Barely Breathing

"The day before your whole life changes forever, feels just like any other day"
Alison was just a girl. She just transferred schools, getting that fresh start she wanted since she was 12. But at that school, she found what she least expected. Friends. She hasn't ever really had a friend before. She had her flaws, like being afraid of the dark, and being alone. But, she was also afraid of love. That's where she's different, all of the girls in school are dreaming of love. Not Ali. Another flaw, her dad left when she was 12. She still hears her moms cries at night. She became popular, keeping her past a secret. That is, until, her little brother Kyle drowned while at the beach- when Ali was supposed to be watching him. She's devastated. But then, Louis comes along. Everyone has to face their fears, right? What happens when Louis falls for Ali but she turns him down? Will he give up or stick around for the fight?

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3. Chapter 3

Shopping was... okay? It seems like they like me, but I'm never the best at telling. I didn't really get anything, but they made me buy this really girly outfit. It was not me. When I got home I just headed straight to my room. 

My head snapped over to my door as I heard someone knocking. "Come in!" I yelled from my spot on my bed. I was playing on my laptop at the time. The door slowly cracked open and Kyle's head popped in. "Hey buddy, what's up?" He didn't answer. He just looked at me, guilt written all over his face. 

"Kyle..." He inched the door open more until he was fully in my room. "Kyle, what's wrong?"

"I'm sorry Ali! I didn't mean to, I just, I was bored and it was there and... please don't kill me!" He pleaded. 

"Kyle, what are you talking about?" I slowly stood up, getting ready to yell. 

"I might have accidentally um, posted, a uh video to... YouTube?" 

"What video...?" Things kids do on the internet. How does he even know how to do something like that?

"The one I took of you singing." He mumbled. My eyes widened in terror shock. He what!? A video of me is... public? Anyone can see it now!

"Kyle! What were you thinking!? Why would you do that!? I swear when I'm done with you-" I couldn't finish because he ran to his room crying. Right now I am in a crisis. I ran downstairs stomping my feet. How could he do this? Uhhh! 

"MOM!" I yelled. She ran in the room like there was a fire. "What's wrong?" She calmed when she saw nothing happened but looked concerned. "Kyle posted a video of me singing on YouTube!" I complained. There's nothing more Kyle hates than my mom yelling at him. But, instead, she laughed.

"Why are you freaking out? It's not that bad." Not that bad? People from my school can see this! It'll be humiliating!

"Mom, it's horrible! Do something about it!" She sighed and walked upstairs. I followed her feeling like I accomplished something. She knocked on Kyle's door and he opened it with puffy eyes. My mom immediately hugged him and I rolled my eyes. Kyle is like my best friend, but we're still brother and sister and we will fight at times. 

"Ali, will you please forgive me?" He said with his best baby look. The sight of this made me melt inside. He's so adorable! I sighed and hugged him.

"But we are taking that video down. Now!" He nodded vigorously and my mom walked out the room saying something under her breath. Moms! 

I followed Kyle to his laptop and he opened it to the page. He titled the video "Alison singing Breakaway" I looked over the page real fast and saw it already had over half-a-million view and five hundred thousand likes. My eyes widened.

"Kyle! How long ago did you post this?" I asked still looking at the screen with googly eyes. I pondered over the thought a while then held up 3 fingers. 

"Three days ago" He smiled but it instantly faded when I sent him daggers with my eyes. 

"And you're just now telling me?" 

"Well so many people liked it, and I knew you'd be mad." I sighed. I scrolled through the comments and read a few. 

OMG UR SOO GOOD!!!

AMAZING!! MAKE MORE!!

This girl is gonna b famous someday

Ur hott!

Should I keep it up? I mean, it's not like it's getting bad reviews... I rubbed my temples, thinking deeply on this.

"Ali, are you okay?" Kyle asked in a babyish voice. I sighed and looked at him sincerely. I shouldn't be mad at him, should I?

"I'm fine Kyle. How about we keep the video up a little longer, yeah?" His face lit up and he started clapping and cheering. I laughed and walked out of his room and back into my own. I fell on to my zebra bed and sucked in an overly dramatic sigh. 

I jumped when I felt my phone vibrate from underneath me. I quickly whipped it out and hit the green answer button.

"Hello?" 

"Alison! It's Hannah! Can we meet up really fast?" How did Hannah even get my number?

"Um, sure?" I said uneasy. Man! I was looking forward to getting some sleep. Weren't we just together? 

"Great! Starbucks in fifteen, be there." With that she hung up. I sighed, swinging my legs off the side of the bed and walking out my room. Good thing I never changed my clothes yet. I staggered down the stairs and to the door.

"Mom, I'll be home in an hour!" I yelled to my mom, swooping the door open and dragging myself out into the brisk cold air. The temperature changes like crazy here. One moment it's scorching heat out and the next it's as cold as Antarctica! Okay, I may be over exaggerating a tiny bit but I'm serious. It felt like my whole body fell asleep and needles were poking at my skin. I hugged myself, looking for warmth. 

I was finally relieved from the bitterness of the outdoors and greeted with the warm sensations of Starbucks. My nose filled with the delicious scents of freshly brewed coffee. I scanned my surroundings for Hannah and landed on a petite blonde girl sitting in a booth fiddling with the straw in her latte. I waltzed over there and sat across from her. Her head shot up and she smiled widely. She had a few dimples, making her seem even more perfect.

"So, I need to talk to you about... some things" I nodded for her to go on and she took in a deep breath and started talking.

"So, my mom is moving my family to America and I need a new queen bee for the school. Do you think you can handle this job?" I froze. Was she serious? Me? Why not Caitlyn or Immy? I dumbly nodded, not thinking, and she went on explaining rules, who and who not to talk to or date. So much, I could hardly remember. But one name stuck out.

"Louis is trouble. He's a no no." She said, waving her finger like I was five and just done something wrong. What does she mean he's trouble? I nodded and let her continue but those words never left my mind. Louis is trouble... trouble. That could mean so many different things, right? Why couldn't she just be more specific? Now this is going to bother me all night! 

Finally, she finished. My brain was crammed with so much information I thought my head would blow up. Why on earth would I agree to do this? I don't want to be the mean girl everyone is afraid of. Maybe I don't have to be... maybe, I'll act it out until she leaves then I can be the nice popular girl. Yeah... that sounds good. 

I walked out Starbucks, hearing that familiar ding of the bell above the door. The air seemed colder then before. I could feel my nose getting runny and my eyes drying from the bitter winds. I wrapped my arms around my own body, providing as much warmth as possible until a red Porsche pulls over beside me. I looked over and pick up my pace a little.

"Hey!" I snap my head back to see Louis sticking his head out the drivers window. I slowly walk towards the car in awe. How could he be driving this? He doesn't even have his license yet. 

"Louis? How are you driving?" He laughed and motioned me to get in. Then, Hannah's words started to creep back into my mind. Trouble. I shook my head and insisted on walking.

"Come on Ali, you'll freeze. I can't let that happen. Get in." How can he be trouble. He seems kind of nice... no. You heard Hannah, and she knows her stuff. Right? 

"Ali! Please!" I sighed, obviously giving in. He smiled and I walked over to the other side and slipped in. He smoothly started down the road again. I gave him the address and he started the ten minute drive to my house. It's unfair he gets to drive and I don't. I'm just as responsible as him- more responsible at that. I thought, remembering the mishap with his little sister. 

"Why are you walking out in the cold?" He said, glancing at me then focusing back on the icy roads. I feel uneasy about letting him drive me when the roads are slick like this but anything is better than walking. Anything. 

"I was at Starbucks with Hannah..." He sighed. Why is he sighing?

"Are you sure you want to hang out with girls like that? I mean, you're different. Unique. Don't waste your time with those plastics, Alison." Now I'm the one sighing. He sounds like my mom. 

"Look, they're nice to me. Besides, it's not you're business anyway. You sound like my mom."

"Well, your mum is right. But, I'll stay out of it." He said, pulling into my driveway. I opened my door and thanked him. They aren't that bad. No, they are nice. A little preppy and they kind of cake make-up on but they're nice. To me anyway.  

~~~~~~~~~

I don't know how long that ray of sunlight had been peeking through that gap in my zebra-print curtains before it found its way to my face, nor do I know how long it took me to become aware of it. 

I tried blocking out that disturbing sunbeam and going back to my dream. I was for once having a good dream. But reality just seeped in and I realized I needed to get  up for school. 

I let out a groan and rolled off my bed with a thump, making me release an even louder groan of pain. I curled into a small ball and just laid there for a moment. I finally decided to get up, stretching my legs and letting a yawn escape my lips. My legs stiffened, and I walked to my closet. Today I had to "dress to impress" as Hannah liked to say. I picked out a quick outfit that was nothing compared to what Hannah would wear. It was decent, but not perfect. I still don't fully understand why she would choose me. I'm nothing special. Caitlyn's skinny, I'm curvy. Immy's eyes glow, mine are dull. The only good feature is my golden hair. Hannah, she's perfect. She has the perfectly shaped body, perfect blonde hair, amazing chocolate brown eyes, and the to-die-for dimples. She was just perfect.

I bounced downstairs, greeted by the smell of toast and jam. Nothing special or gourmet but definitely delicious. I took a piece off the kitchen counter, greeting my mom with a small smile and wave. I took my backpack and said good-bye, finishing my piece of toast and heading for the door.

"Have a good day sweetie, I'll be out all day so don't forget to pick up Kyle." I gave her a quick hug and left. Today was not nearly as cold as yesterday. I walked down the sidewalk to the small building of the school. The neighborhood was quiet this morning. All I could her was the faint sounds of cars on the highway and dogs barking. Maybe even a few birds here and there. 

I walked up the pathway of my new school. Today is only my second day here, and yet it feels like years. I don't know how, though. I guess the school has that cozy atmosphere that makes you feel at home. That is, until, you get inside. By then, you're greeted by the many separations of this school. It has so many groups and clubs it isn't even funny. I am now officially a part of the it-crew. Meaning I'm at the top of the school, deciding who goes in what group. And it's only my second day. I have never made this much progress in such a short period of time in my life. Now that I have, I feel accomplished. All my doubts from yesterday stopped mocking me, and I feel refreshed, like a whole new side of me is breaking through its shell. It actually feels kind of nice, to be honest. I didn't think being that bitch everyone is scared of would feel good, it hasn't happened yet but it is sounding nicer and nicer by the second. I really don't know what's gotten into me, really. But walking down this hallway, is a new me. 

I notice all eyes on me once I opened my locker. Maybe Hannah spread the news already? Why else would they be staring at me googly eyed? I took out my books and headed to English. Since Hannah was here, I don't know where I'll be sitting. Hannah said this is her last week here, and after Friday it is my responsibility to take control, of the school and minions. She calls Immy and Caitlyn her minions. And the other people of her group the "followers" It's kind of cliche if you ask me. 

I walked through the door and to Mr. T, since I hadn't known where to sit yet.

"Hey, Mr. T, where should I sit since Hannah's here?" He looked up from his desk and smiled. 

"Miss Winters. Hmm... sit yourself next to Louis. I can seat Hannah elsewhere." I nodded and sat in the same seat by the window like yesterday. When Hannah came in and saw me she just smiled. Mr. T sat her in the front of the class. She didn't seem to mind, though. Louis walked in and smirked at me, sending me a flirty wink. I rolled my eyes and took out my pencil and books and got ready for today's lesson. 

"Now, for the next twenty minutes get with the person beside you and work on pages 72 and 73 together." I sighed and looked over at the smirking Louis. I rolled my eyes once again and scooted my chair to his desk.

"So, how's the 'popular' thing working for you?" He has to bring this up, doesn't he?

"Perfect" I said bluntly, trying to work on the paper. English isn't my best subject, and I don't need any distractions. I need to concentrate on school. My grades matter to me, and English is my lazy class. 

"No, that's wrong. It's this one!" He said, pointing to the correct answer. I sighed, erasing my previous answer and circling the other choice.

"You know, if you're struggling with English I can help. My best subject." I looked up at the hopeful Louis and giggle.

"What?" He whined, making me giggle again. A cute giggle, though. 

"Your good at English?" This time he chuckled and nodded.

"My cousin's the teacher." Oh yeah, I completely forgot about that. I nodded in agreement and we set a tutoring date. Oh great.

When the bell finally rang, I packed my stuff and went to my locker to switch to my math books. I shut my locker and standing behind it was Carrie. I looked at her for a brief second before she spoke.

"Your a plastic?" She said disbelievingly. I shook my head.

"I don't like the term 'plastic'" I said, making her huff. Why is she mad?

"You seemed cool, now your letting them control you? Have fun with that Alison" She said, strutting off. They won't be controlling me, I'll be controlling them. Pssh! She doesn't know anything. I will have fun. And they won't change me, I'll always be me. Just with a new appearance. It won't be as bad as everyone is making it seem, right? Oh great, now the doubts are back, clouding my mind with questions with no answers. Just fantastic. 

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