Hi, it's me. Again. Yeah, I only post up stories for my friends' sake. :) But, if you do read it - and I mean the whole thing - please! REVIEW.

This took a while to write, I was on writers block or something. But here it is: a one-shot. (I love one-shots.)

Disclaimer: Characters don't belong to me; they belong to the wonderful Sarah Dessen.


It's been two months, and yet I still couldn't stop thinking about her.

That sounded cliché, but it was true. Her face - her soft, beautiful face - was cemented in my mind.

And I couldn't get it out of there. I was heading to the infamous Waffle House with Mallory in tow, since she had school late because of the snow here in Lakeview. So did I, but I certainly did not want to eat breakfast with Peppy Girl here. But Mom was already frustrated with waking up late for work, so I agreed to bringing here and dropping her off at school.

Looking at Mallory, she seemed so fragile. Her legs with straight, almost stuck together. Her arms were shielding her from the snowflakes dropping from the cloudy sky. And her hair was wet, sticking to her pale face. I asked her, "Do you feel sick?"

"No," she said. "I feel fine." I nodded, not wanting to continue this discussion because of her sharp tone. "But," Mallory continued, "I just don't want to go to school."

Why wouldn't she? Wasn't she popular there, because of her neon and light pink outfits, and perfect blond hair? Looking at her sad face, I didn't think so. "Well, why not?"

"People," she answered.

I opened my mouth, about to say something until she interrupted me.

"And I know that's a placeholder! And I'll be specific, I promise."

I opened the doors of the restaurant, letting Mallory go in first. Taking my coat off, and getting Mallorys' as she did the same, I said to her, "Tell me then."

She scoffed. "Let's just go eat, Owen." She headed to a booth near the heater, and I followed her. I remembered when I came here with Rolly and Annabel. It was when we were just starting to be good friends - with Annabel, not Rolly - and I felt happy then. But now, I just felt like.. paper.

Blank.

She sat down, and I did, on the opposite side.

Then, she looked at me with a thoughtful expression. "Whatever happened to Annabel?"

I glanced down, up, sideways, not wanting to look at her. I did it after a couple of seconds, not wanting to look like I was having a seizure. She knew I didn't go out as usual, or bring Annabel home; she was the typical girl: always having to believe those movies where the guy has a girl friend and they become a couple at the end.

"Answer the question, Owen. If you want to know why I don't want to go to school," she whispered.

"I don't want to know why. I was just curious."

Mallory smirked, grabbing a menu from the back of the napkin dispenser. I took it from her. She just had this big O formation on her face, so I laughed. My sister is so not like me.

"Jerk!" she yelled. "I wanted to see that, so I could pick out food to eat."

"This isn't shopping. I'll "pick" it out for you," I said, mocking her. When the waiter came, I gave her the typical breakfast order: waffles (of course), eggs, sausage, and bacon. Mallory's face became light, and she clapped her hands, saying, "I'm having that? All that food?" I answered in a slow, bewildered, nod.

A couple of minutes later, the hot and steamy food came, and my tongue was just watering. Mallory just dug in like she hadn't eaten in three months. I looked at her, chewing the waffles, swallowing it down. "Why do you care so much about Annabel?" I asked.

"Because," she said, wiping the syrup off her mouth with a napkin, "you're not yourself, Owen. And I want him back."

I sat there, frozen. My sister, who of all is probably the most annoying, whiniest, typical teenage girl missed me. And she loves me. She didn't say that, but she did imply it. My hands were over my eyes, and I just groaned. How was I supposed to answer this? That Annabel was the one person who made me happier. Or, even happy. Everyone at school was so judgmental of me, but not her. She took me in, and didn't run away. She stayed. But now, she was gone. Disappeared, in her own little world. I never wanted to go and find her, because I want her to come back, and just spit out everything inside her little head. No matter what, though, she was hiding something. And all I wanted to do was help her. Comfort her.

And even though this sounds creepy or even weird, I wanted to kiss her. Just make her happy. The same that she did to me. I didn't answer the question Mallory asked, I ignored it. We ate, and ate, then left without a word.

Just like Annabel did.