LostCause

Chapter 1:
Anything is possible

I believe this when I say it, anything is possible. Don·t believe me? You have to
hear this story first. Or read it. My name is Allison Rellim. Actually, now I like
to go by Allison Connelly. My real name. Allison Rellim is now just a piece of my
past. Allison Rellim is a whole different person. Don·t understand what I·m
talking about? Keep reading to find out.

My name is Allison Rellim. I·ve known I was adopted since I was five. Now you
must be confused. Let me tell this story, and maybe then you·ll get it.
I·m fourteen now, about to turn fifthteen in October. But let·s get to the story.
It started on a weekend. It was around noon and I was bored. I slipped on my
vanz.
´Hey, where you going?µ My Dad asked.
He has brown eyes, light brown, short hair, and glasses.
´Kayley·s house.µ I replied.
My older brother entered the living room. He had brown hair and light brown
eyes.
´Didn·t you go to Kayley·s yesterday?µ He asked me.
I rolled my eyes. ´Yes, Josh, but I·m going today, because I·m bored.µ
Joshua sat down on the couch. ´Whatever.µ
I sighed and hugged my Mom. ´I·ll be back.µ
´Be back before dinner, sweetie.µ She told me. Her hazel eyes and light brown
hair resembled me so much, people actually thought she was my mother. I
sighed and headed out. It was fall, so it was cold. I adjusted my jacket and
walked down the driveway, then turned right. I continued until I reached the
second house. I walked down the driveway and to the wooden door. I rung and
doorbell, already greeted with a shrill barking.
´Bailey, no.µ A voice said behind the door. The door opened up cautiously. A
girl around my age, dark black hair, hazelish brown eyes, and a friendly smile,
opened the door, watching to make sure her dog doesn·t escape.
Kayley looked up and smiled. ´Hey, Allison. Come in before Bailey gets out.µ
I obeyed and stepped inside. Instantly, I felt warmer. To my left, there was a
staircase and if I walk forward, I·d go into the living room. And there were a
couple of doors in the living room and I knew where they lead. The first one to
the left was a hallway to the TV room, the second one lead to the kitchen
which was connected to the TV room. I took off my shoes and followed Kayley
to the TV room. In the TV room, there was a TV mounted to the wall with two
couches facing it.
´So, watchawanna do?µ Kayley asked.
I shrugged. ´Whatever you wanna do.µ
Just then, a woman with dark brown hair and light brown eyes came from the
kitchen. She had her arms crossed and she didn·t smile when she saw me.
´Hi, Emily.µ I said.
Emily is Kayley·s Mom. I know she doesn·t like me much. She never smiles when
I·m around. To think of it, she was never happy when I·m around. ´Call me Mrs.
C.µ She scolded me.
Then, she turned to Kayley. ´You didn·t tell me Allison was coming over.µ
´Uh, yeah I did.µ Kayley protested, ´Remember? I told you she was right after I
got her text.µ
Emily sighed and pushed past me. ´Okay, just be careful.µ
And with that, she left us.
´Sorry about that,µ Kayley said.
I sighed. ´It·s okay. So, wanna watch TV?µ
Kayley nodded and plopped on the couch. I did the same while Kayley turned
on the TV.
´Let·s watch a comedy.µ I suggested. Kayley nodded in agreement. The only
reason I wanted to watch a comedy was so we could have a good laugh. Kayley
picked a good one and put the disc into the DVD player. We started watching
the movie on the couch, then we kept changing positions, the typical thing we
do when we·re bored. We both ended up sitting on the ground, backs against
the couch.
´Your Mom doesn·t like me very much,µ I said randomly during the movie.
Kayley shrugged. ´I know. I·ve noticed. It·s probably nothing.µ
´Is she only that way with me?µ I asked.
Kayley looked at me quickly, but then looked back at the TV, not answering my
question.
´Want some popcorn?µ Kayley asked after a while.
´Sure,µ I replied. Kayley got up and paused the movie.
´I·m sorry you feel that way,µ She said as she got a bowl from the cupboard, ´I
can tell her to lighten up.µ
I shook my head. ´It doesn·t bother me.µ
Kayley looked at me skeptically.
´Seriously,µ I assured her, ´It doesn·t bother me. Some people judge me for no
reason. I·m sure your mom has a reason.µ
Kayley nodded and poured a bag of popcorn into the bowl. ´Oh, and Abby and I
have to talk to you about some things tomorrow.µ
´Oh?µ I said, as she sat down, ´What things?µ
Kayley offered me some popcorn. I got some and she sighed. ´Things that
bother us.µ
I froze. I shouldn·t have, but I let the hurt and anger build up.
´What can you guys possibly tell me that I haven·t already heard from everybody
else?µ I asked a little too hastily.
Kayley sighed again. ´Your friendship is important to us. And we just wanted to
let you know.µ
I took a shaky breath. ´Whatever. Let·s finish the movie.µ
Kayley clicked play and I knew she could tell I was sad and mad, because she sat
up on the couch, leaving me on the ground. I didn·t laugh at the funny parts in
the comedy. I wasn·t even paying attention anymore.
´Allison, can I talk to you for a minute?µ I heard Mrs. C.
I got up and approached her.
´Yes?µ I asked. She stared me down.
´Abby and Kayley just want to tell you something tomorrow. It isn·t anything
personal.µ She told me.
I nodded, even though I completely disagreed. Not personal? They·re my friends.
´I think you should leave now.µ She said.
I nodded, heading to the door.
´Wait, Allison,µ I heard Kayley. I stopped and turned to face Kayley. ´I·m sorry.
I·ll see you at school tomorrow.µ
I turned back to the door and turned the knob. I opened the door and stepped
onto the porch. The cold hit me, but I was too sad to care. I ran to my house,
already feeling the sadness. I stormed inside and ran to my room, leaving my
parents confused. I shut my door, locked it, then paced my room, hands
through my hair. I put my back against the wall, then slowly slid to the ground,
tears falling.
´Your friendship is important to us. And we just wanted to let you know.µ
Those words shot through me like bullets. Without Kayley and Abby, I have
nothing. I felt my phone vibrate. I skeptically took out my phone and flipped it
open. The message from Kayley popped up.
Calm down. We just need to talk to you.
I erased the message. I leaned my head back against the wall. It was probably
just the shock. Or I was going mentally insane, but I hated those words ¶we just
need to talk to you.· Those were the last words my other friends said to me and
they told me they didn·t want anything to do with me anymore. I never thought
Kayley and Abby would be like those people. But little did I know, they weren·t.

Chapter 2:
The truth

´You sure you·re okay?µ My Dad asked as I jumped out of the car.
´Yeah,µ I lied, ´I·m fine.µ
I slowly walked through the entrance of Peterson high. It was a cold Monday
morning and the kids were rushing in and out of the school. I took a deep
breath and kept walking. I suddenly saw them. Kayley and Abby standing there,
talking. I walked up to them, dreading this moment since yesterday. They both
turned and looked at me. I suddenly felt the cold hurt hit me, but I kept
walking. I stopped in front of them.
´Okay, what do you guys have to tell me?µ I asked.
Their faces paled, especially Kayley·s.
´Nevermind that,µ Kayley said, ´Abby, let me talk to Allison alone.µ
Abby nodded and walked away, glancing at us one more time before leaving us.
´What·s going on?µ I asked, ´What were you guys-´
´Allison,µ Kayley cut off, ´Forget that for one minute. I have something
important to tell you«Look, after you left yesterday«I asked my Mom why she
acted that way whenever you were around«And«µ
Kayley pulled me a little further away from the entrance so nobody would hear
what she was about to say.
´Allison, I don·t know how to say this«µ She continued, ´Allison«You know
how you·re adopted?µ
I nodded, ´What does that have to do with-´ I faltered.
Kayley looked down for a minute, then back at me. ´You·re real name isn·t
Allison Rellim. It·s Allison Connelly. And you·re my long lost sister.µ

Kayley·s POV

Abby and I just wanted to tell Allison how much she meant to us and what
bothered us. I told my Mom before I told Allison. But she somehow made it
worse. When Allison left, I approached my Mother.
´Why do you always do that?µ I asked, ´What do you have against Allison?µ
Mom sighed and sat down on the couch. Her gaze lingered on me for a while.
´Sweetie-´
´Don·t call me that,µ I said, ´What did Allison ever do to this family?µ
Mom jumped up from the couch. ´Okay! Fine. You want to know the truth?µ
Startled, I backed up a few steps.
´She isn·t who you think she is,µ Mom continued, ´She is your long lost sister.µ
My breathing slowed. I felt my back on the wall. I slid down, sitting on the floor.
´What?µ I breathed. Mom shook her head, storming upstairs. I held myself on
the ground, trying to contemplate everything. Allison mentioned being adopted,
but she never seemed bothered by it. But«It made sense. We think alike. Too
much. I put my hands on my head and looked up at the ceiling. Allison is my long
lost sister and we·ve been best friends for three years. How did I never notice?
How come I never saw it? Was Allison never supposed to meet me? I jumped up
and ran upstairs to my parent·s room. Mom was sitting on her bed. She looked
up at me when I opened the door.
´Is that why you act like that whenever Allison is around?µ I demanded,
´Because she·s my sister? That doesn·t make any sense. Is it because she was
never supposed to meet me? Why did you give her up for adoption anyway? Why
her?µ
There were too many questions and answers that didn·t make sense as they
flooded my brain. I felt like breaking down.
´Calm down,µ Mom said, ´Listen, you have to tell Allison tomorrow. The truth.
Forget about all the other things you were going to tell her. Tell her where she
belongs.µ
I scoffed and walked out of the room, slamming the door behind me. I ran
across to my own room and slammed that door as well. I paced the room. There
was one question that really bothered me. How will Allison react?

Chapter 3:
Read my mind

I sometimes wish someone could read my mind. Anyone. Because telling
somebody my thoughts and feelings wasn·t enough«Well, for the person I talk
to, it isn·t enough. You see, it·s hard for people to understand me. If I think it·s
wrong, ¶okay, so you think it·s wrong.· If I think it·s unfair, ¶Everything is unfair,
so suck it up.· I mean, it might be my opinion, but«Okay, what happened to the
three amigos? The three musketeers? The three hermits living on the side of
Max·s house(Inside joke, I·ll explain later)? I mean, we like to let our problems
and feelings get the best of us and let them interfere with our friends. We
don·t mean for these things to happen. A lot of people, for some reason, think
their own friends are against them and trying to leave them out. Little do those
people know that they need to learn to trust and believe the people around
them.Most of you reading this now don·t understand me, in fact, you think I·m
being completely unfair and mean.See? That·s why I wish just one person could
read my mind.
What was I thinking when Kayley told me I was her long lost sister? Nothing,
because I was too shocked to think.
´Wh-what?µ I stuttered.
Kayley looked down, crossing her arms before looking up at me again.
´Allison, my Mom told me just yesterday,µ She repeated, ´And I know you have
a lot of questions«I do too«So, don·t freak out, okay? Text your Dad or Mom
or whoever is picking you up today and tell them you·re going to my house
today«Okay?µ
I nodded, taking my phone out of my pocket. I fidgeted with it, but managed to
dial Dad·s number.
´Hello?µ My father·s voice came.
´Dad?µ I said, ´I·m going to Kayley·s today. Just pick me up at her house
and«we need to talk, Dad.µ
Silence. ´Is everything okay?µ He asked.
I looked up at the sky, forcing the tears back.
´Yeah, Dad,µ I lied, ´Everything is fine.µ
´Okay. See you later.µ He said. My phone beeped, notifying me that the call
ended.
Kayley watched as I paced for a few minutes before stopping in front of her.
Surprising myself, I laughed.
Kayley smirked. ´Why are you laughing?µ
´I don·t know,µ I admitted, ´I cope with things that way. I guess, because, I
can·t believe this is happening and I think I·m going crazy.µ
Kayley started laughing too. Everyone around us looked at us like we were
complete idiots, but continued to their normal lives.
´This is why we·re friends.µ I said between laughs.
Kayley shook her head, ´No, this is why we·re family.µ
I laughed for a few more minutes before sighing.
´Yeah,µ I said, ´Weird.µ
Kayley looked at me. ´Hmm?µ
´I feel like I·m home.µ I admitted, taking a deep breath.
Kayley smiled. The bell rang.
´Come on, sis,µ She said, ´Let·s get to class before Jenna and Ivy catch us.

Chapter 4:
We·ll both look like idiots

Kayley and I stumbled into the language arts class, causing the whole class to
shush us. It was a class of about twenty or thirty students. I looked over and
saw Abby in her seat. She·s a little shorter than me, she has shortish brunette
hair, and dark brown eyes. When she turned and saw us, she gave us the most
hurtful look that spelled sad. Again, what happened to the three amigos? The
three musketeers? I sighed and turned to Kayley.
´She·s mad, isn·t she?µ I asked.
Kayley nodded. ´Go talk to her.µ
´Kayley,µ I sighed, sitting down in my own seat. Luckily, Ms. M. was somewhere
else at the moment.
Kayley crossed her arms, giving me her glare.
´Dude, she·s crying.µ She protested.
I felt like throwing my pencil. ´Let me deal with class first. If I get caught, I·ll
get detention. Class first, drama later.µ
Kayley rolled her eyes.
´Look,µ I sighed, ´I·m trying here«But somehow, it just makes me look like a bad
person. I·m sorry, but I have to deal with it after class.µ
Kayley nodded, finally understanding and went to her own seat, across the
room, Abby gave me one more sad look before I looked down. I·m sure she gave
me more, but I wasn·t going to give in.

Ms. M. started class with a boring lecture on Anne Frank. I sighed deeply and
looked over at Kayley. She was trying to get my attention.
¶What?· I mouthed.
Kayley held up her notebook.
After this lecture, we have free time, so talk to Abby.
I nodded. Kayley grinned and accidently dropped her notebook, interrupting
Ms. M.
´Sorry, Ms. M.µ Kayley said, ´I«I was, um«Taking notes when this stupid fly
started bothering me.µ
I couldn·t help but grin. Kayley talked fast when she was lying. I looked over
and I was surprised to see Abby smiling too. I sighed with relief. Maybe Abby
just needed time to cool down. Ms. M. walked over to Kayley·s desk.
´Ms. M.µ I said, raising my hand, ´Kayley was trying to tell me that Max was
going to throw a eraser at me.µ
Kayley shut her eyes as Ms. M. came over to me.
´Really?µ She asked.
Max Scholl, the captain of the boy·s baseball team, stood up from his seat. He
had short dark hair, brown eyes, and a cute scoff.
´They·re lying, Ms. M.µ He protested, ´I didn·t-´
Ms. M. turned to him. ´Mr. Scholl, sit down. And I·m giving you detention for
disturbing class.µ
´What!?µ Max said a little too loud, ´But I didn·t do-´
´Sit down!µ Ms. M. said again. Max huffed and sat down. I looked over at
Kayley and I could tell she was getting giggly. She does that whenever she·s in
the same room with a guy she likes.
Me? What embarrassing thing do I do when there·s a good looking guy in the
same room as me? Honestly, I probably daze with a little smirk. Oh my god, let·s
move on.
Max glared at me. ´Thanks a lot. Why did you do that for?µ
´Sorry, Max,µ I whispered back, ´I was trying to draw her attention away from
Kayley.µ
Max·s expression softened. ´Fine. But next time, blame one of the other guys.
Like Marcus.µ
Oh no. I looked over at Marcus and felt myself smirk a little. Did I really have a
crush on this guy? He·s a tall guy with short dark hair and deep brown eyes and
a really cute smile. He·s captain of the soccer team. Last year, he was captain
of the basketball team. Well«Maybe.
I turned back to Max. ´Sorry, Max. But I·m not going to blame«him. I could
blame Ivy or Jenna«If they ever show up to class.µ
´Yeah, where are they all the time anyway?µ Max asked.
I sighed. ´They·re catching kids who are late to class, pushing their buttons.µ
´Why do they do that for?µ Max asked.
I sighed again. He was really getting annoying. ´Because, Max,µ I said a little
harsher, ´They want satisfaction.µ
I just realized something. How did Ms. M. catch Kayley dropping her notebook
so fast, but Max and I have been talking and we haven·t been caught yet?
´Ms. M. must be deaf,µ I muttered, ´So she can see a notebook fall, but she
can·t hear us talking?µ
Ms. M. stopped her lecture. I shut my eyes.
Crap.
´Ms. Rellim«µ Ms. M. said slowly, as if she wanted me to notice something. And
I did.
´Don·t call me that.µ I said.
The whole class looked at me, confused and surprised. Abby looked at me in
shock, knowing what I was going to say.
´Why not?µ Ms. M. asked, ´That·s your last name.µ
I looked at Kayley and she shook her head. And I knew it too. It wasn·t the
time to tell everybody«Not yet.
´I just don·t like being called by my last name,µ I replied. It was true, so I kept
going. ´Just call me Allison.µ
Ms. M. paced around my desk, which was getting uncomfortable.
´Okay, Allison.µ Ms. M. said, ´Detention for-´
´Wait,µ A voice interrupted. Kayley raised her hand.
´Ms. M, she lied. I was talking to her with my notebook and she was talking to
Max, apologizing for blaming him.µ Kayley said that all in one breath.
I let out the breath I was holding and watched as Ms. M·s interest grow.
´Mr. Scholl, you are off the hook.µ She said, ´Ms. Connelly and Ms- I mean
Allison, detention tomorrow after school. You two can talk all you want in
there. All right, class. The Franks were caught in August, 1944«µ
Thankfully, the bell rang.
´Okay, class, you may leave.µ Ms. M. said.
I picked up my backpack and went to Kayley. ´Why·d you do that for?µ
´That·s my thank you for saving me.µ She replied.
I smiled. ´Good job. Now we both have detention.µ
´Hey,µ Kayley said, ´Better than just one of us being in detention.
I nodded. ´True. You·ve never been to detention before, have you?µ Kayley
shook her head.
´Have you?µ She asked me.
I nodded. ´Once. It·s boring.µ
Kayley gave me a playful shove.
´Hi.µ Said a voice behind me. I turned and Abby was standing there, smiling. I
softened my smile a little.
´Sorry about that whole thing, Abby.µ I said, taking a step closer to her,
´Seriously, I·m really sorry. We aren·t intentionally trying to shut you out. We·re
constantly trying to include you.µ
´I know,µ Abby said, ´It just feels like you are trying to shut me out.µ
I sighed. ´We aren·t.µ Kayley nodded in agreement and Abby finally smiled.
´Okay, let·s go,µ Kayley said, gesturing toward the door. Abby and I followed
her outside where the wind was blowing heavily. Peterson high didn·t have any
hallways, just outside lockers. We braced ourselves against the wind as we made
our way to the spot where we usually meet before and after school, the
entrance of Peterson high.
´Come on, Ally,µ Kayley said, walking ahead of me, wanting to get out of the
wind.
´Aren·t you coming with us?µ I asked Abby.
Abby shook her head. ´I have to go to Mr. Greer·s class to finish that math test.
I nodded. ´Okay, well, see you tomorrow.µ
Abby nodded. ´Bye.µ With one last wave of goodbye, I caught up with Kayley
and we continued toward the entrance.
´Dang, it·s windy today.µ Kayley noted.
I looked at her. ´NO,µ I said sarcastically, ´Really!?µ
Finally, we made it to the entrance. The wind started to die down. Kayley threw
her arms up.
´Really!?µ Kayley said to the sky, ´Right when we get here, the wind stops?
Really?µ
She put her hands down and turned to me. ´God hates us.µ
I nodded in agreement. Suddenly, Kayley crouched down and picked up a stick.
´«What are you doing?µ I asked, looking at her weirdly.
Lindsey, one of our friends, came up from behind me. She has hazel eyes, short
light brown hair, and a nice smile.
´She·s picking off the ground,µ Lindsey said sarcastically, ´It·s completely
normal. I do it all the time.µ
I laughed and so did Kayley.
´You beat me to it, Kayley,µ Lindsey continued. Kayley was now sitting on the
ground, picking at gum with a stick.
Lindsey looked at her like she was crazy and walked away. Kayley looked around,
aware that she looked like she was crazy.
´Tell me if Max comes over,µ She told me, ´Because I don·t want to look like an
idiot.µ
I laughed and sat down next to her.
´We·ll both look like idiots.µ I said, settling down.
Kayley smiled. ´High five for us, idiots!µ
We tried to high five each other, but completely missed.
´That was crappy!µ Kayley laughed. We high fived one more time, succeeding.
Kayley continued picking at the gum.
´«You are so weird.µ I said.
Kayley smiled as she picked the gum.
´Thank you.µ
Suddenly, Kayley·s phone rang. She reached into her bag and answered her
phone.
´Hello?µ She said. A pause. ´Okay.µ She put her phone back into her bag.
Kayley got up.
´Come on,µ She said, ´My«Our Mom is here.µ

Chapter 5:
No idea

Dying to get out of the rain, Kayley and I rushed into the house. Surprisingly, it
was warm. Bailey, Kayley·s little black dachshund, greeted us. Ms. C.
approached Kayley and I.
´Did you tell her?µ She asked Kayley.
Kayley nodded quietly.
´Kayley, take Bailey outside.µ Ms. C. said.
Kayley looked skeptically outside at the weather, but crouched down to put on
Bailey·s raincoat and went outside.
Ms. C sighed. ´Allison, you are apart of the family.µ
´«I know that«now.µ I replied.
Ms. C was silent for a while before speaking again. ´You honestly have no idea,
do you?µ
´What are you talking about?µ I asked, ´Ms. C, what do you have against me?µ
Emily glared at me. I suddenly felt hated. For no reason.
´I put you up for adoption, because I could only afford one child.µ She
explained, ´Even your father understood that.µ
´Which one?µ I asked, ´My foster father or Mr. C?µ
´Both of them,µ Emily continued, ´Anyway, we chose Kayley. Your adoptive
parents chose you.µ
I was shocked. Why was she telling me all this?
´Have you always known who I was?µ I asked her.
Emily nodded.
I caught my breath. ´How come-´
´I never told you or Kayley, because you two wouldn·t have understood. Now
you two are finally old enough to understand.µ Emily explained.
´Old enough to understand I was adoptive?µ I asked.
Before she could respond, Kayley came in.
´Mom, Allison knew she was adoptive since she was five,µ Kayley pointed out, ´I
think we should·ve known sooner.µ
´No, you two wouldn·t have understood why I gave Allison up for adoption,µ
Emily continued, ´And it·s not just because I couldn·t afford to have one child.
That was just part of the reason.µ
´Then what·s the rest of the story?µ I asked.
Emily turned away from us. ´You just have to find that out for yourselves.µ

We hung out in Kayley·s room.
´What does she have against me?µ I asked.
Kayley sighed. ´She told me that she expected you to try to find us. But you
weren·t bothered at all that you were adopted. In fact, you accepted it more
than I did. Mom is kind of hurt that you didn·t even try to look for your real
family.µ
I didn·t reply because it was true. I wasn·t bothered by the fact I was adopted.
´Do you think that?µ I asked.
Kayley shook her head. ´No. I think it·s good you accept it.µ
´I·m tired,µ I said, ´I mean, of everything.µ
´What do you mean?µ Kayley asked.
´I mean, everybody at school and home«it·s just the same thing every day.µ
´Oh.µ Kayley said.
I looked at her. ´That·s all you can say?µ
Kayley nodded. I let it go, because I know Kayley isn't used to people opening
up to her. She doesn·t know what to do or say, but that doesn't mean she
doesn't care.
The doorbell rang. ´That must be my Dad.µ I said, getting up.


Chapter 6:
real family

We went down the stairs, Emily already at the door, talking to my Dad. I froze
in the middle of the staircase. I stopped too suddenly, because Kayley bumped
into me, almost making both of us fall.
´Hey, what·s-´ Kayley was cut off when she saw my Dad and Emily talking. They
both turned and looked at us. I sighed and came down from the stairs, Kayley
following, My Dad gestured for me to go outside. I did. I stepped onto the
porch with him.
´This is your real family?µ He asked.
I reluctantly nodded. ´Dad-´
´We should get your things.µ Dad cut off, ´Because we·re movingµ
My heart stopped. ´What?µ
´I was going to tell you.µ Dad said, ´You·re coming with us, right?µ
I sighed. I couldn·t look him in the eyes.
´Dad, I can·t leave them,µ I said, ´Mr. C is in Hawaii and he·ll be gone for a few
months. Well, besides that, I want to stay, because this is my home.
Dad sighed and started down the porch. Halfway up the driveway, he looked
back at me.
´I·ll bring your stuff,µ He said, ´Actually, Joshua will bring your stuff.µ
I nodded with agreement and he turned around, not even looking back at me.
My Dad, well, I shouldn·t call him that anymore. Dan has kicked me out of the
house. What next?

´I can·t believe Mom is letting you stay here,µ Kayley said, straightening
everything up in the guest room.
I nodded in agreement. The doorbell rang.
´That should be Josh.µ I said, walking to go get the door. Josh stood there with
three boxes of my things. Right when I opened the door, he hugged me.
´Even if you aren·t my real sister,µ He said, still hugging me, ´I·ll miss you.µ
I felt like crying. Josh has never said anything like that to me.
´I·ll miss you too, Josh.µ I said, pulling back from the hug. Josh helped me
transfer the boxes into the house. Then, he stepped back onto the porch.
´Bye, sis,µ He said, walking down the driveway. I turned and saw Kayley standing
there. She was watching us.
´You have a good family.µ She said.
I shook my head. ´I had a good family. I have a better one now.µ
Kayley smiled and looked at her phone to check the time.
´We better hurry up and get those boxes unpacked.µ Kayley suggested.
I nodded. ´Yeah. Oh, Kayley?µ
´Hm?µ She replied.
´When can we start telling people we·re sisters?µ
Kayley thought about it. ´I don·t know. When the time is right.µ I agreed and
started unpacking the boxes.

Chapter 7:
Very close

I woke up and actually forgot where I was. I was on the couch, a book on my
lap. Kayley was next to me, sleeping. Then, I remembered. Kayley and I fell
asleep while ¶studying.· I took out my phone and checked the time. 7:00. ´Crap.µ
I muttered.
I nudged Kayley. ´Dude,µ I said.
Kayley·s eyes shot open. ´Wha!?!?µ
I laughed, because she jumped from up from the couch.
´No, it isn·t that serious. We·re just going to be late for school,µ I explained,
´It·s seven o·clock. We have a half hour to get ready.µ
´What!?µ Kayley said, ´I need an hour!µ
´Calm down,µ I told her, ´We just have to get dressed, fix hair, and brush teeth,
done.µ
Kayley scoffed. ´Not for me.µ
I laughed. ´Okay, then. Let·s hurry up.µ

´Kayley, come on,µ I said, walking a little faster. She was a good ten feet away
and we were late. We were already on campus, but we weren·t in class.
´Come on,µ I urged, ´Before-´
´Hey, losers,µ A voice said behind me. I muttered a curse under my breath
before turning to face the two girls. Ivy and Jenna were standing there, arms
crossed, chewing gum. Ivy had ¶I will kill you· written on her face. She was
Kayley·s total opposite. Ivy·s natural hair color is black, but she dies it, so it·s a
blondish color.
Jenna is my opposite. She highlights her light brown hair blue and she has ice
cold blue eyes that stunned anybody who walks by her. Kayley has finally caught
up, standing beside me, staring at the two.
´We·re late,µ Kayley said, ´So, stand aside, will you?µ
They didn·t move. Ivy stepped a little closer to Kayley.
´And how are you going to make us?µ She hissed.
´Hey,µ I said, ´Pick on me, not her.µ
Jenna smirked evilly. ´Sticking up for your friend? You know, less than half of
kids stay friends through high school.µ
I looked at Kayley. She turned to me and nodded. I sighed. It was the right time.
´Is that right, Jenna?µ I said, ´Well, that·s a loss for them, because me and
Kayley are sisters.µ
Ivy and Jenna·s jaws dropped.
´Wh-what?µ Ivy said.
´But«y-you«µ Jenna stuttered, ´You·re adopted«µ
I smiled. ´Exactly. Look, you two are sisters too, right?µ
I was joking around with them. Everyone in Peterson high knows Jenna and Ivy
are sisters.
´Well, okay, you two are sisters,µ I continued, ´But you two don·t act like it.µ
Ivy and Jenna returned to their evil scowls.
´Really?µ Jenna said, ´Why did they give you up for adoption? Not good enough
to be in their family?µ
I actually had nothing to say. I was shocked of what she just said. Kayley saw
this and tried to save me.
´Come on,µ She said, trying to pull me to class, ´They·re just saying that. Let·s
get to class.µ
I shook her off. ´No, that·s what they want. Satisfaction.µ
I scowled at the two.
´You know what, Jenna?µ Ivy said, ´I think they·re actually shocked. We actually
surprised them.µ
Jenna laughed. ´That·s the first.µ
Kayley scoffed. ´You two are incorrigible! Why can·t you just leave everybody
alone?µ
Ivy and Jenna coldly smiled. ´Because we love to push.µ They both said at the
same time.
´Okay, come on, let·s get to class,µ I said, pushing past Ivy and Jenna. Kayley
caught up with me.
´You okay?µ She asked me.
I shook my head. ´You?µ
She shook her head.
´Okay,µ I said, ´Then we·re ready for school.µ I started sprinting to my
homeroom class, Kayley jogging.
´Come on,µ I told her. Her homeroom was closer than mine, but at this pace, I
was going to get to my class first.
´I don·t feel like running,µ Kayley protested.
She finally got to her homeroom class, waving bye to me.
´See you in ten minutes,µ I said, continuing to sprint. When I finally made it to
my homeroom class, I reached for the doorknob, but the door swung open and
hit my hand.
´Ow!µ I said, shaking my hand to get rid of the pain.
´Sorry,µ Said a familiar voice. I shut my eyes tight before turning around. Yeah,
I was right. Marcus Calhoun. I felt myself start to smirk, but from a lot of
practice, I made sure it wasn·t noticeable.
´It·s okay,µ I said. Marcus opened the door wide enough so I could get through.
I stepped into the class, about twenty people turned us. I wasn·t worried about
them, I was worried about Mr. Greer, my homeroom and math teacher. He·s the
strictest teacher I·ve ever had. He swirled around in his computer chair.
´Allison Rellim?µ He said. I sighed. Being called by ¶Rellim· didn·t feel
comfortable anymore.
´Yes?µ I said anyway.
Mr. Greer scowled at me. ´Why are you late?µ
´My sis- friend fell asleep while we were studying last night,µ I explained, ´And I
guess we were really tired, because we slept through the whole night.µ
´That·s an interesting excuse,µ He mused, ´But who exactly is your friend?µ
I was a little suspicious. ´Kayley Connelly?µ
´Really?µ Mr. Greer said, ´She·s didn·t get a C all year. Why would she be friends
with someone like you?µ
I felt myself getting mad. ´Because I get C·s? Really, Mr. Greer?µ
´You have a D too,µ He added.
I was about to say something, but Marcus beat me to it.
´Mr. Greer, that·s a little unfair.µ He said, stepping in front of me, ´Kayley really
is her friend. I·ve seen them. And Abby Colesure. They·re all very close.µ
´And how can you tell?µ Mr. Greer asked.
Marcus glanced at me and the rest of the class. Finally, he shrugged. ´Honestly,
I don·t know.µ Marcus admitted, ´Just the way they talk and act around each
other. They act like«Like they·ve known each other longer than they really
have.µ
Mr. Greer stood up from his seat. ´That·s enough. Take your seat, Allison. You
will be excused«this time.µ
I sighed with relief. I headed to my own seat, but stopped Marcus. ´Thanks,µ I
said. Marcus smiled and nodded. ´No problem.µ


Chapter 8:
Ironic

´So«µ Marcus said, walking me to math, ´Are you and Kayley close?µ
I nodded. ´Not as close as her and Abby, but we·re closer than we were in 6
th

grade, when we first met.µ
´Seriously?µ Marcus asked, ´You met Kayley in 6
th
grade?µ
I nodded, laughing a little. ´Not just Kayley. Abby too. They both had a part in
how they met me«µ

Kayley·sPOV

Right when I entered the classroom, I slammed into Max Scholl.
´Oops,µ I said, ´Sorry.µ
I felt myself getting giggly, but with a lot of practice, I hid it.
´Hey,µ Max said, stapling his papers together, ´that was some stunt you and
Allison pulled yesterday.µ
I scoffed. ´Hey, Allison had to think fast.µ
´She thought a little too fast.µ Max shot back.
I sighed. ´Look, she was trying to save me from my stupid mistake.µ
Max actually smiled. ´You two are really close, huh?µ
I nodded. ´Well, not as close as I am with Abby, but yeah.µ
´How long have you known Allison?µ He asked me.
I sighed. ´6
th
grade.µ I told him. Max looked at me, surprised.
´You·ve only known her for four years?µ He asked.·
I nodded. ´Yeah. But the way we met was kind of ironic. Abby and I both had a
part in how we met her«µ

Flashback

Abby and I were eating lunch in the amphitheater. Okay, more specifically, the
stage. My eyes lingered around randomly and landed on a lonely girl, eating
lunch, alone. I nudged Abby.
´She looks lonely.µ I noted.
Abby looked at the girl. ´I know her. She·s in my language arts and history class.µ
´Really?µ I said.
Abby nodded.
I glanced at the girl one more time.
´We should ask her to sit with us.µ I said.
Abby nodded. ´Okay, go ahead.µ
´What?µ I said, ´No, I don·t even know her. You talk to her!µ
Abby sighed. ´Fine. But come with me.µ
I got up, following Abby to the girl.
´Hi, Allison,µ Abby said, ´Do you want to sit with us?µ
Allison nodded and gathered her things. It was awkward at first. She didn·t
really know us, so she was very quiet. Eventually, she became comfortable
around us. She was more of Abby·s friend in 6
th
grade, but in 7
th
grade, I got to
know her a little better. In 8
th
grade, we got closer, because we actually had
classes together, so we could actually talk.

Now

´And that·s how we met,µ I said, finishing the story.
Max smiled. ´Wow. That·s really ironic.µ
´I know, right?µ I said.
He nodded. ´Yeah. Really weird. So, if you didn·t notice Allison, or if Abby
didn·t talk to her-´
´We wouldn·t be friends right now.µ I finished for him.
Max nodded.
I thought about that. ¶Yeah, but we would still be sisters. Then again, we
wouldn·t be closer sisters.·
´Yeah,µ I said, ´Yeah, things would be completely different.


Chapter 9:
Maybe you didn·t

Ivy and Jenna caught me going to my 3
rd
hour class.
´Where ya going?µ Ivy sneered.
´Math?µ I said, but it came out as a question.
Jenna pushed me against the wall. ´No, you aren·t.µ
I sighed. ´What do you two want from me?µ
´We want you to get our crushes to at least notice us.µ Ivy said.
I eyed them warily. ´Who are we talking about here?µ
´Marcus,µ Jenna said.
My heart dropped. ´Oh.µ
´And Max.µ Ivy added.
I pushed Jenna off. ´No way.µ
´Why not?µ Jenna asked me.
I thought. I wasn·t about to tell her that I have a crush on Marcus and Kayley
has a crush on Max. I needed a excuse«or a lie.
´Uh, because I·m friends with Max and Marcus.µ I said. It was kind of the truth,
but kind of a lie. Max and Marcus did know me since 6
th
grade, but we weren·t
buddies.
´Do what we say or else we·ll tell the whole school you and Kayley Connelly are
sisters.µ Ivy said all in one breath.
I caught my breath. ´No. Don·t do that. Kayley and I aren·t ready for that.µ
´Well, we·re going to tell, ready or not.µ Jenna nagged.
I took a breath to calm down. ´We aren·t playing a game here. If you tell the
whole school, you two have to deal with the consequences, not just me and
Kayley.µ
´What consequences?µ Ivy asked, ´The only outcome I see is you and Kayley,
being used by your own friends.µ
I scowled. ´And how does that work out?µ
´They can hold it against you,µ Jenna explained, ´When you fight with someone,
they use your weaknesses against you.µ
´Kayley isn·t my weakness.µ I protested.
Jenna nodded. ´But she is a reminder. A reminder that you are adopted. And
you didn·t even know your best friend is your sister. Now, that·ll make you look
even worse. And it·ll make Kayley look worse, because, well, why did her Mom
give you up in the first place? She knew you weren·t going to be good enough,
didn·t she?µ
´SHUT UP!µ I shouted, ´I·ve had enough of you two! Go ahead, tell everybody!µ
Ivy smiled. ´You know the best part? I can say, ¶Well, you shouldn·t be the one to
talk, because your own Mom had enough of you.·µ
I felt hurt fill me up. It was true. People can use this against me and make me
feel hurt, or worse than I already feel.
´Fine.µ I muttered, ´But you listen to me. Use Kayley or my Mom or anybody else
from my personal life against me again, and you really will regret it. Because
every story, lie, and truth has a consequence.µ

I got into math class, Kayley trying to tell me something. I sat at my seat, then
turned to her.
¶What?· I mouthed.
¶Where were you?· Kayley mouthed back.
I thought before answering. ¶Don·t worry about it.·
Kayley nodded, letting it pass, but I could tell she could tell something was up.
And something was up. By next hour, I would have to do something drastic
that would probably have everyone question me. I glanced at Kayley before
getting out my math notebook.
¶Kayley is going to be so mad at me.· I thought.
Math class went really quick and I cursed when the bell rang. I slowly got up
and headed to the door, but waited for Kayley. She happily approached me.
´Come on,µ She said.
I nodded, forcing a smile. We started out the door, the cold wind hitting us. I
was shaking, but it wasn·t from the cold. It was the adrenaline from what I was
about to do. I saw them, Max and Marcus walking toward us.
¶This is it,· I thought, ¶Here we go.·
´Hey, Marcus,µ I said. Marcus stopped and smiled. ´Hey,µ He said.
´Hi, Max,µ I said.
Max waved, ´Hi?µ
´Okay,µ I said, ´I wanted to tell you guys something.µ
´Okay,µ Marcus said, ´Go ahead.µ
´Marcus, will you go to the dance with me?µ I asked.
Kayley stared at me in awe, so did Max.
Marcus nodded. ´Sure.µ
´Awesome,µ I said, butterflies in my stomach, but a lump in my throat. ´Max,
Kayley·s a little shy, so will you go to the dance with her?µ
´Wait, wh-´ I covered Kayley·s mouth before she could say anything else.
´Yeah,µ Max said, smiling, ´Yeah, sure.µ
´Okay,µ I said, ´See you guys there. Yup, Friday night«which is three days away.µ
I was saying it with a tight voice, because Ivy and Jenna·s plan was working out
perfectly and I really didn·t want to go to this dance with Marcus«Okay, I did,
but not like this. Max and Marcus walked away, talking. I uncovered Kayley·s
mouth and she stared at me.
´What the hell was that?µ She demanded.
I shrugged and tried to look nonchalant. ´Hey, I got us dates.µ
Kayley·s confused expression turned into a happy one. ´Oh my god, I can·t
believe you just did that! That was awesome!µ
´Yeah,µ I said, losing my smile, ´Uh-huh.µ
´What·s wrong?µ Kayley asked, ´You should be excited.µ
I sighed.µAnd I would be, but I·m not. Because there·s something I have to tell
you.µ
´What?µ Kayley asked. I sighed again, not enjoying this at all.
´Kayley, Ivy and Jenna have this plan,µ I explained, ´And I·m trying to get them
together with Marcus and Max.µ
´WHAT!?µ Kayley nearly screamed, ´WHY WOULD YOU-´
´Kayley, calm down,µ I cut off, ´They were threatening to tell the whole school
that we·re sisters.µ
´SO!?µ Kayley shouted, ´Who cares, Allison? So what?µ
I looked down before looking back at Kayley. ´We·re in high school, Kayley.
Everyone is judged and everyone is cruel. If everybody finds out we·re sisters,
but we never knew it ourselves, we·re going to be judged. Sure, we have to tell
them sometime, but not now. Look, they can use this against us. They can say
that your Mom put me up for adoption, because I wasn·t good enough. Or they
can say that we were stupid enough to not to notice that we·re sisters. I mean,
it was right in front of us. We think alike«too much.µ
Kayley actually laughed«She laughed!
´What are you laughing about?µ I asked.
Kayley had to talk in between laughs. ´Remember? We get through things with
humor.µ
I started to laugh too.
´What the hell?µ I asked, ´Am I going crazy?µ
But I kept laughing. Kayley was right. We get through things with humor.
Because we need a good laugh after a lot of drama. Like watching a comedy
after we have a bad day.
We stopped laughing and sighed. ´What am I going to do?µ I asked myself and
Kayley, ´I set them up.µ
Kayley smiled. ´Maybe you didn·t.µ

´That is a good idea,µ I said in awe. Kayley nodded proudly. We·re in the kitchen,
eating an after school snack.
´So«µ I said, ´Weren·t you going to tell me about your dream last night?µ

Chapter 10:
Holaespanol

´Okay,µ Kayley said, telling me how her dream went, ´So you know that girl in
our PE class?µ
I nodded, drinking a little bit of water.
´Okay, so we were standing at the entrance of Peterson high and there was
enough room for one person to walk between us.µ She explained.
´Okay,µ I said.
Kayley took a breath before continuing. ´Well, that girl from our PE class
walked between us, carrying a baby, saying ¶holaespanol.·µ
I started cracking up. ´·Holaespanol· means ¶hello Spanish.·µ
Kayley started laughing too. ´I know!µ
´I think that·s funnier than ¶the three hermits!·µ
´Oh yeah!µ Kayley said, cracking up.
We have a lot of inside jokes. The story behind the three hermits was we were
standing at the entrance of Peterson high when Kayley was going through
things.
´I·m going to grow up, alone, living as a hermit.µ She sighed, sitting on the
ground. I sat down next to her.
´No you won·t.µ I said.
Abby smiled. ´All three of us will be hermits.µ
That made Kayley smile. ´Living on the side of Max·s house,µ Kayley added.µ
I started laughing, ´Yeah, the three hermits living on the side of Max·s house.µ
I laughed as I remembered.
´Remember?µ Kayley said, ´Towel phobia?µ
I laughed even more. ´Oh my god.µ
Okay, so we fantasized and stereotyped about what it would be like, having a
phobia of towels. Like after they take a shower.
Kayley and I could bearly breath. ´Hair salon!µ Kayley blurted.
I laughed even more.
My Mom, or Libby took me to get my haircut at this place and they had a
recording studio next door. The lady cutting my hair smiled at me and said,
¶Just ignore that, there·s a recording studio next door.µ
Abby made it more funny and asked, ¶What if she started rocking out while
cutting your hair?·
I laughed as I imagined it, ¶Then my hair would be really choppy!·
Then we fantasized what would happen if she shaved the top of her customer·s
head. Then, what would happen if she tried washing their hair while rocking
out. Her hands would get tangled in their hair and she·d still be rocking out.
I laughed before sighing. ´Oh my god, we should really start homework.µ
Kayley was still laughing hysterically.
Just then, Emily entered the kitchen. ´What in the world are you two laughing
about?µ
Before we could reply, Emily sighed. ´Whatever it is, just keep it down, okay you
two?µ
We nodded, settling down a little. Emily exited the kitchen. Kayley and I looked
at each other, then started cracking up again.
´Okay,µ I said between laughs, ´We should stop now. Let·s do our homework.µ
Kayley stopped laughing and smiled. ´Yeah, in your room.µ
I smiled too. We actually finished unpacking and decorated my room.
´What are we waiting for?µ I asked. We got up, put our dishes away, and headed
to the old guest room, which is now my room. I opened the door and switched
on the lamp. The room was nicely lit with a desk and pictures of friends and
family on the walls. I dropped my backpack on the bed and Kayley set hers on
the desk.
´Nice,µ Kayley said, ´Okay, should we do math our language arts first?µ

Chapter 11:
The hollow wall

I woke up in my new room. At first, I needed a few seconds to process where I
was. Then, I remembered. I rubbed my eyes and checked my phone for the time.
5:30 am. I sighed. Just then, I heard a light tapping. It sounded like it was close.
I got up and tried to locate it. I then realized it wasn·t coming from anything in
the room, it was on the outside. I listened closely. Finally, I found it. It was
coming from behind the wall, underneath the whiteboard. I sat down against
the wall and must·ve been crazy, but I tapped back.
´Hey,µ Kayley·s voice came, ´Why are you awake so early?µ
I waited. Maybe it was my imagination.
´Ally?µ The voice said again.
I sighed. ´I don·t know. Why are you up so early?µ
´I don·t know either,µ Kayley admitted.
I laid my head against the wall. ´How can we hear each other?µ I asked.
´The wall is hollow here,µ Kayley explained, ´So, it·s like having walkie talkies.µ
I smiled. ´This is how we should talk from now on.µ
´We should,µ Kayley agreed. I could imagine her smiling right now.
I sighed, listening to the cars pass by the house.
´We better get back to sleep,µ I suggested, ´We still have about two hours of
sleep we can get.µ
´Yeah, we should,µ Kayley said sleepily, ´Night.µ
´Night.µ I said, getting up. I almost bumped my head on the whiteboard, but
missed by a few inches. I went back into bed and instantly fell back asleep.

The next day, I woke up to the sun shining through the curtains. I reluctantly
sat up. I checked my phone. 6:30. I stood up and went to the hollow wall. I
tapped three times, lightly and waited. Kayley replied by tapping back three
times.
´Hey,µ I said.
´Morning,µ Kayley said, ´Just woke up?µ
I nodded, then forgot there was a wall in the way. ´Yeah.µ
´Yeah, me too,µ Kayley said, ´I don·t feel like going to school today.µ
I sighed. ´Me neither.µ
´Oh well,µ She said, ´Better get ready.µ

The sun was out, in fact, it was dry and hot. I sighed.
´Woah, this is Florida weather.µ I said, stepping onto the porch.µ
Kayley smiled and stepped onto the porch too. The sun was glowing, not a
cloud in the sky.
´I love this weather,µ Kayley said.
I nodded. ´Me too. It reminds me of Florida.µ
I·ve told Kayley and Abby a lot of times that I go to Florida every six months,
sometimes once a year. And they know I miss it. Every second, I miss the
weather, the house, the beaches, and of course, the feeling that I was home.
And Kayley was in the same situation. She misses Hawaii. We·re in the same
boat.
I sighed and stepped off the porch, loving the warm air that hit me. Kayley and
I climbed into the car and waited for Emily. In one of the rear view mirrors, I
saw the neighbor across the street, Mr. Jenson. He was mowing his lawn. He
was a man in his forties, he had short grey hair and was retired. Something
about him was off«
´You okay, Allison?µ Kayley asked. I snapped back to reality and Kayley and
Emily were looking at me.
´Hm?µ I asked.
´You were kind of dazing.µ Kayley said.
I blinked. ´Really?µ
Kayley nodded, looking a little worried. ´You sure you·re okay?µ
´Yeah,µ I said, ´Yeah, just a little tired.µ
Kayley turned back to the windshield. ´Oh«Okay.µ
We pulled out of the Connelly driveway and peeled onto the street, heading to
Peterson high.

Abby was waiting for us at the entrance.
´Hey,µ She said.
We said hi back.
´Hey, did you guys hear?µ Abby asked.
I blinked. ´Hear what?µ
´Really?µ Abby said, ´Everyone was talking about it yesterday.µ
Kayley and I looked at each other. We both had a bad feeling about this. We
turned back to Abby.
´Talking about what, Abby?µ Kayley asked.
Abby pulled us a little from the entrance. ´I can·t believe you didn·t hear.
Someone spread a rumor that you two are fighting.µ
I looked at Kayley. ´What!?µ
´Why would someone-´ Kayley stopped herself. ´Come on, Ally. We·ve got a bone
to pick with Ivy and Jenna.µ

Chapter 12:
Going with the lies

We found them, waiting in their usual spot for victims. We headed straight
toward them.
´Hey, you two,µ Jenna started, ´Wh-´
´Shut up,µ Kayley cut off, ´What are you two up to?µ
Ivy and Jenna looked confused. ´What are you talking about?µ Ivy asked.
´Why would you spread a rumor and Kayley and I are fighting?µ I demanded, ´I
promised you that I would get Marcus and Max to notice you two, what more
do you want!?µ
Ivy and Jenna looked at me, tedious to the conversation.
´Look,µ Kayley started again, ´I don·t know what you two are up to-´
´You really want to know?µ Jenna asked.
Ivy smiled. ´Where·s the fun of just taking your crushes away from you? We·re
going to take everything.µ
´What the hell?µ Kayley said, ´Why would you do that?µ
I studied Jenna and Ivy. This wasn·t like them. This was beyond satisfaction.
This was something else. Something isn·t right. They·re up to something.
They just stared us down.
Kayley scoffed. ´Fine. You want satisfaction? You aren·t getting it this time.
We·re going to play along with this rumor.µ
I looked at her. ´What? Dude,-´
´Ally, come on.µ Kayley cut me off, ´They just want satisfaction.
´This is more than that,µ I explained, ´They·re up to something. I have a feeling
they aren·t just after satisfaction.µ
´What more could they want?µ Kayley asked. I shrugged. She got me.
Satisfaction is all these two care about.
´Fine,µ I said, ´We·ll play along, starting today. See you later, Kayley.µ
I walked off ahead to my homeroom class, knowing something about this isn·t
right.

Kayley and I have managed to pull it off. People were talking by 3
rd
hour that
Kayley Connelly and Allison Rellim, were having their worst fight ever. But
something was happening. Something was wrong. In Science, I kept looking at
my friendship bracelet. Kayley and Abby each had one just like it.
But something was wrong. I felt it on my wrist, but it was uncomfortable. Like
it was weighing me down. And whenever I looked at it, voices would say
something in my head or some bad memory or a bad feeling. The voices would
say ¶I told you not to bring it up,· ¶What the heck? You can still talk to us!· and
etc. etc. The memories were our stupid fights. The feelings? The feelings were
what I was feeling whenever we fought. Mad, sad, hurt, and just confused. I
knew what was happening. I wasn·t going crazy. Kayley and Abby were driving
me there, though.
They·re shortening every single thing I say and do now. I actually have to think
before I talk or act. It·s becoming ridiculous. I ran a hand through my hair.
They were driving me to insanity. I couldn·t take it anymore. I HAD to take off
the bracelet. I put it in my pocket and the voices, memories, and feelings
stopped.
I sighed, then clenched my jaw. They were really driving me crazy.

Kayley·sPOV

During history, I was trying to take notes, but somehow, something was up. I
knew, because my bracelet was starting to feel weird on my wrist, like it was
weighing me down. I sighed, but kept it on. I really wanted it off.
¶Come on, bell, ring,µ I urged. I kept glancing at the clock.

Allison·s POV

I waited for Kayley at the entrance, pacing. Finally, her and Abby showed up.
Kayley looked just as deranged as I felt. I sighed.
´Hey, we need to talk,µ I said.
Kayley nodded. ´Yeah, how come I feel so«I don·t know«crazy?µ
´I don·t know,µ I admitted, ´Why do I feel crazy?µ
Kayley shrugged. ´Maybe we·re just tired.
I shook my head. ´No, something is up.µ
´What?µ Kayley demanded, ´What now? Huh? Why do you like to take things
over the top all the time?µ
I sighed, trying to control my anger. ´I don·t want to fight with you, Kayely. I
don·t want to have one of out stupid fights. Look, I don·t know what the hell is
going on, but something is really wrong.µ
´I·m just going to go now,µ Abby interrupted, backing up.
I threw my head up in frustration. ´Really? What did we do now, Abby?µ
Kayley pushed me a little. ´Hey, don·t! You·re going to make it worse? Why are
you turning on her? She already feels left out.µ
I scoffed. ´You guys really are driving me crazy! Shortening every single move I
make! Abby is going through things at home. I don·t think you understand,
Kayley. I do. I·ve been through it to! Abby feels left out at home, so now she·s
under the impression that we·re intentionally trying to leave her out like her
parents. She isn·t just feeling left out, she feels that we don·t care! She needs
to see the counselor!µ
´What·s the counselor going to do for me?µ Abby suddenly asked, ´How will she
help me?µ
I huffed. ´I have no idea. But you·ll feel a lot better than you do now! It·s
better than going through the same thing every day! Okay, the ¶I·m going to
leave now,· then, ¶Yeah, I hate it when you do this and that, so just stop· is
really getting tiring. And so are you guys.µ
I tried to control my breathing. Kayley and Abby stood there, shocked.
´That·s right,µ I continued, tears starting, ´That·s how I really feel. You know
why I never told you? Because I never knew you guys were going to go this far
with this. I didn·t know you were going to shorten everything. I didn·t know,
okay?µ
Abby turned away and walked away. I didn·t even try to stop her, because at
least she heard what I needed to say first. Kayley took a sharp breath.
´I didn·t know«µ She said quietly.
I sighed, calming down a little. ´You know what? I·m not mad at you or Abby. I·m
mad at the situation.µ
Kayley didn·t say anything. I hated it when she was quiet, because it wasn·t like
her. What happened to my outgoing, energetic friend that I knew? She wasn·t
here right now, that·s for sure. A car honked and I turned to see Emily waiting
for us. I looked at Kayley. I could tell she was still processing everything.
´Come on,µ I said. Kayley started off to the car. I sighed before following her.

That night, I paced my room. There was a knock on the door.
´Yes?µ I said. The door opened and Emily came in.
´What·s up?µ She asked.
I blinked. ´You really want to know?µ
Emily took a seat on the edge of my bed. ´Well,µ She gestured for me to sit
beside her. I did.
´You and Kayley didn·t talk at all since we got hime,µ Emily continued, ´What·s
up?µ
I sighed. ´Just a lot of drama. You wouldn·t understand, much less, listen.µ
Emily smiled. ´Try me.µ
I actually smiled. I told her. Everything. What Abby was going through, Ivy and
Jenna, Marcus and Max, and the bracelet.µ
´Ah,µ Emily said, ´I see what·s going on here.µ
I looked at her. ´Really?µ
She nodded. ´But you·re smart. You can figure it out. And Kayley is as smart as
you. You two combined, you two can get it.µ
With that, she got up and left the room, closing the door behind her. There
was a light tapping. I sighed and sat underneath the whiteboard. Silently, I
tapped lightly on the wall.
´I·m sorry,µ Kayley said.
I shook my head. ´No. I am. But what bothers me, is that all this doesn·t make
sense.µ
´Okay,µ Kayley said, ´We should break it down.µ
I smiled. Talking through the wall was actually better, because we couldn·t see
each other, just hear each other·s voices.
´Okay. So Ivy and Jenna blackmailed me. They want me to ask out their crushes
to the dance, actually setting them on the blind date with them.µ I started.
Kayley thought. ´Then, we came up with a plan to reverse that.µ
´But Ivy and Jenna spread some rumor that we·re fighting.µ I continued.
´And we played along, because we thought they wanted satisfaction and we
decided that we weren·t going to give it to them.µ Kayley finished.
´And now we·re fighting for no reason.µ I concluded, ´That·s where it doesn·t
make sense. They spread that rumor. I don·t think they want satisfaction.µ
´Then what do they want?µ Kayley wondered. A thought came to my head.
´Kayley,µ I said, ´What if they planned all this?µ
Kayley was silent, but then she snickered. ´No way.µ
´But it makes sense.µ I told her, ´Okay, so they blackmail me to set their
crushes on a blind date with them. Dude, they wanted to steal them away from
us. They KNOW we have crushes on them. And then, they spread that rumor.
They somehow found out that we came up with a plan to reverse THEIR plan.µ
Kayley snickered again. ´They can·t be that smart.µ
´Wait,µ I said, ´And they spread that rumor so we would-´
´Turn against each other,µ Kayley cut off, ´No freaken way.µ
I thought. ´What happens when you put three lobsters in a tank and cut off
their food supply?µ
´They start to eat each other.µ Kayley finished, ´But what·s our food supply?µ
I caught my breath. ´People close to us. Kayley, it all makes sense! They were
trying to get us to turn against each other and take everything from us! And
everything is basically all the people we care about. Abby, Marcus, and Max.µ
´And each other,µ Kayley concluded, ´It does make sense. Oh, we have a bone
to pick with them tomorrow.µ
´Yeah,µ I agreed, ´But for now, we better get some rest. We·ve been through a
lot today.µ
´Agreed,µ Kayley said, ´Night.µ
´Goodnight.µ I said, getting up.


Chapter 13:
Never shout never

We got to the entrance of Peterson, one thing on our minds. Find Jenna and Ivy.
´God, they just won·t stop,µ Kayley said as we made a beeline to their usual spot.
As predicted, they were there, with their smirks. We approached them.
´You two just won·t stop, will you?µ Kayley shouted.
Ivy shrugged. ´So, you figured it out, huh?µ
´That took a while,µ Jenna noted.
I stepped closer to them. ´Look, you guys really want to take everything from
us? What did we ever do to you?µ
Jenna and Ivy looked at each other, then turned back to us. Jenna scowled at
me, her ice cold blue eyes.
´You took everything from us.µ She told me, ´So we·re returning the favor.µ
´Wha-´ Kayley said, but she faltered. ´We took everything from you.µ
Kayley looked at me. ´Oh my god.µ
I nodded. I remembered. We did. We took everything from Ivy and Jenna
Johnson in 7
th
grade.
´Yeah, I remember,µ I admitted.

Flashback

Okay, believe or not, in 7
th
grade, Jenna and Ivy actually used to be friends with
us. That·s right, all five of us.
I remember that day. The last day. We were walking around the middle school,
all five of us. Kayley and I still had crushes on Marcus and Max. But little did
we know, so did Jenna and Ivy.
´I think Max really likes you, Kayley.µ I said.
Kayley nodded. ´And I think Marcus likes you.µ
Jenna scoffed.
We looked at her. ´What·s your problem?µ I asked.
Jenna shrugged. ´I don·t know, you two are always talking about them. It·s kind
of getting annoying.µ
´You know, you and Ivy are getting annoying.µ Kayley shot back.
Ivy stepped forward. ´Excuse me? How?µ
´I don·t know,µ Kayley admitted, ´You are just«acting like we·re always
offending you or something.µ
´You are.µ Jenna said, ´Want to know the truth? What if me and Ivy have a
crush on Marcus and Max too?µ
Kayley and I looked at each other. ´Really?µ I asked. ´Then how come you never
said anything.µ
´You never let us.µ Ivy said.
Kayley·s turn to step forward. ´Yes we do. We never try to shut out anyone.µ
´That·s the problem,µ Jenna protested, ´We know that. We still feel that way.µ
´Abby,µ I said, ´Do you feel left out?µ
´No,µ Abby said.
Kayley pointed, ´See?µ
´That·s not the point,µ Ivy said, ´The point is you two are taking too much.µ
´What·s that supposed to mean?µ I asked.
Jenna took a step toward me. ´Trust me, you·ll feel like this too. You·ll feel that
they·re shortening everything. They·re disparaging everything. What you say and
what you do. Ivy and I can bearly say anything at all anymore, because it·ll either
make someone feel left out, sad, or mad.µ
We didn·t say anything.
´Fine,µ Ivy said, ´Come on, Jenna. They·ve taken enough already.µ

Now

I sighed heavily. ´Look, I did feel that way just yesterday. And you were right. It
felt like everything was being taken away from me. But this is something more
than that.µ
´What, so, you think you can make it through high school, still friends?µ Ivy
asked, ´Let me tell you something right now. It doesn·t matter if you·re sisters.
You won·t make it through high school.µ
I shook my head. ´We were friends before we were sisters. You·re wrong.µ
´You will never make it through high school, all three of you, still friends.µ
Jenna said.
I shook my head again. ´I·m telling you, never shout never. We CAN make it
through high school. All three of us, together. If we tried, we could make it
through college. Like I said, we were friends before we were sisters and it·ll
always be like that.µ
Jenna and Ivy looked at us skeptically. ´We doubt it.µ They said at the same
time.
´We don·t.µ Kayley and I said simultaneously.
Jenna sighed. ´But we·re still going to get Marcus and Max. Even if we can·t
break you three up, we·ll still break you down.µ
I looked them straight in the eyes. They·re cold scowls didn·t phase me.
´Bring it.µ

Chapter 14:
It·s on

The dance was in the gym, everyone jamming to the music. There were banners
and balloons everywhere. They were blasting music, we had to yell above
it.Kayley and I were dressed formal, but casual. Kayley sighed, then looked at
me.
´Where·s Max and Marc- crap.µ Kayley said, pointing to a corner.
Jenna was talking to Marcus.
´Crap is right.µ I said, ´Be right back.µ
I went over to them. ´Hey, guys. What are you talking about?µ
Marcus·s expression softened when he saw me. Good sign. He was dressed in a
suit and black dress shoes. He had a soft smirk when his eyes fell on me. Jenna
looked panicked.
´Oh, we were just talking about how this dance is way better than the other
ones, right, Marcus?µ
´Huh?µ Marcus said, snapping back to attention, ´Hey, Allison, want to dance?µ
I sighed. I was a terrible dancer. Then, I thought and smiled. I know Jenna, and
she is too.
´Uh, I actually have to get back to Kayley,µ I said, ´But you two should
definitely dance.µ
Marcus nodded. ´Okay. Jenna, want to dance?µ
I left them, going back to where Kayley was standing.
´What are you doing?µ She asked, ´You·re just going to let it go?µ
I smiled. ´Trust me.µ
We watched as Marcus and Jenna started dancing. I almost snickered when
she tripped, but I didn·t because she fell into Marcus.
´Nice plan, Ally,µ Kayley said.
´That didn·t go how I wanted it to.µ I said.
We continued watching them. I looked away. I had to. I couldn·t watch
anymore. They were too close. Kayley nudged me. ´Hey, I found Max with Ivy.
I·ll be right back.µ
´Okay,µ I said, ´Good luck and be careful.µ
´Will do,µ Kayley said, walking off.
Kayley·sPOV
I found Max, in a tuxedo and old sneakers. I smiled. But then my heart dropped
when I figured out he was talking to Ivy.
´Hey, I found Max with Ivy,µ I told Allison who was looking away from Marcus
and Jenna, ´I·ll be right back.µ
´Okay,µ Allison said, ´Good luck and be careful.µ
´Will do,µ I said, then I walked off. I approached the two. Max was laughing.
´Hey,µ I said.
Max looked at me and his expression softened. ´Hey. I was looking for you.µ
I smiled. ´Yeah, I was looking for you too. Hey, I·m happy you·re here.µ
I am definitely stalling. I can·t think of what to say.
´Can you do something for me?µ I asked.
Max nodded. ´Yeah, what·s up?µ
´Why don·t you dance with Ivy?µ I asked.
My plan is a little more thought out than Allison·s. Instead of making Ivy look
bad, I am trying to make Max look bad, unattractive to Ivy. I know Ivy isn·t a
bad dancer, but Max is.
´Sure. Come on, Ivy.µ
I watched them run onto the dance floor. I went back to Allison.
´This ought to be good.µ I said.
Unfortunately, my plan backfired as well. Max apparently has took dance lesson.
´Really?µ I asked.
Allison sighed. ´Looks like they·re going to win.µ
I watched as they danced. The slow song slowly made them ease together«
´No,µ I said, ´No, no I·m not going to let this happen.µ
Allison·s gaze lingered on the couple for a while, then looked at me. ´What are
you going to do?µ She asked me.
I shrugged. ´I don·t know. But I·m not going to let this happen.µ

Allison·s POV
The next day

I woke up and sighed. I couldn·t get that picture of Marcus and Jenna dancing
together. I could imagine that Kayley feels the same way about Max and Ivy. I
reluctantly jumped out of bed and approached the hollow wall. No tap or
knock. I sighed. She probably didn·t feel like talking. I passed by the wall and
started getting ready.

At lunch, I was surprised that Marcus and Max both haven·t showed up for
class at all. I was worried and so was Kayley. During lunch, we kept a look out
for Ivy, Jenna, Max, or Marcus.
´I have a bad feeling about this,µ Kayley said. She looked like she didn·t get
much sleep, she was pale. I didn·t either. I was too busy contemplating mistakes.
Why did I ever have a crush on Marcus? There·s a reason why they call it a
crush. Kayley sat on a black bench. We were on top of the amphitheater, out
looking the stage and cafeteria. Lindsey came over to us. I looked around and
noticed something. In eighth grade, our group was much larger. We had about
fifthteen people, or more. Now, it was just me, Kayley, Abby, Lindsey, and two
others I never introduced, Madison, a tall blonde girl with a small Tennessee
accent, and Sara Fingle, about the same height as Lindsey, bright blonde hair
and blue eyes. I sighed. I looked over to the group hanging out next to us. Most
of the people in their group were part of our group at one point. But they
made their own group. Their own private group that they made themselves. I
frowned as I watched Lindsey take Sara by the arm and took her somewhere
else to talk. I looked at Kayley.
´Please tell me I·m not the only one who·s bothered by that.µ I pleaded.
Kayley shook her head. ´They·ve been pissing me off lately.µ
I set my bag on the bench and sat down. ´How so? Besides that?µ
´They haven·t actually sat with us in one week. And they act like we don·t exist
anymore. They just go off and have their own private conversations and they·ve
basically made their own group.µ
I sighed. I hate it when people change. Friends change more than people,
though. That·s the saddest part.
´I feel betrayed.µ Kayley said, glancing over at Lindsey and Sara. I nodded. I
looked over behind Kayley and had to catch my breath.
´Crap,µ I breathed, ´They won.µ
Kayley turned to see what I was talking about. Marcus was hugging Jenna. But
Kayley didn·t see what I saw. I saw them kiss.

Chapter 15:
Romeo and Jenna

I turned away from them. I couldn·t stand another minute, looking at them.
Kayley sighed. ´I·m sorry.µ
´Yeah, I am too,µ I said, pointing to the bottom of the amphitheater. Max and
Ivy were holding hands.
Kayley took in a sharp breath.
´You okay?µ I asked. She shook her head.
I sighed, intently. ´We lost.µ
Kayley looked at me, no sly smile or smirk, no hope at all. ´Yeah, we did.µ
´What?µ I said, ´You·re smart. You usually come up with a plan. Or something.µ
Kayley shook her head. ´I·m not smart.µ
´Yeah, you are,µ I persisted.
´There·s nothing we can do,µ Kayley said, gaze never leaving Max and Ivy. We
were in the same boat. I sighed a little. Just then, Lindsey tapped me on the
shoulder.
´Can we talk?µ She asked me. I nodded and let her pull me to the side.
´What·s up?µ I asked.
Lindsey looked like she hasn·t slept in two days. She shook her head. ´I don·t
know. Kayley is mad at me.µ
´I know,µ I admitted, ´But why?µ
Lindsey shrugged. ´I don·t know. I yelled at her in yearbook, but I tried to
apologize through facebook.µ
I huffed. ´That must·ve made it worse.µ
´Yeah,µ Lindsey agreed, ´It did. And when I tried to apologize in person, she
won·t hear me out.µ
´I·ll try to talk to her,µ I promised.
Lindsey nodded and let me go back to where Kayley was sitting.
´What did Lindsey want to talk to you about?µ She asked me.
´Huh?µ I asked. I did hear her, but I needed time to think.
Kayley slowed down a little, ´What did Lindsey want to talk to you about?µ
´Uh«µ I paused. ´Stuff«µ
Kayley looked offended. ´Okay, then.µ
´Why are you mad at her?µ I asked.
Kayley crossed her arms. ´She·s getting annoying. Her stupid laugh and her ¶Oh
my god.·µ
I blinked. She never thought this before. Why now?
´What did Lindsey want?µ Kayley asked again.
´Stuff.µ I repeated. Kayley gave me a ¶fine· look.
´No, not like that,µ I said, ´It·s just«She doesn·t understand why you·re mad at
her.µ
´I hope you understand why I·m mad at her.µKayley said coldly
I looked away. I couldn·t look her in the eyes and tell her a lie.
´Ally?µ Kayley said.
I clenched my jaw before answering. ´Kind of.µ

When we got to Language Arts class, I sat in my assigned seat and sighed.
Christine, one of my friends, took her seat next to me.
´Hey,µ She said, ´I heard about Lindsey and Kayley.µ
I sighed. ´You know, I don·t know what·s up with them lately. Abby and Kayley.
They·ve been«weird lately. I don·t know.µ
Christine nodded. ´We used to have a hella big group.µ
´Even you,µ I said, ´You are halfway in. You·re in between.µ
´Because of the people I hang out with,µ Christine said. I sighed deeply and
sunk lower into my chair.
´It didn·t used to be like this,µ I said, ´It was ¶As long as we·re friends, that·s all
that matters.· Now it·s ¶the people you hang out with· and ¶what you do and say
matters?· And it does. What you say and do matters, but as long as you·re
friends, it shouldn·t interfere.µ
Christine nodded. I flipped open my notebook and glanced at Abby and Kayley.
´It·s like I don·t even know them anymore.µ I said quietly.
Christine nodded. ´Yeah, it·s like they·ve changed.µ

After class, I couldn·t look at Abby or Kayley without thinking the same thing.
But I ignored the thoughts, because I refused to believe my friends changed in
just a few weeks. But something was going on. We walked to our usual spot at
the entrance of Peterson. Abby ;eft earlier then Kayley and I, leaving us alone.
´Why are you really mad at Lindsey?µ I asked Kayley. She gave me her look. ´Not
that I·m siding with her. There are no sides. But really, why are you mad at her?µ
´Like I said, she·s getting annoying.µ Kayley replied, ´Seriously!? Siding with her?
Whatever. Thanks a lot.µ
Those words stabbed me. ´I don·t want to do this, Kayley,µ I said, ´I don·t want
to have one of our stupid fights. This would be our first one in two weeks.µ
Kayley sighed. ´Okay. But seriously, she·s annoying.µ
´«And why are you just noticing this now?µ I asked her. It didn·t make sense to
me. She never thought about this before. Even if she did, she would never let it
get in the way.
´I don·t know.µ Kayley admitted. I didn·t push that subject any further. I just
let it slide like everything else, but there was something that she wasn·t telling
me. Kayley stiffened up. ´Don·t turn around.µ
And as smart as I was, I did. Jenna and Marcus were walking toward the
entrance. I huffed and turned back around.
´Whatever,µ I said. My phone vibrated. I flipped open my phone to read the text.
I was surprised when I learned it was from Marcus.
Hey, meet me and Max at the park, 8:00 tonight. And Kayley has to come too.
I looked at Kayley. ´They want to meet us at the park tonight.µ
This park wasn·t just any park. It·s like a forest, with a creek cutting through
the middle. There·s a rumor that there·s a waterfall there. Kayley nodded. ´We
should go. As friends, I mean. Even though it·s not a date, at least we can be
friends.µ
I nodded and replied to the text. Okay. See you there.

Chapter 16:
The waterfall

´You ready?µ I asked Kayley through the hollow wall.
´Yeah,µ She replied, ´We·ll just tell Mom that we·re going walking.µ
I sighed. ´Okay. I don·t feel comfortable lying, though.µ
´Me neither,µ Kayley admitted, ´Well, ready?µ
I got up without answering her and closed my room door shut behind me as I
left my room. I walked down the hall and knocked on Kayley·s door.
´Yeah.µ I said, ´Let·s go.µ

´Why are you two going for a walk at eight o·clock at night?µ Emily asked.
Kayley looked at me.
I sighed. ´We«need fresh air.µ
Emily stared at us skeptically. ´«Really?µ
We both nodded. Emily sighed. ´I have a bad feeling about this, but go ahead.µ
Without another word, Kayley and I nonchalantly stepped outside.
´Can·t believe she said yes,µ Kayley muttered, ´If I told her that-´
I laughed, ´Sorry, Kay. You·re good at acting, but lying is not your thing.µ
Kayley pouted.
´Just kidding.µ I said, ´Come on.µ
We walked a couple a blocks and the park came into view. We walked down a
hill and we were surrounded by trees. We walked a little further down and we
could hear the rippling of the creek.
´Hey,µ I heard a voice. I felt a hand on my shoulder and I jumped, but it was
just Max.
´Sorry,µ He said, ´Come on. Marcus found the waterfall.

It was all a blur where Max led us, all I remember was following him and
somehow ended up in front of this huge waterfall. It was like being in a crack in
a sidewalk or a valley. Marcus was sitting on a rock, next to the waterfall.
´Wow,µ Kayley breathed. The waterfall took all our breath away.
´Wait for it,µ Max said. Right on cue, a firework lit up the sky. Dozens of them
followed it. Marcus jumped down from the rock to come over to us.
´Hey,µ He said.
Marcus and Max looked at us.
´The reason why we asked you to come here,µ Max said, ´Is because we want to
be friends.µ
´Nothing more, nothing less.µ Marcus added.
Kayley and I nodded.
´Yeah, and Jenna and Ivy told us something interesting,µ Marcus said, ´They
told us you two were sisters?µ
I took a sharp breath and looked at Kayley. She turned pale.
We turned back to the boys, standing there, confused. There faces were lit by
the fireworks.
´Yeah,µ Kayley finally said, ´Yeah, we just found out.µ
Max took a step toward us. ´How come you didn·t tell anybody?µ
´It isn·t time yet.µ Kayley explained, ´We·re waiting.µ
´For what?µ Marcus asked.
I stepped forward. ´Anything. A sign, some kind of situation, anything.µ
´Well,µ Max sighed, ´Your secret·s safe with us.µ
I searched their faces for any sign of a lie. ´I hope so.µ
´We swear,µ Marcus agreed, ´We won·t tell anybody.µ
Kayley·s phone started ringing. She excused herself from the conversation to
answer it.
´I believe you guys.µ I admitted, ´And I expect you to keep your promises.µ
Marcus and Max nodded. Kayley came back to us.
´We gotta go,µ She said, ´Mom·s freaking out.µ
We waved goodbye to the guys and continued home.


Chapter 17:
The reason

We got into the house and kicked off our shoes. Emily met us at the door.
´I thought you said a short walk.µ She said.
´Sorry,µ Kayley said, ´We were talking and lost track of time.µ
I was impressed. She didn·t stutter or trip. Kayley smiled when she saw the look
on my face.
´Okay,µ Emily said, ´Kayley, you can go to sleep. Allison, I need to talk to
you«alone.µ
Kayley doubtfully took a step up the stairs. ´You sure, Ally?µ
I nodded. ´Yeah. Night.µ
Kayley nodded back and went up the stairs, leaving us alone. Emily gestured for
me to follow her. I followed her into the kitchen.
´Sit down, Allison.µ She told me.
I sat down at the kitchen table. ´What is this about?µ
Emily sat across from me. ´You want to know everything?µ
I didn·t really know what she was talking about, I at the same time, I kind of did.
She was ready to tell me. Everything. My adoption.
´Yes.µ I said.
Emily nodded and sighed. ´It started when I met him. Your and Kayley·s father.I
won·t go into how we met, but it was love at first sight. You are a year older
than Kayley. I think you·ve noticed that.µ
I nodded. I went back to kindergarden, because the teacher thought I was
going to be overwhelmed when I got to 1
st
grade.
´Well«µ Emily faltered. I started shaking. She was making me anxious. ´When I
was pregnant with you..µ She faltered again.
I saw it in her eyes and my breathing stopped. ´You didn·t«want me.µ
Emily looked down and sighed deeply. She looked at me in the eyes, no fear or
regrets. ´No.µ
I could breath again, but I wish I couldn·t. Every breath I took, my heart
dropped more.
´Why?µ I asked. My voice was shaky. I looked up to refrain from crying.
Emily folded her hands and placed them on the table.
´Allison, understand that we weren·t ready to be parents at the time.µ Emily
explained.
I got up. I couldn·t take this anymore. ´Thank you. I needed to hear the truth.µ
I rushed out of the kitchen and nearly bumped into Kayley. She·s heard the
whole conversation. I knew, because she looked sympathetic.
´You okay?µ She asked. I didn·t respond and pushed past her, up the stairs. I
dashed into my room and slammed the door behind me. I slid down the door, to
the ground, holding my head. I felt tears falling. I heard a knock on the door.
´Ally?µ Came a voice. Kayley is one of the only people who call me Ally.
I didn·t respond to her. I couldn·t. I felt my door move a little and I knew we
were sitting back to back.
´You okay?µ She asked.
´No,µ I weakly replied, ´How could I be okay?µ
Kayley sighed. ´Ally, it·s not what you think.µ
´Technically, nobody wants me.µ I protested.
´Well, we want you in the family now.µ Kayley pointed out.
I slowed my breathing, trying to calm down. ´Why now? Why does she want me in
the family now?µ
´Because she always wanted you,µ Kayley explained, ´She didn·t know what she
was doing, Ally. It is unfair that she put you up for adoption, but it never
bothered you. You were okay with being adopted.µ
´I pretending to be,µ I admitted.
Kayley went quiet.
´I·ve known my whole life knowing I was adopted.µ I went on, ´Do you know how
it feels, to know you don·t belong?µ
I got up and sat on my bed. Kayley opened the door and walked in.
´No,µ She said honestly. She sat next to me. ´But if that·s how you·ve felt, you
got through it.µ
I looked at her. She was looking at the ground. She couldn·t look at me while I
was crying.
´I did, thanks to you and Abby.µ I said.
Kayley smiled and nodded.
´I·m a lost cause.µ I said, ´Aren·t I?µ
Kayley finally met my eyes and didn·t say a word. She hugged me.
´I·m sorry.µ She said. Then, she pulled away and headed out the door. I knew
she was probably going to cry herself. I got up and sat underneath the
whiteboard. I could hear her sobbing. I took a breath and let my head rest
against the wall. I am a lost cause.

Chapter 18:
Not alone

I walked down to the kitchen and was surprised to see Kayley up, sitting at the
kitchen table.
´Hey, what are you doing up so early?µ I asked her.
Kayley looked like she was waiting for me. She got up and approached me, two
glasses of orange juice in her hands.
´This is really cheesy,µ She muttered, ´But it·s a pact«thing.µ
She handed me the orange juice. I accepted it.
´What do you mean a pact thing?µ I asked her.
Kayley sighed. ´It·s just a pact to let you know you·ll never be alone. You·ll
always have somebody, me, Abby, Mom, anybody around to talk to.µ
I nodded and drank the orange juice until the glass was empty. Kayley smiled
and did the same thing.
´Even if you don·t feel like talking about it,µ Kayley continued after drinking,
´It·s good to vent. Even if it·d piss us off.Ally, promise that whenever something
is bothering you, no matter what it is, you·ll tell us. Promise?µ
´Yeah,µ I said, putting the glass in the sink. ´I promise. Thanks, Kay.µ
Kayley smiled and nodded. ´No problem.µ
I sighed warily. ´I·m gonna get ready for school.µ
Kayley nodded, dismissing me. I slowly went back up the stairs and into my room.
Before I got ready, my backpack caught my eye and a paper was sticking out. I
went over and took out the paper. It was my last history test. I got an F. I ran a
hand through my hair. Reality hit me. I was getting low grades and the stress
was catching up to me. I am a lost cause. I tore the paper in half and threw it
away. I controlled my breathing and sat on my bed. I took out my friendship
bracelet from my pocket and examined it. No, I·m not alone. I have Kayley,
Abby, Emily, and others to help me. I put on the bracelet and stood up. Time
for school.

Marcus and Jenna didn·t last. Neither did Max and Ivy. They both broke up
with them during lunch. Marcus told Jenna that she was conceited and just
not for him. Max told Ivy that she·s too dramatic and needs to lighten up.
Kayley and I couldn·t have been more happier about the news, but we had
other problems.

In Language Arts, Ms. M shushed us. When we were all quiet, she cleared her
throat.
´I will be passing out progress reports,µ She announced, ´If you have lower than
a C, make sure your parent or guardian signs it.µ
She started passing out papers and I sighed. ¶Crap· I thought. Christine
whispered to me, ´Hey, Ally.µ
´Yeah?µ I asked.
´How·s everything with Kayley and Abby?µ She asked me.
I thought about it. ´I honestly don·t know.µ I admitted, ´Abby is still stressing
us out and Kayley is getting tired of it.µ
´What about you?µ She asked. I shrugged. There was a time when one of Abby·s
scenes got me.
I brought something up that made Abby sad and bailed. I caught up with her
between history and math.
´Hey, are you okay?µ I·d asked her.
Abby shook her head. ´Well, I didn·t know what you and Kayley were talking
about«µ
I sighed. ´Talk to you later. I have to get to class.µ
I took off my bracelet, because it was weighing me down. During math, torward
the end of the period, Kayley sat next to me.
´What happened?µ She asked.
I couldn·t even look at her. For the past two classes, I·ve been overanalyzing the
situation and came to the conclusion that they were both driving me crazy.
Abby for overreacting and Kayley for encouraging it.
´Do you know Abby·s mad at us again?µ I asked her.
Kayley shook her head. ´She·s not mad at me.µ
´What?µ
´I told you not to bring it up.µ She said.
I knew she didn·t mean to make it sound the way she said it, but it did. I
couldn·t stand it anymore. I stood up and sat next to Christine. Kayley walked
over. ´I·m not mad at you.µ She said.
I nodded. ´I know.µ
But I couldn·t look at her. While she and Christine talked, I kept my gaze ahead.
But I straightened everything out after that whole thing. Now, Kayley is getting
tired of it. I sighed and shook my head. ´It is unacceptable, but it doesn·t
bother me anymore.µ
Christine nodded. Ms. M got to me and gave me a paper, face down on the
table. I didn·t want to flip it over and see my terrible grade, but I did. I felt like
I was being stabbed. I expected a C or C-, but no. Written in plain English, was
a D. I flipped it back over and refrained from looking upset.

Ms. M kept me in for writing during class. So many things messed up about that
sentence. I walked out of the classroom, ten minutes after everybody else and
felt like breaking down, but I have more sense than that. But when I took a few
steps outside, I heard sobbing. I followed it, trying to figure out where it was
coming from. I turned a corner and found Christine, back against the wall,
crying. I approached her. We were good friends in 6
th
grade, but we·ve grown
apart. I sighed and continued torward her. Her natural hair color is light brown,
but she dyes it black and has highlights. She wears colored contacts, they make
her eyes blue.
´Christine?µ I said. She looked up and shook her head.
´Leave me alone.µ She said.
I disobeyed and sat down next to her, letting a cold wind shoot through my
jacket like daggers.
´What happened?µ I asked, ´You can tell me.µ
Words cannot describe how I felt, sitting there with my old friend who was
breaking down. She wiped some of her tears away.
´I got a text,µ Christine explained, ´It was my Mom. She·s getting rid of some of
my stuff. And my Dad«I met him for the first time last month.µ
I did the only thing I could do; I hugged her. When I pulled away, she didn·t
look as sad as she was before, so I felt a little accomplished.
´It·s okay.µ I assured her, ´We·re all going through some crap right now.µ
´Like?µ Christine asked.
I took a breath. Was I really going to tell her everything?
´I trust you, Christine.µ I said quietly, ´But should I trust you enough with a
secret? You can·t tell anyone.µ
Christine started to look skeptical. ´What is it, Allison?µ
I sighed. Again, I had a feeling it was time. Time to let at least one more person
in on the secret. Too many people are getting in on it. It·s almost time to tell
everyone. I could tell.
´Christine,µ I said, ´You know I·m adopted, right?µ

Kayley·sPOV

I kept glancing up for Allison to turn the corner, but it·s been fifthteen
minutes and still no sign of her.
´What·d you get on your progress report?µ I asked Abby.
´A+µ She said happily.
I smiled. ´Good job.µ
´Thanks,µ She said. Again, I glanced up. Finally, Ally came around the corner.
But she was walking with Christine Fernandez. I could tell Allison had
something to tell me from the look on her face. I got up and approached them.
Allison stopped and told Christine something. Christine nodded and left us.
´What did you do?µ I demanded, ´You didn·t« No, Allison. No. You did not tell
her!µ
Allison looked down, but took a step forward. ´I told her.µ
´Allison,µ I said, ´Jenna, Ivy, Marcus, and Max already know. Now Christine?
Ally, too many people know.µ
Allison nodded and looked away. ´I know. We have to tell everyone soon.µ
I backed away. ´You don·t know that.µ
´You·re right.µ Allison said, ´I don·t. Which is why I·m going to tell everyone
tomorrow.µ
I controlled my breathing and took a step toward her. ´Ally, you know what·s
going to happen after you tell everyone. They·re going to treat us differently.µ
´I know that.µ She said. ´Which is why I want you to hear me out. Please, Kayley.
If and when they treat of differently, at least we·ll deal with it together, right?
This whole situation is a lost cause anyway.µ
I hesitated. A cold wind blew as dark clouds grew tense. Finally, I nodded.
´I trust you, Ally.µ I said slowly, ´And I·m behind you all the way.µ
Allison smiled. ´Tomorrow, we·re going to tell everyone. No holding back.µ

That night, I tapped on the hollow wall and waited. Ally responded.
´Hey, you sure you want to tell everyone tomorrow?µ I asked.
´Yeah,µ Allison whispered.
I leaned heavily against the wall. ´Lindsey and Sara left the group.µ
There was a silent pause.
´What?µ Allison said, ´When?µ
I put my head in my hands. ´Yesterday.µ
´So,µ Ally said in disbelief, ´Now we only have four people in our group? What
the hell is going on?µ
I shrugged against the wall. ´I don·t know. Last year, we had more than
fifthteen people in our group.µ
´Yeah,µ Ally agreed, ´But then we split up and they made their own groups.
What happened to all those people?µ
´They changed.µ I sighed.
We used to all be one group, but we slowly broke into categories. Christine now
hangs out in the group with family issues and problems, because she feels that
it makes her feel better to be with people who are worse off than her. Another
group are the last minute losers, the people who always do their homework and
projects last minute. Then, there are the people who always get into trouble
and always get into fights. They·re ridiculous and impossible to put up with.
Then, there·s Lindsey and Sara. And last but not least, us. People look at us
weird whenever we mention one of our inside jokes, but we go through drama
too.
If people take a look at all these categories, they wouldn·t believe we were once
one group.
´Hey, Kayley,µ Allison said, snapping me out of my thoughts, ´I have to go to
bed. See you tomorrow.µ
´Okay,µ I yawned, ´Me too. Night.µ

Chapter 19:
C.H.A.N.G.E.

Allison·s POV

I headed downstairs where Kayley was waiting with two glasses of orange juice.
´What·s this?µ I asked.
Kayley smiled and handed me the glass.
´Like I said, it·s a pact.µ She replied.
I smiled. ´More like a ritual.µ
´It can be that too,µ Kayley retorted, ´Hey, I found this book. You should read
it.µ
Kayleypicked up a book from the table and handed it to me. It was a new book,
perfectly taken care of. It had a picture of a school hallway with pictures. Six
teenagers. Three boys, three girls. The book was titled, ¶C.H.A.N.G.E.·
´Did you read it?µ I asked.
Kayley nodded, ´A long time ago. It·s a good read. It·s just high school drama.µ
´And you know how much I love high school drama.µ I said sarcastically.
Kayley laughed. ´Well, you·ll like this one.µ
I looked on the back and read the summary. It was about six teenagers, friends
since pre-k, but everything changes in freshman year.
I smiled. ´Okay, I·ll read it.µ
I drank all my orange juice and headed upstairs. When I got to my room, I put
the book in my backpack and sighed. Just then, Emily came into my room.
´Hey, Ms. C.µ I said.
She shook her head. ´Call me Mom.µ
I caught my breath. ´Really?µ
She nodded and smiled. ´I know, it·s weird, and it·ll be for a while, but you·ll get
used to it. Just call me Mom.µ
´«Okay.µ I said, ´What·s up?µ
She sighed. ´Mr. C isn·t coming back.µ
I froze. ´What do you mean?µ
´I mean,µ She said, moving into my room, ´I lied. He is in Hawaii, but it·s because
I·ve been wanting to get a divorce with him for so long now.µ
I didn·t know what to say. I shifted my stance.
´I·m sorry.µ I said.
Emily shook her head. ´Don·t be. I·m not.µ
´Are you going to tell Kayley?µ I asked.
Emily nodded. ´But I want you to be in the same room. She seems to turn to her
friends when things are bad. You are one of the people she turns to. You have
to be there for her.µ
´And I will,µ I assured, ´But how she reacts is completely out of my hand.µ
´I know,µ Emily said, ´I know one of your other friends is going through
something with her family and acting on it through you guys. She·s just going
though a big change in her life. Just give her time.µ
I sighed. ´I know that. It·s just«tiring.µ
Emily smiled and walked to the door. ´But even if Kayley does overreact to the
situation, the thing is, even when people are overreacting, mad, sad, or
whatever they·re feeling, they still want their friends around for them, even if
it·s their friends who they act on.µ
With that happy note, she left. I sighed and got out the book Kayley gave me. I
studied it. C.H.A.N.G.E. I flipped to the first chapter and started reading.

I walked with Kayley to math, still reading C.H.A.N.G.E.
´Dude, this book is really good,µ I told Kayley, ´Didn·t we make a pact like this?µ
Kayley nodded and smiled. ´Yeah. The last day of school in 7
th
grade.µ
´We swore we will always be there for each other, friends or not.µ I reflected,
´This story is familiar.µ
´It should be,µ Kayley said, linking arms with me, ´You wrote it.µ
I closed the book and looked at Kayley. ´What?µ
Kayley laughed and took the book from my hands and pointed to the bottom of
the cover. There, written in plain English, Wrltten by: Alllson Conelly.
I looked at Kayley in awe.
´Wha-´
´You started writing it in 7
th
grade. And you finished it in 8
th
grade. It was a
series. The chain gang series.µ Kayley cut off.
I blinked. ´Yeah, I remember now. You made it into a book?µ
´It deserves to be a book,µ Kayley told me, ´When you didn·t get it published, I
decided to make it into something more than a story, but way more than a book.
It·s our series.µ
I smiled. ´You did all this?µ
Kayley nodded proudly.
I smiled brightly. ´But it says Allison Connelly. So you must·ve done this
recently.µ
´Yeah, last night.µ Kayley explained.
I stopped walking. ´You finished all this last night?µ
Kayley nodded. ´And I have a bunch of your other stories that you didn·t
publish. I followed you through your writing.µ
I looked down at C.H.A.N.G.E. and couldn·t believe this.
´Your stories are amazing.µ Kayley assured me, ´C.H.A.N.G.E. is my favorite.µ
I smiled and handled the book with care as we kept walking.
´We·re better than the chain gang,µ I told Kayley, ´We are way better because
we·re never going to change like that.µ
Kayley looked grim. ´I hope not.µ
´Hey, trust me.µ I assured, ´I know you and Abby. You two won·t change. Even
if you do, remember the pact, friends or not, we have to be there for each
other.µ
´«Okay, Allison.µ Kayley said, skeptically, ´I trust you.µ

The cold wind hit me as I left Language Arts with Kayley and Abby.
´Whoa, it·s chilly today.µ I said, adjusting my jacket. Kayley and Abby shivered,
nodding in agreement.
We made it to the entrance without freezing to death, but we did suffer,
shivering.
´Mom·s here early.µ I noted as Emily drove up.
Kayley looked at me. ´You·re calling her Mom now?µ
´She told me I could.µ I explained, ´It·s going to be weird, but we·ll get used to
it.µ
Kayley and I jumped in the car, still shivering. I started wishing I grabbed a
thicker jacket. I sighed when the heater finally warmed me up. We got home
and I suddenly didn·t want to get out of the car. I unwillingly got out of the car,
embracing the cold.
´God, it is freezing today!µ Kayley said, running to the porch.
´Allison, can you get the mail?µ Emily asked.
I nodded and ran to the mailbox.
´Hey you,µ Said a husky voice. I turned and saw Mr. Jenson, the same old guy
that I continuously saw watering or mowing his lawn before leaving for school.
He was watering the grass.
´Yes, Mr. Jenson?µ I said, my voice cracking a little.
He eyed me wearily. ´You·re that Rellim girl. How come you·re always with the
Connelly·s?µ
I shrugged. ´It·s complicated, sir.µ
He dropped the hose he was using to water his lawn. ´How complicated? Try
me.µ
I sighed. ´It·s personal.µ
´I can call child services, you know. If your parents are leaving you here so they
can have a vacation or if they·re abandoning you, I can call them.µ Mr. Jenson
ranted.
I couldn·t say anything. I was shocked.
´Sir, they would never do that,µ I assured, ´Just stay-´
Mr. Jenson came across the street, closer to me. Just then, Kayley touched my
shoulder and I flinched.
´Calm down, it·s just me.µ She said, ´Mr. Jenson, what·s going on here?µ
Mr. Jenson stopped in his tracks. ´Why is this Rellim girl living here?µ
´She belongs here, Mr. Jenson.µ Kayley explained, ´She·s family.µ
Mr. Jenson looked interested. ´She can·t be related to you.µ
Kayley turned to me. ´Don·t listen to him. Come on, let·s go inside the houseµ
´Wait a minute, Kayley.µ Emily said, coming outside, ´Mr. Jenson, you have no
right, talking to my daughter like that.µ
Mr. Jenson looked even more interested. ´She·s your daughter? What happened,
picked up by a family who raised her to get terrible grades and never leave this
place?µ
Kayley was now pushing me toward the door, but it didn·t refrain me from
hearing what Mr. Jenson said. I stopped her.
´Kayley, stop.µ I told her. She did and watched me while I sat on the porch and
looked up at the ceiling, trying not to cry. Kayley sat down next to me.
´It·s not true, Ally.µ She said.
´But he·s right.µ I said, turning to her. It was too late, I felt the tears rolling
down, so I ignored them. ´I get terrible grades. And I·m never going to leave
this place. I·m not going to make it to college, I could barely make it through
high school.µ
Kayley sighed. ´But at least you·re a good person at heart. And you have good
friends and family.µ
I turned to Kayley. ´And a good sister.µ
Kayley smiled. ´Always.µ
We looked at Emily, who was still bickering with Mr. Jenson.
´How come god made me who I am if people are just going to judge me?µ I asked,
looking at Kayley.
She looked at me, and believed every word she said. ´Maybe because he didn·t
see anything wrong with you in the first place.µ


Chapter 20:
You don·t know that

I kept reading C.H.A.N.G.E. and realized the characters I wrote about had way
more problems than we did. One of the character·s parents didn·t care about
her. Another·s got a divorce and don·t even care about him. I sighed and closed
the book, laying on my bed, staring at the ceiling. I thought about all the kids in
class. I see a kid who always wears long sleeves. He wears Long sleeves to hide
the scars. I see a girl who cakes her face with make up. She does that, because
she needs to feel that she·s beautiful, because the people that beat her up
don·t. I see a girl in hand me down clothes, but that·s because her parents
couldn·t afford them.
People make fun of these people, but they don·t know the whole story. I knew
Christine was going through things with her parents, but I could tell, because
of the way she dresses and her appearance. She·s a rebel. She colors her hear
so much, she·s probably ruining her hair. She·s my buddy, a good person, fun
loving. But her appearance and the way she acts says it all. I thought about
other kids in school that probably have problems. Kayley came into my room.
´Hey, What are you doing? She asked me, sitting on the bed. I sat up to sit down
next to her.
´Thinking.µ I replied, ´Can you tell what other people at school are going
through?µ
´No.µ Kayley admitted, ´You can. You have a sixth sense.µ
I thought about it. ´Like Jenna. I think she acts the way she acts, because her
parents push her buttons all the time. Or maybe«µ
I thought. ´Maybe her parents were going to get a divorce, but decided not to,
because it was the best for Jenna.µ I explained, ´Now, Jenna has to do good in
school, or else her parents get a divorce. But her parents don·t understand
that she wants them to get divorced, but they don·t and they just keep pushing
her to get better grades. That·s why she pushes us, to feel better about herself
and that·s why she doesn·t care about class.µ
´Whoa.µ Kayley breathed, ´How·d you figure all that out?µ
I shrugged. ´It makes sense.µ
´I think you·re right though.µ Kayley said, ´How do you do that? When you try to
make sense of things, theories just pop in your head and a lot of the time,
they·re right?µ
I shrugged again.
Kayley nudged me. ´Maybe you have another talent besides writing.µ
I smiled. ´Maybe. Crap, we·re going to be late.µ
I forgot that we were bored, because we were waiting for the right time to
leave for school. I grabbed my backpack and we left my room, ready for school.

We stood at the entrance of Peterson high, watching as Emily drove off Jenna
appeared and was walking toward us. I stiffened up, because she was walking at
a fast pace. Before I could do anything, she pushed me, not enough to make me
fall, but enough to force me backwards a few steps.
´Whoa, whoa, hang on a minute,µ Kayley said. Jenna moved to push me again.
´Jenna, stop.µ Kayley said.
´What the hell?µ I asked.
Jenna glared at me. ´I KNOW YOU KNOW!µ
´Wh-´ Then I relaxed. I figured out why she was mad at me. How did she find
out?
´I·m sor-´
´Just stay away from me.µ Jenna spat and stormed away. I looked at Kayley, who
kept shifting her weight. ´What was that about?µ She asked.
I gulped. ´I was right. About her family issues.µ
´But how could she possible know we were talking about that this morning?µ
Kayley wondered. I shrugged. I suddenly became aware that everyone was
looking at me and whispering.
´I have a feeling they aren·t saying good things about me.µ I told Kayley.
´So?µ She asked, pulling me away from the whispering people, ´Don·t mind them.
How could Jenna possibly know that?µ
I shrugged again and racked my brain. ´The only person I told was you«µ
´I didn·t tell anybody.µ Kayley said.
I shook my head. ´No, Kayley. If you told ANYONE, you have to tell me now.
When you say anybody, everybody is anybody. Even Abby.µ
Kayley finally sighed. ´I told Max.µ
I backed away a few steps. ´What?µ
´Sorry, it slipped out-´
´I don·t care.µ I cut off, ´For a guy, Kayley? You would change yourself for a
guy?µ
´I·m not.µ Kayley protested, ´I promise you, it just slipped out«We can fix this.µ
I shook my head. ´Whatever.µ I turned to walk away, but Kayley grabbed me by
the arm.
´Ally«µ She said. She used the same tone she used when we were talking about
Lindsey. My adoptive Mom, Libby, used the same tone whenever she was
disappointed or upset with me. I hated that tone. I clenched my jaw so tight,
my teeth hurt.
´I·m not mad at you.µ I said through clenched teeth, ´I just need some time.
Just leave me alone.µ
Kayley released me and I walked off without glancing back. I shook off the
stress and headed to homeroom, even though I had a good fifthteen minutes
before the bell rang. I walked on top of the amphitheater and saw something
that caught my attention. Max, holding a girl·s hand. Then, he pecked her on
the lips. One word came to my head: player. I promised myself to tell Kayley
later and continued to homeroom. I gulped when I nearly bumped into Marcus.
´Sor-´ I realized he wasn·t alone. He was holding a girl·s hand.
Marcus looked at me, confused. ´Hey, Allison. You okay?µ
I nodded. I didn·t want to tell him I was sorry, because I·m not. Why should I
feel sorry?
´Yeah, I just feel a little sick.µ I replied.
Marcus looked at his ¶girlfriend· and then back at me. ´Want me to walk you to
the office?µ
I shook my head. ´No, I·ll be fine. Bye.µ
I pushed past him and continued walking. When I turned the corner, I stopped
to lean against the wall. I sighed heavily.

Kayley·sPOV

´Hey, Kayley.µ Henry, a guy in my Science class said as I was watching the clock.
The period was almost finished and I wanted to talk to Allison.
´Hey.µ I replied. Henry was a good looking guy, blonde-ish hair, green eyes, but
he was in the mathletes.
´You have a little«µ Henry reached over and wiped something off my cheek. It
was food, of course.
´Oh my go-´
´It·s okay.µ Henry said, ´I don·t think anybody noticed. And I don·t find it gross
or weird.µ
I sighed with relief. ´Thanks, Henry.µ
He nodded and the bell finally rang. I jumped up from my seat and headed to
the door. I met Allison after Science. She was waiting for me out the door.
´Hey,µ I said. She looked pale and panicked. ´What happened?µ
Allison looked down quickly before looking at me. ´Kayley, M-´
Somebody bumped into her and just kept going without even turning around.
Allison looked at the person who shoved her and looked at me with an ¶are-you-
kidding-me· face. I sighed. ´Just ignore those people, Ally.µ
´I can·t.µ Allison protested, ´That·s the sixth time I·ve been bumped into.µ
Just then, Ivy bumped into Allison.
´Sorry,µ Ivy said, ´Looks like some things never change.µ
´She thinks I·m stupid.µ Allison muttered. I was sure Ivy didn·t hear her, but she
started talking in Spanish to the friend next to her.
´She said she thinks you·re talking crap about her.µ Ivy·s friend blurted out. Ivy
looked panicked.
´Hey, no. Spanish is like, a secret language.µ Ivy scolded.
I looked at Ally when I thought they weren·t listening. ´They aren·t even
allowed to speak their home language in school.µ
´Oh hell no!µ Ivy said.
Allison stiffened up and mouthed ¶shoot.·
´We can speak any language we want!µ
Ivy came toward me, but her friend held her back.
´Ivy, calm down.µ Her friend said. She somehow got Ivy to calm down and was
able to drag her away from us. I stood there, shocked. Ally unfroze and sighed
with relief. ´You okay?µ
I shook my head. ´What just happened?µ
Allison shrugged, ´But that scared me. I thought she was actually going to do
something.µ
Just then, the bell rang.
´We have PE.µ Allison said, sighing. ´Come on, Kayley. Don·t worry, Ivy won·t
hurt you.µ
I shook my head, coming out of the state of shock and into the state of panic.
´You don·t know that.µ

Chapter 21:
The accident

Allison·s POV

I talked to Kayley through the hollow wall almost all night.
´Still scared about the whole Ivy thing?µ I asked her.
Kayley was silent for a few seconds before answering. ´No. She can·t do
anything to me, or else she·ll be suspended. And I have you guys around.µ
´That·s true.µ I agreed. Just then, Kayley·s phone rang.
´Hang on, Ally.µ She said. I heard Kayley get up and I waited, letting my head
rest on the wall. A few minutes later, Kayley startled me with a loud shriek of
excitement.
´Wh-what·s going on?µ I asked.
´Max just asked me out!µ She said excitedly. I gulped. I forgot to tell her.
´How come you aren·t saying anything?µ Kayley asked.
´Kayley«µ I said hesitantly.
´What?µ She asked.
I shook my head and hit my head against the wall lightly. ´Nothing. Good for
you.µ
I wanted to move the subject along. I wanted to tell Kayley Max was a player,
but she·d assume I was lying. On the other hand, if I don·t tell her, she would
hate me when she got hurt. I debated in my head and decided I·ll tell her if
things go too far or if something goes wrong. Suddenly, Emily burst into my
room.
´Oh, hi,µ I said, ´Uh, we can go to bed if-´
´No no, I·m not worried about that,µ Emily said quickly, ´Allison, your adoptive
father, Dan, died in a car accident.µ

I let Kayley stay with me in my room that night. I took a shaky breath.
´You okay?µ Kayley asked me.
I shook my head. I felt a lump in my throat. I looked up at the ceiling and
anywhere except Kayley.
´Are you going to cry?µ She asked me. I shook my head and struggled from doing
exactly that. Kayley rolled around in my computer chair and I could tell she
didn·t know what to say.
´You can go if you want.µ I said.
Kayley shook her head. ´No, I·m staying here.µ
I thought about my friends at Peterson. I thought about Emily and Marcus.
Anything but Dan. I thought long and hard.
´What are you thinking about?µ Kayley asked me out of the blue. I looked up at
her, sure my eyes were red. But I looked at Kayley straight in the eyes, presently
not afraid that she·d see me cry.
´Everything and anything.µ I replied. ´Except the accident.µ
Kayley looked down, but then met my eyes again. ´Like?µ
´You? Abby? Lindsey? Sara?µ I said, ´Emily, Marcus, and everybody
else«Actually, it·d be worst if I lost any of you.µ
Kayley got up and sat next to me on the bed. She sighed silently. ´We so need to
go to church school.µ
I stared at her. It was such a random comment. ´What?µ I asked.
´Because if we did, I would know what to say right now«µ Kayley explained, ´I
would be praying right now.µ
I smirked a little. ´But we take everything over the top, so if we go to church
school, we·d be better than saints.µ
Kayley laughed. ´We·d pray every time we entered a doorway.µ
She did the cross and said ¶amen.· I couldn·t help but laugh. Kayley smiled. ´I
made you laugh.µ She noted. I nodded and sighed.
´That·s why you·re my best friend.µ I said, ´To pick me up when I·m down. And
to be there.µ I smiled and hugged her. Suddenly, Emily came in.
´I know this is a bad time,µ She said, ´But we need your birth certificate,
Allison.µ
I pulled away from Kayley. ´What? Why?µ
´You aren·t legally in custody of me.µ Emily explained, ´We have to go to city hall
to legally get full custody of you. You have to go through the files to get your
certificate.µ

I sighed heavily as I was looking through the fourth box. Kayley was sitting on
the ground, trying to help me fine my birth certificate.
I found everything from embarrassing videos of Kayley when she was little to
pictures of family members. Kayley stood up.
´I·ll be right back.µ She said. I nodded and Kayley walked out of the room. I
tore through the box and caught a glimpse of a blue paper. I sighed with relief
that I finally found it. I pulled it out and there was my name, Allison Ekena
Connelly. There was something stapled to it. I flipped the page and saw my
adoption papers. I stared at the paper.
I glanced at the box and saw another blue paper. Probably Kayley·s birth
certificate. I don·t know what motivated me to, but I picked it out of the box
and examined it. Like mine, there was something stapled to it. I flipped the
page and felt my breathing slow. It was an adoption paper.
I scanned it and couldn·t believe what I was reading. It was an unsigned
adoption paper. And it was filled out. All, except the biological parent
signature. I heard the door open and I dropped Kayley·s certificate back into
the box. It was Emily.
´Oh, uh, I found my birth certificate«µ I faltered.
Emily walked up to me. ´You found Kayley·s, didn·t you?µ
I nodded, but then shook my head. ´It doesn·t make any sense. Kayley is
supposed to be adopted?µ
Emily slowly and unwillingly nodded. ´I told you, you wouldn·t understand.µ
´Try me.µ I said, ´So, what? You were going to put Kayley up for adoption, but
changed your mind?µ
Emily shook her head. ´It·s not about that, Allison. After you two were born, I
realized that I couldn·t afford to keep you two.µ
I looked in Emily·s eyes and realized there must be more to the story than she
was telling.
´Nobody knew you were pregnant besides Dad, huh?µ I said.
Emily nodded and looked down. ´I·m so sorry.µ
´So«you wanted to keep it that way.µ I guessed. Emily nodded again.
I sighed heavily. Emily took a deep breath to continue her story. ´Allison, I was
trying to have you and Kayley adopted by the same family so you two wouldn·t
be separated. But your Dad refused to sign Kayley·s adoption paper. He wanted
to keep at least one of you. And he knew I couldn·t stand the two of you being
separated, so his plan was if he refused to sign, I would give in and keep both
of you.µ
I didn·t know what to say. I looked down at the floor, unable to focus.
´But it was too late,µ Emily concluded, ´You were already gone. And every
single day, I will always and forever regret that.µ
I pushed my bangs back and sighed. ´Kayley doesn·t know, does she?µ
Emily shook her head. ´You have to tell her, Allison.µ
I looked up. ´What? I think you should be the one to tell-´
´Allison, you are her sister.µ Emily cut off, ´You may have been separated from
her for a while, but you two act like you·ve known each other for more than
four years. It might sound crazy, but it·s like you were never separated. You
need to tell her, not just because you think it·s the right thing to do, but
because she trusts you through everything and anything.µ
I could tell she really believed every word she said. I nodded unwillingly and
headed to the door. I turned back to Emily.
´It was an accident that I found Kayley·s certificate.µ I noted, ´If I didn·t find
that, what would·ve happened?µ
Emily looked me in the eyes. ´I would·ve told you«Honestly, I would·ve told you.µ


Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24
Chapter 25
Chapter 26
Chapter 27
Chapter 28
Chaper 29
Chapter30






































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