prologue: we lie best when we lie to ourselves

Standing there, leaning against the wall and gazing out of the window, he looked like Adonis; complete perfection, a Greek god that happened to hate her. His beauty was illuminating, which made him even more desirable, and the powerful status of a pop star he had only enhanced his desirability even further. His dark silhouette was a blur, merged with the fading rays of the seeping sunlight and the flickers of night. His inky black hair couldn't be distinguished from the smoky black atmosphere and reality; you could only tell where the lines ended if you knew him well enough, even if only for a little while. He was staring intently at the lake, as if trying to search for something that he clearly needed badly.

It was terrible to watch him from afar, hidden from his knowledge but she knew he wouldn't stand her presence, would most likely yell and scream his voice out until she was left in tears and even those wouldn't have any effect on him. He had turned so cold and harsh, refusing to even acknowledge her existence, only now had she realised what an impact she had had on him.

Oh how she missed the old Shane, the conversations they had, the feelings she experienced, everything had now fallen to pieces, hard to fix. And it was heartbreaking to see how he and Tess were suddenly becoming closer by the day. Watching them laugh at something or another, just enjoying the moment they were in hurt her to no end.

She heard him sigh before casting one more lingering look towards the sky and slowly turning away, heading back towards his room. She stood there, hidden in the shadows, carefully listening to the silence, desperately searching for something in it; comfort, understanding, anything, but it gave her nothing. Instead mocking her for her decisions as if it too felt she had betrayed Shane. Of course, Caitlyn had tried to reassure her, telling her that she was at no fault whatsoever, ultimately Shane was being a jerk. He needed time she said, but how long would she have to wait? As far as she could tell he seemed happier with a certain Tess then she'd ever seen him with her.

Maybe he'd moved on and their brief encounter meant nothing to him. But she wasn't sure; it seemed that the laughter between them only got loud and excited when ever she got close enough to them. But she could simply be hallucinating trying to create some sort of excuse and using it as a ray of hope.

She remembered when he had yelled at her claiming her to be liar and betraying him. She'd cried for hours on end, not believing what was happening, and after awhile she had fallen asleep from all the motional exhaustion. Upon waking up everything was a blur and she thought she'd dreamed the whole thing up, that is until her mother asked her if she was ok, and that's when the memories came flooding back and she started sobbing uncontrollably again.

She faintly heard Caitlyn calling her name; she slipped out of the room and headed back, earnestly trying to forget everything.

It was going to be a boring day. He had two classes to teach today and knew that Mitchie would be in one of them.

God how he hated her right.

He was never going to get over what she'd done and rightly so. The lies she obviously fed him, and he being so starved for genuine friendship lapped on it like a lost little dog, believing every fucking word she said. Remembering the time spent with her only brought up feelings of resentment and bitterness. Ashamed as he was to admit it even to himself, somewhere in the deep quiet part of his soul, he still yearned for that intimate contact. The connection that they had he knew he'd never be able to recreate with anyone else and that made him hate her even more.

But luckily for him he was getting along well with Tess, and although sometimes she acted like a bitch, she at least didn't go around like a fraud, telling him sob stories. She recognised what Mitchie truly was, unlike the rest of the lot.

He'd changed, he was no longer the happy and content person that he would be with her, he was back to being the old Shane and anyone who wasn't happy, well tough, he didn't give a shit.

He didn't give a damn about anything or anyone, so screw them all. He hoped Nate and Jason were suffering for sending him to this godforsaken place, 'cause when he returned he would make them endure even more for forcing him into the worst summer of his life.

There was still a week and a half left before the Final Jam and then he'd be out of here. The only true thing he was looking forward to was finding the girl with the amazing voice who sang the most meaningful song he had ever heard. She was probably the only positive aspect left to this awful trip and he was determined to find her. At least he knew that whoever this girl was, she wouldn't hurt him like Mitchie did. She would be so much better than her and worth this entire wait.

He decided the only way he could console himself was by singing that song and making the day pass by as quickly as possible.

With that thought in mind he quickly made his way towards class to get everything ready.