"Where are we going?"

Xzavyer didn't reply as he led me out the door. He kept hold of my hand as we walked down the steps. I looked behind us to see if the guard had seen us, but he had disappeared. We passed a group of guys smoking in a small circle. One of them looked up, saw Xzavyer, and shouted a hello making the others looked up and do the same. Xzavyer waved at them absent mindedly without actually looking their way. A part of me wondered how he knew them; he usually didn't hang out with people like that. Then again, we weren't as close as we used to be, so I don't really know who he hangs out with anymore. He continued to pull me along and I sighed when I realized he was leading me to parking lot.

"I'm not ditching school."

He stayed silent, pulling me along like a misbehaving child to his name of a really nice car. When did he get that?

"I can't ditch," I said firmly.

"Sure you can. It's easy. Just get in my car and I'll drive us away." He stopped at the passenger's door of his car and opened it. I made no move to get in. "Oh come on. We used to ditch all the time."

"Used to. I can't do that anymore." I pulled my hand free of his. "And I'm not sure if I want to go anywhere with you."

He sighed and ran his hands through his hair. "I've been . . . . . . . busy."

"Busy?" I repeated. I could tell he was holding something back; there was something he wasn't telling me, something he didn't want to tell me.

"It's . . . . . . . . . complicated," he said scratching his head as he leaned against his car. The passenger door remained open.

It was silent as I waited for him to continue, waited for him to explain how complicated things were, but he stayed silent. Xzavyer may hate waiting for people to answer him, but he had no problem making people wait for his answer.

"Well when it gets a little less complicated, and when you're not so busy, give me a call." The comment was a bit more biting than I meant it to be, but I meant what I said.

With that I turned on my heel and walked back toward the building. Xzavyer called after me, but I kept walking. A part of me hoped he would come after me but that wasn't his style. He never chased after people, he'd let them come to him. As I walked away I wished he would come after me, try to explain more. I hoped I would be the one person he would want to come after, but he didn't. It hurt a little, maybe more than a little. It seemed like every day we were drifting further apart. It wasn't just him who was causing the drift, it was me too. I wasn't making it any easier for him, but I was tired of giving him chances only to be let down or hurt in the end.

In the past year Xzavyer and I have fought more than ever, not that we've talked much. For some reason we just can't stay on good terms anymore. Whenever we do talk it always ends up in some type disagreement. There was something that was growing between us, and I had a feeling it's whatever it is that he's not telling me. Sometimes I think that it would be better if I just forget about him. If he didn't want to be friends anymore, that was his decision, but for some reason though, I always find myself forgiving him, wanting to apologize to him just so I could get my friend back. Whatever it is that has been going on in his life has obviously been giving him trouble and I haven't been making it any easier for him. I still wanted to be friends. We've been friends for so long I wasn't sure I could just stop being friends with him. I know our friendship would never be what it used to, but I'll take what I can get.

When I made it back to class the teacher yelled at me for being late then gave me detention for not having a pass. I would have explained, but I had no desire to revisit the scene that just passed, so I just went to my seat, not having the energy to argue. The rest of the day passed in a blur. I was so lost in my thoughts that I don't even remember hearing any of the lessons.

"What's up with you?"

"Hmm?" I turned to look at Kim as we headed to my locker.

She shook her head. "What's wrong with you today?"


"Really? You've been acting like a zombie. You haven't heard a word I've said to you all day."

"Yeah I have." I pulled my backpack over my shoulder, closed my locker and headed for the exit.

"Prove it," Kim said walking beside me.

I opened my mouth but nothing came out. In truth, I had barely been aware of Kim's existence today.

"Uh-huh. That's what I thought," she said giving me a look.

"I'm sorry. I'm just out of it today."

"Let me guess. It's Xzavyer."

I gave her a slight smile, a little embarrassed that it was so easy for her to tell.

She shook her head. "That boy seems to be the source of all your troubles lately. Well, besides your step mom."

I sighed. She was right, I've been stressing over my situation with Xzavyer so much that I've been ignoring my other friends. We walked out of the building in silence and started home. Kim had a car, but it was in the shop, so we were stuck walking until it was fixed. When we reached the end of the block Kim jumped in front of me and held her hands out to stop me from walking.

"I think I know how to cheer you up," she said.

I quirked my eyebrow at her.

"Girl's. Night. Out."

I rolled my eyes and started walking around her.

"Oh come on, it's just what you need," she said keeping pace beside me.

"How is that what I need?" I asked.

"It'll cheer you up, and frankly you need some cheering up. You're such a bore to be around when you're like this."

"Gee, thanks."

She waved her hand as if waving of my offense.

"I'll swing by your house tomorrow, around one. My car will be done by then I'll bring Emms and Jewls too."

She took off running down the street before I could object.

I sighed and walked down the street in the opposite direction. I didn't mind having a girl's night out. Actually, it's just what I needed, but there was the small matter of my parents. Well, just my step-mother really. Every time I wanted to go somewhere she suddenly had a million and one things for me to do. If she did let me go out she had to know who I was going out with. There's nothing wrong with her wanting to know who I was hanging out with. She's soon to be one of my legal guardians, so I guess that it's normal for her to want to know my friends. At least, there would be nothing wrong if she liked any of my friends. The only one of my friends she likes is Jewls and sadly she is the one of my friends I talk to the least, I don't even think she has met Emms yet and she despises Kim almost as much as she despises Xzavyer. A part of me didn't even want to ask her about going out, but I knew that Kim was right. It wasn't going to help anything if I just sat at home and felt sorry for myself. Rachel's been on edge though, the wedding was going to be in a few months and she's stressed to the core about it. She wanted the wedding to be perfect, which meant everything had to be exactly the way she wanted it. If it wasn't, then she would give everyone hell. I've known Rachel for almost three years now. Sadly, I've seen the worst parts of her. My father has seen them too, yet he still wants to marry her. I understood love, somewhat anyways, but if there's one thing I've learned though, is that it blinds people. It makes you think or do things you normally wouldn't do. Love makes you crazy, and sometimes it's worth it in the end. And other times it's not.

As I walked home I debated whether or not to even ask my parents about going out. The more I thought about it, the more I began to worry. Kim was a partier; I guess you could say that it was her hobby. She sure did it enough to make it a hobby, but Kim wasn't the type to get wasted, she knew her limits. Still, I knew Rachel wasn't going to like the idea of me going to a party unless it was supervised, and I'm pretty sure that's not what Kim had in mind for our girl's night out.

When I arrived home everything was quiet, at least, for the first few seconds.


My almost three year old little brother came running out of the kitchen. He was a little small for his age, but he lacked in size he made up in smarts.

"Trin, I missed you."

I picked him up and hugged him. Every time I come home from school he greets me as if I'd been gone for days instead off hours. It was cute.

"Guess what! Guess what!" he said excitedly.


"Daddy said if I'm good we'll go to the park tomorrow."

"Well, have you been good?"

He nodded eagerly, "Very good."

"I guess you get to go to the park then," I said kissing him on the cheek and bent to put him down but his arms were locked around my neck.

"Will you come?"



His blue eyes looked so hopeful. It would mean the world to him if I'd just go to the park with him. How could I say no? Tomorrow was Saturday. I had nothing to do besides some homework anyway. "Alright, Blayze we'll all go to the park."

He smiled, "You'll push me on the swings."

He said it more like a statement than a question, but I nodded and put him down. He grabbed my hand and started to pull me towards the kitchen.

"Come see my painting."

When we got to the kitchen he led me to the fridge. There, being held up by a magnet was a picture of . . . Well I'm not quite sure what it was. Blayze took the picture off the fridge and handed it to me.

"I made it. That's me," he said pointing to a blob. "And that's you." He points to a bigger blob. "We're on the swings at the park."

It looked like he finger painted it. I smiled and ruffled his hair, "I love it."

"Can we put it on your wall?"

I nodded "Sure, if that's where you want it."

"It must be a master piece if it's going on the wall," my father said walking into the kitchen. He still had his suit on, only the tie was undone.

I held up the picture, "It is."

He examined the picture, "Indeed it is." He walked to the fridge and pulled out a water bottle then came over and picked up Blayze. "My son will be an artist."

Blayze smiled, "Yeah. Like Trin."

I smiled. So did my father. "Just like Trin," he said.

It was moments like these that make me think my family is great. If only we didn't have to deal with-

"Oh, Mitch, you're home," Rachel said coming into the kitchen.

Speak of the devil and he shall appear.

She kissed my father on the cheek, and then looked at me.

"Trinity, go clean up, we're having company."

"Well hello to you too," I said under my breath.

"Who's coming over?" my father asked.

"My parents," she answered while fixing my father's tie.

My father and I both cringed. Rachel's parents didn't like us very much, if at all. They never have and most likely never will. They were not happy with who their daughter chose to marry. My father was an entrepreneur, but that wasn't good enough for their daughter. Their daughter could do better, deserved better.

"Your parents?" my father said with more than a little trepidation. "Why?"

"To talk about the wedding," she said and gave him another kiss as if it would ease all of his worries.

Even though Rachel and my father have a kid together they didn't get married right away. I find nothing wrong with that, I mean, this wasn't the 19th century. The wedding was going to be about four months from now. They've been together for almost four years now, but for some reason Rachel didn't want to get married. My father originally asked her to marry him two and a half years ago, shortly after Blayze was born, but she claims she wasn't ready. I don't understand what she wasn't ready for. They had already had a child together. If anything, I'd think she wouldn't be ready to have a kid. Rachel didn't seem like the children type. Though I'm sure she loves Blayze, she'd rather hand him off to someone else whenever she could. Blayze wasn't planned, neither of them expected to have kids. When my father had first told me that he was going to have another kid, I wasn't sure how I felt. All I knew was that it was too soon. They hadn't even been dating that long and they were already having a kid. My father seemed happy though, so kept my mouth shut and acted like I was too.

"Mommy," Blayze pulled on her arm to get her attention. "Look at the picture I made Trin."

"That's very nice sweetie," she said giving the picture a glance.

"Trinity, take Blake up stairs and change his clothes."

Blake was my brother's birth given name. No one called him that though. Everyone called him Blayze, everyone except Rachel, of course.

Blayze reached toward me. His shirt had paint all over it as did his pants, hands, face and hair. I smiled, scooped him up and left my father and Rachel in the kitchen.

I went to Blayze's room and let him pick his outfit. He picked out a red and blue shirt with Thomas the train on it and yellow Pooh Bear shorts. It didn't match, but it's what he wanted to wear, so why not let him wear it. My mother used to let me pick out my clothes when I was his age. I went to the bathroom and ran the water for Blayze's bath. You'd think his mother would want the pleasure of bathing her son, but it was one of her least favorite activities to do with her son. I put my little brother in the bath and let him play around for a while. I was usually the one to give him a bath. My father did it sometimes, but he worked a lot, so he wasn't home often. To be honest, I had been dreading the arrival of my little brother. I'd never had a sibling, so I had no idea what it was like. Emms always complained about her little brother messing with her stuff and annoying the crap out of her. After hearing her complain about her sibling for years I had thought I was better off as an only child. For a while after he was born I was convinced that I was better off an only child, but then it changed and I found myself loving him more every day. When I finished giving him a bath I dried him off and started dressing him.

"Your room," Blayze said after I dressed him.

Whenever possible, Blayze preferred to be in my room. I didn't mind having him in my room. I did have a lot of things in there, but they were all on shelves he couldn't reach. My room was one of few places I actually liked be. It was the only place I could fully relax and feel at peace, the only place in the house where I was allowed to show my creativity. I had painted the walls of my room myself. I had decorated this whole room myself. Everything in my room was handpicked by me. Everything on these walls was made by me. My creations. My feelings. My art.

I set Blayze down on my bed. He turned to stare at my wall were all sort of picture, painting, drawing and other works of art hung. A few of the works were mine, but most weren't. A lot of them were from my little brother; others were from friends and passed relatives on my mother's side. She was from a family of artists.

I went to my desk to get a thumb tack then pinned the painting Blayze gave me to my wall. Blayze smiled, elated that his painting was hanging on my wall. It was next to quite a few other paintings he had made for me. Each one was somewhat better than the last. Steady progress.

I sat down next to my brother and let out a breathe.

"The eyes are my favorite," Blayze said from beside me.

On my ceiling I had painted eyes. They were framed by feathers. It looked similar to the tattoo Leslie had gotten in Ink Exchange. I had done it a differently though. The eyes were silver and the feathers were similar to that of a ravens, black, blue and purple, but I had modeled them to look more like angel wings. Kim and Jewls both found it creepy and I don't think Emms has ever seen it. Xzavyer had been the only person that liked it, and now Blayze. No one has ever looked long enough to see the beauty within the art. There was something within those eyes that no one beside me has seen. My friends and family have only glanced at it. Blayze might see it, but he was too young to comprehend it if he did see it. Xzavyer had seen it once too, but whether he remembers it is another story.

"Grandma and grandpa are coming over."

Again this sounded more like a statement then a question but I nodded and told him they'd be here soon.

It was silent for a while. This was one of the things that I found amazing about Blayze. Most three year olds love to talk. They never stop talking. Blayze was different though. He was abnormally quiet for a two and a half year old. When he was smaller the doctors thought he had a speech impediment because he didn't talk much, if at all, and when he did talk he stumbled over his words. He still stumbles over some of his words but he's gotten better. I still found kind of uncanny how he can stay quiet for so long. Half the time I almost forget he's there.

We both lay back on my bed silently staring at my ceiling. My mind drifted in no particular direction, but somehow I ended up thinking about Xzavyer. For some reason, I always find myself thinking of him. He wasn't the same person anymore. He still acted the same. Mostly. But….. I have no idea what's been going on with him anymore. He won't tell me what's wrong. Needless to say it's been one of the worst years I've ever had. Since Xzavyer and I haven't been seeing-eye-to-eye it's been putting me all out of sorts for some reason. We're growing apart and it's just messing with my head. I don't want to lose my best friend. We've been friends for so long I don't know what life would be like if we weren't friends anymore. We're practically not friends now though. I don't see him anymore because he doesn't come to school. We don't talk because he never picks up his phone. We don't hang out because he always has something else to do. I sighed and closed my eyes while I tried to force my mind to think about something else.

"Trinity is Blake ready?" Rachel called from the bottom of the stairs.

Shoot. "Come on, Blayze."

When he didn't answer I looked over at him. He was fast asleep. Great.

I sighed and shook my head, but couldn't help smiling at his peaceful face as I scooped him up. Before leaving the room I paused and looked up at my ceiling.

Maybe, just maybe the promise hidden within those eyes wouldn't be broken.