Asking Amy

Dear Amy,

I swear I hate my stepmom. She's soooooo mean! She's always yelling at me, trying to tell me about the boys I date, and get this, she told me that Taylor Lautner was creepy! Do you hear me? CREEPY! Why oh why did my dad have to marry this vapid woman who's only six years older than I am?

From About to Murder My Stepmother

Dear About to Murder My Stepmother,

Like you said she's only six years older than you are give her a break she's trying. Maybe she yells because she doesn't know what else to do. She obviously loves you if she's trying to protect you from boys, and maybe she's afraid of guys with delicious eight packs. Why your dad married her? Love. You can't help who you fall in love with.

Love Amy

Okay as you might have figured out already I'm Amy. It's not my real name. My real name is Aly Lockwood and I'm Ask Amy. I'm the school's anonymous confidiante. Mr. Welch asked me to assume the position when I was just a freshmen (Ask Amy is supposed to be for Seniors only!). He claimed I had an unbiased opinion and could relate to the student body population. Translation: Everyone else is either too popular or way too uncool so you're it. Not that I'm complaining, being Amy is fun. I get to help people and see myself in the school paper. Not that anyone knows it's me of course. Who would expect little Aly Lockwood of being super cool Amy? No one that's who. My best friend, Ruby Silver (Yeah I know what were her parents thinking? You DO NOT mix Ruby and Silver together) couldn't even figure it out, and it's been two whole years. Seriously people it's not that hard. Amy has three letters in her name. I have three letters in my name. Hell two of the letters are the same! Only just moved around a bit. But it hardly matters it's confidential, and if anyone found out who I really was then I'd have to give up my position.

So it was a real shocker when Ruby comes up to me screaming, "I KNOW WHO ASK AMY IS!"

My face turned completly white. And I mean whiter than usual on account of my being a red head I have really pale skin, but that's beside the fact. And here I thought I was so careful. How could Ruby of all people guess who Ask Amy was? Ruby was as dumb as a fence post, no offense, God bless her heart.

So I go,"Who?" in this really shaky voice.

"Amy Packard!" she squeals.

I wanted to take a knife and shove it through that demon bitch's soul...that is if she had one. I hate Amy Packard. She's the high school meanie. No really she is. She's pretty and everyone adores her, but she treats people like shit and you know what happens? NOTHING! They just let her get away with whatever she wants. Like she's the freaking Pope or something. And I know she's not the Pope because she stopped coming to Sunday school to make out with her boyfriends behind the giant crucifix of Jesus. Seriously? You're already skipping church how could you make out in front of Jesus? Doesn't it worry her that he might jump down from the cross and go, "Boo! Stop making out and get in there and confess your sins." I would be. Plus she think she's all that plus a bag of chips when clearly she's not! So she's pretty big deal. Ruby is pretty but people aren't groveling at her feet...okay some people do but not all people. At least not like they do with Amy Packard. God, I just knew she would pull a stunt like this. Claim to be something she's not.

"I seriously doubt it," I tell Ruby sipping the caramel frappe coffee, from McDonald's, she just handed me.

"No really she is," Ruby says in a rush. She finger combs her brown hair behind her ear as our best friend, Conner Grant, gets out of his brand spanking new Mustang and races toward us.

Can I really help it if my heart starts thudding a bit more than necessary? The answer is yes. Yes I can. Because Ruby is head over heels in love with Conner only he doesn't know it. That or he's pretending not to notice. And how could she not be? Conner is perfect...or at least close enough to it that his little flaws don't really matter. Plus he's super nice. Unlike half the boys here at Bloomingville High. Anyways he didn't always used to look like a Calvin Klein underwear model. Back in fifth grade he was like any regular old boy: gross, obsessed with Heidi Klum, and trading Pokemon cards for Yu-gi-oh ones. Then he moved away for a couple of years to go stay with his Aunt and Uncle in California because his father thought he needed better parental supervision. In other words Conner was bad so they shipped his butt off to his ex Army Uncle and boarding school teacher Aunt.

Then he comes back a year later, having totally changed. Yeah the only way I still recognized him was because he had the same messy black hair and bright green eyes since fifth grade...or maybe it was the fact that he went, "Hey Aly is that the new Percy Jackson book?" I knew it was really him then because the only kids whoever went to check out books in the library were Conner and me. I'd go get the latest Percy Jackson or John Grisham novel and his name would be right about mine on the check out card. The rest of the kids checked out magazines only. Only a few brave ones would get an actual book, and most of the time it was Goosebumps books. Not that there's anything wrong with Goosebumps I'm just saying they could challenge themselves once in awhile.

Any who I told Conner yeah and we got into this deep conversation about Greek mythology and what we would do if we were Amazons. Geek moment here: Amazons are the kids born of Harmonia and Ares. Their line died out so Harmonia started sleeping with mortal men and as part of initiation to their tribe the Amazon kids had to kill their own father, chop off his hands and his feet while he was still alive, and eat parts of it. Creepy right. I said if I were an Amazon I would run away that or live with my mortal father if possible. Because Amazon babies grow really really fast. And I'm talking first night Harmonia and the mortal screw, baby is born within the next twenty four hours then the next day she's about twelve years old after that she's sixteen. So it would be kind of hard convincing your father that you're his sixteen year old daughter when you weren't even alive three days before. Me, I'd come up with a lie and say I was born sixteen years ago (since aging for the Amazons haults around the time of sixteen and resumes as a normal person), and he'd have to get a DNA test. Conner said he wouldn't be alive since the Amazons were only women anyway. Then we went into another conversation about Supernatural. It's a show starring Jared Padalecki and Jenson Ackles also known as Sam and Dean the big badass hunters. Before I knew it wham, bam, we were friends.

"Hey Conner," Ruby squealed rushing up to him. I'll admit it pleased me when he backed up a little.

"Uh, hey Ruby."

Together they walked toward where I was standing still sipping my frappe. Conner passed me the new Dean Koontz novel, and I discreetly tucked it into my booksack. Not discreetly enough since Ruby snatched it before I even closed the zipper.

"What the Night Knows," Ruby read then flipped open the book. She gave Conner and me a look. "God is this what you two read about all the time? What is it with you two and these stupid books? How can you even be into all that sci-fi horror bull?"

Conner snatched the book back, handed it to me, and set his green eyed gaze on Ruby. "It must be so hard being born without an imagination."

Ruby rolled her eyes. "I think I'll imagine I'm at the mall with kids who don't think reading books is fun."

Conner shrugged and gave her a heartfelt smile. "Told you we were uncool. Your immense popularity is dropping just by standing near us."

Ruby grinned back. "Yeah whatever. Hey, do you want to go to a movie tomorrow? It's Saturday anyway, and they're showing The Vow."

Conner blushed. "Erm I really wanted to go see The Cabin in the Woods."

Ruby pouted. "But you always go see stupid movies like that," she whined. Ruby, Ruby, Ruby that may be how you get other men to like you but that's definatly not going to work on Conner.

Conner sighed. "Well Aly might not want to see The Vow-"

Ruby turned to look at me. Geesh. Why did he have to bring me into this? "Aly. Isn't. Coming. Are. You?" she growled through her teeth. After that little performance I definatly wasn't coming.

"Why not?" Conner wanted to know leading us through the halls.

"Because," Ruby said simply, "she's busy Saturday." Which was a total lie of course. I had nothing to do Saturday and Ruby knew it. She just wanted me out of the picture so she could put the moves on Conner. Her face dared me to tell him otherwise. So I said nothing just dropped my now finished frappe cup into a nearby garbage can and leaned against my locker.

"Busy doing what?" The question was directed at me. His green gaze probed mine. Well, I did have Ask Amy letters, but those usually took me an hour enough time for me to still get ready for a movie.

"Homework," I said cooly turning my lock to the zero.

Conner laughed. "That's all? Then you can totally come!"

"No. She. Can't!" Ruby barked. "She has other stuff too right Aly?"

"Right," I agreed.

"Really?" Conner asked leaning against my locker. He reached out and grabbed a red strand of hair. "Like?"

I pulled out my Biology notebook. "Like chores and stuff. Plus my mom wanted me to help her sample some new items for the restaurant."

Conner rolled his eyes. "You don't work on the weekends."

I slammed my locker door shut. Really Conner I know you're smart can't you see that Ruby wants you all to herself! Get it through your thick boy brain already! "Fine. I don't want to come to the movies. I promised Kwan I would go swimming with him on Saturday," I said as Kwan was passing by with his little sister Michi. She went on ahead without him. I caught Kwan by the arm and he gave me a signature Kwan smile.

"You promised me what?" Kwan asked in a thick Korean accent. His almost black eyes were alight with amusement. He gave Conner a thump on the back. "Hey."

"Hey," Conner said easily.

"I promised you I would go swimming this Saturday."

Kwan gave me a look. I nudged him hard in the ribs. "Ohh," he said finally catching on. "Yeah you did." He grinned down at me. Jesus about time. I swear men could be so dense but I loved Kwan. He was like the big brother I always wanted but never got. Lucky, lucky Michi. His mom and my mom owned the little restaurant in Bloomingville. Some sushi/American bar that did really well. We were packed throughout the weekends, and Kwan and I got free California rolls whenever we wanted.

"Oh," was all Conner said. He looked at Kwan for a long time then brightened. "Well are we not allowed to come too?"

"WHAT?" Ruby screeched. I could see a blue green vein pulsing beneath her bangs. Uh oh. This was not going like I planned.

"Sure you can come," Kwan said.

"No," Ruby hissed grabbing Conner's arm, "we can't! I thought we were going to the movies."

Conner looked at her as if she were mental. "Why stay in a movie theather when we could enjoy Kwan's pool?"

Ruby picked at a button on her top. "Fine," she muttered petulantly giving me the evil eye. What did I do? I tried to help her. Okay maybe I could have tried a little harder but still I tried enough. She looked back up at Conner with puppy dog brown eyes. "Can I have a sheet of paper? I need to write a letter."

"Ask Amy?" Conner handed her the sheet of paper along with a blue pen. She started scribbling away fast walking away from us.

"Yeah," I heard her whisper as she dropped off her letter into the Ask Amy shute where it would be deposited on my desk in Mr. Welch's office. She came back still glaring at me.

"Wanna know who she is?"

Conner's mouth popped open and for a second I could have sworn he looked at me but he just stared back at Ruby with mesmerized eyes. "Who?" he whispered.

"It's me." Amy Packard stood behind us smiling. Her brown curls were in a high ponytail. She was wearing a pink button down shirt, jean shorts and I'm guessing from the way they were slung low on her hips boys could see her butterfly tramp stamp.

Dear Amy,

I really like this guy, but I don't know. He doesn't seem interested. Whenever I try to get him to spend time with me he's always including our best friend...not that she seems to stop him of course. I told her how I feel about him yet she doesn't seem to care. Also he's interested in stuff I hate. Like books, and tv shows about haunted places and fear and stuff. Oh, Amy what should I do?!

From Tired of being the Third Wheel

Dear Tired of being the Third Wheel,

If he's not interested make him! Maybe he's not comfortable being alone with you just yet. Do the group thing. Chat him up a bit, get to know him. How can you be sure you actually like him if you don't even know him yet? You say you hate some of the things he is interested in. Are you sure? Take the time to watch some of the shows about haunted places and fear or read some of the books he likes then what do you have? Common interest. You have a subject to talk with him about one that he's going to be enthusiastic about. About your best friend, maybe she is helping and you're reading her wrong.

Love Amy