How many years has it been since my mother died? How many years has it been since my brother got arrested for selling illegal drugs? How many years has it been since my father committed suicide? Why did my life go all wrong? How have I gotten to the point where I can barely remember my own name? I don't have any friends, no friends at all. None, nothing, zero. I'm an orphan, and all the friends I ever had ditched me and made fun of me when my mother died. They don't even remember the letter my name starts with. The orphanage that I live at is horrible. You can't sing, have fun, the only thing you're allowed to have is a family heirloom from your parents."Dania! Wake up!" Mrs. Gregom calls to me. I pull the covers off my head and hit the snooze button on my alarm clock. I grab the fifty generation old charm bracelet from my side table and clasp the bracelet around my right wrist. I jump out of the bed and go downstairs to the shower room. The orphanage worker always lays out our outfits for today. I go down to my drawer and pull it out. A gray v-neck t-shirt, blue jean capris and a pair of flip-flops. I sigh and take the outfit out. I walk over to the shower and wash my hair with the special shampoo that we all have to use. Mrs. Gregom says she won't go around with a bunch of little overweight heathans who don't have shiny long hair pulled back in some sort of pigtails. We basically have a dress code.
After I've changed into my clothes I head down the hall for oatmeal and blueberries like we have every morning. The only time we ever get pancakes is on Christmas, and we don't even get syrup on them. She won't let anyone here get over one-hundred fifty pounds, and that's only depending on your height. I weigh only one-hundred pounds and I'm five foot three. I'm also the oldest girl at the orphanage at fourteen. It's spring here, and extremely hot, we do live in Florida.
"Can you pass the blueberries, Sammy?" I ask the little five-year old whose parents put her up for adoption because they didn't even want a child.
"Sure, Dania." She says quietly. She hands me the blueberries and I sprinkle five on my oatmeal. I take a bite of it and know the only thing giving it any sort of flavor is the blueberries. I barely even like them anyways. Mrs. Gregom comes over and sits a paper bag labeled with my name in front of me. She never lets us eat the school food, it'll only make us gain weight is what she says. She always puts in a cheese sandwich on whole wheat, two strawberries, and a cake that is usually weight watchers or something.
I pull my hair back in two little pigtails over my shoulders and grab the lunch. I walk out to the bus stop and wait for the worst part of my day to begin. The bus numbered thirty-four drives up and the doors pop open. I sling my backpack over my shoulder and walk up the steps to the bus. I sit down on the window seat next to boy whose name is Jonathon. He's on of the many people that like to make fun of me, but he hasn't said anything yet today. Maybe he's saving it for lunch today or something so he can make fun of me for sitting at a table all by myself. I look over at him and he's crying. And it's so weird because I've never seen a boy cry before. I've barely ever seen a boy now that I think about it.
"What's wrong?" I ask him and he looks over at me.
"My dad, he died last night of lung cancer. He smoked, and we all knew he was going any day now. He could barely move." He says and I remember my mother. She never smoked or anything, but she did die of cancer. Breast cancer killed her and it was the most unforgiving moment in the world. She had hold of my hand and tears were running down my face. She closed her eyes and died. Right in front of me. Right there.
"My mother died of breast cancer a few years ago." I tell him and he nods. I start to cry but then look out the window so he can't see me crying.
"I'm sorry I made fun of you. I know how you feel." He tells me and I turn to look at him. The bus driver starts yelling at us all to get off the bus and I jump up and run down the isle and to the steps. I walk to the front door and inside to my locker. The girl whose locker is next to mine comes over with three of her friends. They corner me in so I can't get out and one of them pins me against my locker.
"So, how's the orphanage?" One of them asks me and I look down to the ground.
"I believe she asked you a question." One of them snaps at me. I don't answer and one girl bangs my head against the locker.
"It's fine." I say, untruthfully, and I'm such a bad liar that they all know I'm lying.
"Yeah, that's what you want us to think, little brat. You're such a bad liar that you couldn't even lie to someone about liking their new shirt. Now tell us the truth and we'll go away, and the sooner the better." Another one of the trio says and I try to get out of their grasp.
"I said, it's fine." I say a little more vicously.
"Just leave her alone! What did she do to you?" A boy asks and all the three girls turn to look at him. Jonathon. I smile and blush a little, but why? Is it because he's the closest thing I even have to a friend? Is it because he's standing up for me? The smile drops from my lips, but the blush is still there.
"Oh, so you're standing up for your girlfriend, eh. Yeah, well we won't be telling anyone that." The one that pinned me against the wall tells him.
"He isn't my boyfriend." I say and she laughs. Jonathon grabs my arm and we run down the hall.
"Don't try something like that again, okay. Now what's your name?" He asks me and I smile.
"Dania." I answer and now he smiles.
"Okay then, friends?" He asks and I smile even bigger as he holds out his hand for me to shake.
"Friends." I say and shake the hand. I'm not happy his father died, but I am happy that now I have someone to talk to. That I even have a friend. That now I won't be sitting alone while people laugh at me and point at me. I'll have a friend. A friend.
I walk down the hall and back to my locker to get my science book before I get to my first period class. Science, I hate it. They tell you everything over again, and again, and again. I ace the subject, though. I walk down to my class and take a seat in the back row. If I sit back here, then I can hear if anyone makes fun of me or says somthing about me. I can't wait till fourth period so I can have lunch and talk to Jonathon. One of the girls that picked on me at my locker takes a seat next to me. I know she's been telling people that I'm dating Jonathon, but it isn't true. How could she even tell people that? She doesn't even know our names. Besides, I've been ignoring other people for a while now, and no rumor is going to get in the way of me having a friend.
"Okay class, today you have to read lesson three in chapter twenty-one." Our teacher tells us. I turn to the page in my book, and start reading about electricity. Why? I've learned this for how many years? Seven, I think. Eight if you count this year. I take a few notes in my notebook, and then the bell rings. I don't hesitate to get out of there. After all next I have special topics. I love special topics. It's so much fun. We get to do all this science experiments and stuff. That's the only scientific thing I like, science experiments. I wonder what we'll do today. I get there a little late, but I know Mr. Anthony won't care. He's the nicest teacher I've ever had.
"Sorry, I'm late." I say and take a seat in the back row. He hands each of us some plastic gloves, goggles, and a graduated cylinder. He talks to us about how some things mixed together make certain things. Today we get to come up with our own experiment, and I'm psyched. I walk up to the front table and take some soap, toothpaste, and some purple foam. I walk back to my desk and see a note on it. I pick the note up and read it.
Meet me at the far left table in the complete back of the cafeteria today at lunch. -Jonathon
I smile, and put the note in my pocket. I take some of the purple foam and pour half of it in. Then I squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube and then pur a little bit of the soap in. I shake it slightly and wait for something to happen. All of a sudden the foam takes over the whole mixture and the soap makes bubbles, and the toothpaste makes it look thicker. It stops foaming, and bubbling, and thickening when it gets to the very top. I touch and it's a solid. I bring it up to Mr. Anthony and he smiles and shakes it out. I hit it off the table and nothing happens. This is cool, I made an unbreakable solid. Unbreakable, just like I thought I was before my mother died. I thought I was unbreakable, but I wasn't.
I walk out of special topics, and back to my locker to get my book for my next class. I have social studies, and it's better because they actually tell you interesting stuff, not repeatedly like science. It's kind of like a mystery book where you're skipping pages just to find out what happens next. Third period, fourty-five minutes till lunch. I am so happy. I think Jonathon might have social studies for third period, too, though. I walk down the hall to my class and sit down in the last row. I wait for Jonathon to come, but he doesn't. He must have fifth period with me, which is gym. Yay, gym. I hate it, it isn't that much fun, but since it's near the end of the year, we might do something a little more fun like dodgeball.
"Okay today you need to read chapter fourteen, lesson three, on page three-hundred seventy. I turn to the page, we're learning about the history of Florida, which is always fun. I love to learn about its history. Right now we're learning about when the Spanish had Florida, not the United States. I read and read and take notes and take notes and then the bell rings. Lunch! I am so relieved, I run back to my locker and throw my social studies book in and grab my lunch. I run to the cafeteria and back to the back of the cafeteria with my lunch. I see Jonathon waiting for me right where he said he's be. I walk over and sit down next to him.
"What took you so long?" He asks and I laugh.
"Well for one thing, my locker is about two miles from my social studies class, and then two miles to the cafeteria." I say as I open my lunch. I was right. A cheese sandwich on whole grain, two strawberries, and some special weight watchers cake or something.
"The woman who runs the orphanage must be strict about your health." Jonathon says observing my lunch and I look at him.
"Actually she says, 'I can't let you girls go around looking like overweight heathans who don't have shiny long hair in some sort of pigtails.'" I say in my best high pitch voice and he laughs.
"Well, she isn't letting it happen anytime soon, Dania." He tells me and I laugh. I look down at my dark auburn colored hair with some natrual brown streaks in it, and notice how shiny it is. I remember my crystal clear gray eyes and laugh again.
"Yeah, besides, she tells me I need it especially, she says that it would take her the rest of her life to count all my freckles. And that I'd be lucky to even find a boy decent enough to go to spring formal with me." I say and he laughs. I wonder if I will find someone to fo to spring formal with me? I already have a dress picked out, too. A sleeveless silver one that matches my eyes exactly and a little snow white sweater to go over it.
"I'm sure there's some boy that would." He says and I push his shoulder a little.
"Are you agreeing with her?" I ask him and he nods. "Hey! At least agree with her when I'm not here!" I yell and he laughs.
I was right, we're playing dodgeball. Jonathon and I are on the same team, and I've got a few people out. I look over at him and smile. A girl on the other team throws a ball at me and I jump to the side just before it hits me. I fall. Jonathon laughs and helps me up. I pick up the ball and throw it at the girl who threw it at me and she gets out. A boy from that team throws a ball at me and it hits me right in the head, and I fall down, my hands to my head, and black out.
When I wake up I'm in the nurse's office and Jonathon is standing beside my bed. I look up at him and smile. He gets on his knees and looks me in the eyes. "That boy hit you really hard, didn't he?" Jonathon asks and I nod, which hurts a little.
"My head still hurts real bad." I say.
"Yeah, the nurse said you got a really bad bump." He says and laughs at the worry on my face. He sits down on the edge of my bed and we talk for a while.
"Mrs. Gregory, the woman who runs the orphanage is really mean." I say.
"Then how is it Mrs. Gregory?" He asks putting emphasis on the Mrs.
"She's divorced." I say and he laughs.
"Go figure." He says and I smile.
"So have you ever dated anyone?" I ask him.
"Nope. You?" He asks and I shake my head. We both laugh. How did that topic even come into my mind? I sit up and lean my head on his shoulder like I used to with my older brother all the time.
"Aren't we losers." I say and he laughs.
"Nope. But everyone else is." He says and I smile. He has a good sense of humor. Good thing, too, I need it. Mrs. Gregory, actually no one at the orphanage has a good sense of humor.
"Yup, everyone else but us." I repeat. I take my head off his shoulder and turn to look at him. He smiles and I smile back. For a minute I feel like everything else around me isn't there. Then the nurse comes in and tells us to go to class. I walk to my next class wondering about what had just happened. Did he and I just have a moment? I don't know. I know we're friends. I don't know what he thinks, though. I can't wait for after eigth period, so I can talk to him.
It's after eigth period, and I need to talk to Jonathon. I can't figure out what happened in the nurse's office. I don't know how I feel about him. He's standing by the water fountain and I run over to him. He grabs my arm and pulls me onto a bench.
"What happened, Jonathon? In the nurse's office?" I ask him and he shrugs.
"I don't know if there's anything between us. Do you think so?" He asks me and I shrug.
"I can't figure it out. I don't know if I even want anything between us. Maybe there is. I can't figure this out, not now, not here." I tell him and he scoots over a little closer to me.
"What do you mean when you say I don't know if I even want anything between us? Why not?" He asks.
"I don't mean that. I mean. We couldn't know." I tell him and he takes my hand. I look down at our entwined fingers and start to lean in. Our lips meet and I feel something. I feel a warmth in my chest, and it feels so good, and it spreads through me. When we break apart I look him in the eyes and a tear comes down my cheek.
"Pretend it never happened?" He asks and I nod. He lets my hand go and we walk in different directions. Only one thing is wrong, I don't want to pretend it never happened. I like him. A lot. I turn around and run back to him. I grab his hand and turn him around.
"I don't want to pretend that the kiss never happened, because it did." I tell him and he nods.
"I know, but, why don't you want to pretend it never happened?" He asks.
"Because I like you a lot. You're the first person to be nice to me in a really, really long time." I tell him and I start to cry.
"Don't cry, Dania. I like you a lot, too." He says, and I smile. He pulls me in close to him and I rest my head on his chest while he strokes my hair. His free hand makes it's way to mine and I squeeze it, and I start to cry again. "You're so nice, Dania." He tells me and I push up against him. He puts his hand on my back and pulls me in close.
When the bus pulls up to take us home he and I walk hand in hand on the bus. When we sit down and his arm goes around me and I lean my head on his shoulder. He keeps whispering things in my ear, and they all make me smile more and more.
The bus pulls up to the orphanage and I look at him and smile. He hugs me one last time, and let's go of my hand. I get up and watch as people glare at me. I'm the only person on this bus that gets off here. I gulp and walk down the stairs. I see Jonathon wave at me through the window and I smile and wave back. I walk up the steps to the orphanage and sigh. Mrs. Gregory grabs my shoulder from behind and examines the look on my face.
"Why so smiley, Dania?" She asks in her high pitched voice and I grumble a little.
"I just made a friend today, that's all." I lie and she sees the blushing on my face.
"I know your lying, Dania. Now what happened?" She asks again a little meaner. I somehow get out of her grip and walk away. "If you don't tell me, then you're grounded." She says, and that doesn't mean much.
"Fine. I met a boy. Happy now?" I tell her and she nods. I walk upstairs to my room and lay down on my bed and wait for dinner time. I hear Mrs. Gregory ring her bell and we all go downstairs. She has us sit down and examines us all one by one.
"Okay girls, we have a new rule around here." She starts and I know that whatever it is, I did it. By telling her that I met a boy. "You aren't allowd to have a boyfriend until you are sixteen years old." She says and I can feel my mouth about to open. I keep it shut, though. Sixteen? That's two years away. That means Jonathon can't be my boyfriend, or at least she can't know about him. She lays out our dinner in front of us. Turkey on whole wheat, five cherries, and another weight watchers cake. As she walks by us she sees the look on my face and raises her eyebrows up for a second and then puts them back down. I'm the first one done and I walk up to my room and go to bed. I fall asleep immediatley.
I walk to lunch the next day and see Jonathon waiting for me at the same table he was yesterday. I walk over and sit down next to him. He puts his arm around my shoulders and I lean my head on his shoulder. I don't want to not be his girlfriend anymore. I want to be his girlfriend. He pulls me in a little closer to him and tightens his arm around me.
"So what's wrong?" He asks me.
"Mrs. Gregory. She made a new rule where we can't have a boyfriend till we're sixteen." I tell him and he lifts his arm off my shoulder.
"Oh, sorry." He says and I smile. I put my arms around his neck and he pulls me in closer.
"Yeah, but as long as she doesn't know I have a boyfriend, then it doesn't matter, right?" I ask him and he laughs. He hugs me and I put my head on his chest. His lips just barely touch my neck and it feels so warm and good that I can't stand it. I pull away and open my lunch sack. No food, just a note. I take the note out and read it.
No food for you until you tell me the truth about that boy you met yesterday. And no matter what you tell me, I have Anne watching you. -Mrs. Gregory Jonathon reads the note from over my shoulder. I look up at him and a tear runs down my cheek. He wipes it away with his index finger and I put my head on his shoulder. Anne is a girl from the orphanage. Her parents both died in a car accident when she was five, and they never had any brothers or sisters, so she has been in the orphanage before Mrs. Gregory was even there. I feel my stomach starting to hurt, I'm so hungry.
"Anne is from the orphanage, isn't she?" Jonathon asks and I nod.
"I don't care what she says, okay. I like you a lot. Nothing can change that." I tell him and he smiles.
"Oh and by the way, I wanted to ask you something." He says and I straighten my posture a little and turn to face him.
"What?" I ask him.
"Will you go to the spring formal with me?" He asks and I blush a little.
"Yes." I say and he smiles, and leans in. He kisses me briefly, and then when we break apart I feel my stomach growl again. Mrs. Gregory won't let me eat until I tell her about Jonathon, which I'm not planning to do any time soon.
When it's after eighth period, Jonathon tells me he'll walk me home, since I really don't live that far away from his house, and I don't want to be stared at as I walk off the bus, I agree. He takes my hand and we talk on the way home. "So, do your mom know about me?" I ask him and he nods.
"And Mrs. Gregory can't know about me." He says and I laugh.
"Then if you want to give me a kiss goodbye, I suggest you do it now." I tell him and he laughs. He kisses my cheek and I smile, and release his hand. He walks up the steps to his house and I walk two blocks to mine. I see Mrs. Gregory waiting for a boy to come with me and I look at her and shrug.
"Well, where is the boy?" She asks.
"I told you he's just a friend, Mrs. Gregory." I tell her and she nods.
"Anne told me a lot more than that." She says. That little betrayer, Anne. Yeah, she probably told her how he kissed me at lunch today, and yesterday.
"Oh really, what did she say?" I ask her and she smiles.
"She told me you two kissed today. Is that true?" She asks and I nod.
"Okay, so I like him, who cares? I just kissed him and turns out he doesn't even like me back. So I don't have a boyfriend." I lie and she sees the blushing in my cheeks.
"You tried to get one after you knew my rules anyway. And Anne said-" She starts.
"Who cares what Anne said! I like him a lot okay! If you'd be nice to us then maybe we would show you some respect! We're all kids who lost their parents or were put up for adoption because their parents didn't want us! Well you're the one whose supposed to help us! Not someone we met at school! You know, that boy is all I have, and if you won't be there for me, then he will. So tell me all your stupid rules! I don't care! I won't listen. And if you ground me, you can't! You never let us have any fun whatsoever anyways!" I yell at her and she looks startled.
"Well, you know, my rules are rules and if you don't stop seeing this boy then I'll send you to another orphanage in Florida." She says .
"Go ahead. I hate it here anyways." I tell her and smirks. She takes my hand and leads me up to my room.
"You aren't going to school. You're staying here." She says and slams the door. Anne walks in a second later and sits down on the edge of my bed.
"I'm sorry I did that, but she threatened me, too. Is there anything you want me tell him for you?" She asks. And the little twelve-year old that is so sweet is impossible not to forgive.
"I forgive you. And yes. Tell him I'm sorry. It's my fault I'm stuck here. Maybe when she'll actually be nicer we can talk again. Tell him that, please." I tell her and she smiles. I start to cry at the thought of losing my only friend. The only person that has really cared about in a long time. My mother died when I was seven, my dad committed suicide when I was seven and a half. My brother got caught for selling illegal drugs when I was eight. It all happened so quick, and now it is again. "Tell him I love him." I tell her and now she's crying, too. She nods and I get under the covers, and cry myself to sleep.
In the morning I wake up and it's nine-thirty. I forgot to set my alarm, and it doesn't matter anyways because I can't go anywhere. I sit in bed wondering about what Jonathon thinks. Maybe he thinks I'm sick. Maybe Anne has already delivered my message to him. She has been at school for an hour and thirty minutes. Maybe he doesn't even notice I'm not there. I wonder so much I fall back asleep.
When I wake up, Anne is shaking me. I look up at her and smile. "What did he say?" I ask her and she starts to cry a little at the thought.
"He said he loves you, too, and that he has a surprise for you at nine-thirty tonight." She says and I look at the clock. It's nine-fifteen. I get up and walk over to the closet. I pull out my blue jean shorts and a purple t-shirt. I throw it on and walk over to the window. Anne smiles and comes over to wait for me. Since we live in a penthouse we have a staircase to an alley. I sit there and wait for the next fifteen minutes and look back at the clock. Anne smiles and I see someone walk into the alley. I jump out on the staircase and climb down the shoot till I reach the alley.
"Dania? Is that you?" Jonathon asks me and I run to him and fall into his arms. He strokes my hair and I keep crying tears of joy. I wrap my arms around his neck and he puts his hands on my cheeks and we're both smiling.
"I love you. You're the only person whose cared about me in a really, really long time. Thank-you, I couldn't lose you." I tell him and he presses his forehead against mine.
"I love you, too. I missed you today. Anne talked to me at lunch, though. But I missed being able to stroke your hair, to kiss you, to hold your hand." He says and I lean in to kiss him. When we kiss I feel such a warmth in my chest that I feel almost like I'm on fire. His hands run up and down my arms while we kiss and I lock my arms around his neck. When we break apart his hands go still and he looks me straight in the eyes.
"I missed you, too. I had to sleep all day because I didn't have anything else to do." I say and he laughs. He pulls me in close and I press my ear against his chest. He strokes my hair and I look up at the window and I don't see Anne. Mrs. Gregory. She'll kill me now. Jonathon sees me looking up and follows my gaze. We look at each other and he takes my hand and we run as fast as we can. It starts to rain and I start to cough a little. He scoops me up and manages to make it all the way to his house. We sit on his back porch hand in hand.
"Dania, you'll be okay. You can stay here or something. I'm sure my mom wouldn't mind a visitor for a few days." He tells me and I shake my head.
"If she finds me here she'll kill me." I tell him and he smiles.
"Actually, my house was a stop on the Underground Railroad, it's pretty old, but we've done so much renovations to it you don't notice. And I was the only one who found the secret room. I showed it to my mom and we made it into a nice little hidden guest room. She'll let you stay there I'm sure." He says and I smile. I hear someone calling my name in Mrs.Gregory's high pitch voice and look at Jonathon he runs in the back door with my hand still in his. "Mom, mom!" He calls and she sees me and smiles.
"Is this Dania? Why, she's very pretty." She says and I blush.
"Mom, we don't have time for this. Dania's parents died, and her older brother is in jail. She lives at an orphanage with a really mean woman who runs it. She's chasing after her and she'll kill her if we don't hide her." He says, but he's overreacting about the whole killing thing.
"The guest room, did you tell her about it?" His mother asks him and he nods. He takes my hand and leads me upstairs. He pushes a part on what looks to be a wall and and it opens just a little. He pulls me inside and he's right. It's amazing in here. White walls, a queen-sized bed, a full dresser, and a vanity.
"Wow, you really want me to stay here?" I ask him and he smiles. He scoops me up and lays me down on the bed.
"The dresser has a bunch of my sister's old clothes in it. They should fit you." He says and joins me on the bed.
"Good. I've never had nice clothes. Thank-you for doing this, Jonathon." I say and he puts his arms around me and I rest my head on his shoulder and fall asleep.
When I wake up I look at the clock on the side table next to the bed. It's six-thirty A.M. I get up and brush my hair out. I pull it back in a ponytail and open the dresser. I see a knee length white skirt that is kind of wavy, and a pink tank-top that has a little plaid white jacket to go overtop of it. I throw it on and walk downstairs. I see a whole breakfest layed out. Bacon, toast, and scrambled eggs. I haven't seen anything like it for seven years. Jonathon takes my hand from behind me and leads me to the table. He examines me and smiles.
"You look beautiful, Dania. Now come on, we won't let you starve." He says and I smile. I walk over to the table and sit down next to him. I don't eat anything except for a piece of bacon. He sees the school bus pull up from the window and takes my hand. This is where I usually get on anyways. He takes my hand and we walk on the bus together and sit down in our seat. He puts his arm around me and I lean my head on his shoulder. I take my hair down out of the ponytail, and he smiles. The bus pulls up to the school and we stand up and walk off the bus. I walk to my locker and get my science book, and head to class.
"Read chapter twenty-one chapter four today, and take notes on it, tomorrow we'll do the worksheet for it." My teacher says blandly. I open my book and read. This is too annoying, I'm beginning to think I'm smarter than the science book. After class I walk back to my locker and put my book up. I walk to special topics and see Mr. Anthony isn't there. It's a substitute. They tell us we need to work on some project. I get some carboard and make a little house after cutting it up a little. I turn it in and she smiles. I go back to my locker and get my social studies book and run to class, I nearly missed it. We read our pages and I take notes to get ready for the next study guide.
Lunch time, finally. I walk to my locker and get the lunch Jonathon's mother made me. She's really nice, kind of like Jonathon. I start to walk back to our table, but see someone else sitting in my seat. I tilt my head to the side and stand there in the middle of a bunch of empty tables watching some other girl kiss my boyfriend. The boy that told me he loved me, the boy who's letting me stay in his house. I feel a tear come down my cheek and sit down at one of the empty tables. I look over at them and the girl is gone. I don't eat or anything, I just sit there crying. Jonathon comes over and sits down next to me.
"Dania, please talk to me. Please." He says and I look at him. He reaches over to take my hand. I pull it away and he scoots over closer to me. I start to cry even harder than before and he puts his hands on my cheeks and I look away. "No matter what you saw, she kissed me. I didn't kiss her back. She doesn't even know who I am. She only did that to hurt you. I'm sorry, really. Please forgive me, Dania." He says and I look up at him.
"Next time she does that, be sure to tell her you have a girlfriend." I tell him and he puts an arm around me. I smile and look over at him.
"Well, the thing is, I did tell her that, she just ignored me." He says and I laugh a little. He runs his left hand down my arm and takes my hand in his. I blush a little and he laughs. "Why the blush, love?" He asks and it only makes me blush even more.
"You're just being so sweet." I tell him and he smiles and presses his forehead against mine.
"Well, I'm trying to make a move on you if it wasn't obvious enough." He says and I kiss him. When we break apart I smile. The other girl frowns and I laugh. I rest my head on his shoulder and he strokes my hair and he rubs my arm with his free hand.
When it's after school we walk back to his house instead of taking the bus. He's holding my hand and the whole time I'm scared Mrs. Gregory will see us. I hear someone coming and drop Jonathon's hand and run into the alley. He follows me and we hide behind a trashcan.
"Why are we hiding?" He asks me in a whisper.
"Someone was coming, and it could've been Mrs. Gregory looking for me." I tell him and he nods. I see someone's shoes and Jonathon pulls me in closer to him. I duck my head down and press my ear against his chest and he strokes my hair to calm me down.
"Dania?" Mrs. Gregory squeaks in her high pitched voice. I gulp and try to hide my face with my hair, but it's no use. Jonathon lifts my chin up so I have to look him in the eyes. He leans down and kisses me and strokes my hair with his fingers. I feel that warmth in my chest again, and kiss back. I wrap my arms around his neck and when we break apart he pulls my head down on his chest. I try to hide my face again with my hair, but it still won't work.
"Dania, calm down." Jonathon whispers in my ear.
"Dania, come out or I'll hurt you. I know you're there. You cannot hide brilliant red hair in broad sunlight." She says and I gulp. Jonathon tightens his arms around me and I look up and put my hand on his cheek.
"That's it. We have to hide your hair." He whispers to me, and I give him a confused look. "Hair dye, or something like that." He says and I nod. He takes my hand and pulls me up after Mrs. Gregory is gone. He takes me to his house and I flop down on the couch. He sits down next to me and puts an arm around me.
"Where are we going to get hair dye?" I ask him and he shrugs.
"I think there's some at the store." He says and I nod. I put my head on his shoulder and fall asleep. When I wake up he's got something in his hand.
"What color?" I ask.
"Black, now come on." He says and takes my hand.
When I wake up my head is on my pillow, and my hair is black. I get up and throw some shorts that are gray and go down right above my knees, and a bright yellow v-neck t-shirt. I pull my hair back with a headband, and put a little lipgloss on. I look in the mirror and I look stunning. My black hair with my blue eyes looks nice, and it suits my pinkish, tender skin better, too. I smile and walk downstairs. I eat the bacon and waffles and go out to the bus stop to wait. Jonathon comes out a little bit later and sits down next to me. I put my head on his shoulder and he smiles and wraps an arm around my shoulders. I smile and wait for the bus to come.
When it's about second period I start to wonder. I start to wonder what will happen when Mrs. Gregory finally sees me. Will she recognize me? Or will she think I'm someone else? I can barely take it anymore. I look down at my black hair, and sigh. I look stunning with it, especially with my gray eyes, I look amazing. It makes me look almost like a princess, like somewhere like Romania. All I'm missing is the tan skin.
I can barely hear the bell ring, and it wakes me up after I've been reading my social studies book for fourty-five minutes. I get up and walk to my locker. I put my book inside, and grab my lunch. On my way to the cafeteria I peek inside and see a cupcake, a sandwich, and a drink. I smile and when I get to the cafeteria I walk back to the usual table. I sit down and wait for Jonathon. He's usually here before me, I wonder where he is? After five minutes I see him coming. He's almost running. I laugh as he sits down next to me. He puts an arm around me and I smile. I lean my head on his shoulder and he caresses my hair.
After eigth period, I make my way to my locker to put my math book away. I shut my locker door and two arms slam the lockers beside me closing me in. I start to breathe heavily and the person laughs. I turn around to see a boy about three inches taller than me, and he's the strongest boy in the school. Tommy Nelson, the captain of the football team. His right hand goes down to my waist, and I know I can't move at all. I feel a tear forming in my eye and Tommy sees it and laughs. "Don't worry, Dania, I'm not going to hurt you." He tells me and leans in a little.
"How do you know my name?" I ask him and he smiles.
"I do my research, and by the way you're blushing." He says and I realize the burning in my cheeks. His other hand moves to the back of my neck.
"I have a boyfriend." I say and he smirks.
"Don't worry, Liz is working on Jonathon. She agreed to it as long as she got to have him, and now I get you." He says and I realize Liz is the girl that kissed Jonathon yesterday. Tommy wraps his arms around me, and leans down to kiss me. He doesn't let go, and I know I'm going to have to kiss him back in order for him to let me go. I kiss him back and I don't know why, but I feel something in my chest. A warmth, like when I kiss Jonathon, but it doesn't make any sense. When Tommy finally pulls away, I smile. He strokes my hair and I rest my head on his shoulder. I look down at Jonathon's locker and Liz is there kissing him. He must not break as easily as I do. "Dania, I like you. I'm so sorry I was mean to you before. I didn't know that you lived at an orphanage, or lost all your family. Do you think we could be a couple?" He asks suddenly, and I look at him, and back to Jonathon. Liz has stopped kissing him, and their gazing at each other lovingly.
"Absolutely." I say and he smiles. He takes my hand and walks me out to the bus. "Wait, there's one thing I need to tell you. I kind of ran away from the orphanage." I tell him.
"Why?" He asks.
"Mrs. Gregory, the woman who runs the orphanage is really mean, and she was acting like Great Britian did to America during the Revolutionary War." I tell him and he nods.
"Well, that's most defiantly not good." He says and I nod. I see my bus pull up and get on. I take my usual seat and wait for Jonathon to come back. Oh no, Jonathon. I guess I really don't like Tommy, seeing Jonathon and Liz togther made me angry. Oh no, this is most defiantly not good. And I'm staying at his house. I see him coming, and I turn to look out the window. He sits down and taps my shoulder. I try to ignore it, but he keeps going until I turn to look at him.
"What?" I ask, and I can feel the tears forming in my eyes. I can't even look him in the eyes. He tilts my chin up so I have to look at him in the eye. I see a cross between anger and sorrow, I can't decide which one is there more.
"I'm sorry." He says and I tilt my head to the side, and give him a confused look. His hand is locked under my chin, and his other one is trying to make its way to mine.
"W-why are y-you sorry? You didn't do anything. I did. I'm sorry, too. I guess I thought you liked Liz now, and I got jealous. I don't like Tommy. He just. . .I got scared, okay!" I say and the tone of my voice changes from sad to angry. Jonathon takes my hand and smiles. I give him a confused look.
"Dania, I'm not mad. I don't like Liz, I love you, Dania. I got jealous, too, you know seeing Tommy kissing you. Liz doesn't mean anything, alright. I'm so, so, so, so sorry. Please forgive me." He says and I hear a faint laugh come out of myself and I start to cry a little.
"I love you, too. I'm sorry. Really sorry. I am so stupid." I say and he squeezes my hand.
"No you aren't. You're beautiful and amazing and smart and kind. You're everything I wanted. Liz isn't. She may be a little pretty, but she's not amazing and smart and kind." He says and I lean my head on his shoulder. Then I remember it's Friday.
"Tommy and Liz are not going to be happy on Monday. Who knows? Maybe they'll be the football captain and cheerleader couple. You know like in the movies." I say and we both laugh. I see our stop come into view and we stand up and get off. A few other kids do, too, but not many. I'm just glad neither Tommy or Liz ride our bus. We walk down the rode and I hear footsteps. Not again! I think. I take Jonathon's hand and run into the ally. I peek up over the tip of a trashcan and it's Tommy and Liz. They don't ride our bus, but they live in an apartment building near Jonathon's house. I smile and come out. I point and Jonathon laughs. I cover his mouth with my hand. "Do you want them to see us?" I ask him, but I'm laughing a little, too. He grabs my hand away and pulls me in for a kiss. We stay together for what seems like ever. When we break apart I look over at Tommy and Liz and their kissing. I smile. "Jonathon, want to make a joke out of something?" I ask him and he nods.
"You take Tommy, I've got Liz." He says and I nod. When they finally break apart, I walk up to Tommy and he looks worried. He should, I've got tricks up my sleeve.
"What the heck! I thought you loved me!" I yell at him and slam him against an old building. He yells in pain and I have to bite my lip to keep from laughing.
"I do, I do! It's just, Liz kissed me, and. . ." He wonders off. I can hear Jonathon behind me and I have to bite my lip again.
"You did what, Liz?" He asks her, but yells at the same time.
"I swear he kissed me! I would never do that!" She says and I turn my head a little and give Jonathon a shake of the head.
"We're through!" Jonathon and I yell in unison, and run down the street. I'm laughing the whole time. I have to stop running because I'm laughing so hard.
"That was the most amazing joke ever, Dania." Jonathon says and I laugh again.
"Thanks, but you helped me a lot." I say. We walk back to his house laughing all the way. We're both almost in tears from laughing so hard. I smile and pull Jonathon in for a hug. He hugs me back and then we head upstairs. Friday. This has been the most exciting Friday considering it's the first time I ever felt like I had a family. That I had people that loved me again. My first friday in seven years without Mrs. Gregory. I plop down on my bed and then Jonathon comes in with a DVD in his hands.
"Wanna watch a movie?" He asks shyly.
"Sure! What movie are we watching?" I ask and he hands me the DVD. A movie called Soul Surfer. I smile, and hand him the DVD back. We walk hand in hand back downstairs and he takes the movie out of the disc and puts it in. I sit down on the couch and he joins me and hits the play button. I rest my head on his shoulder and his arm automatically goes around my shoulders. His other hand clasps with mine as he laces our fingers together.
I fell asleep somewhere near the end of the movie, and I think Jonathon dozed off a little after the girl lost her arm. I open my eyes up and realize my head is nezzled on Jonathon's chest and his hand is on my back. Our other hands are locked tight. I try to get up without waking him, but it's no use. He catches me and pulls my head back down. His eyes flutter open and he smiles down at me.
"Oh no you don't." He says and I smile back up at him.
"I'm hungry, though." I say putting my best pout face on. He laughs and starts to stroke my hair. I give him a grateful sigh and he laughs again.
"Well, if your so hungry, then why don't you go get some food out of the kitchen?" He asks.
"Because you won't let me get up and get some, otherwise I would." I tell him and smile.
"I just don't want you to leave my sight again. You know after what happened yesterday. I want you to stay in my arms, and sit here on my lap, so I can stroke your hair, and count all your freckles, and look at your beautiful face. I just wish that yesterday never happened. I mean I shouldn't have kissed Liz. I didn't want to. She wouldn't pull away until I kissed her back." He says and I laugh at the memory.
"Same here. I love you." I say and look him in the eyes. He smiles and sits up. I sit up, too and curl up next to him. Our hands go together, and he laces our fingers together. I look up at him and look into his bright blue eyes, and I can't help but think he's perfect. He's so amazing, and wonderful. He treats me like I'm the only girl he's ever seen. I love him, I really, really love him. He's all I have left to love.
"I love you, too. Now what did you want to eat?" He asks and I smile.
"I don't know, how about cereal?" I ask and he nods. He walks over to the kitchen and comes back over with a bowl of cheerios. I carefully pluck each one off the top and he does, too. The bowl is empty in no time. I remember something, though. Mrs. Gregory. She might just come door to door looking for me. The black hair dye faded out last night so my hair's red again. "Jonathon, what if Mrs. Gregory comes?" I ask him and he shakes his head and looks down at me.
"I promise, she won't-" He starts, but gets interrupted by the doorbell. I gulp and he looks at me and mouths, "I'm sorry." I shake my head and go up to my room. The doorbell keeps ringing and ringing. I hear Jonathon answer and I hear Mrs. Gregory's pippish voice.
"Young man have you seen a girl with red hair, freckles, pinkish skin, and tall and lanky?" She asks.
"Nope. Haven't seen anyone like that." He lies and I smile and start to cry a little.
"Oh boy, if you won't tell me the truth, then I'll have to find it out myself." She says, and I can hear Jonathon coming back up the stairs, followed by the click-clack of heels. Jonathon runs in my room quickly and tells me to get on the bed. I do as he says and I hear the click-clack getting louder. Jonathon kisses me briefly and I smile. I frown again when I remember Mrs. Gregory. "Dania! If you don't come out, I'll call the police." She pips and I gulp and stand up.
"Dania, what in the world do you think you're doing?" He asks me.
"I have to reveal myself. I can't let her turn you guys into the police." I tell him and he grabs my hand and pulls me back.
"No." He says and I shake my head.
"I have to," I reach up and kiss him, "I love you." I say and he releases my hand. I push the wall back and step out. Mrs. Gregory turns and sees me, and puts on a triumphant smile. I start to cry and Jonathon steps out, too.
"No! I won't let you take her back to that orphanage. She's perfectly fine here!" He yells and steps in front of me. I put my arms around his neck and bury my face in the back of his shirt. He reaches up and takes on of my hands.
"Are you her legal guardian?" She asks him and he gives her a death stare.
"No, but why don't we leave where she stays up to her." Jonathon says and turns around to face me.
"Mrs. Gregory, please, please, please, let me stay here! I love him! He's the first person that's loved me in a long time. Don't you want me to happy?" I ask her and I think I see a tear form in her eye. I never thought of her as a person with real feelings.
"I'll let you stay here." She says and my eyes go wide, and I run over to her and hug her.
"Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!" I exclaim and she smiles. I pull back and run over to Jonathon. He picks me up and spins me around and I'm laughing the whole time. When he puts me down again, Mrs. Gregory is already gone. I look him in the eyes and smile.
"Does that mean no more hiding?" He asks.
"Yes. No more hiding." I confirm.
Monday morning, and I'm still exhausted from this weekend. Jonathon has to shake me to wake me up. I roll over and look up at him and he smiles. He takes my hand and pulls me out of bed. "Come on, mom layed out pancakes downstairs, hurry up and get dressed." He said and smiled. He left my room and I threw on some jean shorts and a t-shirt. I braid my hair in two braids, and run downstairs. I sit down next to Jonathon and look at the feast in front of me. Two pancakes, bacon, and syrup all over. I blink my eyes repeatedly as if I was trying to see if it was real. Jonathon laughs at me and pushes my shoulder.
"So, do you want to do something today, Jonathon?" I ask him and he smiles.
"Yeah, do you want to go to the mall to see a movie?" He asks me and I nod.
"How about The Hunger Games?" I ask and he nods.
(after the movie)
"That was scary." I say in shock. Jonathon laughs and puts an arm around me and kisses my hair.
"Don't worry, Dania, I'll keep you safe." Jonathon says and I blush and smile.
"Thank-you." I say and he pulls me up and kisses me. I wrap my arms around his neck and he pulls me in closer. We break apart and he smiles at me.
"Feel safe now?" He asks and I laugh a little.
"In your arms I'll always feel safe." I say and he smiles.
"Good, because I love you, Dania." He says and I kiss him again.
"I love you, too." I tell him and he smiles the biggest smile I've ever seen. He picks me up bridal style and I lean my head on his shoulder. Then I remeber something. My birthday is tomorrow. "Jonathon, I forgot to tell you, tomorrow is my birthday." I tell him and he smiles.
"My birthday is tomorrow, too." He says. No wonder we're perfect for each other.
"Well, happy birthday." I tell him and he nods. An automatic frown on his face. "What's wrong?" I ask him and he puts me down and walks over to the bus stop. I run over to him and look him in the eyes. He has hurt written in them everywhere. I put my hands on his cheeks and he wraps his arms around me.
"I love you, Dania, but. . ." He trails off, and I look at him with disbelief.
"But what, Jonathon?" I ask him, with tears in my eyes.
"Well, Dania, it's just that. . . you're different now, and your still beautiful, but I just. . ." I start to cry. I can't stop the tears from falling. I struggle out of his grip and run away. "DANIA! WAIT!" He calls after me but I just keep running. How dare he tell me he loves me and then want a break up. Who does that? I stop for a minute and turn around to look at him.
"You just what?" I ask him, tears still pouring out.
"I can't love you anymore." He says.
"Why not?" I say a million tears pouring out. I can't stop them. I hate Jonathon, he broke my heart.
"Dania, please wait." He says but I keep running. I'm just going to go back to the orphanage. I keep running and running, but then I run into someone. I fall to the ground, and look up through teary eyes. Michael Goldsmith, the star of the basketball team. He smiles down at me and pulls me up.
"Are you alright, why are you crying?" He asks me and I start to cry even harder. He hugs me and strokes my hair to try to calm me down.
"Jonathon McMallen, you know him?" I ask him, which he should know him, they're both on the basketball team.
"Yeah, wait you're that girl he wouldn't shut up about, aren't you? Dania?" He asks and I cry even more and nod. "Well, you're even prettier than what he said, that's for sure." He says and I blush.
"Well I'm all yours now, he just broke my heart." I say and he frowns.
"Oh, I'm so, so sorry, Dania." He says and kisses my forehead. I hear footsteps, and gulp. "Jonathon, leave her alone!" Michael yells at Jonathon, pushing me behind him.
"Goldsmith, let me explain something to her." Jonathon snaps at him.
"No, McMallen, you lost your chance when you broke her heart!" Michael yells at him.
"Goldsmith, I'm giving you one last chance, let me explain something to Dania, please." Jonathon says more intensley.
"No, McMallen, Dania doesn't love you anymore. Right, Dania?" He asks me taking my hand and I nod.
"Dania, tell this loser I'm your boyfriend." Jonathon says and I can feel anger rising inside of me.
"No, Jonathon, you broke my heart, Michael really cares about me, and I care about him. Now leave me alone." I snap at Jonathon and Michael pulls me into his arms.
"I love her, McMallen, so leave her alone, you lost your chance, she's mine now." Michael says and kisses me. I feel a warmth in my chest, and it makes me feel so good, better than when Jonathon ever kissed me. A firework explodes in me, and I know I love Michael, more than I ever loved Jonathon.
"GET OFF HER, GOLDSMITH!" Jonathon screams at him and pulls me away.
"Michael! Michael! Stop! Help me!" I scream and Michael punches Jonathon's nose, and he starts to bleed.
"Dania!" Michael yelps, and grabs my hand. We run as fast as we can, but Jonathon is really, really fast. Michael pulls me into his arms again, and strokes my hair.
"Dania, would you please listen to me! Just stay at my house one more night, please, I don't want you to go back to that orphanage." Jonathon says and I turn back to Michael and kiss him.
"I'll meet you tomorrow at the mall. I promise." I tell him and he pulls me in and whispers something in my ear.
"If he tries to kiss you, I give you full permission to slap him." He says and I giggle a little. I walk back over to Jonathon and we walk back to the ally where we'd always hide. Jonathon pulls me in the ally and caresses my cheek. I shudder and glare at him.
"Look, Dania, I don't really know what I was thinking when I said that. I do really love you, it's just, you are different now, I don't feel like we're as close as we were when we first started dating, but I'm sorry." He says and I shake my head.
"Jonathon, I cannot trust you anymore. I cannot love you anymore." I tell him and he pulls me in. Our faces are inches apart. I turn away and he pulls me in closer.
"Please, Dania, one more chance. Please." He says and I shake my head.
"Goodbye, Jonathon, go find yourself some other girl, and this time don't break her heart the day before her birthday." I tell him and walk back to the orphanage. I knock on the door, and Mrs. Gregory answers it.
"Can I please come back. I mean Jonathon broke my heart. Please." I say and she nods. I walk back up to my room and lay down on my bed. I fall asleep immediatley.
"Dania! You're back!" Someone screams and wakes me up. I open my eyes and Anne is kneeling down beside my bed. I look over at her and kiss her forehead.
"How's my little angel?" I ask the fragile girl sitting next to me.
"I'm good, but what happened to Jonathon?" She asks me.
"He and I just weren't right for each other, Anne. He broke my heart, the day before my birthday, so I guess we just didn't feel the same way about each other as we did before." I tell her and she frowns.
"Oh well, did you meet someone else to break Mrs. Gregory's rule with?" She asks and I laugh.
"Yes, his name is Michael, he's very sweet. We have a date today at the mall, do you want to come meet him?" I ask her and she squeals and nods.
"Yay! Let's get you all prettied up, Dania! I have the perfect outfit in mind!" She says and I smile. This little one has always been there for me.
"Oh my gosh, Anne, I love it! Thank-you!" I exclaim when I see my reflection in the mirror. My red hair is curled perfectly, and my nails are a beautiful baby blue. Anne taps my shoulder, and I turn around. She smiles and I nod. We walk down the stairs and out the door. Anne must have called a cab, because there's one sitting there. We get in and I hand the cab driver the money. "To the mall, please." I say and she nods.
The mall, fresh air, and NO Mrs. Gregory! Perfect. Especially since Michael's here. I walk in and he's sitting on a bench with his head in his hands. I run over to him and get down on my knees next to him. I shake his shoulders and he looks at me.
"Michael, what's wrong? What happened?" I ask him and he pulls me into his lap. I caress his cheek as another tear comes down and kiss it away.
"My, my parents. Their, their getting a d-divororce." He says and I put my hands on his cheeks.
"Oh, Michael, I'm so, so, so sorry. What can I do to help?" I ask him and he looks up at me.
"Kiss me." He says and I peck his lips with mine. Then I remember Anne. I get up and take Michael's hand. Anne's standing there smiling at us. I laugh. "Oh, shush. This is Michael, my boyfriend. And this is Anne, my best friend." I introduce them both. Michael smiles and gives Anne a kiss on the cheek. She blushes and smiles shyly.
"You're really tall." Anne says and I widen my eyes and Michael laughs.
"Anne!" I screech, and Michael puts an arm around me.
"Don't worry, baby, it's alright." Michael says and I smile.
"Sorry, Michael." Anne says and I laugh a little.
"It's okay, sweetie." He says and picks her up. I smile, and kiss his cheek. He smiles at me and I look at Anne. She nods and I roll my eyes. Michael puts an arm around me and I rest my head on his shoulder. We get up and he takes my hand and puts Anne down. We walk through the mall and I bump into someone. Michael helps me up and I look over at a girl.
"Next time watch where you're going, clutz." She says and I feel a tear in my eye.
"Don't talk to her like that!" Michael snaps at her.
"Oh, wittle girl, is your boyfriend standing up for you?" She says and I feel a tear come down my cheek. Then I see an all too familiar face coming over to us.
"Hello." I say avoiding eye contact with Jonathon.
"Hey Dania." Jonathon says looking me in the eyes. I look away and back at Michael. "This is Michelle. My girlfriend." He says and I gulp.
"You know, Michael, I believe." I say and he nods. Michael kisses my hair and I blush. Michelle glares at us, and pulls Jonathon in for a long kiss. I laugh a little and Michael and I walk away.
"She honestly thought she could make you jealous?" Anne asks and I smile and laugh again. I look back at them and Jonathon is looking at me sadly. Oh, give me a break.
"Looks like Jonathon misses you." Michael says and I roll my eyes. I punch Michael in the chest and wrap my arms around his neck.
"Don't worry, handsome, you're perfect for me." I say and he leans down and kisses me. He wraps his arms around me and pulls me in closer. I feel a billion fireworks explode inside of me. I feel his arms around me and it feels perfect, I wish we could stay locked like this forever and ever and ever. Then he pulls away and caresses my cheek. I look over at Jonathon and he's kissing Michelle passionatley. Oh please, that boy couldn't make me jealous if he kissed Miss America.
Sorry!! This story is retired, the user decided not to continue it. I hope you enjoy reading the parts they did right! If you'd like, you can ask them if you can continue it for them!