I've never really thought of myself as pretty. Far from it, actually. I've never been a very beautiful girl. And this will never get you to the top of the social heap in your sophomore year of high school.

You should see my best friend, if you're looking for beauty. Erin, a friend I made while in kindergarten and have kept ever since, has stunning blue eyes, wavy, pale, white-blond hair, and a dazzlingly straight white smile. Pretty, popular, well-loved by everyone, we're opposite in every way, shape, and form.

Me, I'm nowhere near her image of perfection. My hair is one-hundred percent unmanageable. Darkish brown, super puffy, and has absolutely no shine. My eyes are a sort of greenish-gray color, masked by my overly-large glasses. I don't think I'm pretty at all, but Erin insists that I happen to be 'cute.' Like cute ever got anybody anywhere.

But what I am good at is school. I'm a straight-A student. I've got a 4.0 GPA. I've gotten first honors every single quarter of my life, excluding third grade, second quarter. That's when I got second honors. I'm not that amazing at anything else, except singing and acting. I love being in somebody else's shoes for a change. Somebody with a new personality, with different faults and different achievements.

I can sing, draw, and act, but I can't dance, so don't even ask me to try. But none of that is enough for high school. High school is like hell. You have to be an angel to get out alive.

Erin? Oh, she's fine. She always is, or at least appears to be. She actually has more than two friends. Erin gets at least second honors near the end of the year most of the time, so she at least tries to do well in school.

But she has cheerleading, and an actual, I don't know, life? Me, I don't. Just school and acting. I'm not super athletic or anything, but don't get the wrong idea. I'm not fat. Far from it. I'm a stick. I'm not even curvy, which might have been helpful.

I pretty much live in the theater. When I'm not in school, in the library, or at home, I'm at the school theater, helping the techies, onstage being my usual drama queen self, painting sets, designing and making costumes, dreaming up ideas for the next play we're doing, helping Justin (I'll explain about him later) and I think a few times I've actually sat in the audience, watching the school production of some random musical.

Right now, our school is preparing for Beauty and the Beast. Auditions are next week, Thursday. I'm going to try out for the lead, Belle, if you didn't know.

Oh, I almost forgot! I haven't actually introduced myself yet, have I? I'm Emmeline. Full name, Emmeline Richardson, but I hate being called Emmeline. It just sounds really old-fashioned. Call me Emmy.