Ch 1

I was so close. So close to completing my quest, I could almost taste the imminent victory. I crept forward, excitement pouring through my veins.

Suddenly, a large demon with dark green skin, tiny, beady black eyes and huge ram horns appeared. What I had to do next wasn't a question. It was in my way, ready to make me its lunch.

Which meant I had to kill it, before it killed me.

I swiftly pulled out my ornate green bow and immediately started shooting at the monster with poisoned arrows. Unfortunately, the brute was strong. It attacked me ferociously in return, and I had to dodge to avoid its furious swipes.

Come on, you can't lose this now, girl, I told myself. You're so close! I dodged the demon once again as it lunged at me. Then, I immediately turned around to nock another arrow, aim it at the creature, and shoot. The monster howled in pain, and I briefly wondered how many arrows I had used.

Too many, I realized, when I went to get another arrow and found there was none. Crap. Not only that, but I had zero potions as well, meaning that I had to go to the nearest town and buy supplies.

But it was too late. Just then, the demon took its opportunity to take me down. In seconds, I was dead.

"Shit!" I swore, staring at the screen. I couldn't believe it. I was so close to completing my quest and leveling up at the same time. If that stupid demon hadn't come to ruin everything, I would have had sweet victory.

"Lou Ellen! There's a phone call for you!" my mom called from the kitchen.

I sighed and went to take the phone from her.

"Hello?" I asked.

"Hey!" my all-time best friend, Genesis, replied chirpily. "Are you ready yet?"

"What?" I wasn't sure what she was talking about. Then suddenly, I remembered. But by then she was already reminding me for the umpteenth time.

"The party, remember? Or were you too busy playing videogames?"

"I'm surprised you weren't too busy reading to remember," I retorted. The truth was, I was too busy playing videogames to remember the party tonight. But I was too embarrassed to admit that.

"I'm not half as obsessed with books as you are with videogames."

"Hey, videogames are awesome!"

"Yeah, well, how about this: just concentrate on getting ready before Jordan swings by to pick you up."

I couldn't help but blush at the comment. Ever since finding out the truth about Jordan, I had tried to forget him, but with little success. Just his name alone still had that effect on me. I couldn't help but remember it now…

It was almost the end of my freshman year, and I was nervous. I was going to ask Jordan out, hoping he would accept, hoping he wouldn't reject me. I stared at my sneakers, waiting for him to come.

When he finally did, he sat down and looked at us nervously. What was he so nervous about? I took a deep breath and was about to say something when he finally blurted out, "I'm gay."

It was silent for a moment. Then, Genesis finally spoke up, saying, "Dude, are you serious?"

"Why haven't you mentioned this before now?" inquired Austin.

"I guess it's because of what my parents said. I mean, they totally freaked. And I was afraid of what you guys would say." He looked down at the floor, and the seriousness of the situation started to dawn on me.

"Hey, you know we'll support you no matter what," Austin added in support. Suddenly I couldn't take it anymore.

"I'm going to the bathroom, okay?" I muttered, then headed to the nearest bathroom, tears forming in my eyes.

"Hello? Lou Ellen, are you there?"

That brought me out of my flashback." Oh, yeah. Well then, I'll see you later," I muttered. "Bye."

"Bye," she answered, and then hung up.

I sighed. I hated thinking about something so insignificant as clothing, wondering why I couldn't just wear whatever I wanted.

When I went into my room, I stared at my closet, wishing I could be fighting virtual demons and completing virtual quests. I had no clue what to wear, not that it really mattered to me. In the end, I wore the only skirt I owned (which I so foolishly bought to impress Jordan. Of course, that was before I found out he had zero interest in girls.) along with a plain green t-shirt. I brushed my hair and put it back in a ponytail.

There. I was ready. Now to go finish that quest…

After what seemed like only a few minutes, my mom called me again, informing me that my friends had come to pick me up. I quickly (and FINALLY) finished the quest I was on, then headed out. Before doing so, I grabbed my Nintendo DS, putting in a Pokemon game in there so I wouldn't drive myself crazy on the long trip.

I went outside, where Jordan's blue SUV was in the street, waiting. Since I was the last one to be picked up, I had to squeeze in next to Genesis, who had no doubt spent a lot of time getting ready. She wore a long, satin V-neck sea green dress and black high heels. Her hair was elegantly curled, and she wore a ton of makeup.

"Do you always have to make me feel underdressed?" I complained.

"It's not my fault you don't spend enough time getting ready," she answered airily.

I rolled my eyes. "Whatever," I muttered, and opened up my game and started playing. I got so lost in my game that I didn't stop until much, much later, when the screen went black, indicating that the battery died.

Dammit.

I sighed, and put my game down on my lap. Jackson and Jordan were arguing about which direction to take, apparently. Jackson wanted to take a shortcut through the forest while Jordan wanted to go the long way.

"I don't have a good feeling about this," he said.

"You're basing this off of your feelings? That's stupid. It's not like anything's going to happen," he replied obnoxiously.

"You never know," Jordan countered smoothly.

Jackson rolled his eyes. "But we'll get to the party faster," he whined.

Jordan sighed in defeat. "Fine, we're taking the shortcut. But if anything bad happens, I'm blaming you."

Coincidentally, we were already halfway through the shortcut when the car suddenly stopped.