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May 17 By Jessica Jun

PROLOGUE August 23. The first day of high school. I just got here and I already see boys holding hands with girls. I even saw a couple kissing by my locker. I knew this wasn’t going to turn out great for me because high school is the time of dating…and I’m not that type. I walked around the hallway, since I couldn’t get into the locker at the moment, and saw a couple of cheerleaders staring at me. I quickly looked away and tripped over a couple papers by accident and heard everyone start to laugh. It was the first day and look how my reputation at that high school was turning out. I knew that everyone was going to remember me, but only as “girl who trips over papers”. That was so great. I hated this. I bet that those couple of cheerleaders were soon going to be people who will interfere with my life. Then again, I could be wrong. I had no friends yet. I bet that everyone hated me. Well I have such a great life eh?

Chapter 1 I’m Ashley Johnson. 16 years old. I live with my mother and a little sister named Ariel. My father left us when I was three. I never really got to know him before he left. I can’t even remember what he looked like. All I remember was that he was my dad, and he left us. RING RING! The bell just rung. Off I go to first period. As I walked down the hall, I met the principal, Principal Jefferson. We talked and he gave me a tour throughout the school. I thanked him much and then headed towards my first period classroom. Well, I just entered my class. All I really see is paper airplanes flying across the air in the room. Boys and girls kissing and getting each other’s numbers. But no teacher. “Ah-hem!” I heard a loud voice. I turned around to see my teacher, Mrs. Birch, there at the door with a surprised look. She squinted and rolled her eyes towards me. I quickly looked away and found myself sitting on top of my desk while everyone was sitting quietly in our seats. “A new student I see,” Mrs. Birch said. “Who would like to tell this young lady the rules of Penn High School?” She looked around the classroom as I did too. Almost all the hands were raised…except for this boy who had his hood on and looked like he was hiding from the teacher or something. He looked kind of cute though. “Tyler?” she looked at that boy. “Would you like to tell her?” “Uh---,” he started to say as he looked at me and then had a smile smeared across his face. “Sure?” Tyler. That’s his name. “The rules are over there by the door?” Tyler said. Everyone started to giggle and laugh as they heard Tyler’s words. “Thank you Mr. Lee,” she said as I saw a little bit of anger flashing in her eyes. “Let’s start….” Well that’s all I really heard. The rest was REALLY boring and I didn’t want to listen, so yeah, I just ignored her. RING RING! Oh wow, already? Maybe I should have listened at least a little….well too late! I started to gather my stuff. As soon as I finished, I quickly turned around and bumped into Tyler. All my papers had fallen! “Oh gee,” I said. “Thank you for letting all my papers fly out!” “SORRY!” he said back. But I knew that he had bumped into me on purpose. He got to the ground and helped me start picking up all my papers. There was one more left. We both went for it...just until out hands touched. His hands on mine. We both looked up and couldn’t stop staring at each other, but I

looked down in a few seconds and slowly pulled my hand back. Even though I REALLY didn’t want to stop staring at him. I was just afraid that we might end up kissing…and like I said before, I’m totally not that type. “Hey,” he grabbed my arm just when i was about to leave. “Can I have your number?” I wasn’t sure what to say. Should I give it to him or not? I didn’t want to keep him waiting so I turned around and looked at him. “Why?” I asked as I gulped. “You know what? I think I should ask you my question in person.” Oh no. Was he going to ask me out? Omg… wait. I don’t think he is because he was a popular kid. Not some boring and unpopular person like me. He was the best football player. WHEW! That solved my problem. “Are you doing anything tomorrow night?” Tyler asked. Oh….no. “U-u-um….” I stuttered. “No?” “Okay then I guess I’ll see you tomorrow night at 8:00,” he said as he started to walk out the door. I started to follow him out the door. He was a few steps away from me. I quickly fastwalked to him until I caught up. I grabbed his shoulder and he turned around. His big, brown eyes right in front of mine. “I need to ask you something,” I said to him. “Okay,” Tyler said. “What?” I sighed softly. “Why me?” I asked. He stood there. Not a word coming out of his mouth. There was an awkward silence. “Because…” he started to say. “You’re…kind of….cute and I like your personality.” I felt so happy inside. But of course on the outside, I stood there looking at him as if he wasn’t good enough for me and I looked very brave like “fine!” “I better get to class,” Tyler said. “Oh yeah…” I said. “Class. I better go to. I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye!” We both split up and went to out next period.

Chapter 2 I sighed again. As I started to walk down the hallway, some girls were giggling. Before I could turn around, some girl hit my shoulder and all my stuff fell out of my hands onto the hall floor….again. There was a huge crowd gathered around me, with their phone or cameras out taking pictures! I saw a big flash. Another one. And again. I was about to start to cry, but then I realized that I would be making more of a fool out of myself so I stopped. Then, I heard a voice. “Jeanette!” the voice yelled. “What are you doing?” I turned around to see Tyler right in front of the mean girl, I guess “Jeannette”. “Why would you care Tyler?” Jeanette hissed. “She’s just some other girl with no friends! Nobody likes her!” “Oh yeah?” Tyler said. He looked at me and he helped me up. Everybody started recording whatever he was about to say. I just hoped it wasn’t going to be embarrassing for him or me! “I’m going out with her!” Tyler yelled. I stood frozen, wondering why he announced that. “Oh yeah, that’s right!” Tyler said. “Did everyone get that? Im going out with this girl, Ashley! Are you sure you all recorded that? Hey, Frankie! Got that on tape?” Frankie, I think, just nodded. I looked at Jeanette. She stood there with her mouth dropped open. Her blue eyes looking at him with an expression telling him “Are you kidding me? Her?????” Tyler looked at me, put his arm around me, and then looked at Jeanette. “Oh…” she started to trail off. “I guess you haven’t heard the “big news” yet!” “What news?” Tyler asked. “You know….” Jeanette said. “Were moving only in about a month!” “WHAT?????” Tyler yelled. I couldn’t move. I felt as if my body was paralyzed. I just felt this feeling that was pouring out of me. As if I was losing everything, everything that meant a lot to me. The important things in my life that I would never risk losing, but now I stand here losing it all. My boyfriend was moving in about a month. My dad was gone since I was three. What more could possibly happen to make me feel worse? I pulled his arm off of my shoulder, took out a piece of paper and wrote something down. Then I gave it to him. It had my number on it and I told him to call or text me later. He nodded and I walked through the crowd and past all the people who were still flashing cameras, even maybe laughing softly. But I didn’t care. All I care about was the important things that I was starting to lose. A tear came down my cheek and I stepped outside. I had already called my mom and I waited for her, continuously letting tears run down my face.

I sat down onto the sidewalk and soon, I heard a car honk. I looked up. My mom was waiting for me in the car with my little sister. It was weird because Ariel didn’t look so well. Was she sick? Maybe I was just imagining. I gathered my stuff into my backpack. There wasn’t much to put in because I had just realized I left my stuff with Jeanette, Tyler, and the big crowd. I ran down the sidewalk and stepped into the car, closing the door behind me. “How was your fist day of 10th grade?” my mother asked. “It was good,” I said with a fake smile. Of course, my mom didn’t know it was fake because she kept looking at Ariel. Plus, she couldn’t ever tell the difference. “Mom?” I asked. “Yes dear?” she answered, questionably. “Is Ariel okay?” I asked glaring at my sister. “Oh yeah….” My mom started to trail off. “I took her to the doctor to check up on her because she kept on throwing up so I was afraid something was wrong. Anyways, I took her there and the doctor had a quick check up on her. He said that she had a mucus problem. She needs to rest and throw up as much as she can. When I tell her to, she ignores me and holds it in. I’m really scared, darling.” I heard a small cough from Ariel. I stared at her. My 6 year old sister has a mucus problem. That really just adds to “the most important things being lost” list. I couldn’t let Ariel hold it in and make it worse. I couldn’t do anything at the moment for her so all I did was sit there and I guess, just stare. Soon, we finally arrived home, still very worried. I carried my sister out into the house as my mom carried all the groceries. I laid Ariel onto the bed and let her rest. I ran upstairs to my room and started crying. Everything was being lost…everything I loved. All of a sudden, I heard my message ringtone, Dynamite by Taio Cruz, go off. I looked at it. Tyler had texted me. I wasn’t in the mood so I texted him back saying “I got to go and I’m busy tomorrow, sorry.” I turned my cell phone off, not caring whether Tyler was going to text me back or not. I continued to cry. I looked up to see my bookshelf. I got to admit, I was kind of in the mood to read….so I crawled to the shelf, shuffling through all of my books I had. I came down to two books and chose a book called, What would you do if this happened to you? I started to read it. It was about this girl named Grace. Her father died in a car accident when she was 4. Her little sister had a mucus problem too, just like Ariel! Her mom remarried to a guy she didn’t like. Her little sister soon died and her boyfriend moved on the month of their dating. Soon, she felt her life was worthless so she committed suicide. I closed the book and thought about how similar our lives were. We both had no father, our little sisters have a mucus problem, and our boyfriends were moving in the month of our dating. I was just happy that the differences were differences. I sat in my room, leaned against my wall, just thinking….about suicide. Does this really make your life better? Or does it make it worse? I wasn’t sure because this was something that I had never really thought about. The thing is, is that I wasn’t exactly thinking about how SHE

committed suicide. I was really thinking about how my life would be if I did. I kept asking myself the same questions over and over again. How would my life be? How will my family’s life be? Was it the right choice? Was my life so bad that I would ever think about even doing it? I shook my head. No. I looked out through my window. It looked pitch black. It was very dark already so I better go to sleep. I turned my lights off, the question still floating around in my head. I slowly closed my eyes. One last tear rolled down my face as I let my mind go blank and my head rest on the soft pillow that reminded me of Tyler’s soft heart.

Chapter 3 It was the next morning. I was barely awake. It was hard for me to sleep when I’m tossing and turning all night. As I got up from my bed and yawned, the first thing that refilled my brain was Tyler. I quickly grabbed my phone and turned it on. Afterwards, I went to my pictures. I came down to the one picture I kept staring at. The only picture that I had of Tyler. I really missed him. I knew I shouldn’t have told him that I wasn’t able to go on the date. As that kept spinning around in my mind, a couple tear drops slid down my cheeks. The same questions kept on coming to me. Should I commit suicide? Would it really be better? I didn’t know the answer. I quickly got dressed, brushed my teeth, and started to head towards Penn High School. As you readers can see, I wasn’t the happiest kid in the world. But I still had to go to the school. As soon as I got there, everyone became silent. Not a single word coming out of their mouth. I could even hear a single pen drop. Then I saw Tyler walking towards me. He got closer…and closer. All of a sudden, everyone went back to chattering. I looked around. I really didn’t get it though. They become silent all of a sudden, and then they turn back to chattering? WOW…..wait. Oh yeah. Jeanette. I looked back at Tyler. Soon, he was right in front of me. “Hey Ashley,” he said. “Are you sure you’re busy tonight?” “Well....” I started to say. “Because…wait,” he said. “What’s your favorite type of movie?” “Comedy,” I said. “MINE TOO!” Tyler said excitedly. “I was going to take you out to the movie and see a comedy. It really works out too since we both have the same favorite type of movie! Please?? I really like you.” “Well…” I trailed off. “I guess I could cancel it…it’s no biggie.” “Yes!” Tyler yelled. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Pick you up at 7.” Tyler turned around and started to walk away. He walked to his friends and seemed so happy. I was glad that he was,but was I? It’s not like he wasn’t leaving anymore. He couldn’t just canceled that. The only way he could have would be in my dreams, where Ariel played happily with her friends and my boyfriend wasn’t moving….and that book I was reading NEVER existed. Ever. RING ! The bell had rung. I guess I was off to 1 st period with boring Mrs. Birch. I groaned softly to myself and headed towards my locker. Then, I found a note and also a rose sticking out of my locker. I pulled the rose out and sniffed it gently. It smelled very good. I slowly put it down onto the ground and took the note. On the front cover, it read, “To my sweetheart, Ashley. XOXO With lots of love, Tyler. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!” A sweet but tiny smiled whipped across my face. Oh yeah. It was Christmas already. Well, not technically but about 2 weeks before it was. I opened my locker and put the note in a safe place. I picked up the rose and smelled it once more with a soft awww. Then I put it back into my locker. I quickly grabbed my stuff and ran to Mrs. Birch’s room. “You’re late,” Mrs. Birch said. “Please don’t be late again or I will have to give you detention. Take a seat now.”

Everyone started to either laugh or smile. I had never felt so embarrassed in my life. I looked at Tyler. At least I knew one person that wasn’t laughing at me. I smiled at him and he smiled back. I sat down and felt relieved. I took a deep breath. Today is a new day. I have two choices. Start it brand new and fresh or keep hiding from everything around me. No surprise, I’m starting fresh, because at 7:00, I knew that I was finally going on my date with Tyler. I had a big smile still on my face. Once again, Mrs. Birch was sort of boring so I kind of ignored her, but as soon as I thought about how I would probably have a test soon, I reopened my ears and listened. I only got to hear the words, “We are having test on Tuesday. Be ready and have a great weekend”. RING! Then the bell rang and I gathered my stuff. Sure enough, Tyler and I were the last people standing in the room. Well, the teacher headed towards the teacher lounge. Tyler walked towards me. “Are you ready?” he asked. “For what?” I asked back. “Quite a few things,” Tyler said. “Number one. This weekend. Number two. The test on Tuesday. And last but CERTAINLY not least, the greatest day of your life.” I paused for a moment still and even more in awe. I smiled. I grabbed his hand and held it. “I’m ready as long as you’re ready and happy,” I said. We both hugged tightly and said I love you to each other. “Happy Valentine’s day,” he whispered into my ear. “Happy Valentine’s day,” I whispered back to him. I felt so happy. He soon let go and ran out the door. I totally understood why. Stupid class. We both didn’t really want to be late. I walked out the door, my stuff loaded on my hands. I heard a voice. It sounded very familiar. I turned around to look. “Need a hand?” it said. Jeanette. She always had to ruin everything. She was the one that ruined yesterday, I knew that she wasn’t going to today. “Well you dropped something,” she said. “What?” ONE!”

“You’re life,” she said. “Oh no wait, you never had one. I’m going to give you advice….GET

She shoved past my shoulder expecting my stuff to fall. It actually was about to. It was even on the tip of my fingers. But I grabbed it in time. Not a single thing dropped. Jeanette turned around after hearing nothing drop and looked at me. She squinted her eyes evilly giving me a warning to stay away and don’t mess with her. I looked at her like she was nothing and I walked past her. I felt so brave. I ran to my 2 nd period. After that, I went to my other classes and explained why I wasn’t there yesterday. Soon, school was over and I called my mom. I waited for her outside.

I was still happy because I was going out with Tyler. A few minutes later, my mom arrived and I got into the car. “How was school?” mom asked again. “GREAT AND SOOO AMAZING!” I exclaimed. “Well, how was Ariel?” My mom stared at me and looked down. A big tear crashed down her face and she looked at me. “Honey,” my mom sighed softly. “I took her to the hospital. She threw up a lot but she still felt weak and tired. The doctor checked up on her and said that she had cancer. She only has a month to live. The doctor told us to come back in a few weeks but before the end of the month. They are going to treat her with chemotherapy.” My big smile I had on my face, well, it just….disappeared. All that was left on my face was a shock. I felt like my heart had broken. I felt it start to slow down. Slower….and slower. I felt a shock on the inside, like a tingly feeling but all over my body. My eyes soon started to close slowly and I fell back in the seat. My mom pulled over as soon as possible and called emergency while in my mind, everything turned pitch black.

Chapter 4 I wasn’t sure how long I was unconscious. One hour, two or maybe even three, but the next time I opened my eyes, everything was white. Had I died? No, I couldn’t have because my mom was there. All of a sudden, a bunch of doctors were spotted in the corner of my eyes. I shook my head and looked around. Then, I saw Tyler holding my hand and praying aloud. Well, softly but loud enough for me to understand. Dear Lord, This is Ashley. The girl of my dreams. I’m sure you already knew that and she probably does too. Of course I know that. What she really doesn’t know is that I love her more than anything in the world. Aww! I Love you so much too. Think of it this way. She is my life. The whole reason I really like myself. Now, without your life, could you really live? That’s the same thing. Without my beautiful Ashley, I cannot survive. Not on my own. So if it isn’t too late, please send her back to the real world. I don’t only want her in my dreams. I need her. I gasped. I’m in his dreams!!!!! In Jesus name we pray, Amen. “Amen,” I said out loud but by accident. All of a sudden, Tyler looked up at me. I smiled a little and I could see his smile stretch wider. He was so happy! He quickly got up and hugged me tightly. “Dang,” Tyler muttered. “Praying works!” I started to laugh out loud. That was one of the things I just loved about Tyler. Always there for me. Always making me smile. Always having my back. That was the kind of person that I adored. “So, do you think you’ll be okay enough to go out?” he asked, still, a big smile smeared on his face. “Of cour----,” I started. “Oh no no no no no,” my mother said. “Of course you can…” I started to smile and I was about to hug my mother until… “NOT!” my mom exclaimed.

I stared at my mother with an angry face. I really wanted to go. Today was finally going to be the day that I go out with Tyler, but NO! My mother had to ruin all of it! I got so mad and got up and off my bed, standing on my feet. I stomped my foot so hard on the ground, I felt like I was going to scream! Of course, I didn’t because I didn’t want to make a big fool of myself…especially not in front of Tyler. “Why mom?” I questioned. “Why?” “Honey,” my mom started to say. “You really needed some rest!” I didn’t care what my mom had said. Today, I was going out with Tyler to the movie whether she likes it or not! I was so happy all day and I wasn’t that happy just so that I could fall unconscious and later find out that I can’t go out with him! “Um...Ashley?” Tyler said. “Your mom is probably right. You need to rest. I’ll just cancel it and we could go tomorrow or next week. Now lay down.” He helped me sit back onto my bed as he also sat with me too. He slowly pushed my head back onto the pillow, him sitting next to me as he slowly brought up the blanket so that it would cover me. Then he softly kissed me on the cheek. “I will call you tomorrow,” Tyler said as he started to get up. “Sweet dreams, my Ashley.” I really didn’t want him to go. I had felt so comfortable when he was here. Tyler stood right in front of me and started to walk slowly towards the door. I closed my eyes for a few seconds, but when I opened them, he was gone. I tried not to cry but I just couldn’t hold it in. One tear slid down my cheek as more started to follow it. I wiped them all and asked my mom if I could be alone. She agreed and left. I was all alone, only tears were left with me. I stopped crying, thinking that I would be acting like a baby if I had kept on crying. I felt one last tear roll down my face as I slowly started to close my eyes and fall asleep. All that ran around in my head were the words, “suicide or life?” I still had not made up my mind and I wasn’t sure if it was the right time to make it up or not. I decided that I probably shouldn’t think about it too much, especially because I needed sleep….at least that was what my mom said and convinced Tyler too. I knew I needed to sleep so I cleared my mind and now my focus was on going to sleep. I needed resting or else I couldn’t go out with Tyler the next morning. I closed my eyes and soon, fell fast asleep. What really had kept me asleep was the fact that I couldn’t go out if I didn’t and that Tyler told me to sleep. Soon, nothing was left in my mind as my eyes were still shut and my body still lay on the bed.

Chapter 5 “AHHHHHH!” I screamed as my mom came running in, trying to calm me down. “What’s wrong darling?” my mother asked. “Oh,” I said gasping and finally catching my own breath. “Just a nightmare.” My mother hugged me as I slowly started to calm down. “Gee, you scared me,” my mom said as she opened the curtains. Bright light came in and onto my eyes as I started to squint and groan. I actually groaned pretty loudly as I laid back in the bed and put the blanket over my face, covering my whole body. My mother came and said that I needed to dress and get ready because I was able to leave from the hospital now. I quickly got up as everything that had happened last night came flowing on back into my head. I got dressed and ran to my mother. “LETS GO!” I yelled pulling her out of the hospital. My mother got really mad because as I pulled her, she was talking to the doctor about Ariel’s condition. I apologized and said that I really didn’t know. Of course, I was being honest. I really didn’t know or else I really wouldn’t have been rushing. My mother ran back into the hospital to continue talking. I sighed and waited outside. Suddenly, I felt a cool breeze. I closed my eyes and sniffed the air when all of a sudden, I heard a honk. I reopened my eyes to see Tyler on a motorcycle with flowers in his hands. He took his helmet off and started to walk towards me. I started to run towards him when I found out that he wasn’t looking at me. He hadn’t brought the flowers for me. He ran towards another girl around his age and they hugged. I eyes widened and as my heart sank. Tyler didn’t love me and I obviously have proof. A tear ran down my cheek as my mom came out the door. She saw me crying and ran towards me as fast as she could. “What is wrong dear?” my mother asked. “I’m really sorry that I got mad. I didn’t think that you were going to get sad and cry about it.” My mother started to hug me. At first, I felt very comfortable but then, all of a sudden, I felt very….uncomfortable. I really didn’t want to take my mother’s arms off, but when something is that uncomfortable, you really just can’t help it. “I can’t…breathe!” I yelled as I took her arms off of my shoulders. My mother stared at me and started to back off. “Fine,” her mother said. “Mom,” I replied. “What?” she asked. “I’m fine!!!” She turned around and got in the car. I didn’t mean to say it and do it that way. I quickly ran towards her and got into the car.

“Mom,” I said again. “I’m sorry.” “Just….ugh,” she replied. I could see the frustration in her eyes as she slammed the door and turned on the engine. I could hear my mom take a big, deep breath and then she looked at me. “Why Ashley?” she muttered. “All I was trying to do was to comfort you and help you. I even apologized to you, but what do I get back? My own daughter takes my arms off her!” Tears crashed down her face as she cupped her hands over it. “I just…” I started. “I don’t know. I didn’t feel comfortable for some reason and I couldn’t really help but to make myself comfortable. I am really sorry. Please don’t cry mom.” She listened to me carefully and she slowly started to stop crying. Then she stared into my eyes. Her face was pure red as her bright, brown eyes stared at mine. I felt so guilty. I knew what my mom was going through with Ariel. I was almost going through the same pain. I was under depression now that I saw what happened with Tyler and that other girl. Suddenly, the word “suicide” popped into my head. I thought about that for a moment. Was that my answer to my questions? Was it my final decision about how I was going to face my fears? The main question was…Am I ready for it? You know, how my mom would feel. I still wasn’t sure so I tried to take it out of my mind. I glanced outside just to see what Tyler and that girl was doing. Tyler had kissed her on her cheek! I wasn’t upset anymore. It was about time that I stood up for myself. To face my fears. I started to open the car door and step outside until I decided that I probably should do it in front of the whole school. I got back in and slammed the door shut. I hugged my mom and told her that we should check up on Ariel. My mom agreed and we both stepped outside. All I could do as we walked into the hospital was just to keep staring at Tyler. Only until we went in and I couldn’t see him anymore. My mother met up with Ariel’s doctor and they started talking again. “Room 14,” the doctor said pointing to the room. We quickly ran into the room. Ariel was laying in the bed, coughing up blood. It was more than I had ever seen in my life. Her blood got all over the bed and my body just stood there shaking. My eyes were opened wide and I was so scared and so sorry for her. “Run,” my mother yelled. “RUN! GO GET THE DOCTOR! HURRY!!!” I ran out of the room, crashing into a person. It was the doctor making his way to the room. “D-d-doctor,” I muttered trying to catch my own breath. “Hurry! Ariel…she is….” The doctor quickly got up and ran towards the room. He dropped his clipboard and stared at my mother, then at me. His body shaking with fear, he started to walk towards Ariel. He stared at my poor 6 year old sister and then looked at my mother again. “We will need to treat her right away or…” she doctor started and then trailed off. “Or what Doctor?” my mom yelled.

“Or….” The doctor said. “She could end up…dying.”

Chapter 6 My mother gasped so hard that she almost choked. She started to cry like crazy and begged the doctor to do it right away. “PLEASE!” my mother begged. “HELP MY POOR ARIEL! SAVE HER!” “Okay,” the doctor replied. “Please calm down Mrs. Johnson.” My mother tried to breathe slowly. I just stood there, my eyes…not a blink. My heart sinking to the bottom. My body trembling. My mouth was dropped open. My knees were barely alive, they were locked. I felt like I really couldn’t stand anymore. I tried to continue standing, even try walking, but I couldn’t. I grabbed onto the chair and I just couldn’t take my eyes off of Ariel. I wanted to die. You know the feeling that you have when you are so confident and you really feel happy? Well that feeling wasn’t found in my life. I could check everywhere, but on the inside, I knew that it wasn’t there. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I didn’t want to live a life with depression. I am so sure that anybody would rather live no life then to live with depression and want to kill yourself right? I closed my eyes. I took a deep breath and tried to remember to keep it cool and to calm down. The doctor ran out the door and I could hear him yelling. He was telling them that they had a patient that needed to be treated with chemotherapy right away. I looked out of the room. A bunch of doctors came storming in with a bunch of supplies and some person ran to my mom and escorted her out. “Don’t touch my mother!” I said, using my hands to make them let go of her. “You need to go out,” a doctor said as she started to pull my mom off the ground and into the hallway. I made her let go. “I will escort her!” I hissed at them as they backed away. I took my mother out of the room and let her lay down on the couch. “Are you okay?” I asked her. “Yes, dear, I am fine,” she said. I told her to take deeper breaths and so she did. I knew I probably needed to too since I was freaking out over nothing. We both continued to calm down and take deeper breaths. In about five minutes, my mother had fallen fast asleep on the couch. I asked the lady at the counter for a blanket because my mother was shaking. She handed me a soft one and I slowly let it down on top of my mother’s body. I waited on the couch and started to take a book from the couch. I started to read it. Then I had a shocking feeling. It was the same book that I had read in my room. The one about Grace and how she committed suicide. I questioned myself. Were these all signs that were telling me my final decision and what I should do? I slammed the book shut. I laid my head down and soon, fell asleep. A few hours had passed when I woke up. I yawned and stretched as I got off

of my couch to check up on my mom. The couch looked empty. I pulled the blanket off to see that my mother had put pillows to disguise her body that didn’t lay there. “Mom?” I asked. “Mom!” I looked all over the hospital. Still, she was nowhere to be seen. There was one more room left. The room that Ariel was in. I knew I couldn’t go in there and I didn’t want to, but if it means going in there just to find my mom, then go in the room I shall. I opened the door with my eyes closed and slowly, I opened one eye and I couldn’t find my mother. A couple of doctors took me out of the room and told me that I could not go in there because of the treating and that they were very busy. Well, I knew that my mother wasn’t in there….if she isn’t in there, then where could she possibly be?...OUTSIDE! I ran as fast as I could until I found myself a foot away from her. “Mom?” I asked, trying to get her to turn around. Slowly and cautiously she turned around. Her face was red and full of tears as I felt sorry. “Oh mom,” I gasped and hugged her tightly and tried to make her comfortable, just how she did it to me. “I am sorry. Wait! Ariel is going to be okay right?” “I am not sure,” my mother mumbled. “I just ran into the room and saw the doctors doing something with Ariel and all of a sudden, I felt sorrow. I am not really sure.” “Oh…” I said. “Well, I’m so sure that she will be perfectly fine! You don’t need to worry! Our little Ariel is tough and she WILL survive.” My mother took a deep breath and wiped her tears off of her face. She hugged me tightly and I hugged her back. It started to get a little bit cold and I didn’t want my mom to catch one, I didn’t want to either. “Let’s go inside mom,” I said trying to take her inside. “Okay,” she said. “It is getting a little bit chilly…come on dear.” We walked inside and I rubbed my hands together and then put my hands on my mother so that she could stay warm. I tried to think of anything that might help my mom get warmer…I knew that I couldn’t make fire. Now that would be the last thing I would do at a hospital. I couldn’t get a heater because I didn’t bring one and plus, they probably don’t have heaters here. So let’s see. No fire, no heaters, hmmm……oh I got it! It just clicked to me. “I will be right back,” I told my mom giving her a sign that said “stay”. “I am going to make you some coffee or some hot chocolate so that you can get warmer.” I ran towards the lady that worked at the counter and asked her where the room for drinks were. She pointed to the right and I ran in that hall. I looked into each room until I came upon the drink room. I grabbed a spoon and poured some coffee powder into a mug and I put some sugar in it too. Then I ran towards the water thingy and poured hot water into the mug. I ran back, but cautious and carefully, to the spoon and mixed it. Then I headed to my mother in the waiting area.

“Here you go mom!” I said giving her the coffee. She touched the coffee and stared into it. Then she drank it, but little by little. I could tell that she was getting warmer since she took off her blanket. She put her mug down and I looked into it. It was already empty! I looked at my mom with my mouth wide open. She stood up and tapped me on the head. “Don’t do that honey,” she started to say. “That is gross.” I started to laugh and my mom did too. We both hugged and walked towards the lady at the counter. My mother asked if we could come back in a little bit and she started to agree. “Yes, I think you shouldn’t stay here for a long time and wait,” the lady said. “The treatment will not be over for awhile so you should go home and rest….after all you have already been through. Thank you for your patience though. Have a great weekend!” My mother and I looked at each other and knew that we just wanted to burst out laughing but instead, we held it in and left. We got into the car and headed home. I knew that my mom was still depressed. She still wanted to cry because what kind of a mom wouldn’t cry? I would if my own daughter could be dying at that moment. I held my mom’s hand and she looked at me in confusion. “She will be alright mom,” I said with a smile. I really wanted to cry too. My little sister, Ariel, was in there. I tried to be like my mom and I held it in. Will she really be alive when we come back to the hospital? That was the real question floating around my head.

Chapter 7 I hoped that my mom was feeling better. I wanted to say something to her to make her feel even better maybe. “Mom,” I called to her. “Do you want anything? Like to make you warmer? It’s really cold outside so I thought you might want my jacket and---“ “No sweetie,” she replied gently. “I am perfectly fine right now.” She smiled at me and I smiled back. I could tell her body was shivering with fear and chills, but on the inside, she had a warm heart. I was happy again. Suddenly, I heard my cell phone ring. I looked at it and anger started to grow out of my face. It was Tyler, probably wondering if I was okay while hiding his secret girlfriend from me. I didn’t want to answer, but my mom was right there. “Who is it?” my mother asked me. “Oh…..”I started to say. I didn’t want to lie to her so I had to tell her the truth. “It’s just Tyler.” “Well go on and answer it!” my mother yipped with joy. I took a long and deep breath as I slowly pressed answer, staring at the ignore button. I pressed my phone to my cheek and ear and whispered, “Hello?” “Oh, hi Ashley!” he exclaimed. “How are you feeling? Better I hope! I was wondering if we could go on our date to night. To the movies to watch some comedy! Our favorite!” I wanted to meet him and slap him in the face so bad. Pshhhh. Our favorite, thinking I would fall for that. I was just about to stop my mom and step outside so that I could yell my head off at him and t ell him no, until I realized my mom was waiting to hear my answer. I glanced over at her. She had her hands together and seemed like a praying position to me. I heard her whisper her words and as soon as I did, I knew that I couldn’t tell Tyler no. Dear lord, Thank you so much for bringing my beautiful daughter, Ashley, and her prince charming, Tyler, together. I know that it is their faith to be with each other from now until they die. Oh, mom. I would also think that too, but how can a man love this girl and want to be with her until death if he is cheating on her? Tyler is a handsome, and very mannerly young man and he loves my daughter. I am not too sure about that mom. I know he will do anything to keep her safe and as far as possible from harm. He seems very nice and he copes well with Ashley. He is a bright man and I hope that he stays like that. Too late to hope for that one!

Ashley is a beautiful, and a bright young lady and she really likes Tyler. Oh mom! She never gives up on Tyler and she loves him more than anything in the world. She is very pretty and the most amazing lady that I have ever met. She is attractive and loyal and beautiful and…. I already gave up on him as soon as I saw what he did earlier today, but everything else you said, I would have to agree. I am all that huh, aren’t I? I smiled big. Please keep them together forever. Don’t you think that is a wee tiny bit too long mom? And Jesus name we pray, amen. I shut my phone and slowly got closer to her and held her hand. “Amen,” I softly whispered to her. She stared at me and I shot her a smile and she looked at me and smiled back. I knew that if I stayed with Tyler, she would be so happy. The thing was that if I stayed with him, I wouldn’t be happy. The same question that I had in my head many times was in my head now. It repeated over and over and over again. Suicide. Is it the right choice for me to do at the moment? Suicide. Suicide. I didn’t feel comfortable at all anymore. My head started to ache and so did my stomach. Then I heard my phone ringing. I had forgotten that I was on the phone with him! “One moment,” I said to my mom. “I have got to take this.” This time, I asked my mom to stop driving and I stepped out of the car, onto the sidewalk as my mother looked around for a parking spot. I flipped my phone open and answered it. I had a plan. I was going to go on the date with him, just to find out more about him and this girl that he was keeping from me and to see if he was keeping anything else from me that I might have needed or wanted to know. “Hello?” I answered with a small smile across my face. “Hi….um,” he said. “You’re not going to hang up on me like that again right?” “Oh yeah,” I said. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to. I forgot I was on the phone with you.” “Yeah…”he said. “It’s fine, but what was keeping you so busy that you forgot about it?” I didn’t know what to tell him. I wasn’t sure if he had heard my mother’s prayers. After all, it was dead silent. I shook my head and tried to think of something quick. I couldn’t really come up with anything to tell him. Though I knew that it would be easier to lie to him than face to face with my mom.

“Oh it wasn’t anything,” I said. “Just that my mom was talking to me, that was all.” “Okay sweetheart,” he whispered. “Anything you say! I LOOOOOOOVE YOU!” I took my phone out of my ear and looked at it in disgust. Hearing him say I love you to me when he really didn’t mean it really didn’t mean a thing to me. “Anyways, I am good enough to go to the movies with you, but I am kind of hungry….,”I said. “Why don’t we just go to a restaurant instead of the movies?” “Oh…..” Tyler said. “Um…okay. I guess that will do!” I had a bigger smile on my face as soon as I heard the words “okay”. “Well,” I said. “I guess I will see you tonight! What time are you picking me up?” I didn’t know that I was picking you up, Tyler thought. “How about, 7:00?” he asked me. “Nah,” I replied. “How about 6:00 or maybe even 8:00!” I had only said all of that just to bug him. I knew that he normally liked going his way or else he wasn’t going to do it at all. I smiled even bigger. “Uh---,” he started to say. “Bye,” I shut my phone and smiled even wider than ever! Soon, my mouth started to hurt, but I was still smiling…not as big obviously. I knew my plan was going to work. It was very cheesy, but a good one anyway. I dialed my moms number and told her that I was ready to be picked up. She came to me pretty quickly and I was curious for a second. Then I just shrugged my shoulders and got into the car. I think that my mom was in a rush at the moment. “Hurry up!” she yelled to me. “We need to go to the hospital…AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!!!!” I got into the car as fast as I could and realized that it was probably to check up on Ariel. Or maybe it was because the doctor called and they said that it was okay to check up on Ariel now and that he hadthe results! “Why mom?” I asked. “Did the results come in? Is Ariel okay? How is she feeling? I hope she feels we----“ “BE QUIET!!!!!” my mom yelled at me. I was horrified. It was the first time that my mother had yelled at me that loud! I sat back, slouched in my seat, and I trembled. I was so scared. She couldn’t just tell me one simple thing! I care about Ariel too and so I deserve to know! We soon arrived at the hospital and my mom ran inside before I had even opened the door. I sighed and slammed

the door shut. I ran after my mom into the hospital and ended up in Ariels room. Ariels doctor was talking to my mom. I glanced at them a couple of times but then I looked at Ariel. I slowly started to walk towards her until I ended up in front of her. I stared at the 6 year old girl who was lying on the bed with a couple of tears left in her eyes. I felt so sad for her. I slowly started to touch her soft skin as I fell to my knees onto the ground. Tears spilled out of my eyes. I tried to hold it in, but I couldn’t. My mom heard me so she ran to me and hugged me. “It is okay darling,” she whispered into my ear. “Like you said, she will be perfectly fine! I just talked to the doctor. She had the treatment and she will be okay! You were right sweetie. She is fine!” I looked up at her and started to smile. I wiped my tears and got up. My mom and I hugged so tightly that I felt as if I couldn’t breathe! I let go but my mom was still hugging me. I quessed that she was really happy! Well of course she was! “Mom….cant….breathe….ugh…,” I said gasping for air. “Oh I am so sorry,” she said as she started to let go. “My bad.” I was happy but then at the same time, breathless. As soon as I caught my breath, I turned around to look at Ariel. I was shocked because her eyes were open! “Hello Ariel!” I screamed with joy. “How are you? Guess what? The doctor said that you are going to be fine! Aren’t you so happy? Aren’t you so excited?” I yipped with joy and looked at my mom. She was standing right next to me as we both laughed with tears and yipped with joy. My sister got up and started to laugh too. It was the cutest thing that I had ever seen. A little girl that was 6 years old starting to laugh was just so adorable! I looked down at my watch to see that it was already 7:30. I had 30 more minutes to find out some more secrets that Tyler was hiding from me. “Mom,” I tapped on her shoulder. “It is about time for my date with Tyler. Could you drive me home? Or should I call Tyler and tell him to come and pick me up? I could if you want me to!” “Either way is okay with me!” my mom exclaimed as she started to play with Ariel. I flipped my phone open and dialed Tyler’s number. I heard the ringing as I sat down in the waiting room on the couch and…well, waited for him to pickup. “Hello?” he asked me. “Oh hey Tyler,” I said. “My mom can’t take me right now because Ariel just woke up. Could you pick me up and then we can go on out date?” “O-oh yeah…the-the date,” he mumbled with fear. “I forgot all about that. I will be there soon I guess.” “Wait,” I paused for a moment. “What were you doing that made you forget all about the date?”

There was an awkward silence for a moment. I knew that he was keeping another thing from me and I knew that I should have never trusted him in the first place. I listened with anger. The was still nothing to be heard from him. I smiled a little bit and waited some more. Today was going to be the day that I find out all the secrets that Tyler was hiding from me. I knew that there was probably more than just two things that I didn’t know. There probably was more then I could imagine. “Uh, hello Tyler?!?!?” I yelled. “Is it that important you can’t even tell your girlfriend?” “Oh sorry,” he said. “I can’t tell you so I’m sorry Ashley.” “Ugh just come and pick me up!” I said. “I am already here,” he said to me as a honk was heard from out of the hospital. “Come on out girlfriend.” I was getting angrier and angrier every time I heard him say the words “girlfriend” or “love you”. I gathered all of my stuff and hung up the phone. I calmed myself down before I walked out of the hospital. I saw him in his car and I stopped walking for a moment and then I continued to walk towards him…more likely the car. I opened it and thought that he was a jerk for not coming out and opening it for me. Then I thought about it and realized that I was making too much of a deal out of it. I got in and shut the door. mine.

“Hello my Ashley,” he said as he started to lean in and pressed his lips against Ugh I thought. I moved away and stopped him. “So where are we eating?” I asked him.

“Uh…I was thinking at Mozart’s,” he said with confusion all over his face. “I know that it is kind of a stupid idea but it can work right?” “Ugh,” I groaned. “Fine but I need to talk to you so get on with the driving!” He seemed very confused but I just sat back and smiled as he turned the engine on and started to drive to Mozart’s.

Chapter 8 I knew my plan was working so far. I was so happy. He glanced at me a couple of times on the way but I didn’t even dare to look at him. It took a few minutes to get to the restaurant but we got there anyways. I got out of the car and waited for him by the entrance door. When he had finally caught up, he opened the door and we walked in. He had finally acted like a real gentleman for the past minutes. We sat down on the table and ordered food. I constantly stared at him while he told out waiter what we were going to have for dinner. As soon as the waiter left and took our menus with him, he looked at me and realized that I was staring. He started to stare at me, just like I was at him. He started laughing and I really wanted to too but I kept a straight face and sighed. When would he grow up and stop laughing? I thought. He looked at me but continuing and then slowly started to stop. “I guess I spoke too soon,” I whispered to myself. “Wait what did you say?” he asked as he started to cough and grabbed the water, gulping it down his throat. “Oh nothing,” I said with a tiny bit of a smile. “Okay?” he said as he put down the glass of water. “So..let’s talk about secrets,” I said. “I am not really keeping anything from you, well Ariel has cancer but she is well now. How about you?” “Oh,” Tyler said softly as he went and grabbed for my hand and held it in his soft hands. “There is this girl this really like, in fact, I love her. I know her favorite movie is comedy but I really don’t know much about her. What do you think I should say?” I stared into his evil eyes. That trick that he was trying to play, well I am not falling for it. I didn’t know what to tell him because I knew he was lying and cheating on me. Lovers don’t cheat! When will he realize that? This was all just so complicated. “Tell her how you really feel,” I answered. “Tell her how much you really love her. How much you really care about her. Go and tell her all your secrets so that she knows that she can trust you. Tell her if you’re cheating. Tell her if you really like and love her more than anything in the world. Tell all of that straight in her face. Yeah, one to one and eye to eye. Don’t you dare lie to her either!” He stared at me in confusion and tried to explain what he meant and who it was even though inside, I already knew who it was but I didn’t understand why he was talking about who he was talking about. Everything just didn’t make sense. I only got angrier and angrier the more time passed. I wanted to leave at the moment because just seeing him made me mad. I kept the angriness to myself and kept on telling myself that I had to stay there with him. I needed to find out more about him. About all the other secrets that he was keeping from me and about how he really felt for me. I wasn’t going to ask or tell him what I saw because if I did, he would just make everything even harder for me. I zipped my mouth shut and checked my watch. It had already been 10 minutes and I didn’t see any food on out dinner table. My stomach roared and I put my hands around it. I stared at Tyler and then I looked away.


“What time is it?” I asked even though I had just checked my watch a couple of seconds

“Um…” Tyler said as he checked his phone. “8:15 right now but I am sure that the food will come out soon. Oh look right there! The waiter is heading here with the food right now!” I turned around to see that the waiter was coming with our food. For a moment there, I thought that he was just lying to me to save time. “Here you go!” the waiter said as he put the food down. “Is this your girlfriend?” “Yeah!” Tyler yelled. “Well you are a very lucky man,” he said winking at me and walking away. I knew that Tyler wanted to get up and punch him in the face. In fact, he almost did until I stopped him. He seemed so angry, his face turned red. I knew that he was jealous. I only smiled and stared at him as he started to eat his dinner. For some reason, I didn’t really feel like eating much anymore. My stomach stopped growling and I wanted to go home. I was happy that he was jealous, I really was. I wanted to burst out laughing, but deep inside of me, I felt home sick and I really wanted to go home. “I don’t really want to eat anymore so I am sorry,” I said as he looked up at me. “We should go to the movies.” “Ugh!” Tyler groaned. “I wanted to take you there this whole time but you insisted on going to a restaurant and eating so I take you there and now you want to go to the movies?” “Sorry…” I said trailing off. “You---what---f-f-fine! Just….lets go!” He slammed the tips onto the dinner table and walked away. I felt guilty that I was making him pay for food that wasn’t going to be eaten and I looked down. I slowly walked out of the restaurant and stood outside. I felt a drop on my head. I looked up. I knew that looking up wasn’t such a great idea because a drop got into my eye. I shook my head and held out my hand. It started to sprinkle more and more as I stood outside. Soon, it was pouring rain. I quickly ran to the car that Tyler was in while I tried to help myself by holding both of my hands on top of my head to keep me sheltered. I tried to open the car door but it was locked. I gasped and looked inside. “Tyler!” I yelled. “I think you accidently locked the door! Open up!” “It wasn’t on accident!” he said coldly. “You made me pay like 50 dollars just for dinner and you don’t eat any of it! Then you want me to go to the movies with you and pay another like 20 dollars? You are insane!” “How am I supposed to get home?” I asked as I shivered from the rain. “It’s like 2 miles from here!” “Fine get in the car!” he hissed. He unlocked the door and I got in. I was all wet and cold. I rubbed my hands together and tried to get warm but it didn’t really work. I looked at Tyler and I felt more guilty than i had ever

been. I knew that I did a lot of things wrong but this was really the only thing stuck to my mind. I continuously stared at him but not a word came out of either of our mouths. “Look, I am sorry,” I started to say. “Do you forgive me?” He kept his eyes on the driveway and said nothing. I knew he was mad and my plan hadn’t gone like I had planned. I felt like a loser and a bully that was actually picking on the star quarterback and the most popular at school. Then, I had realized something that was very important to me that I had forgotten. It was already 5 days of the month! That meant the Tyler was leaving in about 25 days! I was half happy and half sad. I was happy that I don’t have to worry about a cheating boyfriend in my life but I was sad that he still is my boyfriend and he was going to leave soon. He was a very bright and nice person. The only thing was that he had cheated on me with another girl like right in front of me! Plus, he had almost left without me! Though I did realize that that one was in a way my fault. I only stared at him and still didn’t say anything else besides the words I had said before. I felt more guilty which beat my record of how much guiltiness I felt. I knew that I shouldn’t have done what I did at the restaurant and I understood why. I also knew that I am not a good person if I do stuff like that all the time. I tried to keep myself confident even though I knew deep inside, I wasn’t and I was just another stupid loser. It was already 9:00 and in 30 minutes, I had to check with my mom and my sister. The thing was that there was very heavy traffic where we were. It felt like we weren’t even moving. I felt so bored that we weren’t even saying a word to each other and all we were really doing was sitting in the car next to each other and we didn’t say a word. I knew that he didn’t want to talk to me so I just basically gave him what he wanted. I didn’t say a word to him just like he didn’t say a word to me. I sighed and I wanted to talk. Then I heard my phone ring. It was my mom and I had to answer it. I just didn’t want to talk to her right in front of Tyler and let him hear everything that I was going to tell her. I was going to tell her how I felt and what had happened. I let my phone ring and I looked at Tyler again. He looked very annoyed of the song so I answered it. “Hello?” I asked my mom embarrassed to be talking in front of him. “Where are you sweetie?” she asked me. “Oh, there is a lot of traffic here so we’ll probably be home late. Like maybe in 10 minutes….” Then I heard a crash and looked at the street and saw that there was an accident. “Or maybe like 30 minutes to an hour…” I said. “WHAT???” she yelled as I squinted my eyes and put the phone a little bit further away from my ear. “I am sorry but can you please not yell like right in my ear?” I asked. “Oh yeah,” she responded. “Sorry.” Tyler glanced at me for like one second and then looked away. I was at least happy that he had looked at me! I didn’t hear what my mom had said because I was busy trying to see if Tyler was going to look at me again or not. As soon as I stopped focusing on that, my mother had already hung up. I sighed because I bet she had told me something important but I had just

chosen not to listen. I looked at Tyler again and luckily, he had looked at me too. We both smiled and started to laugh. I was happy that he was smiling and laughing too but I really started to get uncomfortable again. I groaned and moaned over and over again. I felt the car start to move so I looked up on the street to see that the traffic had cleared up all of a sudden. I wondered how that that could have happened because all of a sudden, all the cars were gone. I was happy that we were finally moving again and I smiled and yipped with joy but of course, I did it silently. I looked at Tyler again and again and thought that he was probably starting to get annoyed at how I was looking at him a lot. I knew that I should stop doing it so I did. I sighed again and felt bored. Then my message ringtone had gone off on my phone and I had got a text message from an unknown person. I looked at it and it read: Heyy Ashley. Like dis is Megan. I go 2 ur skool. So like I dnt think tht we hav ever met b4 but like ill totally c u 2morrow at skool during lunch. L8rz! =D I stared at it and then exited. As soon as I looked outside, we were in front of the hospital. I was shocked that we were already there at first but then I got out of the car and walked into the hospital. Tyler also got out and I thought he was coming out to escort me to the hospital but when we got in and I turned around, I saw him walking in the other direction. I sighed and realized that he was probably leaving and walking to his secret girlfriend. I shrugged my shoulders and walked to the waiting room. I tried to get into Ariel’s room but when I did, they told me not to come in and to leave or wait in the waiting area so I sat down on the couch and thought about what they were doing with Ariel. Then I saw the door swing open like all of a sudden. It was a couple of doctors escorting my mom out, just like they had to me. “Mom!” I yelled running to her. “What happened? Are you okay?” I helped my mom up and she dusted herself off. I was about to ask her again but then she told me to wait and a few minutes later, she answered my question. “They are doing…something with…my poor….baby!” she said gasping for air. “Do you know what they are doing?” I asked her holding her arm. “No but I need to!” my mother yelled trying to reach for the door. “Calm down mom and sit down,” I said pulling her to the waiting area and by the couch. It was really awkward because as soon as she sat down, she fell fast asleep. It was either that or she had fainted. Just in case, I called a doctor to come and check if she was okay. They took her to a room and locked me out. I actually thought that they would let me in for once but I had thought wrong. I crossed my arms and stomped back to the waiting area. I got even madder that as soon as I had sat down, the door opened and a doctor was standing by my mom’s room. “Mrs.?” The doctor said. I sighed and got up, walking towards the room. I got there quick and ran into the room. My mom was laying on the bed. I looked at the doctor because they hadn’t told me if she was okay or not. Then I saw my mom open her eyes and I smiled. I knew that she was fine. “Mom,” I called to her. “Are you feeling okay?”

“Um…yeah,” she said as she got up and rubbed her head. “I think so.” I smiled and I hugged her. We walked together out the door and sat down on the couch in the living room. She had finally calmed down and we were talking. Suddenly, we heard a voice coming from Ariel’s room. I think it was the doctor. Yeah, it was. We were aloud to come in and visit Ariel. She was fine from the beginning so I was confused on why they needed to do something. All that really mattered though was that she was okay and we didn’t have to worry about her. My mom was talking to the doctor while I talked to Ariel. I started to cry but they were tears of joy. I was happy. The only thing that really bothered me was Tyler. Well, it was about time for me to go to bed. Today was Sunday and tomorrow was the day that I was going to meet the girl, Megan. It had been a long day and I was tired. “Mom, let’s go to bed,” I said as I stretched my arms out and yawned. “Sure honey,” she replied doing the same thing I was. We went home and left Ariel there. We couldn’t take her home for awhile because her doctor doctor had done something that made her have to stay there for a little while longer. I slowly walked up into my room and laid down on my bed. I yawned and I closed my eyes gently. “Good night,” I whispered to myself as I let my mind go blank.

Chapter 9 Chirp! Chirp! All of a sudden, I heard a couple of birds singing. I got up and squinted my eyes from the bright light that was shining in through my window. I didn’t want to get up at all. I pulled my blanket up and over my head and closed my eyes as I laid down on my bed. “Get up missy or your going to be late,” my mom said coming into my room and taking the blanket off of my head and trying to pull me out of my bed. I hung onto the bars of my bed while my mom pulled my feet and tried to get my to get up. “Okay fine!” I yelled. “I’ll get up! You win!” I got up on my feet and ran to the restroom to brush my teeth. After that, I was awake. I went to my room again and got dressed. I ran down the stairs and into the kitchen where my mother was cooking me some breakfast. She seemed like she was in a happy mood. All my memories came rushing back into my head as I ate the food that my mom had made for me. I was so excited to meet Selena. The only thing was that I didn’t ever want to see Tyler again. I know, I am guilty for what I had done yesterday but it still didn’t give him a right to lock me out and cheat on me. He didn’t even make sure that I had gone home safe. Not a single call from him. I wanted to throw my phone onto the ground and I was about to but then my mom had walked in and if she had seen me do that, I would be in so much trouble! “I better get to school mom,” I said. “Don’t you think it is about time to go?” “Yeah, probably,” she answered. “Okay. Lets go.” We went out the front door closing the door behind us. It wa pouring outside so my mom went into the car first. Then she got an umbrella from the car and brought it over to me. She was wet and I felt bad. We both ran to the car together and she told me to go in first. I did and she ran in to the driving seat. “Woo!” she yelled. We started to drive to school and I kissed my mom goodbye as I shut the car door and ran into the front school door. I went in and shook the rain off of myself…well I atleast tried to. Then I sat at a table. I was all alone until a girl walked towards me. “Hey girl,” the girl said holding out her hand. “I am Megan. Like, I know that we have never met before and I was like supposed to meet you at lunch but like I just saw you and I totally just like couldn’t wait. I hope that we become great friends. I know that you are like really nice.” I stared at her for a minute and then shook her hand. “I am Ashley,” I said. “I am pretty sure that you know that. I hope that we become even more than good friends, best friends. I am just wondering and I am not saying this in a mean way but, how do you know me?” “Oh!” she exclaimed as she sat down at my table right next to me. I was happy that I was atleast sitting down next to someone and I wasn’t alone. “Tyler told me. He told like everyone about

you and like also, you are all over youtube my girl! The video of you and Jeanette is like a big hit! And I got your number by asking Tyler of course.” I stared at her amazed at how Tyler did that. I was upset that I was all over youtube and that Tyler was giving random people my number but I felt happy too because I knew that Tyler cared about me and he told everyone about me. “Okay,” I responded. “So Megan! Can you sit with me at lunch? I have nobody to sit with…” “O-oh,” she muttered. “I promised someone I would sit by them….but I guess that I will cancel it. That is what us best friends are for right?” “Yeah,” I said as she started to leave. “One more thing Megan.” She turned around and stared at me while I smiled and took a deep breath. I looked at her and said something that I hadnt said to anybody at the school before. “Thank you,” I said. She smiled back to me and I felt like a true and good best friend. I was so happy that ihad found a true best friend that was perfect for me. “You are very welcome my sista,” she said with a big smile. I was so happy that a huge smile that was bigger than hers was smeared across and all over my face. I couldn’t hold it in. Ring! The bell had rung and the gates had opened and we were aloud to go to our lockers. It was finally the day that I made a friend. I felt proud of myself and felt that my life was good enough for me and I didn’t need to commit suicide. I knew that if I did, it would effect so many people and I didn’t want that to happen. Especially to my mom, my little baby sister, and my new best friend, Megan. I ran into my first period room and made it in just in time before I would have to go to detention. It was a long weekend and so once again, I didn’t listen. I was to tired to. I almost fell asleep during class. I actually did fall asleep for about five to ten minutes but then the loud bell woke me up. I quickly got my stuff and found myself last…again like usual. I was just about to step out of the room untill I heard somebody call my name. “Ashley,” the voice said. I turned around to see the teacher. I squinted my eyes and I knew that I was in trouble. I slowly walked towards the teacher. “Um…yes?” I mumbled. “Was that you sleepi--,” she asked me. “What? No!” I said as quick as I could. “Okay then tell me one thing that you learned today,” she said pointing out the word today. I knew that I was in big trouble. I didn’t really pay attention. I tried to think of what she might have said but it was one out of a million chances that I would guess it right. “We learned about language arts?” I guessed. It had to be right.

“Miss Johnson, this is a science class,” she said crossing her arms. My face turned bright pink and I was so embarrased. Mrs. Birch wrote something down onto a blue slip and tore it off. She handed it to me and I sighed. I had detention. I knew that I was going to get into so much trouble. I didn’t exactly know how my mom would react. I was so depressed all day. All through second period, third period, fourth period and lunch…oh yeah! I sat with Megan and we had lots of fun. I know what you guys are thinking. I cant be happy and sad at the same time. I was sad all day except at lunch. I couldn’t be upset around Megan. She had always made me smile and always brightened my day. After that, through fifth period, sixth period and seventh. Especially through detention after school. I was depressed most of the day. I called my mom to tell her that I had detention and she started freaking out. “Mom,” I said trying to make her calm down. “Don’t mom me!” she yelled back. “How could you get detention????” “Mom!” I yelled. “Mom! MOM!!!!” “WHAT?!?!?” she hissed with fustration and anger. “Please please please calm down,” I whispered. “I have to go. I cant be late to detention or else I will get detention again tomorrow.” “I will be there in five minutes,” my mom yelled. “Ok----wait WHAT?!?” I asked. “I am almost here,” my mom said. “Wait mom!” I excalaimed hearing no answer. “Hello? MOM?” I gasped and I quickly ran to the fron door. I saw my mom parking and I sighed. I was upset now that my mom and my teacher were going to talk. She got out of the car and walked towards me. I tried to stop her but she wouldn’t let me. She ran through the door and it was as if she didn’t even notice me. She ignored me and started to walk towards my first period room. I was confused on how she even knew what room my first period room was and what I had first period. I just shrugged my shoulder and hoped that she didn’t know any of that info. I ran after my mom and I couldn’t find her. I ran everywhere in my hall but she was nowhere to me found. “Mom?” I yelled. “Mom?” “HA!” I heard a voice scream from my teachers room. “Oh…no,” I gasped and ran into my teachers room. MOM quit it…,” I said gasping for air. “ Wait….mom? Mrs. Birch?” It turned out that my mom and Mrs. Birch were playing with eachother. It was a game board. I was so confused on how and they started to giggle.

“Oh, Ashley,” my teacher bursted out laughing. “You never told me you had such an awesome, kind and funny mom!” My mouth dropped open and my eyes widened in confusion. I was upset at first because my mom was so angry that I had gotten detention and i thought that she had come here to settle things with my teacher. Instead, she is laughing and playing with her. I slowly walked out of the room and started to laugh myself. I was so happy that I didn’t have detention and that my mom and my teacher were getting along os well. I was only upset that I felt a bad stomach ache and I wanted to leave as soon as possible. I sat down next to the door and waited for them to finish. It had already been 30 minutes and they werent finished. I laid down and groaned. “Okay well thank you,” I heard my mom say and saw my mom walk out the door. It was like finally! I tried to get up but my stomach hurt so much that I felt like my stomach was about to burst. “Honey, get up,” my mom said as she went out the door. Truthfully, I really couldn’t. My stomach hurt way too much that even though I tried my best to get up, it would never happen. I groaned a lot and I couldn’t breathe. I felt really sick and I felt like I was about to throw up. I couldn’t help it. My mom finally realized that I was on the floor and helped me up and into the car. “Ugh,” I moaned. “Mom, my stomach hurts really bad. What should I do?” “Well,” my mom said as she started the car. “Did you eat anything bad? What do you think that might have happened?” “Um…” I siad. “ I didn’t really eat anything…all i ate was pasta at school during lunch and I was really hungry when I was eating. I don’t know what cokuld have harmed me. I am sure that the food in the cafeteria at school has nothing to do with it. Las night, I didn’t eat and I don’t reallly want to talk about it right now. Yes I went on the date but…ill tell you later. I am pretty hungrynow but im not sure if that is why my stomach is hurting. I don’t think that me bein pretty hungry makes my stomach hurt as much as it does. Ohhh! I just felt a pull there. OUCH! My stomach……” My mom just stared at me and it looked like she felt cad for me. I wasn’t all the way quite sure but I knew my stomach wouldn’t stop hurting. I wanted to cry. It hurt so much that I was about to cry. I kept on moaning and my mom looked as if she was starting to get annoyed of it. I couldn’t help the sounds though. It just came out of my mouth. I tried to hold it in but it is really hard to when it hurts like this. CRASH! My mind went blank as soon as I heard a crash of two cars by me…

Chapter 10 I couldn’t think of anything. It was all pitch black and I couldn’t see anything at all. I started to get scared and I wanted to run away but I couldn’t. My legs wouldn’t move and neither would the rest of my body. The next thing I knew, everything was blurry and white. I could see a few faces but I didn’t recognize them. They were doing something to me and I couldn’t stop them. I felt liquid like water drop down my forehead. Hurry!”

“She is bleeding,” I heard a voice say. “Somebody take her into the emergancy room!

I didn’t know what to do. I was starteing to freak out. My mom….i didn’t know where she was and I was worried about her. “Must…stay….awake,” I softly whispered to myself so that only I could hear it. “Must…find…mom……..” I felt a quick pinch in my arm and my eyes closed and my whole body was numb. I couldn’t fell anything. Was I dead? Or asleep? Was this really all just a dream? I hoped so. Hoping was really all that I could do to help myself. It had been a long time and my body was still numb. I didn’t know what was happening to me or my mom. I wished that I could get out of what was happening tome and I wanted to find my mom. So I could tell her I love her and hug her like a three year old baby crying to his mommy. I didn’t care how embarrasing it would be. I wanted someone that I knew to be with me right now and I wanted the doctors to leave right now. I knew that I couldn’t do anything about it so I took a deep breath and let my mind go back to being pitch black. One day later… “Okay,” I heard a voice whisper. “Yes,” this one was familiar. “Okay. Thank you doctor.” I had recognized that voice from somewhere. I didn’t remember where though. Ugh. I was so confused and unfomfortable and fustrated….i really just wanted to yell! “UGH!” I said somehow. I didn’t understand. All this time I could have said something? Wow….well I knew for sure that I could yell. I could hear some footsteps running towards me. I was scared and I tried to open my eyes and get up. I couldn’t though. I soon came to realize that I could open my eyes but I just couldn’t move. Well I think I could but I felt like I couldn’t. “Sweetie,” the voice said. “Are you okay?” “Mom?” I whispered. “Who is this? Mom? Mom!” “Yes darling,” she sniffled and it seemed like she was about to cry. “It’s me dear. Your mom. I am so sorry for putting you in danger. I’ sorry. Are you okay?” “Yeah mom,” I said. “I am fine. I was scared and I didn’t know what was going on. I missed you mom. What happened?”

She helped me up and I realized I could also move too. I didn’t know that though. I sat down gently while my mom went to go get me some water. About a minute later, she was back. I gulped the water down and gave the cup to my mom. I looked at her face and noticed that she had a big cut on her forehead and I guess that she had hurt her arm since it had something was wrapped around it. you???”

“Okay,” I said. “So what happened? And is your head and arm okay? What did they do to

“Well,” my mom started. “You were telling me that your stomach was hurting and you kept on moaning and groaning. I stared at you for like a minute and the next thing I knew, we were in the hospital. We got into an accident dear. I am really sorry. I caused all of this! Your head bleeding, your arm being broken…oh my goodness! Your arm! It’s…broken?” I looked at it and realized that there was a cast on it. I was surprised that my mom didn’t even notice but then again, I didn’t realize it either. I knew that my head was bleeding and that that was what I felt drip down my head. I sighed and stared at my cast. “It is fine mom,” I said holding her hand. “I’m fine. Don’t cry because it wasn’t your fault totally. I kept on bugging you about how my stomach was hurting and you know that if I didn’t make such a big deal about it, none of this would have ever happened. See? It is my fault too.” I wiped the tears off of her face and I smiled. She felt guilty too but she still smiled back. I could tell that the smile was fake though. I still felt dizzy and I wanted to go back to bed but instead, I stayed up with my mom. I realized that she hadn’t told me if she was okay or not. Her wounds looked like they should really hurt! That big cut on her head wouldn’t stop bleeding and I just couldn’t keep my eye on it for any longer and I felt horrible for bugging her while she was driving. And her arm…it looked so painful as if she couldn’t move it. I knew that it hurt every time she had moved it but she only did so for me. I loved her so much and appreciated everything that she was doing and going through for me. I had never told her personally how I felt and how much I appreciated everything. “Mom,” I mumbled out to her as she turned around and walked towards me. She sat down on a stool right next to me and sighed. I could tell that she still felt sorrow for what had happened. “Yes my dear?” she asked me. “I have never really said this to you,” I whispered. “I guess I just didn’t know how to say it. I just really wanted to…thank you for everything. I appreciate everything that you are going through just for me. I wish that I could do more for you because you do everything that is possible for me. You love me that much. Thank you! I love you more than anything in the whole wide world and you should know that you are the best mom that anyone could ever have. I just really want you to know that and I wish I had told you sooner. I love you so much and thank you for everything. From when I was born. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be here right? You raised me greatly and i thank you for that. The really is no other way that I could imagine being better than how hard you tried to keep me well and raise me well. I love you mom!”

I reached over to her and hugged her. I heard her sniff and I let go. I looked at her and tears came dripping down her face and a smile also smeared. I smiled big and I felt a spring of happiness and love in my heart all of a sudden. I had never felt happier than this moment now. Suddenly, I wondered if Tyler had known that we were in the hospital and what had happened. Then, I thought that even if he did know, like he would care. He is nothing but a jerk and that would be the last and only thing that I would think of him. It was over between him and me. “Hey mom,” I whispered. “Can you hand me my cell phone? I need to make a call.” “Sure thing sweetheart,” she said handing my phone to me. “Thank you,” I said flipping my phone open. I dialed Tyler’s number and asked my mom for some privacy. As soon as she left the room, I pressed call. It rang a couple times before I heard Tyler’s voice answering it. “Hey Ashley,” he said through the phone. “I just got notice about your incident in the car.” “Whatever Tyler,” I hissed back but silently of course because I didn’t want my mom knowing what I was saying. “You, me, it is over!” “What?!?” Tyler asked with the sound of anger and frustration. I didn’t want to tell him why so I just hung up the phone. I sighed but I knew that it was the right thing to do. A few hours had passed before the doctor had another check up on me. She told me that I was fine and I should be able to go back to school in about a few days. I was in a way excited that I was going to go to school and meet up with Megan again. She was an awesome friend to me. All of a sudden, the door swung open. “Omg omg omg Ashley!” the voice said. A few seconds later, I saw Megan running towards me. “OMG! Are you alright?!? I just got the news of what happened…your arm! It is broken and so is your leg!” “It’s fine Megan,” I said starting to giggle. “Omg girlfriend,” she said with attitude. “Like it’s totally not fine! Don’t fine me my sista! You are hurt!” I had always loved her attitude and personality. It always made me smile with joy and I was always happy around her. Then, I wondered how she had found out. “Hahaha Megan,” I laughed. “So how did you find out?” “Girl, everyone knows about it!” Megan yelled. “You’re like, popular…in a way!” “HOW?” “Lol Ashley just calm down!” she laughed. “Okay so like your boyfriend---“ “Sorry to interrupt but my ex-boyfriend,” I corrected her. “Now go on.”

“Okay like your ex-boyfriend or whatever told like everyone,” she said. “Well, like he told his best friend who told his friends and like the next thing you know, everyone knows!” “Seriously?” “Totally girlfriend!” she said with enthusiasm. “So like how are you feeling?” “I will be out in a couple days,” I said. “I missed you so much and…uh what was it? Oh right and like totally…girlfriend?” I tried to be like her but then she stared at me. I couldn’t tell if she was mad at me or something for doing that. I felt like she was and thought that I shouldn’t have tried that at all. Suddenly, she bursted out laughing. I felt embarrassed.

Chapter 11 I stood there while she laughed and soon, I found myself laughing with her. I was happy that she wasn’t mad at me but then my mom walked in. She started to laugh and slapped her knee over and over again because she just couldn’t stop laughing. I stopped laughing and turned to Megan. As soon as she looked at me, she stopped. I looked back at my mom and she just wouldn’t stop. “You were like this,” my mom gasped for air while trying to talk. “LIKE TOTALLY!” I still just sat in my bed and stared at her realizing that it was a little bit funny but not so much that she should be laughing that hard! A few minutes later, she finally slowly stopped laughing. I was happy that she had and I wished that she had stopped sooner. Then, I wouldn’t feel as embarrassed as I was now. “Ahem,” a voice said near the door in the room. We all tutned around to see my doctor standing by the door with her arms folded. “May you please be a little quieter? We got some complaints next door that you were disturbing them and being too loud!” “Oh yes,” I said staring at my mom for a few seconds but then looking back at the doctor. “Sorry. My mom is a little bit too loud and she is an overreacter. I will macke sure that she keeps it down and I asure you that there will be no more complaints. Thank you for the notice doctor…” “Doctor Seo,” she advised me. “Thank you doctor Seo,” I thanked her once more. She left right afterwards and I looked back at my mom and made a ticking sound in my mouth to give her a signal about saying shame on you. My mom looked down and got a small giggle. I sighed and thought that she would never stop laughing. “Uh,” my mom started to say. “Sorry, I will keep it down I guess.” Finally she was going to be quiet! I glanced over to Megan and she smiled at me too. I rolled my eyes and my mom got up silently. She looked like she was about to burst out laughing but she was holding it in. Her face turned red and I sighed again. “Okay mom you can let it ou-----,” I started to say. I was about to give my mom permission to laugh and embarrass me again and before I fully gave her permission, she had already laughed out loud at her hardest. I rolled my neck and a smile started to appear on my face, which turned into a giggle. Just a little one though, but then it turned into a small but bigger laugh and I tried to hold it in but the face that my mom was laughing hard and how she started and how I sounded, I realized that it was a little but funny. I turned to see Megan with her face in a pillow. I didn’t know what she was doing. Was she crying? Was she laughing? Coughin? I really didn’t know. I lightly tapped on her shoulder and she looked at me. Her face was so red…even redder then a giant pure red tomato! It turned out that she was laughing hard to but she just didn’t want me to get mad at her. I totally understood that.

“Okay, okay,” I tried to calm them down. “Alright. I will have to admit that how I said it was very awkward and I said it in the wrong way but we really need to keep it down okay? I already had enough embarrassment, don’t you think so? Now quit it!” It turned out that my “quit it” turned into a big laugh. I didn’t know exactly why but it just did. I didn’t feel that embarrassed but I felt that it wasn’t something to be laughing at for this long. I stopped and so did Megan. My mom soon got the message and started stopping too. It was already about 11:30 pm and past the bedtime at the hospital. “Oh shoot,” Megan said glancing at her watch. “I like have to go. My mom is so like totally going to get so mad and like I am in so much trouble….” “Bye Megan,” I said. “Good night and see you later. Bye!” “Bye Ashley, hope you feel better soon!” Megan said as she walked out the room door. “Well sweetie,” my mom got up and headed towards the door. “Go to sleep, good night.” “Good night,” I whispered as I yawned and slowly started to close my eyes. My mom opened the door and turned the lights out. She walked out of the room, closing the door behind her. It was time to sleep so I cleared my mind and rest my body on the bed. I soon fell asleep in the hospital room that I laid in.

Chapter 12 I woke up from the longest night ever…well atleast that was what it felt like. I had a weird dream that night. My mom, my little sister and I were singing on stage at some show. It was so weird because we were singing to our favorite song and we were also dancing. We did well on that day and I had no injuries, I felt great! I shook my head and rubbed my eyes. I got on my wheelchair and rolled my way towards my mom in the waiting room. She was up and drinking coffee. “YES!” she yelled. “Come on Cowboys! You can do it! Defense! Defense! De---.” “Mom!” I yelled rolling as fast as I could to her. “Oh hey sweetcakes,” my mom said still staring at the tv. I didn’t even know that there was a tv there. “Come on! DEFENSE PEOPLE! Defense, Defense!!!” “Ugh, mom,” I sighed and sat by her. “Don’t yell mom! People are probably still sleeping!” “Okay I wil-----,” mother started. “Oh! That was a foul! HEY!! THAT WAS A FOUL!!!” “Oh my gosh mom,” I said reaching for the tv remote. It was weird now because she grabbed it before me with her eyes still stuck on the tv. Then she threw it behind her and continued to yell defense. I thought that she would never change. I went over to get the remote in my chair. As soon as I had my hands on it, I turned the tv off. “Mom!” I yelled. “Your crazy!” “YOU GIVE ME THE REMOTE!” my mom hissed. “No mom!” I mumbled. “But I want to see who is going to win!” she started whining. I didn’t think that mothers whine a lot. I guessed that I had thought wrong. “Mom!” I hissed back. “You are acting so weird! Oh my gosh!” “Okay…,” my mom said. “I want coffee!” I rolled my eyes at her and looked upon the table. There was a bunch of coffee wrappers laid out on the table and a few cups with a little drop of coffee in each one of them. I gasped and stared at my mom. I sighed as I started to clean the table. “With three spoons of sugar please!” my mom yelled as I headed towards the kitchen to throw the cups and wrappers away. “Hehehehehe!” I took a small napkin and wetted it with some water. Then I went back to the waiting area and cleaned the table. Just when I was about to go and throw my napkin away, I glanced at my mother. She was dead asleep on the couch. I laughed a little and threw the napkin away. Her eyes were red earlier. All well, at least she was asleep…even though it was already 1:00 pm. I didn’t want to wake my mom up either so I left her alone. I started to walk towards Ariel’s door and I

slightly knocked. Then I opened the door and saw Ariel lying on the small bed, though she was awake. “Hello sissy!” she said in her cute baby voice. “Oh, hey Ariel,” I said walking to her. “How are you feeling?” “I am alright….SISSY!” she screamed all of a sudden. “What happened?” I asked her very curious of why she was screaming suddenly. She got up and stood right next to me. I heard a small cough before i heard her say anything. I knew that she was still a little bit sick. I shook my head and looked at her. “Your smaller then me!” she yelled shouting with joy. “See? I’m finally bigger!” I started to laugh as soon as I realized that I was in a wheelchair sitting down so I seemed shorter than her. She seemed so happy and I was glad to know that she felt better. I was still concerned about her health. She was constantly coughing. Then I heard a voice outside moaning “coffee with three cups of su….coffee with three…sug….”. I thought that my mom was starting to wake up. “Okay well I think that mommy is waking up so I will go check up on her okay?” I asked her as she got back up on her bed. “Okay!” she said yawning and slowly starting to close her eyes. I got up on my only foot available and kissed her on the forehead. I smiled and sat back down, wheeling myself to the door. I opened and closed it as I got out of the door and got to the waiting room. My mom was awake and stretching. I got in front of her and asked her how her sleep was. She yawned again. “I don’t know but I am so tired!” she said getting up. “Aren’t you Ashley baby?” “Nope!” I said laughing again. “You should probably get dressed by now because it is like…2:00.” “Yeah, you are probably right,” my mom said. “I feel like we live here, you know? All our bags are here, we sleep here, eat here sometimes…” “Yeah I guess so,” I said patting her on her back to tell her to hurry and get ready. “Okay okay!” she yelled. “I am going! Don’t push me, geez!” We both started laughing and she got changed. I only had a day before I could go to school again and I was so excited. Ariel was going to be out tomorrow too! I couldn’t wait to be back home again. We hadn’t been there for awhile. The day went by very quickly. We didn’t really do much. My mom just went out to buy some shakes for us, which by the way tasted so good! Then we played games in Ariel’s room and that is pretty much it. That was all we really could do at the hospital since Ariel and I couldn’t leave until tomorrow. I sighed as I stared at the clock. 11:00

already. I yawned because I was exhausted for some reason even though nothing mad me tired. I laid on my bed. “Mom?” I yelled out to her. “Yes?” she said opening my door to the loud noise outside the room. “Can you turn the lights off?” I asked closing my eyes. “Sure,” my mom said turning them off and closing the door. I needed some rest and I was tired. It was dead silent in the room. It was a big day tomorrow…well in a way it was. Just to me and hopefully Megan too. I was finally going to go to school again. I was so excited to. I knew that Megan was waiting for me but it wasn’t just going to be the same old same old. Nothing was going to change. My reputation was going to be the same. I emptied my mind, just like I did every single night that I went to sleep. Then I went to sleep and dreamed a strange dream…it was about Tyler.

Chapter 13 That dream was really awkward though. Especially since it was about my ex-boyfriend. Me and Tyler and how we got back together. I really don’t know why or how we did but we just did. I was glad that it was just a dream though. Well anyway, continuing on with my dream, he brought flowers to the school. This time, they were actually for me. We got back together and he kissed me, on my lips. I liked the feeling in my dream. I don’t really know why. He asked me out again and I said yes. I was excited through the whole day and just couldn’t wait until that night. I wouldn’t be if it was in the real world though. Well, that night, in my dreams, was the best night ever. I was so cheerful and happy that it had happened. I felt so stupid for forgiving him but it was just so hard to resist and I just couldn’t say no. I fell for him because I felt like he deserved a second chance. I felt like he really was going to change. I was so happy and was dancing all around my house and singing such joyful songs. Suddenly….my eyes popped open and I woke up with a smile. Once again, the curtains were open and the bright sun light shined into my eyes. I squinted them and I wasn’t as tired. Only because I remembered that I was finally going to go back to school and maybe meet up with more friends. Maybe I was going to be popular?...No way. I knew that I could never be the way that I had always wished I could be. I wished that I had lots of friends who loved me. A bunch of guys who wanted to go out with me. I was cool in Penn High School and I was so popular. Everyone was always hanging out with me. I wore so cool and fashioned clothes too. Even Jeanette was begging me to be her friend. She was even on her knees! But I would reject her and walk away while she sat on the floor crying her buns off. I wished that my life could finally turn into how I imagined it could be. I wished every morning, every night. During school, after school. I was going to give it one more shot. I slapped my hands together, bowed my head down, and started to pray. It took me about five minutes..well it could have been longer but my broken arm just couldn’t take it any longer. “Mom!” I called to her. I heard a couple footsteps in front of my door before it opened. “Yes dear?” she asked me. She looked like she had just woken up. Her hair was all frizzy and messed up. “What?” do.

“Can you help me get ready for school?” I asked her with my cutest puppy face that I could

“Sure hon,” she said walking to my stack of clothes. She picked out my shirt and shorts, a very bad match though. She came back and helped me. “Uh, thanks…?” I smiled at her with my fake smile. The clothes she had picked out were the worst match that there could be. I hated it but I just went along with it. “And…there you go!” she said grabbing her keys. “Let’s go! Grab your wheelchair and get your bottoms into the car! We will be at the school in no time!” “Yeah,” I said getting into my chair. “Only if no time means 10 minutes to me!” “No, really!” my mom said. I didn’t know whether she was really meaning it. I shrugged my shoulders because I really didn’t care. “Lets…GO!!”

“Jeez mom,” I said rolling myself out of the door while mom signed me out and ran to me. “You’re so pushy!” “I just don’t want you to be late to school!” she said as she helped me into the car. She closed the door and put the wheelchair into the back of the car. The good thing was that we had a big car so the chair had fit. As soon as it was in, she ran to her seat and put her seatbelt. I didn’t really feel like it though. We went to school pretty fast actually. It was weird..the first time actually. We were always late when she took me to school. My mom parked close to the school and helped me in. We both went to my locker and put my stuff in. I kissed my mom goodbye and she left. I wheeled myself to first period. Mrs. Birch’s room. As soon as I got in, everyone was looking at me. My face started to turn red as embarrassment rushed through my body. The teacher realized that everyone was staring so she looked at me. She was quite shocked I was there and curious why I hadn’t been there. As soon as she saw me, she realized that I got hurt so that was probably why I hadn’t been there. I sighed as Mrs. Birch put the piece of chalk down and walked towards me. “Oh my stars and stripes!” Mrs. Birch screamed. Everyone started laughing after she did so. “Honey, what happened to you? Your hurt!” “Im fine,” I said heading towards my desk. As I was, I glanced at Tyler. When he saw me look at him, he looked down. I felt like I was such a bad person. I knew that he felt upset that the relation ship was over but I couldn’t get back together with him after knowing that he was cheating on me. I scooted my chair away and sat on my wheelchair behind the desk. After the bell rang, a bunch of people gave me papers saying “get well soon” and “your bff,”. It was awkward because I didn’t recall having any best friends but Megan. I smiled in delighted and rolled out of the classroom. Soon, a huge crowd was gathered around me. They were all asuming that they were my friends. Even a couple of girls were fighting over who was my closest and bestest friend. All of a sudden, I heard a voice making way through the crowd. “Make way for I am Ashleys best friend,” the voice said. I smiled realizing who it was…Megan. “Oh, Megan!” I yelled. “So glad to see you! We need to go to the mall together! Maybe even a sleepover at my house today?” Megan began to smile with me as she noticed what I was trying to do. This could make Megan so much popular too! She was so happy! Now, about 1/3 of the crowd gathered around her and wanted to be best friends with her too. I was happy for her and me. I tried to get out of the crowd and into my second period class. The rest of the day was so great. Lunch was a biggie too, I could barely even eat! Everyone wanted to sit by me and I just wanted some privacy with Megan! Well, it was the last bell and I packed my stuff in my backpack. As soon as I turned around, I saw Jeanette standing right behind me. I was curious why at first but then I rolled my eyes and walked away. I glanced back at her and saw her running to me. I stopped and fully turned around to her. “What do you want….Jeanette?” I said in disgust.

“Well, just to….,” She started to say. “Let’s start all over. Im really sorry! Here, I will start! Hello, my name is Jeanette.” She held out her hand as if we were about to shake hands. I stared at her. Why would she think that I would be friends with her all of a sudden? Yeah right! Especially since it’s right after everything she had done to me. All the humiliation she caused. Everything! I wasn’t just going to forgive her right away. Suddenly, I realized something. My dream was coming true! This time, I could actually be able to get back at her! I smiled. “Oh yeah and I am Ashley,” I said walking away. “I am not letting you go that easily. I will never be your friend!” “Oh please Ashley?” she asked as if she was just about to cry. “No!” I yelled pushing her. “Get away from me Jeanette! After all the humiliation you caused me. The way you treated me. I cant just be your friend after what you did. You only want to be my friend because your scared right? Your scared that I am better than you. You think that your friends are going to leave you and betray you. That’s why your running to me for help. You know that your friends will soon be gathered around me and become my best friends. You know that you will be left alone and will always be. You will die alone and nobody will ever like you in your life. You will never be popular…you will always be considered girl who never had any friends. You know all that Jeanette. And I just got to say…I don’t hang around you kind of losers.” Jeanette stood there in shock. Everyone had recorded that on their cell phones. Everyone knew how whiny and loser like she was. Yes, everyone knew it now. They all stared at me and Jeanette. Half was staring at me and half at her. A man pushed some people out of the way. As soon as I saw who it was…well I got to change that to a boy pushed people out of the way. It was Tyler running to his sister. “Who are you Ashley?” he asked me. “You werent that kind of person that everyone thought. How could you say such mean things to jeanette? I mean I understand that she treated you bad but you saying this? That is much worse! So Ashley…who are you?” “W-w-well you’re the one cheat---,” I said. “Nevermind.” I just couldn’t say it. I was still shocked that I even said it and that Tyler embarrassed me in front of everyone. Megan made way through the crowd and stared at me. Then she ran towards me as if she was mad. I just hoped that she wasn’t though. I would feel even worse. “Ashley!” she hissed. “What….Ashley. How could you? Whether I know you a lot or a little, I know your not dumb enough to say that! Im sorry Ashley, but im so disapointed. I have never heard you like this before and I didn’t know that there was a mean side of you. Im shocked that I heard this. You cant be my friend now that I know you. I am sorry Ashley.” “Yeah!” a guy from the crowd said. “Ashley should be punished! We all have never seen this side of Ashley before!” “Yeah!” a girl said. “We cant like Ashley when now we know the real side of her. She shouldn’t deserve any of our friendships and by the way Ashley? I hate your outfit!”

I gasped. I was so shocked that this one time I get to be famous in the school, I blow it by wanting to get back at Jeanette. I felt a drop of tear run down my face. People began to leave me alone on the floor by myself. One person left as others followed. Soon, I sat in y wheelchair by myself and nobody was with me. I felt so lonely as I wheeled myself outside. Everyone had left me…even Megan. I flipped my phone open and called my mom telling her to pick me up. I got so angry that I hung up on her in the middle of her talking. I knew that I shouldn’t have but I couldn’t really help it. I sighed with one last tear right before my mom had arrived. Beep Beep! My mom honked. I wiped the tear and ran to the car. I got in and saw that Ariel looked not so good. I was very confused…I thought that she was better. “Hey mom?” I asked my mom. “Is Ariel okay?” “Oh well…” she answered. “She….is…f-fine of course sweetie!” That was just totally fake and I knew it. I stared at Ariel. She was asleep but her arms were around her stomach. She kept on moaning and groaning so much. I knew that she was sick and something was wrong. I sighed and I looked back at my mom. “Why would something be wrong with her?” my mom asked. I rolled my eyes at her telling her that I already knew that she was lying. She looked down and then back at the road. We didn’t want another accident of course. I wasn’t sure what was happening. It didn’t look like we were on our way to the house. Very soon, I realized where we were going. We were going back to the hospital. I thought about it and wondered if this was serious. Or were we going back there because we had to? Well, my mom wouldn’t tell me and I didn’t know any way to figure it out. All I really could do is wait there. We arrived at the hospital in about a few minutes. Ariel went into her room with a bunch of doctors. It seemed so serious now. Mom took me home and went back to the hospital. I was confused though. I sat in the living room and tried to figure it out. I looked at the clock to see that it was five o clock pm already. Well it was a reasonable time…I wanted it to be time to go to sleep. I was exhausted, scared, and upset. It was a long day and also the worst day ever!!! I missed my Megan. She was the only one who really understood me for the real me. Now she knows a whole different side of me that I didn’t even know. I had nobody on my side anymore. I really only had me. The time flew by fast! It was about 6:30 now. I yawned in disappointment. I always wanted a friend and now that I finally got one, I become popular. Then, I had to talk to Jeanette in that kind of mean way. Now, I lost all of my popularity, letting Jeanette have everyone back to her side again. Then, I lose my precious and valuable best friend, Megan. She was the best friend that anyone could really ever have. I lost everything now. Nobody was going to visit me at the hospital to see if I was okay anymore. Nobody was going to be there when I go to sleep. I was by myself and that was final. I sighed looking at the time again. 8:00. I was tired. I really wanted a second chance. Just to do everything over again. Suddenly, I thought of an idea that could probably help me in my situation. Not only help myself, but everyone. It would do us all a big favor…suicide. If I was gone, wouldn’t it be better? Tyler wouldn’t have to deal with me any longer, he could just date that girl that he truly loves, which is not me. Jeanette wouldn’t have to worry about popularity and how her reputation will be because of me. Ariel would be the oldest, something she has always complained about wanting to be. Mom…well she would

only have to worry about taking care of Ariel and she wouldn’t need to keep on picking me up because of my stubborness of how I don’t want to take the bus. Everything could be better for everyone. Even me. I don’t need to deal with all this stress if I was gone. I wouldn’t need to worry about anything. About Tyler, Ariel, Jeanette, Megan, or the crowd who used to love me. None of that would exist any longer. Was it the time? Did god send me a sign to tell me that it was time for the spirits to take me away? Suddenly, my mom busted in my room with tears. “Ariel….,” she whispered. “Is…..dead.” My eyes widened. I sat in anger and frustration with tears in my room by myself. I sat there and thought about it. I thought about my question and what the answer really should be. Soon, I made my final decision.

Chapter 14 I couldn’t believe Ashley did that. Why would she do such a thing? Hurting my own sister? I don’t even know why she did it and why she broke up with me. I didn’t even do anything wrong! It was almost as if she thought I was cheating on her! Pfff! Why would I ever cheat on her? That’s crazy talk. I missed her and our relationship though. I was so upset the minute I heard those words. Theyre the worst things that she had ever said to me. I couldn’t forgive her anyway. She yelled the rudest things to my sweet and poor sister, Jeanette. Then she breaks up with me for no reason! “Hey Tyler?” Jeanette called. “What?” I answered. “Could you get me a glass of water? Please?” she said sniffing. She was pretty upset after what happened at the end of school. It was so sad. okay?”

“Okay Jeanette,” I said. “I will be there in a few minutes. Just give me a little time to get it

“Okay Tyler,” she said. “Thank you! You are the best brother ever! And im sorry about you and Ashley’s breakup. I know I don’t really say this to anyone and this is embarrassing…” I grabbed my phone and recorded, just as a joke though. I was going to delete it after she heard herself talking. I laughed silently. I knew she was going to say something about herself and what happened to her or something. Soon, I found out what she really wanted to say. “I….I really just want to say,” she started. “Thank you Tyler. I know that you really loved Ashley and you guys are probably just not together because of me. I mean, you do everything for me. You are a great brother, really. I never show my appreciation to you and I am now. I promise to leave her alone from this day forward. I hope that everything works out for both of you and you guys get back together. Thanks again Tyler.” I put the phone down and smiled clicking the red button on my phone. I walked down the stairs and thought about Ashley. Was I being too rough on her? Maybe I was and I bet that she was crying right now. I shook my head and grabbed a glass of water. I walked to the refrigerator and grabbed some ice with water. I walked back up the stairs and into Jeanette’s room to give her her glass of water that she wanted. “Here you go Jeanette,” I said handing her the water. “Thanks Tyler….again,” she said. We both started to laugh. I sat down and tried to comfort her. She seemed like she was feeling better now. That was good. She gulped the water down her throat and seemed delighted. I got up and started to walk back to my room. Getting on my computer, I sat down in the chair. I got onto my email and saw that Ashley was online at the moment. Should I talk to her or not? We needed to talk soon so I thought that I might as well. I sent a message on chat and waited for her to reply. Heyy Ashley

o..hi tyler look Ashley we rlly need 2 tok I no I need 2 tok 2 u 2 U go first kkz? im rlly srry about wat I sed 2 ur sista O ya..u rlly shldnt hav, she was crying a lot afterwards O rlly? Im so srry! I ddnt mean 2…rlly! o..well she nos u ddnt but here iz wat I need 2 say ok I think dat we shldnt tok 2 eachother n e more... Ashley didn’t write anything back for awhile and I was wondering why. I waited a little while longer. She still hadn’t replied. Suddenly, a sign popped onto my screen and right in front of our chat box. I sighed. It said that Ashley was offline. I guess that she had taken it very seriously. I didn’t want her to get upset and do something dangerous. I thought about it and realized that I should go and check on her, just to make sure she was okay. First, I wanted to check up on Jeanette. Why? Because she is my sister of course and my number one priority was family. I got out of my seat and walked towards Jeanette’s room. As soon as I got there, I found her fast asleep. I chuckled, perhaps a little bit too loud because as soon as I did, she woke up. “Tyler?” Jeanette moaned getting up and off of her bed. “Tyler? Is that you?” “Yes Jeanette,” I whispered to her sitting in her chair. “What are you doing?” Jeanette asked. “Oh, nothing,” I replied with a soft and gentle voice. “I just came here so that I could check up on you and I just found you asleep…I could leave if you want! So you could get back to your sleep.” “Oh no,” She whispered walking out of the room. “It is perfectly fine that you stay here. So what do you want to talk about? After all, we are in here and we are bored to death right? Yeah, uh huh! So like what should we do?” “Do you want to go outside and play a little bit of b-ball?” I asked her showing my moves. “Fine, but only to watch you cry to mom when I beat you!” she yelled. I laughed again. I headed outside to the court we had in our backyard as she followed me. I had forgotten all about checking up on Ashley. It was all the way clear out of my mind. We played a few games, one on one. She beat me on the first game. 11-6. Okay you guys can laugh at that. But by the way, I was going easy on her. The second game, I beat her 11-10. I know it was only by

one point but still, a win is a win and I am the winner! All of a sudden, a few guys and girls came up to us and asked us if they could join us in our game. We looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders. “Sure,” I said. “How about two on two?” Jeanette asked the people. “If you guys can play!” “Oh yeah,” the girl said. “We can play. Yo! You girl! How about girls versus boys? Lets beat them in this game so hard that they go crying to their mommies? Now shall we?” “Indeed we shall!” Jeanette yelled passing the ball to the girl. “By the way, what is your name?” “Grace Herphin,” she said. “And you are?” “That’s a great name!” Jeanette squealed. “Oh yeah, I am Jeanette.” “Cool,” Grace said. “Now let’s go and kick some booties all the way to mommies!” We played another few games. The girls were actually really good! Dang, they whipped our butts pretty bad! I had always in a way underestimated girls in sports, now this….this…it just…proves me wrong! I felt like a baby! Man, we beat them only once but all well. It was still pretty fun and Jeanette was really happy. I was happy too, mostly because everyone was having fun and especially because Jeanette wasn’t thinking about Ashley…oh yeah! I was supposed to go and check up on her about….an hour ago. I had forgotten all about it. I guess I didn’t really need to check up on her actually. I’m pretty sure that she was perfectly fine and there was no need to go and check. I shook my head and ran to my phone. No missed calls and no text messages. I shrugged my shoulders and got back into the game. Even though we boys lost and the girls were going crazy about their victory, it was still very fun and I liked it. Later, Grace and the other guy left. We went back into the house because it was starting to get dark outside. It was already about 8:30 pm. I was so tired. I wanted to go to bed early so I did. I don’t get up in the morning very easily because of how tired I am. I went to bed and closed my eyes. Soon, I was fast asleep. It was the next morning and I went to school. I almost missed the bus but I had made it just in time. I knew that it was going to be a long day. When I got to school, I did my usual. I hung out with all my friends and we just basically talked. Then, it was off to first period. I sat down and looked around. Ashley wasn’t in her seat today. I was starting to wonder why and what was wrong. I shrugged my shoulders and I tried to ignore it. Well, I sort of did. The rest of the day was just..normal. Nothing new or different. I got on the bus and headed home. The bus was actually pretty loud. Everyone was talking and singing music. They were singing different things and a couple of boys were yelling. I didn’t really know why. The bus stopped in front of my house and I got off. I punched in a bunch of numbers before my house door opened. I got inside and ran up the stairs. As I was passing Jeanette’s room, I realized that there was someone else in there with her. I really didn’t know. I didn’t really get to hear much. “I know right?” I heard Jeanette say. “Yeah!” The other girl yelled. Her voice sounded so familiar but I didn’t know who.

I thought that Jeanette just invited a friend over to do some homework, but then again, it was getting pretty late. It was already six and we had school tomorrow. I entered my room and sat down. The only thing that I really couldn’t get out of my head was Ashley. She was just stuck in my head! When I thought about something else, well, everything just basically reminded me of her. A star, she was the one that glowed, or stood out, out of all the other girls. A pillow, her sweet and soft heart that was amazing in my life. Even these tiny things had connections with each other. I sighed. It was as if this was a sign or something. But a sign for what? What could be so bad that there was a sign, and why me? I wasn’t sure. I ran by Jeanette’s room and heard a bunch more giggling. “Hey Jeanette,” I yelled. “Who is in there with you and what are you guys doing right now?” “Nothing Tyler!” Jeanette yelled. “Now go away you loser!” “What?” I asked. I was very confused. “Who is in there? I demand to know!” I heard a light slash in the room. I didn’t know what it was but I heard it. I had to know what it was. I was just about to repeat my question one more time when a familiar voice answered. “You want to know?” the voice said. “Well too bad!” I knew who it was at that moment. It was Grace. I tried to open the door but it was locked. I was about to try and kick it down but the door just suddenly opened by itself. I looked inside. I dropped everything and my eyes widened. Jeanette was dead. Her neck was being hung by a rope. I fell to my knees and started to cry. This was my worst nightmare ever. I quickly got her down. I laid her on the floor and looked at the time. Now it was 8:30 and my parents weren’t here yet. I realized that they were probably dead too. I was really scared and I didn’t understand why anyone would ever think about doing this. I locked every single door in the whole house. I hammered wood on top of all the windows, just to be secure and safe. I grabbed all phones and put them next to me. I knew what I was going to do about Ashley. If she wasn’t showing up by tomorrow, I was going to look for her. I laid down next to Jeanette and pulled the soft blanket up and over my body. I slowly closed my eyes. One more tears slipped down. I yawned and fell fast asleep. It was the next morning and I was tired. I got up and wondered why no sunlight was shining in like they normally do. Then, I realized that there was wood over it so nothing came in. I looked at my watch as I stretched. The bus was leaving in five minutes!!! I got ready as fast as I could but when I got outside, I had missed my bus just by a few seconds. I sighed because I didn’t have a ride. I started to walk to school, then I ran. I was gasping for air when I had reached to the school. I ran to my first period classroom. A few minutes late, though Mrs. Birch didn’t really care. I sat down and looked at Ashley’s seat. It was empty, again. I knew that I should have gone to check up on her so I was going to do it after school. The school day felt empty. It was so much more quieter than it normally was. It sort of did feel awkward. Lunch was silent too, as if they knew everything and what happened. School was finally over, it felt so long. It actually seemed like it was the longest school day. I walked to Ashley’s house and knocked on the door, but very slightly of course. “Hello?” I asked. There was not a single answer. I knew that this was very rude but I had to do this…I barged into the house. “Ashley?”

I looked in the kitchen first, she wasn’t there. I searched the whole upstairs and she wasn’t there. I finally came down to the living room and found her there. She was writing something and there was a small bottle of pills next to her on the desk. “Ashley, what is that?” I asked. She rose up in shock. “Oh, n-n-nothing,” she said. “C-can you get me a glass of water please?” go.”

“Um…sure?” I replied getting the glass of water. I ran back and handed it to her. “Here you

She grabbed it and opened up the bottle. She took a couple out and swallowed it with the glass of water. “Ashley, wh-what is that?” I asked her again. “Nothing now leave…me..a…lone,” she said. She looked like she was about to choke. Soon, I realized what it was. I gasped and she fell to the floor. Her eyes were wide open and she made no sudden movements. She was dead. Then someone walked into the door. “Ashley…” her mom said dropping all the groceries. She pushed me away and shook Ashley’s dead body. “What have you done huh?” She slapped me in the face as hard as she could and started to cry. She searched the living room and picked up a note. She walked over to me and slapped me hard once more. More tears crashed down her face as she handed me the note. My eyes widened too. The note had read: May 17, 2015 Dear whoever is reading this, Yes, I am dead. I swallowed a couple pills. But there are reasons for my actions. One is because of Tyler. He cheated on me. He got off his motorcycle one day and handed some other girl some flowers and he did it right in front of my face. After that, well, my heart just sank. I was very upset. I ended our relationship because of that. Another reason is because I lost my best friend over a stupid popularity thing between me and Jeanette. I felt it would be better for everyone if I just did this. Nobody could really understand what I was going through unless you have lived through my life. Sorry mom, anyone who really cared. Ashley Johnson I didn’t cheat on her. That was my cousin.

May 17 by Jessica Jun  

May 17 By Jessica Jun PROLOGUE Chapter 1 Chapter 2 I sat down onto the sidewalk and soon, I heard a car honk. I looked up. My mom was waitin...

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