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“HS changes everything,” BFF Annie says. Kara admits she doesn’t get it. Annie even shows up after the first day to insist they go to the Student Union, aka The Onion. They head for a table in the crowded hangout. Looking for an escape, Kara sees a ‘restroom’ sign. On the way she misses a stair, her life is never the same. “Talk to a boy, how?”

Chapter 1



Kara and Annie have been best friends since third grade. Everything was fine until Annie’s mother got married again. That was supposed to make things better, but it didn’t. They got worse…for Annie. All of a sudden she and her mother weren’t getting along. There isn’t a lot going on with me and Mom, so we gave her a key to the house. Now Annie comes over whenever she …

You HAVE to tell me who you like, Kara,” Annie insisted. “What if we end up liking the same boys?”

Annie sat on a twin bed with a bounce.

Kara flopped across the other one, loosing patience. “Ok, I’ll tell you. I like … none of them! Look, the only boys I know were in our class last year,” she continued. “You KNOW who they are. Dancing is ok but anything else? No way.”

“Look, Kara the problem is…you don’t get it,” Annie said in a serious tone. “We’re in high school. It’s like last year never existed. I mean, do you even know what you’re wearing tomorrow?”

Kara jumped up and reached in her closet, glad for the change of subject. Annie wouldn’t go for this, but oh well. She held the new shirt under her chin, so Annie could see it with her auburn hair.

She got up to give it a closer look. “When did you get that?”

“Mom and I were at the mall last week. It looks good with these jeans.”

Kara got a pair of boot cuts out of a drawer and held them underneath. There was still hope of SOME approval.

“You can still wear those?” Annie questioned.

“Sure.” She knew Annie was jealous of her thin shape and long legs. Even if they had the same taste, wearing each other’s clothes was never an option.

“Ok,” Annie conceded. “It works, even if the color IS a little weird…I mean is it pink, brownish or what?”

“You’re Miss Critical!” Kara insisted, taking a rare stand. She put up with the attitude because she would miss a lot, if it weren’t for Annie. Not that she really cared ‘who liked who’, but Annie told her anyway.

“Whatever you do, don’t wear your hair in one of those geeky braids tomorrow. Tell me you’ll take my advice just this once,” Annie insisted with authority. “You’re being way too ‘non chalant’, Kara. What you do in high school sticks for the rest of your life!”

“That’s a real boost for my self-confidence!” She said jokingly, placing the clothes on the bed.

Her response lightened Annie’s mood and both giggled at their insecurities.

As soon as Annie left, Kara went for a 2K run. Cross country and track helped keep her head on straight. The truth is, she was more anxious about tomorrow than she let on. Kara pictured herself walking into Lakewood with all the new faces. Even worse was the dreaded Algebra. Annie didn’t understand how hard she had to work for her grades. Kara picked up the pace, hardly feeling the pavement. She was soon back on her street and slowed for a cool down walk. When a run didn’t calm her willys, there was always her personal blog.

pb: ‘There’s a lot I can’t tell Annie. She just wouldn’t under- stand. Or maybe if she knew, she’d think I was a loser and wouldn’t come over anymore. She can’t wait to start high school, but I can! It’s so easy for her… the way she pretends to know everyone, even if she doesn’t. That is SO not me! I’m too quiet or shy…whatever. I never know what to say, especially with boys. Annie wants a boy friend like now. Not me. She thinks I don’t know how high school changes everything, but I do. There’s grades to worry about, col- lege and what I want to be. Annie’s naturally smart in school. I’d trade being thin in a sec for some of HER brains!’

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Jody Scott-Smith

Dalton, USA

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