Chapter 1

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          You know how they say that spring is a time of rebirth? That what better time to reconstruct yourself than not New Year’s like everyone claims to do each year and then fails at, but during the season of rebirth and renewal? Well, I always thought that was more talking about plants and animals, you know, that kind of stuff. When I think of spring, I think of those dainty pink and white cherry blossoms blooming on the trees, the color green making its way back to the earth, animals being born, pastel colors, bright flowers popping out of the ground, that kind of thing. I also think of spring break and school soon ending and flip flops and swimming and the upcoming summer.

          I never once thought about Alaska or snow or a rebirth of myself.

          I think it’s safe to say that as a whole, our population generally views spring break as a blessing as we voraciously soak up the free trial run of approaching summer that we’ve been granted for the week. I mean, no school, no work, no worries. It all works out in everyone’s favor. After a long, grueling winter (those nights that are sixty degrees Fahrenheit are just too cold to bear), we finally get rewarded. The pool parties and beach trips with friends are plenteous and you can finally go bikini shopping without your dad getting on your case for maxing out your credit card only a month ago because hello, I cannot be caught dead wearing last year’s swimwear.

         “Look out!” Nick, arguably the most popular guy in our grade (or so he thinks) and—unfortunately—my ex-boyfriend cheers, cannonballing straight into the pristine clear water of my family’s in-ground swimming pool.

         A couple of girls tanning nearby on our row of pool chairs giggle at his immaturity.

         I roll my eyes and whine aloud once he resurfaces about how his incompetence to think before he acts resulted in me getting wet, though secretly I think the water feels refreshing on my skin under the harsh glare of the afternoon Florida sun.

         Nick smirks and splashes me once more before backstroking over to the other side of the pool where he joins in on a conversation with a group of people who we’re mutually friends with.

         I adjust my sunglasses and try to ignore him, though I have the sudden urge to drag him up the top of our waterslide and push him over the edge, and not on the side where the slide leads into the water. It’s hard, trying to stay friends with your ex. Especially when he decides to do a 180 on you and suddenly go into full on jerk mode after previously being one of those overly sappy boyfriends who cling to you like sweat after a workout. It’s like we’re friends, but everyone knows that when it comes down to it and we’re both given the chance to rip each other’s throats out, we’d reach out for that opportunity with the eagerness of a starving animal awaiting its prey.

         Why do I even bother with all of these immature high school boys?

         “Don’t worry everyone, the life of the party is here!” a familiar feminine voice suddenly announces over the blaring radio someone had hooked up on the deck.

         Unmoving, I take the opportunity to trail my eyes, thankfully concealed behind my Gucci sunglasses, over toward my blonde-haired best friend. She’s sporting a white Victoria’s Secret push up bikini set with a matching pair of stringy bottoms, no doubt to display her hard-earned bikini body and tan.

           I don’t show any sign of acknowledgment. She can come to me, first. If I initiate any sign of excitement upon her arrival, she will mistake it as an act of inferiority on my part and invalidly get this distorted and false sense of reality that she’s better than me or something ridiculously untrue.

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