Just Kidding
Just Kidding
Author: mobrien10
Chapter 1

Maybe I was never the one to believe in happy endings or fairytales like my mother did before her and my father's death, and maybe I never believed in those things simply because my life was a never ending sob story filled with the usual suffering and heartache. 

But the question I ask you is do you believe in happy endings? More importantly, will you still believe in them after this story ends? 

Remember this question, for after the end you may just change your mind on those happily ever afters. None of it made sense to me at the time so I suggest you listen very carefully because no one knew what was soon to be in the end. 

My mom always told me to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, little did I know that all of those inspiring and crisp meanings were soon going to fall into line. 

Sadly, my parents are not here today to see my life change ever so drastically due to a drunk driver. So I, Kyla Daniels live with my brother and grandmother, enjoying life one bloodcurdling moment at a time, which leads us to exactly where this story takes place. . .

Present time,

Santa Cruz, California   

    "I don't think anyone is as excited as you to go back to that. . .school." Riley chuckles frantically along with Chloe who looks to me, shocked as usual. She always has a tendency to over exaggerate her facial expressions. 

     When my parents died, Riley and Chloe-who have been practically my sisters since I was in diapers, were there for me like no one else; not even my brother could be. 

     I can safely say that Riley, Chloe and I are known as an attractive little bunch of friends. At least that's what we've heard through mutual acquaintances and high school gossip. I can't agree that we are the most beautiful women in the world, let alone the school, but we all have our own decent attributes along with our not so decent ones. 

     Riley is your all American teenager, she's tough, she doesn't try to be, she just—is. Maybe that's why guys don't always throw themselves at her natural beauty. But I've always been jealous of her compelling hazel, almost deep green eyes, and the thick locks of brown hair falling past her slim waist. Although many people swoon over the electric green of my eyes but hazel will always remain my number one favorite color. 

     "Lets just say this summer has not been the most eventful or joyful summer." I lower my eyes upon the dewy grass that sticks to my feet as we sway slowly on the squeaky swings. 

     The midnight air chills my skin as the night grows colder each second. My friends faces fall and the swings comes to a halt. "I'm sorry Ky. I know it was hard losing your parents. I can't imagine." Chloe sighs before suddenly jumping to her feet and helping me off the swing. 

     Chloe, unlike Riley and I, wears her platinum blonde hair with pride. It's pencil thin and has a tendency to attract many needy hands as they run their fingers through the silky waves that fall just past her ribs. Chloe never has been one for sports or outdoorsy kinds of things. She's more into fashion and world peace. Her stunning blue eyes bring joy to the room without her even trying. Perhaps that's why I find so many males gazing. Sorry to burst their bubbles but she's taken. 

     The streetlights flicker above us as we pass the still and quiet suburban houses full of happy families and happy children. A restful home is spotted up ahead after a couple minutes of strolling down the secluded sidewalks. The windows are dark and no light is emitting from deep within, it's a house I'm forced to live in. 

     "I'll see you guys tomorrow." I wave them goodbye before heading over to the tree beside my opened window. It's not an easy or graceful obstacle but I slide in nonetheless and land with a thunk on my bedroom floor.

     Scrolling through my phone once I've freshened up and gotten ready for bed, I see that social media is buzzing with everyone's summer goodbyes and fulfilled quests while I spent the summer mourning my dead parents. 

     I was supposed to go to parties and travel with my friends but somehow that was the last thing that ended up happening. That's all about to end right now. I've had two months to mourn and although I am not entirely healed, no one and nothing is going to stop me from getting myself back. I will do anything to find her again. 

-6:20am-

     When the alarm goes off I shove the covers away and pull myself from bed. Searching the mess that has now cluttered my bedroom I find a t-shirt and a pair of light-washed jeans, calling it good. Once I'm at the mirror I run a brush through my hair and face my reflection expectantly. 

    A devilish look builds in her eyes as they carry shattered and broken experiences deep within. I leave the mirror and, slinging my backpack over my shoulder, I head downstairs.

     Pancakes are set on plastic plates among the table with my brother in front of them. Grandma has tried glass Tupperware and such. Eventually she gave up and began buying plastic kitchen supplies when Blake and I were on our fifth broken glass.

      "Good, you're up. I was about to wake you myself." Blake, my older brother by only a couple minutes, laughs. 

     There is not a day that goes by where I am not constantly on his mind, all he thinks of is if I am in danger. Do I need help? Are there boys around me? Where am I?

     "Well come on, get some breakfast before it's cold." Grandma shuffles across the room and sets a plate down on the table. 

     I remember mother used to cook early in the morning, everything was always ready for school before she left in a hurry to work. When mom was sick, Dad would chip in. They always had been exceptional parents. 

     "Well don't you look breathtaking this morning." Blake grins. That's sarcasm in his voice, I've grown used to it by now. 

     I give him an unfriendly smile, stabbing my pancakes and shoving them into my mouth. The food swirls around and I make sure to open my mouth wide enough just so that he can witness the mush that munches around under my teeth. 

     "Oh that's—that's cute Kyla." He looks away then back to his food, causing my smile to widen. 

     "Alright, you two are going to be late for school if you don't get going." Grandma rushes us and we quickly finish up before sprinting out the door and into the car. 

     Riley's vehicle cuts the sharp corner, her tires screeching down the wet road from the previous storm that tumbled from the untroubled skies over the weekend. 

     She pulls up to the curb and I hastily hop in, leaving my brother who is previously glaring at me from afar.

     "All of these years and your brother is still bossing you around? Does he not know you're a big girl now?" Riley chuckles under her breath, pulling away from the olden style home and we head over to Chloe's house. 

"He does. He just doesn't accept it." I snort. "You got any makeup?" I rummage through my backpack in search for where I thought I threw a wand of mascara and some eyeliner in, but to avail. 

"Yup," smiling, Riley reaches behind her seat with one hand, her eyes still trained on the road and she pulls out a small pink bag. "All in here. Have at it." 

I thank her and as I'm swiping on the last of the mascara, we jerk to a stop. "Shit." I gasp, pulling away quickly. 

"Sorry." Riley apologizes and I look up to see Chloe's suburban home ahead. 

     The petite girl comes flailing out of the door recklessly as her feet trample the grass under her bare heels. Her blonde hair is pinned back, blowing around as she runs towards the vehicle. Then the car door bursts open and she comes hurtling in as mighty as an elephant. 

     Our eyes lock with hers as she looks up at us. "What is up with you?" Riley laughs. 

     "My aunt is visiting for the week and I was not in any kind of mood to listen to her detailed instructions on how to properly pluck nose hairs." Chloe rolls her eyes. 

     The rest of the way to school, Chloe and Riley talk of all the things they want to accomplish and where they want to go this year. Meanwhile I'm just trying to cope with the thought of walking at my graduation without my mother and father there to congratulate me.  

     We arrive at Santa Cruz High School in a record of seven minutes, not even the very visible stop sign kept a determined Riley from getting to school on time. 

     Hopping out of Riley's misshaped BMW, I set my sights on the familiar vehicle in the next spot over. The sports car is too flashy to mistake.  

     "Shit." I mutter softy, Riley and Chloe turn to my face then follow my gaze as I whine, "Cooper still goes to this godforsaken school?" 

     "You won't have to worry much longer. This is our last year until we all head off into the adult world. No more Cooper." Chloe wiggles her perfect eyebrows viciously. 

     Let me tell you something about Chloe. There is never a day in her life where she will leave her eyebrows unplucked, un-waxed or 'un' anything. 

     Her eyebrows are more important to her than her feet. 

     Those two feet connected to her legs could be chopped off and she would still be joyful but if her eyebrows were somehow mysteriously gone she would freak. So let's hope that doesn't happen, no need for an early apocalypse just yet. 

     "Speaking of the devil." Riley gestures behind her as we've now dispersed into the halls and there just over her head is the flock of females surrounding Cooper Rhodes and his entourage. 

     "It doesn't look like anything has really changed has it?" I sigh. 

     "I hate him but I have to say he is the most attractive human being I have ever laid my eyes on." Riley falls under his feet like all of the other hundreds of girls who line up in front of his chiseled chest. I suppose his floppy brown hair and stormy grey eyes bring in the girls. Even his vein ridden arms and bulky build are quite enticing. Maybe if he wasn't so aware of himself he'd be more tolerable. 

     Girls beg for his eyes to even just barely touch their skin, his hands to reach their sweaty palms, his chest to accidentally bump into theirs, his body to rest beside them while he hardly notices their mere existence, he glances right through their clothes and underneath to their bodies that are rarely hidden away from the rest of the world. 

     He wants what every guy wants. He wants sex and only sex. His plan seems to be to slowly make his way through the entire population of girls in this school. Starting with the easy ones and working his way down the willingly vulnerable line. 

     Hell, even the nerdiest girl in all of school put out to him and his swoon worthy words that played at the top of his tongue. 

     He knows exactly how to mess with our minds, how to reach into our insides and beat our naive little hearts for him, to break our walls and shatter them into oblivion, to cause our knees to collapse from under us until we were nothing more than 'his' yet he was not 'ours.'

     If you can somehow restrain from his compelling words and magnifying looks, then congratulations you win the game that he is so eagerly trying to complete. 

    Lucky for me, I have watched him over the years and I have come to realize that he is not a man I want to ever be with or be seen with. 

     When my mind reopens to this reality once more I barely notice that he and his attractive friends along with the band of girls have now moved to another location. 

     Hopefully a far enough distance from me. 

     A disgusted look falls upon my face as I retaliate from the sight of him, facing my friends. 

    "I think your hate for him is stronger than your love for us." Chloe chuckles and the bell rings for classes to begin. 

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