A/N: Before anyone freaks out and calls the Suicide Hotline or whatever you call for manic depressed people. I'm not. Not even close. But I admire people who have broken lives.
And this isn't based on anyone I know.
It would be pretty cool if you reviewed too. I've been working on this for a while.

Chapter 1

This was really not an unusual event. Strange, hot girls always seemed to turn up in our morning smoking circle,but this one was extremely good looking. Her black painted finger nails were shaking slightly as she took a slow drag off the cigarette, her just as black lined eyes heavily hooded, her full lips sucking off the smoke tightly, then blowing it out in my Thomas' face. She was tall and thin, wearing a low cut tight black ACDC shirt, pulled up above her midriff slightly, so a little belly ring was just visible. Her dark hair was choppy and long, hitting her hips. Hell, she was smokin', literally and figuratively. Someone handed me the cigarette and I took a quick hit, still watching the mysterious girl.

She looked completely bored with everything, most girls of my interest were. She finally caught me staring intently at her, and sneered up at me.

"What, asshole?"

I started laughing, as it was my defense mechanism. My friends laughed with me, like they always did.

"Wasn't looking at much, was he?" My best friend, Thomas, Tommy, added. I laughed some more, and the girl rolled her eyes.

"Jenny, why are we with these freaks?" the black haired beauty asked the friend she had come with, a short, jittery girl with mousy red hair and a slight muffin top. The redhead snorted at the boy she was talking with, and waved her friend off. "Jenny!" the girl snapped.

"Free cigs, Heather, chill." the redhead, Jenny, apparently, said.

"Oh my God, Jenny, you're such a whore."

Jenny flipped her the bird and the girl stormed off. I didn't chase after her, although I probably should have, I hadn't had a nice piece of ass in a few months. I wasn't in the mood to flirt, no matter how hot she was. Dad was in a mood lately and pissing me off, and the usual hot anger inside me was steaming.

"Bitch." Jenny muttered under her breath and jogged after her, her slight rolls bouncing along with her.

We heard the school bell ring from behind the hedge we were next to.

"Shit." Tommy muttered and stomped out the tiny little bud of the cigarette there was left. He dug into his filthy backpack, scrawled all over with black sharpie swear words and song lyrics. He pulled out his can of trusty cologne and practically showered in it, covering his hair, chest, legs and back. He tossed it to me and I did the same, so we left a wake of a cheap, oaky stench as we walked, laughing and screwing around, towards the school.

The late bell rung just as we neared the parking lot. Thomas punched me in the arm and strutted off in the opposite direction.

"Dick." I muttered under my breath. I pulled the hallway door open and tromped down the empty path to the classroom door. I slid into the class, only to be glared at by my teacher, and fell into the back desk. I pulled out my notebook and started to doodle, completely ignoring the teacher go on about whatever stupid subject we were supposed to be learning.

"Darren. Darren Hanford." the teacher said suddenly. I snapped my head up and smirked.

"Here."

The class snickered. I knew just as well as they did she wasn't taking roll. The teacher scowled.

"The answer to number 4." she said.

"Four?"

"Yes, on the homework."

"Oh, I don't know." I smiled cheekily up at her.

"Did you look at the problem?"

"Nah."

"What a surprise. This is the fourth time this month you have belligerently ignored the homework all together. Go to Chutney."

"I didn't do anything!" I protested, the anger reheating in my chest.

"Exactly. Go. Now!"

She waited as I stood and began to leave the room.

"Bitch." I muttered quietly as I neared the door. But, it turns out I said it loud enough for her, and most of the class, to hear. I heard breathy giggling and mutters as the teacher slowly walked over to me. I spun, standing my ground.

"Get out of my classroom. I'll see to it you never come back."

"Whatever." I said, shaking my head.

"Out." she pushed the door open and crossed her arms.

When the door slammed behind me I exhaled, gritting my teeth tightly. I leaned against a wall and dug my knuckles into my eyes.

After a moment of silently cursing myself I shrugged it off, and let the warm anger seep back into my muscles, tensing them.

The meeting with the vice principal was short and sweet. I had finally beaten off my last chance, after this it was expulsion. I hadn't meant to, honestly, sometimes my mouth got carried away. I would also have to attend summer school to pick up another failed class, it was my third. Vice Principal Chutney lazily ordered me to the library, where I was to spend the rest of the period.

The librarian glared at me as I took a seat. I smirked at her from the gray plastic chair and took off my hat, running my hands through my hair. I unwound my headphones from my little mp3 player and popped one in. In half a minute, the librarian was in front of me.

"Put it away or it goes in the safe. Get a book or leave."

"Christ, lady, sorry." I said breezily, stuffing the device away in my pocket and standing. I went to the shelf and picked out a book at random and flipped through it, not looking at the pages, just trolling up and down the aisles, staring straight ahead.

I stopped suddenly, at the end of one row, where the shelves split so a few lone chairs could rest. A girl sat there, thoroughly invisible from the rest of the library. Her legs were pressed up against her chin, which she was balancing on her knees. In her hands was a little book, which she was enraptured with, her long lashed eyes darting over the page. On her hands were dark blue fingerless gloves, and her blonde hair was covered with a red and orange beanie. She nibbled at her fingernails as she read.

For some reason the girl stirred something within me, not like whether or not I wanted to nail her, or just grab onto her and hold her, and never let go, but she scared me somehow. I stepped back, my sneaker squeaking slightly, and the girl looked up. Her eyes were astonishingly blue, and she pressed her lips together, revealing two deep dimples on both side of her cheeks, and I couldn't help but smile.

She furrowed her golden eyebrows and her dimpled cheeks flushed bright pink.

"Sorry..." I finally managed to stutter out. My stomach was twisting at the sight of her; I was suddenly nervous in her presence, instead of enamored with it.

"It's okay." she whispered, not meeting my eyes. She twisted uncomfortably in her chair and without another word, I turned down the aisle and walked off.

I couldn't stop thinking about the blonde girl with dimples for the rest of the day, and even when dad came home even angrier than before, my mood couldn't be shaken. The girl had filled me with something, making me oddly elated, like no other opiate could: those dimples had rocked me to my core.

The next day, I couldn't even tell Thomas about her, even though him and I were constantly swapping chick stories, she was different. She didn't deserve our vulgar missives, so I didn't bring her up. We stood around, only four of us this morning, swapping cigarettes and exhaled tobacco smoke. The wispy smoke broke the misty air, swirling around and then above us, so the hedge looked like a little chimney.

When the bell rang we all bathed in cologne and then slowly trudged our way to class, and I walked up the front steps of the school to the library.

I reached the door and realized something. What if the girl with dimples was there again? Should I say something...ignore her?

I stood in front of that door a good five minutes until a teacher coming in behind me cleared his throat. I jumped out of the way, holding the door open. The teacher gave me a dubious, suspicious look, but walked in anyways.

I went inside, tossed my backpack onto one of the tables, and began to go up and down the aisles, after grabbing another random book.

The girl wasn't there. I was thoroughly disappointed, but I continued my strolling up and down the rows of shelves.

There was nothing for me to do there. I almost wished I had a class, but then regretted the idea instantly.

"'Ay, Darren, what's up?" a voice said from behind one row of shelves. I slowly walked around the corner to find Mat Garcia, smiling at me, his black LA hat turned to one side. He was wearing the thug uniform, long, long black shirt that went to his knees, and low rider jeans, tied with a shoelace belt around his thighs.

"What 'choo doing in the library, man?" Mat asked me.

"Kicked out of Tyler's class."

"Rough, rough, dude, rough." he shook his head.

"What about you? You restocking the shelves?" I nodded to the little cart he was pushing, full of novels.

"Yeah, man, part of my community service is helping out in the lie-brare-ee. Pretty sweet deal, man. Just shelfin' shit."

"I bet. Hey, Mat, I'll catch up with you later, let you get back to shelving."

"Adios, brah." Mat pounded my fist and I walked back the way I'd come.

Around the corner again, and she was there. The same position I'd left her in the day before, only this time, slightly different clothes. Same gloves and beanie, though. Her hair was down, she was practically buried in a big green hoodie.

"Hi..." I said without thinking, then grimaced.

Usually I was so smooth, so suave, my pick up technique was flawless. I could walk into a party, grab a beer, head over to a hot girl, and have her in the bathroom in the next fifteen minutes. But this one...I didn't want her in a bathroom. She wasn't sexy, or sensual, she was lovely, she was delicate. She didn't deserve a quickie, she deserved a dinner at some restaurant I couldn't afford. She deserved so much more than what most girls did, I could tell just by looking.

Most important, though, the girl didn't deserve me. Not at all.

And we'd barely said three words.

"Hi." she squeaked, her cheeks tinging pink again. God, she was pretty. She had a light dusting of yellow freckles across that button nose, those barely there eyelashes that were so long they brushed her cheeks when she blinked. I was gaping again, I knew it.

"Sorry."

She smiled, barely, but it was there. Her little pink lips curled the tiniest bit at the corners and the dimples sunk into her freckled cheeks. But with all this innocent beauty, she didn't seem young at all. Her eyes seemed old and tired, her shoulders were tense and her hands were balled into fists.

"You said that yesterday." she said quietly "And you didn't have too."

"Oh." I said, shifting my weight from one foot to the other. Since when did I become an awkward buffoon? This wasn't me. Was it?

Maybe it was. Maybe this girl was melting some fake persona and turning me into some little, nerdy kid who could barely sputter out a word to a girl who deserved a lot of them.

She deserved so many words. Good words, loving words.

The girl with dimples smiled wide, showing her teeth some. They were straight, she had good teeth genes, but one of her front canines was chipped. But her lips hid her teeth a moment later, the smile had been just a whisper of a moment, there it was for a second, the next, it was gone.

"Sorry, I'm Darren."

"There you are, apologizing again." she said, and the smile reappeared, then disappeared. It seemed I was going to have to keep talking to make it come back. I wanted it to come back. "It's okay, Darren, I'm Sarah."

Sarah. Sarah. A wholesome name. Sarah. From a good family. Went to church every Sunday, baked cookies on the weekend. Not like Candi or Rachelle, or Heather, for Christ sakes. All at once I hated every other girl's name, save Sarah.

Oh, and God, she said my name, the syllables I had heard all my life send shivers down my spine for the first time.

Whoa, this girl is fucking with you, man. You're thinking like a stalker.

I realized I had been gawking again, and she was squirming slightly, and so I cleared my throat.

And I think your totally amazingly beautiful and I was wondering if you wanted to go out sometime.

Is what I wanted to say.

But instead, like the huge blabbering idiot I had turned into, I said:

"I read books."

Sarah smiled, a full, real smile, her dimples sank in all the way and her eyes lit up, so they looked like they should have, young and happy. She gave a little laugh, and it made my stomach spatter painfully, happy and nervous at the same time.

And I realized looking like a total idiot was a good change. Because it made her laugh.

"I guess that's why you're in a library then." she said.

"Yeah...what are you reading?" I sat down in the chair nearby and saw her shoulders relax a little. Huh.

"It's called Memoirs of a Geisha." she said, and handed me the book. I took it and flipped it open to where her bookmark rested. "It's sad. But it's good. Are you reading that?" she nodded to the book I was holding as I gave her back the novel.

"Oh...this...? Yeah, I mean." I looked at the title and sheer panic swept through me. I'm an idiot. A full blown stupid jackass. It was a Gossip Girl novel. "Uh...no..." I said quickly.

"Hmm, I haven't read any of these. Would you recommend it?" she sounded serious, but I looked up, and her eyes were sparkling. I got lost in them for a moment, and then cracked a smile.

"Oh, yeah, the riveting stories of...whoever this is, always keep me hooked. All the gossip...and the girls...you know."

She grinned at my lame attempt at a joke and let one of her legs down, like she was slowly starting to break a barrier between us.

"So, Sarah, why are you in here?" I asked.

"I don't have a first period."

"So why don't you come to school later?"

Her face hardened briefly, but then she smiled weakly. "My dad has to go to work, is all."

I nodded. The atmosphere around us had changed from warm and comfortable, to cool and awkward again. She lifted her leg back up, and squirmed a little.

"Look..." I began, trying to choose the right words. "You seem...nice, and uh, maybe, we should, uh..."

"I'm not allowed to date." she said quietly, looking down, her lashes brushing her cheeks.

"Oh, wait, no, uh..."

Her cheeks reddened and she looked fully panicked, fear creeping up into her eyes. "You weren't going to ask that, were you?" she whispered.

I gave her a reassuring smile, and the fear dissipated. Her face was so easy for me to read, it was fascinating; amazing. "No, I was, actually."

She sighed and let the leg drop again, tapping it on the floor.

"I'm not allowed to date guys."

"Girls?" I asked and she laughed.

"Ha, no, neither. I'm sorry, really." she bit her lip slightly.

"But you will be here every morning?"

She blinked a few times, and grinned the widest she had so far. "Yeah, yeah, I will." she said after a moment.

"Cool. Well, uh, I'll see you around then?"

"Yeah..." she breathed.

I stood and realized with regret that there was still twenty minutes left in the period. The girl didn't seem to notice, her face was buried back in her book.

5