Prologue:

Easy for a good girl to go bad, And once we've gone..There's belief we've gone forever.

I believe in purpose. Everyone and everything has a purpose for being whom and what they are. So, know what I figured? That there was a reason that I, Victoriez Honor Nicks moved to the daft town of Boulder, Colorado. There had to be. I couldn't shake the feeling that I was meant to take a stand and find my purpose here.

And hey, it doesn't matter if in Los Angeles things went horribly wrong. I was over it, I didn't need anybody there and I was happy to wave goodbye to the Hollywood sign. It doesn't matter if I had the same group of friends my whole entire life, friends I've had since elementary school. Friends who all turned their backs on me in the end. L.A. doesn't matter.

What matters is, I MOVED TO BOULDER, COLORADO. Are you aware that "boulder" is the word for a large rock? And man, let me just say, when I first got there, it seemed as if that's exactly where these people crawled from under. A large rock.

This whole story I'm telling you, didn't even start my first day of school. It started my second semester. I was in the eleventh grade, seventeen years old, when I decided to become the bad girl of Marshall High...

[********]

"Let me just start off saying that my first semester at a new school, in a whole different state, and totally new town was eye-opening for me. I got to do a lot of contemplating and wondering about who I wanted to be in high school. I know what it was like in L.A. to be the girl that anyone hardly notices. Or that girl that everyone just steps on...", I paused and took a deep breath, "And I'm not so sure that's how I want to be at this school, too. That's why I got these from my mom." I then held up the credit cards that were going to pay for all the new clothes I was going to get.

We had a week off for Thanksgiving break, which means I had five days left to pull things together. My best friend, also my only friend at MHS, Leira Carson looked at me with a blank expression. She then furrowed her brows at me and looked at me sideways, "What're you gonna do?" She had said it slowly, dragging on her words.

I smiled and shrugged as I stuffed the credit cards in my wallet and put it in the back pocket of my navy blue jeans, "It's simple. I'm going to be Marshall High's official bad girl."

Leira was silent for a moment, and then all of a sudden, she burst out laughing. Once she was able to control herself a little better she said, "Vic, are you serious? You don't have a bad bone in your body! And what, exactly, would you have to do to be the 'bad girl' of MHS?"

I shrugged as I threw my jacket on over my black V-neck t-shirt, "You know. Give people mean mug faces, and don't say excuse me when I bump people in the hall, and… act like I don't care."

"But you do. That's the whole thing." Leira began putting her platinum blond shoulder-length locks into a ponytail.

I sighed and rolled my eyes at Leira, "Well I don't care enough to not become one of ill reputation. I mean, it was different in Los Angeles, y'know? I was the type of person who cared what everyone thought, always wanted to be mindful and considerate of others.", I glanced down as I adjusted the sleeves of my jacket, "And let me tell you it didn't always work out well for me...", suddenly snapping my head up, I jumped to sit on the bed next to Leira, "Besides, you couldn't even find this place on a freaking map! No fights have happened at school, and I haven't heard of anyone having beef, I've never even heard anyone say a curse word! You don't even curse Leira, and you have the most 'I-don't-give-a-fuck' attitude I've ever seen at that school -"

Leira snorted out a laugh, "I know that's the truth, look who I'm best friends with."

I rolled my eyes at her, "Shush, that's not saying much. And y'know, I may be the nice girl, but I'm also from L.A. You know Hollywood, acting, drama.", I chuckled, "I think it would be fun. Trying something different. Shake things up a little bit."

Leira shrugged, "Well... maybe some of the kids here act a certain way because they weren't exposed to the kind of stuff you got exposed to in L.A. And the only reason I even have a little flavor to me is because my dad lives in Jersey. I don't really like it there that much. Boulder though, it likes to be peaceful. What's wrong with a peaceful town?"

I looked at Leira sideways, "There is such a thing as too peaceful." I jumped on the bed and almost landed on top of Leira. I put my arm around her middle, gave her puppy-dog eyes, and said, "So please? Are you gonna help me?"

Leira's teal green eyes narrowed and stared at me, "Are you gonna do this without me if I don't?"

I nodded, "Yep."

"Well then I'm in.", she sighed and smiled down at me, "I don't want to miss any of the fun." We shared a laugh and then we both headed out.

Right when we were walking out of the front door, as if I'd forgotten I stopped Leira, "Oh, hold on! I left my keys in my room."

Leira sighed, "Hurry up, I'll meet you in the car."

I nodded. I headed back in the direction of my room. As I grabbed my keys, my eyes caught the shirt I had thrown in the corner. It was a gray t-shirt with a white palm tree outlined on the front. It was cut up into strips.

The scratch on my arm began to burn a little as I recalled how it got that way. I should've been more careful with the scissors. Luckily I had remembered to throw it in the corner right before Leira came in. I didn't want to have to explain to her why I had cut up the shirt. I didn't want to have to tell her how upset I had become at the sight of it. I didn't want to have to explain why.

Shaking my head to try and ward off the memories, I closed my room door and headed out towards the front. Leira and I had some shopping to do. Top things on my shopping list? An icier heart, a bigger attitude, and tighter clothes.

[********]

So that's how it started. Leira and I had bought all different types of stuff that day. I also had Leira help take out the twists I had been sporting. My hair now hung in loose, wild curls and I even dyed the tips of my hair blond. It reached a little past my shoulders and when I moved my head a couple of wayward curls fell over my forehead. On the first day back to school, I looked the part.

The first day we went shopping, I bought clothes. The second day though, when we were walking around this line of strip malls, often called "The Strip", we saw a tattoo & piercing shop. I had felt compulsive after seeing it. When Leira noticed me staring at the sign 'Pin's & Needles" she smirked at me and then pulled a card out of her pocket. When I looked at it, I saw that it was a fake I.D. that stated that Leira was twenty instead of her mere seventeen. And that, my people, was one of the reasons I loved my best friend.

We were laughing as we entered and I was damn near crying when I walked out. Turns out, Leira wanted to get something as well. She ended up getting a tattoo on the inside of her wrist. It was a tiny butterfly with intricate designs woven into its wings.

I, on the other hand, had to play bad-ass. I ended up getting my lip pierced and a tattoo. Leira had talked me into getting it. She said it was so that I could look at it and not forget who I was. But, later, when I looked at it, I just thought it was embarrassing. And no, I never got it removed because, well, it was also a memory of this great adventure.

It's Mickey Mouse surrounded by a red and black star, his arms outstretched as if to say "Welcome!" Know where I got it? In the bottom left corner of my tummy that was right above my pelvic bone. No pain, no gain, right?

By the time school came around I was cool. Calm. Collected. Hot. Leira's words not mine. And the ironic thing is, when she told me I looked hot, I couldn't help but think to myself how the more put together I looked the colder I felt I could be.

Leira helped me pick out my outfits. For the first day, I wore these black low rise leather skinny jeans and a simple black t-shirt that showed a little belly when I lifted an arm or, really, moved at all. Which also showed just a hint of the points in the star of my tattoo, and low-heeled leather boots with buckles on the sides. For makeup I did my usual, mascara, eyeliner, and a little natural-toned eyeshadow. I never liked the greased up feeling I got when I wore lip gloss so I stuck to chapstick.

When we returned to school, I swear it was like I hadn't been going there a full semester already. Not everybody had done so, but a few people had stopped what they were doing just to watch us walk down the hall. Leira looked great, as she always did, in her jean mini skirt and hot pink peplum shirt. She wore light brown gladiator sandals that had strings that wrapped up the ankles. Her long blond hair, which she did straighten, flowed out behind her.

My heart felt as if it was going to explode in my chest, it was moving so fast. Somehow, though, I managed to keep my pace even and my hips swaying. I heard a few giggles, and resisted the urge to turn and see who it was. I could feel eyes glaring into my face and into my back. A part of me was saying "OH MY GOD, WOULD THESE PEOPLE STOP STARING AT ME LIKE THAT!?"

And then another part, the part I kept hidden, even from Leira said, "Go ahead and look. But you will never be able to touch me."

I managed to make it to my locker, without passing out, and even managed to get the lock off. I quickly glanced at Leira, who was casually looking up and down the halls.

"Well?" I sighed.

She turned to me, raised a brow, and smiled, "Well, you're certainly getting looks."

I smiled shakily, and because I could tell neither one of us knew what that meant I simply said, "Okay." I then proceeded to empty the black leather bag I had bought with me, which had been filled with my geometry book, literature book, and a few notebooks. I left only a notebook in the bag and a few pens, and then closed my locker. I turned back to Leira, feeling a little calmer, I sighed, and said, "Alright. Ready."

Just as we had begun walking in no particular direction, the bell had rang. We both had the same first period, Geometry, so we turned ourselves around and made it to our class. Miraculously, and totally not on purpose, we were the last two people to enter the classroom. So, of course, all eyes were on us.

Leira had been going to this school since the ninth grade, so a few people managed small smiles with her some even made compliments to her outfit. But I was still the new girl. I hadn't gotten there until the beginning of eleventh grade, therefore, I just received stares. Incredulous stares, curious stares, glares. I initially ignored them all, and strutted to the desk next to Leira's, in the second to last row. The seats were side by side straight in the middle. There was one occupied chair on Leira's right side, and an empty seat to my left.

The first twenty minutes of class had been uneventful. A few people still glanced at me every now and then, but I thought the looks were easy enough to survive. Then that was when it happened.

His hair was black and looked silky smoothed down over his head. He had his sides and the back shaved close, but the hair on the top of his head was dyed silver. His eyes when he scanned the classroom, from what I could see, looked black. I watched his gaze linger on me half a second more than it did on everyone else. I wasn't fooled in the least, to think that he was interested in me. It was the hair, of course. His nose had a long arch, and was rounded slightly at the tip. His lips were bow shaped and a slight pink color. He wore black jeans and a button up black shirt, with a plain black leather jacket. I looked down to see the pair of black and white Chuck Taylor's on his feet. Who. The. Hell. Was this guy?

Mr. Hummers, the geometry teacher, finally looked up from the notes he was checking and noticed the boy standing in his doorway. This all took about two minutes to happen. But it had felt like everything had been going in slow motion.

Mr. Hummers, who I actually might have liked if I didn't loathe geometry, looked to be in his late 30's. He was tall, and a little beefy and looked more like a construction worker than a math teacher. His hair was salt and pepper, and his eyes were a light, calm blue. He wore his standard stripped shirt underneath a blue sweater vest, black jeans, and hiking boots. His smile was easy and inviting when he asked, "Can I help you?", then, answering his own question, he snapped his fingers and said, "You're the new student aren't you? Come in, come in."

The guy answered, "Yeah, that's me. I'm Lennox Gray." He scanned the room with his eyes again, as if he were announcing it to everyone.

In reply, what sounded like the whole class, save for me, replied in teasing monotones, "Hi, Lennox." There were a few giggles and then everyone grew quiet, while Mr. Hummer spoke to this 'Lennox' character for a few minutes, signed his class sheet, and then pointed in my direction.

At first I was startled, thinking, why the hell would Mr. Hummer point at me when he was speaking to Lennox? Were they talking about me, really? But then, with embarrassment in my mind, I realized he had been pointing to the empty seat to the left of me, the seat by the window.

When he sat down, Mr. Hummer ordered one of the students to get a text book for the new student, and then turned back towards the board. I had been keeping my eyes straight ahead when I felt a little air near my ear, and then words were buzzing in my ear too, "My name's Lennox. But you can call me Lenny."

I turned in his direction, my heart fluttering with nervousness. But I knew none of it showed on my face. The smile I gave him was slightly flirty, slightly teasing, "My name's Victoriez. My friends call me Vicky. You can still call Victoriez." I bit my lip to keep from laughing at the incredulous look on his face and turned back towards the front. From the corner of my eye, I could see Leira glance over in curiosity.

His comeback was quick and made me raise my brow, "I'd rather call you Victoriez, anyways. It's a beautiful name." I gave him a sideways glance. He then smiled his biggest smile at me, which somehow managed to be slimy at the same time.

The guy was not rubbing me the right way, he downright made me uncomfortable. Which was not sitting well with my whole hard exterior, "too bad, I-don't-care-about-anything" new attitude.

I didn't even have to think about the response I wanted to make, because words were already coming out of my mouth, "Y'know, why don't you not call me anything. I don't think I would be talking to you enough to get on a first name, nickname basis anyways."

I knew he was going to respond, but before he could, Mr. Hummer turned in our direction. You wouldn't think so by the way he kept carrying on, but I learned quickly, well, Leira and I both learned quickly, that just because Mr. Hummer wasn't looking at you, didn't mean he wasn't listening.

Lennox leaned back over to his desk and we both kept our eyes straight ahead...or at least, I did. From the corner of my eye, I could see Lennox smirk, before he turned back toward the front of the class.

[********]

"Hey, what do you guys know about that chick, Victoriez?" Lennox was sitting with the two new friends he had just made. They were twins.

Zoland, the oldest of the two by two hours, furrowed his brows as he chewed on a french fry, "You're talking about Vicky? Vicky Nicks?"

Slowly, Lenny nodded, "Yeah...I guess I am."

Zane, the other blond-headed twin, nodded, "She actually just transferred here this year. Eleventh grade." Zane shrugged, and picked up a french fry, "Heard she came from Los Angeles. Other than that, don't really know anything about her."

Lennox bit on his bottom lip as he slouched in his chair, staring at the twins blankly. Zoland and Zane looked exactly alike, from the freckles covering their narrow noses, to the forest green eyes. The only way you could tell them apart was their hair. Zoland wore his in short spikes sticking here and there around his head. Zane, on the other hand, wore his shaved close to his head, which made him look like the older twin, eerily. "L.A., huh?" Lennox wasn't really speaking to them anymore, more to himself, as he watched her walk into the cafeteria. She was still very hot, Lennox thought, as his eyes slyly followed her to the line.

His eyes then briefly shifted to the slightly shorter girl standing next to her. She was cute, too. But he had his eyes on this "Vicky". He turned his eyes back to his friends, who were giving him knowing looks. Ignoring them, he said, "Have you guys talked to her yet?"

Zane shook his head and swallowed the food in his mouth before he began to speak, "No. I don't really remember her looking quite so...different before break."

Zoland nodded his head in agreement, "As a matter of fact, I distinctly remember her hair being a dark color. Black. And in braids? Real forgettable, t-shirt and jeans kind of girl, actually. Now.. well." Zoland's eyebrows raised suggestively.

Lenny raised a brow, "T-shirt and jeans, huh?" he rubbed his chin and looked in the direction he had last seen her, but she wasn't there. With his mind racing, trying to put a word to what it was about her, he asked, "Didn't you guys take class pictures in the first semester?" at the twins nod, Lenny smiled, "That was all I needed to know."

Zane and Zoland gave each other looks. Zane laughed, "Uh oh. Man, are you going to turn into a stalker?"

Lennox smiled and shook his head, "Nah, just curious that's all."

Plans were already forming in his mind. As he thought about her big amber eyes and silky brown skin, he could feel his intrigue growing. In due time.

He placed Vicky out of his mind, for the moment at least, to joke around and enjoy the rest of his lunch with his friends.

[********]

I couldn't get far enough away from him. I had maneuvered Leira while we were talking and instead of sitting in our normal spot which was only a table down from that boy and his friends, we sat nearly on the other side of the room. I stared at the back of his head, twiddling the straw in my soda with an unsettling feeling in my stomach. I had watched him watch me. I didn't know why, but he made me nervous.

And being nervous, made me anxious and panicky. Not good.

I tried to put Lennox out of my mind, at least for the moment, to tune in to what my friend was trying to tell me. And then I couldn't help but think, This is too soon, for me to be interested in someone like this. And so very, very stupid. Then, as I glanced in his direction one last time, I thought about it. No, it wasn't "too soon". It was actually too late.