Title: laughs

Summary: Tawni screams.

Author's Note: Don't know why I edited this since it's absolute crap, but I did, so. Here you go?

/

She's always been the slightest bit behind. Her brain rambles while she reads. The letters mix in front of her. Mommy always says everyone likes dumb girls, but Tawni likes to read, just doesn't like the way everything gets muddled around.

"Mommy, what does that say?"

Mommy ignores her. Tawni squints until she can focus hard enough.

Audition Form.

Tawni smiles at it, spreading the letters out on her tongue, until they form words and make meaning.

She decides they're her favorite. They ring a little bit, when you whistle along. If you whisper them, they sound almost like a lullaby.

/

She decides that everything is, in fact, is a little less than beautiful than her. She's stopped squinting to see words properly, because Mommy says that's how you get wrinkles. Tawni thinks the whole world spins when she's standing still.

"Why is everything so blurry, Mom?"

Her mom looks at her this time. Rolls her eyes, "Lose ten pounds, see the difference, and then try complaining."

Tawni shuts up, wishing that she could eat something.

She decides this will make her perfect at least. She has to be perfect. But can't she be perfect with chocolate cake?

No.

/

One day, she decides she's going to marry the cutest man, like, ever. They'll have two children, a boy and a girl, and they'll have blonde hair and blue eyes and sing like angels. They'll have a mansion in Beverly Hills and she won't have to work if she doesn't want to. She'll put out a white picket fence, just to rub everyone's face in her perfect life.

She tells her mother, "I'm going to be happy one day. The happiest girl in the whole world."

Her mother laughs. The cold edge to it makes Tawni's world halt. Everyone stops smiling.

"I am," Tawni insists.

Tawni begins to think she won't ever be happy. She hopes. She crosses her fingers. She makes wishes on every possible thing. Every time she passes a picket fence, she holds her breath. The world keeps on spinning, until she hears her mother laugh.

And then, she starts to doubt herself again.

/

She opens the mailbox and, in excitement, opens the letter she's been waiting on. Grin stapled on her face, she runs inside to break the news to her mother.

"As of today, I'm a cast member of So Random!"

Her mother glares, "What about that other show we auditioned for?"

Tawni doesn't correct her mother, just shrinks. "I didn't like the script."

Her mother smirks, "You didn't get it. Well, can't say I'm surprised. At least you have something."

Tawni holds her letter tightly in her hand, makes wishes, and walks upstairs to her room.

She tries every social media site to get some reaction. Going to be on So Random! Officially in the business! But no one comments, no one likes, no one cares.

Maybe in Hollywood, she thinks, things will be better.

She gets some friends, loses weight, and becomes another American Sweetheart in the hoard of American Sweethearts.

Things spin fast. But then, when she gets a bad review or gets criticized in "celebrity" magazines, the rides in the carnival start to break.

/

James Conroy makes her laugh. Makes her smile. Makes her stomach spin faster than her brain.

"I'm dating James Conroy," she giggles.

Her mother stares at her, trying to find the lie. There's something there, in her mother's eyes, she's never seen before. Tawni thinks… Could that be… Pride?

"You're lying," her mother whispers.

Of course not. Tawni laughs this time.

"He told me he loves me."

Her mother closes the distance and, for once, Tawni believes her mother will finally touch her. Will finally show her some affection.

Instead, her mother smacks her across the face. Pummels her, burns her, strikes her.

Tawni screams.

It's the first and last pyshical contact with her mother. And Mommy ignores her and her bruises the next morning like usual.

But Tawni knows what was in her Mommy's eyes. Jealousy. Because Tawni's going to have that big house with the beautiful husband and the two perfect little kids. She's going to be okay. Everything will be perfect.

Once she loses ten more pounds, everything will be perfect. That's what Mommy always said.