The first few chapters will jump quite often - They are only there for you to get to know the characters and to learn more about Crystal's life so far.
Crystal's Teenage Years: First day of high school
Crystal was so nervous as she made her way to the first day of high school with her best friend Rachel.
Rachel and Crystal had been friends since they were in Nursery together.
Crystal always wondered how she could ever be Rachel's friend. They were both complete opposites to each other, Rachel was the fun outgoing girl while Crystal was the quiet one. Crystal hated being the centre of attention, but Rachel didn't care if she was, she was her own person. Crystal wished she had her friends confidence.
"I'm so nervous," Crystal stated.
"Me too, but together we can get through this." Rachel tried to reassure her.
Rachel always had a way of getting through anything or at least knew how to build Crystal's confidence up a bit.
"It's just so big!" Crystal continued to say.
"Nothing is too big for the both of us. Remember our saying..."
"... We can accomplish anything if we just stick together," they both said at the same time.
"Besides your sister is here too." Rachel continues to reassure her.
"Jane won't want to speak to me, let alone see me," Crystal stated.
Crystal and Jane never really got on, Jane was always embarrassed being around her younger sister and Crystal couldn't stand the way Jane spoke to her. They were always at each other's throats yelling and screaming, even though Rachel didn't see that side, all she saw was the disagreements.
They both made their way through the school gates, where they could see loads boys and girls hanging around outside the building, all chatting away in their own groups.
Crystal started staring at the building in front of her, it seemed bigger than when she first saw it, but she knew that was just her imagination.
"Oh look, there is your sister," Rachel said with enthusiasm.
Crystal didn't really want to see her sister, but she still followed her eyes in the same direction that Rachel was looking. There were so many girls with the same dark hair and sun-tanned skin as Jane, even though her sister's tan was fake, it came from a bottle. Crystal could see now, why her sister's appearance meant so much to her.
"Where?" Crystal asked
Crystal couldn't believe that Rachel had spotted her so easily, there were too many girls that looked so alike, especially in the direction that Rachel was on about.
"Over there" Rachel started pointing in the same direction "Don't you see her?" Rachel continued to say.
One minute Crystal was focused on spotting her sister and the next she felt herself bump into something or someone...
"Hey, watch where you're going" that someone demanded.
Crystal couldn't believe that she had already embarrassed herself, but she knew she should face this someone and apologise.
Crystal turned around and came face to face with that person, who happen to a guy and a very good looking one. Crystal could feel her cheeks heating up... Oh, she so hated it when her cheeks betrayed her like that.
"I'm sorry" Crystal apologised.
The boy continued to stare back at her, but somehow his face expression slowly softened from anger to something else Crystal couldn't quite place.
Crystal slowly took a step away from this guy and wondered if he would start laughing at how red her cheeks, but for some reason he just continued to stare at her with that same expression, which was making her feel so uneasy.
"I didn't mean to," Crystal said hoping it would make the boy look away from her.
"Don't apologise..." The boy started to smile as he continued to speak to her "...It was my fault, I should have moved out the way."
Crystal couldn't understand why he was saying that... it was her fault for, not looking where she was going, how could he move out the way if he didn't know she was going to knock into him. Crystal now knew what girls meant when they said that boys were so confusing.
Crystal smiled back at him and said "It doesn't matter," she started backing further away from him, but for some reason she still couldn't take her eyes off him... That smile alone seemed to light up his whole face and she couldn't get over how attractive he was.
"It was nice bumping into you, " The boy said as he too continued to stare back at her.
Crystal stopped walking backwards when she felt someone place their hands against her back, she turned around to see Rachel shaking her head at her with one wide grin on her face.
"Wow, you have only just got here and you already have a guy after you," Rachel said.
Crystal turned back to face the guy but found out he had turned his back to her and was now talking to his mates who were now laughing at him. Now she had embarrassed the guy in front of his mates, she doubted he would ever speak to her again.
Crystal turned back to Rachel and started to answer her "No, he was only being polite."
Rachel started laughing before saying, "It was the way, he was looking at you."
So Rachel had seen the both of them staring at each other, but that still didn't mean he liked her, well even if he did before, he certainly didn't now, not after embarrassing him in front of his mates.
"Don't be silly" Crystal had to get Rachel off this subject somehow, she knew what Rachel was like when it came to talking about boys, it was her favourite subject.
"He couldn't take his eyes off you" Rachel continued going on "And you couldn't take your eyes off him."
"You have it all wrong," Crystal said as she started walking towards the main building and hoping it would make Rachel give up.
"You like him, don't you?" Rachel continued to say as she started walking alongside Crystal.
"Even if I did, it doesn't matter now, I just embarrassed him in front of his mates so I doubt he will ever want to speak to me again." Crystal finally admitted.
"If he does then he isn't worth it," Rachel said as she opened the main door.
Crystal now hoped that Rachel would drop the subject, she wanted to forget about him completely.
"I think you're wrong about him, though," Rachel continued to say.
"We'll see, won't we?" Crystal responded, before following Rachel to into the main building.
Later on that day, Crystal and Rachel were on their way to the school canteen when Rachel's eye caught sight of a notice on the wall.
"Look a notice for a school band," Rachel said with excitement in her voice.
Crystal looked up at the same notice with wonder, that was until she heard the last part.
"They want one person per a year group... You should go; year 7 are to attend after school at the music block," Rachel continued to say.
"I can't sing for the whole school." Crystal quickly added, not quite believing that Rachel was even suggesting this.
Rachel turned back around before asking "Why not, you love to sing?"
Crystal could tell in Rachel's expression that she knew where this was heading. They had had a conversation like this before. So Crystal couldn't understand why Rachel was asking this, again. "Not in front of other people," Crystal answered the same way as before.
Rachel quickly responded with the same response "You have to overcome that."
Crystal was now getting bored and didn't want to continue this conversation as she knew Rachel would never give up on telling what to do. "Come on, I'm hungry," Crystal moaned as she turned quickly and continued down the corridor - She knew in her heart that Rachel was right, but it was easily said than done.
Rachel quickly catches up with her. "You really should go tonight; I'll come with you if you want?"
"I'm not going!" Crystal responded in a high tone hoping it would make Rachel back down.
"But this is the best opportunity for you to get used to a small crowd." Rachel continued to encourage her.
Crystal instantly stopped walking and turned to face Rachel with an angry look on her face. "You call the whole school a small crowd?" She asked.
In that next moment, someone came up behind them before saying "Hello again!" In a very cheery voice.
Crystal and Rachel both turn their heads to find the same guy from earlier smiling brightly as he stared back at Crystal.
Crystal couldn't believe her own eyesight. This couldn't be the same guy she had bumped into and embarrassed in front of his mates. She quickly blinked her eyes wondering if she was imagining him - But no, he still stood there waiting as if waiting for an answer. "Hi!" Was all she could manage.
Despite the look on Crystal's face, he still continued to smile at her. "I never got your name earlier."
Crystal slowly opened her mouth to answer him, but for some reason, she couldn't think of a single thought. Her brain had suddenly shut down. That was until someone nudged her shoulder which somehow got her mind working again. "It's Crystal!"
"What a lovely name... Yes, I like that!"
The boy took that moment to look over at Rachel, before turning his attention back to Crystal again. "I'm Jeff!" The guy introduced himself.
"What year are you in?" Rachel suddenly asked.
"I'm year 8. I guess you're both in year 7," Jeff responded.
Crystal suddenly realised she was still staring and for the first time ever couldn't think what to say which made a change for her. "Yes, we are." She heard herself say.
"I'm trying to get Crystal to go for the school band."
Crystal couldn't believe that Rachel was still going on about that. She hoped that Jeff wouldn't be interested in hearing that.
Jeff's eyebrows suddenly lifted in surprise before confirming he had heard right. "You can sing!"
"No, I can't," Crystal suddenly snapped back which caused Jeff to take a step back in shock.
"Yes she can," Rachel quickly added before placing a hand on Jeff's shoulder. "Don't listen to her, she sings beautifully."
Crystal knew what Rahel was doing. She was trying to the calm the situation before Jeff decided to make a run for the hills. She was so jealous of Rachel; Of how relaxed she was around boys.
Jeff's smile slowly returned to his face, "You should go for it then."
Crystal couldn't believe she now had the both of them ganging up on her. Why couldn't they understand that no matter how much she loved singing, she would never be able to do it in front of other people? "I already said I'm not going!" She turned to face the both of them before turning around and continued the way she had been going.
"Crystal doesn't like crowds," Rachel suddenly announced the main reason behind all this.
Jeff took one last look at Rachel before rushing off after Crystal. "Then this gives you an opportunity to get used to that," Jeff said as caught up with her and walked beside her.
"That's what I told her." Rachel came up on Crystal's other side. "But she just won't listen."
"Well, I'm going to try," Jeff suddenly announced.
"You should definitely go now," Rachel whispered before nudging her shoulder against Crystal's.
Crystal was surprised to hear that herself. Instantly making her turn back to him.
"Yes, I'd like it if you would."
Crystal continued to stare back at Jeff enable to find her words, once again; Had she truly found someone that had the same interests as her?
In that moment, she noticed that Jeff was now raising his eyebrows and staring at her in confusion, making crystal realised he was waiting for her to respond. She slowly turned back around before saying, "It won't even be worth trying."
"Don't say that."
"But it's true. Especially with my luck." As much as Crystal liked the idea of singing with him, she knew it would never happen.
"Your luck could be changing."
Oh, how Crystal wished that was true - An image suddenly started appearing at the back of her mind; Of Jeff and her standing beside each other on stage and the audience were giving them a standing ovation.
"Well, got to go."
The image instantly faded from her mind as if to remind her it was only a pipe dream.
"See you both around."
Crystal instantly stopped walking and turned around to see Jeff rushing back the way he came. "See ya, Jeff." She called after him.
Jeff continued down the corridor as Crystal stared after him, hoping she hadn't scared him away. After he disappeared from her view Crystal turned towards Rachel to find her grinning back. She knew instantly what Rachel was thinking and Crystal was determined to make sure she kept them to herself. "Don't you dare say a word," she warned her before dashing off down the corridor in the opposite direction that Jeff went.
"Oh look, there's your sister again." Rachel suddenly announced.
Crystal stopped, once again. Turned back around to find her sister heading straight towards her.
Rachel instantly backed up again the wall as Crystal's sister marched straight passed her with a few other girls following behind. Neither of them paid her any attention as they glided down the corridor with determined looks on their faces, instantly making everyone else move out of their way.
Crystal stood her ground staring in shock no how her sister could make everyone crawl away from her with just one look. She knew that death look was directed at her as if wanting to end her life right there and then.
Jane stopped right in front her glaring down at her as if waiting for Crystal to do the same as everyone else. "Crystal!"
That word alone sounded frightening. Jane always spoke to Crystal like this, especially in front of other people. "Hi Jane," she said, before stepping to the side like everyone else did.
"Tell dad, I'm going to my friends tonight and I'll be back later. Can you do that for me?"
It sounded more like a warning than a question, but Crystal was so used to the Jane spoke to her. "Yeah, I'll tell him," Crystal responded back.
Jane instantly continued walking with her mates following behind as if she was royalty. Rachel slowly walked over to her as they both continued watching as the queen made her way to her throne.
"Oh Crystal," Rachel suddenly spoke as if what they saw never happened. "I won't be able to walk with you after school," she continued to say.
Crystal turned to face with a sad look on her face. "Why not?" They had always walked to and from school together.
"I need to have a word with the music teacher about my homework."
"You have homework already?" Crystal asked in surprise.
"Yeah, don't you?"
"No! Do you want me to wait for you?"
Rachel quickly started shaking her head. "No!" She instantly went quiet for a moment before adding, "I could be awhile."
Crystal slowly nodded her head before they both continued walking. She didn't say anything there and then, but Crystal was certain there was more going on then Rachel was saying...