• Chapter 2
    This morning’s breakfast was fun. I love Bryan’s family. They’re so energetic. I really love eating with a family. It makes me happy, but I would be a little embarrassed to say that out loud.
    “Lanes! Are you paying attention?” my boyfriend, Taren asks.
    Taren and I have been going out for two weeks now. He confessed to me and I agreed.
    “Yeah, sorry. I have something on my mind.”
    “Are you thinking about Bryan again?” He asks smugly.
    “N…no! Why do you always think I’m thinking about him?
    Taren has the tendency to think that I’m thinking about Bryan all the time, which I’m not. I really don’t like arguing with Taren but he just asks for it.
    “Because you are, aren’t you?”
    “What if I am? You can’t control what I think!” I shout.
    “It just makes me mad that I’m your boyfriend and you’re thinking about another guy. I mean he doesn’t need you! He has a girlfriend. Why won’t you only look at me?” he shouts back.
    “I keep telling you I don’t like Bryan like that. He’s just my best friend. Why can’t you realize that? If I didn’t like you I wouldn’t be going out with you right now.”
    “You are an idiot! Why don’t you-“
    I don’t give him time to finish his sentence. I walk out of the classroom and lean on the wall that's across from our classroom door.
    Why doesn’t he know when to close his mouth? He barely knows me and he’s trying to talk all this crap?
    I put my hand over my eyes. I hear the classroom door open.
    “I’m not done talking to you.”
    Oh what the heck is it now?!
    I try to walk away. He pushes my on the wall. I wince, not letting it show.
    “I like you! I’ve been trying hard to make you see me. I’m just getting started and someone is already interfering. He doesn’t need you! I do. I try so hard but nothing works. I mean he already has a girlfriend, probably more than one for all you know. Don’t be stupid!”
    Why is Taren acting so hard? He knows he isn’t. He's a sweet guy, but he can’t talk about my friend like that, especially when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
    He tries to lean in for a kiss.
    You got to be kidding me!
    “You think after saying all that you’re going to kiss me? You must be out of your mind!”
    People say I’m scary when I’m really mad. They say I look like I'm going to kill someone. I think that’s why people think it’s hard to approach me.
    “Don’t look at me like that!" Taren says.
    For the first time, he lifts his hand to hit me. I lift mine.
    “Whose slap do you think would hurt more? Mine or yours?
    He slaps me. I wasn’t surprised he did it. I did egg him on. I was about to slap him back when Bryan came out of nowhere and punches Bryan in the face.
    Where the heck does he come from? Does he have radar or something?
    “Who the heck do you think you are? You should never hit a girl, especially Lanes. If you hit her again, I’ll kill you.”
    “I’m fine. It didn’t hurt!” I protested, pulling on Bryan’s shirt sleeve.
    It wasn’t necessary for me to say that, because Bryan sees right past that. He knows me too well.
    “No! He doesn’t have the right to hit you. Just let me-“
    I cut him off.
    “I can handle myself. You should get back to eating lunch with your girlfriend.”
    I paste a fake smile on my face.
    Bryan stops. I know what he’s about to say, “Don’t look at me with that fake smile.” Bryan didn’t say it. He knows he can’t. Not now. He knows I’m on the verge of busting into tears.
    “Fine, just promise you’ll end it with him,” he says finally.
    “I promise! Now go back to lunch.”
    Bryan walks away. I wait to see his back disappear around the corner. I break the fake smile. Then I hesitate at the site of Taren slumping over. I tell him that it’s over. Taren apologizes. He says he didn’t mean to hit me, he was just irritated. I said I was sorry too because inside I knew he did want to hit me before but he just held it inside even though he was so irritated with me (I didn’t actually say that part though). I could tell all the pain he was going through by just looking at his face.
    I think I should just leave boys alone for now, except, of course Bryan.

    Chapter 3

    "Hey Lanes!"
    "Um?" I say.
    I was talking to Bryan's girlfriend, Lora. She looks cute today, with her curly hair and her cheery smile. Sometimes I think I think like a guy.
    "Why didn't you ever go out with Bryan?"
    "Huh?" I said.
    I had nothing else to say. I was speechless.
    "I mean he's really hot and you’re beautiful."
    "Should you be even saying that? I mean, you’re his girlfriend."
    "Well, I don't know, I was just wondering because you guys look good together and you've been best friends for a long time."
    "I never thought about going out with Bryan before."
    "Have you ever thought he was cute?"
    Where does she come up with questions like this? I don't think about Bryan like that....well, maybe I did, once.
    I opened my mouth to give my answer when Bryan walks over to our table, with his tray in hand. He sits beside Lora.
    "So what were you ladies talking about?" he says putting his arm around Lora's shoulder.
    Lora glances at me, a glance that told me we shouldn't tell Bryan what we were talking about.
    "Oh nothing much," Lora says smiling.
    He kisses her on her cheek. She giggles, and I watch. For the first time I wish that was me he kissed, but as soon as that thought popped into my head, it disappeared.
    I get up. My chair squeaks on the floor.
    "I'm leaving."
    "Why?" Lora asks.
    "I'm giving you privacy. I'll see you guys later."
    I left before either one of them opens their mouth. I walk to the restroom. I look at my face in the mirror.
    Am I beautiful like Lora said? I know I get it a lot. But am I really pretty?
    I touch my cheek. I leave the restroom. When I start walking down the hall, I have a flash back.
    My dad passing out in the driver's seat, my mom freaking out. Me in the backseat, silent and crying. My body, frozen in the back seat and then, we hit into a big pole.
    I smack my head with both hands. I start running down the empty hall, trying to get away from the pain.
    I hit into something that pulls me into a tight embrace. I start crying, knowing that it was Bryan. I grab at his shirt, squeezing it. He whispers his sweet, comforting words into my ear over and over again.
    "It's ok."