Chapter 1

I slowly wake up to the sun shining through my blinds and birds chirping. I really don't want to get up, but what choice do I have?

"Mary get down here before you're late!"

I reply while juggling to put on my clothes and pack my backpack, "I'm coming!"

Another day, another dollar, and another day of school; I'm practically jumping for joy. It's not that I don't enjoy attending this hell hole, it's just that there are so many things I can learn and do, yet I'm bound by to this prison also known as high school.

The aroma of bacon, eggs, and pancakes hits me as I make my descent downstairs and finish off the steps two at time.

"Good morning mom." I clear my throat, getting rid of the grogginess and give her a peck on the cheek. I sit at the counter with a fork in my left hand and a knife in the other, not wasting any time in digging in. "Breakfast tastes delicious."

I could hear the smirk in my Mom's voice, "As always."

"So, did Dad ever come home last night?"

Her back remains facing me but she can't hide her shoulder's tensing at the mention of my father. She busies herself with cleaning the dishes and I have to bite my tongue not to repeat myself.

She cleared her throat but some words came out softer than others. "He called late last night and said he was stuck in the office. He should be home this weekend."

I put my knife and fork back on the table, struggling to swallow the remnants of my pancake. I suddenly loss my appetite and the thought of going to school and staying there for the rest of my life seemed more appealing.

I walked over to put my dishes in the sink and give mom a hug, but as soon as my chair slides over the linoleum floor, she retreats up the stairs without so much as a goodbye. Although on my way out I make sure to wash my dish and shout up the stairs that I'm leaving.

I make my way into my first class of the day, navigating my way through the crowded halls.

I get to class early, as per usual, and take out the book we're currently reading in class, but my mind wanders to the future. My mom always tells me it's useless to think about the future because there is only so much you can control and that what happens, happens. We just have to accept it.

But I couldn't disagree more. What we do now, in the present, has effect on what our future holds. Anything that we do differently right now could alter our future. It isn't one set destiny that we're tied to.

Our teacher arrived, and I shifted in and out of focus on the class discussion about The Great Gatsby. This is my fourth time reading it so listening to the discussion is repetitive. The only thing that catches my ear is when nearly half of the class complains about the book.

Tentatively I raise my hand and the whole room falls quiet. Ms. Gomez gestures for me to speak and I hope to god my voice doesn't shake, "Personally I disagree. The book is fantastic and I understand why after 90 years people are still reading it."

Whispers resound throughout the room and I try to ignore them.

"I think the book is incredibly relatable. Gatsby becomes so obsessed with his past and the past Daisy that he disregards anyone and stops at nothing to gain her love again. He never realizes that over the years that they've been separated, they've both changed. They aren't the young lovers they once used to be. It's a tragic ending, really, but if Gatsby realized he couldn't recreate the past, he'd probably still be alive."

The bell rang right as I finished and the class flocked out of the room for lunch. I was the last to make my way out and Ms. Gomez gives me a nod of approval before returning to grading essays.

I walked through the cafeteria entrance and made my way over to Cynthia and Sophia. I plopped down on the seat across from them, thankful for the lunch break.

Cynthia looked at Sophia and I back and forth repeatedly. It's a tick that happens when she's anticipating something, "So my cousin's having a party tonight and you're both invited!" Her cheerful voice always got me, and well, almost everyone around happy no matter what.

"Oh my gosh! That's sounds really fun! What a perfect way to unwind after a week of finals." Sofia perked up in realization and added, "Oh! And I heard there was going to be karaoke!"

"Yeah, Mary, you should really come with us. It's not like we would drag you against your will or anything... But come on! Karaoke! Can you really resist that?"

The bad thing about Cynthia is that she's some kind of psychic because she knows what you want even before you do.

I sighed and reluctantly agreed, "Ugh, fine. If it makes you guys happy."

The girls met at my house and the entire time we were getting ready I dread going to the party. I would've said yes had they kept pestering me and it's not like I was doing anything better anyways.

Sophia handed me an orange flavored drink, then another and another, "Come on Mary! Have a shot! Live a little!"

I don't remember what kept compelling me to keep taking the drinks, but I did. Maybe it was peer pressure, but after about five shots my brain kept telling me I made the best decision of my life. To be honest I was too wasted to think otherwise.

Before I opened my eyes I was already able to determine three things: the shutters should be closed, I need a glass of water and an ibuprofen, and I'm never going to drink that much ever again. I forced my eyes open in order to take in my surroundings. I sobered up a little with the adrenaline rush of waking up in an unfamiliar place.

Why does this room not have curtains? And why is this couch so stiff? It doesn't feel like the couch at home. And why are there loud voices? It is way too early for this.

I sit up and notice a big oak desk with a tall black chair and a huge window, with a really nice view of a park behind it. It all kind of reminded of those movies with the mafia bosses and how they spin around in the chair with a cat in their lap, "I've been expecting you." Except this room was too well lit to be something as sketchy as that.

I looked around for an exit and sat up. As soon as my back left the cushion though my hand went to my head and all I saw were stars. Okay, I'll demand some ibuprofen and then look for a way out of here. I curled up and laid my head on the arm cushion. It didn't feel like I drank enough for me to actually be unable to recount last night's festivities, but then it all came crashing down.

Sophia shouts over the music, depending on Cynthia's shoulders to keep her upright, "Man, this party is kickin'! Don't you think Mary?"

I reply back, swaying side to side with the music, "Hell yeah it is!"

I can't believe I didn't want to come to this party. Sophia was right. Having a few shots totally calmed me. I feel like I'm on top of the world! But I hope the top of the world has a toilet because I've really got to relive myself.

Before I could even think about leaving the find the nearest bathroom, Cynthia dragged Sophia and I over to the karaoke machine in front of the house.

Whoa this karaoke set is sick! I guess my bladder won't mind if I sing a song or two…

Just as I was finishing the last song, a guy dressed in a business suit comes and taps me on the shoulder.

"Excuse me miss, where'd you learn to sing like that? Your rendition of Titanium was nothing like I've ever heard. It was amazing."

I passed the microphone on to someone else and found my way out the door to the porch steps. I took a deep inhale of the fresh night air. "Thanks. That's like my favorite song right now. Sometimes in class I just start to zone out and I'll hear that song in my head. It's crazy!"

He nodded his head and smiled at me like he was talking to a 5 year old.

I tapped his nose and put my other hand on my hip, "Hey, I'm serious! I always hear music in my head. Is that what singers feel like? But with their own songs? Since I can hear music in my head does that mean I'm a singer?" I straightened up my posture; musicians should have great posture. They need to look good for the cameras. "Wow this is amazing! I've always dreamt of being a singer!"

"Well come with me and I'll make your dreams come true"

Sitting fully upright, I noticed that there was someone balanced on the edge of the oak desk. He extended his right hand to mine while handing me a water bottle in his left, "Hi, I'm Jameson and I think you'd make a wonderful addition to Diamond Records."

I nearly choked on my water as he said that, "Wait what? I'm just an ordinary girl, there's nothing special about me."

He mock scolded me and took a seat on the couch arm, "Oh contrary my dear Mary, you are quite extraordinary."