• My life’s like a horrid romance story. Every time someone falls in love with me I don’t feel the same way about them. I'm 16 and my relationships never last past 2 weeks. For being a junior and surrounded by love struck teens, I'm not doing so hot. My current boyfriend is Jim Downy. He's the third hottest guy in school. He keeps telling me he loves me and all that crap. We’ve only been dating for a week. C’mon man get a life!

    “Kasey! Kasey?” a high pitched voice calls my name.

    “Huh?” I couldn’t tell where the voice was coming from in the crowded hallway of the school. Finally someone emerges from the crowd. Amanda.

    “Kasey, Jim wanted me to tell you that he’s sorry but it’s not” She began but I interrupted.

    “Figures as much” I already knew he was thinking of breaking up with me.

    “Oh did Kyle get to you already?” she asked.

    “Yea sure” I lied.

    “Sorry Kasey” She was lying. The truth is Amanda has always been jealous of me. She's always wanted Jim to herself.

    “Amanda, please just go” I told her. She must have caught my meaning because she gave a great smile.

    “Thank you Kasey” She thanked me as she ran off into the crowd in the direction she had come.

    I'm not even sure all the kids at this school like me. I'm not the prettiest girl at school and certainly not the thinnest. I have pale brown hair and silver eyes. My skin is not so much dark as it is light.

    Ding. The bell rang.

    I made my way to my car. My life is a lie. When I came to this school I was a freak. The outcast that no one wanted to talk to was me. One person changed all that. Sheryl Long was her name. She moved about 1 year ago and ever since then it’s like I'm the most popular girl in school. This is not what I want. I hate all this attention and especially when I'm not getting it because people like me for who I am. There’s no changing that now.

    I pulled into the driveway in my rickety black grand am. I got out of the car, slammed the door, and got my key out to the front the door. Before I had the chance to open the door mom did.

    “Hey honey” she sounded guilty of something.

    “Hey mom” I replied walking into the house.

    “Kasey, I need to talk to you about something very important.” Now I knew something definitely was up.

    “Ok shoot” I told her taking a seat on the recliner. I was trying to sound as relaxed as possible.

    “We know you have lots of friends here in Washington but your fathers been transferred to Pennsylvania” she paused looking for a hostile reaction. She didn’t get one.

    “We’re moving by Sunday” Dad finished.

    “But be aware, Kasey, this isn’t a very big city we’re going to. This is one of those towns consisting of 1000 or so people.” Mom cut back in.

    I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to live in such I secluded area but living here is no different. At least that’s what it feels like. I want to start over but I don’t want to leave the friends that I do have here behind. I felt warm hands on my shoulders.

    “Kasey?” mom said shaking me.

    “Ye…yea I'm fine so Sunday?” I pursed my lips still thinking the situation over.

    “Yea we need to be on the road by at least 5” mom said.

    I blinked a few times, took a breath, and then finally smiled.

    “Sunday it is” I replied. I still wasn’t sure if this is what I truly wanted but there really was no decent way of changing their minds. I wasn’t going to throw a hissy fit and flail all over the place until they agreed not to go.

    I got up and walked to my room. There were band posters aligned on all the walls. No not boy bands but real bands, rock bands. This is who I am. Most of MY clothes consist of band tees and jeans. I wear black and silver bracelets and armbands. How could I have stooped so low as to care what people think about me? It’s like follow the leader and I'm the follower. I’ve never been one to follow not until I met Sheryl that is.

    I lay on my bed gazing lifelessly at the ceiling thinking about how finally someone decides to give me the chance to be who I am. Now I get to be who I always have been. People get to see the real me. Eventually I dozed off.

    The next morning I drove a little faster to school. It is the last day of this life. I might as well live it well. I checked myself in and made my way to first period. Amanda and I sit next to each other so now would be to time to fill her in on the move.

    “Amanda” I whispered.

    “Yea?” she replied.

    The chemistry teacher was too caught up in her lecture about chemical reactions to pay us any attention.

    “I'm leaving Sunday” I said flat out. I might as well just get it over with.

    “Where are you going?” She asked. I don’t think she quite understands what I'm trying to tell her. She has always been the clueless one.

    “Pennsylvania, I'm moving there” I let her know clearing up any confusion that may be left in her brainless skull.

    “WHAT?!” she said louder than I think she meant to.

    That was pretty much how every conversation went throughout the day. I know none of them really care but it’s nice of them to put on such a good act just to make me feel better.

    When I got home I noticed half full boxes lying around the house. They must have been packing all day. The walls were empty of pictures and all the furniture was packed. That is all the furniture except what is in my room. I never noticed how messy my room was until the rest of the house was spotless.

    “Mom, Dad?” I was kind of anxious to get packing.

    “There are boxes on your bed” dad said seeming frustrated at whatever it was he was doing.

    Even though I know I'm going to be the shyest kid in school, I still can’t wait to go.

    “Kasey, wake up its time to go!” mom said shaking me to wake.

    “Alright, alright I'm up” My voice croaked. I'm definitely not a morning person. I’d much rather spend the day in bed then awake and tired.

    I made my way to my car grabbing the last couple things on the way. It was going to be a long drive. Day quickly turned to night as I followed behind the moving van. Instead of making pit stops we decided to just drive straight through.

    Apollo Pennsylvania is where we were heading. After hours and hours of driving we finally reached our destination. A very secluded area it was. There were countless cornfields and farms. We passed the high school that could hardly pass for an elementary school it was so small. We drove for about 20 minutes before finally pulling into a driveway. There isn’t much to look at around here. Only 2 other houses were near ours and there were endless wheat fields surrounding them.

    We unloaded the now full boxes and set them in the living room. Since it was so late I just pulled my mattress out and slept on that. Tomorrow’s the first day of school here. I get to be the real me. Not some pretend Barbie who listens to everything everyone tells her. No I get to be the leader and I get to show people who I am. Me, myself, I will show them what it means to be real.

    I woke up early the next morning still drained from yesterdays move. I put on my clothes, a band tee, blue jeans, armbands, and bright bracelets. I straightened my hair and I was ready. This was me. This IS me.

    The front office is smaller than my hundred year old bedroom. The walls were painted a pale green and the floor could hardly pass as clean. There was only one lady that worked the front desk. She wore a beige sweater and a dark green skirt. Her hair was as bright orange as the sun when it’s setting.

    “Can I help you?” she asked. I caught glimpse of her name tag. Her name is Mary.

    “Yea, I'm new here” I told her shyly. I'm not one for introductions. I get embarrassed too easily.

    “Oh yes,” she paused filing through the messy stacks of papers on the desk. She seemed rather excited at the fact that they were getting a new student. She was acting as though by some miracle Santa Clause turned out to be real.

    “Here take this slip. There’s a list of all your classes. Also you’ll need this map.” She explained. She gave a smile and then sat down to sort through the papers.

    Why do I need a map? This school is so small it can’t be that hard to find my way around. Maybe for them this is a big school.

    I nervously turned and walked out of the office. Mrs. Higgins is my first period teacher. I had no problem finding the class; I just had a problem getting up enough guts to enter the classroom. Eventually I gathered enough courage to knock. Okay breath you can do this Kasey. A sweet little lady answered the door. She had dark brown hair and wore blue jeans and a t-shirt. Much less than I can say for the lady in the office.

    “You can take the seat in the back” she smiled as she whispered to me. Her voice was as sweet as her face. She seemed harmless like one of those people who wouldn’t harm a fly. All eyes were on me as I made my way to the back of the classroom. After I sat down, most of them turned back around to face the front. I slumped in my seat cheeks burning from embarrassment. Many could say they don’t see anything embarrassing about this but imagine walking into a stadium full of people. You walk to the center of the field and notice that you forgot to put your pants on before you left the house. Now all eyes are on you. Well this is exactly like that for me.

    One of the kids continued to stare at me though, even when I shot a glance at her. She had a very unique sense of style mostly dark make-up and funky clothes. You couldn’t call her poor; I think it is just the way she chooses to dress. Finally the teacher dismissed us from class. There are no bells? That’s a change I’ll have to get used to. I got my bag and was one of the last few to exit.

    A guy quickly ran in front of me and blocked the door.

    “Hey, I'm George” he said gracefully.

    “Hey” I said shyly. I’ve never been good with guys especially the good looking ones. He has slick black hair and few noticeable freckles. I’d say he is about 3 inches taller than me. 5’9’’ I would guess.

    “So you come from the city right?” he asked looking me over.

    “Yea” I answered.

    Another guy passed us in the hallway keeping his eyes on me. I shifted my weight. I hate it when people stare at me; it makes me fell self conscious. George noticed my little gesture and followed my gaze.

    “That’s Carter Brick. He never talks to anyone and no one ever talks to him so don’t worry about ‘em.” George told me.

    “How come?” I asked bringing my attention slowly back to George.

    “He’s weird” He explained.

    “Maybe you just don’t understand him” I told him angered by what he had just said. I know what it’s like to be the weird one, an outcast, a freak that no one pays any attention to. I know what it’s like to feel like no one cares, to feel invisible, to feel so alone in a room full of people. No one takes the time to even try to get to know you.

    George glared at me for a minute, as if he were searching for something.

    “Maybe” he finally agreed.

    “I should go” I said as I ducked under his arm and headed to 2nd period. I had no trouble finding 3rd or 4th but as I walked into 5th I noticed Carter. His dark brown hair shines in the light and his bright green eyes seem to almost glow. He has a perfect complexion; he could hardly pass for being human.

    When the teacher dismissed us he was one of the first few to leave. Everything from that point on seemed to fly by though on my way to the parking lot a strange event occurred. I was minding my own business walking when someone ran head first into me. My books went flying, papers spewed out everywhere. I didn’t have time to catch who it was because they were gone before I could gather myself. I searched for whoever it was as I picked up my books. George stopped and helped.

    “Thanks” I mumbled.

    “No problem” He said laughing.

    He carried my books to my car for me but stopped me before I could drive off.

    “So I was wondering if tomorrow you would like to go to Lake FourthWay with me?” he asked shyly. Why does he want ME to go? Does he like me? I never even thought I’d be talked to let alone asked out.

    “Sure, I guess” I replied. I wasn’t going to say no. I hate hurting people’s feelings and I know this wouldn’t go over well if I said no.

    He gave a sigh of relief. It was as though someone had lifted a boulder off his chest.

    “Great, so we’ll go after school?” he asked to make sure it was okay.

    “Sounds like a plan to me” I said. I really didn’t have anything better to do besides unpacking and I figured I could finish that up tonight. I don’t have too many things to unpack.

    After saying goodbye I made my way home. When I got home to my amazement most of the boxes was unpacked, all but mine of course. That gives me something to kill some time with. There really is nothing to do in such a small place. I mean they have their festivals but only when the time rolls around. Other than that there’s not much to do.

    The feeling of being alone irritates me so I popped in a cd before starting to unpack. I got most of my things put away by 11. After that I must’ve fallen asleep because when I woke up it was to the sound of my alarm clock. I threw on a black band tee and some jeans. I put my hair in a pony tail and made my way to my car. The second day of school was basically a repeat of the first, without the getting ran into part.

    Instead of sitting by myself at lunch I sat with George and some of his friends. After school I met up with him at his car.

    “You ready?” he asked me.

    “As I’ll ever be” I told him smiling.

    I got into his car. I looked out the window to find that Carter kid staring at George and George staring back. George laughed and then got into the car. Carter shifted his stare to me then shook his head and kept walking. George started the engine and began driving still smiling from whatever it is he was smiling about.

    “What was that about?” I asked curiously.

    “I told you he’s weird” he responded.

    I glared at him until he felt uncomfortable then turned to watch the trees as we drove by.

    “Why did you move here?” George asked breaking the silence.

    “My dad got transferred” I said simply.

    “Must’ve been hard to leave your friends behind like that” he said.

    “Not really” I replied. He looked at me but I ignored his stare and continued to watch the world fly by.

    “Where is this place anyway?” I said getting uncomfortable being in the car for so long.

    “Just ahead” he told me.

    Every time I look out the window of a car I have to wonder, is there anything out there that has yet to be discovered by mankind? How many secrets can a place such as earth hold? George pulled into a parking lot filled with cars.

    “We’re here” he said as he got out of the car.

    I opened the door and stepped out nearly tripping over my feet. The sun was starting to set already.

    “Hey guys!” George shouted

    “Hey George!” A guy yelled.

    “Who’s that?” a girl asked.

    “This is Kasey, she just moved here from Washington.” He explained.

    “Hey Kasey” the girl greeted me.

    “Hey” I said nervously. I hate being introduced.

    “C’mon George, Help us with the fire” one of the guys said throwing a beach ball at George.

    “I’ll get you for that!” George said running after him.

    The girl standing in front of me shook her head, “Guys” she whispered.

    “I'm Sarah” she stuck her hand out to shake.

    “Kasey” I said taking her hand.

    “C’mon Kasey you have to meet the rest” she said pulling me.

    I felt a little awkward being the only one there, besides George, in jeans and a t-shirt. Everyone else was in bathing suits.

    “Hey everyone this is Kasey” She introduced me, “Kasey this is Mira, Cody, and Leslie” She continued.

    “Hi” I said.

    “Hey” Mira said her voice rather deep.

    “Hi” Leslie said.

    “Hey” Cody said. He was too caught up in his hand held video game to pay any attention to me at all.

    After the fire was up and burning we all sat around it and talked. They had so many questions about the city it was hard to keep up. George approached me hand held out.

    “Walk with me?” he asked.

    I looked up at him. I know that everyone was watching us but u didn’t care. I took his hand and he led me away from the group. I heard Leslie and Sarah giggle. He held my hand as we walked along the edge of the water.

    “George, can I ask you a question?” I asked him curiously.

    “Is it bad?” he asked chuckling.

    I laughed, “No”

    “Then go ahead” he said looking out over the water.

    “What’s up with that Carter kid? I mean why doesn’t he talk to anyone?” I asked.

    “How should I know, besides what does it matter to you anyway?” he asked.

    “Let’s just say I used to be like him” I told him.

    “Yea right” he replied under his breath. What did he mean by that?

    He noticed a disappointing look on my face so he bent down and splashed me with water.

    “HEY!” I screamed.

    “Cold?” he asked laughing hysterically.

    I bent down and repeated his action.

    “You tell me?!” I laughed.

    Somehow it turned into a big water fight. By the time we were done we were soaked from head to toe. When we walked back to join the rest of the group they stared at us.

    “What did you do fall in?!” Cody laughed hysterically.

    George ran up to him and threw him over his shoulder effortlessly. He ran to the water and through him in. They began to wrestle around. Eventually we all managed to somehow join in.

    George dropped me back off at the school so I could get my car. When I got home mom and dad were already in bed. I grabbed some night clothes and headed to the shower. It took all of 10 minutes just to rid my hair of sand.

    The next day of school was pretty much routine. George found it necessary to tickle me at my locker.

    “STOP, HAHA!” I yelped. Everyone in the hall turned to face me, including Carter. I looked at George with a worried expression on my face then we both started laughing.

    That’s pretty much how it was for the first 2 months of school. I guess you could say we were seeing each other but my feelings for him remained the same. They never grew stronger and they never grew any less. It just stayed in one place. I like him, yea, but I don’t think I could ever love him. I’ve never been in love but I know what it is supposed to feel like and I don’t think this is love.

    “Hey Kasey, do you wanna watch movies tonight?” George asked me.

    “Yea, at my house tonight at 7” I told him. I figured since mom and dad won’t be home till 3 it would really be a bother. Besides I hate being home by myself anyway.

    As I got to the front door of my house a whining noise could be heard from the woods across the street. I'm one to care for animals and the noise I heard sounded like a hurt dog so I ran over to check it out.

    “NO!” someone yelled, a male to be more specific.

    I jumped at the sound of this voice. I didn’t expect to find anyone hiding in the woods. In front on me a vicious looking dog stood glaring at me like I was something to eat. I stood there, frozen with shock. It leaped towards me teeth bared and ready to attack but another dog jumped in the air and hit it hard. They fell to the ground, one standing in front of me, protecting me. They growled at each other. My vision began to fade and my head spun as I hit the ground hard.

    The next time I awoke I was back in my bed. What happened? All I remember is a dog and then nothing. I can’t remember anything beyond that point. I glanced at the clock next to my bed. Oh no, I'm late. George will be here any minute. I quickly changed into something decent and straightened my hair. No sooner that I was done there was a knock at the door. I ran to answer it.

    “Hey” George said short and sweet.

    “Hey” I said still catching my breath.

    “You look beautiful” He told me smiling.

    I shifted my weight. No one’s ever told me I'm beautiful before. Not even my mom. It made me feel a bit awkward.

    “Th…thanks” I stuttered. He looked into my eyes for a minute.

    “Well are you going to let me in?” he asked raising an eyebrow.

    “Yea, sorry” I said face burning with embarrassment.

    I led him into the living room.

    “So what’s first?” He asked.

    “Horror” I said. For some reason I have a fascination with scary movies. I think it’s so interesting how they make these stories seem so real.

    “Alright” he agreed. He put the movie in and took a seat next to me.

    Rise of the clowns is what we are watching. If there’s one thing I hate its clowns…and balloon animals but that’s a whole new story. I hid my face on his chest. I really don’t like clowns. Other than that the movie was pretty cheesy. He grabbed my chin and brought my face up to his. He stared into my eyes for a minute and then slowly brought his face closer to mine. I pulled away before he could touch his lips to mine.

    “Not yet” I told him.

    “Sorry” he apologized.

    Its not that I don’t want to kiss him it’s just that I don’t want to kiss someone until I know for a fact that I'm in love with them. I hate flings. You know dating people for 2 weeks kissing them then breaking up? I made a promise to myself that I would never let that happen and I'm sticking to it. I know we’ve been dating for 2 months now but I'm not in love with him. I don’t know if I ever will be.

    I wrapped my arms around his waist and laid my head down on his chest. He leaned his head against mine. After the movie I hugged him goodbye and headed to bed. When I woke up the next morning mom and dad had already left for work. They’re never around much anymore. Out of curiosity I decided to go back to the woods to see if I could recall what had happened the previous day.

    I took three steps into the woods when that beastly dog appeared in front of me. The dog huffed and began to run towards me. This time I managed to gain control of my feet and took off further into the woods. I didn’t really care that I would probably never find my way out; I just wanted to get away from that dog. I wasn’t fast enough and the dog clenched its jaw around my arm. A sharp pain ran from my arm to the rest of my body.

    “AHHH!” I screamed in pain. I'm not sure what happened next because I had passed out before I could see who it was that chased the dog off. I woke up in a red room. The sheets on the bed were silk red and the walls painted a matching color. A tall think woman soon joined me in the room.

    “Feeling better?” She asked.

    I gazed at my left arm which seemed to have gauze pads all around it. Some blood spots could be seen through it.

    “Yea” I said nervously.

    Who is this woman and where am I? I don’t think I have ever seen her before. You can only imagine how frightened I am to be in some strange house. What would you think if you woke up in a place where you had no idea what it was?

    “Good then we should get you home” she replied with a sweet voice.

    “Wait! Where am I? Who are you?” I asked following her out of the room.

    She kept walking until she came to the dining room then she stopped.

    “Wait here” she demanded.

    I would keep demanding answers but I figured I better listen if I’m going to get them besides there’s not much I can do about it now anyway. The dining room was just as normal as the one back home. There were a few pictures on the wall, nothing special. There were swinging doors leading to the kitchen the strange lady entered. I quietly walked up and pushed one door so I could see in. She was talking to someone but I couldn’t make out who it was.

    “She’s here, why would you bring her here?” a familiar deep voice shouted.

    I quietly walked back to the spot I was in before when I realized she was coming back.

    “Kasey, how are you felling? Better I hope” a man asked touching my shoulder from behind.

    I flinched at his gesture. He was an older man, like my father. He had orange hair and brown eyes. He was wearing a suit of some sort.

    “How am I doing? I wake up in this strange place where no one will answer any of my questions and you want to know how I’m doing?!” I yelled, angered by the whole situation.