Noelia sat in the middle of the McWhite's driveway, playing with a few ants that marched around her. It was a Tuesday afternoon in the middle of June. With school being out, there weren't many options for friends to hang out with.

Every time Noelia heard Savannah's laugh, she'd look back; squinting to keep the sun's glare from hitting her eyes. Savannah was being tickled by her boyfriend Ethan. They sat on a beat up couch in the open garage, so that she could watch her little sister.

As usual, Noelia had to follow Savannah around, like a shadow, while their mom worked lengthy hours at the hospital as a nurse. Little did Savannah know that she was constantly being studied by her curious sister. No longer that little girl interested in doll houses, kiddie cartoons or coloring books. She was undoubtedly growing into a young lady.

Eleven years old and already day dreaming of what it would be like to be in her big sister's shoes. Savannah was her idol. She was beautiful from her glowing skin, dazzling eyes and golden hair. Everything Noelia was not.

As of lately, she kept asking herself things like: why did she feel overwhelmed with all sorts of questions and opinions on everything? Why was her body changing as well as her moods? And most importantly, why was she all of a sudden more timid around the McWhite brothers?

Ethan and Evan McWhite were fraternal twins that had just graduated high school. Ethan was unsure of his future while Evan had a scholarship to go to Oxford University. Because Savannah and his brother were inseparable, Evan usually ended up being the third wheel. Twins although expected to look alike, are completely different, as everyone knows.

Although Evan shared his brother's good looks, his friends and clothes; that didn't necessarily guarantee his same popularity. He wasn't talented in sports or talking with girls. His strengths and time were dedicated to school work, books on history and science; not to forget his dream of going to Oxford. But he too was Ethan's shadow.

Ethan on the other hand, was a hopeless romantic. Savannah was his high school sweetheart; they had been dating for three years. He wasn't worried about what job he was getting, as long as he had her.

Noelia's eyes scowled as she saw a few kids coming down the street on their bicycles. Going faster, one of them shouted aloud as he stood on his bike.

"Go back where you came from brown girl!"

Noelia's countenance fell to the ground, not noticing the car pulling up. Evan got out of his car, eyes piercing at the wimp who took off speedily. Assuming that they said something mean to hurt Noelia's feelings, he went and sat beside her on the ground. He was saddened to see her so down, while his brother and Savannah remained oblivious.

"Hey Noa" he called her. "Having a rough day?"

"I don't know why they always call me that. Is it because I look different? Is it my dark skin…is it ugly?

"Oh, no Noa. You have beautiful skin. They're just jealous. Certain people have a hard time accepting difference around here. Believe me, I know."

"But you don't have dark skin Evan. How would you know that? You are pretty just like them," she pointed to Ethan and Savannah.

"I may look the same, but I don't feel the same. I love my brother like you love your sister; but I feel different inside and I'm glad. How would you tell us a part if we not only looked alike, but acted and thought alike too?" he explained.

"Then maybe you'd both be kissing my sister."

" That's not how it works," he laughed. "There's something called a brother code that can't be broken. But that's not the point I'm trying to bring here. See, to be different is special. It makes you… you."

"Well, I have been feeling a whole lotta different. And I'm not just talking about my skin."

"Aaaah, yes. I forget how quickly girls mature, unlike us boys. That is what you are referring to right?" he asked rather embarassed.

"Everything is getting more confusing. When I try to talk to my mom or Savannah they act all weird around me. My mom insists on talking to me like I'm a five year old. And Savannah just kind of shrugs me off. Saying I'm too little to understand anything. All I hear is one day this and one day that! Enough! That's too many days."

Evan couldn't help but chuckle at her words. He cared for her like if she was his own sister. Perhaps it started off as only sympathy, knowing the truth about her, but eventually with time their unique friendship grew.

"It sounds like you have a lot going on up there," he said as he tapped her forehead. "You know kiddo, its true one day it will all seem less complicated, at the same time it all gets a little harder. That's why us odd-balls have to stick together."

"Why do you have to leave Evan? Can't you study your books here? Who's gonna tell me all the stories in your history books or teach me about each conellstation?"

"You mean constellation," he chuckled.

"You see…I'm already forgetting this stuff," she mumbled..

"I'll tell you what, even though we won't be neighbors any more, we can become pen pals. How's that?"

"Deal!" she put out her hand so they could shake on it.

This is the first chapter of my first long story. No its not going to be about an 11 year old's first kiss. And yes we will fast forward a couple of years. Feel free to leave a comment, be it a positive or negative one. I appreciate all/any input. I will still continue to post episodes from the first kiss series ~ciao