One

Imagine being born looking like a freak. Looking like something's just not feeling right. Something's off. That's exactly how I feel. I am born with the lovely and oddly convenient name of Sylvie Ember Jemm. Odd right? Well, my full name is Sylvia Ember Jemm. But, the name, "Sylvia" seems like such an old person's name, so… my parents call me Sylvie.

When I was born, I had brown curly hair, peach skin, and nice deep blue eyes. But then, when I turned three years, everything changed. And, I mean EVERYTHING. My hair, skin, and eye color changed. I used to be very social as a baby, until I was three, and my hair got all silvery blonde. My eyes turned midnight black and my skin turned all pale. The weirdest part was that this… mark grew on my back as I got older. It even affecting my social behavior. In elementary school, I had no friends. Not that I cared.

I live with my Mom, Nora, my Dad, Moby, my older brother, Zeke, and my loveable basset hound, Peggy. Zeke is the popular kind of guy, while I'm the one who stands alone. Zeke is my one, only and absolute best friend. He's the only one who truly respects me. His friends are nice, too. But, they're a little too nice. And not in the way that made me feel comfortable about being near them in school, or having them be invited to come over to our house.

I never really talk to Nora or Moby. I just never feel good around them. Moby is way too obsessed with his stories (by the way, he's a famous novelist).

Zeke and I don' like all the fame because all the kids in school just hang with us to get us to get them a free book. But, this drives Zeke crazy. When he was 17, he woke up early in the morning, the creaking of cheap wood waking me up. I rubbed my eyes drowsily and stepped out of my purple-filled room. When I went downstairs to the kitchen, Zeke

"Zeke," I asked. I was 13 years old then, "where are you going?"

Zeke looked at me with real sad eyes. He was at least a foot taller that me and I was almost five foot seven. He bent down and squeezed me really tight and said, "I'm so sorry, Syl."

"Sorry? Sorry for what?"

"I can't stay here. I can't live like a sales person in the house. Mom and Dad don't 'bout us none. They only care about their precious novels. And nobody at school really wants us to be theyr friends. They just want a free passage to Mom and Dad's books. I'm not going to stay like this."

"Then I'll come with you."

"No!" Zeke pushed me back. "You can't."

"Why not?"

"Because…." Zeke spaced out for a second, lost in thought, be fore finishing his sentence, "You just can't."

"But—"

"Forget it, Syl. You're not coming. Stay with them. And please, don't fall for the 'Hey, wanna be friends?" phrase, okay?"

"Umm, okay. But… where are you going?" I squeezed him to me.

"I really don't know