Chapter One

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Every lie has an I. This is a truthful saying my Mother taught me from young but I am finally catching on. Right now, I am pacing up and down in my small light pink room, which is in my house in Brooklyn, New York, plotting in my mind the right way to expose a secret that I've been hiding for over a year. To say that this past year has been hard is an understatement. Being secretive and just thinking about holding significant details from life especially from my best friend Josiah forms a giant lump in my throat. I never dreamed I would lie to so many people I love and pretend like there is nothing happening out of the ordinary with me.

I look into my bedroom's mirror at my reflection. I am wearing a brightly colored pink sundress, my favorite color, against my Black skin. I place my long black curly hair into a chignon hairstyle because of the hot summer heat. I inhale deeply knowing that even for my slim, average height frame, this secret was weighing heavily on my body. My dark brown eyes are squinting looking at my face trying to determine if I can handle the weight of my secret being exposed.

I look over at my friend, Hannah Gao, who is a pretty Chinese girl that is a slimmer and a little shorter than me. Her glamorous long black barrel wavy hair is styled with ombre caramel blonde highlights at the ends of her ponytail. Unfortunately, my friend Hannah is the one I have chosen to expose this secret to. She both unreliable and not compassionate to say the least but she is the only friend I can expose this secret to. We were playing UNO card game and I can see my pacing in my room or anything else for that matter does not faze Hannah.

"Thanks for being a human fan for me, Lydia. If you are not going to play then you are going to forfeit your turn," Hannah demands as she holds all her playing cards.

I blurt out to Hannah, "I have a secret!" My hand shoots up to cover my mouth and all of my UNO cards laid bare in front of her in her view. It is a hot summer day but it is not as hot as the secret I want to tell Hannah.

Hannah sits in her chair with now folded arms screaming at me, "You messed up our game! Ugh you know I don't care about people, Lydia! Find someone else to share your secret with like Josiah or Daniel." She puts down her playing cards angrily.

I could find no fault in what she said. Since I've known her, she has never really cared about people ever but I still have to try to confess to her my secret. I am determined to give Hannah an emotional breakthrough - to be the first person Hannah Gao has ever cared about – at least for today.

I say to her, "I know you don't care about people but could you at least try."

Hannah shrugs with a loud sigh and says, "No, I don't think I'm capable. You need to tell Josiah. He is your best friend and I am not."

"I can't tell Josiah! He is my best friend for seven years now and if I confess to him, the secret will ruin our friendship!" I admit.

Hannah insists, "Josiah is practically a Priest. He is the Pastor's son. He'll understand. I should always be your last resort to talk to. I'm like the lowest on the totem pole. Go confess to Daniel!"

"I don't know Daniel well enough. I just met him a year ago at your birthday party. I can't confess to him." I say earnestly.

"Daniel is my fake friend too, Lydia. I only know him because my Grandfather, who is dead, was best friend with his Grandfather. I only know Daniel for about two years now. Lydia, I still don't care to know your secret," Hannah says as she rolls her eyes.

I suddenly collapse in a chair across from her and let out a big sigh. Hannah annoyingly taps her fingers on my desk. She turns on a fan in the room, which I admit cools down my bedroom a bit. She takes out a nail file from her pocket and starts filing down her nails.

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