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Chapter 1 | A Little Socially Awkward

But there's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin.
- Mitch Albom

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"I won't," he states sternly, a dark edge leathering his tone.

"Promise?" I croak, and my voice is hoarse as I choke back tears. I hate this. I hate feeling so vulnerable in front of someone who is as good as a stranger.

He stares at me intensely for a while, deliberating; pondering over his response. Then he says, "I promise you, Wren."

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A PROMISE involves the voluntary giving of one's word that, if and when a particular circumstance or situation comes about, one will accept to do what was promised, no matter what.

Making a promise, in other words, implies a willingness to keep it. People commit to promises but never really think about what it actually means. Many people don't keep the promises that they make.

But I believe in keeping every promise I make because I have experienced the damage of not keeping a promise and it's not a thing I ever want to experience again. Trust me.

I frown feebly at my reflection. I'm wearing skinny jet black jeans, and an oversized white tee-shirt. For some reason I have grown quite attached to this shirt. I have absolutely zilch make-up on, except for some lip balm that I had slathered on for my heavily chapped lips.

I have tried, in past times, and failed miserably, might I add, to use blush. I ended up looking like I had chicken pox or malaria.

You see, unlike normal teenage girls, I can't blush. It may seem weird but I've tried everything to make myself blush, just for the heck of it. Jeez, I've slapped myself thinking that the blood would rise to my stubborn cheeks-but to no avail. Oh well.

I have other problems.

The senior year is going to go by fast, and I want to make the most of it. If I top my exams I'll definitely be a candidate for a college scholarship. I need all the financial help I could get; it would take off the giant weight that is my school fees off mom's shoulders. She really overworks herself.

I run downstairs on my sneakers, grabbing my files that I needed to load in my locker. "Mom, I'm going now. Oh, and don't worry about breakfast, I'll survive. Wish me luck!" I holler. I'll need it.

"Bye honey! Love you, and good luck!" she replies chirpily, her voice sounding from the kitchen. She is probably making coffee, her 'power drink'.

Quite evidently, my mother is a morning-person while I, on the other hand, am not. The state of my hair this morning makes Albert Einstein's hairdo look five-star. It is plain painful sending a brush through my stubborn knots.

I hear her muttering something about 'they grow up so fast'. Sappy stuff, but it is, to some extent true. It seems like just a while ago when I was a nervous freshman, looking up to the seniors and wondering when I would get my turn.

Then a piercing sound interrupts my somewhat sentimental thoughts. Followed by another ear-splitting honk.

Of course, my beautiful and charming friend, Mia, rolls up at my front lawn, and in the process, strangles all the flowers present. Poor carnations, I shake my head pitifully. They were just starting to bloom.

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