I open my eyes slowly, and realize that I'm no longer in the studio, but laying down in the back seat of Luke's car. I hear him hum softly to the 1975 as he fiddles with the air condition. He spots me through the rearview mirrior.

"Oh, I didn't know you were awake. You can come up here if you want." I climb (very ungracefully) up through the seats and flop down in the passenger side and buckle. "I didn't know my band was boring enough to make girls fall asleep," he says with a small smile, and turns onto my street.

"Oh, I'm so sorry," I say, hitting my forehead with my palm. "I'm just really tired with school, soccer, and my violin lessons are an extra half hour now-"

"It's okay Monroe," he punches me lightly in the shoulder. "I understand." Luke pulls up to my house, a ranch decorated for the holidays. "Thanks for the ride."

Luke hands me my book. "No problem. I'll help you get your stuff in the trunk." 

We manage to get my extensive amount of stuff I have to lug around; my purse, backpack, coat, violin case, and my soccer bag, in record time. Luke walks me to my front door (carrying most of my stuff because he refuses to let me carry anything) while I fumble to find my key.

"Is your mum home?" He asks, while I find my key at the bottom of my bag.

"Nope. Still working to fix whoever's organs need replaced," I say in a slightly sour tone. Don't get me wrong, I love my mum. Ever since Dad walked out on us when I was two, it has been just me and her. Then she got her job back at the hospital as a surgeon when I was fourteen, and I swear that's wear she always is. I understand that we need money and that this is what she likes to do, it just gets... lonely. Very lonely.

Luke sighs. "Don't be bitter about it. You have a great mum."

I unlock the door and swing it open. "Yeah, I know. I just wish she was around more." I rub my arms with my hands to ward off the cold. "So, a ride tomorrow for school?" I ask Luke. Sadly, I don't have my own car.

"Tomorrow's Saturday, so no." 

"Oh yeah! I'm just all over the place." I pause for a minute, then groan. "I almost forgot! I have a dinner thing with Tyler!"

Yeah, Tyler my boyfriend. He and my mum both work at the hospital and are great friends, so I'm always around him when I'm there. I guess it was kind of inevitable not to date him, since my mum always forced a relationship upon us.

"Come on, Monroe! Mike, Cal, Ash, and were all going to go out to a club or two, and we were going to invite you to come," he whines, but all I do is shrug.

"Should've asked me earlier. I think it's a banquet or something for thr hospital. You know, ones that you have to dress up for and make silly toasts and people under 18 have to toast with water in chamange glasses?"

"Isn't that bad luck?"

"I know! So yeah, it's going to be stupid, but I'm going anyways."

"Alright, then." Luke pauses, then hands me my stuff. "I have to leave before my mom gets suspicious."

"Suspicious?" I say, wiggling my eyebrows at him. "Do you have a girl in mind?"

He stares blankly at me. "I'll uh, tell you tomorrow." He gives me a little wave. "Bye!" And then he runs back into his car and drives away. I stand there for a minute debating if I should ask Luke if something is up. He's been acting weird lately.

But then again, all boys are weird.

I do a little mental shrug, then carry my stuff inside and throw it on the kitchen floor. I peer down at a note Mum left me on the table.

                Monroe, I won't be home until late, so just heat up some Christmas leftovers and no going out after midnight, alright? Love you, Mom.

I sigh and crumple up the note. This was the seventh day in a row that Mum couldn't be at dinner, and now I'm all alone again. But I don't mind the leftovers part, because who doesn't like food? I take a slab of ham and put it on a piece of bread. Yay me. Dinner is served.

I eat it as I walk up the stairs and check my phone, texting Tyler.

        Are you picking me up tomorrow?

        I guess so

        Are you excited to dress up?

        Not really. Just wear something long, okay? Last time you wore something short, I didn't really         like it 

And there comes the end of texting Tyler. Really? Does he not know that saying something along those lines can hurt my feelings. I swear, sometimes Tyler is an ass.

I toss my phone and my empty plate on the bed as I change into my sweats. I walk into the bathroom to wash my face, and Luke's conversation about Lucy popped back into my head. She looked like she could be twins with...I don't know... Angelina Jolie.

I stare at my face in the mirror. I guess I look average, brown hair that's unruly, hazel eyes. I'm a little short, but I'm fit because I play soccer. Am I pretty? Tyler sometimes doesn't think so. Does Luke think I'm pretty.

Oh my god, stop Monroe! You look fine and you have a boyfriend! I think to myself. I go to my room and hop in my bed. Sure, it's only nine, but I am BEAT. And not long before I knew it, I was asleep.


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