She's beautiful. She always has been. Monique Lewis. Even her name is amazing, although she hates it.

She's crazy, though. My mom says she has a death wish. Me, I think she's looking to feel alive.

She drinks, smokes. Dyes her hair, wears see-through shirts and giant cargos. Speeds on the highway at midnight with her headlights off. Gets tattoos and piercings from shady artists who don't ask for ID. Walks through the ghetto alone at three a.m. on Fridays. Skips school to hitchike into the city, disappears for weeks at a time.

She's not just that, though. She's a dancer. My kind of dance. She'll do ballet. Hip hop. Grunge. Ballroom. Anything, she just has to dance.

And she runs. Every day. For hours. She's too skinny, but I guess she likes it that way.

So do her boyfriends. They're her biggest problem, I think. She's always dating big, mean guys wat older than her. Most people think she wants the tragedy, but I'm pretty sure she's trying to find someone who can and will tame her.

I mean, it must be exhausting, being Monique. And if a guy leaves bruises on her pale skin, chains her down, maybe he can force her to be meek, normal, afraid.

And that's it, isn't it? I think Monique just wants to be afraid.