The crowd cheered for me, and I curtsied for them. The lack of air that usually overpowered me wasn't even noticible. The perfect clapping, the Bravo that hung in the air, unspoken, but clearly known, seemed to strengthen and the delicate calls of my name seemed to become harsh, masculine, and cold. The darkness in front of me, where the audience was, but could not be seen, swirled around the air near my feet, and the voice became distinctive now, angry.

"Wake up!"

My eyes flickered open, only to see the menacing face of my furious father towering in front of me. "Finally, you worthless piece of flesh! Why can't you be more like your sister, ready for school, done her chores! Either way, get up!" He lifted me up by my upper arm, shoving me into the wall, "Now your gonna get it. Can't you be responsible for once?"

He backhanded, pulling a small penknife from his pocket, tracing it down my arm. "Turn around!" he had barked, clearly not wanting an answer. Yanking down the back of my shirt, he started to carve a small design into the base of my neck. The peircing cold made me shiver, but I felt no pain.

This had been happening for five years now, ever since my mother had run away from the house, to escape my father's wrath, which had been aimed towards her, although she placed the burden on me. I was twelve now, I had been seven years old when my father started to abuse me. But my sister, she was safe. I kept her out of harm's way by taking blame for everything, to keep Dezzie safe. If I could only have one thing, it would be to keep my twin sister safe.

We were twins, Izy and Desdemona, the not-so-dynamic duo. Her face was a vision of my mother, round hazel eyes, ringlet curled dark brown/black hair, tan and tall. I was a replica of my father, straight auburn hair and blue eyes. My skin never tanned, only burned, and I had a few freckles. I was tall, the same height as Dezzie actually, but skinny as a twig, while she was healthy and fed, I went without meals at least three times a week.

Now, I turned my attention back to my father, who was wiping blood from the end of his knife. "Shower. The bus comes in fifteen minutes, and you will not be seen like that." I nodded obediently, and walked to the bathroom after grabbing a shirt and jeans that would cover my various bumps and bruises, and the deep white scars that decorated my spindly body. The semi-warm water came from the faucet in small bursts.

We lived in a house in the center of ghetto Altoona, Wisconsin. I'm pretty sure you could say our house was a shack. With stairs. Okay, so we lived in a two story shack. That doesn't make sense, but anyways. Stepping out of the shower, I slipped on my clothes and ran a comb through my chin length hair.

"Izy!" came a sharp whisper from outside.

"Yeah Dezzie?"

"Bus."

"Shit," I said, if we weren't out of the house by the time the bus doors opened, I was dead, "Go, go, go!" I shooed my sister towards the door, stumbling down the stairs with a bag over my shoulder. I had just clicked the lock and found some lunch money when the doors opened, revealing the old bus driver, a nice old man who always made sure everyone was on the bus before he started driving.

We were only in seventh grade, but our bus made it seem like we went to stereotype high school.

In the back you had the eighth graders, dumb girls who always were applying lip gloss, and hotheaded, arrogant boys who assumed every girl wanted to tap that. Well, okay, maybe most of them did, but, I mean, one boy back there was Andrew Lanier! He was a jock, although probably the most beautiful person I have ever seen. Perfect dark blonde hair, blue eyes, tanned skin, absolute gorgeousness. To bad that's something I could never have. Beauty and Andrew. Beauty because I had too many scars marring my body, and Andrew because he would never even notice me.

In front of them were the popular seventh graders. Pretty much the same as the eighth graders, but smaller. Next there were seventh graders, nothing special. Then sixth graders, lost in the sea of kids. Last, and definately least, were the nerds and geeks. Sadly, Dezzie and I were stuck between the seventh graders and sixth graders. We weren't popular; we had only been in Altoona for three months because we were always moving.

I expected the next move to be any day now; we usually only stayed in one place for three or four months, and every different place we moved was a city that was barely heard of. I braided my wet hair over my shoulder and turned to Dezzie, who was looking out the window and idley twisting one of her curls.

"Penny for your thoughts?"

"When's it gonna stop? When are we just going to stay in one place?"

I scoffed, "Never. We're just going to keep moving and moving and moving, but we don't even know why." I looked at her from the corner of my eye. Her hair was disheveled, her eyes had dark bags under them, her lips were chapped, and her skin was red and blotchey, "Here," I said, pulling a small makeup pouch from my bag.

I pulled her hair back in a high ponytail after combing her middle-back length locks out, and covered her face in thin layer of foundation. A little mascara and pink gloss were the finishing touches. After that I tapped my converse covered feet on the floor, watching Dezzie shake her leg uncontrollably. It was one of those bad habits people had, like me playing with my fingernails.

"Nervous?"

"No, why would I be?" I pointed at her leg, smirking, "Oh, well..."

"You are to nervous! You're shaking like a freakin' chihuahua!"

"I don't know... I just think that one day I'll come home and our father will have beaten you so bad that he kills you!" she whispered fiercely before wiping her teary eyes.

"Oh, c'mon, he wouldn't kill me. Have I ever ended up at the hospital? Hmm? Have you ever even had a scratch on your arm?"

"You're gonna jinx it! Stop!"

"Calm down," I said as we reached Altoona Middle School, school of the dumb and beautiful(a.k.a. Andrew Lanier). I grabbed my sister by the wrist and pulled her off the bus and into the "safety" of the formaldahyde-stink-hole. Dropping my sister at her locker - which I have no idea why we weren't next to each other. Uh, alphabetical order?- I saw Andrew down the hall leaning on my locker.

I cut my eyes at him and opened my mouth to speak...only to be cut off.

"So, you," he said, smirking, "are my new girlfriend. We got that cleared up?"

I gave him a look of utter disbelief and rolled my eyes.

"1) I am not, nor will I ever be, your girlfriend. 2) You don't talk to me like that. Ever. Again. Do we got that cleared up?"

"Aww, c'mon Izy," he said pitifully, tugging the end of my braid, "You know you want me," he said, moving closer. He was so close, actually, that I could smell his cologne, and I shivered involuntarily, the proximity of him making me uncomfortable. I put my hand on his chest and pushed him away.

"Stop it, please," I said, and opened my locker. His playful smirk fell a little when he detected the sadness and slight fear in my voice.

"Hey, look, I was just joking around. Don't get creeped out and scream bloody murder." I let a small smile grace my lips, but it fell quickly, and I started walking away towards my first class -math, not my favorite subject- with my books hugged to my chest, "Hey, wait up!" he yelled.

I kept walking. That little scene with him reminded me of my fathers worst attack. It was when he started making money off of me. When he would sell my body, and the whole neighborhood was oblivious to the horrific screams of agony coming from the house. And so was my sister. She thought the worst thing he had done was broken my nose. If only she knew.

"What's wrong?" he asked, grabbing my shoulder and spinning me towards him.

"Nothing," I wiped away a tear that threatened to spill over.

"No, something's wrong. What is it? You can tell me. I'm good at keeping secrets."

"Oh yeah? 'Cause I was talking to Cheyenne Middleton yesterday, and she said it was supposed to be a secret that you two hooked up last weekend but now nearly half the school knows! Were you supposed to keep that secret?"

"But that's different! It wasn't a life threatening secret! Of course I would tell everyone. Cheyenne's smokin '."

"You're such a pig." I unclipped my bangs so that they would hide my tear stained, red face and walked away.

Jerk.

A/N- Yay! The first chapter of my first story! If you couldn't tell from the dream, she's a singer. Let's see if Izy and Drew get closer, shall we?
To Be Continued...