Brenda sat under a tree eating her lunch. Her mom had gone all wholesome on her fixing her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and adding potato chips and some of her old fashioned oatmeal and raisin cookies. All to be washed down by one of those box shaped apple drinks.

God, how nostalgic could her mother get? She knew her mom refused to be all hip like Kelly's cool mama and had regressed to treating her like she were back in junior high. She couldn't be any more embarrassed than she was right now. Brandon, now their mom treated him as if he were actually 17 years old. He could work at the peach pit or in his new job as a male model for the spring line at some happening cloth horse store and he could stay out as late as he wanted. Smash a few cars, drink back some booze and their parents would always forgive him. Because it was never like him to act that way, they'd say in his and their defense. But what Jim and Cindy didn't know is that Brandon was spiraling deep into his dark side right underneath their roof.

Kelly breezed on by, flipping her sun drenched extensions back off of her face. God, she had the coolest mom in Jackie. Okay so she flipped out a couple of times…in public after getting high on a couple lines of coke in the bathroom but she dressed like the model she used to be and she acted like she was Kelly's best friend rather than her mama.

After Kelly sat down, Brenda put down her copy of Seventeen and looked at her best friend.

"What's up," Kelly asked, pulling out her celery sticks and mineral water. For her that'd be lunch until she dined on some pretzel sticks dipped in no-cal ranch dressing for dinner. She was on the perpetual diet yet she didn't have an ounce of fat on her. Brenda on the other hand had that Midwestern wholesomeness and a lot of her baby fat. She groaned about it constantly, after all when Dylan had said he preferred blonds over brunettes it had almost sent her over the edge.

His preference for skinny sticks with D cupped tipped her completely over it.

It had sent her to her room for an entire month, the last month of summer when the rest of her crowd had been surfing up the waves, soaking up the sun or partying up over bonfires, luaus or grunion runs at the local beach club. Brenda had fervently hoped that one of her friends would notice she hadn't been at any of these events and had tried to find out why, to comfort her, to convince her that she was their best friend forever. But her so-called friends were too busy having fun to bother. Kelly her BFF had stolen her boyfriend yet again. They had camped out on the beach together as if that hadn't already gotten so old. When Dylan hooked up with Kelly, he had no originality, no flair, nothing like when he'd been with her.

But she was so over him…if he wanted to cavort with Kelly or her ditzy friend Donna, then that would be good for Brenda. She'd find herself some nice older man, high school guys being too tame for her.

"I'm going to the party at Marlene's," Brenda said, "It's not your scene though Kelly."

Kelly pursed her ruby lips.

"How so Brenda…? You think I'm a bimbo or something?"

Brenda shrugged.

"You said it not me."

She had no feelings of forgiveness for the third or fourth time that Kelly had stolen Dylan from her. Not that she cared anyway. Dylan had no taste anyway so it didn't matter what he did now. Kelly's lips formed a pout.

"Brenda…you really aren't a nice girl at all…"

Brenda reached into her leather purse for a cigarette and lit it up. She blew out smoke rings savoring the nicotine as it raced through her system. God, she shouldn't have given up smoking so quickly after returning from Paris. She wanted to be so hip like when she posed as that French girl…leading on that hot guy until he wound up in Beverly Hills of all places.

So busted was she...next time she'd pretend to be an Italian heiress.

She puffed her cigarette and Kelly just fanned the air.

"Bren…that's so disgusting," she said, "How could you do that?"

Brenda blew out another series of smoke rings.

"All the women in Paris who are anybody smoke," she said, "Kelly I never knew you to be such a prude."

Kelly just laughed in response.

"Me a prude…? I didn't wait until my prom night to lose it."

Brenda thought, lose what and then she remembered which made her blush a little. She had thought back then that Dylan had been all that but she'd been so wrong about him. Her father had been right though she'd never admit it.

At least not out loud.


David had ditched Scott convincing himself that he didn't need a loser friend like the nerd gone country hick and except for the crocodile tears he had shown when Scott blew a hole inside himself; he didn't give him another thought. Once Steve, Kelly and the gang had let him hang on their fringes, he hadn't needed his old life.

He was in! He could go to all the hot parties and hang out with all the cool people. He could flirt with Donna at least until she told him she didn't plan to bed any guy except her husband. She was a good Catholic girl. So he promised eternal devotion to her and then he went and got hot and heavy with some groupie. Not that he felt guilty, it was Donna's fault for insisting on carrying her V card. He was a guy after that and that meant he needed some serious action.

Brandon saw him walking down the hallway. He'd been hooked up with some wigged out chick with bleached blonde hair named Emily Valentine who now spent her days and nights looking at four padded walls.

"Brando what's going on?"

Brandon sighed.

"I have to finish the editorial for the paper or Andrea will be on my ass."

David smiled.

"I thought she and Steve…"

"No she kicked him to the curb," Brandon said, "after he got drunk and threw up on her shoes."

David winced. Stevie had always been known as wanting to be the liveliest dude at every soiree. The gang had gone to one at a mansion in Hancock Park where the booze had been flowing like a waterfall and every nook and cranny of the house had been used by guests. Steve had nixed the bongs and had headed to the watering hole but he'd imbibed too much and when he'd tried to take Andrea on a spin on the dance floor under the disco ball…he'd suddenly retched and hurled everywhere including her shoes.

She'd stormed out on him not long after that. She wrote an article about the entire incident that had been on the front page of a special edition of the Beverly Hill Blaze. She cozied up with Gil the advisor which had everyone talking in the hallways and Mrs. Teasley a bit concerned but everyone knew that Andrea didn't do anything being a goody goody.

"I'm thinking of asking Donna to the party," David said, "I might get to DJ if I can find the right connections…"

Brandon nodded.

"Good one dude," he said, "Have you seen Dylan?"

David nodded.

"He was in the hallway with Kelly," he said, "Brenda saw them and they had a fight. I wouldn't want to be in the same room with the three of them."

Brandon shrugged.

"I need to know if he's going surfing in the tournament at the pier on Sunday," he said, "I was thinking of waxing up a board and trying it myself."

David knew that Brandon was always successful at anything he tried, in fact more so than anyone else. Dylan should be worried right now, very worried but not much fazed him when he managed to stay on the wagon.

"I think you should go for it," he said, "Just don't tell Dylan. He might go on another bender."

Brandon sighed, not wanting to be enslaved by the tortured soul that was Dylan. He thought he whined too much, the guy had everything, a rich father and an absent mother, he was unsupervised most of the time and could do whatever he wanted, when he wanted.

Oh if he could have that kind of life, but no he was destined to spend his summers being a cabana boy at a beach club and a waiter at the Peach Pit the rest of the year. Nat had forgiven him for bailing on him and he'd made enough money to buy a hip stereo system for his Mustang.

David sighed.

"He just got out of rehab again," he said, "and you know Kelly's going to send him into another spiral."

"You don't suggest that he get back with Bren do you? He nearly ruined her life."

David didn't know how to answer that question. Besides he had to run off and DJ the intercom system for the remainder of the afternoon. He was on some accelerated program so he could complete four years of high school in six months to graduate with his friends.

He left to go find Donna and soon went outside where Brenda and Kelly were eating lunch. But what he didn't know is that he was being followed by someone who looked at all the teenagers kicking back and relaxing and vowed one thing.

If they attended the next party they were all going to die.