December stared at her own reflection, her fingers twirling around the shortest strand of her hair which fell along side her face, brushing against her cheek bones and curling slightly towards her shoulder. Her brown eyes were wide open with fear, her lashes framing them and making them more noticeable against the rest of her face. She gripped a plastic object so tightly in her other hand that her knuckles were whiter than usual. She held that object away from her body as if she were afraid that it would spontaneously catch fire.

She sighed deeply, closing her eyes. In her head, she counted to ten in French in a useless attempt to calm herself. To make herself calm she'd need to count to a million, but she only knew how to say one through ten in the foreign language. In that moment, December wished she paid more attention when she'd taken French as a freshman. She could really use that knowledge, as the nuances of the French numbers had a somewhat calming effect on her.

"Oh, stop being such a drama queen," a voice called from the doorway of her bedroom. Her mom had her arms crossed over her chest and a scowl painted on her face, but her brown eyes, a near perfect match for December's, held an amusement that showed the younger girl that the woman wasn't truly upset. "It's just a hairbrush, don't act as if it's going to kill you."

December shot a playful glare at her mother, the only reason she was putting herself through this torture was to please her anyways. "It just might," December replied, "You never know. And when I drop dead from this, you'll feel terrible." Apparently, it was 'simply unacceptable' to go more than a few hours without running the torture device called a brush through her hair.

She was aware that her hair resembled a rat's nest, but she really hated the idea of brushing it. December had pleaded with her mother in desperation only minutes before to just allow her to cut it all off, so she wouldn't have to go through such agony, but the older woman just pressed her mouth into a firm line and shook her head. Defeated, she had trudged up to her room and gingerly lifted the dreaded object.

She gripped the pink and purple brush up to her head, barely touching her hair, and pulling it down towards the tips. Each time the bristles would hit a knot, December would freeze with a twisted up look of pain on her face. She would wait for a few seconds, as if time would make the tangle disappear from her hair, before sucking in a breath and continuing.

Fifteen minutes later, she had managed to go through only the front of her hair, not even daring tough the back which she knew to be much, much worse. The undersides had also yet to be explored, though they were probably equally as tangled. Her mother stood in the door, only watching her as she inflicted nearly unbearable pain upon her scalp.

As mentioned before, December was a bit dramatic, but there was nothing that could be done for it. Acting on her dramatic tendencies, and admittedly putting of the hair brushing for a few more precious moments, December dropped the brush, the plastic making a slight thump as it hit the plush white carpet. She lifted a hand, pressing the back of it to her forehead. She made a gasping noise, her eyes so wide they threatened to pop out of her head, gaping at her mother with what she hoped was an accusatory stare. Then, when her mother took notice of her little show, she dropped to her knees, paused for a few moments, before fully falling to the floor. One arm curled over her stomach and the other was tossed awkwardly to the side at an uncomfortable angle, she wanted to make herself more comfortable but she feared moving would ruin the impression she'd hoped for.

"I know you aren't dead, you silly girl," her mother called, seemingly unaffected by the theater act worthy of a big stage that had just been played out in front of her. The woman had long since gotten used to her daughter's ways to truly be shocked by her antics. "Get up, we don't have all day."

It was Saturday, and the previous day she had made plans to go to the mall with Keegan and his friends. December considered them to be her friends now too, she

had sat at the same table with them for two weeks. They didn't seem to have a problem with her spending time with them, in fact they were nicer to her than most people were. James was often quiet, but she was told by Keegan not to take it personally, he was always like that and only spoke when he had something important to say. Harrison was just goofy, and she couldn't help but laugh so much that her sides hurt whenever he did or said anything.

"I know!" December told her mom, jumping up from the floor and straightening the skirt of her

dress. That day, it was a pink and black dress with an antique-looking flower pattern with a slim black belt accentuating her waist. She had a black cardigan over top, as it was cold out and the dress was strapless and didn't offer her arms much protection. She wore thick, dark gray tights underneath so that her legs would be warm as well. A black ribbon was tied around her neck with sparkly stones hanging from the front and she donned chunky black boots as well, to, in her opinion, make her look tough. "I need to be at the mall in an hour!" December knew that if she wanted to have friends, she would have to work at it. Meaning, that she needed to spend time with them. She knew that they most likely wouldn't wait up for her, as she'd pretty much invited herself on the outing, so she would need to be there right on time.

"Well, if you want me to drive you, which you do because you don't have a license, then you'd better hurry up and finish getting ready." her mom said, tilting her head to one side indicating the fallen hairbrush.

December scrunched her face up, but picked it up and finished the horrible task.

An hour later, she stood in front of the mall's doors anxiously awaiting the arrival of her friends. That thought alone was enough to make her giddy,

she had friends!

It was cold, she had her arms crossed over her chest and the sleeves of her jacket pulled down over her hands. Her breath came in short puffs that created visible clouds which twirled around her face before disappearing. Her teeth were chattering and chill bumps covered nearly every inch of her skin, but nonetheless she was excited. Even if she froze to death, it would not deter her good mood.

"You're early," she heard a deep voice say, surprisingly close to her right ear, the person's breath making a small spot of warmth on her cheek.

She spun to face the voice, a wide smile on her face when she saw that it was Keegan. As always, his dark hair was wild and fell across his forehead and his bright blue eyes were intense. Her heart leapt when she saw him, she had noticed that happened more and more often when he was around. "Yup, didn't want to keep y'all waiting," she replied, still grinning like an idiotic version of the Cheshire cat.

"Well, Harrison got better plans named Taylor, and James said he didn't want to be the 'third wheel'. So it's going to just be me and you today." Keegan said, and the right side of his mouth twitched up in a smile. Then his warm hand grabbed her cold one and December swore that her heart stopped beating for a moment. "You're freezing, let's get you inside." He didn't let go of her hand as he led her through the glass double doors.

I know it's been forever, but I've got plans for this. Please review and let me know what you think.