"I don't love you. I never did. I love someone else..."

Madeleine Masterson's eyes shot open after waking from a terrible nightmare. She breathed out a sigh of relief and soon got back into bed, too tired to get up completely, yet too jittery to sleep.

"Thank goodness it was just a nightmare," the now fourteen-year-old girl said to herself. It had been a year since she last saw Lulu, Theo, Hyacinth, and...Garrison. Oh how she missed him and the rest of her friends! Well, she had to admit, she hardly missed Hyacinth at all. But she didn't find it right that she should be thinking about such a thing so mean.

The British girl had changed just a bit over the year. Her ruler-straight, raven-black hair was now a few inches below her shoulder, her bright blue eyes were as bright as ever, and she had grown four more inches taller. All in all, the girl was reasonably attractive.

For the remainder of the morning, she kept thinking about her friends. Her mind kept thinking about Theo, Garrison, and Lulu, but mostly Garrison. She hardly gave a thought about Hyacinth. Not that she meant to be mean, of course.

"Oh Lulu," she thought as she stared at her ceiling, "I really miss her. I have her phone number, though...I haven't called her like I promised to do. Maybe I should give her a call in the afternoon to catch up and tell her about my nightmare. It really seemed real..."

So, the young teenager got up, changed in more presentable clothes, and hurried downstairs to greet her parents and eat breakfast. She was so glad it was summer vacation again. That meant she could sleep in and her parents wouldn't mind if she was late for breakfast. She didn't know it, but her parents also slept in.

"Hello, dear," Mrs. Masterson called over to her kindly, flipping pancakes at the same time, "Your breakfast is almost ready now. Your father and I would have gotten it cooked earlier but we were asleep too."

"It's true, sweetie," Mr. Masterson added with a chuckle, putting the now ready food on the large, round table. Madeleine laughed and took a seat at the table next to her father. A few minutes later, her mother joined them and took a seat next to Madeleine.

After a good breakfast and conversation with her parents, Madeleine got up to help clean the kitchen table.

"Mummy," Madeleine started as she and her parents headed over to the large living room, "Can I please call Lulu? She's bound to be awake now."

"Of course, Maddie," her parents said in unison. Madeleine said her thanks and kissed both her parents on the cheek before running upstairs to get her cell phone from her bedroom.

Madeleine grabbed her cell phone from her desk and began to search for Lulu's number in her 'My Contacts' list. Once she had found the number, she immediately pressed the 'OK' button. After about seven rings, someone answered.

"Hi!" said a loud and slightly obnoxious voice.

Madeleine, confused at the moment, decided that it would be rude not to respond. She was sure that she called the right person.

"Hello," she said in her polite British accent, "Is Lulu Punchalower at home right now?"

"Yeah," said the voice who Madeleine assumed to be Lulu's younger brother, "She's in her room right now."

"Then may I please speak to her?" Madeleine asked hopefully.

"Sure, whatever."

"Thank you," she said, starting to feel awkward. There was a long pause before she finally heard something coming from the other line again.

"LULU, THERE'S A WEIRD SOUNDING PERSON WHO WANTS TO TALK TO YOU NOW!" Lulu's younger brother screamed so loudly that Madeleine jumped.

"Shut up already! What were you doing with my phone anyway?" Lulu shouted back. From the sound of the strawberry blond haired girl's voice, she clearly just got up from bed and sounded more irritated than usual.

After a few long minutes of arguing with her brother, Lulu took her phone and said, "Who are you and what do you want?"

"Lulu, it's me. Madeline, remember?" Madeleine replied quietly, fearing that she upset the freckle-faced girl.

"Maddie?" Lulu said in disbelief, sounding much happier, "You finally called! I almost thought you forgot about me and the others. Theo and Garrison are over my house for the summer. Garrison and I didn't want to stay at Theo's apartment. From what his brother told me, I wouldn't want to even stay a day there. And I just needed the comfort of my home anyways. All three of us miss you, though! Why don't you come down to Rhode Island? All we need to complete the summer is you."

The young Masterson girl smiled broadly and said, "I missed you three, too! I also love to come over your house! I'm sure my mum and dad will let me go, but I'll just ask to be sure."

"Great! I'm sure you want to talk to the others. But they're still asleep. Normally, I wouldn't care and I'd just wake them up. But my "mother dearest" wouldn't let me before. And I'm sure she won't let me wake them up again," Lulu said with an exasperated sigh.

Madeleine was about to respond but Lulu cut her off with something that made her very worried.

Lulu's voice became very worried and solemn sounding, "Oh and Maddie? Erm, I guess I should also break some news to you. You won't be happy about this...at all. And remember that I mean this in the nicest way possible. I would have told you right when you called but...I didn't want you to be upset just when I finally got the chance to catch up and to talk to you...It has something to do with Garrison."

Madeleine wasn't sure whether or not she wanted to find out or not. But she asked, "What is it, Lulu? And, please, just tell me. Don't make it harder than it already is."