Chapter 1

I can remember the exact moment that my direction my life was going in changed. Sometimes I lay awake at night, and stare at the stars I can see through the skylight in my room wondering how different my life could have been if only. If only my parents hadn't both been workaholics, if only they hadn't stayed extra late that Sunday night, if only the guy hadn't of been drunk, maybe he would have seen their SUV in the cross-section and not plowed into them killing them right away, if only I hadn't been sent to live with my grandmother, and some nights when it had been really bad I wondered if only I could have been with my parents that night too. Then we'd all be together, I would be happy I think then; happier to be dead than to be alive, and living the hell that was my life without them.

Why did they both have to die? I don't believe in God, because a God would have saved them, or at least one of them. They wouldn't take both of them away from me so quickly, not when I needed them the most. I remember the police officer knocking on the door to my old house, the only house that has ever been home to me. He apologized to my sitter Annie for waking us up, but he "had bad news." He had no idea the kind of life his bad news was condemning me to. No one did. It's been four years since that night, and still no one knows what it's like for me. The potential I had to maybe be amazing at something, anything, that potential is wasted on the life that's now mine. It doesn't feel like my life though, its like putting on someone else's clothes when all you really want is your favorite comfy clothes that fit you just right and are worn in the all the right places, my life itches and constricts me like it doesn't belong. Or maybe it's just me that doesn't belong?

It's Monday and I slowly made my way up the steps to my school. I had been at McKinley High for the past two years, and every day in school for me was torture. Middle school had started off with some promise, for a few weeks my old friends had hung around, although it was clear no one knew quite what to say to me about the loss of my parents. Teachers made a point of all telling me they were there if I ever needed to talk to someone, then they would quickly hurry away before I even said anything, leaving me to stare after them until my twelve year old brain worked out that teachers lie, and try to tell you what they think you want to hear, not what they actually mean. What they really meant was, that's pretty tough kid, bad luck, now do your homework, keep your head down, and get out of my way. Anyway, eventually teachers stopped trying to make conversation, and my friends stopped talking to me too, and just sort of drifted away. By the start of High school my school day had entered a familiar pattern.

I gingerly shucked my backpack from my shoulders, and was just reaching down to grab the books I wanted to leave in my locker when a body slammed into me hard enough for me to fall into the lockers. I hit my head on one of the doors and winced as I gently rubbed my hand across what was sure to be a red mark on my forehead. Yeah, that was one of the things I got to look forward to on my school days now. I just managed to get to my feet and shove whatever books I could into my locker when something cold and wet made contact with my back. Slushy. Cherry flavor by the look of the red puddle forming around me on the floor. I turned around to face my attackers only to watch a group of football player's high fiving each other as they walked away. I watched as other kids parted to make way for them, like they were the Gods of the school or something, instead of the bullies they really are. With a small sigh I made my way to the girls locker room to go and get changed for the first time today. If I didn't spend lunch in the library I'd probably have to get changed more, but normally it would be at least once and normally twice a day that I would have to rinse some obnoxious overly sweet slushy off me.

At least I was prepared nowadays. When it first happened I didn't have a change of clothes and I had to spend the whole day walking around with a blue stain on my dress. Now I even had a change of shoes just in case in my locker. Changing quickly I hurried to beat the bell so I would be on time for my first period. Spanish. Really I should probably be in AP Spanish, but the school doesn't offer it, so I sit in class trying not to frown over any mispronunciations or grammatical errors, and keep my head down staring at my book to try to avoid the inevitable teasing that comes with my Latina looks during this class.

Sometimes someone would pass a note, or say something that was so mean and degrading that my hands would clench into fists where they lay on my lap, and I would have to count to one hundred in every language I knew. Today was one of those days when Noah 'Puck' Puckerman made a lewd comment under his breath to me about how he'd like to play dirty little housecleaner with me, and see how loud he could make scream in Spanish when he showed me what being with a real man was like. His girlfriend Quinn Fabray hit him in the arm as he blew kisses at me. I bit my lip and just continued to stare at my book in front of me. Realizing that class was almost over I quickly wrote down everything that was written in the board in neat block lettering before the bell rang, then I tucked the book away in my bag and waited for the rest of the class to leave before I did. If I didn't, someone would try and trip me on my way out, so now it was just easier to wait for them to all go first. Mr. Schuester watched me go, and tried to smile goodbye. I found by now in my life though it was just easier to stay as far away from a teacher as possible so I just kept my head down and quietly left.

One class is pretty much like the rest in high school. Sit. Write notes. Pay attention. Stay silent. And my Monday progressed with the same boring predictability as every other Monday. A few more trips and pushes into lockers or walls. A wad of gum left on my chair in history that I sat on before I noticed it, getting laughs from a few girls that sit behind me. Nothing is out of the ordinary in fact until art class. Art class is always out of the ordinary because she is in art class. I sit two rows behind her on the right and spend most of the class gazing at her profile, and hoping that no one notices. She is always beautiful, happy; actually beyond happy she is positively bubbly. She makes me want to write poetry about her. And even though I can't draw worth a damn, I use one of my electives to take art class twice a week just so I can soak in her presence. Today she is laughing at something he is saying, whispering in her ear. I hate him. I hate that he is so close to her, that he makes her laugh, that he gets to talk to her, see her up close, he could probably even smell her better from where he is, I have only ever smelt her in passing, and she smells like the rain on a sunny day. God that makes me sound like a sappy perv. But I'm not, honestly. I just have this huge crush that I carry for her, and it's my biggest secret. I know that we could never be together. She's way out of my league. I'm a loser, and she's a cheerleader. I wear some solid color woolen dress and black leather shoes to school every day that make me look like I am a reject from the Amish community or something, and when she doesn't wear her cheerios uniform what she wears influences the fashion throughout the school. And so it should be stated as a fact that I Santana Lopez could never in a million years get a girl like Brittany Susan Pierce to ever be interested in me.