Moving could do quite the amount of damage to a person's sleeping schedule. As minor (or, in some cases, untrue) as some of the complaints she gave her family about Bixby were, one problem was very real, and very troubling: Beth hadn't slept at all since moving to the new city.

Of course she couldn't complain too much about this particular problem. If she did, her parents might take it too seriously and make a big fuss and commotion about her health. No, it was better to keep it so that she could express herself through whining with no real consequences.

This extended to her sister as well. A lot of people complained that they had a bad relationship with someone because they couldn't "properly understand each other", when really they just hated each other's guts. Beth actually did have the problem of understanding – Jessica just wasn't someone you could communicate with! You could try to "express your true feelings" to her, but all the while she's be standing there, nodding and smiling condescendingly. I understand, she would say, when in reality she was busy thinking about herself. About how to be absolutely perfect.

I understand, and I'm going to try to be a better person. Thanks for the talk, Beth.

Of course she would try to be "a better person". After all, the girl who has everything can only want more, right?

No, Beth could not understand her sister, nor could she make her sister understand her.

But that wasn't the reason that, after Jessica had delivered a nice, perfect little speech to her at freaking midnight and left her room, Beth nearly drover herself into a panic.

How the hell had her sister gotten into her room, and onto her bed, without Beth noticing? Their new house wasn't exactly the quietest, and Jessica was bound to make some sort of noise creeping (uninvited!) into Beth's room. But no – one second Beth was alone, fretting over what the next day of school would be like, and the next Jessica was sitting on Beth's bed. Touching Beth's cheek.


Invitation or not, Beth was suspicious. As Jessica's "Don't let the bedbugs bite," faded behind the closing door, Beth hoped her determined glare pierced into the hallway.

"Yeah," she muttered into the pillow, "At least maybe the bedbugs will ask for an invitation first."