I think my arms were going to fall off. I felt like I was carrying bricks in these shopping bags. It's a pain knowing that your girlfriend could buy so many clothes when she already has enough. I looked at Monica who had her head held up high and her red hair swinging at each step she took. I sighed. I was a little surprised with myself for not being used to this kind of torture. Monica started tugging on my arm. She kept pulling on my leather jacket until I looked her in the eye. I finally gazed into her hazel eyes and saw a sweet and innocent little girl. Normally I saw the bratty princess that nagged at me when we didn't color coordinate for school. Popularity did have its disadvantages. I was just glad that I was on winter break, but that was going to end in a couple of days. Carmon Academy, the elite boarding school for rich kids, was a pain in the neck.

Monica started to tug on my arm again. I looked at her as she ran her hands along my arm. She said in a tender voice, "Thanks for taking me shopping, Shane." I just smiled wondering if that was a good thing. But because she was popular at our school, we had to be perfect. When I say we, I mean we. We're both popular so we both have to look good. That's why I had to take her shopping almost everyday. I thought it was stupid while my brothers, Jack and Brayden disagreed. The only person that understood what I meant was my best friend, Michael. I kept wondering how my life got so out of control.

I mean, I liked popularity, but that was only because I'm dating Monica (even if she can be a pain). You can get used to her complaining after awhile. I just tone her out (but then she gets mad easily). I only hear tiny parts of what she's talking about. Like earlier, she was complaining about the fact that she won't be rooming with her best friends. The school didn't trust her because of the stunt she pulled last year. So they were going to put her with some new girls.

Monica and I quit walking when we stopped in front of the mall's bathroom. Morganville, Texas only had little bathrooms since the malls were tiny. Monica talked a little bit above a whisper, "I have to go to the bathroom. Wait out here for me." I nodded and sat down on the nearest bench. My eyes kept wondering at different stores. I looked at the Converse store when I saw something truly beautiful and truly amazing.

It was a girl that was standing only a foot away from me. She had long, silky, black hair that reminded me of the people on shampoo commercials. Like me, she was wearing a beat-up leather jacket. The sides of her gray skinny jeans had staples and safety pins. Her jeans ended where her red Converse high-tops started. Like she knew I was watching, she turned and faced me. I could see a little bit of her VersaEmerge t-shirt. I thought she was looking at me until I noticed her iPhone in her ear. I looked at her face, but she didn't look at me. She had a red streak covering parts of her right eye. Her red eyes- red eyes? - were practically piercing me and she wasn't even looking at me. She looked like she was angry at something. Her lips looked like it was from a painting of a black crow. (Black lipstick must distract people from her eyes.) But that's when she noticed me looking at her. I smiled and waved my hand. She cracked a smile and waved back. Her smile made my knees feel like jelly. "Shane!" I heard a high-pitched voice yelling at me. Monica was staring at me with a glare on her face and her hands at her hips, "Who exactly are you staring at?" I stuttered, "N-no one." I smiled for her. She didn't look convinced. To make matters worse, goth girl walked past us brushing her shoulder against Monica. Uh oh! Monica took her anger out on the girl, "Um, excuse me?" That was the Monica I knew. Goth girl turned around and moved her eyes from Monica to me and back to Monica. She scrunched her nose and said quickly, "Sorry." She sounded like an angel but her voice was low and icy. Wow! Monica got angrier, "You should watch where your going, emo!" I quickly defended the stranger, "Mon, it's okay. She didn't mean to." Monica gave me a strong glare, "Sure why not. Let's make the goth chick feel better for being such a loser. When you're done sucking up to her, I'll be waiting." I sighed and apologized to the stranger, "Sorry. She's not usually like-" She put her hand in front of her as a signal to stop talking, "It's okay. Don't worry about it. Everybody is judgmental." I wondered if she did drugs. I don't even know how that thought popped into my head. I guess it was because no average person could take an insult that well. She answered as if she was reading my mind, "No I don't do drugs. That's not what I meant." I laughed, she was pretty funny. She smiled a little. I stuck out my right hand, "I'm Shane Collins." She looked at my hand, and then nodded, "I'm Claire Danvers."


I had no idea why I was just dying to take one sip of Shane's blood. He smelled really good. I consider myself lucky for having so much self control. He reminded me of one of those crappy, pop "rock stars" on the Disney Channel. (I don't remember the name but it had Brothers in it.) I bet he was wondering why the heck I didn't shake his hand. Well I'm (practically) a cold blooded vampire, the cold skin would've been a dead give away. He kept smiling as if he didn't notice, but I could read his eyes; he did notice. I sighed, "So you have to deal with that everyday?" He noticed that I was eyeing his girlfriend. He nodded like he was nervous. "SHANE!" She screamed. I laughed. He shrugged his shoulders, "I'll see you later?" Why did he look so hopeful? Most guys like that wanted nothing to do with me. I shrugged my shoulders and said with a wink, "Maybe." That's when I got on my skateboard and rode to the food court.

I saw my best friends at the food court. Janessa was sipping her Diet Pepsi and reading those stupid teen magazines. They'd be better if they had Marilyn Manson on the cover. Eve was about to stuff a French fry covered in ketchup until she saw me walking up. Some of the ketchup fell on to her blue, Hollister t-shirt. She rolled her eyes, "Damn, Claire! That was your fault." I laughed. We both playfully glared at each other until we burst into hysterics. Alyssa, my highly trendy friend, must have known I was there because she walked over and sat in the chair next to me. She asked cheerfully, "Hey girls! What do you think of my new outfit?" She stood up and spun in a circle. I looked her up and down. She was wearing a pink tank-top underneath her white leather jacket, which went with her blue jeans and white boots. I looked at her one more time before responding, "I think you should've asked us first and then sat down instead of sitting down and standing." Janessa laughed and closed her magazine. She stood up and brushed the crumbs of her Cinnabon off of her purple blouse. She was wearing navy blue jeans with her Jimmy Choos (surprisingly I know that brand because she forced me to go with her when she bought them). The long pearl necklace looked good on her (I would know, I bought that necklace for her). Her sunglasses were tangled in her hair as she put it back into a bun. Alyssa cooed as she adjusted her hair clip, "Oooh! Cute! I can see why Tony loves you." Janessa blushed while Eve laughed. Tony was Janessa's jock, werewolf boyfriend. Eve slurped her ICEE, "At least you have a bf. I'm still searching!" That's why Eve always tried to wear cute outfits (or outfits that she thought were cute). She was supporting her Hollister t-shirt with a plaid mini skirt and knee-high moccasins. She wore a head band with her brunette braid, a braid that was so long that it went half-way down her back. I chuckled in response. I thought she exaggerated about not having a boyfriend, guys always hit on her, but she never gives them a chance. Janessa sighed. I wasn't surprised. Janessa could read minds so she was always inside everything. Alyssa sighed, "I feel sorry for Tony. He's going to have to try out for a new team, again." He used to be part of the basketball team in Michigan. A voice called, "Don't pity the b-ball star." I turned my head to the left and saw Tony standing with coffee. He grabbed a chair and sat next to Janessa, "We all know I'm gonna make it on any team. And I'm as much of a star as the elite snobs we're about to meet." Alyssa giggled. We were transferring to a new school, Carmon Academy. We just felt like it was time for new scenery. The crappy thing was that it was a boarding school. It would be different. Rumors would spread about The Public Punks (our nickname in Michigan). Eve saw my face and raised her ICEE, "A toast and a vow to the Public Punks. We vow not to change no matter what this school does to us! We are five rock stars who stick together like glue!" Janessa laughed and held up her Diet Pepsi. Tony did the same with his coffee. Alyssa looked at the ceiling before raising her chai tea. They were all waiting for me. I smiled, "You guys are crazy!" I lifted my smoothie. We all yelled like there was no tomorrow, "Rock on!" We were just that weird. For a second, I believed that no boarding school was going to change us. But only miracles could happen, not dreams.