This is the story of how I Suede Elaine Burke ended up marrying my best and longest friend Salem Jasper Thomas. I'd say it started off with our fated birth but in reality it started many years before it.

13 years B.F.B. (Before Fated Birth)

Maria rummaged through her book bag again, she had to have a pencil, her math homework was due the next period and she couldn't not hand it in, her mother would kill her if she had another missing assignment. Sighing she gave up, someone in her study hall had to have a spare pencil. She looked around and groaned everyone was sat on the other side of the room and the only person who was closest to her was such a snob, she couldn't ask her. Biting her lip, she mentally debated what to do and with another groan she took a deep breath, put a warm smile on her face and turned to the girl who sat across the isle and one desk behind her.

"Do you have a pencil I can borrow?" The girl looked up briefly from doing her own homework before putting down her pencil.

"Sure" She looked through her pencil pouch and brought out a mechanical pencil, she handed it to Maria.

"Thanks, I'll give it back once I'm done" The girl nodded and went back to doing her homework. Maria took a deep breath, she isn't so bad, she thought and began her math homework.

By the end of her half an hour study hall she had successfully finished her homework. With a grin she put it in her folder and closed her math book, looking down at the pencil she remembered she had to give it back to the girl and hopefully be able to go to her locker and grab her own pencil and make it in time for math class all the way in the other hall. She turned towards the girl who was busy packing her bag and extended her hand out with the pencil.

"Here's your pencil" The girl paused her packing and looked up.

"Oh, thanks" She smiled and took her pencil throwing it into her open bag.

"I'm Maria by the way"

"Ivanna" Maria smiled, now she had a name for the face.

"I guess ill see you tomorrow"

With that Maria left not knowing that, that was just the beginning of what would become a long lasting friendship. From that day on Maria and Ivanna sat next to each other in every study hall and soon started having lunch together although Ivanna didn't really eat much, eating in front of other people made her anxious, Maria didn't care, she thought her friend was quirky but had no qualms about eating in front anyone. At times she would tease Ivanna about only eating a cookie or small pieces of her sandwich during lunch by obnoxiously eating a large piece of pizza in front of her and moaning about how delicious it was.

They talked about everything during their short time together during the day, their schedules kept them apart for the rest of the day. When summer came they lives parted for what they thought was a short time but as their sophomore year began their school schedules where completely different, no shared classes, not even lunch. Through out that whole year they only saw each other twice briefly in the hall both too busy rushing to get to class, they where only able to wave. Another summer passed the same, they hadn't exchanged numbers in freshman year so weren't able to communicate with each other to hang out. It was junior year when it all changed.

Maria was running down the hall trying to get to U.S. History on time, she had gone to wrong class and as embarrassing as it was it also took her a while to figure out she was in the wrong class. As the bell rang she slipped into the classroom and took the first open seat she found and took a deep breath.

"Alright class I'm Mr. Carson, I'll be your U.S. History teacher, by the end of the year you should be able to pass the constitution test, lets start with attendance and then ill pass out the syllabus for this class" Mr. Carson grabbed the attendance sheet off his desk and began reading off the names, Maria didn't really pay attention but made sure to say 'here' when he had called her name.

"Kowalski, Ivanna"

"Here" Maria leaned forward on her desk and turned to the right trying to look around the girl who sat next to her.

"Ivanna?" Ivanna leaned forward and turned to the left with a grin.

"Hey!" Maria grinned.

"I didn't know you where in this class?" Their teacher coughed, Maria apologized she had forgotten they where in the middle of taking attendance. She was shocked Ivanna was in her class but was also very excited she had missed having those funny chats with Ivanna during study hall.

The girl who sat between them didn't seem to happy about the revelation that she was in between two friends who had no reservations about talking during class. Soon however that didn't become a problem as the girl got moved out of the class and Maria moved into her seat. U.S. History became Marias favorite class, not only did her teacher not hand out homework, but he also let them work with the people around them, which meant she got to work to with Ivanna and talk the whole period. At times the guy who sat in front of Maria, Brian, would join them and so the three spent more time laughing joking then doing actual work.

"Want to hang out today?" Maria shrugged and nodded her head.

"Yeah let me text my mom" She discreetly took her phone out of the purse she was using as a school bag and texted her mom. "What do you want to do?"

"Why don't we go out to eat? Maybe Pizza Hut?" Maria nodded keeping an eye on their teacher who luckily was busy typing something on his computer.

"Sounds good, my mom said yes!"

"What about me?" Maria and Ivanna rolled their eyes.

"It's a girls hang out Brain, you are not invited" Brian pouted and they laughed shaking their heads.

The afternoon spent eating pasta at Pizza Hut went so well it became a nearly weekly thing for them to do, and when they weren't eating at Pizza Hut they where sneaking fast food into the movie theaters and going to a mall an hour away in order to shop comfortably without worrying about bumping into any of their classmates. Time seemed to fly incredibly fast and soon it was time for Maria to graduate.

Marias parents had sat down with a school dean a year before she began high school and outlined a schedule for her to be able to graduate a whole year early. Although Maria didn't want to graduate early, feeling that the amount of work and pressure she was going to have would be overwhelming for her, but she couldn't disappoint her parents so she worked hard and although at times she her anxiety was so bad she ended up in the hospital because of severe chest pains, she did it. Her whole family as well as Ivanna and her family where there to watch her get her diploma a day that she both loved and hated. She loved the fact that she was finally done with High School but hated the fact that she didn't get to experience a lot of the things senior students did, she didn't get to go to the awards dinner, be nominated for a 'most likely' award, go to the senior dinner and was the only one who was two years younger than everyone else. Graduating at sixteen made Maria independent but also rebellious.

Ivanna on the other hand got to experience her last year, her and Maria though they weren't in school together enjoyed many late nights and spontaneous adventures and although she had a few bumps in her road Ivanna graduated with a smile on her face and Maria was right there cheering her on.