Afraid of love.

I've been asking myself this question over and over again, Is love a game? Cause no matter how hard I try, I never win. It's like trying to write a love story but running out of ink in the pen. Suspense. Like a fairytale beginning, but you never find out how it ends. So I often wonder If I'll ever, If i'll ever find true love. What am I afraid of? If I'm afraid to love, Or if I'm afraid of love, then how will I ever find the one? - Afraid of love- Brutha

Chapter 1: School!?
I was sitting on my new house's old white porch staring out into my new neighborhood on Pastridge st. I brushed back a long strand of my long red hair behind my ear. I missed my father, he passed away from cancer. After that happened I moved in with my Aunt Rosa. She had no kids, and was extremely excited when I was going to move in with her and her fiance Peter. I, however felt dead. I didn't care where I moved to as long as I got away from the painful memories of my old house. I was greatful I looked like my mother because I didn't want to see my father everytime I looked into a mirror. My mother left us when I was just born. She basically just popped me out and left. I had my father's eyes though. Sky blue, with green around the pupils. Sometimes, on days like this when I cried my eyes out, my eyes would turn grey, just like his did. I started thinking about getting contacts to cover it up. I heard the door open behind me and I quickly wiped a tear away from my eye. "June, it's time to eat." Rosa called to me in her strong spanish accent. She was my mother's sister. My mother's side was from Argentina and Columbia, while my father's side was from England and Scotland. She was the closest relative I've had all my life besides my father and my little brother Steven. "Okay." I was getting better at hiding my silent cries. Usually my voice would crack and uncover the truth, but if I kept my answers short, I'd be able to wear the mask a little longer. Until she sat down and examined my face, that is. Rosa sat down next to me and tried to grab my eyes' attention. "Life goes on, June, You need to accept that sometime." She's been begging me to get over my father's death for the whole month I've been living here. I turned my head trying to deny the truth. It was true though, what she said, but sometimes life goes on and you don't have enough time to catch up. We all caught up on our own pace. "Yeah, well his life didn't." I responded coolly. I looked back into her eyes and she stared at me thinking of the best possible come back. A minute had passed and she finally answered. "Yes, well sometimes you need to make the best of what you've got." She always tried to make me feel better, but I was too lifeless to be helped right now. I was lifeless. I've never lost anybody really close to me because I was only close to my father and brother. "I've got nothing left." I had my brother, and I tried to put on a brave face for him. He was only seven, and I needed to make the situation better for him. He was accepting it and I decided to stay back

and grieve. It wasn't fair for him. "You've got me. You've got Steven. And even Peter is here for you if you need him." I looked back on the times Rosa would visit for christmas and help me through all of my problems, and she was there for me all the time. I appreciated her help and decided to give in. "Now, come on preciosa, we're having lasagna. Mmm." I smiled at her and wiped the last of my tears. She handed me a tanned hand and pulled me up. Rosa had dyed her black hair to blonde, which didn't look natural at all with her dark complexion. But it looked alright on her. She liked to dress up and paint her nails, and she looked ten years younger than thirty. She was younger than my mother by nine years. She was tall and thin with all the right curves. She always wore pink lipstick, nailpolish, and just about everything was pink. She was a pink freak. She wasn't as extreme as painting the whole house pink and buying all pink furniture, but it was obvious she was obsessed with the colour. I followed her to the kitchen and she grabbed my plate off of the big white table to serve me. I smiled at steven and went to sit beside him. "Junie, school's tomorrow!" He cheered. Oh no. I never thought about school this whole summer. I wasn't ready. I was going into the eleventh grade all alone, and grieving this whole summer left me no time to meet any new friends. "Is that right?" I asked him with fake enthusiasm. He was obviously more excited than me. "You'll be fine." Peter put down his fork to stop eating. He must have been trying to make conversation with me. I stared into his deep brown eyes and stayed silent. I never liked Peter much after he discussed my sanity with Rosa and wanted me to start seeing a therapist. After about a minute of silence, he realized he wasn't getting an answer for me. He cleared his throat and dug into his meal again. Rosa looked at us with worried eyes and tried to break the tension by soothing me further. "It's alright, the kids here are friendly." She smiled at me, but the smile never reached her eyes. She handed me my plate and took her seat. She continued glancing at me every now and then. When she realized the battle wasn't going to go on further she dug in herself. The meal remained quiet and I ate fast so I could escape to my room. "Night." I said quietly as I made my escape. * * * I was having a nightmare. I was in the school, and I was lost. I kept trying to ask people for help and directions, but no one would stop for me. No body seen me. I screamed out at everyone. I never felt so alone. "Answer me!" I shouted at everyone that passed. I started to run. I was panicked. What was happening to me? I started to sweat. I stood still in the middle of the hallway when a boy finally caught my attention. "Can you hear me?" I smiled at him. Surely I looked a little hysterical but at least he could see me. But he wasn't answering me. Maybe he never heard me. "Can you hear me!?" I shouted. My smile started to fade. I ran possibilites through my head. Maybe he was deaf, because he was looking right at me. I decided to wave at him instead. No response. He began to walk towards me then. A smile spread on his face. I lit up, too. He came closer and I was walking forward too so I could get a better look at him. His face was blurred, but I knew he was smiling. His thin lips stretched out wide. But it was like his eyes were rubbed out with an eraser. I screamed in terror at the sight, but I couldn't move as he approached me. His muscular build seemed to get bigger and bigger. My feet were glued to the floor. I was panicking, I tried to pry my feet from the floor using my hands but they were glued there. He was centimeters away from me now and I flew my hands over my face. I flinched ready for what was about to happen next. Nothing happened. Confused, I opened my eyes, blinked, and then removed my hands slowly. I looked up to find he wasn't there, I turned around to find he walked right through me. He had been looking at someone else the whole time. He stopped right infront of another girl, who's eyes were just like his. I screamed out wishing I could fall to my knees and curl up in a ball, but I was glued to my spot. I screamed again and my eyes fluttered open. I sat up and glanced at the clock on my bedside table. Just in time for my alarm to go off. It was 7:01. I wiped my eyes and yawned. I had a restless night. Before I got up, I

stretched and then threw the covers off of me. I knew Rosa would be making breakfast for me, even though she knew I never ate breakfast. All I wanted was to shower and get ready. I got up but tripped over something on the floor. I looked down to see a new black jansport backpack with a little pink bow on it. Rosa, I thought. I laughed to myself. That was sweet of her. I went to pick it up, wondering what I would put in it. I could borrow some papers and pens from Peter's office and repay him when I actually go school supply shopping. It was heavy. Rosa, again. She went shopping for me. I opened it to see what was in it. I found many things in there. Markers, pens, paper- lined and blank. She threw in a couple of folders and a professional art book. I was so greatful for Rosa, and her hospitality. I smiled to myself and put my new stuff down. I walked over to the washroom across from my room and found my clothes laid out on the floor where I had left them before I went to sleep. I jumped in the hot shower to ease the stress on my back from the restless sleep I had. I took longer than I should have in the shower, but I needed it. I wanted this year to be different. I didn't want to grieve over my father today. I didn't want to become invisible like I had this summer. I didn't want what happened in my dream to happen to me in school. "June you're going to be late!" I heard Rosa call from downstairs. "And you missed your breakfast!" I turned off the water and grabbed a towel. I stood like this for a few seconds when I heard Rosa call to me again. "Ay Dios, mija! You're going to be late!" She was about to call again when I opened the door slightly and shouted back, "I'm almost done, I just need to brush my teeth." I went to close the door to do just what I said, when I remembered her gift to me. "And thanks for the backpack!" I shouted again. "Kay. I'm taking steven to school, you're going to have to take the bus, bye." I heard the door close. She seemed excited for our first day of school too. Maybe she knew this year would be different. Or maybe she just wanted alone time with Peter, since his business was a home business, all he had to do was sit at the computer until he got called in. I dried myself off, brushed my teeth, put on my clothes, and decided to wear make up to brighten my look. I wore a black tank-top with black skinny jeans. I moussed my dark red hair into curls and wore pink eyeshadow with liquid eyeliner. I didn't want to look like I was attending a funeral. I ran into my room to find my deoderant and backpack and a stack of bus tickets I found on my bedside table last night. I grabbed two and then ran downstairs. * * *

The bus service was really slow this morning. I looked at my ipod's time, it was almost 9. I began to shift my weight from leg to leg impatiently, letting out a sigh every few seconds. I stared into the direction where it should have been coming from. I was debating whether I should walk or not, but I knew that if I walked the bus would come and I would be even more late to school. I decided to wait inside the bus stop to get out of the heat. Wearing black was not a good idea on such a hot day. As I was about to sit down, I noticed the bus finally coming. "Finally!" I whispered loudly. I got on the bus and took my seat in the front so I could get off as quickly as possible. I looked around me. The bus was empty. I knew I was really late. Back in my old neighborhood, the buses were always really crowded in the morning even if you were late. But then again, I lived in a crowded area, and here wasn't as populated. I almost forgot to press the button as the bus came closer and closer to my stop. I pressed it quickly, and the bus halted to a quick stop. The bus driver gave me an annoyed expression. I looked away quickly and ran off of the bus. I glanced at my ipod's time again 9:05. Crap. I needed to run so I didn't look so bad on my first day. I ran quickly towards the obvious entrance. No body was outside, and I was hoping the hallways were crowded. I didn't want to be alone, not knowing where to go and having no one there to ask. I slowed down my pace as I reach the glass doors, relieved to find it full of students. I hurried inside. I looked around for someone who didn't look so intimidating to ask

where the office was, but so far, everyone looked intimidating to me. The hallways reminded me of my dream, and I suddenly felt self-conscious. I started to walk faster, maybe I could find it on my own. As I was looking around for the word 'Office', written on any door, I crashed into a tall, muscular boy. "Hey!" He said as he shoved me back. I looked up to see who I bumped into, and his angry expression smoothed out as he stared into my eyes. "S-sorry." I stammered. I went to walk away, but he interrupted my escape. "Are you new?" I turned around to face his dark green eyes. I just stared at him. I was speechless. He was very handsome. He had dark brown hair and dark green eyes. He was about 6'2, and had a toned shape. He wore a black polo, and dark jeans. I wasn't the only one who decided to dress up dark today. "Uh..yeah." I said and looked down, embarrassed by my gawking. I turned to walk away again. I finally escaped. I spoke to soon. I turned to see him walking right beside me. "I'll show you to the office." He smiled a warm smile. I returned the smile, and looked down to hide my blush. "So what's your name?" He asked me. I looked up at him. Rosa was right, the people here were very nice. "June Isabella Suavez." I was feeling braver so I decided to do some talking. "And you?" I looked at him with kind eyes. He noticed my sudden bravery and answered, "Jefferson Giovanni. Pleased to meet you June-Isabella." He held out his hand. I shook it. His hand wrapped around mine and he had a firm grip. "Nice to meet you too, Jefferson." I noticed he stopped walking when he turned to open a door for me. I was so caught up in his eyes I forgot all about the office. "Oh, yeah. Thank you." I laughed as I broke away from his gaze. He laughed, too at the realization of our little staring contest. "I hope to see you soon, June-Isabella." I loved how he combined my middle name with my first name. He was the only one that did that. "Me, Jefferson." I blushed at my stupid reply and walked into the office smiling. I heard him laugh as he turned to walk away. I turned around to see him turned to look at me too. We both laughed at this and then I continued to the front desk. I stood at the desk. No one was there yet so I replayed what had just happened in my head. I stood there smiling to myself when I heard someone clear their throat. That was embarrassing. "Are you June?" The short chubby lady asked me. "Uh, yeah." She nodded and went to go get me some papers. She wore a pink v-neck t-shirt with white shorts and she wore her hair in a mess of really short curls. She looked to be about in her 40's. Her skin was red in most areas. It looked sun damaged. She had kind blue eyes. Perhaps the heat was making her cranky. She handed me the papers and a pen. "You need to sign a few things and bring it back tomorrow." She handed me the papers I needed to sign, and then she handed me two more papers. "The white one is for writing the classes you want to take on, and the pink one is the list of classes we have. We'll register this today, and you'll start your classes tomorrow." She gave me a fake smile, and turned to help the other person that recently walked in. I made my way to the green love seat that had a table infront of it. I looked at the pink paper that read, 'Welcome to Jeffery's Institute!' in big bold letters at the top. This school had a lot of variety. They must have had a lot of money. I chose Drama, English, Parenting, And Creative writing for my first semester. For my second semester I chose, Chemistry, Biology, Trig, and Music. I enjoyed writing, especially poetry. I had books full of poetry that I wrote. Starting from back when I was first able to write. Poetry and Acting had always been my thing. I hoped to do a lot of that here. I finished chosing my courses and got up to wait in the line that had just formed to talk to her. The tall blonde girl infront of me turned around to me and looked at me. I looked back at her and smiled. "What?" She asked and then rolled her eyes. She turned to the counter and handed in some sheets to the secretary. Her hands were fully manicured and her toes were pedicured. She looked like a barbie. She wore a pink tank top with matching pink short shorts and matching pink sandals. She even had pink rimmed sunglasses. "I was just being polite, barbie." I said coolly. And I stood there waiting for her reply. Okay, so maybe my Aunt was

wrong. Everyone except for Jefferson was angry at the world today. She finished talking to the secretary and then turned to me once again. "No one asked you to." She squinted her eyes at me, and turned to walk out. She swished her hair before she left and turned to look at me from the other side of the glass door. I raised an eyebrow at her and decided to just ignore her. "Don't pay attention to barbara." The secretary told me. I smiled at her, handed in the papers, and left. * * *

Chapter 2: Johnny
"So, how was your first day?" Rosa asked Steven and I as we sat down at the dinner table eating our steak and potatos. "Awsome!" Steven shouted. "Today, I had so many friends! One of my friends, his name is Ronny and he is so funny!" He continued excitedly. I played with my food with my fork, smiling at it. "You met a boy didn't you?" She was onto me now. I looked up at her with shocked eyes. "No, I had a good day that's all." I laughed. "No, No, No. What's his name?" She pressed. Everyone was laughing at my embarrassment now. "Okay, okay." I playfully rolled my eyes. "Jefferson." I mumbled. I looked up to Rosa to hear her squeal and clap. This was the most alive meal we've had for the whole month. I enjoyed it so far. Rosa was acting like a highschool girl. "Is he cute?" I laughed. "Very." I bit my lip. Peter felt the need to stop this fun moment. "Aren't you a little young? The last thing we need is for Rosa and I to be a great aunt and uncle." I glared at him. "Why do you think that about me? You think I'm just going to go out, meet a cute guy and get pregnant?" I argued back. Rosa sighed. "No, I never said that." I was mad now. Why must he always start something? "You know what Peter? That wouldn't even make you a great uncle. You're not married to her. You shouldn't even be included in this conversation." I snapped at him. His face turned scarlet. "I'm as apart of this family as you are!" He yelled. Peter was a handsome man, but he had an ugly attitude. "How?!" I was standing up now. "You're lazy ass won't even marry her!" I yelled in his face. He stood up too and he leaned over so we were both in each other's faces. "Yeah?" He slammed his fist down. "Yeah!" I yelled. "Well, at least my lazy ass never got dumped onto our porch, in our house, interupting our lives." He seemed pretty pleased with himself with what he said. A smirk crossed his face as I blinked and stood up straight. I turned to go upstairs. I was outraged. Peter always wanted to pick fights with me. And when he hurt me he was pleased with himself. "Peter, you're sleeping on the couch!" Rosa yelled in a whisper. "I don't know why you always have to start a fight with her! You two argue like housewives!" She continued her rant. It soon became inaudible as I reached my room and slammed the door shut. * * * I ended up taking the bus again. I had another restless sleep and took another long shower. I had a dream about Jefferson. In my dream, he was the boy with crossed out eyes. The exact same thing happened as my other nightmare from the other night and I woke up at the same time as last night. Today I wore, A bright yellow tank top and short white shorts. I moussed my hair and wore make up yet again. I felt the need to impress people. I grabbed my bag, ran downstairs, put on my yellow flats and flew out the door. The bus was early today which was a good thing. Today was technically my first day, since I couldn't attend any classes yesterday. The bus halted to a stop infront of me. It was the same bus driver as yesterday. He gave me an unusual expression like he was expecting me to do the same thing as yesterday. I got off of the bus, smiling at the bus driver. I didn't repeat what had happened yesterday. I made my way up the walk way to the front doors. To my surprise, I seen Jefferson in the front of the school sitting down reading a book by himself on one of the benches. I decided to walk over to him. I had an excuse ready in my head. I needed to see if we shared

any classes he could show me to. "Hey, Jefferson, right?" I tried to play it off like I didn't really remember his name, when the truth was I was thinking about him the whole time he wasn't near me. "Hey, June-Isabella!" He lifted his eyes from his book and beamed up at me. I grinned back at him and sat down beside him. "You can just call me June, you know." I told him. He smiled at me. "I like the way it sounds when you put it together. But if you want me to call you June, I will." I looked away blushing. "It's okay, you can call me whatever you want." I looked back up to him. "You shouldn't say that." He laughed. I gave him a puzzled look. "Because, you said I could call you whatever I want. If I didn't like you I could call you donkey, or witch, or stupid. And we all know you're not any of those things. But if I had the choice to call you whatever I wanted, I would call you beautiful." He grinned at me and I widened my eyes in shock and started blushing a deeper red. "Liar!" I smacked his arm playfully. "It's true, beautiful. If you really meant that I could call you whatever I want." We laughed together. "You can call me June-Isabella, I like the truth better." He sighed playfully at my words. "You are beautiful. And to call you June-Isabella, is just like calling you beautiful." He winked at me. I sighed in defeat. "Okay, you win." I almost forgot to ask about the classes when the bell rang. "Hey, I was wondering, can you wait for me to get my schedule so I can see what classes we have together?" "Can't get enough of me?" He grinned as we both got up and started walking into the school. "I don't know anybody but you remember?" I reminded him. "Yeah, yeah, yeah." He led me to the office yet again. He held the door open for me so I could walk in first. "Thanks." I said politely and, still smiling to myself, I handed her the papers. "I see you made a new friend already." The secretary was in a better mood today. Today seemed so perfect. She handed me my schedule. I had Creative writing first. "Yeah, he's nice." I turned around to smile at him. He was looking at me appreciatively. His eyes met my face then and he smiled a wide smile. "Talking about me?" He asked, and walked over. "Hello mrs.Trevor." He greeted her. She smiled at him and then looked at me. "This one's a trouble maker." She playfully stated. I looked at him with playful shock. "You're a trouble-maker are you?" I looked at her and said, "I had no idea!" We all laughed and he shrugged. "Bye, mrs.Trevor." I called to her as Jefferson and I walked out of the office. "I have Creative writing first, then Drama, then Parenting, And last I have English." He observed my schedule. "I have the first three with you." He looked it over appreciatively. He showed me the way to the class. Class had already begun and when we walked in everybody looked up at us. "Ah! Welcome! Finally gracing us with your presences!" The old male teacher shouted with fake appreciation. Everyone started to giggle. "Sit." He finished. I sat down in the back of the class, and he took his seat up at the front. He turned around and smiled one last time at me. "I would advise you to all take notes." The teacher turned around to write on the board. The boy beside me took that as an advantage to talk to me. "Pst." I turned to him. He was tan with black hair and black eyes. He wore a black wifebeater and he was muscular. He was really cute, but I already set my goals for somebody else. "Are you together?" He asked me. I looked at him in confusion. "What do you mean?" I said too loudly. The teacher turned around and glared at us. "SHHH! Or I'll move you!" He threatened. I looked at him apologetically. He shook his head and handed me a note. Are you together? You and Jefferson. I read it over and then wrote my answer. No, why?

I handed the note back to him. Stay away from him. He's not good for you. I looked at him, and then folded the paper and put it in my pocket. Jefferson suddenly turned around and flashed a breathtaking smile at me. I smiled back shyly and turned to the boy beside me. He shook his head, and then looked down. Nothing could possibly be wrong with Jefferson, he was perfect. Sure he was a little flirtatious, but at least he was friendly. He didn't look at any other girl but me. He listened to what I was saying. He made me laugh. And I realized I was developing a crush on him. I looked at the boy beside me another time, but he didn't look up at me again. He continued to do his work. He didn't try to make any further conversation for the duration of the class. Time seemed to be passing by slowly. I longed to talk with Jefferson. Maybe if I got here early tomorrow I could sit with him. "So, just write a poem, and I want it by tomorrow." The class groaned, except for me of course. I was excited. I sat up straight and listened further with a smile on my face. I noticed the boy beside me looking at me with a crooked smile on his face. I turned to look at him but the bell rang and he got up to leave. I stared after him, but then Jefferson stood over my desk blocking my view. "Ready for next class?" He asked me. I smiled up at him and forgot all about the boy beside me. "I'm not sure, is the teacher like this one?" He laughed at my joke and I got up to walk with him to the next class. * * * The bell to my last class rang, and I quickly gathered my things ready to leave and see Jefferson. I ran down the stairs quickly to my locker, which was on the second floor, so I could hurriedly put my things away. I was overexcited from drama class. We had to partner up and act out a romantic scene. Jefferson wasn't very good, so I was going to ask him if he wanted to go over the lines sometime before the deadline of the performance. I was just about to open my locker when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around with a big smile, thinking it was Jefferson. "Oh. You." I said as my smile faded from my face. I looked in the face of my first enemy, the tall blonde from the office. When she said nothing, I turned back to finish opening my locker. She leaned against the locker next to mine. "I hope you know he's taken." She said examining her nails. "I don't know what you're talking about." I continued putting my things in my locker, barely noticing she was there until she kept talking. "Oh, I think you have a perfectly good idea what I'm talking about." I looked over at her to see her giving me a fake smile. "Everyone knows." She continued in a fake sympathetic sigh. I stopped what I was doing this time. "Knows what? What are you talking about?" Could everybody be thinking we were going out? She laughed, the most fakest laugh I've ever heard. "Oh come on! Everybody knows about your little crush." She looked at me shamefully. "He's not interested." She continued. "Trust me. Stay away from him." Two times in one day I heard 'stay away from him.' "Okay, I don't have a crush on anybody, so you can go ahead with your little sluttish games with anybody you want. Okay?" I slammed my locker shut, locked it and turned to walk away. She followed me so I picked up the pace. "Seriously, bitch. If you don't stay away from my man. I know you know who I'm talking about now. I'm going to rip you apart, do you understand me?" I turned around this time, she was taken aback. She might have been taller than me but I felt like I was towering over her. "I don't care about you and your little boyfriend, go play mindgames with someone else. I'm going to talk to whoever I want, and whenever I want. I'd like to see you try to rip me apart. I hope you break a nail." I had my hand raised like I was going to hit her but quickly put it down when I noticed people watching us. Her eyes glowered at me as I turned to walk away. I turned around to see her still in the same position with her mouth hanging open, and eyes still angry. I raised my eyebrow and rolled my eyes. I walked out the front doors too angry to look for Jefferson when I heard my name being called. I turned around quickly to find the boy in the wife-beater from my Creative writing class leaning against the wall. He looked dangerous. He gestured for me to go over to him with his finger. I walked over to him shyly. All traces of my anger were hidden in the back of my mind as I wondered what he wanted. "Did you stay away?" He asked me seriously. I was

getting tired of all the 'stay aways' I was getting today. "Ugh!" I crossed my arms around my chest and glared at him. "What's the problem? First, you, then Barbie over there," I looked in the direction of the tall blonde getting into her red convertable and then continued, "And now you again." He laughed. Why was he laughing? Was something about my expression funny? Was he crazy? "Yeah, I knew it." He looked at the car pull away and then back to me. I stared at him, my expression screamed confusion. "He's got a girlfriend, and he flirts with every thing with a butt." He said as he pulled out a package of cigarettes. I looked at him in surprise. He was standing right under a sign that read 'No smoking on school property.' "Are you stupid?" I grabbed the package out of his hand. "You're going to get in trouble! And I don't care if he has a girlfriend." I told him as I made my way to a garbage can. He grabbed my arm that held the package of cigarettes. "I don't care if I get in trouble. I'll take that." He took the package back and continued, "What I care about, though, is seeing another pretty soul getting her heart broken by him." He laughed again to himself and turned to leave. "Wait !" I started to follow him. "What do you mean?" He stopped infront of a motorcycle and pulled keys out of his pockets. "What don't you get?" He asked me in an annoyed tone. I didn't understand him. He was so bipolar. "What's your name?" I asked him quickly. He raised an eyebrow at me. I gave him a 'Go-on' look. "Johnny. Call me Johnny." He said as he slid onto his motorbike. "Seeya." He kick-started it to life and disappeared. "Cigarettes are bad for you!" I called out, but he was gone. "Who are you talking to?" I turned to see Jefferson behind me. "Oh just this guy, but he's gone now." I had the confused look still on my face. "Who?" He pressed. "Do you know Johnny? He's in our Creative writing class." I admitted. "There's no Johnny in that class." He laughed at my new expression. "Someone just lied to you." I laughed too, but stopped when I was thinking about him again. "Are you okay?" He asked. I lied to him. "Yeah, I just don't feel like taking the bus home, it's too hot." I looked down to hide my poker face. "I'll give you a ride, air conditioning and all." He smiled. "You have a car?" I looked at him impressed and he nodded. He led me to his car and I sat in the passenger seat. "Do you know how to drive?" he asked me. I honestly didn't know how to drive. "No." I admitted. "Nice car." He drove a silver mercedes with black leather seats, and tinted windows. He got in and started the car. He turned on the airconditioning and sat back for a minute. I watched him in amusement. "Thanks, my dad gave it to me after he bought a new one." I just nodded and sat there quietly. "So where do you live?" He asked me after another minute of leaning back. He sat upright and put the car in reverse and started driving. "777 Pastridge st." I said nervously. I was telling a boy my address. I couldn't help but think about my aunt's reaction when she see's me pull up in the garage pathway with a boy, in a mercedes. "I live around there, maybe I should start picking you up in the mornings." He grinned at me. I smiled and shrugged. "If you don't mind." I leant my head back and closed my eyes, the air conditioning felt nice. I could get used to this. I opened my eyes to the feeling of something watching me. I tilted my head towards him. "What?" He was looking at me as if he were admiring me. He shook his head and laughed at his actions. I was feeling self-concious all of a sudden. He focussed on the road, but I decided to press him for the answer. "No, tell me, What?" I was looking at myself all over. "Is there something wrong?" I wiped my mouth, thinking I had food stuck on there. He laughed again and then glanced at me quickly. "Nothing's wrong, I just..well.. I was admiring your beauty." He shook his head again. "I know, it's corny." I laughed at him.

"That's it? I thought something was wrong with me." I laughed again. "No it wasn't corny, what was corny was what you said earlier this morning about calling me by my name being the same thing as calling me beautiful." I giggled to myself and shifted my weight to look at him. "Yeah, I guess that was corny. But it's true." He smiled in my direction, but his eyes stayed on the road. "Which one is it?" He asked slowing the car down. "The one with the big old white porch. I pointed to the left side of the street. He pulled in the drive-way. I went to get out but he put a hand on my arm and pulled me back in. "I need to say something to you." I looked at him nervously. "Yes?" I said weakly. He was staring into my eyes so sincerely, it made my knees weak. "You know I have a girlfriend." He stated. I felt a little prick in my heart. Like a needle was being injected into my heart. "I might have heard that." I said coolly. His eyes saddened. "But, I like you. I like you a lot. And I don't think I can stay away from you." I rolled my eyes at him. "Don't say that." I turned to leave again but he grabbed my hand this time. "I'm sorry. I like you a lot. I can't help it. But I can't leave my girlfriend." He added to the little pricks in my heart. "I wasn't going to ask you to leave her." I said flatly. I looked away from his eyes and out the window. "I know you weren't. You're different than anybody else I've ever met." I returned my eyes to his. He looked at me with such love in his eyes. I couldn't help but fall deeper for him. I knew I shouldn't, but I couldn't help myself either. I felt my heart melt at that moment. I went to pull my hand away from his but he pulled it to his chest. "When you look at me, my heart skips a beat, do you feel it?" His heart rate was fast and I looked at him with wide eyes. A smile played at his lips. He looked like he was going crazy. "I can't leave my girlfriend." He repeated. "I know." I whispered. He looked up at me with excited eyes this time. "Let's be really close friends then." I looked at him like he was crazy. "Don't worry, we'll be close, and nobody can say anything." He smiled and I smiled back. "Fine." I moved my hand from his chest and went to leave for the third time. "Wait." I was getting annoyed of all his interruptions. "Can I at least have my bestfriends number?" He grinned at me. He was back to his normal self. He didn't look like he was going to rip his heart out of his chest anymore. I grabbed a pen and paper from my backpack and gave it to him. He lifted a flap on the roof of the car so he could put it there, and I noticed a picture of barbara there. I pretended I never noticed and quickly said goodbye and left the car. I walked into the house and slouched onto the couch. My heart felt really heavy, like it was full of water. My heart felt like the titanic at that moment. I needed to take my mind off of what just happened. Not a minute later did Rosa come running down the stairs. "Who was that?" She asked me excitedly. I sighed. I knew I wasn't going to get away with what just happened that easily. I was easily manipulated and I knew I was going to tell her everything. "That was Jefferson." I admitted. She widened her eyes and let her jaw drop. She flew into the space beside me and sat in her usual gossip position. "He owns such a nice car! Why didn't you invite him in?" She looked offended. "You didn't want to introduce me to your boyfriend?" She pouted. "He's not my boyfriend." I rolled my eyes and looked down at my hands folded onto my leg. She noticed the sudden sadness in my expression and asked me if I wanted to talk. "No, it's okay. I need to finish my homework." I grabbed my bag and made a run for my bedroom. * * *

Chapter 3: Bipolar
That night I was dreaming about Jefferson again. I looked down at my body. I was wearing a lovely silky emerald dress. I looked up at Jefferson in excited shock. He smiled at my reaction from the other side of the room. Everybody else was a blur to me. Jefferson was all I saw. He started walking up to me when Barbara came out of nowhere from behind me and ran into his arms. I felt the tears well up in my eyes as her lips touched his. I started to cry as he

kissed her back. He opened his eyes and looked at me apologetically, while she kissed him with as much force as she had. He looked away in pity after I fell to the floor holding onto my heart. I was crying on the floor when I felt a strong hand lifting me up. I looked up hoping for it to be Jefferson, but it turned out to be Johnny. I glared at him with all the hatred I felt in my heart. His eyes softened as he stared at me in sympathy. I tried to run away, but his strong arms grabbed me and pulled me into his chest. He let me cry into his chest when he lifted my chin with his finger. "I care about seeing a beautiful soul being heartbroken." He whispered. I smiled slightly and he pulled me into a kiss. At this I woke up with a gasp. My eyes were watery and I noticed I had been crying. I glanced at the clock. It was 6:30. This time I could take a long shower, and not be late. I jumped into the shower and washed away the pointless tears. As soon as I was just about ready I heard the phone ring. I ran to answer it. "Hello?" I asked breathlessly. "Hey, besty." I heard Jefferson's voice on the other side. My heart raced and I strummed my brain for a reply. "Uh..Uh..It's early." I stammered. "I'm outside." He laughed. "Hurry up it's 8:15." I smiled. Even though he couldn't see it, it still felt nice to smile. "Okay, I'll be right out." With this I hung up the phone and burst out the front door. I waved at the faint image I could see in the tinted windshield. I got in and he stared at me in admiration. I wore a nice white sundress that tied behind my neck and white flats. "Why couldn't you have just knocked." I laughed. He laughed too but he seemed to already have an answer. "I could have. But I wanted to make sure you never gave me the rejection hotline's number." I laughed at that idea and smacked his arm playfully. "Do I look like the type to reject someone like you?" I let the words slip out of my mouth. I blushed a deep red and turned away. "Someone like me doesn't deserve someone as beautiful as you." He smiled, pleased with his reply. "Oh come on don't get all corny again." I laughed and but something caught my attention as I looked out the window. I seen Johnny in the school parking lot getting off of his motorbike. He wore a white wife-beater today. I couldn't but stare at his well pronounced muscles. I never noticed the car stopped until Jefferson spoke to me. "Are you coming?" I snapped out of my gawking and laughed a fake laugh. "Yeah I must have been daydreaming." He laughed at my answer and got out of the car. I got out too and went to walk beside him. A lot of people were looking at us and turning there heads to tell their friends what they were seeing. I looked up at him clearly uncomfortable. "I'm going to sit down here for a while, you can go to class." He looked at me unsure of what to say. "Are you embarassed to be seen with me?" He asked after a second. I was taken aback. "No! Gosh no. It's just that I don't feel that well. I just need fresh air." He looked away and back to me unconvinced. "Who cares what they say?" "I don't, honestly." As soon as I said that Barbara made her appearance. My heart sunk a little. I turned to go and sit down on the benches by the school. I heard a faint "Bye" behind me but I didn't return it. I sat down on the bench and took my bag off of my shoulders and put it beside me. I sat there thinking about my dream and how the previous situation happened in my dream. Maybe I had a premonition. It wasn't complete though because Johnny never came to my rescue. "Is this seat taken?" I heard a deep voice ask me. I snapped out of it and looked up at Johnny. He smiled crookedly at me. I smiled back and moved my bag for him. "I didn't think so." He continued. "I see he gave you a ride to school." He raised an eyebrow at me. "Why won't you listen to me?" He shook his head at me and put a cigarette in his mouth. I took it out. "Why don't you listen to me? Johnny." I threw it on the floor and stepped on it. He glared at me his nostrils flaring. He flexed his jaw. "That was my last one!" He gritted his teeth. "Don't be angry at me." I laughed and got up. He picked up my bag before I could grab it. A smile played at his lips.

"Okay, as long as you're not angry with me for stepping on your bag." I raised my eyebrow at him and rolled my eyes. "It wouldn't be the same thing, dumby. You don't need the cigarette like I need my bag." I reached for it but he brought it higher up over his head. He laughed playfully at me reaching for it. He was really tall, and I was, well, really short. "Oh come on, play fair." I laughed. We played around like this for a while until I gave up and turned to walk towards the front doors. "You're giving up so easily? And the fun just got started!" He shouted from behind me. I smiled to myself and then turned to look over my shoulder at him. "The bell's going to ring!" I shouted back to him. He sighed and then ran to catch up to me. I giggled as he returned my bag. "What is your real name anyway?" I asked him. "And don't lie this time." I smiled at him encouraging him to answer. "Carlos." He looked away and stopped walking. He seemed distracted by something. I stopped walking too and turned to face him. "What's wrong?" I asked him with concern written all over my face. He looked deeply into my eyes. "Let's get out of here." He smiled his crooked smile but I looked at him bewildered. I never skipped in my life. "Carlos, I can't skip!" I whispered so no one could hear me. "Well, aren't you such a good girl?" He grabbed my arm and pulled me by my hand out of the school. The bell rang then. "Carlos, where are we going?" We were walking very quickly to his motorcycle. "Here." He handed me a heavy black helmet and Got on the bike. "Don't just stand there! Get on!" I put the helmet on quickly and got on the bike. That was my first time being on a bike and it was exhilerating and scary at the same time. I held onto his stomache tightly. I could feel the shape of his abs and perfect muscles as I tightened my grip. I rested my head against his back as I got comfortable. It felt nice leaning on Carlos like this. He was muscular, but he felt soft. I could have stayed like this forever. "Carlos, where are we going!" I shouted over the thunder after ten minutes of the ride. He put a hand on my hand and rubbed it. I got goosebumps. "We're almost there!" He shouted back. As he said that I felt the bike slow down as he came to a stop. I raised my head from his back and released my arms from around his stomach. He waited for me to get off first so he could park it properly. "Come on!" He grabbed my hand. We were at a beach. It had it's own little convenience store, too. "You owe me!" He laughed. I was excited. I felt like such a rebel. I was with a bad boy, doing a bad thing and I was enjoying every minute of it. We went into the convenience store hand in hand. The manager eyes us suspiciously, we were laughing loudly and causing a scene in his little store. "Sorry, sir." He said courageously to the store owner, but then we burst out laughing as soon as we crossed the corner. Carlos was a lot of fun to be with. We rarely had any awkward moment. "Okay which one? Chocolate or caramel?" He held out two drumsticks. I stroked my chin and put on a hard thinking face. He laughed at me and smiled crookedly at me. "I'll choose for you if you don't hurry up." I giggled. "Okay, okay, mr. impatient!" I grabbed the chocolate one and smacked his arm playfully. I walked up to the counter with Carlos closely behind me. The store-owner eyed me up and down and I began to feel uncomfortable. I looked at Carlos and he instantly knew what was bothering me. He put an arm around me and said, "Can I pay for these?" The store owner looked away from me immediately and I felt relieved. "Thanks, Carlos." I smiled at him as we walked out of the store hand in hand , just like we walked in. He let go of my hand to stop the charade, but I didn't want to let go. Something about touching Carlos sent sparks through my body. I liked Jefferson, but Carlos made me feel good. "Yeah, no problem." He gestured his head towards the beach. "Are you wearing anything underneath?" He asked me curiously. "Carlos!" I was shocked he was asking even asking me that. I turned around to leave when he

grabbed my hand gently and started rubbing my fingers. "I asked that because I wanted to go swimming." He looked at me apologetically. I smiled at my own stupidity. "I am wearing a strapless, but I don't have a towel or anything." He thought for a moment and then answered. "We'll dry up in the sun." He smiled at that idea and pulled me towards the beach. I followed. We walked hand and hand again. The beach felt like a place to be yourself because no body stared at you for being different. People came here to just escape. We found a place close to the water and Carlos took off his shirt. His body caught my attention. I suddenly felt self-concious. I looked away nervously and untied the top of my dress. It fell to my ankles. I was really embarassed. Swimming in your bra and underwear wasn't at the top of my to-do list. Carlos took off his pants to reveal dark blue shorts underneath. He grinned over at me and then ran into the water. I watched as the water splashed him softly. "Come on, don't be chicken!" He yelled. I looked over to see our unfinished ice-cream's in the sand. I looked back at him, grinned, and then ran towards the beach. He grabbed me around my stomache area and then picked me up over his shoulder. He started spinning me around and I was playfully squealing and slapping his back. "Carlos! What are you doing?" I laughed. He guffawed as he threw me into the water. I jumped on his back playfully. "You can't take me down!" He roared with laughter at my effort. We weren't the loudest people anymore. Nobody stared. It felt nice being alone with someone and not being judged. We swam for hours. I decided I should go dry off so I could be home in time. I didn't want Rosa, or Peter, getting wrong Ideas. Carlos followed me. The sun was glistening off his body. It was beautiful to look at. I sat down and he sat down close beside me. I wringed out my hair, and tried untangling it with my fingers. I turned my head to see Carlos looking at me. "What?" I smiled. He grinned at me and looked away shaking his head. I decided to let it go and ask him about himself. "Carlos, can you tell me about yourself?" I asked him. He looked at me in disbelief. "Why?" He sat up now and looked me straight in the eyes. "You just interest me. Tell me everything." I looked back into his black eyes. His eyes seemed to turn cold. "Well, I'm an emancipated minor. My father and mother both couldn't handle me. I never really knew anybody else. So I requested to live on my own, everyone was more than happy to give me my wish. I work as a part-time construction worker, cause part of my sentence says education comes first." He rolled his eyes. " I was neglected all my life, and now I act out. I'll admit it. I'm not a bad guy, June, I just can't help my actions." He stopped talking and stared at the sand. I felt bad for him. I pulled him into a big hug. "I'm so sorry, Carlos." He looked at me and smiled his crooked smile I loved so much. "So tell me about you, what's your E! true hollywood story?" I laughed at that and leant back the way he was. "Well, my father passed, recently, and I've been living with my Aunt Rosa, and her ass 'Fiance'. My mother walked out on us when we I was just born, and steven has a different mother, She passed too. She overdosed on heroin. I've been a zombie this whole entire summer. Until I met Jefferson, and you, of course." He took my hand. "Sorry." He started playing with my fingers when he asked. "Do you like Jefferson?" He lowered his eyes to stare at our hands. "Yes, but he has a girlfriend." I looked down too at our hands. He let go of them then and sat upright. I followed too. He stared out into the ocean. "Why?" He asked a little coolly. I didn't know the answer. I honestly didn't know why. I thought for a moment when Carlos turned to look at me. "Well?" His tone was annoyed. "I don't know." I shrugged my shoulders. Why was he getting angry? "Figures." He muttered. I decided not to speak again. I got up and put on my dress. Carlos continued staring out into the ocean. His nostrils were flaring. "Why are you so mad, Carlos?" I asked him annoyance clearly in my voice. "Who says I'm mad? I just don't like seeing people being stupid by falling for the wrong people."

He put venom into his words. It shocked me. "Well who am I supposed to fall for, Carlos? I can't just chose who I fall for!" I argued back. "Yes you can!" He yelled. He glared at me and then said, "You know what? Forget it!" "No!" I shouted back at him. "Forget it!" He shouted as he reached inside of the pocket of his jeans. He pulled out what seemed to be a small rolled up cigarette of some sort, and a small lighter. "Carlos, is that weed!" I hissed. He paid no attention to me. "Carlos!" I sat down again. He put it in his mouth. He looked at me and brought the lighter up to it. He was about to light it when I took it out of his hand. He angrily took the joint out of his mouth. "Why the fuck do you care about what I do?" He reached for the lighter in my hand but I got up and stormed away. He got up and put his shirt and pants on quickly and started to chase after me. I picked up my pace. He caught up to me quickly and spun me around. "Why do you have to be so Bipolar!" I screamed and went to throw the lighter away. He held onto my arm so I couldn't move. "Go ahead, throw it out." He dared me. "You're making that impossible." I said coldly. He spit on the floor beside me. Several people were staring at us now. I looked around at their faces, and realized he kept glaring at mine. "You know what?" I surrendered. "Here." I shoved the lighter in his face. "Take it! Mess up your life. Just remember the one person who tried to help you. Remember how you treated her!" I shouted at him and then pulled my arm away from his grasp. I stormed off down the road towards the direction where we came from. "June!" He called after me but I never replied. I felt the tears escape my eyes. He called my name and I turned around angrily. "Is it really just your actions that are bad?" I accused. His eyes softened and his mouth fell open to say something, but nothing came out. I turned around again. "Wait!" He called to me. "How are you going to get home?" "Walking seems like the best idea right now." I really wanted to leave right now. Carlos walked up to me and took hold of both of my hands. I tried to pull them away, but he pulled me into a tight hug. I never hugged back. I was too angry. "I'm sorry, June. I have a bad temper." He apologized to me. I hugged him back thankful for his apology. We stood like this for a minute or so. He let me go then and wiped the tears from under my eyes. "Ready to go home?" I nodded. * * * We were infront of my house now, and I was relieved. "What time is it?" I asked him. He glanced at his wrist watch. "About 5:30. Will you be in trouble?" He raised his eyebrow. I smiled a warm smile at him. And he smiled a 'sorry' smile. "I'll see you tomorrow." I touched his shoulder and turned to leave. I looked over my shoulder and watched him until he was too hard to see. I walked into the house and into the kitchen. Rosa stared me as if she she was disappointed in me. I sat down like nothing happened. "Where were you?" She asked me suspiciously. I smiled up at her. Surely I looked like a mess, sand on my skin, wet hair and eyes. "A friend took me to the beach." I admitted. I got up to go grab a burger from the counter. "Oh yeah? Who was that?" She asked with strained annoyance in her voice. "Carlos." I told her. I shrugged my shoulders and brought my burger to sit down. "Do you mean Carlos Ramos?" She asked me with hatred in her voice. I shrugged and began eating. "Is his father black and his mother spanish?" She pressed. "I don't know, he never told me." I heard Peter "Hmph." He smiled to his burger. "What's that supposed to mean?" I snapped at him. "Mija, stay away from that travieso." She ordered. "All I've been hearing is stay away, stay away! If I'm not allowed to be with anybody how am I going to make friends?!" I shouted to the whole table. "I don't want you with him, anybody else is fine!" She made it clear she didn't like Carlos.

"That's not fair! You don't know him like I do!" I shouted. "And how long have you known him?" She snapped at me. "I took the time to know him and understand him, you know him from what you've heard or seen, but have you ever thought to ask!?" I screamed "Ugh!" I was fed up with rules and boundaries. I took my burger and stomped to my room. I slammed my door really hard and ate my burger angrily. How was I going to take my mind off of what just happened if had no homework to do because I skipped school? I decided to write a poem. I've been asking myself this

question over and over again, Is love a game? Cause no matter how hard I try, I never win. It's like trying to write a love story but running out of ink in the pen. Suspense. Like a fairytale beginning, but you never find out how it ends. So I often wonder If I'll ever, If i'll ever find true love. What am I afraid of? If I'm afraid to love, Or if I'm afraid of love, then how will I ever find the one? Tell me why the closer I get I run away, It's like I'm looking in the mirror but my reflection looks the other way. it's like trying to write the pefect song but I can't come up with the last line. So I often wonder If I'll ever, If I'll ever find true love. What am I afraid of? If i'm afraid to love, Or if I'm afraid of love, Then how will I ever find the one?
The poem made me think about Jefferson. Was I afraid to love him? I knew I did but I didn't want to get my heart broken. I knew I would get my heartbroken If I fell for him harder, but I couldn't resist. I was a hypocrite on the beach. Carlos was trying to help me, too and I wouldn't listen. He didn't deserve the last thing I said to him, 'Is it really just your actions that are bad?' He wasn't a bad person at all. He just acted out from frustration he didn't know how to handle. I thought about thanking him tomorrow, and then drifted off to sleep.

Chapter 4: Are you jealous?
I decided to walk that day since it was a nice day, not too cold, not too hot. The sun was shining, but a cool breeze would appear every now and then. Fall was approaching, and fast. When I made it to school I noticed Carlos getting off of his motorcyle. Seriously, what was with this guy and wife beaters? Today he wore a grey one with black dickie pants and black nike's with a grey stripe. I walked up to him with a big smile on my face. "Hey wife beater boy!" He just looked at me and looked away without a reply. "Hello?" I tapped his head. "Anybody in there?" He grabbed my hand tightly and then threw it to my side. "Jeez, what bit you?" My smile never faded. I tried to help him to be happy. "Just what my day needed, a call from your boyfriend yelling at me to stay away from you." I stared at him with a puzzled expression. All smiles faded. He rolled his eyes and started walking away. "Carlos wait! What are you talking about?" I tried to keep up with him. He stopped and turned to face me. "He told me to stay away, so I'm staying away." He shrugged with sarcasm. "Carlos, you don't need to listen to him." I pleaded. He folded his arms across his chest. "What if I want to?" He replied coldlheartedly. "What's that supposed to mean? You don't like being my friend?" I looked down at my feet. I wasn't ready for his answer. He didn't answer after a few seconds, so I lifted my eyes to his. "Well, I'll take that as a yes." I brushed past him to escape to my locker, and this time no body

pulled my arm or stopped me. I entered the class before everyone and sat down angrily. How could Carlos take out his anger on me when it wasn't even my fault? The bell rang and people started rushing in. Carlos came in and sat in his usual seat next to me. I peeked at him from the corner of my eye to see him completely ignoring me. I tilted my head to look at him. I stared into his eyes waiting for him to look at mine. Just as he looked at me, Jefferson came in and stood infront of my desk. "Hey, I need to talk to you after class." He smiled at me, but glared in Carlos' direction. "Why don't you just sit here?" Carlos asked angrily. Before Jefferson could answer Carlos looked at me one more time and got up to sit in the front of the class. Jefferson took Carlos' place and decided to tell me now. "Where were you yesterday?" He asked with curiousity. "I mean I know you left with him, but where did you go?" I didn't know what to tell him. I thought about lying, but decided to tell him the truth. "Well, we rode on his motorbike, bought ice creams, and went swimming." I shrugged like it meant nothing. It didn't really mean anything anyways. Carlos was just my 'ex-friend', according to him, and we both just needed a good time. "Oh. Okay." He seemed deep in thought until he asked another question. "Do you like him?" Of course I didn't like Carlos. What a silly question. "No, why?" I laughed at his silly question. He laughed back realizing that that was a stupid thing to ask . "Oh, nevermind. Well, I have something else to tell you." He lowered his voice to a soft whisper. I moved my head closer to him. "I'm going to break up with barbara soon." My heart stopped. "For you." He finished. The water in my heart suddenly emptied. My heart felt like a lot of weight had been lifted off of it and I was really happy. I liked Jefferson a lot, and to hear the great news, I felt like jumping up and screaming "Halellujah!." But I needed to keep my cool and stay casual. "Really? Why?" I asked, trying to hold back the excitement I was feeling. "I really want to be with you, but I can't do it right now because I don't want to break her heart. I have to give it time." He grinned at me and then put his hand on top of mine when he thought no one was looking. "Aren't you worried you're going to miss her? Are you sure this isn't a bad idea?" I needed to make sure this was real, and that it was really happening. "Yes, I want to be with you." He squeezed my fingers and then let go. I never wanted to let go, but I knew we had to stay low-key for a while. This was the best day I've had since the beach. Nothing could compare to this or how I was feeling at that moment. The teacher cleared his throat and all became quiet. "Who's presenting today? Ahhh, I see June is here today, why don't you read us your masterpiece?" I forgot all about the homework, but I brought my poetry book with me. I walked up to the front of the classroom nervously. Everybody had their eyes on me except for Carlos. I flipped through the pages until I came across the poem that I wrote last night, but it was insipired by Jefferson and I felt like that poem was too personal for anybody to hear. I stood up there for what felt like hours until I finally came across the poem I could read. "Did you do the homework June?" The teacher asked accusingly. I nodded my head nervously. I looked up at my audience and noticed Jefferson giving me a reassuring smile. I smiled back and looked down at Carlos who was doodling on his desk, clearly avoiding me. "Losing." I took in another breath. "If it's my fault I'm sorry. If it's not I still am sorry. I know you left me, and you're not coming back, and I shouldn't hold myself back again. I grieved and grieved and lost my soul. I woke up from every dream I had wishing I could keep it longer. Any world you're in is better than a world you're not in. I know you're gone, but I don't know where to look for you if I need you. Are you in heaven looking down? Or in my heart looking out? I miss you, I need you, but you have to be on your way. My heart is broken beyond repair. I guess that's what it feels like to be losing. I lost you. And I'm losing myself. Healing processes aren't always so easy, but I got to tough it out. Rest in peace." My eyes filled with tears as I read the poem I made after my father died aloud to the class. After a few seconds of silence, the class started clapping and cheering. "Who inspired that?" The teacher asked in amazement. I quickly brushed a tear off of my face. "My father." I glanced at the audience, everybody was smiling up at me and clapping.

Everybody except for Carlos. He kept doodling on the desk. The smile faded from my face. "Very good job. It takes a lot of courage to read something so emotional." The teacher clapped one more time, as did the whole class. I smiled and went to sit down. "Great poem!" Jefferson grinned at me. I blushed and grinned back. "Carlos, your turn." The teacher called to him. Carlos got up and pulled a crumpled paper out of his pocket. He never bothered to look around. He cleared his throat and read. "I'm not perfect." The teacher interrupted him. "Could you speak a little louder Carlos?" His expression became annoyed as he raised his voice. "I'm not perfect. I have many blemishes. I'm not the bravest. I need protection at times, too. I'm not cold-hearted. I need love. I am different, however, because I don't try to be perfect when I'm not, Or brave when I'm scared, Or like I don't need love, when I know I do. People who pretend to be those things are hiding. I'm right out in the open. You just don't notice me. You go looking for the perfect one, when all you really need is the real one." He looked around at the class, when his eyes met mine he looked away. "Yeah, that's all I wrote." He handed in his paper and went to return to his seat. "That was really good, Carlos. How did you come up with that?" The teacher applauded him. Everybody applauded him also. "Let's just say I had an inspiration." I stared at his back in awe. I waited for him to turn around, but he didn't. The class continued, and the teacher went on with his lesson. I continued to stare at Carlos' back for the duration of the class. He never turned around once. The bell rang and Jefferson whispered, "See you in drama." I smiled at him and remained seated. I got up quickly as soon as I noticed Carlos getting up and walked swiftly to the door. He came to an abrupt stop infront of me. "Nice poem." I smiled at him warmly. "Thanks." He responded, but stared at the ground. My smile faded and I became frustrated. "Carlos, this is silly!" I frowned at him, waiting for him to look at me, but he didn't. "Look at me." I pleaded. He looked at me and shrugged. "I got to go to class." He went to walk by me, but I blocked him. "Excuse me." He said angrily. "Why do you not want to be my friend?" My face turned sad. He stepped back and glared into my eyes. "Why do you care?" His voice was full of annoyance. "Because you're my friend." He laughed sarcastically. "Yeah. That's it. Friend." He tried to brush past me again, but I kept my hold. "Carlos what's wrong?" I didn't like it when he took his anger out on me. "Nothing. You want me to be your friend?" He asked. "Very much." I pleaded. "Stay away from him." His words stung me. Did I really have to choose between my friend and the guy I so desperately wanted to be with? "Carlos, I can't just choose between you guys." I was hurt. "And why not?" He laughed another sarcastic laugh when I couldn't respond. "You're in love right?" He laughed again a little louder. "What's so funny?" I was angry now. "Oh, nothing. Nobody ever listens to me, when I'm clearly always right." He laughed again to himself. "Right about what?" I asked. His laughing came to a stop, and his eyes became pleading. "June, you're going to get your heart broken." He put both of his hands on my shoulders and stared into my eyes. The second bell rang and people started lining up to get into the class. "I'll pick you up from your last class." He said as he walked out the door. I quickly left after a second of thinking. I guessed I was going to have to accept the bipolar part of him. Afterall, he was my friend again, I hoped. The end of the day came really fast and just as he said, Carlos was waiting for me at the door of the class. Everybody eyed us suspiciously as I rushed out of the class first to meet him. "Hey." I smiled at him unsure of what else to say, incase he went all bipolar again. "I'm sorry." He appologized to me and pulled me into a hug.

"It's okay." I broke the hug to smile at him again. "It's just been a crazy week." I tried to sooth his emotions. "Yeah, especially when your little Jefferson called me and threatened me to stay away from you. But who cares." I went to say something but he cut me off. "Anyways, I was wondering, wanna do something tomorrow?" He asked me with a little smile on his lips. I thought for a moment. "What do you have planned?" I was suspicious as to what he wanted to do. "Well, there is a carnival open tomorrow, and I don't have a partner for the rides. Me and a bunch of my friends are going." His smile spread as he seen me smile too. "Okay, sure." I nodded thinking that it was a good idea to spend time with Carlos. "And in case you're wondering, I do have friends. They're just my age." He laughed and we started walking to my locker. "How old are you?" I asked him in confusion. "18." He admitted. I was shocked. "So why are you in all junior classes?" "My actions in the past." He admitted again. "Oh." Was all I could choke out. We approached my locker and I began to open it. He looked over his shoulder and then turned to me quickly. "I gotta go, I'll pick you up tomorrow." "Bye!" I shouted at him as he walked away swiftly. I was gathering my things when Jefferson came up to me. "Why were you talking to him? I thought you didn't like him." He asked me angrily. I looked at him in confusion. "I do like him, just not the way you think." I shrugged and returned to closing my locker. He followed me as I started to walk away. "Well, I don't like you with him." He ordered. I looked at him shocked. "He's my friend! That's not going to change because you say." I objected. I walked faster. He walked faster also. "I don't want you with him." He made that sentence sound final. "I don't want you with her." I replied. We reached the front doors of the school. "That's not the same." He held the door for me. As I walked through it I said, "Yes, it is." He sighed. "I don't want you with him." He controlled his voice this time. "Jefferson, I care about him. He's my friend." I pleaded to him. "That's exactly why I don't want you with him. I don't want you falling for him." He lowered his voice so only I could hear. "Well, we're going to the carnival tomorrow." I sat on the bench and looked around for Carlos and his motorcycle, but it wasn't there and neither was he. "Why!" He yelled. "Because that's what friends do?" I shot back. My heart was breaking to be so impatient and mean with Jefferson, but I really needed Carlos as a friend. "I DON'T" He cut off to lower his voice. "I don't want you with him. If he ever tries anything, I'm going to kill him." He gritted his teeth. "Are you jealous?" I asked him in shock. "Yes." He admitted. He sat down then and looked at the floor, clearly hurt that I wanted to spend time with Carlos. "I'm sorry, but he's my friend." I sighed. It was killing me to see him like this. "Don't worry, you don't need to be jealous. Nothing's going to happen, trust me." "Okay. I guess I trust you." He looked up at me with an apologetic smile and I returned it to him.

Chapter 5: Carnival
Carlos was at my door at 4:00 that day. Just enough time for me to get ready. I wanted to

look older than sixteen to impress his friends. And him. I straightened my hair and wore short jean shorts with a tight blue sweater that showed off my curves that day. I added a wing to my eyeliner and curled my lashes. Rosa and Peter took Steven to a new kids movie that came out and I had the house to myself the whole day, so nobody would notice when Carlos came to pick me up. I ran downstairs to open the door. "Hey Carlos." Today he was wearing a long black baggy shirt with black dickies. "Where's the wife beater?" I asked playfully. He laughed at my joke. "You look nice. And older." He chuckled. "I wanted to impress your friends. I'm only sixteen you know, I didn't want to feel like your little sister had to be brought along." "Nah, they're not like that. They're excited to meet you." I heard a honk and looked around him to see a black jaguar waiting for us. "Who's car is that?" I asked in amazement. I've always been fond of Jaguars. He looked over his shoulder at the car. "Oh, that's Ronnie's, he's driving us, you're going to have to sit on someone's lap." He looked at me apologetically. "That's okay." I nodded and locked the door behind me. He led me to the car and got in. "I'll just sit on your lap if that's alright with you." He laughed, assuming I was too intimidated to sit on anyone else's. It was true. They all looked so old. So eighteen, and I was sixteen. "Comfy?" Carlos asked with a sly smile playing on his lips. I nodded shyly. "Everyone this is June, June this is Ronnie." He pointed to the driver. "Sup?" Ronnie spoke. He had blonde hair and blue eyes and was really pale. He wore a white baggy shirt that had a high spongebob on it. I found his shirt disturbing. "Nice to meet you." I replied shyly. Carlos laughed at my shyness and introducted me to the next person. "This is Carla." He gestured to the girl in the passenger seat. "Are you his girlfriend?" She asked me bravely. Carla had light brown hair with blonde highlights and big dark brown eyes. "No, just a friend." I answered back to her. She gave me a warm smile and then turned around again. "This is Jonathan beside us." He smiled up at me. He was dark like Carlos, and had light brown eyes, with jet black hair. "How old are you?" He winked at me. I blushed and looked nervously at Carlos. He punched Jonathan on the shoulder. "Shutup." Carlos ordered. Everybody laughed, including me. "This is Jenny." He pointed to a short blonde girl with green eyes with little freckles. She didn't look eighteen. "Hi." I said nervously. She smiled a warm smile at me and waved. "And I'm Carlos." He chuckled. I laughed at his silly comment. We parked infront of a Mcdonald's. "We're just going to get a bite to eat." Carlos reassured me. As his friends walked up I stayed by Carlos' side. "Don't be nervous, they won't bite." He chuckled. I smiled up at him. "Thanks for inviting me, they all seem very nice." He smiled at me. "No problem." He held the door open for me and I walked through it. "And Ronnie has an...interesting shirt." I laughed nervously and Carlos burst into laughter. "What's so funny?" Ronnie asked as we went stood behind his friends in the line. We both looked at each other and laughed then. "Nothing, inside joke." Carlos reassured him. "Sure Carlos." He said sarcastically. Everybody ordered and we brought our meals to a booth. "You're pretty." Jonathan winked at me again. "What did I tell you?" Carlos warned. Everybody laughed. Even I had to laugh. Carlos' friends were fun to be around. "She is." He winked at me again, but stayed quiet. I giggled. Everybody broke into conversation

and I stayed quiet until Carla included me. "So, how old are you?" She asked me with curiousity. Everybody turned to me waiting for my answer. "Sixteen." I admitted with a sigh. She raised her eyebrows in shock. "Really? I thought you were our age, or seventeen at least." I smiled shyly and looked down. "How do you know Carlos?" She asked. "He's in one of my classes." I looked up at him to see him looking away ashamed. Everybody broke into laughter. I thought they were laughing at me so I looked down at my food. "Carlos is dumb." I heard them laugh out and I looked up to defend him. "No, actually he writes good poems." I looked up at him with a smile on my face. "Really?" I heard Jenny say. "Yeah, You should read it for them sometime." I added. Everybody stopped laughing and apologized for laughing. He smiled down at me. "So are you guys a thing?" Jonathan asked. "No. Are you and Jenny a couple?" Carlos asked with sarcasm. Jenny stook her tongue out at him. "It's true you guys look like it." Carla said to Jenny. It soon turned dark outside as we finished eating. I took my place on Carlos' lap. I was a little uncomfortable feeling a big lump on my butt, so I move a little so I could sit properly on his lap. About ten minutes later we arrived. All the bright lights were on. It was truly beautiful. I pictured being here with Jefferson, with him holding my hand, but then Barbara came into my vision. I snapped out of it when I heard my name being called. It was Carlos. Everybody had already left for the rides. We hurried to catch up. We spot them in line for an upside down ride. It was called Chaos. I was a little nervous to go on it, but I truly wanted to look mature and impress his friends. I started shaking as me and Carlos went to take our seats. "Hold my hand." He shouted over the loud music. I took his hand obediently. The ride started and all the screams made me nervous. I looked over at him and he laughed at my scared expression. "It's okay. It's not scary." He tried to sooth me down, but his laughter made me even more nervous. I started to scream, but my screams turned into laughter as I realized there was nothing to be scared of. The ride was actually fun. I was laughing harder than ever and let go of Carlos so I could put my hands up in the air. "Woo!" I screamed. I was having a lot of fun. After that ride was done, I was feeling even more enthusiastic about the other rides. I pulled Carlos' arm to every ride I saw, big or kiddy. Everybody seemed up for it as well. I was excited about all the rides we went on until a haunted house came up. Carlos pulled my arm this time. "Um, what about that ride?" I asked pointing to the ferris wheele. "We'll go on after, just trust me." Carlos promised. Everybody wanted to go on it. "You're not scared are you?" Carla asked with a smile on her face. "NO!" I answered quickly. I sighed. "Okay, Yes." I laughed and everybody else laughed too. "You can hold onto me, and if someone grabs you, I'll kick their ass." Carlos promised. "Okay." I took in a deep breath and let Carlos drag me to the haunted house. It was dark inside, and I heard loud piercing screams and gloomy music. Carlos' smile grew wider at the sound. He put his arm around me and I wrapped my arms around his stomache area. I buried my face into his side and peeked out into the darkness. We walked slowly through the house. Around the first corner somebody popped up and I screamed, the loudest I've screamed in my life. The man who popped out had a bloody face and he was holding a knife. It was clearly plastic, but I knew I was having nightmares tonight. Carlos laughed at my reaction and tightened his arm around me. I pushed myself closer to him at every corner we passed. Everything was how it was supposed to be until I felt arms wrap around me and throw me onto the wall. I started to cry in fear and cried out for Carlos. The horrible man was laughing until Carlos pulled him off of me and punched him in the face. I tried to pull Carlos away so we could leave but he kept attacking. "Bastard" Carlos screamed at the man. Soon

security was pulling him off of the unconcious man on the floor. "Carlos!" I screamed in terror. Carlos' friends helped the security guards pull him out of the haunted the house. Carlos was definately causing a scene. "They're not supposed to touch the people!" He screamed at the security guards. "He ripped her off of me and pushed her up against the fucking wall! He could have been raping her! Self defence!" He yelled again. "I never want to see your face here again you little trouble maker!" One of the guards yelled. Carlos went to attack when I went and hugged him. "Calm down, Carlos. Thank you." He hugged me back and let me lead him to the car we arrived in. He was shaking and his knuckles were all bloody. "Oh my god, Carlos, Are you okay?" I asked examining his hands. He was shaking with anger, and his nostrils were flaring. "I should have stabbed him." He spit on the floor. "Are you nuts!" Ronnie yelled. Everybody glared at Carlos. I looked up at him like he was crazy. "Are you okay?" He asked me in a controlled voice. "Yes, I'm okay." I replied. My makeup was all smudged from crying and I just wanted out of there. "Can we go now before he decides to go back?" I asked impatiently. Ronnie nodded and everybody got into the car. The ride home was very uncomfortable. I felt Carlos' heavy breathing against my body and I was too scared to look at his face. He really beat that guy bad. "Carlos, can you take your friend home because I have to make three more trips after that and it's already really late. By the time I get home it will be midnight." Ronnie asked. "Ye." Carlos simply said. I looked to examine Carlos' hands. He then wrapped his hand around mine and squeezed it. I looked at his face. He was smiling at me. I expected him to be angry. "Yo, here, take a hit to calm down." Ronnie handed him a joint. I glared at Ronnie, but he ignored me. Carlos went to take it. "I wish you wouldn't do that." I said, as I took it out of his mouth to hand it back to Ronnie. "I wish you wouldn't take it out of my mouth all the time." He shot back. "Please don't do it." I pleaded. He rolled his eyes and then looked away from my face. "So you gonna do it or not?" Ronnie pressed. I stared into Carlos' eyes, but he avoided eye contact with me. "Nah." He finally answered. He gave me an 'Are-you-happy-now?' look. I smiled at him approvingly. Ronnie handed it to Carla, who took it with pleasure. I was relieved that we were getting out. I got out quickly, not quite waiting for the car to stop. "Bye." They called to us as we left. Carlos waved at the car and then directed me to his house. It was a small red-bricked house, with a black veranda. It was cute. It had two floors, and a basement. "It's cute." I told him. He laughed at my girliness and led me inside. We walked into his living room and I took off my shoes. The house was a little messy, but not in a scary way. It looked natural, like a teenagers room. He had a bigscreen plasma t.v and a Ps3, and his computer was flatscreen too. It was in his living room. His couches were black leather, and his walls were painted blue. I liked it. It was made for him. I followed him to the kitchen where he wanted to wash his hands. He flinched as he was about to put the alcohol on his wounds. "Let me do it." I giggled. "Okay." He mumbled. I took the alcohol and grabbed a dishcloth. He closed his eyes. "Wait, you need to wash it first." He stuck it under the tap for a few seconds and then gave me back his hands. I took one and put the dishcloth onto his wounds. "OW!" He yelled. "Ow! it burns!" I giggled at his "manliness". He fell silent for a moment as I did his other hand. I felt him staring at me, so I looked up at him. Then he bent down and kissed me on the lips. I kissed back for a moment but then thought of Jefferson. "Wait." I said nervously. He looked at me with a confused expression. "I can't do this." I said to him. He sighed. "Oh yeah, Jefferson." He said angrily. I looked around for a clock. It was 11:45 p.m. "I should go." I said shyly to him. He nodded and led me to his garage. I hopped onto his motorbike and he rode me home in silence. I got off his bike, and as soon as I turned to apologize, he left. "Night." I whispered to myself sarcastically. I walked into the house silently, hoping everyone was asleep. I crept to

the kitchen to grab myself a snack and I heard a cough behind me. I jumped and turned around to notice Peter in the kitchen doorway. "I hope you know we've been worried sick." He folded his arms across his chest. I shrugged indifferently and then turned back to the fridge. I began to rummage through it when he spoke again. "I won't tell her who you've been with." He sighed. I looked at him in surprise. He was being nice to me. I expected him to yell at me and run off telling Rosa. "I know how hard it's been for you to become sane again, and I'm glad you finally found someone to make you happy." I opened my mouth to argue about him calling me Insane but he stook up his hand to stop me. "Don't argue. Just be thankful I'm on your side this time." He turned away without another word and I heard him walk quietly into his office. I stared after where his body has been. He must have been drinking that night. I sat down at the table and nibbled on my apple. I wondered what made Peter take my side. Maybe he liked Carlos. I threw away the remains of my apple, and snuck upstairs to my room. I managed to make it there without being noticed by anybody else, and I plopped down on my bed. I thought about Carlos beating up that guy, and me examining his hands, then me cleaning them, looking up into his eyes, then him kissing me. I jumped, realizing I had fallen asleep. I got up to change into pyjamas. I sat back down on my bed and put my head in my hands. Why did Carlos kiss me? Why did Peter help me? Why was I so confused? I laid back down and covered myself with the blankets. Minutes later, I drifted off to sleep. I was in Carlos' kitchen again, cleaning his hand. I looked up at him and his face changed from Carlos to Jefferson as he bent down to kiss me. I kissed back with more enthusiasm this time. I was glad it was Jefferson. But then I realized it was really Carlos. I stopped the kiss abruptly and Carlos vanished. I looked around trying to apologize, but he was nowhere to be found. I started running through his house. "Carlos!" I screamed. I never meant to hurt his feelings. I ran downstairs into his basement, which was a bad idea. His basement was the haunted house we were in. I slowed my pace and started to whisper his name instead. "Carlos?" I called in a hushed voice. I heard shuffling somewhere off into the distance. "Is that you?" I called again. My vision just made out a figure at the end of the tunnel. I was frozen in place. I was too petrified to move. The flashing lights started making me dizzy.Then out of nowhere Carlos pressed me up against the wall. "What are you doing?" I cried. He stared blankly into my eyes, and then pressed his body against mine. "Carlos, I can't breathe." He smiled a menacing smile at me. I tried to push him off of me. He didn't budge. Then he crushed his lips down on mine. I struggled for a few seconds, but then gave in. I started kissing him back just as he kissed me. I was enjoying it. I had no idea why. In the back of my mind I pictured Jefferson being on the other end of my lips. Carlos must have heard my thoughts because he stopped the kiss and glared at me. He pulled a knife out of his pocket and stabbed me. I woke up with a loud scream. I suddenly felt nauseous and got up to run to the bathroom. Rosa was at my door and I brushed past her. "What's wrong?" She asked me in a startled tone. I bent over the toilet and threw up all that I had eaten. I stood there for a minute, waiting for more to come up, but nothing did. Rosa was rubbing small circles on my back. I walked to the sink slowly, careful not to upset my stomach again. "Nohing, I just had a bad dream." I told her. She looked at me suspiciously. "Have you been with a boy?" She accused me. I looked at her with bewildered eyes. "No!" I shouted. She stood there and tapped her foot on the floor, still eyeing me suspiciously. "Oh my God!" I raised my hands up in the air and then stormed out of the washroom and into my room. I slammed the door behind me. I couldn't believe her. She thought I was pregnant. I was only sixteen and she thought such bad things about me.

Chapter 6: Me? Jealous?
I went to answer the ringing phone, comepletely ignoring Rosa for her accusations last night. "Hello?" I said into the reciever. It was Jefferson.

"Hey. Did you have fun yesterday?" He asked me without too much interest. "Yes." I replied. I took the phone and brought it to the living room, incase he wanted more details. The last thing I needed was Rosa hearing I was with a boy, or even worse, Carlos, last night. "Oh, good." He said with fake enthusiasm. "Look, I was wondering." His tone brightened. "Yes?" I encouraged him to go on. "Well, would you like to go on" He asked awkwardly. I laughed at his awkwardness. "Sure. When?" I asked with a smile playing on my lips. Rosa walked in then and sat down on the couch infront of me. I tried to hide my smile. I didn't want her suspicions to rise. "How about tomorrow?" He asked. "School?" I reminded him. "After school." He answered. I smiled again. "Sure." I accepted. "Alright, well, I need to go now." He sighed. "Bye." I sighed aswell. "Seeya." He hung up then. I had a huge grin on my face without even noticing. Rosa raised an eyebrow at me. "What was that all about?" She asked me. "I got an A on my poetry assignment." I told her flatly and then got up to put the phone away. She followed me into the kitchen. "I'm sorry, June." She apologized in her strong spanish accent. I smiled at her. "It's okay." I responded. I smiled at her, still happy from the phone call, and grabbed a snack from the fridge. I started nibbling on my apple, and then darted out of the kitchen and up to my room. Like a childish little girl, I screamed into my pillow and hugged onto my stuffed bear. Realizing I was being ridiculous, I decided to get dressed and go for a walk. I danced downstairs to the front door. "Where are you going?" Rosa yelled from the kitchen. I paused my ipod and sighed. "To the park." I called back putting on my shoes. "Take Steven with you, I need to go out." She ordered. I rolled my eyes. What a mood killer. "Kay. Steven come on get your shoes on." I called to him. He ran downstairs quickly. "Yay! Can I bring my soccer ball?" I didn't even have to answer he ran to the basement to go and get it. While I waited for him, memories of my dream started flooding my mind. I knew that it was just a dream, but it seemed so similar to reality. Then Steven came running towards me with a big smile on my face. "Can Ronny come to?" He asked excitedly. I rolled my eyes and put on a fake smile. "Fine." I sighed. He beamed up at me and ran out the door. I followed at a much slower pace and followed him to Ronny's house. Every five seconds Steven would stop to ask me a question. I would just nod my head and answered yes or no to everything. He was starting to annoy me. We finally reached Ronny's house. I looked around, remembering something familiar about this place. I looked around and my eyes caught onto a small red bricked house. I was standing at Carlos' neighbors frontyard. As if by magic, Carlos pulled up and into his driveway on his motorcycle. I smiled in his direction unconciously. It was like a reflex reaction. Something you couldn't help. He took off his helmet and noticed me looking at him. His smile spread wide and he set his helmet down. "Stalking me?" He asked. I laughed. "No, I just came to pick up my little brother's friend." I answered him. "Stay here, Steven, I'll be right back." I called to them. By then Ronny answered the door and they were talking excitedly to each other. I walked over to Carlos' frontyard. "Hey." I said quietly. The smile never faded from my face. I looked over my shoulder to see Steven and Ronny sitting on the stairs waiting impatiently. "Where are you guys going?" He asked me as he looked over my shoulder and at them aswell. "To the park. They want to play soccer." I answered.

"Mind if I come?" He asked me. My smile spread wide. "Sure." He grinned at me. We stared into each others' eyes for a few seconds, until we heard impatient yelling. "Come on!" I heard Steven yell. "She's so boycrazy." I heard him reassure his friend. "Teenagers." The other boy sighed. We laughed at them. "You ready?" I asked him. "Yeah." He put his motorcycle keys in his pocket and held out his arm so I could lead the way. "Come on, guys." I shouted. They quickly ran excitedly ahead of us. "So, you like soccer?" I asked him awkwardly, trying to start conversation. "Yeah, but I'm out of shape." Out of shape? Then I remembered his body at the beach. He couldn't possibly be out of shape. He looked like he worked out daily. "Well then, let's get you in shape." I said playfully as we reached the park. I started running and he just stood there and laughed at me. "Come on Steven, kick me the ball." Steven laughed and kicked me the ball. Soon a game broke out. Carlos and I joined up. I wasn't very good, but he played like an expert. I got tired and decided to sit out. Carlos didn't need a partner anyways. He could take on four players or more all on his own. I laughed as he taught my little brother and his friend some tricks. "Wow!" I heard Ronny say. I walked to the swing set so I could relax better. I closed my eyes and started swinging. "What are you doing?" I opened up my eyes to noticed Carlos sitting on the swing beside me. I stopped swinging. "Nothing, I'm just relaxing." I responded. I smiled up at the sky. "What's up there?" He asked me curiously. I was thinking about my father. I wanted to show him how happy I was. "I'm just showing my father how happy I am." I admitted shyly. I looked down at the floor. "Don't be embarassed." He chuckled. I smiled up at him. I really enjoyed being with Carlos. He was such a nice friend. My bestfriend. I never really had a bestfriend. I was happy Carlos was mine. "I'm sorry about yesterday." I apologized. His mood changed swiftly from happy, to sad, then to happy again. "It's okay. Forget that even happened. I had a few beers before I left." He was lying. I smelt his breath and tasted his mouth yesterday and he didn't have any traces of beer on him. But I decided to go along with it. I didn't want to argue with Carlos again. "I had a dream about you last night." I admitted to him. He looked up at me surprised. "I never knew I had that affect on you." He laughed. I reached over the swing and smacked his arm. "Carlos! Not like that." I giggled. "Actually, you stabbed me." I turned to look over at my little brother and his friend practising the tricks Carlos had taught them. "Funny." He laughed. I looked at him with a confused expression. "What's so funny?" I asked. "I would never do anything like that to you." I looked over to see his expression so sincere. I smiled to hide my embarassment. We stayed there for a while more and then decided to go get some icecream. "Thank you!" They said to us at the same time. "Carlos?" I looked up at him curiously. "Yeah?" He replied. "Do you ever wonder if some people just fit together perfectly? Like their two pieces in a puzzle." I continued. I couldn't help but think about Jefferson on that day. I was really overexcited about the date we were going to go on. He really was going to leave Barbara. He promised. And I knew destiny set out a new path for me. "Sometimes." He had a hopeful look on his face. "Why?" He was the curious one this time. "Okay, I guess I can tell you." I widened my smile. "Well, Jefferson is going to leave Barbara and he asked me on a date tomorrow!" I squealed. His smile faded a bit, but it held his place. "Congrats." He raised his fist in fake cheer. I gave him a quizzical look.

"I know you told me to stay away, but even you believe people fit together perfectly sometimes." I told him. He nodded. "Sometimes." He said. "But that doesn't mean I was talking about you and him." He said Coldly. He stopped infront of his house. "What do you mean?" I asked confused. "I'll see you tomorrow in class." He waved at us. "Bye Carlos!" Steven and Ronny both yelled. As I dropped off Ronny, I couldn't help but stare at Carlos' house in confusion. Even as we started to walk away, I couldn't help but turn around every few steps, until it faded from my vision. It was starting to get dark and dinner would be served soon. "Have fun?" Rosa called from the kitchen. I walked in and sat in my usual place. I nodded and waited for the meal to be done. "Yeah!" Steven exclaimed. "Carlos taught us so many tricks!" He shouted in excitement. Rosa stopped what she was doing then. "What did I tell you?" She gritted her teeth. I looked up at her with anger full in my eyes. "She's happy with him, just leave her." Peter defended me. I looked at him in surprise. He held a nervous smile on his face and then looked away quickly to hide it. "Are you saying she should mess up her life?" Rosa accused him. He sighed and continued reading the paper. Steven put on a sad face, and stared at his plate. Both of her manicured hands were placed securely on her hips. I glared her. "How am I messing up my life by being friends with Carlos?" I screamed. I stood up and threw the dish against the wall. "PICK THAT UP NOW!" She screeched. I laughed at her face hysterically. "Not until you leave Carlos and I be!" I stopped laughing like a maniac and stared into her eyes. "You know what!" She yelled again. "Why don't you just go be with him?" She threw her dishtowel angrily. "You know, since you like him so much!" She continued. I threw the chair out of the way so I could stand in her face. "Maybe I'll do that." I raised my hands in the air. "Maybe I'll just go get myself pregnant with him! And you'll have a bunch of Carlos Juniors running around here!" She slapped me on the face really hard. My face flew to the other side. I quickly put my hand ontop of my cheek. "The more you push me away, the more I'm going to see him." I hissed. I felt the tears running down my face as I turned to stomp up the stairs. As I made my way to my room, I heard faint sobs coming from downstairs. I screamed into my pillow to get rid of all the frustration and quickly fell asleep. The next morning came quickly. I was still tired from all the stress the other night. Rosa never called to me this morning to check on me. She was probably still mad. I didn't care. I needed to defend my friends. If she was going to hate someone for no reason, or for actions they've done in the past, then I wasn't having it. It's not like he hurt her, or stole from her or anything. Carlos was truly a good boy. He just had a little anger and bipolar issues. I could help him deal with that. That's what bestfriends do, right? I heard two loud honks infront of my house and looked out my window. It was Jefferson. I wasn't even ready and he was here to pick me up. I stook up my index finger to signal one more minute. Afterall the fighting yesterday, I never had time to chose an outfit. He waved a hand towards me, signalling for me to hurry up. I laughed and then turned to find a cute outfit. Threw on a classy white strapless dress, with white heels. I wore my hair in a nice messy ponytail, and put my bangs in a hump. I did all that in less than 5 minutes. I decided I could do my makeup at school. I walked down the stairs quickly, hoping I woudln't trip. I grabbed my white cardigan from the closet and anxiously opened the door. Jefferson was leaning back on his chair and his eyes were closed. I snook into the car quietly. He never heard me until he heard the door close. "I almost fell asleep here." He said jokingly. Then he looked at me and his eyes popped. "Wow, you look beautiful!" He exclaimed. I blushed and playfully pushed him.

"Stop lying." I giggled and looked at my feet. I wondered how I was going to manage walking at the end of the day. I felt something watching me, so I peeked from the corner of my eye in Jefferson's direction. He was gawking at me. "You're really beautiful, did you know that?" He asked as he realized I caught him in the act. He then started the car. "Sure." I said sarcastically. I smiled to myself. Could he really think of me as pretty? I looked myself over, when I noticed him looking at me again. I blushed a deep red. "What?" I asked with a smile on my face. "Oh, nothing, just looking at a Goddess." I rolled my eyes playfully and looked out my window, examining the houses and people passing us. My eyes caught the attention of the bus driver I always ended up getting. He did something that looked like a grunt. I laughed to myself as I looked away. Jefferson looked over at me quizzically. I smiled over to him. "Nothing, just saw someone I knew." His smile faded. "Carlos?" He asked with controlled patience. I shook my head. I was tired of fighting about Carlos, so I just gave up on it. "No, a bus driver." I responded. He nodded his head guiltily. I looked out the window again. I noticed Carlos getting off of his motorcycle. He had a smile on his face as he talked on his cellphone. "Thanks for the ride." I said to Jefferson as I made my way out of the car. "Where are you going?" He asked me confused. I smiled up at him innocently. "Just going to say hello to Carlos real quick. I have something to ask him." I added a lie at the end. Jefferson sighed. "Alright, I'll meet you in class." He pouted. "You look really nice." His toned brighten. Then he turned and walked towards the entrance. I walked over to Carlos. "Hey!" I beamed up at him. "Hold on." He said into the reciever. "Hey." He replied. I continued smiling awkwardly, waiting for him to say something, but he just looked at me. "How are you?" I asked him. He smiled back at me and replied, "I'm fine. You?" He seemed like he wanted to hurry up so he could continue his conversation on the phone. Who could he be talking to that was more important than me? Someone who I considered to be my bestfriend had found somebody else to be excited about. I wondered who it was, and I wondered about the new feeling I was experiencing. Was the little green monster called jealousy creeping up on me? "Kay, well I'll let you talk." I said sadly, and walked away. I turned around to see him laughing on the phone happily. I looked at the ground trying to hide my dissappointed face. "Bye." I whispered to myself sarcastically. I sat down at my desk, waiting for Jefferson, when I noticed he was sitting in his usual seat. I knew I shouldn't sit beside Carlos because I knew I would ask him who he was talking to and he would know that I was feeling a little left out. I sighed and waited for him to walk through the doors but he never did. The second bell rang and still no sign. I kept my eyes on the door for a while. I knew he was skipping. Then I instantly thought about the person on the phone. What if he was skipping with them? I felt a pang of hurt and wondered why. I guessed it just hurt to share your bestfriend. I kept staring in false hopes of his appearance until I got called out. "June, It's time to go to your next class." Wow, have I been staring at the door for the whole class? I looked around the classroom and everyone was already almost out the door. The teacher gave me an 'are-you-okay?' look. I smiled at him and got up to leave. I walked into parenting looking out the opened door. I did the same thing for drama. I would stare out the door until I got called on or the door got closed. I wished he never skipped. Even though we only had one class together, I wished I could see him in the halls. I wished he would have talked to me this morning, so I could feel better. A day without seeing your bestfriend is tough. Usually, a girl's best friend is a girl. And having a boy for one was becoming very complicated. " June?" I heard my name being called. "Who's the father of your baby?" Mrs. Harrington asked with all smiles. I widened my eyes in shock. "What are you talking about?" I asked her with surprise in my voice. The whole class started

giggling. I looked away from the teacher and to the table where all the little plastic dolls were lying. "What's wrong June?" The teacher asked me. I sighed in relief. She couldn't have been thinking of Rosa. "Nothing." I replied. I looked around the classroom and Jefferson already had a partner. "I guess you weren't here that day, okay then. Roberts." She called to a girl with short curly blonde hair and piercing brown eyes. She looked kind, but her eyes were striking. "Layla, you don't mind having a child with another woman?" She asked her. The whole class started giggling. I looked down in embarrassment. Then the bell rang. "Okay, come get your kids." I eyed the doll suspiciously. Layla and I looked at each other nervously. "I'm not a lesbian." She reassured me. I laughed. "Me neither." I started walking to my locker and she followed. "Maybe one of us got knocked up, left, and now a friend has to help pick up the pieces by helping the other raise the child." I suggested. She burst out laughing. "You're funny!" She told me inbetween breaths. I laughed too. Soon we were telling each other random stuff and laughing randomly. "Hey, tomorrow my parents are having a barbeque, wanna come?" She had a hopeful look. "Bring the baby." She laughed. I giggled, too. "sure why not?" I smiled at her. I made a new friend. Carlos wasn't the only one allowed to make new friends. I laughed in my head to internally rub it in his face. "Well, I gotta go." She waved at me and started down the hallway. "Bye!" I called after her. Layla was around my height. She dressed like a rocker, and her personality seemed like she didn't care what other people thought. I liked her, but she could never replace Carlos as my bestfriend. I looked around awkwardly, making sure I wasn't the only one carrying a baby. And sure enough, I was. I sighed and tucked the doll under my arm. "What are you going to name him?" I turned around startled to see Jefferson behind me. He had a doll in his hands too. "I don't know, I'm not sure if it's a boy or girl." I eyed my doll. He laughed. "Well, I named mine Junie." He smiled proudly. I looked at him with surprise on my face. "You did not!" I laughed. "I'm not even the mother." I continued. He laughed too. "You could be the God mother." He shrugged. I smiled widely at him. "Okay then, I'm the God mother." I said proudly with playfulness in my voice. "Well, then my baby's name is Jeffy. I'll have to ask the other mother if that's okay." We burst into laughter at the memory of me becoming a mother with another woman. "So you ready to go on the date?" He asked after he stopped laughing. "Sure, I guess I could leave the doll in the car, I hope we don't get a ticket." I laughed.

Chapter 7: Date
As I was climbing into his car, I noticed Carlos getting off of his motorbike with another girl on it. She had blonde hair and was very slim and pretty, from what I've seen from that distance. I gasped and then quickly looked down to hide my new expression. "What's wrong?" Jefferson asked me. I stared at the floor, trying to clear my thoughts. "Nothing, I just saw a bug." I looked up with a tiny smile to notify him that I was okay. He began driving then. I stared at the floor as we passed by Carlos and his new companion. I didn't know why it hurt me so much to see it, but it did. Was I losing my bestfriend? Did I do something wrong? He didn't seem like he wanted to be around me anymore. Even worse, like he didn't care. I sighed and then sucked it up. At least I was with Jefferson. I smiled at that and then turned to look at Jefferson. "Why are you so happy?" He asked me with a smile spread on his face too. "Oh nothing, I'm just happy to be here with you. No matter what we do, I'll be happy." I admitted. He beamed at me. "I'm happy too. You know, just doing anything." I smiled at him and then turned my head to look out the window. "You want the radio on?" He asked. "Sure." I said, still staring out the window. He put on some nice slow jam music. My favourite. I

started moving to the beat. "We should go to the club." He said, moving to the beat as well. I suddenly stopped dancing. "I can't dance." I told him. He raised an eyebrow in disbelief. "Sure you can't." He said sarcastically. He shook his head. "Let's go after the surprise." He pushed. I peeked at him. "Okay, fine, but don't leave me." I sighed, and then smiled as he turned the music louder. We pulled up to a curb of a street full of life. It was highly populated and sophisticated. I felt underdressed. Everybody looked highclass. He put money into the meter, and then to my door to help me out. I got out and looked around the city. It was already starting to turn dark, due to season change, and the lights were coming on. "It's beautiful!" I exclaimed. He chuckled. He was clearly used to this. "I rented a whole restaurant for us." He said proudly. He almost sounded smug. My eyes popped open. He must be really rich. I wondered what kind of dates he gave Barbara. "Are you serious?" I breathed. I tried to catch my breath. This was overwhelming. "Are you like a millionaire?" I asked with my eyes still wide open. "No, I have hookups." He admitted. "Well, what are you waiting for?" He encouraged, as he pulled onto my hand. I followed willingly. "This is so amazing." I stumbled because I was too busy staring at all the lights and people. My eyes were never focussed on the ground. He laughed as we broke into a run. This was exhillerating. I felt connected to Jefferson. "Slow down!" I squealed in excitement. We both broke into a chorus of laughter. We were probably causing a scene, but we didn't care. As long as we were together, we were unstoppable. "Hurry up slowpoke." He joked. Finally, we stopped infront of a huge black building with tinted windows. It's letters were cursive, and it read 'Dreams'. It was truly beautiful. I gasped as I tried to catch my breath. "Jefferson, I-" He cut me off with a kiss. I wrapped my arms around his neck. Then a person asking to take pictures for money held out his camera to us. "Should we take a picture?" He asked me with a grin. "Five dollars!" The man encouraged. He put his camera up to his eye. Jefferson put his arm around my waist and I did the same. "Thanks." Jefferson handed him the money and handed me the picture. "You can keep it." He sounded like he was hiding something. Why did I have to keep it? Maybe he was just being generous. Or maybe he just didn't want Barbara to see. Even when she's not here, she ruins everything. My eyes fell and a frown came onto my face. "You look beautiful." He commented, clearly trying to make me forget about what just happened. I smiled at him weakly. Thoughts started clouding my mind about the beach. Being thrown into the water, sitting on the beach, just talking. Laughing with Carlos. Then his new companion came into my vision. My day just got ruined a little bit more. I couldn't think about being in love, and I couldn't think about having a best friend, without my thoughts being invaded. I was deep in thought when Jefferson asked, "What's wrong?" His eyes were sincere, but they were still hiding something. He probably didn't want me to bring up Barbara or the picture. "Nothing, I just feel bad for making you waste all this on me." I told him the half-truth. I did feel bad for that. But I felt worse about my thoughts being raided by his girlfriend, and Carlos' new girl as a friend. "Oh, is that all?" He raised his eyebrows at me and chuckled. "Don't feel bad, you're special." He told me sincerely. I looked at his face accusingly, but he held his serious expression. "I mean it." He said seriously. "Your seat madame." The waiter said as he pulled out my chair. I sat down nervously. This place was too fancy. "Thanks." I smiled at him and then looked down to hide my discomfort. "Thanks." I heard Jefferson whisper to the waiter. As soon as the waiter left, I made eye contact with Jefferson. "What was that all about?" I asked innocently.

"Well, it's a surprise." He winked. As if on cue, the waiter brought me a bouquet of roses. "Oh my god! Jefferson!" I exclaimed excitedly as I took them in my hand. "This is so beautiful!" I said examining them. "As are you." He said romantically. I grinned up at him. "Thank you so much Jefferson." He nodded. "And I mean for everything. This is wonderful." I looked around in amazement. "No problem." He winked. "Now what do you want to eat?" He asked me with a grin of accomplishment on his lips. I bit my lip and picked up the menu. "Um, can I have some classic spaghetti?" I asked the waiter. He smiled at me, and wrote it down. He reminded me, somewhat, of a butler. "And to drink?" I looked over the menu. "Do you have milkshakes?" I asked. Jefferson started laughing, and the butler pursed his lips to hide his smile. "What?" I asked embarassed. I started giggling, too. "Oh, yeah. Fancy Restaurant. Forgot." I corrected myself. "Can I Just have a sparkling water?" I asked, hoping that a sparkling water was pretty fancy. Jefferson shook his head and smiled at me. "Just make her a chocolate shake. Especially for her." He tipped the waiter. "Sure thing." The waiter stuck the money in his pocket. "And what will you have?" The waiter asked him. Jefferson kept his eyes on me. "Same thing as her." He chuckled as he poured himself some champagne. He offered me some, but I didn't want any. As we were waiting for our dinner we began talking. "So, how's Barbara?" I asked, trying to sound nice. He sighed. "She's alright, I guess. How about Carlos?" He asked flatly. "I don't know." I shrugged. The waiter came in with our extra large chocolate milkshakes, with whipcream and cherries on top. My eyes popped at the sight. I didn't know how I was going to finish all of that. "Didn't you talk to him?" He asked me with his tone still flat. I took a sip of my milkshake, and shook my head. "No, he was too busy talking on the phone." I said, trying to hide the saddness in my tone. His eyes brightened. "So, what's the deal with you two?" He asked curiously. I moved my flowers to the side of the large table to make room for our fancy bowls that were now coming. "Nothing, I consider him my bestfriend." I admitted. Jefferson nodded his head sarcastically. "Oh, really?" He said in a disbelieving tone. "Let's talk about something else." I suggested. "How did you get this place booked for only us?" I asked brightening my tone. He grinned. "I have hookups." He said taking a bite of his pasta. "What kind of hookups?" I asked suspiciously. "Okay you caught me." He raised his hands in defeat and sat back in his chair. "My dad owns this place." He said looking around, and then back to me. "And many others aswell." He confessed. He seemed pretty proud of that. I smiled. "Wow, that's amazing." My eyes widened in amazement as I took another involuntary look around. The cieling was high, with little angels engraved on them. It looked like a God's palace. I started thinking of all the celebrities that would have dined here. "I guess it is." He shrugged indifferently. He was trying to play it off like it was nothing. But this was something. Then my cellphone started to ring. "Oh God, it's Rosa." I sighed. He encouraged me to answer it. "Just answer it, it might be important." He smiled. I decided to ignore it. The worse thing to do is to take a call during a date. It started to ring again, so I shut off my phone. "It's okay, she can yell at me later." I told him. He shrugged. "So, what do you like about me?" He asked me. I looked up nervously. I looked him over for a second. "You're really generous, and cute. And, I don't know. Lot's of stuff." I admitted. I started blushing. He leaned over across the enormous table. I leaned over too. He kissed me then. That

moment felt so magical. I knew then, that I was in love. "Do you wanna know what I like about you?" He asked as he cupped his hand under my chin. "What?" I asked amused. "Everything." Before I got to answer, he started kissing me again. The waiter interrupted our moment with a cough. "Are you ready for dessert?" He smirked, proud of his intrusion. Jefferson sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. "I'll have the dream original." He sighed. The waiter wrote it down, and then turned to me. "I'll have the same thing." I smiled at Jefferson. His expression turned from annoyed to happy. "What is the dream original?" I asked curiously. "The best sundae in the world." He grinned. "Sparklers and everything." He continued. "So." He said. "I've been meaning to ask you." He said, staring down at the table. "What did you do at the carnival?" He grimaced. I sighed on the inside. "Well, we went on some rides." I said, trying to avoid Carlos and I's little kiss. "Obviously." He said, and then he looked up at me. Our ice creams arrived and I was saved for a moment. I needed to think about what I was going to say. He looked at me expectantly. I took a bite of my icecream. "Mmm. This is good." I said changing the subject. He sighed and rolled his eyes. His face suddenly became serious. "Did he try anything with you?" I didn't prepare for this. I couldn't answer his question without thinking of away to avoid telling the truth. "UGH! I KNEW HE DID!" He yelled. He started rubbing his temples. "He didn't." I said quickly. I looked down at my ice cream. He cleared his throat. "Did you try anything with him?" He held back his annoyance. After his first little outburst, he didn't want us to get kicked out. "No." I said reassuringly. "He got into a fight with someone, we left, that's it." I told him. He seemed convinced. "Oh, you scared me there. Ithought I was going to have to start a fight." He laughed nervously. I simply smiled. I was relieved. The worst seemed to be over. We finished our icecreams in silence, with the occasional smile. "Are you ready to go?" He finally spoke. "Yeah, sure." I responded. It was starting to feel awkward. "I just gotta call Rosa first." I smiled at him and made my way to the ladies washroom. It was ringing, but no body answered. "That's weird." I whispered to myself. "It's only 9." I checked my voicemail just incase she was going somewhere and left me a message. There was a message. Only she wasn't really going anywhere. 'MIERDA! ANSWER YOUR PHONE!' Steven's missing.' She started sobbing.' I don't know where he is. He said he was going..' Some more sobs. 'To Ronny's house, but he's not there. His Mom is worried, too.They told her they were going to the park but they're not there. We searched for hours. COME HOME PLEASE!.' She begged. I gasped. "Oh my God." I nearly ran out of the washroom. "Jefferson!" I called out. I didn't care if I disturbed the waiter and whoever else was working today. "What?" He called back alarmed. He stepped out of his chair to pull me into a hug, but I pulled away. "My little brother is missing. I need to go home now!" Tears started falling out of my eyes. "Okay, okay. Just calm down." He grabbed his jacket off of the chair and wrapped it around my shoulders. "Waiter!" He called. The waiter came quickly. His expression, too, was alarmed. "Here." Jefferson handed him the money. "Keep the change." The waiter smiled proudly and then walked off without another look at us. "Asshole." Jefferson muttered. We rushed out of the building and we broke off into another run for the car. I stopped suddenly. Jefferson turned around with a bewildered expression. I needed to take off my heels so I could run faster. I took them off and then carried them in one hand. Jefferson grabbed the other. "Come on!" He yelled over his shoulder at me. "I'm running as fast as I can!" I yelled back. People's expressions became alarmed and weary as we rushed through the crowds. One lady looked like she was going to call 911.

We finally made it to the car. Jefferson threw my flowers in the backseat, where our plastic dolls were. "Seatbelt!" He reminded me. I quickly put it on as the car jumped to life. He sped down the street. "Slow down!" I said holding on the the dashboard. "Do you want to find your little brother before some creep does?" He shouted, annoyed. I grimaced and broke into some more sobless tears. He put a hand on my back and started rubbing it. I calmed down a little. I kept reminding myself that my little brother was safe. Less than twenty minutes later, we pulled up into my driveway. I jumped out before the car even stopped. "Rosa!" I yelled. "Rosa, I'm home!" I screamed again as I ran up the porch steps. Jefferson followed. I burst inside the house. "We found him!" She exclaimed. Happy tears were sliding down her face. I noticed a little boy wrapped up in a blanket, laying on the couch. "Steven!" I ran over to him and pulled him into my arms. "I'm here." I said to him as I cradled him and started patting his wet hair. He was shivering. "What happened?" I asked her bewildered. Carlos walked into the living room then. Rosa turned to him and pursed her lips. Jefferson stiffened, then walked over to me protectively. "Well, Steven and Ronny thought it would be fun to go down to the creek." She said as she turned back to me. "Some of the bigger kids went along with them, and told them it was cool to cross the water. Steven fell in, and Ronny fell in ,too, trying to save him." She turned back to Carlos and gave him a weak smile. "Carlos heard screaming, and noticed the big kids running away from the direction of the creek, and went to see what it was." She went to stand beside him. "He saved their lives." She finished. Carlos looked down the whole time. I could tell he wasn't used to being a hero. I put Steven back down on the couch and ran up to Carlos. "Thank you so much, Carlos!" I gave him a huge hug. He patted my back. "No problem." He answered. A little smile on his face. He didn't make eye contact with me. He turned to Rosa, "Well, I should go now." He said. I went to follow him, but Rosa stopped me. "Why didn't you answer my calls?" Her expression turned to angry. I looked down ashamed. "I'm sorry." I apologized. "You should be." She warned. I learned my lesson. I would never turn my phone off when she called me ever again. I walked out with Jefferson close behind me. "Here." He handed me my baby from the car. "Oh, and your flowers." He said. He handed them to me. "Thanks." I replied as I took them. I was relieved my brother was okay. I looked around for Carlos, but he was gone. "Thanks for everything." I said sincerely. He pulled me into a hug. "No problem." As soon as he let me go, he climbed into his car. "Thanks for such a fun, and suspenseful night." He joked. "No problem." I echoed. I turned to run into the house. I bumped into one of the paramedics. I was too caught up on finding Steven, and thanking Carlos, that I didn't even know the paramedics were here. "Is anything wrong with him?" I asked. "No, he just caught a cold. Any longer in there and he would have hypothermia." He said sternly. "Thank you so much." I said as I pushed past him. I sat beside Steven and I pulled him onto my lap and fell asleep with him on the couch.

Chapter 8: Life story gone wrong.
I woke up to find myself in my bed. I sat up stiffly. "God." I muttered as I cracked my stiff bones. I got up then and walked to Steven's room. He was wrapped up in a bundle of blankets. Rosa was tending to him. "How's he doing?" I asked. Rosa smiled up at me. "He'll be fine, sweetie. Go get ready for school." I yawned and obeyed her orders. I climbed

into the shower, and after that, I did my daily routine. Get dressed, Do makeup and hair, wait for the bus. I grabbed my doll off the sofa and left. As I was waiting for the bus, I saw a motorcycle whiz by me. It was Carlos. I smiled in his direction. I'd be able to thank him properly today, because he was going in the direction of the school. The bus stopped infront of me and stopped my day dreaming. "Hi." I smiled at the bus driver. He grunted and closed the bus doors. I sat down in my usual seat in the front of the bus and got off at the usual spot, infront of the school. I stumbled my way off of the bus, anxious to talk to Jefferson about last night. I was oddly eager to talk to Carlos aswell. I didn't know why the emotion of having Carlos infront of me was so prominent, but it was. Jefferson and Carlos ruled my mind. My bestfriend, and the almost boyfriend. I sighed in content. I didn't need anything else on my mind but them. They made me happy. They made the world make sense again. Their very prescence was like an aura of happiness. Well, Carlos wasn't always the happiest, but he brought out the happiness in me. And confusion. I laughed to myself. "What's so funny?" Carlos asked. I gasped as I realized I was right infront of him. I blindly walked in his direction. Like my mind was on autopilot. I wasn't concious of my actions, but I somehow was. There was no way to explain how I ended up infront of him. I looked around me quickly, looking for Jefferson. "He's inside." Carlos said as threw his keys up in the air and caught it. "Hey." I said nervously. Now that I was infront of him, I didn't know what to say. I was speechless. I mean, I was never speechless infront of Carlos. Jefferson, maybe. But Carlos? "What's going on?" He suddenly looked self-concious. I tried to lighten my tone. "Nothing, just want to say thanks." I smiled shyly. He smiled back. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. 'My hero'." He mocked the gushy tones of the girls that get rescued in the movies. I laughed. The natural flow of being Carlos was now coming back to me. "Really, thanks." I said more confidently, as my smile spread. "No problem." He said with a wave of his hand. "Wanna go to the beach?" He asked playfully. My eyes widened. "Skip school again?" He chuckled at my expression. "Come on. The beach could be our little hang out." He encouraged as he held out his helmet. I immediately thought of the thin blonde who wore this helmet the last time. I bit my tongue, trying not to ask him about her. I wondered if he took her to the beach too. I hoped the beach was our little hang out, and only ours. After a moment of silence, he began to wiggle the helmet infront of my face. "You up for it?" His voice had a hint of annoyance in it. I bit down on my lip. "Uh.." I thought for another minute. I really hoped Rosa wouldn't find out. I didn't know if her kindness to Carlos was only in gratitude, or if it had gone back to normal. "Come on." He said playfully as he wagged the helmet infront of me again. "Oh, Okay." I gave in. His face brightened. "Hop on!" He jumped onto his seat and I slowly climbed up on mine. We raced down roads and through a highway. Ecxitement flowed through me, as if it belonged them. I beamed up at Carlos' back, even though he wouldn't see me, I knew he would feel the presence of my content emotions. Altough, the feelings I eminated about Carlos were confusing, I liked the fact that they were there. I roared with laughter and joy as Carlos revved the engine. "Having fun?" He shouted over the gnarls of the engine. "I'm not sure whether i'm petrified or really excited." I told him honestly. The motorcycle was exhilerating. He laughed at my response. "Get used to it if the beach is going to be our hangout!" He retorted with playfulness in my voice. I rolled my eyes and sighed happily. That's what I needed to hear. We began to slow. I thanked God as I got off of the motorcycle in one piece. "Is it that bad?" He asked skeptically. He grinned at my wild hair and expression.

"No, just the scariness. It's actually fun!" I stared into his face for a minute, but quickly looked away as I realized he was staring back. I was staring at his lips, his nose, his barely noticed freckles. I barely even noticed he had on dimple on his right cheek either. So much I haven't observed as I had many chances. I mostly stared into his dark black eyes, knowing something was beyond them. As we started walking silently to the convenience store we had once ventured to, I wondered what else I didn't know about Carlos. I wondered if, at one point, I ever wondered? What made Carlos so mysterious? What made him so rebellious? Sure I knew that his parents didn't want him, he had bad friends. But those were just results. There wasn't any part in the story I've been told by the minds eye, that there were any evidence of how he ended up like this. I stared silently at the floor. I occassionally flickered my head towards him, only to notice him smiling at me. I jerked my head away quickly. "Um, Carlos?" I kept my face turned to the bag of chips I forced myself to look at when I turned my head ever-too quickly. "You like these?" He sounded disgusted. He sighed and said, "Okay, but you're eating them by yourself." He reached for the bag and pulled it towards him, which forced me to look in his direction as I followed the bag. "No, not that, you can put them back." I said quickly, grabbing the bag, and returning my eyes to them. "Then what?..These ones?" He reached for another bag. I put my hand on his arm and pushed it down. "No, I was just wondering.." I said, as I made my way to the pop isle. "Mhmm..." He pressed, he sounded a little nervous. "Well, I realized something." I turned to face him, with a bewildered expression on my face. I was deep in thought, wondering if he would explose if I asked this. His eyes slightly widened and his eyebrows rose. "And what would that be?" He began walking again. He was the one hiding his eyes by looking at the various food items I was sure he disliked as he passed them and examined them. I shortly followed, trying to match his pace. "Well, I realized I don't know a lot about you at all." I stated. He stopped abruptly and laughed. "You don't remember our last conversation here?" He looked at me swiflty and then examined the expiration date of some mini chocolate cakes. "No, that's not it." I stammered. He raised an eyebrow, and looked at me from the corner of his eye. "Then what did you miss?" He was confused now, and stopped pretending with looking at the food. I stopped as abruptly as he did. He faced me and I imediately looked down at my fingers intertwined with one another. "Nothing. It's just that well, all I really know about you is the result." I peeked up at him. His face slightly annoyed. I could tell he didn't understand. I sighed. "You never told me how everything ended up the way it did. You just told me how it happened." I said eager now for his understanding. I wanted to be the one to understand him, and to help him. I only wished he could understand me. He rolled his eyes and snickered. "You want my lifestory?" He tucked the pastries under his arm and continued walking down the isle, laughing to himself every second or so. "Listen Carlos. I want to know you." He stopped laughing and started picking up random things as he passed. "Carlos, I'm serious." "Uh huh." He shrugged indifferently, but his charade wasn't that fooling. I could tell he was getting aggrivated. He picked up his pace as I struggled to keep up. "Carlos, I really want to know about you. I'll even tell you everything about me so we'll be equal." I sounded like such a nerd. Such a little girl. But if it worked nothing else mattered. I needed to find out about Carlos. His past was calling to me. Radiating in my brain. Once I knew I wanted to know, it started to become sort of an obsession. An obsession I couldn't explain. He snorted, like I knew he would. He paid the cashier and left hurriedly. I followed quickly, and let the subject drop for now. I wouldn't quit that easily. I couldn't. We sat down further from the sea this time. It was October now and the water was likely to be freezing. More cold than the air itself. While shivering from the cold breeze, or the cold silence, whichever; I sat quietly munching on some twizzlers. Finally, after twenty minutes he

sighed. I broke my gaze with the sea and slowly turned to look at him. After I finished chewing he spoke aswell. "My upbringing isn't a fairytale." He began. An encouraging smile came onto my face as I urged him to go on. "Well you see, I have a brother. All perfect and everything. Thinks he's cool." He raised an eyebrow, and if my mind wasn't playing tricks on me, I could have sworn he flexed his muscles as if he was about to spar. "Anyways, growing up in the house of Ramos, something nobody should have on their to-do list." He sort of smiled at me, but then his face became serious, and he turned his gaze out to the sea. "My dad was a drunk. My mom got beat up pretty bad." His nostrils flared. "He would beat her until she bled and screamed she was sorry. Most times she didn't even do anything." He stopped for a second to take a bite of a twinkie. I lowered my eyes, wondering if I could help him after this. Maybe he wouldn't be so rebellious after we fixed this problem. "I'm sorry." I croaked. "Nah. Don't say that." He finished chewing and, with a big swallow, he continued. "Yeah, well, one day my mom was cooking for him, trying to get on his good side. I helped, it was a lot of fun. The happiest the house has ever been." He shrugged. "My brother was a few years older than me, and he cared more about school than his mother's safety. I was about 6, or so, then. And when my dad came home everything went well. He was sober, had a good day at work, but after a few beers, all hell broke loose. He started trying to touch my mom but she pushed him away and insisted on finishing making him his favourite eggs and bacon with a smiley face. He started touching her more roughly, and my mom started shouting, 'Donnie, NO! I can't! I'm cooking!' I covered my hands over my ears and screamed, 'STOP IT! LEAVE HER ALONE!' He looked at me with eyes of a murderer. Slowly, like a predator about to catch the gazelle, he picked up the steaming hot pan and swung it across my head." He turned his head to show me his scar behind his ear. It was big and long, like a huge burn mark. I gasped at the sight. I've never noticed it before. "Oh my God, Carlos!" I reached out to touch it, to soothe it. But he turned his head back to me and continued his story. "After that, my mom left him. Everything was okay for a while, but we had no money. So we were poor. Very poor. My mom couldn't take it, and started prostituting herself. She left Nathan in charge of me. He was 12 then. My brother never paid any attention to me, and he seemed to be ashamed of my mom. My mom did all she could for us, and he was disgusted. I loved my mom dearly, for trying, you know?" He looked at the sea. The bright sun cast a shadow over his scar, so I couldn't see it properly. "Why was your brother like that?" I asked, confused. I would be mad Rosa if she did that, but I would try to help her. He shrugged. "He was always a little pussy. Afraid of bumps and scratches, and things that would stand in his way of becoming an 'over achiever'." He snorted. "Anyways, skipping ahead a few years, my mom went back with my dad by force. And my mom wasn't the same mom as before, so I started acting out. I met some real tough guys. They were twice my age, but they were like the older brother's I never had. There was Manny, Jones, Roberto, Yang, Javier, and way more. I was around 14 then. I started doing everything they did. Selling drugs, having sex, exerimenting with drugs, hurting people. When I was 16 I got caught by the police, and put in jail for a year. Nobody in my family could handle me. So I became an emancipated minor. My brother ignores everyone from the family, and I got sentenced to working, school, and staying clean, or else I get put in jail. At least I do 1 of those three." He laughed. "Oh yeah, I never went to school then. I left out a lot of details too, but then again, if I told you everything, you'd be listening for 5 years." He chuckled darkly. "My life sucked. It still sucks." He joked. "Oh, Carlos, I'm so sorry." I hugged him. I had tears in my eyes. "I can help you." I told him seriously. I pulled away from the hug and looked into his eyes sternly. "How are you going to help me?" He laughed. "Never mind, I don't even wanna hear about your silly little intervention plans." He sneered. "Well, I was only trying to help you. Carlos, I don't want you feeling like this." I never broke my gaze from his face. He sighed. "Well you are helping me." He shrugged. "By being my friend." He smiled his half smile, and I returned it. Surely it looked better on him, but I had to show him my 'ditto'. "I'll always be here." I smiled widely. "And you also have that girl, the blonde girl." I told him.

He choked on his twinkie. I slapped him on the back. "Are you okay?" He started gasping for air. Finally he cleared his throat. "Uh..yeah I guess." He stumbled on his words. "What's wrong, isn't she your girlfriend?" I asked curiously. "Um. More than that. She's pregnant with my kid." He admitted a little too quickly. I could barely understand, but I did. My heart stopped. Oh my God. I was jealous. And now, the half of my heart that was for Carlos, had been torn out and ripped up into tiny pieces. There was no more container for the water held in my heart now, my heart couldn't sink but only break apart, spilling it's contents, spilling it's life. "Sh-She is?" I whispered. Trying to hold back tears. I looked away and at the ocean. Taking deep breaths as I closed my eyes. "Yeah." He whispered too. I controlled my tears and voice. "You two make a good couple." I said weakly, with a fake little smile on my face. I turned to give it to him. He returned the same one. "Thanks." He said sheepishly. I looked away again. Collecting my thoughts. "I think I should go." I didn't want to be here anymore. At our supposed place, with my supposed friend. With the other person I loved. I got up quickly, dropping the twizzlers on the sand. "I'll give you a ride." He offered. I nodded, I didn't want to make it anymore obvious about my feelings for him. He was having a baby for God's sake! If only I could hold my tears until I reached a woman's bathroom. How could this happen to me? Jefferson was still with Barbara and Carlos was having a Carlos Jr...And I was all alone. I stood up dropping the candy onto the floor. I suddenly lost my appetite. Carlos got up too, leaving his candy on the floor as well. I walked quickly ahead of him, trying not to sense his presence, but it hit me like a thousand knives. I could almost hear his heartbeat, his every breath, his smile widening, his baby crying. I closed my mind and shut my eyes tight. I stopped there, holding my head in my hands. I looked like I was trying to hold my head in it's place. Carlos wrapped his arms around me and tried to soothe me. My tears were falling yet again in this place. The second time. I didn't want to come here ever again if all I was going to do was cry. "I should have told you sooner." He whispered against my hair. I pushed him off. He fought against me, trying to wrap his arms around me when I wanted them off. "Get off me!" I screamed. "No!" He shouted back at me. "I'm serious, Carlos!" I warned. I sobbed even harder. He stopped fighting then, only to put his hands on both sides of my struggling face. "Look at me!" He demanded. I refused. "LOOK AT ME!" People all around were staring, I could see some worried faces. Their hands on their cellphones. Wide eyes. Grimaces. "LOOK AT ME!!!!!!!!" He shouted so loud, I just had to look at him. He had tears in his eyes. No anger was there, only frustration. "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!" I screamed into his face, now level with my own. He didn't answer. His eyes shifted from one of my eyes to the other, and next thing I knew, he was kissing me. Roughly. He meant this kiss. He put so much emotion into it. I could taste his frustration, love, anger, sadness. Honestly, I felt this before, the last time he kissed me. I felt the exact same thing, I just never knew what it was. I've been blind from the start. And look where it got me. Alone, and kissing someone who was going to be a father soon. I pushed him off of me, realizing that fact. "I love you." He breathed against my face. He rest his forehead on mine. All I could do was stare into his eyes. "I wanna go now." I looked down at my feet and without another tug on me, he released me. "I understand." He whispered. We silently walked to his bike, without another look at the audience. I wiped my eyes on the sleeve of my shirt. My makeup was running down my face. I decided to wipe everything off, knowing I smudged it even more. I stumbled off of his motorcycle, not turning around to say goodbye. I walked quickly towards the school. After a few long seconds, his motorcycle jumped too life, and I heard it

roar until it was out of my ear's reach. I brushed back some more tears and pushed my hair into my face. I knew I looked like a mess. Smudged makeup, messed up hair. People would probably think I got raped. I knew I should freshen up. I walked until I found the nearest girls bathroom. The little pink room felt like a safe harbour. I half-ran to the mirror to see what I looked like. As I stared into the small square mirror, I saw how much of a mess I really was. Not just on the outside, but on the inside. I was so emotionally messed and confused, and I didn't know why. How could I be so blind in the first place? It's like I wanted to get my heart broken. I sighed at my smudged makeup and messed up hair, and dragged my feet over to the fountain that we used to wash our hands with and started scrubbing my face. I took a piece of paper towel and brought it back to the mirror. Roughly, I wiped off the black spots and water. I look at myself disgustedly. "You're so pathetic." I said out loud, and then began to fix my hair. Although I was still red in the eyes and face and I still looked like a huge mess, I knew I had to go back to class. I took a deep breath and gagged. I should have saved the deep breath for walking into the classroom. This room stunk. I held my breath and walked out of the washroom. I walked up the stairs and up to the classroom, where I took the necessary, deep breath, and walked in with my head down. Everybody turned to look at me, shock all replacing their bored expressions. "Oh my God June!" I heard Jefferson shout. He stood up quickly and ran over to me. He pulled me into his arms and hugged me tightly. "What happened!?" He sounded so bewildered. I started to cry even harder. Whenever I got noticed for crying, I cried harder. I don't know why I did that, but it just did. He pulled me away at arms length, so he could examine my tear streaming face. A few more people, including the teacher, were crowding around me now. "N-n-nothing." I sobbed, as I tried to pull away and sit down. But no one would let me leave. "Are you hurt?" The teacher asked. I shook my head. But the truth was, I was hurt. I was hurt beyond repair. This was the reason why I was afraid of love. Love is a hard question, you think so hard trying to figure it out, you triumph because you finally do, then you get let down because you find out it was the wrong answer. Love is painful. I hate love. I'll forever fear love. Jefferson even hurt me; telling me he'd leave Barbara when he clearly wouldn't. I was being played. And I was playing Carlos. Love is Karma.

Chapter 9: All alone.
I walked in the door to see Rosa pacing frantically in the livingroom by the phone. "Hey." I croaked. I knew I would be pounded with questions. I knew I should just tell the truth. Rosa ran to me and pulled on my arms. She led me to the couch. "Oh sweetie, let me get you something hot to drink!" She smiled at me, her eyes still worried. Maybe she thought I wasn't going to give in too quickly. She came rushing in with a mug full of hot chocolate. "Your teacher told me you looked like you got hurt or something, did you?" Her face was serious now. I took a sip of the hot chocolate and it burnt my tongue. Yes! A delay. I put the cup down and started fanning my tongue. "Ow." I muttered. "You want some milk?" She asked with the same worried smile as before. I shook my head. "Sweetheart.." She sat down beside me. "Is it Jefferson?" She pulled me into a hug. I shook my head on her shoulder. I decided to just be honest. "It's Carlos." I admitted. I felt her stiffen, but she didn't dare say anything. Not while I was in such a fragile state. "What about him?" She asked me through struggling composure. I sniffed. "I just realized I liked him, and he is, well, you can say, he's raising up a love on his own." I rolled my eyes. "I told you-" She was about to shout, but she composed herself again. "I told you he wasn't good for you." She said quietly. "No it's not that. It's me, I was too stupid to notice anything." I sat up then, deciding I had enough. "I'm going to go to sleep." I felt the tears welling up in my eyes again. Carlos was really having a baby, but how could he love me too? Love me, but have a kid with someone else. Yeah

that's really stupid. "Sleep well." Rosa whispered. I walked up the stairs and up into my room. "Stupid!" I muttered to myself. I plopped onto my bed and began to hum to myself. The tune of the song didn't belong to any artist, it came out naturally. Soothing me, protecting me from heartache. I sat up then, happy I had an inspiration. I pulled out my poetry book, and flipped to a fresh page. 'All alone.' I said out loud as I wrote it down. Then the pen skidded across the page from the words that just popped into my head. Thinking I had something real, I closed my eyes and followed my instinct. I held out my hands to feel, along the walls but did I ever think? No. I took my mind for granted, and I never knew you had it, the key, I need, to open me.To reveal my love, to set me free. I went down the empty path, that lead to nothing, but I was blind I couldn't see if I was following something. And I crashed in the end, crashed my system down, waiting for something to help me, looking all around, but nobody would ever find me.I couldn't count on you to find me. I'm all alone, and love did this to me, I'm all alone, this illusion can never help me, it's not real. I'm all alone, alone in my heart, on this path that I chose. I'm all alone. I knew it wasn't the best, but it came from my heart. I was following the path that was Jefferson, when I knew I should have went for Carlos. And now I'm all alone and no one can help me. I did this to myself, I was blind, and now I can see. I'm looking around, and all I find is me alone. Following Jefferson's path was heaven to me before. But now I realized the path was just an illusion. I sighed and knew I should just suck it up. I drifted off to sleep. But instead of waking up in my bed, I was on Carlos' couch. "Carlos?" I called out. I heard a baby cry from the distance. When will the torture end? "Mama!" The baby cried. I my eyes searched for the baby. I wearily got up, tired of sitting. Out of instinct, I walked swiftly towards the kitchen. "Mama!" The baby cried again. I looked baby. "Mama!" It cried. I noticed the sound was coming from upstairs. I jumped at the sound of footsteps behind me. I whipped around to see Carlos. "So you've decided to babysit little Petunia then?" He said hopefully. I stared at him in confusion. He beamed at me, clearly oblivious to my expression. "Good, I'll introduce you." He grinned. "What?" I asked bewildered. "Carlos, why would I want to see your baby?" I asked. He ignored me. "I'm leaving!" I yelled. He ignored me again. He lead the way out of the kitchen, and I followed but, instead headed for the door. I took one last glance at Carlos. What an idiot. He broke my heart enough. I glared at his back as he walked up the stairs, ignoring me. I slammed the door on him and turned around to leave. I wanted to walk away angrily, but all I could do was gasp. I was in a babies room. The walls were painted pink, teddy bears were everywhere, and there, in the middle of the room, was a crib. The crib in which Carlos' new baby now laid. With a gulp, I walked forward. Carlos was standing over the crib, beaming into it. I looked at him first before I looked at the baby. It's face was blurred out. It reminded me of the nightmare I had about going to school. I gasped and backed away. "Carlos, her face is gone!" I yelled at him. My heart started to race. This was happening to me all over again. Carlos only shook his head in disappointment. "Don't! Judge! My! Little! Angel!" He yelled. He glared at me, with all the rage he could mustre. I've never seen Carlos like that before, not even the night he beat up that guy at the carnival. "I-I-I'm s-sorry." I stumbled on my words. His glare grew colder by the second. "You better be sorry." He warned. "All I said was her face is blurred. Look at her." I defended myself, trying not to stike him again. "You did much more then that!" He yelled. Petunia started to cry. He seemed to not notice. I looked from him, and then back to the crib. I was up against the wall. Trying not the look at the baby or Carlos. "What are you talking about?" I said a little louder now. Not caring if he tried to hurt me because I knew this was a dream for sure now. My pulse started to quicken as he took a step forward. "You tortured me!" He screamed. I looked taken aback.

"Carlos!" I shouted. "I've never done such a thing." He moved forward again. I wished I could move back, but my feet were planted to the floor and my back was pinned to the wall. "Oh, but you have." He said menacingly. I looked at him confused. He spit on the floor. Something Carlos would do. I started doubting that this was a dream. "How?" I pleaded. "You played with my emotions. You kissed me, bringing my hopes up, and then you go kissing Jefferson. You held my hand. You let me touch you. You let me love you." He said, hurt. I tried to move closer to him, to soothe him, but I was glued to the spot. "Carlos, I was blind! I realize now." I shouted, frustrated at not being able to move. Like invisible forces were holding me back. "A little too late now isn't it?" He sobbed, and then gestured his face in the direction of his kid. "I wouldn't have done it if you weren't so stupid!" He shot. Spit flying from his mouth. His eyes seemed to turn blacker, like a hungry shark. I, somehow, managed not to cry too. I just blinked into his face. His tears streaming down his face. I started to feel angry now. "Well look at what you did to me!" I screamed at him. And all of the sudden all the bonds holding me back broke. I moved forward so I could hit him, or hug him, or do the best of both. I was so hurt. The moment I realize I love him, is the moment I know he has other plans. He may have said he loved me too, but I knew he didn't. I ran towards him, but he disappeared. The dreamed whirled around me. I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath of air. I recognized the salt water, I was on the beach. I felt arms on me. I opened my eyes, to see Carlos staring intently into my eyes. He had tears in his eyes. He wasn't angry at all, he was just frustrated. And then It hit me. We were replaying what happened. He kissed me. And after I pushed him away, he leaned his forehead on mine and stared into my eyes yet again. "I love you." He whispered. And then the dream disappeared. I gasped as I woke up. I remembered everything so vividly. Back in that room, on the beach, I never really felt anything. I felt numb. Like everything had been repeated so many times, it just gave up. Like losing interest, or losing feeling. Before I got angry at him, I felt numb as well. I knew what he was saying, but I couldn't feel anything. Anger must have been what I was really feeling, but the numbness was creeping up on me coolly. And finally consuming me on the beach. When he whispered 'I love you.' I knew he meant it, but I didn't know what to feel. Happy? Sad? Angry? Or numb? I rubbed my eyes, and wiped the sleep from them. 'What a dream'. I thought. I yawned stiffly and stretched out my arms and legs. I must have slept for a long time. I looked around, trying to find my alarm clock. I must have dropped it on the floor. I waited for my eyes to concentrate before I strained my eyes to read. It was 6:30 am. Wow, I did sleep for a really long time. I got up and decided a long shower was in order. I stepped in and let my worries and stress fade from my muscles. The only tension left was the one in my stomach. The numbness that I felt, was not only in my heart, but it felt heaviest in my stomach. I concentrated on that area for a few minutes. Trying to untangle my real feelings from the numb ones, with little success. I jumped out of the shower after an hour, and started to get ready for school. I heard the phone ring and I made no attempt to answer it. Rosa picked up instead. "Oh yeah she's here, who is this?" A little pause. "Okay, Layla, I'll get her." She said sweetly. "June!" She called from the bottom of the stairs. I finished getting ready by putting on my black bulky sweater, and then rushed downstairs. I grabbed the phone from her with a weak smile. She was obviously still worried about me. "Hello?" I asked dully. "Hey, it's me, Layla." She said brightly. "Sorry you couldn't make it to the barbecue." She said a little sadly. I jumped. I totally forgot, with Jefferson's date, and all the trouble going on in my life, I completly forgot. "Oh, I'm so sorry Layla." I apologized. She giggled. "It's alright, it got cancelled anyways." Before I could ask her why she continued. "Well, anyways. It's my turn to have the baby this week and then next week we need to hand it in. I was thinking maybe next week we could write our report together on what it's like to be a parent. My heart stopped. No emotion, just frost. "Uh...sure." I shrugged even though she

couldn't see me. "Cool!" She said enthusiastically. In the background I heard a car honk. "Well, my ride's here. So I'll see you later." She hung up before I even got to say goodbye. Stupid parenting class. Rub it in my face why don't ya? The boy I really loved was having a kid. And now this parenting class was rubbing it in my face. I sighed and hung up the phone, throwing it on the couch. I left without even saying goodbye to Rosa. I slumped out of the house, cursing as the bus passed me by. I decided I left early enough to walk to school. I pulled out my iPod and put on the slowest song I could find. I know that it hasn't been perfect, but every second was worth it. Don't give me your reasons. Don't tell me you're leaving. Let's not do goodbyes, cause my heart can't take it. So if you have to hurt me, do it gently, and let me down easy. If you have to break me, baby, let me down easy. Cause the thought of waking up without you..but if that's the way it has to be. then let me down easy. I vaguely paid attention to the lyrics of Shawn desmond's song, while I pictured Jefferson breaking up with Barbara. How could I be so cruel? I've been such a destructive monster ever since I moved here. Trying to satisfy my heart while stepping on many other ones at the same time. I ripped off my headphones and put my iPod back in my bag, greatful for the numb feeling that would return. As soon as I reached the school, I noticed many fliers on the wall. 'Couples Dance : Juniors and Seniors only! Theme: Love! Bring your partner.' It sounded so cheesy. The person who made this couldn't advertise properly. I rolled my eyes at the paper, and tore it down from the window. I studied the little picture of a cartoon couple holding eacher other's hand and gazing into each other's eyes. I crumpled it up and threw it into the nearest trashcan, not caring about the looks I was getting. I walked straight into the school with a bitter mask, hoping nobody would talk to me. The only person I needed to talk to was Jefferson. Jefferson was in the middle of an argument with Barbara and I suddenly released the bitter mask. I hoped this fight wasn't my fault, like everything else was. The numbness started slipping away, and I prayed it would last until Christmas, when the dance was. I quickly avoided them, and rushed up the stairs and to my locker, hoping not to catch any of their attention. I reached my locker and pulled the baby out of my bag. "Ugh." I shoved it in my locker angrily. I heard a cough and jumped. "Did the kid do anything to you?" His voice called to me from behind. I ignored the gravitational pull that was trying to force me to turn around. I started pulling everything else from bag and into my locker, without knowledge of having use for them. Carlos' hand reached past my face and into my locker, pulling out one of my books. "You need this one." He sighed. I coughed, signalling my discomfort. "I get it." His tone lowered. The numbness controlling me was slipping away. My insides were gripping them tighter than ever, but it was like water. It was slipping through the cracks...and fast. I only hoped Carlos was gone by then when it was fully gone. I turned around to make sure he was gone, but he was right behind me. I looked at him and then coldly turned around again. "I'm busy." I said. He leaned against the locker beside me. "You seem busy." He said. His tone was sarcastic. I put a hard mask on. The numbness in my stomach was gone, and the numbness in my heart was slipping. "I don't have time for this Carlos." I said angrily. Tears already travelling up to my eyes. I slammed my locker shut, holding the book Carlos had taken out and locking it. He stepped off the locker beside mine and began walking wih me. "Time for what? The truth?" He said a little bitterly himself. "And what would that be?" I said ignorantly. He easily kept up with my fast pace. "That I love you, and that's not going to change." He said earnestly. I looked down. Trying to hide the escaping tears. "Oh yeah?" I stopped walking. Not afraid to show him the damage. He stopped too and was staring into my eyes. His bitterness had dissolved. "Well, what if the truth isn't really the truth?" I asked.

"Well, it sure feels like the truth." He replied. I shook my head. "How could you say that?" I asked him in bewilderment. "Easy." He shrugged frustratedly. I started walking again and he followed yet again. "Easy? So it's easy to have a pregnant girlfriend, and say 'I love you' to someone else and mean it?" I asked, not convinced. "It sure doesn't sound easy Carlos!" I started to raise my voice. I stopped walking again. This time we stopped infront of the girl's washroom. "Look, she's not my girlfriend. That was an accident." He was pleading with his eyes. "It didn't seem like an accident. The way she looked at you, the way you looked at her. The way you wanted to get rid of me to talk to her. That sure sounds like you love me." I said sarcastically. "That was the day she told me she was pregnant." He said honestly. It looked almost like he was begging. "Okay. One point for you. But all the other happy times you spent together. Uh, yeah that leaves me fifty points." I said coldly. My hand was on the bathroom door. "I know, I know. I was trying to replace you. I mean you were happy with Jefferson. You weren't the only one being hurt!" He shouted the last of his sentence. His face full of sadness. Many people started staring. Every second with Carlos was a performance. Although it may have been real, we always had an audience. "You broke my heart so many times June. Like when I kissed you in my kitchen and you pulled away. Did you realize you were kissing me back, June?! You kissed me back, and then you pulled away. I was being led on! You led me on! But I still love you!" He shouted. I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out, only a wisp of breath. I was about to break down. I sharply turned away from him and ran into the washroom. I heard him calling my name distinctly from behind the door, but I shut it out by putting my hand over my ears and backing up in a corner. I slid down the wall and let my heart pour out.

Chapter 10: Repair
I sat on the bathroom floor, all cried out. Layla walked in and gasped at the sight of me. "Oh, June!" She ran to my side immediately. And if I thought I couldn't cry anymore, the rain started again. I half expected her to pull out an umbrella. She sat down with me, after a failed attempt to pull me up. "I heard everything." She whispered. I nodded. I felt drunk. I couldn't see straight, and I couldn't process her words. "Are you alright? Was he your boyfriend?" She asked concerned. I shook my head to both. She pulled on my shoulder so that my head could rest on her shoulder. I stopped crying then and just laid there comfortably. "Guys are idiots." She said, clearly on my side. But I wasn't on my side. "No, I'm the idiot." I said grudgingly. She turned to the side, gripping my shoulders in both of her hands. "No, you're not, don't let anyone tell you that. Not even yourself." She said sternly. I looked up into her eyes. She was one of the best people I have ever met here. Barbara sure would have done this for me. "Thank you." I mouthed. My mouth was dry, and my eyes were wet. "Now let's get you something to drink." She offered her hand as she stood up. I took it a little weakly. "Wait, is he still out there?" I asked a little nervously. She shook her head. "No, he sort of stormed off." She said with a grim look on her face. "He wasn't nice to anybody in his way that's for sure." "Did he hurt anyone?" I asked a little shocked. I wiped my makeupless eyes. "Not that I know of." She reported. I nodded, grateful. "Hopefully no one does get hurt." I spoke too soon. I've already been hurt, and so had he. I should have said, 'hopefully nobody else get's hurt'. We walked out of the bathroom, recieving a lot of stares and little hugs. "I'm okay." I said to everyone. They paused for a second, as if they needed to be reassured. But with one look from Layla, they all carried on to class. I was going to be late yet again. With my record, I oughta be

kicked out. The fountain's water was cold and refreshing. I drank for about two minutes. I never realized my throat was this parched. The whole time, Layla's hand remained on my back. I stood upright and wiped my mouth. "Thank you Layla." I said gratefully. She smiled at me. "Eh, it's no problem!" She said as brightly as this morning. "Well, you better get to class." She ushered me in its direction, and with a wave, we departed. I reached the classroom door, a little nervous to walk in, knowing people would definitely be staring at me. And people were. Everyone except for Jefferson. He seemed upset himself. I walked over to him, ignoring everybody else. I gasped. Jefferson had a big black eye, and several cuts and bruises everywhere else. "Are you okay?" Barbara couldn't have done this to him. He looked over at me. "Yeah." He said quietly. He seemed more calm about it than I did. "Who did this to you?" The class was loud as the class went on, so I barely needed to whisper. "It's not important. I deserved it." He said lamely. Maybe Barbara did do it. My brows furrowed together in confusion. "No body deserves what Barbara did to you." I said earnestly. "Barbara?" He sounded shocked that I would even bring up her name. "Barbara never did this to you?" I asked, a little self-concious I even thought of that. "No." He sighed. "Carlos did, and for a good reason." I shook my head. "What!" I half shouted. Not many people heard me, but the few who did turned to look. "I deserved it." He was starting to sound annoyed. Then his eyes softened. "Can't you see?" He was looking at me desperately. "I used you." He said angrily. "What do you mean?" I barely whispered. Tears filling my eyes again. He sighed. "Barbara knew I wasn't going to break up with her." He started. "You weren't?" I asked a little shocked. But my answers remained barely audible whispers. He shook his head. "We all wanted to see who can get into the new girls pants, and I volunteered. Barbara was trying to help you." His eyes didn't meet mine this time. "I don't believe it." "Well, believe it!" He shook his head again. "Barbara was trying to scare you off so you wouldn't fall for me. But she failed." He took a deep breath. All I could do was stare in anger. "I was going to try to get you to sleep with me after the date, but then your little brother went missing." He took another deep breath. Probably pausing to see what I would say. "Everytime Carlos was there, or you mentioned him, I pictured him telling you about the plan. He was trying to protect you too." He looked at me, waiting for my answer. "Carlos knew about it? Why didn't he tell me?" I asked to myself. "He knew you would be heartbroken if he told you." He said. "I'm sorry." His eyes were sorry, but I wasn't sure if he was sincere. He was a good liar after all. "What else did you do? Or plan?" I was humiliated and angry, and shouting. "Huh!? Tell me!" I shouted. The class went silent. "I.." He paused. "You what!?" I screeched. I stood up, knocking my chair backwards. "I'm sorry." He whispered. My hand flew down so quickly, it was a blur. The only evidence that I hit him, was from his head flying to the other side. "Why don't you shove it up your ass?" I said coldly as I stomped out of the classroom and slammed the door. I didn't even bother crying this time. I was too humiliated and angry, I couldn't even process my own thoughts. Where I was going was a mystery even to me. I just kept walking angerly, hoping Jefferson didn't try following me. I marched down the steps and banged my way out of the school. No body was around, not even Carlos' motorcycle. I walked up to the bus stop, not the one that took me home, but on that led me in the opposite direction. I waited, staring blankly in the direction I was heading. My eyes felt black, like my pupils had taken over. I felt like I was posessed by someone who didn't feel. I wasn't me, not even the numb feeling could compare. I closed my eyes, trying to find myself, but gave up after thinking that this was

better for me. I stood there, tapping my foot impatiently, waiting for the bus to finally make its appearance. I looked in the direction of the way the bus was coming, and sure enough, it was there. It screeched to a stop infront of me. It wasn't my usual driver, but I didn't care. I paid him grudgingly, and took a seat in the back. Not my first choice either. I was becoming a new and improved June. After twenty minutes on the bus, I reached my destination. The beach. I knew that if I wanted to be free, free from this new June, I needed to go to where the real June was recognized and reborn. I stopped grieving for my father after I came here. After I met Carlos. It was him who brought out the real me. But I knew I couldn't have him now. I needed to move on, and learn how to find myself on my own. I was doing that now. The bus left me standing at the bus stop. I took in a big breath and smiled. This place brought back so many memories. Whether they were smiles or tears, who cared? They were the old me. I walked down to the little parking lot and into the sandy beach. I kicked off my shoes and put them in my hand. Not many people were on here, just old people, who found the freezing beach to be romantic. Or maybe they were finding their release. After all, this beach was a place you could be yourself. I threw my shoes up into the air, and smiled at their landing. 'Here's to becoming me again'. I thought in my head. Nobody was staring at me, or my odd behaviour. I smiled at everybody on the beach. The only time you'd ever have an audience here is when you disturbed this little peaceful place. When you're not happy, everyone else here can't see why. This place was heaven to many people. To me. I laughed to myself and plopped down on the ground. I was half-sitting, resting on my elbows. I through my head back with my eyes closed, trying to focus on the frozen sun beaming down on me. I felt like it was only shining on me and no body else. Like it was repairing me. I was broken after all. That was why I wasn't functioning properly. I was broken, and all I needed to be myself was to repair myself. I could almost feel the sun fixing my wounds, my internal wounds. I sighed happily. Being repaired felt nice. I pulled out my iPod and turned it on. I laid down on the sad, putting my hood up, and closed my eyes. ******* I walked through the door, happy to be me again. Rosa looked at me with confused eyes. "You weren't in class today?" She asked a little annoyed. I shook my head. "And why not!" She yelled. "I had another little problem, but I solved it." I said happily. "Two fights in one day." I shrugged. She looked at me suspiciously. "Are you drunk?" "Nope. Just repaired." I told her matter-of-factly. "And how did you get repaired?" Her eyes looked like they were going to pop out of her head. I walked past her and to the couch. "Hello?" She called to me, as I turned on the t.v. The news was on, but I barely paid attention. Something about a motorcycle accident was on. "Oh, I just went to the beach and I fell asleep." I said indifferently. "Why would you go to the beach?!" She yelled. "What's at the beach?" She asked me, not angry now, but frustrated by the lack of attention I was giving her. But how could I pay attention when something on the news finally caught my attention. The new June in me felt like it had died. "Carlos Ramos, Aged 18, was in a terrible accident today. He seemed to have been intoxicated".- "Hello, June!" Rosa called to me. "Shutup!" I yelled. I walked over to the t.v, trying to get a better look. A picture of Carlos came up on the screen. "We don't know his condition yet, but they say he'll most likely live. He's being treated in Manning's Hospital. We'll find out shortly everything we need to know." I started to cry again. I was just momentarily high by the aura of the beach, and now I was sobered up. Carlos was in the hospital. How could I live with myself, knowing it was all my fault? Rosa sat down on the couch, watching the screen too. "I need to leave." I said to her. "Go to the hospital." She said softly. I nodded, wiping the tears from eyes. Whether he hated me now and wanted to see me or not, he was going to. I got up quickly, and ran to the door. Not caring about anything else. A taxi whizzed past me as I waved my arms uselessly in the air. "Shit!" I muttered. I stood there stupidly, watching it u-

turn. "Yes!" I exclaimed. He stopped right infront of me. "Where are you going?" The taxi driver asked. "Manner's hospital!" I said quickly as I hopped in. He nodded, knowing it was an emergency. "You knew that boy on the news then?" He asked seriously, before he started the car. "Yes." My tears never stopped running down my eyes. He nodded again. "Okay. Free of charge." He started the car and I beamed at him. "Thank you so much!" "Put on your seat belt." He urged as the car jolted to life. And soon we were speeding in and out of traffic. I was reminiscing about the times Carlos and I shared together. 'We don't know his condition yet, but they say he'll most likely live.' Most likely. Those words haunted me. As well as his mug shot. He wasn't smiling in his picture. He looked rather angry. I pictured him leaving angrily, and beating up Jefferson. I shuddered. The next thing he would have done was dig in his pocket to find a bottle of whisky and down the whole thing. I shook my head, trying not to imagine anymore, but the thought of him crashing played in my head uncontrollably. I could picture his body lying there, limp, lifeless. I cringed. "Are you okay?" The driver asked worriedly. I stared out the window for a second, trying to compose myself before I nodded my head. "Yeah, I'm alright." I croaked. The building pulled into view as I stared out the window. It was big, brown, and it looked old. I looked up at it, trying to figure out which room Carlos was in. The big red cross stood out from anything else. The driver pulled over right at the entrance, not bothering to park. "Okay, here you are." He said as he stopped. He turned around and watched me hesitate on the door. "Good luck." He encouraged. I weakly smiled at him, and then took a deep breath. I pushed open the door and slammed it shut. I heaved in a big breath of air, and began running. I ran into the hospital, trying not to knock people over. I interrupted a couple at the front desk. "I need to see Carlos!" I shouted. The people in the line started to protest. Once they saw my expression, they shut up. "I need to see Carlos!" I repeated. The receptionist looked up his name on the computer. "Carlos hernandez, Carlos domingo, Carlos-" I cut her off. "Carlos, Ramos!" I yelled. The silent hospital grew even more silent at my panicked voice. "Right this way." She led me herself to the elevator. "Take this up to the second floor. Here." She pulled out a note pad and a pen. She wrote 'Carlos Ramos- Urgent.' "Thanks." I said as I read it over. She nodded kindly, and returned to the front desk to tend to the couple. I jumped in the elevator and frantically pressed the '2' button. "Come on, come on, come on!" I muttered. I didn't care about the other people in the elevator, the only person that mattered was Carlos. I rushed to the desk and rang the bell. "Hello!" I smashed down on the bell again. A bewildered nurse came shuffling to the desk. "How may I help you?" She asked, a little apalled. I handed her the note. I knew I looked like a mad person. They probably thought I should be comitted. But how would anybody else react if they found out there was a ten percent chance your bestfriend, the one you love, would die from a motorcycle accident. The nurse looked at me, and then back at the note. If she took any longer, I would have just went off on my own, but she stood up quickly and led me to a room that he had all to himself. I heard the equipment buzz and beep. I knew he was alive then. Sitting right next to him, though, was the blonde girl.

Chapter 11: Apologies
She looked up at me from the sleeping body of Carlos. Bandages and casts were everywhere. His face was badly bruised and cut too. I gasped at the sight of him. "Are you June?" She asked me quietly. My eyes returned back to hers. I sighed in defeat. I had to face that he was hers now. "Yes." I said just as quietly. She squeezed his hand I had no idea she was holding, and then got up. "Can I talk to you?" She asked me. She, too, was crying. I could hear the strain in her voice. I

nodded as she walked up to me, and turned around as she led the way. I followed her out of the room and into the waiting room. We sat down on two empty seats near the window. She folded her hands in her lap and I just stared at her, waiting for what she had to say. Was she going to tell me to stay away? With thinking that, I stiffened a little. I felt my face harden a little. "I'm amber." She told me, with a little sad smile on her face. She looked guilty. "I'm June." I said. I wanted to get past the introductions and into the arguments. I knew exactly what to say to defend myself. She sort of laughed. It was a short, sad, chuckle. "I know." She whispered. A little paused followed. I waited for her to go on. "Well, what I wanted to say that I'm sorry." My face softened in that instant. All the arguments I had ready dissolved. "What?" I sounded a little shocked. "I lied." She croaked. She began crying again. "About what? I've never even met you." I was staring into her eyes. I felt frutrated. Why did she say she was sorry. If anybody she be sorry, it was me. "I'm not pregnant." She admitted, and then cried harder. My heart stopped. I looked down then, trying not to cry anymore myself. I found it hard to breathe then. "You''re not?" I gasped. She shook her head. "I lied so I could keep him." She sounded like she was admitting to a murder. I felt like the mother of the victim. "I know it's wrong, please don't judge me." She pleaded. I looked up at her with pleading eyes as well. "Tell me everything." I begged. "Well, he told me everything about you. Your name. How much fun you had. How he loved you. And then one night, you drove him off the edge. He told me he wanted to forget you and I offered to help. I was secretly in love with him during the years of our friendship...but he never wanted anything to do with me." She sniffed. I stared at the floor. "One night, he was so upset I convinced him to have sex with me. He refused at first, but I told him it would help him forget you. But it didn't. And I got so angry. He told me he wanted to tell you he loved you. I was devastated, I didn't know what to do!" She exclaimed. I raised my eyes to her accusingly. Was everything lies lately? "So you called him the next day and told him you were pregnant." I said dully. She nodded and began to sob even harder. "I told him that the condom broke. And he tried to sound happy on the phone, but when he came home, he was furious." She dug in her pocket for a little package of tissues. She took one out and blue her nose on it. I stood up to leave. I had enough. "Wait!" She called to me. She rushed over to me and pulled me into a hug. "I'm so sorry." She apologized. "You belong with him." She whispered in my ear. She let go of me, smiled, and then left without another glance in Carlos' room. I walked in a daze over to his room and walked in. I sat down in her previous spot and picked up Carlos' hand. "Oh, Carlos." I sobbed. "This is all my fault." I cried. He squeezed my hand. "No, it's not." He whispered. His voice broke in many different places. He sounded very damaged. I smiled a tear smile at him. He smiled a weak one back at me, even though it meant much more. I started rubbing his hand. "Are you feeling okay?" I asked seriously. He closed his eyes for a minute and then opened them. "I'll be alright." He sighed. He opened his eyes and smiled at me again. "Do you want me to get you anything?" I asked, ready to get up. "No!" He said too quickly. "Don't leave." He said a little more calmly. I held his hand again, rubbing it. "I was so worried when I heard about this on the news." I told him. "Don't believe everything you hear on the news. They over-exaggerate." He chuckled weakly. "So you weren't drinking?" I accused. He shook his head. "No. I was just too angry." "I'm sorry." I began to cry again. "It's all my fault." I repeated. "No, no, no!" He tried to soothe me. "After I had a talk with Jefferson, Amber called me and told me she wasn't pregnant." He coughed. He sounded so sick. "Save your voice." I said seriously. He smiled at me. "I'm okay." He reassured me. "I was so mad at her for doing that me and what we could have

had, so I left to go figure things out, then I crashed." His voice was thick with dryness. "Do you want some water?" I asked. My face was full of concern. He chuckled and just shook his head. "The nurse will give me some." He looked at the woman in the doorway. She was brought him a plastic cup, full of water. She walked over to him, and fed it to him. "Thanks." He smiled at her. "Do you want some?" She offered. I shook my head at her, but smile appreciatively. Carlos closed his eyes. I knew he was tired. "You should let him sleep." She insisted. I nodded, but I couldn't take my eyes off Carlos. "I love you." I whispered into his ear. "I love you too." He whispered back. I let go of his hand then, and with one last glance at his sleeping body, I left. ******** I returned the next few weeks, everyday, afterschool. I was starting to accept all the apologies around me, including my own. Everything was returning back to normal. The earth was revolving at it's normal pace again..almost. "Hey there!" I said excitedly as I ran over to give him a hug. He could sit upright now, and was much stronger than before. "Hey!" He said just as excitedly. I handed him over the flowers I had brought him. "Thanks princess charming." He chuckled as he set them down onto his lap. "You're welcome." I smiled warmly into his eyes. "When are you going to be able to leave?" I wondered. "Well, with only a broken arm, and some healed ribs, I think I could leave any day now!" He seemed to be saying that to himself too. "I hope it's soon." I said seriously. He touched my face with his left hand. "Can I sign your cast?" I took out a pen and wiggled it in his face. "Uh...If you want to." He looked a little squeamish. "I won't make it look too girly, I promise!" I giggled. He held out his right arm, and I told him to close his eyes. He did so, but just incase I covered what I was writing with one of my hands. "Okay, you can look." I finally said after a few minutes. "I almost fell asleep." He joked. I hit his good arm lightly. A few bruises were still healing. "Property of June-Isabella Suavez. XOXO." He laughed. "Nice." He stared at it with a huge goofy grin on his face. I couldn't handle it anymore. I pounced on him. My lips crushed down on his. And he held me with both of his arms. I broke away, breathing hard. "Wow." I said, finally doing what I wanted to do in weeks. For almost two months. He sighed happily, pulling me onto his bed. "Let me have another one." He chuckled. I started to giggle. "Carlos! I'm going to hurt you." I exclaimed, but I was already on his bed, lying right next to him. He pulled my face to his, and we were kissing again. "You won't hurt me." He breathed. And we were kissing and giggling like this for a while. I lied next to him with my hand on his face. We stared into each others eyes for what felt like eternity. "Excuse me." I heard a male voice behind me. I whipped around to see someone who looked a lot like Carlos. Carlos stiffened beside me. I got up quickly, and I went to the seat beside his left side. There was a seat beside his right side open for this man, but he showed no movement to take it. "Nathan?" Carlos asked stiffly. Nathan lowered his eyes. "I heard on the news." He said quietly. I looked at my feet, I didn't want to disturb such a moment. "Should I leave?" I asked Carlos after a moment of silence. I assumed they wanted to be alone. "No." Carlos sighed. I stayed put. "So why are you here?" He asked Nathan. "You're my brother." He said indifferently. I kept my eyes on the floor. This moment seemed too private for anyone else. "So?" He said coldly. "Look, I'm sorry if I've ever done anything wrong." Nathan apologized. I lifted my head so I could look around instead of awkwardly staring at my feet. He was moving towards the seat across from me, on the other side of Carlos. "Look." He sighed. "I was scared, okay."

"I always knew you were a pussy." Carlos sneered. "I didn't know what else to do!" He pleaded. "You know what?" Carlos started. "Forget about it." He finished. I looked up at him so see him half-smiling. His brother looked relieved. All these apologies were becoming tiring. For the rest of the night, we sat and talked. I mostly listened to the deep and heartfilled conversation they had about the past. Carlos was a changed man. I loved him. He looked at me and smiled at the realization of my gawking. "I think I should go," I yawned, getting up to leave. "Wait!" Carlos almost pleaded. "I think I should go." Nathan said. Carlos smiled at his brother and gave him a hug. "Seeya bro." Nathan said in a small, awkward voice. It was like he wasn't used to using that word. "Alright." Carlos smiled. Carlos' eyes trailed after his brother as he left the room. Then his eyes flickered to mine. "So the dance is coming up." He hinted with a small smile on his lips. "You won't be able to go." Would he? "I will, if you don't mind the broken arm.." He shrugged. "I don't mind." I smiled. "Then will you go with me?" He asked hopefully, looking up at me from behind his eyelashes. "Yes," I nodded. "But I really need to go now." I kissed him lightly on the lips before I left. "Fine." He sighed with a sweet smile still on his face. With another lovely look into each other's eyes, I left. Carlos' POV: She left the room, taking all of my heart with me. I loved June from the start and now she loved me. I was ready for whatever life had to throw at me. I was ready for love. I was ready for a relationship. I was ready for redemption. I was ready for comitment. With my good hand, I dug out the small black, velvet box from my pocket. I always knew it would be the right moment when she realized she was in love with me also. June's POV: "Hello?" I answered the phone. "Are you ready?" A seductive male voice came from the other end of the phone. "Carlos?" I asked, blushing already. Rosa peered into the room from the kitchen. I was already in my silky black dress. My hair was up in a tight bun with little sparkles all over. "Yes," he chuckled. "Are you ready?" I asked a little flirtatiously.

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