Chapter One...

I push the DVD into its place, press the play button, and hand the remote to my little sister, Leah. She's seven, and the biggest pest I know. She's currently hooked on Barbie movies. She's also hooked on the dolls, and guess who has to play with her? That's right, me.

My mother and father got a divorce shortly after Leah was born. Sometimes when she's really getting on my nerves, I tell her that she's the reason why we don't have a father anymore. I know it sounds harsh, but the only time I tell her things like that is when she snoops through my diary, or makes a huge mess and blames it on me.

The real reason my parents got a divorce is because my mother is an adventurous woman who loves to travel and learn new things, while my father is a stuffy man who works in an office all day. I only see my dad once a month, and when I do, its for a day. We would sleep over at his house, but the only place to sleep is on the rock hard couch which hardly fits one person. And I know that my mom doesn't trust him.

I walk down the narrow hallway, and reach the kitchen. I pull open the cabinet door, and it makes a creaking noise. This whole house needs renovation. I pull out some goldfish crackers, the kind Leah loves. I go back to the living room, and toss the snack bag to Leah.

I turn towards the computer, but apparently the bag hit her in the face, because she shouts, "Hey! Don't throw stuff!"

I don't answer her, and she pouts for about thirty seconds but then stops and starts shoving goldfish into her mouth and continues watching Barbie.

I sit in the computer chair and pull myself towards the desk. My moms ancient computer sits on top of the wooden table. Leah calls it the dinosaur because in her mind, it's as old as one. Its really about fifteen years old, but thats almost as old as me, ancient for a computer. I log into Facebook, and scroll down my newsfeed, bored. Nothing particularly interesting is going on, and just as I'm about to log out, someone chats me.

It my friend Darla.

Anna, we've kinda got a problem.

I sigh, Darla is overly dramatic. A problem in her mind probably isn't a problem at all.

What a great way to start a conversation-_-. What's wrong?

I don't really care about her problem, but I might as well hear what it is just in case. It says that she has started typing and stays that way for awhile. Weird, Darla's a fast typer, why would she take so long? And then I get her message.

Lily's started another rumor. And it's about you. She said that she saw you making out with Jimmy Hardkins. Then she said that the next day she saw you flirting with Alexander Codrix. Now, everyone in the school is calling you Easy Anna. Her little crew of wanna be's is gonna paint Easy Mc Sleazy on your locker tomorrow.

I curse under my breath, but apparently not quietly enough because Leah gasps and says dramatically, "Language!"

"Shut up and watch your movie, Leah," I snap. I usually attempt to be nice to Leah, but Lily Larmins started a rumor about me, one that could stay with me forever. I'm not exactly in the mood for my little sisters kid stuff.

I turn my attention back to the computer. I think for a minute about what to say to her, but eventually just say that I've gotta go. I know that she knows that isn't true, but I log off and shut the computer down before she can respond.

I hate Lily Larmins. I hate her with all my being, and it's not just because of this (untrue) rumor. I hate her because we were best friends in third grade, and then in fourth she decided that she didn't like Sydney Alens anymore. So she told everyone that Sydney eats worms. The rumors got around, and she told me to write 'Sydney Chomps on Worms' in waterproof chalk on the sidewalk. I refused, and told her that this whole thing was unfair. She responded by telling everyone that the reason my parents broke up is because I'm such a failure.

People forgot about that, and they forgot about the whole Sydney chomps on worms thing. Everyone except me and Lily. We're not enemies, but we're far, far, from being friends. Now, she starts rumors about people all the time, for fun. Everyone hates her, but somehow she's still extremely popular. She's currently dating Johnny Goodrich. He's a judge mental idiot, and she's a lying backstabber. Perfect couple, aren't they?

I stand up and plop down on the couch next to Leah. It's only been about a half hour, but her movie is almost done. It shouldn't even be considered a movie.

"Can we watch another movie after this?" asks Leah. I sigh, "Fine. As long as its not a Barbie one."

"Okay! We've got Cinderella, and Snow White!"

I seriously wish that she would outgrow this princess stage. I know at every girl has it, I had it too, but I don't think I was this annoying.

"How about we watch a real movie instead of your little girl garbage?" I say fakely cheerful. She glares at me, and I laugh.

"Geez, I was kidding no need to glare. I think we've got Aliens in the Attic somewhere in here," I say.

Its not my favorite movie, but it's good enough. Plus, it's age appropriate, so I can watch it without blocking Leah's eyes or ears. Oh, how I await the day that she turns twelve and we can finally watch cool movies.

She nods, "'Kay! I like that movie!"

So, we end up watching it. I've seen it tons of times before, because the only other movies we have are PG-13 or above that, and then there's Leah's little kid movies. We have some other PG movies, but of course Leah doesn't like them.

"We should've gotten popcorn, we get popcorn at the movie theater," Leah says.

I roll my eyes, "This isn't a movie theater. If you want popcorn, you know where is."

"But I can't reach the microwave!"

I groan and get up. I pull the DVD out of the DVD player and out it back into the case. I look at the clock and see that it's already six o'clock.

"Where's mom?" asked Leah. I shrug, "I dunno. Maybe traffic is bad today."

"But she always comes home at five," Leah points out.

I don't respond, Leah's right. My mother is always home at five o'clock sharp. I know that it's probably nothing to worry about. She works as a children's book publisher, there's plenty of things that could keep her at work a little later. And, like I said, sometimes there's traffic.

I shoo Leah up to her room and tell her to pick out pajamas and take a bath. I should probably start the bath for her, but she's old enough that she can turn a knob and make the water flow. At least I hope.

With the movie playing and my sisters shenanagins, I forgot about the 'problem'. I consider texting Darla again to hear some more of the details of the rumor, but decide against it. It's pretty simple, everyone in school thinks I'm a flirt. Which I'm not. I've had one boyfriend in my life, and I was with him because I liked him a lot.

I hear the door open and my mother walks in.

"Mom!" I exclaim, "Where've you been?"

"I got caught up at work, not need to worry," she smiles, and then glances around, "Where's your sister?"

"Showering," I reply. She nods, and asks me if I can help cook dinner. I agree, and we go into the kitchen. We make salad.

I peel the cucumbers and as I do, I smell something.

"Mom, are you wearing perfume?" I ask.

She smiles and nods, "I got it at Bath & Body Works, isn't it nice? It's called Be Enchanted."

I raise an eyebrow and put the peeler on the counter. "Why'd you get perfume?"

"Well, it just so happens that I have a date tomorrow night," she says.

"A date?!" exclaims Leah. The girl runs from the stair way in her night gown, her hair sopping wet. In her hand is her favorite stuffed animal, Fluffers.

"Yeah, " my mom starts, "His name is Paul. He's a real nice guy. He's got some kids, too. He's a widower."

"How'd you meet him?" I ask.

"He's also a writer. He moved here a few months ago from Massachusetts. They accepted him into our league because apparently he's very advanced in writing," she grins.

"B-but, Mom! Friday nights are our movie nights," Leah pouts.

"Anna can watch a movie with you," says my mom.

"Sorry," I say, "But I'm sleeping over Darla's house tomorrow."

"Have Darla come here then. We can't leave Leah home alone."

I sigh, and mutter an okay. I get back to peeling cucumbers and Leah goes to play with her dolls. My mom washes lettuce and is humming under her breath.

I don't get why my mom wants to go on a date. She's said many times that she's a free spirit, and that nothing can tie her down. So why is she going out with this Paul guy? My mom has been divorced for six year, going on seven. Why does she need to change that now?

Sure, I want my mom to be happy, but as far as I'm concerned, shes happy being alone. That's what she's always said. But now, she's going out and buying fancy perfume, and acting like some of the love-crazed girls in my school.

I just shrug. Its not like she's marrying Paul, it's just a date.

I hope.