A/n: This is part of the little Twilight Humans universe I've created for myself. After writing about Lauren's wacky mom I wanted to write something about it. Someone that bitchy has to have something wrong, right?

Lauren is twelve when it happens.

Her family treats her like she's a baby. Her mother whispers into the telephone whenever she's around, but Lauren can hear every word. Her father ruffles her hair and calls her 'short stuff' which annoys her. Cybil just flat out ignores her (not that Lauren would want to talk to someone that stuck and mean).

Her family treats her like a baby, but they don't know all the grown up things she's done.

Lauren has kissed a boy once… or maybe twice. She didn't like it. Too wet. They always tried to use their tongues. Who uses tongues to kiss anyway?

She's also smoked a cigarette once, but it made her choke so she never did it again.

Lauren hates them for pretending to be happy. Her stupid parents.

One night she sneaks downstairs after bedtime to get a glass of water. The kitchen light is on and the shadows of her parents are dancing across the hard wood floors. Their voices are hushed so they won't wake up the kids.

Lauren sits at the bottom of the staircase, knees pulled to her chest. She can tell that something big is going on by the tense atmosphere surrounding her, hugging her like dad did when her goldfish died.

"What are you trying to say, Richard?"

"I…I don't think I can do this anymore."

"Do what?"

Her mother's voice, usually cheerful, is strangely sharp and cold. Lauren has never heard her mother talk like that to anyone. Not even when Lauren got in trouble or when Cybil missed curfew.

"This marriage is falling apart and you know it, Sally."

"Are you sure there was even a marriage to begin with?"

"What do you mean?"

"Why don't you touch me anymore?"

The sharpness in her voice is replaced by something else alien: desperation. Lauren doesn't know what her mother is talking about. She doesn't want to know.

After a few minutes of loud and bleak silence, her mother starts to sob. Horrible, shaking sobs that don't fit. Lauren wants to cry too, but she doesn't want to be discovered. So she holds it in. Her stomach is in knots. She feels like she's going to throw up.


"Who is she then?"

"Excuse me?"

"Who is the woman you've been seeing?"

Her father scoffs.

"That's ridiculous. I would never-"

"Just shut up. Don't lie to me, Richard. All I want is the truth. You've put me through me through so much Hell. The least you could do is tell me the truth."

Lauren can't take it anymore. She rushes upstairs to her room, making only a little noise so her parents will know she was there. For once, she is grateful that her parents baby her. The truth is just too sad.

She crawls back into bed, pulling her comforter over her head. The best thing she can do is go to sleep.

Because in the morning, the plastic smiles will return and Lauren won't know a thing.