CHAPTER 1

"I'm going to kill myself."

That line got me a glance from the old lady in the row next to us. She was wearing a hat that reminded me of cat puke.

"Amelia, please."

"Its true. Theres no point in living."

The old lady took off her hat and was now staring at me.

"It's not that bad Amelia."

"I wonder what's the quickest way to die. Hanging or maybe get these Mexican gangs to shoot me."

"AMELIA JADA BROWNE! That is enough," mother said firmly.

"MOTHER, please. You honestly don't care you ruined my life?"

My mother turned in her seat to glare at me. Her normally warm brown eyes were as cold as ice. I matched her glare.

"So help me god, Amelia. One more word and-,"

"Excuse me," a little voice coughed.

My mother and I both turned to look at the old lady in the row across from us.

"Yes?" mother asked.

"I'm sorry this is probably none of my business. Heaven knows it too. But I heard you say you were gonna commit suicide?" the little old lady asked.

"Oh me, oh no- you mis-?"

"Amelia be polite please." Mother lectured.

"Little girl, dying is not the answer. Bad things always pass, always. Theres nothing you cant make it through. Remember, you are only as strong as you want to be. I hope that helps," She sighed and lay back in her airplane seat.

"Thanks that helps a ton, doesn't it Amelia?"

"Yes." I mumbled.

I was walking out the airport with my suitcase in tow behind me. Okay, maybe I was stomping out.

"Amelia, please wait." Mother cried out

I stopped arms across my chest.

My mom caught up; she was breathing hard.

"Amelia, lets talk."

"We're in the middle of an airport, I don't think this is a good time…"

"No," my mom shook her head. "Now is perfect.

After the divorce, I couldn't stand to look at New Jersey again. Everything reminded me of your father. I had to leave, Amelia. It was driving me insane.

"Did you have to move to the other side of the country?"

"This was the only place a job opened up that I got."

"Why couldn't I have stayed with Dad?"

Mom looked pained before she answered. Her mouth went into a tight circle and she blinked a lot like she was holding back tears. "Your father decided in his condition he couldn't take care of you."

I staggered backwards. I felt a million feeling clawing their way out of me. "Dad… he didn't want me?"

Mom stood still, she didn't answer. That meant yes. I put on a huge smile for her; it was killing me to pretend.

Mom looked taken aback.

"I like you better anyway."

Mom smiled genuinely and her laugh lines were showing again. I hadn't seen them since the divorce.

She twirled my dark hair around her finger.

"c'mon kiddo, we have a house to live in."

In the taxi ride there was a sign that read

"WELCOME TO NEW MEXICO"

More like welcome to my new life.

"Is it summer here?"

"Its another state Amelia, not another hemisphere."

"I was just wondering," I mumbled. "Do you know anything about our neighbors?"

"Well..um..," Mom hesisitated.

"Are… are they Mexican?" I laughed.

Mom didn't say anything, she looked straight on the road. "I don't understand why race matters to you Amelia. We are black."

"I know we are, but I was right."

Mom shrugged. "They have twins your age. Ones a boy and ones a girl."

"Cool mom, cool."

"," Mom said really quickly.

"What?"

"The neighborhood is throwing us a welcome party today. And the Mexican twins will be there," Mom said. Her eyes were darting back and forth and she avoided meeting my eyes.

"Meet new people in a new place on the first day?" I gulped. "Im fine with that."

"Really Amelia?"

I smiled, "Its not like I have a choice."

The music was playing loudly and there were people everywhere. I was being introduced to everyone, but its not like I remembered any of the names. One of the ladies, she was Latina, pointed to a group of teens hanging out by the pool side.

"Go hang out with the kids over there. The girl with the red shirt on by the tree is my daughter."

My god, that's exactly what I didn't want to happen. I walked toward the teens, and god they were all Mexican. All eyes were on me which made me self conscious to the way I walked. I felt off and I didn't like it.

I heard whistling and other shouts in Spanish.

"Hola, chica," one guy said.

I was going crazy on the inside. Why did that stupid woman make me come over here. I don't even know anyone. God, there pigs. I miss New Jersey and then a girl stood up.

"Aye Luis, chico. Leave the girl alone. She's barely been here and you're already scaring her."

Crap, they could tell I was scared. I was trying my poker face out.

The girl turned to face me.

"Hola, chica. My name is Vanessa. You live right next door to me. Your Amelia right?

I smiled. "Yeah. Call me Lia though. Only my mother calls me that and I don't want to be reminded of her."

Vanessa laughed. "Good chica. Your 15, funny and pretty. We are going to be best friends."

A guy got up and I immediately blushed. He was Mexican and was kinda lanky like.

He ran his fingers through his hair and gave me his hand. "Hola fuega chica. Me llamo Giancarlo."

Vanessa nudged him. "Wow Carlo, you're hitting on my new best friend. We cant be friends and have my twin hitting on her."

He blushed a little, "What ever Banana." He walked away.

"Ignore my brother. He wont bother you." She laughed lightly.

"I-I didn't understand anything he said," I gasped embarrassed.

Vanessa giggled, "Si, you don't know any Spanish. Aww, you don't know any Spanish. All you need to know is that his name Is Giancarlo, but everyone calls him Carlo."

"Hes cute," I muttered.

"I hear that a lot. But I bet he hears it more. Just don't be fooled chica. juega trucos de la mente," she said.

"What does that mean?" I asked feeling really stupid for not paying attention in spanish.

Vanessa shook her head. "Don't you worry your pretty little head, chica. Now, this question is you listen to el diablo, Justin Bieber?"

I laughed. "Of course not. He is a chica!"

Vaness twirled her arm in mine, "We will be the best of friends."