Chapter 1

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I didn't know losing someone could be so difficult. That first time when I walked into her empty bedroom killed me. Ash was my cousin and most importantly, my best friend. I'm not as close to my real sisters than I was to Ash but we all somewhat get along. Addy's always gets on my last nerve by either screaming or trashing my room and Mila never leaves my room. My aunt died when I was three and my uncle left the day after Ash was born so she stayed with us until she left for college. Ashley, that's what everyone else called her, but she always shortened my name to Ez and so I did the same with hers. She was only nineteen when she died. It hasn't been easy with her gone but that began to change when Addy started coming into my bed every night for comfort. My fourteenth birthday was by far the worst, just waiting for Ash to come home, not knowing what had happened. 

"Esme!" my mothers voice echoes through the house, forcing me out of bed. My feet drag across the wooden floor towards the window.

Just as I open my curtains, Addy comes rushing in, "Ezzy, Athena is here"

She hurries out of the room, grabbing my bag on the way.

"She's way too early" I mumble checking the time, "Shit!"


I pull a white shirt over my head and struggle to pull my jeans up. I shove a mint in my mouth because brushing my teeth clearly isn't an option unless I'm planning on getting a late card- which, by the way, I am not. Today is not the day to be late. It's my first day of senior year, and I am not prepared. Ash used to get all of things ready for me and since she went to college, I'm always forgetting things. Especially lunch money.

I rush down the hall, taking my bag from Addy as I slip on my shoes. I kiss her on the forehead and head out the front door. 

"Wow you look good". I glare at Athena and keep walking. She jumps up from the chair swing on my porch and catches up to me.

"I heard there's a new boy" she nudges me and smiles.

"Mhm, I'm sure there is" I laugh, kicking the gravel as we walk.

"I'm kidding, I don't know if there is, there could be but how would I know? There's probably a lot of new boys, and girls. Or there might not be, you never know." Her words come out a mess and I laugh at her excitement. I'll never understand how she can have so much energy on a Monday morning, or any mornings really. 

Of course there's going to be a new boy, there always is, and I'm sure he's going to be really hot and I'm sure the head cheerleader is going to go straight for him. And then the girl that no one thought he would be interested in would end up dating him. That's the movies though and realistically, I doubt anyone would take any notice of a new boy.

We stop outside Faye's house as she steps out the door. She's wearing a purple tube top and shorts and I already know she knows that she's going to get dress coded.

"Yeah I know, but I'll just put a hoodie on" she says placing her hands on mine and Athena's backs, pushing us forwards.

"And your extremely short shorts?" I remind her and she rolls her eyes.

"Jogging bottoms" she winks pulling me along to walk faster.

When we arrive at school, Dexter hugs Faye and just smiles at Athena and I. I don't think he's told anyone else about him liking Faye but he sure makes it very obvious.

"You look rough" he says, poking my arm in disgust. I kick his shin gently followed by a sarcastic smile.

The bench under the apple tree is empty so I walk over to it. They all follow and Faye seems to be cautiously staring at a teacher standing by the front doors. She knows she'll get dress coded but she still does it. I flop onto the bench along with Faye and Athena, Dexter just sits on the arm of the bench, right next to Faye. 

None of us have heard from Sienna for two weeks and for some reason no one is mentioning it.

"I hope Sienna is okay" Athena says, answering my thoughts.

Sienna is the kind of girl to go to concerts on a school night, or to go skating at midnight. She owns a motorbike and I'm not entirely sure how risk taking she is when riding it. She doesn't care about anyone or anything apart from her girlfriend. Her and Athena are literally perfect for each other and if they don't marry each other then-

"She looks it" I'm cut off by Faye who is now looking towards the school gates.

Athena stands to her feet and bolts towards the girl who is taking off her motorbike helmet. Sienna drops her helmet and wraps her arms around Athena's waist, lifting her off of the floor.

They aren't too far away, "Where were you!?" Athena shouts pushing her hands into the girls stomach. It didn't seem too hard but it's difficult to tell from where I'm sitting.

"Oh she is so screwed" Dexter's voice has a laugh behind it, probably wanting to see them fight. That would never happen. Instead of arguing with the excitement in him, I decide to just nod.

I can't quite tell what they're saying anymore, they've lowered their voices.

"Can you two speak up? I can't hear the drama!" Faye shouts towards them but the only response she gets is me flicking her ear and a murderous glare from Sienna.

I hearthe faint sound of the bell go so I decide to leave them to sort out their issues whilst I get to class. 

When I get to the changing rooms, I set my bag on the bench as Faye walks in with the biggest smile on her face.

"You alright?" I laugh, pulling out my skorts and shirt.

Most of the girls are wearing jogging bottoms but I always get way too hot in them.

"Perfect" she says shaking her head, "mmm. No, dark grey is not your colour. You look ill"

I slowly place the shirt down and pick up my white one. Faye nods, bringing her arms through her blue shirt. I tuck the bottom of my shirt into my skorts and tie my hair back. Faye looks at me in disgust and of course, keeps her hair down. 

We head outside, towards the astro. It's freezing and now I wish I had worn leggings.

"Faye Winnings. Tie your hair up" Miss Martin shouts, tossing a hair tie at Faye.

I watch as Faye lets the tie drop to the ground. She stares at it for a minute before making it obvious that she's stepping over it. I roll my eyes whilst picking up the tie and pulling her hair back. She doesn't stop me, she just huffs and walks off when I finish.

I wait for her by the fence as she gets lectured by the teacher about how tying her hair back is for her safety and not to be annoying.

"I'm not being annoying... I'm looking out for your safety" Faye says, mocking Miss Martins voice, "I beg to differ"

After a few more eye rolls, and awful impressions, Faye finally shuts up and leans against the fence.

A few more boys come out and line up parallel to the fence. A much taller boy with dark hair stands at the end, he hasn't even changed and he is definitely going to get one of Miss Martins lectures about it. He's wearing black jeans and a grey shirt, the complete opposite to what Dexter wears.

I break my focus on him and turn back to the teacher, who is in fact, marching towards the boy. She does exactly what I had imagined but the boy doesn't look phased by her words at all.

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