#1 – The Battle Against Perfection

Lena burst into the empty bathroom and locked herself in the first stall, where the tears continued streaming down her face. Even though she knew it would be like another knife through her heart, she flipped open her cell phone and re-read the text message from one of her friends.

"rhys aksed maia to prom. sry."

Life had been blissful for Lena until Maia had shown up at school. Not only did she have the magnetic mystique that came from being "the new girl", she was drop-dead gorgeous as well. When she strode into the cafeteria with her waist-length pale blue hair (and perfectly coordinating clothes), long legs, and curves to die for, the busy room suddenly went silent. Doves had actually circled around her, though it was later discovered that the presence of the white birds was due to a student's prank in the biology classroom.

No one knew where she was from or anything about her, but the boys all literally shoved each other out of the way to sit next to her in class, carry her tray at lunch, or escort her to the door at the end of the school day. As Lena had been dating Rhys for almost all of high school (which equaled "forever" in teenage terms), she thought she had nothing to worry about. She was wrong.

Rhys had been all too eager to join in the quest for Maia's affections. When Lena had suggested that perhaps he should pay more attention to his actual girlfriend, he had immediately broken up with her, claiming that she was "too controlling" and that he "needed to be free for senior year!". The pain of being unceremoniously dumped was bad enough, but it dulled in comparison to the realization that Rhys thought "freedom" meant "hooking up with the new hot chick". Despite his rather shoddy treatment of her, Lena had still held out hope for reconciliation, as most of her friends had frequently been on-again/off-again with their significant others, sometimes even within the course of one day.

The news of Rhys taking Maia to the senior prom had dashed her hopes forever. He was gone, never to return to her, and she was alone. As she continued to weep openly in the tiny bathroom stall, she tore off a length of toilet paper from the roll and used it to blow her nose.

Lena was trying to dry the tears from her face when she heard the door open. Someone walked into the bathroom and stood in front of the sinks. Lena peeked underneath the stall and saw a pair of light blue, high-heeled shoes. She only knew one person who wore shoes like that..."Fuck!" she mumbled under her breath.

The person outside had heard her. "Is someone there?"

Lena cursed again, but this time she managed to keep it inside her head. She tossed her dampened wad of paper into the toilet and flushed. Realizing she couldn't stay in there forever, she flung open the door to face her romantic rival.

Maia was leaning over the sinks towards the mirror, applying bright pink gloss to her full lips. Lena tried to ignore her and started washing her hands as far away from her as possible, but it was to no avail. "Hey," the azure-clad goddess called out. "You're Lena, right?"

Lena turned off the running water and realized she had to get past the taller girl to get to the paper towels. "Yeah, that's me," she sighed as she tried to squeeze past her to dry her hands.

Maia turned to face the petite Lena and due to the combination of the blue-haired woman's natural height and four-inch heels, Lena found herself exactly at eye-level with her enemy's impressive chest. Life isn't fair, Lena thought. She felt like a ten-year-old child in comparison, and as she put a hand up to brush some of her short brown hair out of her eyes, she was reminded that her recent disaster of a haircut only emphasized her boyish features. The inferiority complex she was already dealing with only increased in intensity.

"I don't think we've officially met yet. I'm Maia." Her voice was soft and pleasant, and Lena was sure that if she broke into song, she would sound like a choir of angels.

"I know who you are." Lena tilted her head back in an effort to establish eye contact. "Can you get these things out of my face?" she asked, gesturing to the perfectly rounded spheres dangling mockingly before her.

Maia obligingly took a step backwards. A small frown appeared on her pouty, fuchsia lips. "I'm sorry about what happened with Rhys," she said sincerely. "I didn't know you had been dating him."

"Everybody knew! We'd been together for years!"

The frown deepened. "I didn't know, no one told me. I'm really sorry your feelings got hurt, I feel terrible."

Lena was incredulous. "You're actually apologizing to me? Can you, like, not be so damn perfect all the time?"

Maia started nervously fidgeting with the hem of her tight blue dress, an easy task as it stopped a good six inches above her knee. "I don't want to make any enemies here. It's just so hard being at a new school, and I just wanted people to like me, and..."

Lena thought she saw the other girl's lower lip start to tremble. Oh shit, now I've made the perfect princess cry, she thought. If this gets out, everyone will hate me. "I don't dislike you," she offered aloud, trying to sound comforting. "I know I should be angry with Rhys, not you."

Maia pulled out a paper towel and gently dabbed at the corners of her eyes, somehow managing not to disturb any of her expertly-applied makeup. "You were with him for a really long time, huh?"

The brown-haired girl nodded. "I've known him for practically my whole life, we grew up together." She felt her own tears forming again, but she couldn't stop herself. "I really thought we were meant to be together." One drop fell, followed by another, and soon her face was soaking wet again. Shut up, Lena, you're embarrassing yourself! Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP! Her inner monologue lost the battle and she continued on with her tale of woe. "Ever since I was a little girl, I thought we'd go to the prom together, graduate together, go to college together...maybe even get married!" She wiped her nose with the back of her hand. "But I guess he never felt the same way..."

Maia was so overcome with sympathy, she reached out and pulled the sobbing girl to her in a warm embrace. Lena panicked for a moment at the thought of suffocating in the massive mounds of flesh, but she relaxed and accepted the hug. "Boys can be so dumb sometimes," Maia stated rather uneloquently. "I'm really sorry he did that to you. Now I don't even know if I want to go to the prom with him."

"Dnnsitatbcssommee."

"What?"

Lena managed to extract her face from the front of Maia's dress. "Don't say that because of me," she repeated. "You'll go with him and you'll have a good time. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine."

Maia cocked her head to the side and blinked her long lashes. "Are you sure?"

"Yes! Go!"

"Thanks, Lena." A small smile returned to the luscious lips. "Maybe we can be friends one day."

"We'll see."

Lena hated to admit it, but she did feel a little better after her bathroom chat with the lovely Maia. Her good mood only intensified when she found out that Rhys's father had grounded him just mere days away from the long-awaited dance. There had been a time when Lena would have gone to help Rhys sneak out of his basement room, but those days were gone and she rather enjoyed the thought of him festering in his anger alone down there. She was done with him. She was moving on.