chapter one - clementine

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"Police! Open up! We know you're in there!" Clementine shuffled in her comfortable position on the sofa and stopped scrolling through Instagram for a second as she stared in eagerness at the flickering television, waiting for the cast of Criminal Minds to just open that darn door.

Her and Sarah's sleepover was cancelled due to a 'family misfortune' - which was a New Year's party within reference to Instagram. Clementine didn't know why she even had an Instagram. Or Facebook. They were simply a constant reminder of what she would never have. But unfortunately, social media was addictive. Clementine was admittedly nosy, and these platforms were her eyes and ears into the social world she refused to step in.

Clementine diverted her attention back to Instagram and couldn't help but chuckle at the occasional funny post. "Goodbye, love," she thought as she turned off Netflix.

Soon enough, more pictures from New Year's Eve and day were flooding in and Instagram became not only a casual, addictive, reminder of what she would never have - but also what she would never be. All the people she sadly followed were beautiful, skinny, and confident. She was less than average, chubby, and self conscious. Even though Clementine remained healthier than most girls, liked to think she was kinder, and worked out regularly - she was the one who wasn't graced with a beautiful bikini body and countless friends or a wonderful boyfriend.

She knew full well she shouldn't strive to be that fit toothpick, but in Clementine's mind - who doesn't? She thought she at least deserved that. A good looking body.

Clementine shut off her phone, closing Instagram in hopes doing that would close out her negative thoughts. But she couldn't help but think that if she couldn't change now, how could she change later on in life? She procrastinated, couldn't shave off the weight, and was extremely anti-social.

There were so many thoughts circulating in her mind, but there was also homework, and after mustering up the will, Clementine lifted her face from the sofa and walked to her bedroom...only to open Instagram once again. Addicting apps become bad habits.

Three hours and lots of time spent on her phone later, Clementine completed her simple homework assignments. It was ten at night and she was more than exhausted, her sleeping patterns had been getting worse and worse, and she was becoming overwhelmed with exhaust by eight o'clock.

Clementine changed into pajamas and turned on her fan, slipping into bed, and further into deep sleep. After yet another shameful half hour on her phone.

"Clementine, did you realize we have never hung out at your house?"

"Yeah, we have, Grace."

"No, like sleepover-y, girly fun stuff! We've only ever studied!"

"That's because we have the hardest class together and you asked for my help!" Clementine wanted to say that it was because she hated sleepovers and entertaining people, but that would have been rude and possibly offensive. Plus, after the Sarah incident she was done with that term.

It was the next day at school, and her AP Physics class intoxicated the brains of the youth. White smartboards and rectangular desks occupied everyone's vision as light chatter floated around the room.

"Clemmy...relax...we just need to hang out! Maybe we can watch some movies or something? My faves are comedy and action - you like those right?" Before Clementine could properly respond, Grace read her expression and spoke again, "Don't tell me you don't like comedies!" Clementine shook her head as Grace held a hand over her heart and gasped out, "What about action?"

"Nope...I like ro- Roman. Ancient Rome, historical kind of films. Like Sparta." Clementine quickly averted her eyes to the clock as she felt warmth envelope her body after she almost slipped up and almost said romance. Grace wouldn't understand Clementine's guilty pleasure of romantic films. No one would, as Clementine always thought. And historical films were actually rather good, so it wasn't a complete lie.

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