A/N: I got this idea after catching up with Switched at Birth, and the plot bunny kept nagging at me to write, so I thought I'd give it a try. Thanks for reading, enjoy, and let me know what you think. Hopefully, more to come soon!

Shaking in my little black shoes from a combination of anger and the crisp air, I stood alone in the parking lot as I watched the motorcycle helmet; given to me mere hours before, sink to the bottom of the dark pond water. I crisscrossed tightly against my chest, only unbinding them to reach up and wipe a tear away from my cheek; swiping it away before sniffling and looking down at the pavement. Like the helmet, I felt my heart sink into my abdomen. Over my shoulder, I looked back with swollen eyes at Carlton's prom. Lights flashed from the windows, silhouettes of dancers swayed behind the walls, and music continued to blare from the venue. Squeezing my eyes shut, I thought about how I could have still been in there dancing in his arms without knowing his secret – the same arms that held Simone in the most intimate way. Suddenly, I felt dirty…like I had slept with her too. My head quickly filled with more traumas, bringing my heart from my abdomen to the back of my throat. I wanted to sob, I wanted to scream, I wanted to punch a wall, but most of all, I wanted to leave. However, there was no going back inside to get a ride home, I would have had to explain the situation, or worse run into Emmett, and I just wanted it all to be over.

I started for the opening in the black fancy gate that surrounded the property. Riding in with Emmett, I remembered coming in from the left, but my mind was in too much of a frenzy to remember anything else. Walking was out of the question anyways, but that had only just struck me. I let out an aggravated sigh and turned around to walk back down the driveway, but the sound of a vehicle coming down the otherwise deserted road stopped me dead in my tracks. That was my ticket home. I trotted out to the side of the road and started to walk backwards with my right arm out and thumb pointed up.

"Please stop, please stop," I mumbled to myself.

The vehicle approached slowly and came to a stop about five feet in front of me. I shielded my eyes because of the truck's high beams, but the driver switched them off and waved me over to the passenger side.

"Where ya headed, miss?" the male driver asked, manually rolling down the window.

"M-Mission Hills," I nervously answered, already regretting my decision to hail down the stranger.

"I should'a guessed, you dressed up so nicely and such. Humph, it's outta my way but, hmmm, how old are you?"

"Sixteen," I replied.

"Christ, what are you doin' out so late dressed like that?"

"I don't wanna talk about it."


"No, no, not that. No. Umm…I…"

"Get in."

"What?" I asked, bombarded by embarrassment.

"Get in, I'll take you home. The name's Steve."

"Bay," I said opening the passenger door and climbing inside the ratty farm truck.

My mother would have killed me; both mothers would have killed me, but like my general approach towards life – what they don't know won't hurt them. I sat and watched the world pass by as the stranger, known as Steve, drove me home. I'd be lying if I told you I felt completely safe, but as I recognized land marks from the drive with Emmett, I felt more secure. Emmett. The fear of getting kidnapped and massacred by a pick-up truck driver named Steve blanketed the whole situation I was trying to escape. Emmett cheated on me; he cheated on me with my childhood rival. I should have known it was too good to be true. God forbid, I have one good, normal thing come from the whole switched at birth fiasco. I felt the tears start to come back, and I looked up at the roof of the car in an attempt to suck them back in, but they rolled down my cheeks at their own free will, and I cried to myself until we hit Mission Hills. There was nothing to distract me from my thoughts. The only thing that came relatively close was an on duty ambulance that emerged though the darkness, and vanished as fast as it appeared in the opposite direction. Seconds later, I disappeared back into the hell inside my head.

I was dropped off at the foot of my driveway, and I awkwardly offered the man a few bucks for his trouble. The kind stranger drove off quickly, for the eyesore of the truck was very much out of place for the top scale development. Despite having the whole house to myself, I went straight to my studio. Upon pushing up the garage door, the lights came on, and I walked inside – gradually stepping out of my heals. I approached my painting in process with the intention of getting lost in the colors. With one hand I turned on some music and with the other, destroyed my fancy hair style to simply pull it back into a ponytail. Then I took a paintbrush from the pickle jar adjacent my easel, placed the handle between my teeth, and reached for the jacket on the floor because it was extra chilly in the garage. I wrapped the familiar jacket around myself and pushed my arms though the sleeves. However, despite the warmth, something felt off. My eyes traced the sleeves down my arms and off my fingertips, and over my left breast was a Carlton iron-on patch.

Dropping my paint brush, I screamed, and violently stood up off my stool, letting it crash to the floor. I ripped the jacket off my arms and crumpled it up before throwing it to the dusty floor. In an instant, I switched from calm and serene to filled with rage. With my bare foot, I twisted the windbreaker into the floor. Reaching behind me, I took the pickle jar and spilled its murky contents on the fabric mass before crashing the class to the ground with it. I looked up and felt surrounded by Emmett's influence. Sketches and photographs upon my bulletin board, I tore from their pushpins and let float to the floor. The poster I created of Emmett and I on the bike, I ripped in half, and then quarters, and the eighths until it was nothing more than a pile of paper. Mini sticker versions remained plastered to my wall, and first with my finger nails, and then with a pallet knife, I attempted to scrape them off. When only little pieces would come off, I yelled in frustration, and ran across the room for a paint can. Holding the short, but wide plastic canister against my side, I reached into the black liquid and covered the stickers up with handfuls of acrylic paint. Paint dripped down my hand as I stood back and watched the thin parts of the globs harden into dull black plastic.


I looked out to the familiar voice, and Daphne was standing in the doorway waving her hands at me in an attempt to gain my attention. God knows how long she had been standing there. With my clean hand, I switched off the music, put down the paint, and reached for a towel. Her face looked panicked, and it looked as if she was crying.


"Where have you been?" she asked, "everyone's been looking for you."

"I've been here. I got a ride home with a friend," I lied, wiping paint off my hand. "You can tell everyone to relax."

"Haven't you heard? Do you even care?" Daphne spat.

"What are you even talking about?"

"Emmett. I'm talking about Emmett," she choked.

I stepped towards her, realizing this was bigger than just Emmett and I, "Daphne what's wrong?"

"He's hurt, Emmet's hurt. An SUV hit him and his bike," she sniffed. "He's on the way to the emergency room."