Disclaimer:: So I don't own High School Musical nor any characters or people affliated with it that may pop up in this story. I don't own any quotes that I may use or certain places, objects, or companies that may be mentioned in this story as well. I do however own the laptop this story was written on as well as any characters that may not seem familiar because it means I made them up. How rich i would be if I did own any of that mentioned above *sigh*

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, one clover, and a bee, and revery. The revery alone will do if bees are few.

-Emily Dickinson

Age Appropriate

Chapter 1

Gabriella Montez giggled, her 17 year old body curling up next to her boyfriend on the couch as they watched the Hangover Part II, his favorite movie. Together the two watched as Alan sat on the floor trying to inspect the object that was peeking out from under a blanket, which they already knew was Chow's penis. They had seen this movie over a hundred times since it came out.

Gabriella looked up to catch Troy Bolton's face as he laughed when the monkey started to play with Chow's penis, loving the look of satisfaction that was radiating off of him at this moment. She couldn't help but stare as she bit her lip and rested her head on his shoulder, snuggling into his t-shirt and kissing the exposed skin on his neck.

His hand that was resting on her hip, moved so it was under her shirt and he rubbed the skin on her waist as he tore his eyes away from the movie to meet her awaiting gaze. He smiled, leaning down to press a quick kiss on her lips, their eyes never leaving each others.

"Why are you staring at me?" he asked her, a smirk forming on his face while he watched her blush at being caught.

"I could ask you the same question," she fired back, an identical smirk on her own facial features.

"You were staring at me first!"

"Are we really playing that game?" She asked, a smile forming in place of her smirk.

He shrugged. "If you want to."

Gabriella shook her head. "You're so unbelievable. Can I just stare at my boyfriend because I want to?"

Troy looked as if he were thinking about it for a second before Gabriella's hand smacked him on the leg. "Okay," he gave in with a laugh, his hand coming up to her face. "But keep those pretty little eyeballs of yours in that head," he used his finger to poke her forehead which caused her to lean over and bite the edge of his ear just as the door opened.

"Ow, woman," he complained with a fake pout as his friends walked in the small living room.

"You guys being rough with each other again," his roommate Chad Danforth asked as he walked in and sat down on the couch on the other side of Gabriella.

Roommate, right. That's one thing that wasn't mentioned. Troy had a roommate because he didn't live at home anymore…because he happened to be 20 years old. It was the one thing about the couple that no one would ever guess just from looking at them. The way they acting and with how comfortable and close they were, no one would know the 3 and a half year age gap between the two.

When people find out about the age gap though, the first thing that they do is criticize. They think they know all the facts and all the elements of the relationship. The most common saying would have to be that of why a 20 year old bachelor as attractive as Troy would willingly want to be in an exclusive relationship, especially with a girl that was still in high school. No one understood why, and they probably never would, but it didn't matter because the couple wasn't looking for approval. They honestly didn't care.

"Shut up," Troy answered, tossing an empty water bottle in his direction right before he reached over Gabriella to grab the remote from Troy's lap.

"Excuse me," Gabriella laughed looking over at the dark-skinned guy on her left.

Chad had successfully changed the channel from the movie on HBO to a cable channel that was playing the NBA finals. He looked over at his best friend and roommates' girlfriend with wide confused eyes. "What?"

She eyed him suspiciously. "We were kinda watching that…"


"We were watching it," Troy intervened. "Wanna give that remote back and go watch the finals in your room buddy?"

Chad looked back at Troy as if he had just told him he was going to experiment and cut off the tight ringlets that clung to the top of his head. "Why don't you guys go in your room and make out. 'Cause we all know that's what you're going to end up doing instead of watching the rest of the movie."

Troy's arm that was resting on the back of the couch behind Gabriella's head reached over to thwack Chad on the arm. "Dude?"

Chad shrugged. "You want privacy with your girl, you go in your room. Simple."

Gabriella rolled her eyes. "It's okay, I have to get going anyway."

"What, why?"She stood up as Troy kept his grip on her hand. She tried to pull away, but his hold was tight.

"Baby, I've been over here pretty much since Monday. My mom's starting to get suspicious about me supposedly sleeping over at Taylor's all week. She's probably going to want me home tonight." She leaned over, giving him a quick peck before pulling away from him. He groaned from his spot still on the couch as she bent over and picked up her bag and slipped on her shoes. "I'll call you before I go to sleep."

Troy nodded watching as she smiled at him before disappearing out the apartment door. He looked over to see Chad chuckling at him, head shaking. "What?"

"You are soooo whipped," Chad commented turning back to the TV as Troy just rolled his eyes, not a word of denial ever once leaving his mouth.


Gabriella walked in the house a little after 9 to see her mother, Julianne Montez, sitting on the couch, a bowl of popcorn in hand as she watched a new episode of The Bachelor. "Hey."

"Hi, how was school?"

"Fine," Gabriella answered, feeling just the slight bit awkward. Ever since her Dad died 4 years ago, things hadn't been the same. Her and her mother just weren't close anymore, so most days they just didn't talk.

"And how is Troy? I assume you went over to see him after school today?"

She nodded. "He's fine."

"I didn't expect you home so early," her mother continued, trying to make conversation.

Gabriella looked down at her shoes as if they were so interesting. "Well, Chad came home and they were watching the NBA finals and I still have homework and class tomorrow so…"

Her mother nodded. "Good, I guess I'll let you get to it though. I made Lasagna for dinner; it's on the stove."

The younger Montez shook her head. "I'm not too hungry. I'll have a salad or something before I sleep."

"Gabriella…" the older woman started to scold, but Gabriella wouldn't let her finish.

"I'm fine Mom! You don't have to worry about me. I'm going to eat without throwing it back up, I've been doing so for how long now," she challenged with attitude before she quickly ended the situation and conversation by heading up to her room.

Julianne sighed, turning back to the TV. That was another issue that had plagued the Montez family over the last year or so. Of course Gabriella was small, she'd always been that way. She was petite and never weighed more than 115 pounds. But a little over a year ago, Gabriella had been diagnosed with Bulimia. Shocker? Well there's a story behind it.

18 months ago, Gabriella had been in the middle of her sophomore year of high school and dating one of the most popular guys in school, Jake Leanly. He was the captain of the football team, a stud, and a jerk. Gabriella could have done so much better than him, but she stuck around only for it to hurt her in the end.

She'd always been faithful to Jake, but she couldn't say the same for him. He'd cheated multiple times, but always convinced her not to break up with him by promising her things and treating her like a Queen for a couple of days, but soon enough, he'd get right back to his old ways. What really hurt her was when he started to tell her that she wasn't pretty enough, her clothes weren't sexy enough, legs not long enough, and body not thin enough. It was the worst thing a guy could ever tell a girl and for this girl, it would wind up changing her life.

This is what made Gabriella crack. She started eating large portions of food and then forcing herself to throw it up immediately after. Soon enough, portions became smaller and the amount of times she threw up a week became more frequent. She'd been at it for about 3 months before her mother found out and forced her to finally get help. She broke up with Jake, sharing news about what his comments had done to her, but he only blamed her which sent her into remission. 14 months ago, Gabriella had officially been diagnoses with Bulimia. She was admitted to a doctor, given medication to help her eat, and seeing a therapist 3 days a week.

It wasn't enough. 2 months after being diagnosed, a year ago now, Gabriella was admitted into a rehabilitation center, where she stayed for 4 months before she found herself strong enough to come home, to deal with the stress and temptation. She met Troy then, at a movie theatre with her friends; her first night out since before she was diagnosed and she wasn't at all comfortable with herself at the time. Two months later, she and Troy were officially dating and she had grown far from who she was. They had been dating for 6 months and she was stronger now, she hadn't relapsed in 14 months now, but the people around her still had moments of worry and it killed her that faith in her was lost from time to time, but she handled it as best as she could.

Especially when her mother was completely against her currently relationship. She could see why, but that was no excuse for the coldness the two shared, but it wasn't like either of them was working to fix the situation. They preferred things to stay the way they were. It was easier to just deal with things the way they were rather than fixing it. The only person it seemed she could really talk to besides Taylor seemed to be her Aunt Melissa, but her aunt was young, beautiful, and in her prime, so it wasn't often that she saw her.

The 17 year old dropped her stuff on her bed, kicking off her shoes and collapsing backwards on the bed. She stared at the ceiling fan above her head that was set on high. A turn of the head to the left and she caught her iPod dock flashing the time 7:21. Sighing and sitting up to shrug off her jacket, pull down her skinny jeans and switch from the ruffled tank top she was wearing to her old oversized twilight t-shirt, she pulled back the covers and climbed into bed.

That night she fell asleep staring at the wall, wondering just what would strike her life next. Little did she know, a surprise would come all too soon and not only rock, but turn everyone's world upside down.

Author's Note: Sooooo...I promised a new story before August 20th and it's the 19th! Cutting it close I know, but I have a good amount of chapters written for this story and I just wanted to make sure I was in a good place before I posted the story. That and I also wanted to keep you guys waiting ya know for the suspense...JK. Anyway I hope you enjoy the first chapter and that most of you guys are still with me although I haven't posted in a while. I start school tomorrow so I'm predicting the next update to be Wednesday or Thursday and if not then definitely Friday. Thanks again and Review!