Chapter One

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I stared at my mother's smiley face pancakes with dread. You know the ones – pancake for a face, three pieces of strawberry for eyes and a nose, a piece of bacon for a mouth, and whipped cream to top it off with hair. I appreciated my mother trying to stay positive for my benefit, but making smiley face pancakes was just annoying. I was 18, not 5.

"Now I know it's the first day of school, but you have nothing to be nervous about." Mom stated reassuringly as she flipped over another set of pancakes.

My mom didn't work. She always wanted to be home for me when I was a kid. Now I was old enough and she didn't know what to do with herself. In other words, she was smothering me.

"I'm not nervous." I muffled with a pancake in my mouth before swallowing hard.

It was the first day of my senior year. Everyone else was ecstatic, but I just wanted to get it over with. They say high school will be the best four years of your life. So far, I felt lied to. They also say senior year will be the absolute best. I wasn't going to keep my hopes up.

Most people would think I shouldn't have anything to complain about. I had good grades in all my classes and I was dating the most popular boy in school. Though I hate most of the teachers at my school; some barely teach, some give out way too much homework, and others still have their favorites. I tended to sit in the back of my classes, sit quietly, and do my work. For three years straight, mind you – I was going to have to do it for a fourth. Despite being in the most popular group in the entire school, no one really knew who I was, let alone my name.

But that was fine by me.

"Of course you're not nervous, dear," Mom smiled over her shoulder at me as though she didn't believe me. She moved a couple pancakes from the frying pan onto a large plate. She turned the burner off on the stove and brought the freshly made pancakes over to the kitchen table. She put the plate down and looked me in the eyes. "Is Brad picking you up today?" she took a blueberry out of a small bowl in the middle of the table and popped it into her mouth.

Brad was my boyfriend. He and I had been a couple since my freshman year while he was repeating his freshman year. He had too many absences and wasn't allowed to graduate.

Brad's parents let him do whatever he wanted. They gave him whatever he wanted. When he found out he wasn't going to be able to graduate, he had planned on dropping out. I convinced him to stay. Of course, everyone knew who Brad was. He was the most popular kid in school and because he had free reign from his parents, he was like a God to some. Brad had the guts to do things most people wouldn't – right or wrong.

I was popular because I was his girlfriend, but I was overshadowed quite a bit.

I nodded my head to my mom and chugged down the rest of my orange juice. Brad was due to arrive in a half hour and I wasn't even dressed yet. I stood up from the table and brought my dirty dish over to the sink. Before my mom could say anything else to me, I left the kitchen and ran back up the stairs to my bedroom.

I threw my hair up into a messy bun and slipped on a pair of jeans with a light blue blouse. I stepped into the hallway and noticed the bathroom door was shut. I sighed. My father was in there.

I knocked and he opened the door a small crack peeking through.

"Yes?" he muttered.

"I need to get ready for school." I explained.

My father was a writer. He wasn't well-known for it, but he made decent money from it, which was why he thought he was famous. That was one reason as to why he spent a good amount of time in the bathroom. He liked to stare at himself in the mirror since, according to him, that's where he came up with all his great novel ideas. Never mind the fact we built an office for him in the basement.

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