?"
Chelsea pitched in. "Evidently we are in a tie with Bianca and Taylor at the top of the social food chain."
Everyone stared at me.
"What? Oh, just because I say something means I have to follow it?"
"It should," Leah said with a laugh.
"Well, sorry. But isn't it cool that we are considered one of the most popular groups in school. I don't know about you, but I feel like I have accomplished something."
"Not everybody cares about popularity, Ana," Brian said.
I looked at him. "And I'm not saying that. I'm saying that ever since first grade, Taylor always thought she was better than me. She was more popular, in her opinion prettier. Blue eyed, brown hair, little…"
"Wait a second," Brian interrupted. "Taylor was a brunette?"
I raised my eyebrows. "Where have you been? I had a reason for calling her a bleach blonde. What did you think that color was natural?"
He shook his head. "No, I just thought that she had really bad roots. My bad. Sorry, I only dated the girl for a month."
"Yeah, only to make me jealous." I smirked at him.
"Sorry, it's not my fault you hated me."
"Uh, actually it is. I couldn't help it. Every time I meet someone who acts like an obnoxious jerk, I can't help but hate him."
Brian gave me a sly smile picking up his opened water bottle. "Ha, ha, ha. Very funny, Ana."
I pointed my finger in his face. "Don't you dare spill that on me."
He continued bringing it closer and closer to my lap. As soon as he was about to tip it over, I shoved it over to his watching the water spill on him.
I wiped my hands together. "Never mess with Ana Mayes."
I was sitting on the couch with my feet propped up in Brian's lap and my head against his shoulder. We were watching some chick flick much to Brian's disadvantage. But he never backed out on movie night. He knew I would hurt him if he did.
"Is this over yet?" he mumbled over to me.
"No, we still have to get to the part when they break up," I told him.
He sighed. "Then will it be over?"
I raised my eyebrows. "No. What good movie ends like that? They still have to date other people, get jealous, and find out they are destined for each other."
We sat in silence through the sad break up scene. Then, Brian started annoyingly murmuring to himself.
"Shhh! Shut up!" I hissed at him.
"Okay, okay," he said putting his hands up in surrender.
Then, the door opened and the click clack of stilettos came into the living room. I sat up looking over at her face.
A huge smile was stretched across it. I stood up starting walk towards her.
"What?" I asked her curiously.
She held out her left hand. "I am getting married!"
We started jumping up and down and screaming. A classic Mayes girls tradition during a time of celebration.
I had barely noticed when Brian had quickly slipped out of the back door. He probably didn't want to get into this mess. And he probably didn't want to be within twenty feet of us screaming.
It was seriously like I was getting married. I get gloating about the ring and showing pictures and telling people about the proposal. It was crazy.
"What did Brian do?" Leah asked me.
"Oh, he walked out."
She raised her eyebrows at me. "He just walked out. You mean you didn't say anything like see you later or a simple goodbye?"
I shook my head. "No. Adrianna and I were too busy screaming. I don't think I would have been able to hear him."
"That's not good."
"What do you mean? Of course it's good! Finally Adrianna is moving on with her life and I don't have to take care of her." Of course that wasn't the only reason I was happy. I was happy for her.
"But you're talking about marriage and rings around a teenage guy who really cares about you. That would freak any guy out."
That got me worried. "You think he's freaked out?"
She pursed her lips. "Yeah, I do. I mean what guy wants his girlfriend talking about weddings? It probably sounds like you want to get married."
"What? That's impossible. Leah, you have no idea what you are talking about. It does not sound like I want to get married. It just sounds like I'm happy and…Oh my gah! It sounds like I can't wait to get married!"
She nodded her head placing her arm around my shoulder. "That's why we're friends. I'm the smart one and you're the one I can make feel dumb."