"Harley Grace Becker!"
Regrettably, yes, that is my name. Harley. Ridiculous to the extreme. It's like my parents were on crack when they found out they were pregnant with me. Too bad I couldn't have slapped them silly when they decided to name me Harley. I mean, come on, who names their kid that? Couldn't I have been a Haley or Lauren or something pretty? Freaking-eh no!
Mom, who is actually my step mom, and dad argue about me from their bedroom down the hall. Rather mom is bitching and dad is just trying to calm her into an easier breath. Mom doesn't understand how everyday, school days to be more exact, I can just sleep through my alarm and how I always look like I've been sneaking out partying and blah blah blah. Their rapid bickering is so annoying, I swear.
"What?" I scream back at mother. The hell.
"Your alarm has been going off for the past ten minutes," dad says, popping his head into my room.
Didn't even realize that he had walked down the hallway, I actually jumped under the blankets.
"Sorry, I'll get it," I mumble, swinging my feet off the bed.
My dad's teeth shine with his perfect smile. "You look dead, Harley; you okay?"
"Sure," I say. If he only knew.
"Your mom thinks your on drugs."
"Of course she does." My eyes roll for this.
"You're not, are you?"
"And if I was?" A small grin creeps to my mouth.
Stupid parents thinking I'm actually on drugs. Drugs would be so much more tamer than what I go through every night. Drugs would be an amazing release. I'd take drugs any day. . .
My alarm makes a funny blerp as I slap the damn thing off.
"You know, when I was your age-"
"I don't even want to know, dad. Please, just let it go."
His form in between my bedroom door tenses, then falls defeated. His pitch black hair, like mine, sweeps his eyebrows almost covering his chocolate brown eyes - not like mine. I have my real mothers. Have you ever seen a Siberian Husky's eyes before? Well, those are my eyes. The palest blue, almost white, color. If it weren't for the uncanny resemblance that I have from both my mother and father, I'd think I was adopted or something.
"We're not your enemy, Harley, understand that?"
"Yeah, dad, I understand that, but you're also not my friend. At least not one I want to open up to." My dresser drawer falls open crookedly after I yank it from it's slot. "But I love you anyway."
"Love you," he replies. "Breakfast will be done in a few."
After placing a pair of skinny jeans out on the bed, I replace the drawer back into it's rightful place and rummage through another one looking for some kind of shirt to wear, or two rather. For the upper part of my body being long and lean, it's hard to find shirts to fit me perfectly. Especially ones that go below my hipbones. Sure, showing off your midriff is cool and all, but I'm not Brittney Spears and I'm not a fan of flaunting my six pack that has coincidentally turned up out of no where.
"You going to share those drugs, sis?" Cian Michael, my year and a half younger brother, says from the doorway. "I didn't think steroids where a Harley type of drug, but I really guess everything is not as it seems."
"Me either, but they're great. Too great to share even." Placing my hands at my pajama bottoms, I turn to face him. "I'm stripping."
"Not unusual for you I guess, I heard about last night."
"And what was that exactly?" My bottoms find themselves getting stepped on while my jeans find the spaces inside being filled. "I really have no idea what you're talking about."
"That's not what Liam said."
I gulp. "Liam?"
"Mmm, breakfast smells delicious. See you at school."
"Cian!" I blurt awfully loud. "Cian, what do you mean?"
Of course, as I try to catch up to him, I trip over Penny, our Lab puppy and fall flat on my face.
Liam Joseph Clark. Just thinking about him makes my skin ripple with goose bumps. I've had a crush on him since the first grade, and guess what? He has not ever looked twice at me. Better yet, hasn't even looked at me.
Pushing myself up, I grab a pair of socks off the floor of my room and yank on my bright red DC's. I find my backpack shoved under the beanbag chair from where I left it Friday afternoon and search through it for my eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss.
Again, the mirror taunts me with who I want to be by the looks of me and who I am inside that it doesn't see and what no one else sees.
My black hair falls under my breasts a few inches, coming to a stop right at my elbows. Blah. Maybe I should cut it all off and get a short pixie look. Yeah right. I'd kill myself before I did that!
I load the eyeliner over my waterline and sweep some mascara over my lashes to just finish with the lip gloss over my lips. Studying myself, I sigh. I have major bags under my eyes from being out all night. More like every night. I've been sleep deprived since as long as I can remember. No matter what I do, no matter how I dress, no matter anything, I will always be two people. I will always be this something that will never make sense.
Pancakes and bacon with scrambled eggs are what my parents are serving for breakfast, I notice, as I find myself walking into the kitchen after my grueling time of judging myself.
"Oh, Harley," mom says, as though she's happy to see me. "Cian was just telling us how he thinks you've managed to catch Liam's eyes."
My eyes shrew towards Cian and I absentmindedly stick my tongue out. He'll take any chance he get's to embarrass me.
"Nothing I've heard, so I guess it's just a rumor that Cian finds absolutely funny."
"Hilarious, actually." Cian grabs a handful of bacon and starts shoveling eggs into his mouth. "He still thinks you're a freak."
"Cian!" Mom chides Cian like he's a two year old.
"I bet," I groan inwardly. I know what people think of me. What everyone thinks of me. The only place I'm actually accepted is over there.
Instead of eating the breakfast my mother made, I grab a pop-tart from the cabinet, my coat from the coat rack, along with my scarf, and take myself out. Of course, I ignore my parents questions as I put buds in my ears, and turn my bright yellow MP3 player on full blast.
I'll find out everything when I get to Paige's house. The gossip girl of our small town-population of around one-thousand people here in Enderlin, North Dakota. A town that I cannot wait to escape. Now, don't get me wrong or anything. The town isn't bad, the people aren't that bad - it's an awfully nice place to live, but I just have to leave because too many people know me and too many people think I'm a freak, as my lovely brother said. Mostly my high school classmates. Now don't take that the wrong way either. I'm the problem. It's me.
Paige Lawson. My best friend. Or, well, the only friend I have since I don't socialize with people very much anymore, or ever for that matter. Kindergarten is when we met. She was the new girl coming to our tiny town and we instantly clicked. Paige was more into looking like a princess at the time and, I don't know why she picked me for a friend exactly, but she found her way over to me at lunch time. She explained that she was going to be Princess of England one day. I'm guessing it was because I looked like an odd ball sitting at the lunch table - the only girl with such dark hair in the whole town. I've heard people call me the "Asian" child a few times because of the way I look, so maybe she thought she could fix me - if she even thought that at five years old. Who knows.
"Hey, Harley," Mrs. Lawson says sweetly, opening the door wider for me to enter. "She's still upstairs. You know her, always fixated in looking her best."
"Yeah," I say, nodding. "Thanks."
"Are you hungry? I just finished up some apple turnovers." Mrs. Lawson wipes her hands on her apron pointing to the kitchen. Her sandy blonde hair already done in perfect ringlets on top her head.
"No, thank you, though. My mom made bacon and eggs." I say, taking the first step upstairs. "Maybe tomorrow?"
"Maybe." She calls out behind me as I turn the corner heading for Paige's room.
I knock once, and enter, closing the door after entering. Paige of course is situated in front of her mirror with her whole cargo size bag of makeup. She looks like her mother almost to the T but with paler blonde hair and golden eyes. She has the farm girl look to her, but modernized a little. She's cute, I guess. Even though her face looks nothing like her spicy attitude inside. Ha, go figure.
"You're early," she says. "And you look like shit."
"My expertise." I reply.
"So, are you going to fill me in on what made you leave us so early last night?"
I cringe - once for the fact that I can't tell her, and twice because I have to lie. "Homework. Forgot I had that Lit paper that's due today." Okay, so, it isn't that much of a lie. I do have a Lit paper that's due today, but I finished it the day it was assigned.
"Today?" Paige looks at me through the mirror with a worried expression. "Are you sure?"
"Shit," she mutters.
Yeah, so Paige isn't the homework doing type if you haven't noticed, but she does keep B's on all her grades. Don't ask me how because I would love to know. I work my ass off to keep the straight A's that I've just barely manged to keep and I do my homework and classwork everyday and turn it in when it's supposed to and even do extra credit. Plus, with my freak-show-whatever-it-is-that-is-wrong-with-me-shit, I'm surprised I'm a Senior still and haven't been held back as a freshman. She's just lucky I guess.
"Rumor has it that Liam is going to ask you out for prom."
My head snaps from the window I started to absent-mindedly get lost to and stare at her inside her mirror. Paige is trying hard not to break the smirk she has into a smile. Sure, the Queen of Gossip knows everything, just as my brother does. Does the world get any smaller?
I break my gaze from hers and continue my stare, now taking the ceiling as my distraction, and shrug off the new and exciting news as nothing more than a spider crawling across the floor.
"Cian mentioned something like that this morning, but honestly, I don't really care."
"That's great, because I was planning on asking him."
Ouch, that hurt. "Yeah, knock yourself out."
"Oh my gosh, Harley, come on! Who are you kidding? I know you are practically in love with him. What's up?"
"Nothing, really." I shrug. I can't tell her about them or that place. I just can't. Everything about it is unnatural. Hell, I'm unnatural for beingable to go there and talk to those people!
"Well," she grumbles. "I was joking. Was honestly hoping that you'd open up a bit."
"Not today, anyway."
She sighs, "I can try again tomorrow."
"Tomorrow we're going dress shopping, right? Or was that next Tuesday?"
"No, tomorrow! I'm so excited. You're still going to let me do your hair, right?"
"And makeup." I roll my eyes.
Paige's alarm sounds and I literally jump out of my skin. The sound of the mainstream music startles me which causes me to grumble. I hastily put in a ear bud and blast Skrillex into my brain.
"Oh! I almost forgot. Word has it that a new kid has just moved into Enderlin, North Dakota. Enderlin. Here! Can you believe it? I can't remember the last time someone new has moved here!"
"Awesome." I say rejected. Just one more person to think I'm a freak.
"Can you at least sound somewhat happy? Soon this town will be bigger and we won't know everyone."
"I highly doubt that."
"Harley, maybe acting a little happier would make people like you more."
"You like me, that's all I need." Standing, I lug my backpack over my shoulder and head to her door. "You ready? We're going to be late."
"You know, I even heard that he has a few of your classes. Maybe this is your chance to make your move on someone new that doesn't know you or the rumors about you."
"It's a he?"
I bite my lip in sadness and almost annoyance only to whisper, "He's probably already heard about me."