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2. shots and the quiet girl

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Dear Chloe,

You never understood, but even then you always knew best.

Lola's beautiful. She belongs in freaking magazines, not stupid high school. I thinks she knows that, and that's why she treats everyone like trash.

God, I'm so glad I don't have to see her every day. I used to feel so privileged when she looked at me, but now it would make my blood curdle, and I'd be running for the hills. Don't ever get in her way, Chlo. Be careful. Do what you usually do, blend in and have fun with people on level three. They're the best people in that damn school.

I love you, and miss you.

Mon

I folded up the patterned paper, my fingernails gliding against its frilled edges. I promised myself I'd write to her every day I could. Maybe she'd get sick of it. Oh well, she should have been here anyway.

My eyes felt like they weighed a ton beneath the charcoal that coated them. It had cost me more than I was willing to admit to stock up my make-up collection, and now, wearing more make-up than I had in my entire life, I started to question whether it was worth it.

It had taken hours to shower, shave, exfoliate, cleanse, tone, moisturize, brush my teeth and a billion other things I wrote on the damn list stuck to my mirror. My mother, ecstatic that I had the so-called privilege of attending a high school party, had stuck her head into my room at every opportunity, offering me tips and reminding me silly, obvious things like 'don't take drinks from strangers!'

I loved her deeply, really, but my mother was too enthusiastic for her own good. And I meant enthusiastic about everything. I guess it would take an optimist to keep my dad around, so it made sense, but it also grew annoying.

"Are you sure you don't want to try the golden dress me and your grandma picked out last fall?" she asked, her chestnut locks bouncing against her shoulders as she darted into my room again.

"Yes, Mom," I replied in a clipped tone. I knew the more reasons I offered as to why I didn't want to wear the dress, the more reasons she'd provide for wearing it. I mean, it was out of season. The level one girls would pick that up in an instant.

It was a gorgeous dress, with full sleeves and a skirt trailing down to my knees, but it would have the complete opposite effect that I wanted tonight. Instead I was wearing an off the shoulder black shirt with black jeans and black strappy heels. I'd counteracted the black somewhat with a maroon clutch and red lips, but I still felt a little scary.

I was only showing a portion of my torso and, admittedly, quite a lot of cleavage, but my mother was intent on hinting that I looked like a prostitute.

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