Claire Danvers is a seventeen year old going to Morganville, Texas, to go to TPU and escape the terror that is her life. Claire has been bullied and abused all her life, and her parents are the only ones oblivious to her depression and cutting. She thinks that it will be healthy to go to Morganville; not only will she get away from the awful people in her high school, but no one in Morganville will know about her past.
Eve Rosser is in love with Michael Glass, her landlord and good friend. She sees Michael's girlfriend, Jenna, cheating on him at the coffee shop where she works, but she doesn't know how to tell him without breaking his heart. She doesn't want to ruin her friendship with Michael, but she knows she has to either tell him how she feels or move on. After all, she can't wait for him forever.
Michael Glass couldn't be more miserable. He smiles on the outside, but on the inside he wants nothing more than to tell Eve how much he loves her. He has always wanted Eve, but he never knew if she wanted him. Michael started dating other people in hopes of a distraction from Eve, but no one could change his feelings. Except for Jenna. Jenna was just supposed to be a temporary distraction for Michael, but he knows that (as much as he wants to deny it) he is starting to love her.
Shane Collins is bored. He has no girlfriend (and doesn't want one) and no job. He doesn't go to school or have anything that excites him. Except for Michael's love triangle, that should be interesting. Then Claire moves into the Glass House, and things definitely become exciting. She's quiet, guarded, and antisocial. Shane, without his permission, starts to fall for her. But will he still have those feelings when she tells him her secret?
And Jenna Oliver isn't in love with anyone. She's dating Michael and a few others, makes out with strangers at bars, and flirts with any good looking man. As for Michael Glass, she's only held on to him this long because he's gorgeous and because Eve Rosser wants him. Hey, if you're pretty and young, you should make the most of it and have some fun, right?
My name is Claire Danvers. I am a seventeen year old girl, advanced placement student who is going to college next week in a tiny Texan town called Morganville because I am eligible, and because of another problem that makes me happy to leave my hometown.
I am depressed.
So, let's try this again; I am Claire Danvers and I have self-harmed myself. I am depressed, and the only reason I'm accepting the offer of early administration to college at seventeen is because no one in Morganville will know about my depression, my cutting…my history.
And no one ever will, because no one in Morganville will care enough to look beyond my smile, and even if they did, they wouldn't be able to see my scars, both the physical and emotional. And even if they did, I wouldn't let them.
This was my last week in my hometown of Irerosé, Massachusetts. I hated living here, because I wasn't like the pretty girls. I didn't like their crappy pop music, I didn't wear their designer clothes, and I didn't have their cheerleading attitude. And in my town, being like the pretty girls was everything. Because they, the pretty girls, well they were everything.
People like the pretty girls didn't tease or bully me, well, to my face. They just whispered and pointed and spread rumors and gossiped about me—and the girls like me—behind my back. Which I found worse than saying the insults to my face. The boys, on the other hand, were a whole 'nother story: they yelled at me and abused me to my face—continuously.
I missed the days when I was seven and no one judged me. In Morganville, it will be like I'm seven again. No one will judge me because they won't know me. I will keep a pretty damn low profile.
This morning I woke up with a smile on my face for the first time in a long time. This will be my last Monday in Irerosé for a long, long time. And my last day at IHS for forever.
I would be spending the rest of the week packing and taking final exams. Not that I wasn't already all set for TPU (Texas Prairie University), but hey I'm a genius—what the hell.
I would be cleaning out my locker today and packing up my stuff. And going to Irerosé High's classes for the last time.
I was cleaning out my locker when the it happened; I was piling my books that I wouldn't need for the day's classes when I heard whispering. I turned to see a group of pretty girls looking over at me. When I made eye contact, they looked away, still whispering. I felt my blood boil. I so didn't need this; I would never have to deal with these bitches again. "Hey," I called out, feeling angry and a bit surprised with myself; I usually ignored everyone, never letting them get to me. "Speak up, bitches. I can't hear you." I said, slamming my locker door and walking to my first class—with a big, big smile on my face.
One Week Later
Sitting in a cramped cab with crappy 80s music was not my idea of comfortable. I suppressed a sigh as the houses of Morganville rolled by, blue, red, blue, white.
The cab driver kind of had a "secret-rapist-serial-killer" vibe going on, and it kind freaked me out. He was dropping me off at my new home; some room for rent on Lot Street.
My parents and I had checked out the college dorms a few weeks back; we took a tour and I quickly realized there was no way in hell I was going to live in the dorms at TPU; it was literally infested and run by Pretty Girls; they ran the dorms, and the girls in them, the ones below them, were the victims.
But I knew there was no way my parents would let me live with some strangers in Morganville; they were already upset about the alcoholic average in Morganville. So I took matters into my own hands; I found a giant gothic house that was renting out a room with three other roommates. I'd only meet the owner of the house, a golden boy named Michael Glass, and he checked me out, found out me going to TPU was ligit info, and said he'd keep the room for me for when I came to Morganville.
So I forged some signatures, got some money back, and arranged some schedules. All in the days work of a former cutting depressed emo kid.
We pulled up to Michael Glass's house and I practically threw the money (not with a very generous tip) to the creepy driver and grabbed my bags. I kinda just stood outside for a while, staring at my new home. I still had to meet the other roommates, Eva and Shawn or something. They were probably just like the people at my dorm; I could only pray they wouldn't bother me too much.
I dragged my bags up the steps, which is actually harder than I thought it would be, and rang the doorbell. A few moments later it opened to reveal not Michael like I had been hoping, but another guy who looked like he'd partied hard last night and crashed on the couch. He frowned at me, looked me over, then noticed the bags and slapped his palm to his forehead. "Shit. You're that new girl, the one Michael told us about." I nodded. "Fuck, I forgot you were coming today." I shrugged. Then he really looked at me and smirked. "Shit, Eve's gonna love you." He said, and I frowned. He then swung the door open wider and made the universal 'come in' signal. "Well, whatcha waiting for? It's your house too." He said in what I guessed was supposed to be a joke. I shrugged again and dragged my bags into the house.
"So," The guy said, sticking out his hand. "I'm Shane, Michael's best friend and your new roomie. I'm also supposed to be taking care of moving you in today, and if I remembered that last night, I would have drunk a considerably less amount of vodka." He said. I shook his hand and he then proceeded to the kitchen. Confused, I dropped my bags and followed him. I stood in the doorway as he banged around, looking for some things; a bowl, a spoon, and…soup? He caught me looking and said, "I figured you must be hungry, Michael says you're a long way from home." I nodded and Shane set down a bowl of chili in front of himself and asked, "So, you want coke? Chili? Or a ticket back home?" I snorted and shook my head and he raised an eyebrow. "Please, home's the last place I want to be." I said.
"Ah," He said. "So you can speak. I was beginning to think you were mute."
I rolled my eyes. "Maybe I just don't like you."
"Ouch," He said, holding his heart in overdramatic fake hurt. "That burned me, new girl, really burned me."
"Claire." I said. "My name's Claire. And I'll have the chili. And coke."
"Good choice," He nodded approvingly. "Made it myself." I could already tell Shane was cocky, but he didn't seem to have the asshole gene all the guys at Irerosé High had. In fact, he seemed to be a bit of an outsider himself. I just nodded as he set the bowl down next to me. Just as I took my first bite of chili heaven, a shrill voice screamed, "SHIT!" from upstairs. Alarmed, I jumped up from the place I sat across from Shane at the table. He looked calmly at the stairs. I followed his gaze and in no less than two seconds and uber Goth chick flew down them at an amazing speed. She didn't even notice me as she got in Shane's—who still looked undisturbed—face. "WHAT THE FUCK, SHANE?!" She screamed, making me question the mental stability of my future roommates. "Hey, Eve," Shane said nonchalantly and I felt a cold wind enter the room. "SHANE! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?" Eve, I presumed, said, still screaming.
"Something wrong, Miss Bitch?" Shane asked innocently.
"Wrong? Wrong! Shane, my shift started twenty minutes ago! Why the fuck didn't you wake me up?"
Shane shrugged. "Didn't realize it was my responsibility to keep you in line with your responsibilities."
She was practically hyperventilating now. "Well, asshole, unlike you some of us have a job, and no Shane, a real job is one where you get a freaking paycheck every Friday! Someone needs to pay the bills, and it's not Michael anymore and it sure as hell won't ever be you so maybe if you notice the only employed person in this house is oversleeping, you might want to wake her the fuck up!" She said, not quite as loud as before but still obviously pissed.
Shane then cleared his throat and looked at me. I gave him a oh-no-please-don't-get-me-involved-with-this-crazy-bitch look but he, of course, ignored me. "Oh by the way, Evelyn," She glared at what I assumed to be her full name. "This is Claire, you know our new roommate who's moving in today? Wonderful first impression, if I do say so myself. Claire, this is Eve, your new crazy ass vampire wannabe roomie. Eve, Claire." Eve's eyes widened as she turned to notice me for the first time, a black nail polished hand flying to her mouth. "Shit." She said again and stuck out her hand. I looked at it as if it might bite me.
"OMG, I'm so, so sorry. I'm not crazy I swear, I mean, yeah I'm weird and sometimes I get pissed, but it's only because of this moron and Michael and my job and I'm just so excited to have you here and…" Eve rambled on. I just kind of stared at her, looking her over. She had on black and white stripped leggings, a black goth tutu, big chunky black Mary Jane's and a tight long sleeve black shirt with a cartoon white heart in two broken pieces. Her face was painted white and she work black eyeliner all around her eyes, black mascara and eyeshadow, and dark red lipstick. Her hair, black of course, was twisted into a high bun with chopsticks through it to hold it in place. A few wavy strands framed her ghostly white face. She reminded me of a Goth ballerina.
"S'okay," I mumbled, still not taking her hand. "Claire. Nice to meet you?" I shouldn't have made it sound like a question; Shane burst out laughing and Eve looked like she might cry, which would totally ruin her makeup. "I will fix this." She said with serious determination over Shane's laughter. "Not now, cuz Oliver's already got my head, but after work I will fix this and show you I am perfectly sane."
"Uh, Eve?" Shane said. "I've known you all my life, and sane's something you've never been, sweetie."
"Fuck off." Eve retorted automatically. She glanced towards me. "Sorry, habit…hey, I love your shirt." I looked down at my blood red long sleeve MCR shirt. I remembered what Shane said when he first looked me over; 'Eve's gonna love you.' Oh God, she probably thinks I'm goth. Well, I guess I kinda am, but seriously? I'm not crazy like this chick.
"Thanks." I said. "Um, I think you're late." I told her and her eyes widened (her black eye makeup just overexaggerating the motion) and she cursed again, grabbing a granola bar out of Shane's hand and darting towards the door, slamming it without a goodbye and leaving me alone with Shane. Again.