"Carla, what were you thinking?! You know how much Nick and I don't get along!" I threw a pillow at her. I was sitting on my bed with my legs covered with a fluffy blanket. Carla was also sitting on her bed and was carefully dissecting her face with a big mirror. "I thought you think he's mean and everything that I should not be near with?!"

"Chill girl! Things change...things have changed." She smirked and looked at me for a second then returned to her face.

"The only change you're talking about is that you don't hate him anymore. And. And. That you keep on pushing me to him!" I sighed and hurled my body into the bed. "And that I found out Nick could actually laugh and smile." I murmured to myself while staring at the ceiling.

"Bri, okay fine." She sighed too and dropped the mirror on the bed. "I've seen how he looks at you. I know that look. I know how his eyes always look angry but really…You and him might not really get along but there's something between you guys when you're together."

I flushed. I hoped she wouldn't notice it or I would be dead.

"Oh my Gosh Brianna, are you blushing?!" I am so dead.

"What? What? No! I'm not!" I sat up quickly and covered my cheeks.

"You aaarree!" She threw back my pillow. "Sooner or later, we'll find out the truth anyway." She rolled her eyes, grinning, and grabbed the mirror again.

"Are you crazy? I don't like him like him, and the feeling is mutual," I was hugging the pillow really tight.

"Whatever Bri. But yeah, you do have a point. I just can't assume things based on how he looks at you." Her head was up as if she was reading something when she said that.

"EXACTLY. So please stop talking nonsense!" I laughed at her and let out another sigh.

"But—"

"Oh stop it Carls! Just go to bed, and stop picking at your face!" I stretched out my legs and lay down. I switched off my bedside light and turned to my right. "Goodnight, Carla" and everything went black and silent.


It was just 4 in the morning and our whole class was already in front of the bus stop waiting for our ride. I got a backpack and a duffle bag filled with clothes and all the essentials I would need for our 4-day trip. What I don't get was why Grenda had to bring a trolley as if she was travelling for a whole month. Anyway, who cares?!

"Hey! It's kinda cold, aren't you cold?" Wayne tapped me and stood beside me. With the corner of my eyes, I saw Nick sitting on the pavement speaking over the phone.

"No, I'm good. Morning!" I smiled at him.

"I just couldn't figure out why Grenda's "bag" is that big." He was staring at Grenda's trolley.

"Yeah, me too!" No, we were both staring at it, actually.

"Anyway, are you prepared for the looong bus ride?" He faced me.

"You mean to sit beside Nick for 6 hours?" I rolled my eyes. I was still staring at Grenda's bag.

"Look, I know how you and Nick roll your eyes at each other but…you know Carla. I can't argue with that girl." He sighed and scratched his head.

"Don't worry, I get you. That girl, something must have infected her brain." I looked at Carla who was talking at Kolie and Robin, they must be talking about something exciting, and shook my head. I laughed. Wayne did too.

"Oh the bus is here!" Then Carla came running towards us.


"Okay, I've already forgiven you." I said, my eyes stuck on Robin's back. We were all lined up to get on the bus.

"I don't remember asking for an apology." Nick was behind me. I still couldn't stand that the bus was a 25-seater and it just happened that our class has 24 students in it. I already asked Myra, our class's secretary, if I could sit next to her but it seemed everyone already has a seatmate. In the end, I really didn't have a choice but to sit with Nick or to sit on the stairs beside the driver.

"Whatever. Just. I get the aisle sit okay?" I still didn't turn around. I heard his low chuckle. I remembered my conversation with Carla last night about the only thing that changed. Maybe she's right, maybe things really have changed. I actually noticed Nick started smiling more and his face doesn't look angry 90% of the time anymore. I even heard him laugh a couple of times last week. Well, it's a good change.

"You're not gonne get on the bus without stepping, Brianna." Nick said in the most stern tone. Apparently, my thoughts have drowned me again. I scoffed and just get on the bus.


It's been an hour since we've left the university and it's been crazy loud. One thing the class was singing a jam radio, then the next second everyone's screaming how excited they all are. Wayne and Carla's seats were next to ours while Robin and Kolie's were in front of them-whom were both kneeling on their seats with their elbows resting on top of their chairs. They were playing cards. As much as I wanted to play with them, I just couldn't understand how the damn thing works. Carla had given up teaching me, Wayne too, and well, I did too. So I decided I should just watch them instead since I can't sleep anyway with all the noise. About the noise, I still can't figure out how this person sitting beside me managed to sleep really tight. It was chaotic and sleeping was just impossible. But, Nick. Wow, kudos to him! Or maybe he was just tired.

I leaned on my right side to watch the four playing cards. I rested my elbow on the arm rest and my chin on my palm. I wanted to laugh because their faces were all serious when they were just playing cards. But I thought better and kept my giggle. I laughed once and they all glared at me, they said it was a matter of life and death and they have to concentrate. Of course, they were just exaggerating. Turned out the loser would have to pay for everyone's lunch for a week. Ok, maybe it was a bit about life and death. I'm kidding. Anyway, technically everyone in the bus was just turning 18 or has just turned 18 (of course expect the driver) but it felt like I was riding a bus with a couple of elementary students. Guess it was true when they say there's no such thing as too old.

I suddenly thought of Granny, the Martinez couple who were both a family to me, the farm where I grew up, the taste of familiarity. I remembered the times when I would play with Mrs. Martinez in the kitchen and surprise Granny with an apple pie and how I would play with Mr. Martinez in the pond to catch fish. I thought of the wonderful times before body dysmorphia took off the genuine smile on my face. I missed the times when nothing else matters because I was home. Sometimes, I would regret coming over here. I knew in my heart it wasn't to start over but to escape from my problems-from those who constantly give me reasons to hate my own body even though I've already proved enough. I hate that I let weakness consume me. I hate that I left the family I love the most because I got scared. I was just starting to doze off when the bus suddenly halted, I heard slight screams, and my body lurched forward. I was sure my face would smack the back of Johnny's, the class president, seat but something stopped the uncontrollable force. I looked down and an arm was across my body.