Butterfly Dreamer

the story of alicia, her friends, love, and revenge!

Series 1 : Chapter 3 : Foolish
c'est moi
The next day Alicia was outside riding her bike around the neighborhood, thinking about things. Her scars from cutting hurt with every move she made, but after two years of periodic cutting, she was used to the pain. Alicia was approaching her own driveway when she saw her next door neighbor Malinda wave to her. She turned into Malinda's driveway and came to a stop on her bike beside her. "Hey!" "Hey Alicia, how are you doing?" "I'm doing good, how are you?" "Good. I was just wondering if you would be interested in walking? I met another neighbor of ours, Trisha, and we decided we're gonna work ourselves up to walking maybe a mile or two around here. You wanna start walking with us? Maybe in the afternoons or early evenings?" "That sounds wonderful! I would love that! I need to do something like that." Alicia was thrilled to find a new outlet, something healthier than cutting and also social, so she could get her mind off her problems. "Okay, great! Maybe this evening? Around six o'clock or so?" "Awesome!" "You got walking shoes, right?" "Oh, yeah. That's what I'm wearing now." "Great! Well, I gotta go do some laundry. I'll meet ya out here around then!" Alicia waved as Malinda walked inside her house.

The afternoon passed without incident or a word from Mat. He still had not contacted her about his birthday plans for the next day. A month ago she had already bought his birthday presents; some specialty multi-colored drawing pencils and drawing book, a gorgeous black and white pinstripe fedora hat he had mentioned several times that he wanted, a boyfriend/girlfriend bracelet set and the soundtrack to one of his favorite movies. She didn't know whether to throw it all in the trash or give it to him. Certainly seeing it sit in her room was a painful reminder. She decided if she did not receive a message or a phone call from him, that she would get online that evening after walking.

Around a quarter before six p.m., Alicia was sitting in a chair at the kitchen table tying on her walking shoes. "I'm going to go for a walk with Malinda and a neighbor she met, Trisha. We're just gonna walk around the neighborhood a bit to get some exercise." "Okay, be careful." Alicia grabbed a water bottle out of the refrigerator and threw her cell phone into her pocket. She walked outside and smiled and waved at Melinda. "Hey there!" "Oh, hey!" Melinda was petting her dog who sat near the porch of her house. "Ready to walk?" "Yeah, I'm excited!" Alicia smiled, walking over to her. "Trisha lives down the road, this way." They started walking down the sidewalk. "Oh, okay." Alicia had met Melinda only a few times before and didn't really know her, so she was a bit shy. "So, are you still in high school?" "Yeah, my junior year." Alicia didn't bother to mention she was trying to finish early. Deep down she was ashamed of herself for slacking off so that she could spend more time with Mat. "That's good. How do you like it?" "It's alright. I'm lucky I don't have too many corrupt teachers." She laughed playfully as she joked. "That's a blessing. I hated school when I was there." Alicia smirked to her. She was beginning to relate. "School's definitely gonna be a bitch from here on out." She thought to herself. "Hey!" Trisha yelled and waved as she was walking towards them. "Hey!" Melinda and Alicia yelled and waved back. As they met up with her, Alicia introduced herself. "Hey there, I'm Alicia. I live next door to Melinda." "Oh hey, it's nice to meet you! You still in high school?" "Yes, ma'am." "Psh! Don't call me ma'am, call me Trisha! I'm not that old." Trisha laughed. "What grade are you in?" "Eleventh." Alicia spoke quietly. She's always shy when she first meets someone. "Oh God, I had the worst science teacher in eleventh grade. He made us dissect mice and shit. Ugh, I hated it. I'm still recovering." Trisha laughed. "Oh, God, that's terrible!" Melinda gasped. "It was, too." Trisha shook her head. "Well, I'm glad we're doing this. I need to lose some weight, bad." "Me, too." Alicia and Melinda agreed. "I hope we can make it through the summer doing this. The humidity kills me." "What's humidity?" Alicia asked nervously, embarrassed she wasn't sure what she was talking about. "You know, how hot and sticky and thick the air gets in the summer." "Oh, yes. That drags me down." "Me, too." Trisha sighed. "It gives me headaches." Melinda added. They continued making casual conversation as they walked, getting to know each other and occasionally stopping for a break, before making their way back.

Alicia walked in the door and saw her mother walking towards the dishwasher with an empty plate in her hand. "Dinner is on the stove." "Thanks, but I'm not hungry." "You alright, Alicia?" "Yeah, I'm fine." She faked a convincing smile. "Just walked about two miles, I'm not that hungry anymore. I’ll eat in a few minutes." "Alright. But if you eat, don't eat too late." "I know." Alicia rolled her eyes and walked in her room, sitting her things down. She checked her cell phone again; still no messages or phone calls from Mat. She decided to get online.

Once her computer started up, she signed onto Messenger, and of course he was online, as he seemed to always be. She sent him a message. "Hey." "Hi.", he replied. "Are you still doing something for your birthday tomorrow?" She asked. "No. I don't feel like it. I'm just gonna stay home." "Well…could I come over?" "I don't want to be around anyone." "Why?" "I usually don't do anything for my birthday because it's usually very miserable. My parents always make sure it is." "Well, we could go out or something…get away from here, you know?" Alicia offered. "I don't want to." "Well, you don't deserve to have a miserable birthday." "There's something you don't know about me, Alicia. I'm manic-depressant." "Is that…like Bipolar disorder?" "Yes, it is. I get depressed a lot, especially on my birthday. It's best that I'm alone." "Sweetie, that scares me. I want to be there with you. I don't want you to be depressed. I got you all these presents I want to give you. Can we at least go out for dinner?" "No. Take them back. I don't like presents for my birthday." "Damn it, Matheu. Snap out of it!" "Why should I? I'm a jerk." "No, you're not. You're a sweetheart who's just been through some rough shit. Who hasn’t? It doesn't mean you have to cut all of your friends and the people who truly care about you off." "I'm not trying to. I'm just being honest." "Is that why you broke up with me? Because you're feeling depressed and insecure?" "I don't know, Alicia. I know that I can't give you any answers right now. I'm sorry." "Do you know how selfish that is? Here I am worried sick about you, about what I may have done to cause you to want to break up with me, scared I've hurt you or something!" "Alicia, after meeting you my life has gone on a rollercoaster of emotions, and frankly, I'm sick of it." Alicia could feel her own fragile heart crack and crumble into pieces. She felt so guilty. She was sure all of this was her fault. He was depressed because of her, because of something she did. She was confused but she wouldn’t dare question him when he was already angry. "All right. I'm sorry. I understand. I'll leave. I won't bother you anymore. I promise." "I'm not trying to hurt you, Ali. I don’t want you to go. I want to be friends at least." "Mat, listen, please. I screwed up your life. I get that. I accept the blame. I'm sorry, but I do not want to continue to do that. I don't know what I did wrong, to be honest. But okay, I'm sorry. Maybe I pressured you too much. You haven't hurt me, sweetie. I am sorry, though. Take care of yourself. Remember, if you ever need a friend, I'm here for you, regardless." "Please don't go, Alicia. I need you. At least as a friend." She felt like she in a tug of war, being pulled in two different directions. "What do you want from me!? You tell me I ruined your life yet you want me to stay? If I've hurt you that bad then I don't want to stay. I don't want to continue to do that to you." "It's your choice, but I want you to stay." "I can't. Knowing that I've hurt you somehow…I just…that's not who I am. It’s not in my biology. I'm sorry I ruined your life. I hope things get better for you and you find someone who can love you without hurting you." She started crying, the tears pouring from her eyes like the heavy rain that fell outside her window. She added him to her "block" list and signed off and turned off her computer.

She cried tears of anger, at both herself and at Matheu, and tears of pain. She threw the things she bought him for his birthday against the wall and crumbled onto the floor, holding herself like a pathetic mess. Sleep wouldn't happen that night.

The next morning she got on the bus and saw Melissa. She went to sit beside her. "Hey girl! How's it been going with Mattie?" "We broke up last night." Alicia crossed her legs and folded her arms. "You what? Why?" "He told me point blank that I had made his life into an emotional rollercoaster and he was sick of it." "How is that even possible? You two were so happy together. I thought I would need a chainsaw to rip you two apart." Alicia smirked. "Well, don't worry, we're apart now. I don't know what's with him, or me. I don't know who to blame. Honestly, I don't know where I may have gone wrong." "You didn’t. You loved him. There’s no crime in that. He's just acting like an idiot. He'll realize he lost the girl of his dreams and come looking for you." "I'm not sure I'd take him back. I mean, how dare he do me this way! I'm taking back his birthday presents after school. I'm getting my damn money back." "Good. Fuck him; except when computers need fixing." Melissa smirked as she scrambled through her purse for her lipstick. "No, I don't want to depend on him for anything anymore. Neither should you. If you need computer help, just come to me. I'll figure it out or find someone who knows about it." Melissa shrugged. The bus stopped at the school and opened the door. "I'll see ya later, girl." Alicia sighed, picking up her book bag and made her way to her first class.

After school she took back all of the things she had bought for his birthday and got her money back. Luckily, she was within the time period allowed to take back all of the merchandise. As she walked out of the mall, her cell phone rang. It was Bridget.

"Hello?" Alicia answered. "Hey girl! Guess what?" "What's going on?" "That band we like, HIS, is coming to Atlanta on your birthday! Do you want to go?" "You're kidding. You're fucking kidding me!" Bridget giggled. "Then it's settled then! We're going! I'm getting tickets now. How are you doing?" "Oh my God! That is so sweet! At least let me pay for my ticket. I came into some money a few minutes ago." "Oh really? How?" "Mat and I broke up, so I took back the presents I had bought him." "Well, the concert will be on your birthday, so consider it a birthday present. Save that for spending money. Geez, you two weren't together but what? A week?" "Yeah, pathetic, huh?" Alicia sighed as she sat in her car. "Maybe you two just don't work together." "Apparently we don’t." "What happened?" "He just told me that I had put him on an emotional rollercoaster. Whatever. Maybe I'm better off without that in my life. It still hurts, I'll be honest, but I know I don't deserve that." "No, you don't. And I'm proud of you that you realize that. Are you going to be friends?" "No. Not when he told me that I basically ruined his life, even though, strangely, he begged me to stay friends. I don't know. I just couldn't do that. He'll get over it. We both will." "That's true, girl. Well, let me let you go, I gotta go run up to the store to get some stuff for dinner. Take care!" "Alright, you too, and thank you! I cannot wait!" Alicia hung up and smiled to herself. She knew she was going to have an amazing birthday to look forward to. Things were beginning to look up.

A week passed, and though she knew she didn't want him in her life, she still had so much pent up anger towards him and wanted so much to curse him out. She couldn't get over how someone could treat her that way. One night she gave in and sent him a message online, thanking him for treating her like he did. She let him know that treating her like shit made her a stronger person and she was grateful for it. Occasionally, these things would lead them into mini-conversations. She couldn't resist chewing him out for the son of a bitch she felt he was. A particular night in the last week of April, she read his online journal. The final line read:

"Oh, and Alicia, if you read this, I would like to talk to you soon…please…"

She sighed to herself, and gave in. "Fuck it.", she thought. She decided she would hear what he had to say. She sent him a message via Messenger. "You wanted to talk to me?" "Yeah, I did. I want to apologize for hurting you. I know I was wrong. I was stupid. I usually am." "I'm not gonna just sit her and listen to you ramble on about how insecure you are." "Look, I'm sorry. I was completely in the wrong. I take the blame. I want to make it up to you. Can we at least be friends? I miss you. I need to see you again." She sighed to herself. She knew she shouldn't give in, but damn it, she couldn't resist him. Knowing that he missed her, that he wanted her, that he needed her, won her over. "Okay. Maybe we just rushed into a relationship too fast." "Yeah. I don't know that I want to be in a relationship again but I know for sure I don't want to lose you." Alicia blushed on her end. "I don't want to lose you either." "So, you want to hang out soon?" Alicia smiled. "Yeah, all right. Maybe this weekend?" "Aww. You don't want to see me before then?" He teased. She smiled. The more she talked to him, the more she wanted him back romantically. She would be patient, though. "Of course I do, but let's just hang out then." "Alright. Maybe go out to a movie together?" "Sure, I'd like that." Alicia smiled. "Can I at least take you out to coffee tomorrow after school? So we can talk?" Alicia sighed to herself. She was so worked up with so many different emotions. She needed time, but she convinced herself she was ready to face him again, though deep down her heart told her otherwise. "Okay." She agreed.

As school was letting out Alicia stood near the front doors, waiting for Mat to come by and pick her up as he told her he would. She knew she was making a bad decision, but she didn’t want to give up on him. Love was a double-edged sword for her. It cost her so much pain and anguish, but dear God, the rewards…the smiles he would give her, the kisses on the cheek, on the lips, their emotional intimacy, how they would share things…the list went on and on in her mind. She prayed she could win him back. As much hell as he had put her through, she still loved him. But she wouldn’t tell him this. Not for a while. She saw him walk up to her, adjusting the back pack he slung over one shoulder. “Hey, sorry; I got caught up talking to a friend of mine.” “It’s okay.” She smiled softly. “I’m parked over here.” He started walking down the parking lot. “I figured we could hang out for a bit and I can drop you off here later.” “Oh, yeah. That’s fine.” She walked beside him. She spoke up softly, her nervousness painfully obvious. “So, um, how were your classes?” “Same old shit, you know. How about you?” Alicia smiled a little and looked down, concentrating on her footsteps and the pavement. “Fine, I guess.” With each passing moment she realized she wanted him more and more. She couldn’t have him though. “Maybe this is how men play hard to get.” She sighed to herself. They approached his car and he unlocked the doors and threw his book bag and hers into the backseat. He took his driver seat and she sat in the front passenger beside him. She pressed her lips together nervously. “I’m sorry I said all of those horrible things to you, before.” “Truthfully, Alicia, it hurt. I mean, I hate myself enough already, I don’t need you to add to that.” “I know. I’m sorry.” “Let’s just put it behind us and try being friends.” Alicia nodded. “Alright And I know I shouldn’t ask this…but how did I go from being your girlfriend to someone who brought you such pain? Where did I go wrong?” “I thought it over,” Mat looked to her and saw that she was about to cry, then back at the road, “…you didn’t. I was just going through a thing, that’s all. I’ve told you I’m a jerk, and that’s why it’s best that we not do that. It would only hurt you.” “But it doesn’t mean that the next time we try couldn’t be different.” “Alicia, we’ve already had this conversation. No. I’m sorry.” She nodded. “I’m sorry. I’ve just never loved like this before.” “Maybe I’m just cold.” He shrugged. Alicia looked away. He pulled into the parking lot and parked his car and they both got out. They walked inside to the bar and he got out his wallet. “What do you want?” “Oh, um, a small Caramel Macchiato, please.” He nodded and ordered a regular iced latte for himself and paid the barrister. They went to sit at a table. He folded his hands together and she fidgeted her fingers under the table. “So, what else has been going on with you?” He asked her. She wouldn’t dare bring up the fact that she took all of his presents back. “I started a new walking routine with some friends of mine. It’s only been a week and a half and already we’re seeing results! Also in a couple weeks, for my birthday, I’m going to Atlanta for a concert with one of my girlfriends and we’re spending the night up there.” He nodded. “That sounds like fun.” He stood and went to get their drinks and returned. “Thank you.” Alicia took a sip. “I can tell you’ve been doing something. You have a healthier glow to you.” Alicia smiled with a slight blush. “And I like your new clothes, very cute.” She blushed a little more and chuckled. “Thank you. What about you?” “Getting everything ready for graduation. Having a hard time trying to order my graduation gown. I just want to rent one and order the hat, but looks like I’m going to have to just buy a cap and gown.” Alicia nodded. “When is your graduation?” “It’s at the end of May. You can come, if you want. And make up for my birthday with a graduation present.” He chuckled. Alicia smiled, and then turned sincere. “I’m sorry I ruined your birthday.” “As I said they’re never that exciting.” He shrugged. “Doesn’t matter.” He took a sip of his drink. “I hope you have a nice one, though.” She reached for his hand and rubbed it softly. “I missed you.” He smiled to her and looked her in the eyes, sincerely, stroking her hand with his thumb, and then folded his hand in hers. “I missed you, too.” She smiled a little brighter.

Series 1: Chapter 2: Playground Love
c'est moi
Days, weeks passed by. Alicia began a downward slide in her studies, going from As and Bs to Cs and Ds. She didn’t care though. She was in love. School could wait. Her mother didn’t know of her grades, as Alicia was a professional at forgering her mother’s signature for her report cards, and if they were to call, they often would believe Alicia’s voice is her mother’s. She continued to report to her parents that she was working hard, making good grades, even scoring some extra credit here and there. She was a great liar when she needed to be. As the last few months of winter made their way out the door, the smell and innocence of spring was in the air. As was love; Alicia and Matheu became inseparable. She would even manage to spend the night at his place on the weekends when they knew his parents would be out late. They would kiss and play, kiss and tell everyone they knew about the love they had found. They would laugh and giggle, play and kiss some more. But they weren't serious about it. One day Alicia decided she had her fill of games and fooling around. What was happening? She needed truth, she needed a response. She needed sincerity.

She was at his apartment on a weekend night. His parents were away. They could be alone together again; something she loved so much, and wished would last everyday. She came out of his bathroom after changing clothes and kneeled beside him as he sat on the floor, playing video games. “Sweetie…can I ask you something?”, she asked nervously, fidgeting her fingertips. He paused his game and threw the controller to the side and pulled her into his lap, kissing her cheek. She smiled and laughed a bit, then sighing, her heart racing as she got serious. “You know that I love you, and I care about you a lot. You know how happy I am around you, and how much joy you brought into my life. But, I can’t keep living from moment to moment. I just got to know. Do you want to be in a serious, committed relationship with me?” Mat paused for a moment, looking down, thinking to himself. He gently helped her move from his lap to the floor beside him. “I’m scared of relationships, to be honest. I’m always scared I’ll screw them up. Not that I’ve been in very many, but I have screwed them up in the past. And I don’t want to hurt you.” “But you won’t! You won’t hurt me. I trust you. You trust me, right?” “Yeah.” “And that’s the most important thing to a relationship; trust. We have that. And it’s been a few months; three or four, right? And summer is almost here. Imagine how amazingly happy in love we could be. I just want it to continue like this forever.” “You’re too much of a dreamer. I’m not that amazing. I can really be a jerk sometimes.” “So can I, especially around my time of the month.” She giggled. “But petty arguments can’t destroy a relationship. At least not the relationship we have together, right?” He couldn’t help but nod his head. He couldn’t argue with her, she was right. He knew it. He looked up to face her. “All right. Let’s give it a try.” His smile was soft. Alicia smiled from ear to ear, giggling in overwhelming happiness and she threw her arms around his neck, holding the back of his head gently in her hands. “I love you.” She smiled, before leaning in for a tender, deep kiss. He broke the kiss slowly and smiled into her eyes. “I love you too.” His stomach growled, playfully breaking the romantic mood. “Want me to cook dinner?” “Sure, if you can find anything.” “I love to cook. Leave it to me. I will return, hopefully without burning too much of the kitchen.” She giggled, jumping up and going into the kitchen and figuring out something to cook.

Alicia gently took some books and things off the table and sat them on the floor to the side, careful not to get anything out of order. She arranged the table with some tea candles of Mat’s and a flower vase, making it very pretty and romantic. She arranged the plates and set the table, including the two plates of shrimp pasta alfredo she managed to cook together. Her mother made it a lot, so she was a pro at it. “Oh sweetie!” She called down the hall lovingly. He paused his game and got up, peeking out his door and smiled. “Aww, honey you didn’t have to do all this. This is a little much.” “No, it isn’t. It’s just something I threw together.” “I was wondering what you were doing with my tea candles.” Alicia giggled. “Do you like it?” “Yes, I do. Very much. Thank you.” Alicia smiled, sitting down. “Oh! I forgot the drinks!” She stood back up. “Oh, it’s okay. I’ll get that. What do you want?” “Doesn’t matter.” He shrugged and fixed them both a cup of milk and returned, sitting her cup in front of her and kissing her cheek. “This looks delicious, sweetie.” Alicia blushed and giggled. “Thank you. I hope it’s as good as it looks.” Matheu took the first bite. “Very good. Thank you.” Alicia smiled and began eating too. "Mmmm." She licked her lips seductively, her smile turning into a playful giggle. "You're making me hungry for more than dinner." He chuckled. She walked over and sat in his lap, feeding him a bite. He chuckled and kissed her. “You’re wonderful.” She smiled proudly. God, she was in love. They kissed like there was no tomorrow. The plates looked barely touched as they kissed from the dining area, down the hall and to his room and unusually clean bed. It was a night where time seemed to freeze just for them. It seemed endless. As nervous as they both were, they trusted each other. That was all that mattered. Everything else was useless to worry about.

Alicia woke up the next morning, surprised to find she was alone. “Mat?” She asked cautiously, grabbing a sheet to cover herself with. She looked around and saw a note he had left by the bed.

“Parents need me to run some errands for them. I’ll be back later. If you leave, call me. Love you.”

She sighed to herself, and prayed his parents weren’t home. She quickly got dressed and got her things together and managed to make her way out the door, quietly and safely. She walked to the elevator and waited. The elevator chimed and opened, and a girl who looked only a couple years older than herself got off. “Excuse me.” The girl smiled. Alicia watched her as she went to Mat’s apartment door and knocked on it. The girl turned to look back at her, as if to say, “Could you take a picture? It would last longer.” But the girl said nothing. Alicia hesitated and pressed the elevator’s “close door” button and made her way for the lobby.

Who was this girl? What was she doing at Mat’s apartment? What did she want? Was he seeing someone else behind her back? How could she know? Should she leave him to this girl? A million questions ran through her mind.

Eventually, she convinced herself to ignore it. It could be a childhood friend, or maybe even a cousin. She shouldn’t worry so much about such things. They had made love for the first time that night before. They had both taken each other’s virginity. She shook her head. He wouldn’t cheat. He isn’t the type. No way. She sat on the bench by the bus stop and sat her things down near her. She looked down and thought to herself. She held her stomach in fear. She prayed he wasn’t cheating. Maybe she was worrying too much. She usually did.

As she made her way down the block towards her house, she folded her arms and thought to herself, remembering well every detail of the night before. The twists and turns of passion and laughter and the promises they made to each other. Would it last? Would they really stay that way forever? Will she finally have someone unlike her father; a man she can trust, for the first time in her life?

She sighed as she walked up her driveway to her door. She was quick to change her attitude and put on a smiling face. She had told her mother she spent the night at a girlfriend's house. There was no way she would've been allowed to stay at a boy's, of course, and she didn't want her mother to know about her romantic life. That was something she only shared with her girlfriends, not anyone else. She unlocked her door and walked inside. Her mother smiled, standing at the counter, cutting up an onion. "Hey. Did you have a good time at whatshername's - Laura's?" Alicia smiled. "Yes, it was really fun. We cooked dinner together and tried making a salad dressing that turned out disgusting. We watched some movies and stuff." "That sounds like fun." "I need a shower, I feel dirty and messy." Alicia giggled and made her way to her room. She threw her bags on the floor and closed her door behind her.

She had barely hit the mattress when her cell phone rang. It was Mat. "Hey baby. You didn't call me." "Well, I didn't know if your parents were still home or not and I didn't want to wake them if they were." "You could've at least texted me." "I just wanted to go for a walk and think. It was a really big night for us, you know." "Yeah, it was. I loved it, just like I love you." Alicia blushed on her end. "I love you too. But, um…" Alicia hesitated, "as I was in the hallway leaving, about to jump on the elevator, a girl got off and went to your door. She looked around my age, maybe a year or two older. Who is she?" "Oh, that's just Sky. I've known her since we were little. She left me a note to see if I would fix her laptop." Alicia paused before responding. "Oh." "Don't worry. I don't want to cheat on you. I love you." Alicia blushed and laughed to herself. "I know. I'm sorry. You deserve more credit than that. I'm just used to being hurt. I'm not really used to trusting, you know?" "Same here. You're not alone." Alicia nodded. "I think I need to get some sleep. We didn't do very much of that last night, did we?" Mat chuckled on his end. "No, we didn't. I'm dragging ass. It was worth it, though." Alicia smiled. "Go get a nap, Mattie." "I'm gonna. Sleep well, hun." "Love you." She whispered. Her cell phone clicked as he hung up.

Alicia sighed to herself, tossing and turning, unable to sleep. She had done it. And she knew the important people she had to tell. She phoned Bridget immediately, curling up under the covers comfortably. "Hey Ali. How are you?" Bridget greeted her. "Mat and I…did it…last night." Bridget was herself older than Alicia, and was saving herself for someone special. Dating wasn't really her thing, but she was a tremendous support to Alicia, always. "You did? Wow." "Well, was he good? Was he worth it?" Alicia sighed soberly to herself. "He was. He was perfect. He was amazing. I can't believe I did it, you know? I'm even nervous about taking such a step like that." "Were you ready?" "I felt ready." "Please tell me you used protection." "Of course. I may not be able to walk in heels and text at the same time, but I'm smart enough to do that anyway." Alicia giggled. "Yeah, you never were good at that. But I know you're smart. I hope this works out for you. And if he dares to hurt you ever, I got family that would beat him black and blue." Alicia giggled more. "Oh, I don't think we have to worry about that. He's harmless when he does get mad. He only ever really gets mad at his parents, but of course they treat him like shit so he has reason to." "Just be careful." "I will. You know how defensive I am. Thank you for being there for me, girl." Alicia told her sincerely. "Always. We're family." Bridget smiled on the other end. "So when do you get out for summer break? You get out a lot earlier than us highschoolers, don't you?" "Yeah, we get out early next month. I cannot wait. I love college, but I need a break. It's strange when it’s all new to you, you know? It takes a minute to adjust." "Yeah, I understand. We should take a trip in the summer, maybe to the beach or something." "Oh, definitely!" The girls giggled and chatted the evening away.

After a long phone conversation with one of her best friends in the world, she decided to get online. She sat at her computer and turned it on. She finished the usual routine of checking her e-mail and the news updates on her favorite bands. No matter what she attempted to distract herself with though, she couldn't get Mat off her mind. She wanted to do something sweet for him, to show what he meant to her. So, she looked up romantic e-cards. She found the perfect one. It played a lovely acoustic song she recently fell in love with, and had a space to fill out what she wanted to say. She wrote to him how much he meant to her, how much hope she had in her heart for their relationship, and how happy she was that he had agreed to be in a relationship with her. She reviewed it and revised it a few times. God, how nervous she was to do something like this. Whatever, he was worth it. It wasn't worth letting her doubts attack her, so she didn't allow them to. She pressed the "send" button and took a deep sigh. Hopefully, he would appreciate it and love her more for the feelings and love behind it. She got offline and turned off her computer and got ready for bed. After brushing her teeth and clipping her long, chestnut brown hair on top of her head, she crawled in bed. She sent Mat a text message. "You should check your email. I have something special for you. Let me know when you get it. Love you." She smiled and set the alarm on her phone and went to sleep.

Alicia spent the next afternoon out with her mother. They had enjoyed lunch together at a Mexican restaurant and were walking around a large flea market, one of their favorite pastimes they shared. It was refreshing to finally feel sincerely happy in her life for once. She was looking at a set of paintings by a local artist when Mat sent her a text message. "Can you get online? I need to talk to you." "Not right now, sweetie. I'm out with my mother, at a flea market." She responded. He replied, "I need to talk to you soon, about this e-card. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Let me know when you get home." Alicia felt as if her heart had stopped beating for a moment. She was so scared. Had she gone too far? Did he not like the card? Was something wrong? A million worries filled her head. She sighed to herself, so scared, and sent a reply. "I will. Is everything okay?" Fortunately, she was a wonderful actress, and was able to feign laughter and amusement as the finds her mother pointed out as they walked around. She waited a moment or two so that she wasn't so obvious, and then read Mat's reply. "Yeah. I just need to talk to you. About us. Just let me know when you're home." Internally, her heart was crumbling and her stomach was churning. She replied, "Alright. I'm sorry if I hurt you or did…anything wrong." But he did not reply back.

A couple hours can feel like an eternity when you're trying so hard to get back home and can't tell those you're with the reason why. Alicia sighed hard when she walked in her room. She sat down her things and struggled to decide whether to call him or get online. She turned on her computer and changed clothes as it started up. She sent him a text message. "I'm home, sweetie. You want me to call you? Or get online?" A few moments passed before he replied. "Online, please." She wrinkled her eyebrows and nodded to herself, signing onto Messenger.

"Hey sweetie. I'm here. What is it? What's the matter?" "I just don't feel right doing this anymore. I don't know that we can work as a relationship. Maybe we're better off being friends." Alicia's heart fell to the pit of her stomach. "But why? Just because I sent you an e-card?" "I'm just not comfortable with how much you love me. You love me too much. You seem obsessed with me. I'm not the great guy you think I am. I can be much, much worse. I don't deserve this card or the affection or the home cooked meals. You deserve better than me." "There is nothing wrong with you! And no, you're not a Greek god, okay? No man is. But I love you for you, and because you love me in return. You do love me, right? And how does that have anything to do with obsession?" "I think I love you. I just…I don't know if I love you in that way." "What the hell, Matheu??? I gave my virginity up to you! What the hell has gotten into you?" "You don't know me well enough to love me. Maybe we should just be friends." "Friends? After everything we've gone through together?" Alicia couldn't decipher if she was pissed or hurt. She knew she was sick, for sure. "Please?" He begged her. "It's that girl isn't it?" "No. This has nothing to do with any other girl. I just don't know if we will work." "But, Mattie, there's no way to know unless we try.” Alicia began crying softly to herself. He didn’t respond, so she sent another message. “So, what? You just want to fuck me and be done with me?" "No! I don't want to lose you. Can we just be friends? Give me time, at least." Alicia sighed. She knew she would do anything for this man. It wasn’t like she was going to find a deep love like this with anyone else. "I don't want to lose you either. If that's what you need…all right." "Thank you, Alicia. I'm lucky to have a friend like you." Mat replied, even adding a smilie face. Alicia took a deep sigh to herself, trying to hold in her tears, before sending another message. "I…need to go to bed. Talk to you later. You still want to hang out on your birthday on Monday?" A few moments later, Mat replied to her. "I'll let you know tomorrow what my plans are." Alicia nodded. "Alright. Sleep well. I love you, even as if it’s just as a friend." Without any returning signs of affection, Mat replied. "Thanks. Night." Alicia signed off and turned off her computer.

She turned off her light and crawled into bed and cried. She tossed and turned and cried like a little child might after scraping their knee. Maybe she wasn't bleeding physically, but emotionally she was bleeding out. She had never known love before and as soon as she was given a chance to feel it, she lost it, without even an explanation, she felt. All she could think of is that it's her fault. She thought about cutting herself. She shook her head in disappointment of herself, and went to her bathroom to grab a razor. She sat down and took off her sweatpants. She cut the top of her legs sharply, several times. She tried to stifle her cries so that her mother wouldn't hear outside the door. "I deserve this. I'm a fucking idiot. This is my fault. I was stupid. I gave up my fucking virginity to him. I'm not fucking good enough to keep. I'm never fucking good enough." She cried, cutting and cutting herself more as these thoughts ran through her mind. She dropped her razor on the floor and held her stomach, crying. This was a pain she had never known before; the pain when you love someone who no longer loves you back.

Series 1: Chapter 1: My Infatuation
c'est moi
Alicia glanced up at the sky and sighed to herself. Another day was going by, with the same old load of classes. She took a sip of her drink and rested her head on her arm. Lunch break didn't last long, but she savored every second of it, and usually spent it by herself. As much as she hated school, she also loved it because it gave her a chance to escape her home life, where her parents fought nearly everyday. Though she was the only child at home, she also had an older brother, Mark, who lived a couple hundred miles from them. That's how she liked it. He had brought so much misery to her family the past ten years and for him to be at a far distance was a huge comfort to her. He had cut off all communication with the family, so in a sense Alicia could pretend he didn’t exist. She wished he didn't. Sometimes she wished she didn't exist, either. But, for one reason or another, she kept moving forward in her life. Usually it was by ignoring the little miseries in her life and replacing them with happier thoughts. It's how she survived day to day. She was meant for a happier life and she knew all of this would benefit her later, somehow.

The bell rang and Alicia grabbed up her books and made her way to class. "Hey, Alicia." Melissa smiled to her. "Have a good nap?" Alicia smiled in return. "Average. What's been going on with you?" "Struggling, like usual. But, I've got someone I want to introduce you to. I think you'll like him. He's a bit of a nerd and he's cute. A year older than us." "Who?" "His name is Matheu." "Is he here?" "No, he's not here today, but I can introduce you online if you'll be on tonight. It's always easier meeting a person that way, isn't it?" Alicia smirked. "Yeah, something to hide behind." "Well, anyway, I think you'll like him. If I ever have any computer problems he's the one I go to." "I do need one of those in my life for sure." Melissa smiled. "Well, I've got biology." "See ya."

Later that afternoon, Alicia came home from school. "Hey sweetie. How was school?" Her mother greeted her as she was preparing dinner. "It was fine." "Your father still hasn't put that money in my account today. If he doesn't, it's going to screw up everything. I still need to pay on my car payment." "What's the reason this time?" "He says he doesn't have it and he has to pay bills. I checked his bank account, though. He has eleven thousand. And he can't spare a few hundred for me so that I can take care of the house and of you?"

Alicia shrugged. Her mother kept talking as Alicia made her way into her room, tuning it out with each step. When the door closed she took a sigh of relief. She changed into her comfortable clothes and snuggled into her bed for a moment of peace. Her cell phone chimed with a text message. "You want to get online? Mat is on." Alicia smiled thoughtfully and sat at her computer as she turned it on.

She hopped onto Messenger and instantly received a message from Melissa. "His screen name is ShadowFigure." Alicia smirked to herself and sent him a message. "Hey there. I'm Alicia. Melissa's been dying to introduce us for some reason." "Hey. How are you?" "I'm pretty good. How are you today?" "Good. Just got a new computer game that has a lot of old cartoon characters in it that I grew up with." "Sounds interesting. I don't really play computer games or anything like that. Occasionally solitaire." He didn't respond, so she sent another message. "So, tell me about yourself." "What do you want to know?" "Are you single? L.O.L." He smirked on the other end. "Actually, yes. No one seems to want me." Alicia smiled back at her end. "Well, who knows? I might." She responded teasingly. "We should hang out soon. You want to come over this weekend?" Alicia almost gasped to herself. He moved fast. Or, maybe she was just nervous. She wasn't sure which. "Yeah, I'd like that." She gave off a different impression than her true feelings, to spite herself. "Alright, give me your cell and I'll give you a call and let you know when I can pick you up." Alicia smiled. "Thanks, Melissa." She told her, adding a smiley face.

The next morning she walked onto the bus for school and saw Melissa and went to sit by her. “So, how’d it go?” “How did what go?” “Mat. Did you talk to him?” “Yeah. He’s anxious to get together this weekend.” “Well, he doesn’t have much of a social life. He just seems to latch onto anyone who shows him the least bit of attention.” “I can tell. I’m nervous though. I mean I don’t even know the guy and suddenly I’m going to his apartment?” “He’s not bad. He isn’t the abusive type. He’s not even all that sexual.” “Well, it’s just not what I do.” “Did you tell him you would?” “Kinda…but I can back out of it if I change my mind.” “Well, you better decide soon. It’s Thursday.” “Ugh. Don’t remind me. I have biology. I hate Mr. Swanson.” “You, me and the rest of the school does. I have History. We have an exam next week, too.” The bus stopped at the school and the doors opened to let people off. Alicia stood and made her way off the bus. “I’ll see ya later.”

After her Math class let out for lunch break, she made her way to her locker and grabbed her turkey sandwich and made her way to the cafeteria to eat by herself as she normally did. Her best friend Melissa was a year under her so they didn't share the same lunch breaks. She sat down her things at an empty table and sat down herself, an opened her notebook up to use as a journal, something she frequently did, since she couldn't always write in it at school. The excitement inside her was about to explode. There was someone new in her life; someone who may like her. The curiosity of who he was, what he looked like and what he was about was intense. This past school year she had put her studies at the forefront, working hard to finish a year earlier than anyone else in her junior year. She had taken summer classes in order to gain more credits to graduate. Now, thanks to all of this excitement, she was losing interest in studying for this exam or that; her senses and her mind shifted and concentrated on one subject: getting Matheu to like her. It's all she ever wanted to know; what it feels like to love and be loved in return. That was the best thing in life, right?

Before she knew it, Saturday was here. She sat on the foot of her bed anxiously, as Mat was on his way. It was just gonna be she and he at his place. She knew she wasn't ready for this, but she wanted it. She was curious about him. The doorbell chimed and her heart began beating quickly. She went to the door and looked outside, smiling, and opening it. "Hey." "You look cute." "Thanks." She answered shyly. "I'm gonna go get my purse and I'll be ready." He nodded, stepping inside and looking around. She ran to her room and picked up her purse off her bed and took a look in the mirror at herself, followed by a deep breath.

She followed him to his car. "Nice ride." She smiled. "Thanks, my parents got it for me as an early graduation present since mine was a piece of crap." She nodded shyly. This moment was so awkward, and she usually kept to herself at school so she had little social skills to her credit. He pulled out of her driveway and began driving to the apartment he lives at with his parents. "So, do you have any brothers or sisters?" She spoke up softly, nervously. "Nope. Only child." "Oh." "What about you?" "An older brother. That's about it." "Mmm. Sometimes I wish I had a brother or sister." "It's not as fun as they say it is." "Why is that?" "At least for me. I got one of the bad ones." "Aww." As he stopped at a red light he reached over and rubbed her back to comfort her. She blushed softly. "It's alright. It happens." "I wish I could relate." He pulled up into the apartment complex and parked in his spot, a bit of a walking distance from the building. "Sorry, it's a bit of a walk." "That's alright. I walk a lot." They got out of the car and she threw her purse over her shoulder. "Nice purse." He smiled to her. She wrinkled her eyebrows. "I didn't know guys noticed things like that." "Maybe not most guys, but I'm not like most guys." She blushed, and hoped that maybe, just maybe, he was something special, and a better man than what she's used to.

They made their way into his apartment. "Nice place." She smiled. She was beginning to loosen up, feeling more comfortable around him. "Thanks. Sorry, my room is a bit of a mess." He unlocked his door with a key and invited her in. "You may have to sit on the floor since I keep everything on my bed, if that's okay. I got some pillows if you need." "That's fine. You're smart. You got a lock on your door." She chuckled. "Well, my parents are pretty invasive." "Mmm. I have a couple of those myself." He sat in his computer chair. "So what do you want to do?" She shrugged. "I have some video games if you're interested." "Mmm. Like what?" "Some cartoon-based ones." He chuckled. She smiled. "Okay." He loaded the game and got it ready, and then cuddled by her. She blushed to herself. He was getting so close so quickly. But, she had never had a real relationship before so she was unaware of how close was too close, too quick. So, she cuddled in return. She rested her head on his shoulder and he smiled. Her heart was racing and suddenly the room seemed much warmer than when she entered. Though he could be one to cuddle, he wasn't one to make the first move. He was much too shy and insecure. "I sense something from you.", He spoke up, "I think we're going to be very close." She blushed to herself, not knowing what to say or think…or even feel. She didn't say a word. After a while he began feeling insecure about possibly saying the wrong thing. "Sorry if that bothered you." A million things were running through her mind; a million worries and insecurities. "Hmm? Oh. No, you're fine. Maybe we will be." She turned her head from the game to smile at him. He kept his eyes on the television and smiled a little bit. "Got you!" She wasn't paying attention to the game at all, and turned to look back. "Oh! Damn it." She pretended to be interested. "Good game." She smiled. "I'm gonna go get a drink, do you want anything?" "A soda would be fine." "Okay. I'll be right back." He got up and walked to the kitchen.

She leaned her head back against the side of the bed and took a deep sigh. "What am I doing?" She thought to herself. And she could hardly hold herself back. He was so adorable, and sweet, and unlike anyone she knew previously; she wanted to make a move, yet she was scared about scaring him off. So many times she had done that with other guys in the past. Should she take a chance? Should she take it slow? She could hardly resist. She took a deep sigh.

"Is this okay?" He handed her a soda. "Yeah, thanks." She sat it down and he sat down beside her. Throwing her insecurities and fears to the side, she leaned over and kissed his lips. He turned a deep shade of pink, his cheeks almost red. He smiled to her and kissed her back. But before things could get intense, his mother came home. "Mat!" She called as she sat down her purse and keys on the table by the door. "Did you take the trash out? Why aren't these dishes washed?" He moved away from Alicia and growled to himself. "Be right back." Alicia wiped any messy lipstick from her face and grabbed the compact out of her purse to double check. She leaned back and sighed. She had given in, and there was no going back now. But she didn't regret it. He was too sweet and adorable. She sat alone in his room for a few, very long minutes. She listened as he argued with his mother and heard her go into the room next to Mat's, which Alicia assumed was his parents' bedroom. She heard her come out and shut her door, and then saw her peek inside Mat's room. "Who are you?" "Hi, I'm Alicia." "How long have you been here?" "Maybe an hour or two, ma'am." "Oh. Well, tell him he's gonna have to take you home when he comes back. He needs to be back before dinner time." "Yes, ma'am." And with that, his mother went to the kitchen to begin dinner. If Alicia was simply nervous enough to have kissed him, she was even more nervous and intimidated by his mother.

He returned a few minutes later, shutting his door behind him. "Sorry about that. I hate my mother." She blushed embarrassingly. "I'm sorry…if she doesn't like me." "No, it's her. She's just a bitch. She's like that with every girl I bring home." "Oh." She sighed softly. She thought about how maybe she was 'just another girl' and maybe not as significant as she would hope she would be to him. "Your mother said that you should take me home, so you could be back before dinner." She spoke up softly, as her insecurities had reeled their ugly heads from his previous statement. He nodded. "All right, if you're ready to go." In all truth she wanted to stay, but she didn't want to stay when his mother didn't like her, and all the tension that loomed in the air. She nodded and stood, grabbing her purse. He grabbed his keys and they left.

In the elevator she was much quieter than before. She concentrated on the floor. He spoke up. "I'm sorry about my mother. Maybe next time we should go out somewhere." She smiled softly and nodded. "I would like that." He smiled back to her and rubbed her back to comfort her. "Does she like anyone?" She laughed a little, trying to lighten the mood. "Unfortunately, she doesn't. She doesn't want anyone taking me from her." "Oh." She smiled. "Can't say I've known one of those before; most people like me." "Maybe she'll warm up to you with time."

They stepped off the elevator together and began walking to his car. She quivered from nervousness, but gave in to her emotions and reached for his hand, to hold it as they walked. He responded and let her hold it, though he did not hold as tight. As insecure as she already was, she let this add to it. She gave in more and asked the scariest question you could ask at this point. "Do you like me?" She spoke softly. He looked to the ground as he walked with her. He paused for a few seconds, and then replied softly in return. "I don't know. You're fun to be with though. And you're cute." She blushed. "But I don't know if I like you or not." She nodded. She convinced herself that with time she will convince him to like her, and eventually love her. "What about me?" He asked in return. She blushed more, concentrating on the ground ahead of her. She answered with an equal tease to his response. "We'll have to see." She smiled to him and giggled.

In the car on the way home they traded information. What hobbies they enjoyed, what teachers they hated; favorite foods, things yet to be tried. He pulled up on the street in front of her house. "We'll have to try this again. Maybe next weekend?" She smiled and blushed. He nodded. "I'll give you a call. Have a good night." She reached over to kiss his cheek and got out. "Good night." She walked to her door, more infatuated than she had ever been with anyone.

The next afternoon she went to visit one of her best girlfriends, Bridget. She had known Bridge since she was a child herself. Her older sister, Carrie, was currently living with her older brother, Mark, a state away. Bridget was four years older than herself, and in her first year of college. Alicia knocked on the door. Bridget turned and looked out the door and smiled as she went to open it. "Hey Alicia!" They hugged. "Hey Bridge! How are you doing?" "Good, good. You?" "Pretty good." "Want some coffee?" "Oh sure, thanks." Alicia sat on a bar stool and put her purse down. "So what's been going on with you?" Bridget asked her. "School, tests, met a great guy." Alicia smiled brightly and giggled. "Oh really? Who?" "His name is Matheu. He's a year older but he is very sweet. He is a huge computer nerd, which is always handy when you're having computer trouble, and he is one of the most adorable guys I've ever known." "Goodness! And how long have you known him?" "A few days." Alicia giggled and blushed embarrassingly. Bridget looked to her. "Honey, you can't rush into these things." "I know. But he's just so…I don't know. I've never felt this before." Bridget smiled a little at her. "Just be careful. I don't want you to get hurt." "I know." Bridget handed her a cup of coffee. "Want cream or anything?" "Oh, no, thanks. I drink it plain. How is Carrie doing?" "She's doing alright. She doesn't like her job very much. All these people come in there wanting her to take pictures of them and their kids in Camo gear." "Things like that make me hate living in the South." Alicia chuckled. "Mark is treating her bad, though." Alicia sighed soberly. This wasn't really news to her, but God, how she dreaded knowing this, being told this. "What's going on?" Alicia asked quietly, gripping at her coffee cup. "She said last night he hit her. He pushed her up against the wall because she was asking him about the rent. He hasn't paid it in three months." "I swear I wish there was something I could do. I'm so ashamed of him." "She's trying to save up so she can come back down here. Go back to college and get her Graduate degree, you know. As much as she hates living with Mark, her job pays her well." Alicia nodded soberly, looking down into her coffee. "She's a great photographer. But she doesn't deserve this shit. Can't she just leave?" "She's considering it. Most of the time she just tries to stay out of his way; if they don't talk, they don't fight." "But I hate this for her. It's so frustrating, not being able to do anything." "I know. You and I are practically in the same boat. Your brother is abusing her and she has to live with him and take it. But neither of us can do anything. We just have to be there." "Well, he doesn't talk to us. And for what he's done to her, to you, to your family and to our family I'm not sure I would want to talk to someone like that. Nothing good can come out of it. He wouldn't listen if I wanted to try to make peace. I know because I've tried." Bridget walked across the table to Alicia and hugged her. Alicia hugged back. Bridget and Carrie's mother, Christine, unlocked the door and walked in. "Hey girls. How are you doing, Alicia? It's good to see you!" "I'm okay, how are you?" "Doing okay." Christine sat down some groceries on the table. "Would you like to stay for dinner? It's just us." "Oh, sure! Thanks. Just let me call and tell my mother." "Cool!" Bridget smiled and went to go get the phone. "I guess Bridget told you about Carrie didn't she?" Alicia nodded. "And she never called the cops or anything on him?" "She almost did." "I don't know what to say, really. I'm so sorry he turned out to be so evil." "It's not your fault or even your mother's. They turn out how they want to. You can't really do anything about it." Alicia nodded. "That's true." Bridget returned with the phone. Alicia dialed home. "Hello?" "Hey. Bridget and her mom invited me to stay for dinner so I'll be back later." "All right. Drive safe and let me know when you're leaving." Alicia rolled her eyes. "Bye." She clicked the phone off and smiled to Bridget. "You wanna watch a movie? We rented some yesterday." "Awesome!" Alicia smiled and they picked out a movie.

Later that evening, Alicia pulled up the drive to her house and parked, then grabbed her purse and got out of her car. Her mother was sitting on the porch smoking a cigarette. "Did you have a good time?" "Yeah, it was fine. We watched a movie and helped her mother make dinner." "That's good. We didn't eat here. I was about to cook dinner and your father and I got in another fight. I just said "Fuck it." I wasn't hungry and he was being an asshole. I didn't want to cook for him if he was going to be that way." Alicia nodded and walked in the house and walked to her room, sitting down her bag, shutting her door and changing clothes for bed. Her mother knocked and immediately opened the door, her usual way. "Wait! I'm changing clothes here!" "All right, all right; I'm sorry." She closed the door and Alicia sighed angrily, changing her clothes quickly, into her usual t-shirt and sweatpants and she stood in the doorway of the living room where her mother sat in her usual chair, watching television. "You got a message from someone named Mat. I wrote it by the phone." "Okay." "He said he wants you to call him when you can. I told him you were out." "That's fine, mother." Alicia went by the cordless phone in the kitchen on the counter and ripped off the piece of paper on the note pad with her message on it and took it back to her room with the phone. "Don't stay on the phone too late; you have school in the morning." Alicia growled. "I know this, mother, I know."

She rolled her eyes and began dialing, walking into her room and shutting her door behind her, then snuggling in her bed, the phone to her ear. "Hey." Mat smiled on his end. "Hey. Sorry, I was out at a girlfriend's house." "Aww, so you have a girlfriend now?" Alicia giggled. "No, I don't. I've known her for a few years, she's like family." "What? Now you went and married her behind my back? Not even an invitation?" Alicia buried herself under her covers and giggled. "You're too funny. What did you want?" "I just wanted to hear your voice." Alicia blushed and lifted the sheet off of her face, her heart racing in that moment. "Really? I can't stand my voice." "My parents threatened to kick me out again." "For what?" "Because they say I don't do my chores around here. I do them and then some!" "Jesus." Mat growled on the other end. "But you're their child, their only child. Why do they treat you like that?" "I don't know. I'm just not good enough for them, no matter what I do. It's never enough." "I wish I was there. I would give you a gigantic hug." Alicia sighed. Mat smiled on his end. "You're sweet." "You're too sweet to be treated like that, by anyone; especially your parents." "You need to get a cell phone." "I know, I will. I'm saving up for one." "Good. That way I don't have to go through your mother." "Or yours." Alicia giggled. "Ugh, why does she hate me?" "Like I said, she hates every girl I bring home." "So you're playing musical chairs with how many girls?" "I'm not. Just you." "Somehow I don't believe you." "Well, okay. And Melissa. But I don't like her like that. She's even younger than you." "Only by a year." "What are you doing meeting all of these girls that are younger than you?" "What am I, some cane-dragging oldie?" Alicia giggled. "No, I'm just saying. You're what? Eighteen?" "I'm seventeen. I turn eighteen in a few months." "But how did you meet someone who's so much younger than you?" "We were on the marching band last year together. She sat near me at the games and we would talk a lot and joke around with some other people in our band. And whenever she has problems with her laptop she always comes to me." "Well, that's a good person to have in a sticky situation." "I do charge though, but I give my friends a break." "How much do you call a break? Ten percent off?" He chuckled. "I just charge Twenty five dollars." "That's not really nice to your friends." "Well, I gotta make a living somehow. I keep trying to apply for a job and no one is hiring. Probably cause of this damn war, and the economy." "Just so long as you quit charging people once you find a job." "Or you'll what?" He asked her teasingly, chuckling. "Mmm. You don’t wanna know what I'll do." She responded as equally teasing. “It’s getting late. I need to go to sleep.” “Yeah, me too. Maybe I’ll see you at school tomorrow.” “Hope so. Night, girl.” Alicia smirked on the other end. “Night.” She clicked the phone off and held it to her chest and sighed happily. As she opened her door, she noticed her mother had just gone to bed, as all the lights were out. She tip-toed through the dark hallway to put the phone up and tip-toed back into her room, then jumped into her bed and giggled with excitement. “Someone likes me. Someone finally likes me, for me.” She smiled and said to herself quietly aloud. It was one of her first validations of acception.

The next day she made her way onto the bus. She searched for Melissa and smiled as she saw her and went to sit by her. “He likes me. He really likes me!” She chuckled. “You deserve to be liked, girl.” Melissa patted her on the shoulder. “Well, I’ve never felt this before. What do I do now? I mean most of the game is just trying to get them to like you that way, right?” “Well, sort of. But reality check, Alicia. You aren’t his girlfriend. He could fall in love with anyone else. So you’re only half-way there.” “I know. That’s what I’m afraid of. I’m so scared I’m gonna say something or do something to turn him off. It’s like I’m always questioning myself and watching myself, every move, every blink of my eye. It’s exhausting, but I don’t know. I think it’s worth it. I think if I be just enough of what he wants me to be and show a decent amount of myself I could get him to like me enough to want to date me.” “It doesn’t really work like that, though. If he doesn’t like you for you then he isn’t worth it.” “But he’s special. He’s actually cute. He’s not a pervert. He’s everything I need.” Alicia sighed. “And want, all in one.” Melissa smirked. “You didn’t hear a word I said, did you?” “Huh?” Alicia giggled. Melissa playfully smacked her with her wallet. Alicia laughed. “I know. I just gotta be slow on how I reveal myself. I’ve been through such dark shit growing up that I can’t just put it out there. And I have to be sure I can trust him to keep a lot of that to himself, right?” Melissa nodded, beginning to get bored. “If he’s worthy, he will.” She looked out the window as the bus pulled up at the school and parked. “See him? Over there? That’s Chris. He’s gonna be all mine. He just doesn’t know it yet.” Alicia giggled. “Want me to deliver the memo?” “Nah, he’s gonna get a full page advertisement from me in the near future. I’m all his.” Melissa joked as they walked off the bus. “See ya.” Alicia smiled, walking towards her own first class.

New update, new direction
c'est moi
To anyone listening out there:

Hey there! My name is Meggy-Kate Gutermuth and I am a writer. I've been working on a book for most of this year. Actually since Demember '08 really. I wrote 10 and a half chapters before I completely lost touch with everything I wanted to do. I went into such a direction that I came to a fork in the road. For most of the summer I was stuck in a writer's block so deep you'd need a crane to get me out. But, fortunately, I found my way. I decided to do something I would've never considered before. I decided to be completely honest with myself, my past, my present and my future, and what I want for myself. Most of my friends know I talk about my past a lot and mostly I've learned from it and I want it to be a big part of my book. But truly, I want to express it. Thankfully, I am "creatively wet" again, as I like to put it, and I'm able to go back to the naive girl I used to be, and capture myself when I was "on the edge of seventeen" and in my first serious relationship. Though, it is not all fun and games, it is very hard to go back there. But, I am, for the last time. I'm making peace with my past, my past relationships, my history. I'm forgiving myself and those that hurt me as I re-experience it in my writing and re-live it.

What I had been writing for ten and a half chapters was great, but I think I lost touch with it because none of it was based on me anymore. This time, it is. So, I have removed my ten and a half chapters and I will add my new chapters as I create them. Don't think I'm throwing all of that into the trash, though. I decided to make my book into a series, or at least write it that way and see what becomes of it with time. I am starting from my past,when I was a naive girl (Yes, still using the characters of Alicia, Carrie, Bridget, Alicia's family, etc), to what transformed me into a woman and the experiences of those that I am close to and what transformed them and their lives. It's fiction, with changed names and the like, but its based on true experiences. I feel more certain and focused than ever this go around, though it took me nine...goodness..ten months to get here. Oh well. I think I'll still be able to make my deadline of Valentine's, and if not, we'll make more plans when we get to that point. That's the life of a writer though. =) Please let me know what you think, and these are only drafts, and they're very likely to change, be tweeked, added, subtracted, divided and multiplied, hehehehe.

Thanks for sticking around and listening to what all I gots to say. I appreciate it. =)


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