I'm in the business of misery, let's take it from the top

She's got a body like an hourglass, that's ticking like a clock

"Oooh, sss."

An annoying hiss from behind me makes this crappy day considerably worse. Why must they torture me every day with their annoying-ness? Why did they have to come to this school? Why did they have to be born in Malibu? Why did they have to be born at all? Surely their parents are realising what a huge mistake they made.

Please don't notice me. Please don't notice me. Please.

"And oh, look. Lilly's having a bad hair day."

A shadow looms over my desk, and I roll my eyes. It had to happen, didn't it? They always notice me.

"Shame you didn't have a nicer hat to cover it up," Amber's sickly voice chirps.

"Or a better hairdresser," Ashley adds, at the same time that Amber suggests this.

I groan. Here it comes. Ooh...

"Oooh... sss," the Gruesome Twosome link fingers, and grin.

It's too predictable. Which makes it twice as annoying!

The other annoying thing is that even though both Amber and Ashley are incredibly annoying, they still manage to have the entire male population of the school wrapped around their hissing fingers. Well, except Oliver. And Jake, because he's too busy trying to unravel them from his finger.

"Jeez, can you please shut up?" Oliver mutters, a little too loudly, and the shadows turn around to face him.

"Excuse you?" Ashley sounds genuinely appalled that someone would even suggest that they stop doing that stupid hissing thing.

Oliver looks up at them. Bad idea. They make you swallow your words with their evil death glares. "I just think you... um... never mind."

Y'see? It's like some weird Jedi mind power that they seem to possess. And I have one question about this. Why wasn't I blessed with this power, and why did they get all the luck?

"Too right we won't mind. Because unlike you and your friends, we are popular, and that means that you have no right to tell us to shut up," Ashley sneers.

Amber is just staring at my friend, like she's trying to hypnotise him.

Seriously, if she achieves it, I'm going to scream. She can't have hypnotic powers too! That's just too much! I mean, isn't it bad enough that she's pretty, that all the guys want to date her, that she has the staff wrapped around her little finger, that she can think of (unwitty) comebacks on whim, that she has Jedi mind power and that she's rich? She can't be a hypnotist too!

"Sorry," Oliver mumbles, and then drops his gaze back to the carvings in his desk.

Ashley folds her arms and turns back to her best friend. "Amber, are you coming to the mall tonight? Daddy said we can get whatever we want for our party this weekend."

Amber is still looking at Oliver, and I frown. Why is she still looking at him? Hypnosis doesn't work unless the person you're trying to hypnotise is looking at you.

Don't ask me how I know that.

"Amber?" Ashley swats her friend's shoulder with her hand.

Amber shakes her head, and stops staring at my friend. Then she looks at Ashley. "Sorry. What were you saying?"

"Mall. Tonight. You in?" Ashley says, inspecting her recently manicured nails.

Amber nods. "For sure."

"Coolie," Ashley smiles, and the Gruesome Twosome walk away, hopefully to annoy someone else with their hissing.

Oliver looks up, and finding the coast clear, sighs.

I look over at him. "You okay?"

"Yeah. I just didn't plan on them hearing me," he replies, shrinking down in his seat.

"Nobody plans on them hearing them," I say. "It's just the way it goes. They have hearing like dogs."

Oliver smiles. "Not the only thing that they have in common with our canine friends."

"You're telling me," I smile, and heave myself out of my seat. First lesson begins in a minute, and I'm not sure I want to be late. If I'm late, I'll draw attention to myself, and I'm not sure I can take another minute of listening to Amber and Ashley insult me. "You coming?"

Oliver nods, and gets up, falling into step next to me. "Where's Miley on this lovely day?"

"What lovely day?" I ask, as we navigate our way to English. "Oh, you mean today? She was out late last night, due to um... an event, and so couldn't make it in today."

"You mean a Hannah thing?" Oliver asks.

I roll my eyes. "Yes. But saying it like that is the way that people find out, isn't it Oliver?"

"Nobody is listening to us Lilly," Oliver says confidently.

I raise my eyebrows. "Well, tell me that when the whole world knows, and it's your fault, because you didn't check who was hiding behind the corner."

"We're in a straight hallway," Oliver stated, as if I was unaware of this fact.

"I know, but I meant figuratively," I said. "The walls have ears."

Oliver looks at me, and I know from the sparkle in his eye that he's just doing it to wind me up. "No they don't Lilly. Walls don't have body parts."

"It's a metaphor Oken," I sigh, exasperatedly. "All I'm trying to say is that anybody could be listening, and that you should be more careful."

Oliver raises his eyebrows. "And when did you become 'Miss. Be-More-Careful'?"

"How do you know I've not always been this way?" I ask, predicting the look that he'll give me now.

And there it is.

"Okay, fine," I sigh. "I don't know, I guess I don't want the world to know Miley's secret, and I feel the need to stop you from... telling it."

Oliver laughs. "That's a pathetic excuse. You know as well as I do that nobody is listening to us."

"Ugh. Shut up," I roll my eyes, not knowing what to say now. It's definitely a bad day when Oliver makes me run out of things to say.

"Make me," Oliver sticks his tongue out, as we reach the doorway to our English class.

I smile at him, and walk in. "I might just have to."

"Well I'll be looking forward to that," he replies, as we walk over to our seats, and sit in them, just as a very rushed looking Ms. Kunkle enters.

"No talking!" she screeches, and drops her pile of folders on the table. "No laughing. No smiling. No anything. Just silence!"

The smile drops from my face. This is going to be one long English lesson.

---

"Attention please! Attention!" Ashley cries, as she climbs up onto one of the tables in the cafeteria. Now, she's not very graceful, but in high heels it's even worse.

I roll my eyes, and Oliver turns to look in her direction, a smirk on his face. I know that he's doing the same as I am - wishing she'd lose her balance and fall.

"Attention!" she cries one more time; as if there was anyone in the school who hadn't heard her. "Okay. Well, I'm like, totally glad to be able to invite you all to mine and Amber's party, which will be going down on Friday. Now even though most of you have never been invited to one of our parties before, I don't want you to feel threatened in any way. It's no big deal, seriously. You just have to turn up, look fabulous, and have fun!"

I roll my eyes, and drop my gaze back to the food that I was given. It doesn't look edible. In any shape or form.

"So yeah. Amber's house, Friday night, begins at seven. And there is no such thing as fashionably late, so come as close to seven as you can!" she chirps, aware that she has nearly everyone's attention. "I hope we will see you all there!"

It amazes me that the cafeteria bursts into conversation as soon as she's stumbled down from the table. And all the gossip seems to be over this party.

"Can you believe that?" I sigh, and poke my 'food' with my plastic fork.

Oliver laughs. "It's pretty out of the blue. She seemed adamant that everyone were to come. You think she'll have a register?"

"It doesn't matter, because we won't all be ticked off anyway, will we?" I ask, looking at him. He can't want to go to this party, because I don't want to go to this party, and he knows that I can never say no to him. It's one of my only weaknesses.

Oliver.

He probably has no idea - which is pretty damn good - but I can't seem to say 'no' to him. Miley says it's because I love him. I say it's because I'm bad at denying people things.

It's not.

"Aww. Lilly, aren't you going?" Oliver pouts, and stares at me.

I fold my arms. "No. No, I'm not. Because I can't think of anything more horrible than spending my Friday night in the house of evil."

"Lilly, they aren't that bad," Oliver says, raising his eyebrows at me.

"They aren't that bad? Oliver, they're manipulative, vindictive, annoying, mean, horrible, plastic, self-obsessed, annoying freaks!" I cry. "How can you say that they're 'not that bad'?"

He smirks. "Easily. They're not that bad."

"Ugh! They are," I frown.

"C'mon Lilly! Let's go to the party. Miley will come, because Jake will be there, and even though she claims to be over him, we can all tell she's not. And we can stand around, and laugh at the ugly ornaments in her house!" Oliver pleads. "Please? It's not like we were doing anything else on Friday night anyway."

I was, actually. I was going to sit in my room, and pine over the fact that you will never love me the way that I love you.

But like I'm going to tell you that.

"Ugh. I hate you for being so persuasive," I groan, and stick my fork into the food, watching it wobble back and forth in the food.

"And I hate you for being persuaded so easily. Where's my fun now?" Oliver smiles at me. "But seriously. You'll come?"

I nod. "Yeah. As long as you don't get yourself a date and ditch me."

"I don't think we're in any danger of that," Oliver grins, and then looks back over his shoulder, to where Amber and Ashley are busy telling everyone about the chocolate fountain they're going to be assembling in the garden.

"That's good," I whisper, under my breath.

Oliver turns back to me, and wrinkles his nose. "Huh?"

"What?" I ask.

"Did you say something?" he asks.

I shake my head. "Nope. You hearing things again Ollie?"

"I just thought..." he shakes his head, making his hair even more messy. "Never mind. Hearing things again."

I laugh, and push the tray of food away. Hopefully Friday night won't be so bad. Maybe I'll survive Amber and Ashley without bearing too many scars. Maybe it'll even be... fun.

Disclaimer: Pigs fly. Toys talk. Paramore rock. I own Hannah Montana. Only one of these statements is true. Guess which one.