Chapter 1

"I have to get out of here."

I plopped back on my bed, very aware that the prospect of leaving my room—more like prison cell—grew slim by the second.

"Just talk to your mom again. She has to come around eventually."

I rolled my eyes and picked up my phone. "You don't know my mother."

I heard her sigh through the speaker. "I know she's super strict, but it's summer! You're almost 18 Chrissy—you have a right to have a life."

"Everything you're saying is true, Hal, but it's my mother with the problem. She doesn't trust me. And it's just me! Max and Lucy get treated like royalty around here."

Envy of my siblings filled my mind. My eleven-year-old brother and ten-year-old sister could do no wrong. My mother was always on my back, so anything they did usually slipped past her. I flipped onto my stomach and stared longingly at my closet. My new outfit was already picked out and ready to go. The plan was set, but as usual, only one thing held me back.

"Have you tried your dad?"

"I always ask him first, and he said I could go, but then she overruled him like she always does. It's not fair!"

My phone started buzzing. I looked down to see my boyfriend's name pop up on my screen.

"Let me call you back, Hallie. Calvin's calling."

"Okay, bye girl."

"Bye." I switched over to Calvin's line. "Hey, babe."

"Hey, you're coming tonight right?"

I sighed. "I don't know. My mom is being psycho right now."

"Come on, Chrissy. I want you to be there."

"You don't think I want to be there too?"

"I know you do. I was just thinking…"

I smiled. "Thinking what?"

I could almost see him run his fingers through his blonde hair. He always did that when he had something on his mind. "I was thinking that tonight could be—you know, the night."

My stomach turned into a flood of butterflies. "Oh…really?"

"I mean, why not?"

A pit of uneasiness filled in my chest. "Um, I don't know."

"C'mon, Chrissy. It's not really a big deal."

I scoffed. "It is too a big deal. I want it to be special."

There was definitely frustration in his sigh. "It will be, okay? I promise."

I mulled it over in my head. I liked Calvin a lot, that I knew. But did I want to have sex with him? Whether or not I was ready for that, I knew going to that party would lead to a turning point in our relationship.

"We'll see."

He laughed. "That's my girl."

I heard an impatient knock on my door. "Christina!"

"Shit, I gotta go."

"Wait, Chris—"

I hung up and shoved the phone under my pillow. I then curled up and faced away from the door.

I heard it swing open. Of course, she wouldn't wait for me to at least tell her to go away.

"Christina, please."

"Just leave me alone, Mom."

The door shut and a few seconds later I felt my mom sit at the edge of my bed.

"Honey, you're being ridiculous."

I sat up. "It's not me who is the ridiculous one, you are. You're the one who won't even let me hang out with my friends! It's summer for Christ's sakes. You won't let me have a life!"

"I don't like this attitude, Christina Lane."

I crossed my arms. "Well I don't like your attitude, Mother."

"Speak to me like that and you can forget leaving your room for the entire summer."

I huffed. Being defiant was not going to get me anywhere. I looked down at my lap and sighed, cuing my pitiful voice.

"I just don't understand why you won't let me go."

"First of all, I don't want you hanging out with that Kirsch boy."

"He's my boyfriend Mom, when will I ever get to hang out with him?"

"I was hoping never."

I rolled my eyes. "Didn't you have a high school boyfriend?"

I watched her cheeks get red. "Yes."

"So why am I not allowed to have one?" I crossed my arms over my chest. "Surely you were at least allowed to see him?"

She reached out to put her hand on my thigh. I moved it away before she could touch me.

"Christina, I know what boys are like at this age. They will say anything to get into your pants. And I'm sorry, but Calvin is no different."

"That is so unfair! You hardly even know him! You refuse to let him come over, you won't let me out of the house, you have no right to judge him."

"I am your mother so that gives me the right."

I groaned and flung my pillow over my head. "Why do you do this me?!"

I felt my mom get up and heard her walk over to the door.

"One day you'll understand. I was a teenager once before, believe it or not. I know what's best for you, Christina. You have to trust me."

Removing the pillow, I looked over to her. "How can I trust you when you won't return the favor?"

She looked defeated. I could see her worry lines etching her face. A face that could've been the spitting image of mine when she was my age. Same shaped face, same mouth and nose. Our eyes were the only difference with hers being green and mine plain brown.

"I do trust you. It's him I don't trust."

"It's not like I'll be alone with him tonight." I lied.

"A group of teenagers hanging out without supervision? That sounds very ideal."

"Megan's parent's will be there."

I could see the wheels in her head turning. Please, just say yes already!

But my mother's lips tightened, my fate sealed before my eyes. "I already said no. Don't ask me again." She opened the door and closed it behind her.

A rush of anger overcame me. "I hate you!" I screamed.

I couldn't stop the tears from flowing even as I pressed my face in my pillow. Curling into a ball, I decided that my life had hit a new low. My own mother didn't trust me. I would never have a life. Only 186 more days until I turned 18, and then I would be out of here for good.

I stayed curled up like that until the tears passed and my anger subsided. A part of me knew I should apologize to her, but whenever I thought about doing that, the anger swelled up again.

I pulled my phone back out and looked at the screen. I had two texts from Calvin.

Baby, please come tonight. I don't care what it takes, I have to see you

I promise I'll make it a night you'll never forget

I felt sheer determination sweep over me. I opened up my text messages.

Give me two hours. See you tonight

I paced my room. My plan seemed foolproof, as long as I could pull it off. The hard part would be getting out of the house without getting caught, but I was determined. No going back now.

As I was pacing, I heard a softer knock on my door. I rushed to the bed and threw the covers over me, praying my cover wasn't blown.

"Honey, it's Dad. Can I come in?"

I breathed a sigh of relief and tried to calm my heart rate. "Sure."

I heard him crack the door open. I hoped that the light coming from the windows wasn't enough for him to see the makeup on my face.

He sat down at the edge of my bed.

"Chrissy, your mother is just trying to do the best for you. She doesn't want you to get hurt."

"She may not want me to get hurt, but that doesn't mean she can stop me from having a life. All my friends get to do what they want, and then there's me, who has to ask 3-5 business days in advance to even get her to consider letting me have any fun."

He patted my back. I made sure to keep my face hidden.

"Give her some time. I'm sure she'll come around."

"Yeah, maybe when I'm thirty."

"You know, Chrissy, I think you should give your mother some slack. She hasn't always had it easy."

I remembered how she had to live with her alcoholic grandfather being in the basement of her home. He could be pretty crazy when he wasn't in a drunken stupor. I only met him once when I was little, and even that was more than enough times for me. Not to mention she lost her own father when she was about the same age as me. So, I knew my dad had a point.

"That doesn't mean she can treat me the way she does. You guys both obviously favor Max and Lucy over me."

"Hey, that's not true. They're younger and they just need extra eyes on them."

"But that's just it—you guys watch over me way more than them. It's not about the attention, it's the fact that you let them get away with anything, while I can't even hang out with my friends because you think I'm going to make bad choices."

Dad took off his glasses to rub his eyes. He too, looked defeated. I wanted to have sympathy, but I just couldn't muster it. I didn't think I would ever understand where they were coming from.

"I'll tell you what. I will talk to your mother. For now, you are not going tonight. But I'm sure she will come around soon. Just give it some time."

I wasn't about to settle for waiting. I bit my tongue and nodded.


I heard him get up to leave. "I hope you know that everything we do is because we love you."

I let my silence answer him. As soon as I heard the door shut and his footsteps retreating, I pulled the covers back off. The clock on my phone read 9:15. I had 45 minutes to kill, and every second that ticked by felt like a year. I had to wait until I was sure my parents would be in bed, and hopefully not listening too carefully toward my bedroom.

When the hour was up, I knew that Calvin would be parked just down the street. I sat still and listened to the house. All was quiet. After carefully arranging the pillows and covers to look like I was still fast asleep, I carefully made my way through the house.

With every step, it felt like I was going to wake up the whole house with the noise of the floorboards creaking. My heart felt like it was going to beat out of its chest. I knew that the kitchen door would be my safest bet—it was farthest from my parent's room. Taking one last deep breath, I slowly opened the door. Just to make sure my mom wasn't looming behind me, ready to catch me in my tracks, I turned around. No sign of her. As quickly as I could, I made my way through the garage and out the side door.

When I made it outside, I felt like doing a happy dance. No lights were on, so it seemed my escape plan worked! A pang of regret touched me for just a moment—I could walk back in and forget this ever happened—but I shrugged it off.

I saw Calvin's truck parked at the end of my street and ran toward it, hardly containing my excitement as I ran up to the door and pulled myself in.

"Damn baby, I didn't think you had it in you!" He leaned over to give me a peck.

"Me either!" I felt like I was on a high. "Let's go, come on!"

He stepped on the gas and we were off. Thankfully it was a quick drive, and soon we pulled up to Megan's house. There were already several cars in the driveway, and I could hear the music from inside the car. There were a few people hanging out on the front lawn, and I recognized several people from my school. The waved hello as Calvin and I walked up to the entrance of the house. I noticed several girls eyeing Calvin, so I slipped my hand in his to remind them he was mine.

Hallie found us as soon as we walked in.

"Oh my god, I cannot believe you're actually here!" She hugged me tight while managing to keep a hold on her red solo cup. I immediately noticed that she was already tipsy.

"Well here I am! And where can I get one of those" I said, pointing to her cup.

"I'll get it for you, babe." Calvin kissed my head and walked back toward the kitchen.

Hallie grabbed my hand and pulled me into the living room. "So, what did you say to your mom to change her mind?"

I smirked. "Nothing. I snuck out."

Her jaw dropped. "Holy shit, you are a badass."

I shrugged. The adrenaline from the escape was wearing off and the paranoia slowly started creeping in. Luckily Calvin came back with my drink.

"Since Chrissy was able to get out of her house arrest, I think this calls for a celebration!" Hallie shouted. She raised her cup in the air and we all followed suit. I chugged my drink down, hoping to start feeling the buzz right away. I needed to forget about the consequences of me being here if I was going to have a good time.

More and more people showed up to the party, and my worries slowly started ebbing away. Megan's parents came down and told us that none of us were allowed to drive home, so we would all be crashing there for the night or calling an Uber. I felt a huge pang of jealousy of Megan. Her parents actually let her have a party—even with alcohol. They were understanding that teenagers just want to have fun, while mine were understanding that I needed to be coddled and never allowed out of the house.

The living room turned into a dance floor. Everyone was having a great time, and I was glad I decided to come. Calvin handed me a new drink every time I saw the bottom of my cup. I felt the alcohol's effects pretty quickly, but I didn't care. The more drinks I had, the less guilty I felt.

In the middle of dancing, I looked over to my right to see a girl videoing the party on her phone. A pit of paranoia in my stomach began to form.

"Hey, what are you doing?" I asked as I walked—more like stumbled—over to her. I barely recognized her as a girl from my school. She was probably a freshman from the way she was clearly overcompensating herself with her choice of outfit.

"I'm just taking a snapchat, chill." She scrunched her nose at me and I immediately felt the bitch vibes rolling off of her.

I raised my hands up. "Woah, maybe you should chill."

She just scoffed and walked away.

"Hey, wait!" I called after her. I noticed that I couldn't stop swaying. "Are you putting that on your story?"

"What does it matter to you?"

"Look, I'm not actually supposed to be here, so if you could like not post it, that would be great." I squinted at her and tried to look like I meant it, but she just laughed. Somewhere deep down in my consciousness, I knew I was being irrational. My mom didn't even have a snapchat—but still, I never wanted to underestimate her snooping skills.

"If you could get out of my face, that'd be great."

I felt my fist curl. "Listen, bitch—"

"Chrissy! Hey, baby." Calvin's arm slid around my back and he pulled me into his chest. Then he pressed his mouth on mine a little too forcefully. I pressed my hands into his chest to push him away, but he held on tighter.

"What are you doing?" I gasped when I broke from the kiss.

"I'm trying to keep you from getting into trouble," he said through clenched teeth disguised by a grin.

I turned to see that the girl was gone. "I can't be on social media tonight. What if it gets back to my parents?"

He slid his arm around my shoulders. "Don't worry about that, okay? They would never know."

I wasn't sure if I believed him, but my mind was too foggy to stay concerned for long.

"Do you want to find somewhere private?" he whispered in my ear.

I looked up at him. "Okay."

He took my hand and led me around the corner to the stairs to the basement. He was half holding me up as we descended the stairs. There were a few people hanging out in the basement, but I paid no attention to them. Calvin walked down the hall and opened the last door on the right. It looked like a guest room, and was free of people.

"Perfect." He said.

I suddenly felt uneasy. I wasn't sure if it was the alcohol or what I felt was about to happen. Calvin stepped closer to me and started kissing me slowly. I tried forcing my worries into a box, and I told myself that this is what I wanted. Calvin wasn't going to wait around forever, and I didn't want to wait anymore either.

"You're so beautiful. I love you, Chrissy."

I smiled. "I love you too."

His hands traveled down to the hem of my shirt. Before he could lift it up, I pulled back.

"Um," I glanced quickly around the room, then motioned to the bed. "Let's sit."

He smiled. "Okay, beautiful."

As he got onto the bed, my mother's voice echoed in my head. Boys will say anything to get into your pants. And I'm sorry but Calvin is one of them.

I slowly crawled onto the bed and laid next to him. The last thing I wanted on my mind was my mother.

Calvin slid his body on top of mine and began kissing my neck. Just relax. It's going to be fine.

Once again, he reached for the hem of my shirt. I put my hands on his and gently pushed them away.

He huffed. "C'mon, Chrissy."

"I just—I'm not sure if I'm ready."

He sat up. "Are you ever gonna be ready?" Anger laced his voice.

I crossed my arms. "Why does it matter so much to you? I thought you said that you loved me so much you would wait forever for me?"

"I do, Chrissy, but you make me want to. Do I not make you want to?"

His guilt trip affected me more than I wanted to admit. I didn't want him to think I didn't want to be with him. I stayed quiet.

I leaned back down to kiss me again. My mind was so foggy that I could barely concentrate enough to kiss him back.

"Calvin, wait."

He groaned, but didn't sit back up. "Chrissy…"

"I don't feel right. I think I need to go home."

"Don't be like that. Just sleep here."

"I can't…I'll get caught…" I noticed that the room was spinning and I couldn't stop it.

"Chrissy, relax. Everything will be fine." He slid down and began kissing up my stomach and chest. I tried to wiggle out from under him, but he wouldn't budge.

"Calvin, get off me."

He continued to ignore me as he slid his hand down in between my thighs.

"Calvin, stop!"

Before I could do anything else—like ram my knee in his crotch like I wanted too—I felt the telltale sign of nausea rise over me, and then I vomited. All. Over. Calvin.

"Shit!" He immediately backed off of me and I used his distraction of wiping off the puke to make my escape.

The world was still spinning as I tried to navigate my way out of the house, but emptying my stomach did make me feel a little better. I ignored the surprised people in the basement and even stepped over a few just to get to the basement door. Calvin was calling my name, but I ignored him. Did that really just happen?

Ignoring the unusually chilly night for May, I managed to walk around the house back to the street, but it was so dark out that I could barely see my hand in front of me. The cool air felt good on my clammy skin.

I stopped for a second to try and clear my thoughts. I could still hear the music from the party behind me. The spins had slowed down, but they weren't gone completely. For a moment, I thought I was going to be sick again, but after a few seconds, I was able to stand back up. I lived less than ten minutes from Megan's house, so I figured it would be a pretty cheap Uber ride.

I felt for my phone in my back pocket. Nothing. Panic rose inside me as I checked every pocket. It must've fallen out back at Megan's.

I turned back to the house, the feeling of dread like a brick in my stomach. There was no way I was going to go back there, where Calvin would be waiting. I decided that I would have to figure out a way for her to bring it to me. That was a problem to solve in the morning.

My next option was to walk. I began my journey walking down the street to the left of Megan's. I had to make another left, then a right, then go straight for a while…then a right? Or was it left?

I began to face the fact that my parents had probably figured out by now that I was gone. Hell, I probably had about 70 missed calls from my mom. My mom. Anger bubbled up inside me. I probably wouldn't even be in this mess if it wasn't for her. If she would have just let me go, I wouldn't have had to sneak out. Then I wouldn't have been so paranoid, or gotten into that fight with Calvin, and my phone wouldn't be gone.

I definitely would not be walking home at two in the morning.

"So unfair. She treats me like a child. I'm almost an adult. She can't treat me like this forever." I muttered.

Somewhere along the way I realized I was lost but I was too stubborn to try turning around. I figured that I would eventually find my way to the main road and then get home for sure.

The more I walked, the more tired I felt. "Now I'm lost and it's all my stupid mother's fault. I wish I had a mom who understood me! I wish…I wish…"

My eyes started to close as I slowed to a stop. I lost all sense of the world in one moment, and the next, everything went black.